Infographic: Perfectionism… Is it a Good or Bad Thing?!

Don't Answer too Quickly!

Perfectionism Infographic


Perfectionism. The word has kind of a bad rep, doesn’t it? Yet, just yesterday I was in the Emergency Room with one of my precious daughters and desperately hoped for a doctor who was a perfectionist.  Another daughter has an upcoming doctor’s appointment and I’m counting on his perfectionism.

When my vehicle is at the shop, I hope for a mechanic who’s a perfectionist.

When yet another daughter took her adorable cat, Edgar, to the veterinarian’s office – we wanted nothing lest than perfectionism from the vet.

On the flip side of the same coin, however, I used to build websites for people and I have the emotional scars to prove it.

“That blue isn’t blue enough…” 

“Can the red be about 2 shades brighter?”

“I want my header to be like the header on this website and my logo like the one on this website… but I don’t want it to look like I’m copying.. but make it look just like them..”

Perfectionism can be a beautiful thing, or it can drive you so crazy you have to say, “I used to build websites for people!”

The infographic above does a great job of distinguishing between the two.  Determine which side of the coin you’re on and, if you’re on the wrong side… flip it!

Until then, whatever you do, don’t ask me to build a website for you!

~ Joi (“Joy”)

Infographic Source:

Feeling Groovy: PsychTests’ New Study Reveals Something Interesting…

High Emotional Intelligence Improves Life Satisfaction

New research by indicates that there are certain facets of emotional intelligence that can strongly influence a person’s level of happiness and contentment.

“Emotional intelligence” may have only became a hot buzzword in recent decades, but over 2,300 years ago, Aristotle had already grasped the importance of emotional awareness and the ability to apply this knowledge: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

If it’s not enough that EQ has been linked to job performance, leadership ability, and relationship satisfaction, research from PsychTests indicates that people with high emotional intelligence also tend to be happier and more content with their lives.

After collecting data from 824 people using their most recent version of the Emotional Intelligence Test (and over 3 million test-takers since the test’s inception in 1996), researchers at PsychTests focused their analyses on two distinct groups: Those who are completely satisfied with their life and those who are not.

The satisfied group not only displayed higher emotional intelligence, they also outscored their discontent counterparts on 14 EQ competencies by at least 10 points – traits and skills that researchers at PsychTests consider essential to happiness and life satisfaction.

Some of the largest gaps in scores were found among the following key competencies:

  • Resilience/Hardiness: Encompasses the ability to bounce back from failure and hardship. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 80 to 44 (on a scale from 0 to 100).
  • Problem-solving: Assesses the willingness to face problems head-on and proactively search for solutions. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 51.
  • Positive Mindset: Ability to see the silver lining; a hopeful yet realistic point of view. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 78 to 49.
  • Self-Motivation: Ability to inspire and encourage oneself to engage in goal-oriented behavior. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 44.
  • Self-Control: Ability to soothe oneself and to express negative emotions in a healthy manner. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 70 to 45.
  • Coping Skills: Tendency to use healthy techniques to cope with stress, like seeking emotional support from others, changing the way a problem is viewed, or seeking out information to better deal with a problem or stressor. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 49.
  • Striving: Desire for increased knowledge and skills; always wanting to go further, become better, and learn more. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 69.
  • Comfort with Emotions: General sense of comfort dealing with one’s emotions and those of others, or emotionally charged situations, like conflict. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 63 to 42.

“It isn’t that happy, content people don’t experience bad days, or don’t get sad, angry, or worried,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “They very much do – the difference is in how they deal with these emotions, and this is where emotional intelligence plays a role. People who are satisfied with their life are very much in touch with their emotions; they are honest with others about how they feel, and they accept responsibility for their feelings … such as, ‘This person makes me angry’ vs. ‘I allow myself to become angry when I see this person do such-and-such’. Most importantly, they do not deny that they are emotional beings and don’t see feelings as either good or bad. Our feelings are simply a message our body send us to alert us to issues, and to provide us with information that our rational, conscious mind doesn’t have access to.”

The researchers at PsychTests offered a few tips on how to further develop one’s emotional intelligence:

  • Take small steps if you’re not used to expressing your emotions. Start with those that are the least intimidating and you will surely find that it’s not as bad as you think. On the positive side, begin with genuine compliments and then take it further to an expression of appreciation. When you need to communicate a negative feeling, try writing it if you feel too intimidated to say it. Like learning any new skill, it will get easier with practice.
  • Accept the good and the bad. Both good and bad feelings facilitate the thinking process by allowing us to view things from different perspectives. Did you ever notice how, when thinking pessimistically about a problem, you come up with solutions that are in line with that thinking, and when you think positively, the perspective and solutions change? Our feelings, good and bad, offer us different views on the world. While one perspective may be more beneficial than the other, both angles offer us valuable information about others and ourselves.
  • Don’t brush aside your gut instinct or intuition. Gut instinct is that voice in your head or that feeling of foreboding that’s trying to tell you something isn’t right. Some refer to it as a sixth sense. Whatever the label, it can offer us valuable information if we take a moment to listen. Those who ignore this inner voice can often end up regretting it. This doesn’t mean that logic has no benefits. The perfect balance, in fact, would be to think a situation through, and then going with what feels right.
  • Take a time out. “When angry count to ten; when very angry count to 100.” It’s not always easy to maintain your composure when you feel like your “buttons” are being pushed, but it is essential that you make an effort to do so. It’s important to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you upset or stressed. As time passes, you will be able to be more objective about the issues and to sort out the situation more clearly. Count for as long as it takes for you to reach a state of mind conducive to the cool, rational consideration of possible consequences of your actions. This counting technique can be used no matter what the intense feeling is.

Want to assess your EQ? Go to

Professional users of this assessment (therapists, life coaches and counselors) can request a free demo of this or any other tests from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

About is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.


Peace: Sometimes It’s More About CREATING it than FINDING it

How to Create a More Peaceful Mind

Peace of Mind Quote

Stop Fighting with Your Thoughts…

We all say we’re looking for happiness. We often it’s what we want more than anything – for ourselves and for others. However, I often think it goes deeper than just happiness we’re seeking. I think we’re seeking PEACE as much as anything else.

After all, how can you possibly attain happiness if you aren’t at peace?

When any variety of strife or conflict is going on in our world, we crave peace like a teenager craves pizza.  This strife can come from a number of places:

  • family members
  • news
  • society
  • co-workers
  • work
  • school
  • debt/bills
  • friends

We often even create our own strife (as if there isn’t enough already) by worrying, judging, criticizing, and creating expectations that are higher than any human can possibly reach.

Truth be told, we often put as big a dent in PEACE as anyone.

Peace of mind is a beautiful thing.  It’s such a beautiful thing that I want to take the next few minutes with you, if you’ll allow me to. I’d love to help you find out, first of all, if you currently are in a peaceful state of mind. Second of all, if you are not, I’d like to help you take a step in the right direction.

Peace of Mind Quiz

To find out how peaceful a place your mind is at this moment, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How quickly do you fall asleep at night. Barring “sleep obstacles” (flat pillow, barking dog, crying baby, aches and pains, etc), does it take you longer than 30 minutes to drift off to sleep?
  2. Are you able to concentrate fully on one task at a time or does another one butt in out of order?!
  3. If you were to hop in your car and drive for 2 hours, would you be able to ride with yourself in silence or would you require a loud radio to drown out your thoughts?
  4. If you were to set aside 10 minutes to pray, would you feel too overwhelmed to even know where to begin?

These are just a few questions – and they’re pretty darn unscientific, at that – but they’ll give you an idea of just how peaceful a place your mind is to visit right now. You look like a very logical person to me (after all, you’re on Self Help Daily – that makes you brilliant), so I won’t talk down to you by interpreting your answers.  You know, by now, if the country of your mind is at peace or at war.

If you are in a peaceful state of mind, I couldn’t be happier for you! Whatever you’re doing in your life to bring balance to your world and to calm storms before they claim you, keep it up. Don’t fall off the wayside and don’t let down your guard. Stay steady and never, ever take peace of mind for granted.

If, after answering the questions, you realize that your mind isn’t as peaceful as you’d like it to be, keep reading. I won’t keep you long, I promise.

{Continued below the affirmation…}

Peace of Mind Affirmation

My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control.

How to Create More Peace in Your Life

I’ve promised not to keep you long, and for me, limiting my words is tough, so I’m going to simply leave these tips with you. You can flesh them out for yourself.

  • Pray. I view my prayer life as my own personal ministry. I pray throughout the day and find that it brings more peace to me than anything. Knowing that God is with you, no matter where you are or what you’re going through is priceless.
  • Ease up on worrying! Easier said than done, I know, but you will never have peace if you never stop worrying.  Worrying never accomplishes anything and, worst of all, it’s a slippery slope. Once you start, it’s all downhill. If that’s not bad enough, people around you will start thinking of you as a worry wart and when you actually have a legitimate worry, they won’t listen!  Having expectations that are too high is one of the biggest roadblocks to both peace and happiness. Stop over-expecting and over-thinking. Live your life.
  • Affirmations are a positive-ly wonderful way to reaffirm the attitude you desire. Use the following “Peace of Mind” affirmation daily: My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control. For the most success, an affirmation addresses the situation as though it is already in place. Don’t say, “I don’t want my peace of mind to be disturbed…” or even “I won’t let my peace of mind be disturbed…”  Say it is NOT disturbed! Repeat this affirmation often throughout the day, and not just when it’s needed.
  • Carve out time each day for bliss. What’s bliss? Anything you enjoy that puts you in a complete state of happiness. Maybe it’s watching sports on tv or playing with your cat. Maybe it’s putting on your favorite robe and reading a great mystery by a favorite author.  Maybe it’s watching your favorite drama on television. Whatever it is that TAKES you away from the noise in your head and MAKES you forget the noises were ever there in the first place… that’s your personal bliss and you need daily doses. That’s an order.
  • Enjoy a good laugh every chance you get. Try to see the humor in all situations. It’s all but impossible for a war to take place in your mind when you’re having a good laugh.

Life isn’t always easy, but we are terribly guilty of making it harder than it has to be.

Like happy homes, peaceful minds don’t just happen – they have to be created. The payoff is truly worth the effort. I hope you’ll take several steps today in a more peaceful direction.

Wishing you a mind that’s more peaceful than you ever dreamed of,

~ Joi (“Joy”)

As There are Seasons in a Year, There are Seasons in a Life

And You Know What They Say About Seasons, They Change...

As there are seasons in a year, there are seasons in a life.

Seasons Change

Ever find yourself smack  in the middle of one of life’s “ruts?”  Whether it lasts a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you find yourself wondering what a nice peaceful day would feel like.

Dentist visits, doctor visits, transmission problems, trips to the vet, broken water pipes, dishwashers that go on the fritz (God forbid!)… they’re all part of life, unfortunately, but they’re more tolerable when they come one at a time, aren’t they?  When they double, or even triple team you, that’s when nerves get frazzled.

The problem is, it’s been my experience that these thorns of life aren’t fond of flying solo. They love company, so they almost always bring other thorns with them.

My mom always said things like this came in bunches.  She was never able to pinpoint a number for me, no matter how often I pressed her. My grandmother always believed the magic number was 3. I’d point out instances to her where the 3 was exceeded and she’d always have the same answer, “Oh, the fourth isn’t the fourth – it’s the first of a whole new three.”

Granny logic.

I’ve come up with my own way of looking at the “bunches” and “terrible threes.” I call them “seasons.”

I am utterly obsessed with the seasons of the year. I live in beautiful Kentucky, where we have three very distinct and glorious seasons, complete with all each should bring:

  • Spring with its tree buds, blooming flowers, and greening grass – everything seems to come alive.
  • Summer with its intense greens, yellows, reds, blues, and purples – everything seems to thrive.
  • Autumn with its crisp leaves, colorful trees, and autumn breeze – everything seems to show off!
  • Winter with its blankets of white, bare trees, and peaceful quiet – everything seems to sleep.

Then it starts all over again.

The fact that we have similar seasons in life occurred to me many years ago.  We were going through a rough patch with health issues, moving, elderly/unhealthy parents, and a series of “thorns” that seemed particularly unnecessary and downright mean-spirited.  I don’t know how many times I uttered the words, “Realllllly? On top of everything? Realllllly???

Thorns never answer back, do they?

One morning, as I was packing away pumpkins, ghosts, monsters, and bats and replacing them with the Holy Family, snowmen, reindeer, and Santas – I couldn’t help thinking about the seasons.  Each one brings its own bag of tricks, so to speak.  Each has things I love about them and each has things that I don’t particularly love. But not only can we NOT fast-forward any of the seasons or skip them, altogether, I don’t think many of us would even WANT to.

Putting up with mosquitoes in summer and shoveling snow in winter are all part of the game.  We get through it. Even people who don’t like a particular season somehow get through it.

We endure it.

The same holds true for life. Life also comes with its own seasons – joyous seasons, crazy seasons, peaceful seasons, sick seasons, restful seasons, and seasons when anything that COULD go wrong, DOES go wrong!  You know, the “Reallllly?” seasons.

I guess all I’m trying to say is this: No matter where you are right now – no matter what sort of life season you’re in… whether it’s one you’re enjoying or one you’re just trying to get through – know that it will not last. Another season will come and take it’s place.

What can you do when you’re in a “thorny” season?!

  • Breathe. When under stress, we sometimes hold our breath without even realizing it. Be cognizant of your breathing and make sure to inhale and exhale.  This, alone, can actually make you feel better.
  • Slow everything down – your mind and your body.  When you’re in a bad season, your mind races. It’s trying to figure out how to get out of the rut, how to deal with the rut, how to make everything okay for everyone else… race, race, race. When your mind races, your body tries to keep pace. If your mind treats everything as an emergency, your heart will think you’re under constant attack! Slow everything down and realize that you aren’t under attack from zombies. Save the panic for the walking dead.
  • Remind yourself that you are simply in one of life’s seasons – it will pass and another will come along.  One day the things that are driving you batty right now will be nothing more than memories. Go ahead and remind them of that.
  • If there is anything you can do to make the situation better, don’t just think about it (and don’t ever just wait for someone else to do it) – take action. Very often, the simple act of knowing you’re doing all that you can brings you a measured amount of relief.

Let us be patient, and endure a while; the time may come that God may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers. -John Bunyan

Coming unglued during the bad times is the worst thing you can do. Stay steady. As a commercial once said, “Never let them see you sweat!” You can replace sweat with any description that fits your own style of coming unglued…

  • “Never let them see you cry!”
  • “Never let them see you scream!”
  • “Never let them see you pout!”
  • “Never let them see you sulk!”
  • “Never let them see you lash out!”

Never let them see you anything but in control… riding out the bad season until a better one comes along.

Endure the storm with your dignity intact!

One final thought: If you’re going through rough or challenging waters, odds are that you have loved ones in the boat with you. The calmer you remain – the more “in control” you are – the better it’ll be for everyone else. Many times, our loved ones follow our lead. If we act all kinds of crazy, they’ll do the same.

Bad. Deal. That’s the sort of thing that causes boats to capsize. Don’t be the reason the boat capsizes. Be the reason the boat makes it to calmer waters.

It may sound cliche, but sometimes you really do just have to “hang in there.”

~ Joi


Quote About Joy – Joyful Quote of the Day

This One's Worth Memorizing

Quote About Joy
Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson, author

So many people get so stuck in a negative mindset that they don’t even fully realize why they were there in the first place! I’m fairly convinced that if you walked up to the average “sad sack” or “worry wart,” and asked them, “Why so down, chum?,” they wouldn’t have a legitimate answer.

They’d either say something vague like, “I just can’t catch a break” or go they’d whip out the old standby, “Life just isn’t fair.”

On the other hand, of course, there are plenty of people who have reasons why they’re wearing a “never in season” frown:

  • they don’t have enough money
  • they haven’t found Mr./Mrs. Right
  • they live in an empty nest
  • they don’t live in an empty nest
  • their spouse doesn’t measure up
  • their kids don’t measure up
  • they don’t measure up
  • they hate their job
  • they hate their co-workers
  • they live in a “one horse” town
  • they live in a noisy city
  • they’re overweight
  • they’re underweight
  • they have health issues
  • etc etc etc

Regardless of their own personal reasons for feeling down, the surest way to move their emotions upward resides in the beautiful quote above: Allowing themselves to recognize just how good things really are.

Like me, you’ve heard the quote, “Things are never as bad as they seem,” right? Well, if we’re going to be completely honest here – sometimes they are as bad as they seem. Losses happen, change happens, and sometimes life really and truly does not play fair.  And, yet… if we take the time to look around us – even in the dark – we’ll realize that there are more good things than bad.

More reasons to smile than to frown.

More reasons to feel hopeful than to feel hopeless.

More reasons to feel grateful than hateful.

Joy is a beautiful, wonderful, completely euphoric feeling. It’s more than worth the few minutes it takes to “round up” your blessings and “find” reasons to smile.

3 Reasons You Should Seek a Balanced Life if You Want a Better Life

At Work or Home, Success Depends on Finding Equilibrium

Quote About Finding Balance in Life

Find Balance in Your Life and Stand Firm when Storms Come

Most people are searching for something, whether they even realize it or not. Some seek money, fancy cars, and expensive wardrobes. Others seek better health and the ever elusive Fountain of Youth.  A small contingent simply seek days filled with laughter, their family, bottomless pitchers of tea, and as many cats as they can find.

But enough about me.

Lumbie Mlambo, magazine editor and stroke survivor puts a wonderful spin on searching for a better life in the article below.  She speaks of finding “balance” in our lives.

To me, balance has always meant staying “grounded” and “level-headed.”  Being balanced means never getting too high or too low. It’s the single best way to stay grounded. The more balanced you are, the less apt you are to become rattled or unglued.

Why is being balanced and grounded SO important? Because balance gives us roots.  The deeper our balance, the deeper the roots.  We should strive to have our “roots” run so deep that after even the worst of storms, we’ll be like a large, old tree….. still standing.

~ Joi

3 Reasons A Balanced Life Is A Better Life

Life sometimes can seem off kilter as responsibilities mount and people plow all their physical and mental resources into what seems to be the most pressing crisis of the moment.

But Lumbie Mlambo says that’s a good time to take a step back. Everyone has the potential to shine in life’s darkest moments, but the key to achieving goals and an overall better existence is to maintain a balance so that one aspect of your life isn’t consumed by another.

While some people might say balance in life is an impossible goal, she disagrees and says when each of us find our equilibrium, we become more productive and a greater asset to our communities.

There’s balance in everything we do, be it walking, talking, eating, sleeping, working or spending time with family,” says Mlambo, editor of Equanimity Magazine (, an online publication that features inspiring stories of life and success.

For example, look at how we try to deal with our work-life situation. We balance our workload so that we can still make room for other activities, to spend more time with our spouses or our children. We do that because we understand how important it is.”

She offers these reasons for why living a balanced life is essential:

• The health factor. Staying balanced is a key to a healthier and successful life. Both mental health and physical health benefit, and as a result, so do our overall lives. When we’re healthy, we’re able to care for ourselves and others in our community,” Mlambo says.

• The empathy factor. “When we find balance in life, we can better understand the importance of helping the underprivileged,” says Mlambo, who grew up in a rural area in Zimbabwe. You begin to realize that someday you could be in their situation, which makes you a more empathetic person. “Your economic situation is like your health,” she says. “Nothing is guaranteed.”

• The role-model factor. Sharing our stories – whether it’s a tale of success or even a tale of failure – is important because others can learn from us or be inspired by us as they too strive for a balanced life. “When you tell your story, it empowers, motivates and encourages people to not give up on their dreams and goals,” Mlambo says. “Maybe you think your story is just not that interesting or important. But for someone out there, it may be the spark that ignites them to great things.”

Mlambo always strove to find balance in her life. But she became even more passionate about it after she suffered a stroke in 2001 that left her partially paralyzed. She since has recovered, but says the event had a profound impact on her and she will always consider herself a stroke patient.

Before the stroke, I thought my life was balanced in a way,” she says. “I mean, I ate healthy foods. I exercised seven days a week. But it was not balanced in the way I wanted. I had been too focused on myself. I realized that life was not just about me, but about others.”

Finding balance in life isn’t just a feel-good concept, Mlambo says. As people achieve balance, they realize they have the potential to rise above their circumstances. They can become more productive in their communities and that is good for everyone.

Staying proactive and shifting the way we think can even help the economy to grow and can help create more jobs,” she says.

Certainly, maintaining a balanced life may be tougher than ever because technology allows work – emails, text messages, telephone calls – to intrude on people’s “off” hours. But that’s just all the more reason to make a concerted effort to strive for balance, Mlambo says.

She says it’s become popular in some circles to argue that a balanced life is a myth and can’t be achieved. But regardless of their views, she says, most people seem to be trying to bring balance to their lives, even if they don’t think of it that way.

“We eat healthy to stay balanced, we get enough sleep or rest to avoid stress, we juggle our daily activities to stay balanced,” Mlambo says. “To be successful in anything we do, we must have some sort of balance.”

About Lumbie Mlambo

Lumbie Mlambo is editor of Equanimity Magazine (, a lifestyle publication that shares the stories of “real people and their search to lead better lives.” She also has a background in project management, computer/software engineering and business analysis. She holds an associate degree in computer science from Indiana University South Bend; and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. She is multilingual, speaking English, Zulu, Ndebele and French.

Happy Families Don’t Just Happen

Everyone Has to Do Their Part

Quote About Home

The One Place…

I spend a lot of time thinking about families – husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles… the whole shebang.  That’s why I made “Building Happier Families” the focus of Self Help Daily for 2015.

My family is my treasure on earth. I’d rather have this colorful cast of characters and nothing else in the world than to have everything but one less of them.

They’re crazy, but by gosh, they’re my crazies!

A family should be a safe haven, shouldn’t it? A happy band of people connected by blood as well as love. People who have one another’s backs and would go to battle for any member of the tribe.

Problem is some families spend so much time battling one another that their home and family seems like anything but a safe haven.

When I hear about broken relationships within families, my heart breaks because I know somewhere, in the middle of it all, there’s someone who cherishes their family the way I do mine – and I know that what they want more than anything else is peace and happiness.

Doesn’t seem like that much to ask for, does it?

Fortunately strained and even broken relationships can be mended. Love is a powerful force and if it’s a factor in the equation, few things are impossible.

However, the best way to REPAIR broken relationships is to PREVENT them from ever happening in the first place. Within every shattered family is at least one person who wishes with all their might that they could go back and UNdo or UNsay something.

If you’ve ever been in that agonizing position, you know that it’s very much like hell on earth.

Once you’ve wronged someone – either through action, neglect, or harmful words – you simply can’t undo it.  You can’t erase your wrong and (even worse) you can’t erase their pain.   All you can hope for is forgiveness and that, in time, the pain you see in their eyes will fade and happiness will take its place.

If we could all learn to control our tongues and actions, we could avoid seeing this pain in our loved ones eyes in the first place.  The problem is, the “average” person is completely and utterly ME-oriented. They live under the firm belief that the world revolves around them.

  • I want our Christmas meal at 4:00 and WILL NOT budge for anyone else.
  • I hate my daughter’s music choices, so I will berate her every chance I get.
  • My mother in law gets on my nerves and I intend to let everyone in the family know about it.
  • My son needs a haircut and I will humiliate him in front of the entire family to make my point known.
  • My wife spent too much at the store and I’m going to yell until my face turns red.
  • My husband watches too much sports on tv, but if I continually nag him, he’ll eventually watch what I want to watch.

Too many people with too many thoughts revolving around their favorite person in the world… them.  You know what these people remind me of? Pre-Schoolers.

  • I don’t want to take a nap, so I’m going to scream and cry.
  • I want to stay at the park, so I’m going to throw myself on the ground and scream my favorite word – NOOOO!
  • That’s MY toy and she can’t have it.
  • I do not want to be in this store anymore, so I’m going to cry my eyes out.
  • I don’t want this green food! I’m going to throw it on the floor!

Like children, adults make everyone around them miserable for selfish reasons.

I saw a mother in Kroger recently with an adorable but obviously irritable little boy (probably around 2 years old).  The woman looked like she was walking on eggshells as she tried to hurry through the process before the little guy blew his stack.

She didn’t make it. Right as she wheeled into the checkout lane, the complete and utter mini-meltdown began. It was something to behold, too.

While he was, in spite of himself, downright cute with his red face and clinched little fists, the same CANNOT be said for adults who cause others to walk on eggshells as they hope to avoid one of their fits.

Nothing cute or adorable about them.

If you’re one of those people who, God love you, tends to think of self THEN others, I’m not asking you to change your focus. In fact, if you’re past the age of 45, it wouldn’t do any good anyway.  After all, you’ve been in the center stage of your own thoughts for a long time, I won’t try to budge you.

As they say, you do you!

What I am saying is this… Within each family there are people who are, basically, the HEART of the family. They’re the moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, daughters, sons, brothers and/or sisters who just want everyone to get along, be kind, and fill the house with laughter.

These are the people who not only “don’t rock the boat,” they spend 90 percent of their time keeping things afloat.

I want you to think about them for a minute. Think of people in your family who you love completely – the ones who you would be utterly lost without.

How do you make them feel when you behave like a 2 year old in a grocery store? What happens to the smile on their faces or the joy in their eyes when you cause them to walk on eggshells?

Do you really want that?  Shouldn’t we all want to see those we love so happy that they burst out in laughter?!

I hope that if you ARE someone who tends to gravitate toward this kind of behavior you’ll recognize yourself. I  hope that next time you’ll see yourself as a little red-faced toddler and that you’ll completely change your thoughts and actions.

It’d be highly unlikely that a little child would look at his mom and think, “I love that mommy person. She is having fun in this boring, bright store. I’m tired and I miss my toys but my mommy person is happy. I can make her even more happy if I smile at her…

Nope. That’s not going to happen. But it can.. and it should… happen with adults.  The next time you want to nag, yell, pick, complain, “make your point,” or anything else that takes place in the center stage, please take time to think about the people you love.

Make no mistake about it, there IS someone in your life who wants one thing more than anything else in the world – peace and happiness.  Do your part and give it to them.

Imagine the look on their face when, as they’re waiting for you to justify the eggshells on the floor, you simply brush them away.

That is when magic happens.

A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

Inspirational Book FULL of Uplifting Moments

A Book of Miracles

A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

I was sent a copy of  A Book of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love a while back to review on Self Help Daily. I receive a lot of books to review on my different blogs and websites, so it takes a pretty unique and special book to really stand out.

This one did.

Allow me to say that you may not agree with every single word from every single individual’s story. That’s okay! I, personally, give only One individual credit for miracle, and that’s God, Himself. In this book (as well as in daily life), you’ll find individuals who credit their “higher self.”

But here’s the thing, even though I automatically think, “God is higher than any of us could even pretend to be and He is the only One who is in the Miracle business,” I am still inspired by their stories. The difficulties they overcome and the “happy ending” they find themselves within is inspiring and uplifting.

That’s the point of the book and that’s the reason I recommend it.

From the Back Cover:

Bernie Siegel first wrote about miracles when he was a practicing surgeon and founded Exceptional Cancer Patients, a groundbreaking synthesis of group, individual, dream, and art therapy that provided patients with a “carefrontation.” Compiled during his more than thirty years of practice, speaking, and teaching, the stories in these pages are riveting, warm, and belief expanding. Their subjects include a girl whose baby brother helped her overcome anorexia, a woman whose cancer helped her heal by teaching her to stand up for herself, and a family that was saved from a burning house by bats. Without diminishing the reality of pain and hardship, the stories show real people turning crisis into blessing by responding to adversity in ways that empower and heal. They demonstrate what we are capable of and show us that we can achieve miracles as we confront life’s difficulties.

A Book of Miracles is a very entertaining, uplifting, and inspiring book.


Reviewing the Get Noticed Theme…

Pros, Cons, and Random Thoughts

Genuine Kentucky Header

The Get Noticed Theme on Genuine Kentucky

This review for the Get Noticed WordPress Theme is, admittedly lengthy, but I hope you’ll stick with me. The pros will roll out after the cons and they are just as important… maybe more so.

I write a lot of reviews and I mean A LOT. So many, in fact, that I feel like I should have a t-shirt that says, “I have either reviewed you, am reviewing you, or WILL review you.”

I’m pretty sure I won’t have one printed up, however, for too many reasons to even count.

But, seriously, I am a prolific reviewer. I write…

  • restaurant reviews for my Kentucky website.
  • cookbook, kitchen gadget, and food reviews for my food blog.
  • office gadget, furniture, and gizmo reviews for my office supply blog.
  • countless book reviews on Self Help Daily and other blogs.
  • cat toys and cat furniture for my cat website.

See the temptation for the t-shirt?

I bring all of this up to set the stage for the following review of the fairly new Get Noticed Theme for WordPress. This is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever tried to write.  In fact, I’ve actually attempted five…. FIVE… different times to sit down and gather all of my thoughts together, only to have them run free like wild, untamed buffalo.

What can I say, I have big thoughts.

Why is this so difficult? Well, because I am – in equal amounts, no less – thrilled AND disappointed with the Get Noticed Theme. Because I am, by nature, a Mary Poppins, Suzy Sunshine type… for better or worse… I’ll want to end my review on a high note, so let’s get the low notes out of the way.

The Get Noticed Theme Costs More Than Other Premium Themes

Allow me to say this – I don’t blame people for trying to get as much money as they can out of a product. If you put a lot of work into something, you should get all that you can out of it. I never hesitate to pay more for something it it’s worth it. In fact, my family often teases me for my love of “name brands” and my aversion to “off brands.”  There are exceptions, but very often you get what you pay for.

I also approve, and even applaud, the fact that charging more for this theme will keep it from popping up everywhere and causing everyone’s website to look the same. This happened with the Thesis WordPress Theme years ago – the internet began to look so much like Suburbia, America that you weren’t sure which site you were on.

It reminded me of a story my dad once told me of a drunk going home one night (in one of those neighborhoods with houses that all look the same) and spending an hour trying his key in different doors until he found his own!

No one really wants to look just like everyone else, so the concept of a higher price keeping this from happening is fine by me.

Also, when thinking about the price, I want you to keep this in mind because (in my experience) this is very important. Many functions that you would have to pay a coder for if you used a cheaper premium theme are built into the Get Noticed Theme.

For example, the mobile responsiveness. Other theme developers aren’t doing as good a job as the Get Noticed Theme when it comes to making their themes completely mobile responsive.

CAN they? Absolutely, because their own websites are glorious on all devices. However, when you try to make a lot of their themes look just as good on all devices, you’ll end up banging your head against the wall.

Want to know something else you’ll end up doing? Paying a coder to achieve what you’re looking for… and coders do not come cheap.

Get Noticed is higher in price, but they include a great number of things that would, in the end, cost you even more to have a coder do for you.

Having said all of that, when you set your price for something, you set everyone’s expectations. If you put your price on a rocket to the moon, mark it down, the expectations will shadow you the entire trip.

Set your price high… set expectations high. Simple.

If someone is willing to roll up their sleeves, put in long hours, never stop learning and improving, and honor the pre-set expectations… MAGIC will happen.

If they fail to hold up their end… if they stop fueling their rocket ship, well, I’m afraid there won’t be much MAGIC. It’s like Bullwinkle reaching into the hat, saying, “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat… Presto…” and… no rabbit in sight.

Everyone ends up being as disappointed as Rocky the Squirrel. “Ohhhh, Bullwinkle…

What We Have Here is a Failure to Fuel

Over the many years that I’ve been in web publishing, I’ve used countless different premium themes.  While each one I’ve previously used has cost less than Get Noticed (until you need them or coders they know to do something extra for you), each one has had a far, far, far superior “support community.” In fact, the forum is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had with this particular theme.

With other themes I’ve used, questions (or even ideas) posted on the forum would be answered or addressed within 24 hours. It would be highly unusual for them to be unacknowledged or unaddressed within a day. On Get Noticed, you might just go weeks or months.

I wish I were exaggerating.

Basically, there is no support or help to be found on the forums.  For anyone building or even maintaining a blog or website, this is a pretty big headache. You cannot put everything on hold until you hear back from someone.  For days.

Just this morning, I had something I wanted more information about. I checked the forum and found someone with the same question. His question was posted in May and he still had no reply.

This is June 20.

Granted, unfortunately, a lot of premium themes are getting away from the forums in favor of “support tickets” or contact forms.

Frankly, I hate everything about that arrangement.

I remember in the early days of premium themes, the support forums were a dream come true. You’d almost always find someone experiencing the issue you had and… EUREKA!… the theme’s developer or a coder who was familiar with the ins and outs of the theme would give you the solution or an excellent piece of advice then and there.

NO creating your own post in the hopes that someone would eventually see it. NO contacting someone, receiving an automated “We have received your ticket and you’ll hear from us soon…” message and NO waiting for their idea of soon to meet up with your idea of soon.

Allow me to say this – the Get Noticed Theme isn’t the only theme with disappointing forums these days. There are others where you’ll run into rude coders who I’m convinced have the words, “I can do this for you for a price” saved so all they have to do is paste it into their replies.

Again, a lot of things you’d have to pay someone to do “for you” are built into the Get Noticed Theme.

You Aren’t Set Up for Success at the Launch Pad

I guess the thing that disappointed me the most was the fact you aren’t given any really helpful tutorials when you order the Get Noticed Theme.  Other themes provide documentation and sometimes even videos (love those!) to help the proud new owner succeed.

Not with Get Noticed.

In all fairness, if you have the time to spend looking around on your own and don’t mind doing some trial and error posts and pages, the way they have things set up is pretty simple. However, not everyone works from home like I do. Not everyone has the time that’s afforded to me – time which allows me to poke and prod around and “see what this does“… or “I wonder what happens if I do that…

Someone recently (not at all associated with Get Noticed) came up with a series of helpful videos to help new Get Noticed Theme owners find their way around – and he sold the series of videos for hundreds of dollars.

I’m ALL for anyone using their time, skill, and know how to earn a living – ALL for it! – especially given the fact that he obviously put a great deal of work into these videos – but, in my opinion, this is something that should have been provided by Get Noticed in the cost of the theme.

It’s kind of like buying a Lexus, then having to pay even more for an owner’s manual.

Mini Posts

Built into the Get Noticed Theme are “mini posts” which I’ve used here on Self Help Daily a few times.  These mini posts are short simple ways to share content if you don’t have a lot of time or a lot of content.

These mini posts include Books (intros to favorite books), Videos, Snippets, Shared Tweets from Twitter, Tips, Surveys, Ideas, Questions, Announcements, Links…

Problem is, they are all but invisible to Google.  Search engines are convinced that the mini posts I’ve used are wearing cloaks of invisibility.

Do I even have to tell you how deep in the waters of “That’s Not How I Need This to Work!” that sinks? I’ll be going back and republishing my mini posts in “regular” post formats.

Again, in an effort to be fair, let me say this – not all mini posts are interested in Google or any other search engine finding them.  If you’re sharing a great tweet, for example, it’s not imperative that it show up in search results.

However, I’d like for anything I publish to be acknowledged by both Google and all search engines.  The last thing I want them to do is forget about me!

That would cut into my trips to Target in such a way that’d leave me drowning in disappointment.

Not A Lot of Options for the Overall Appearance

I would love to see “child themes” come out for the Get Noticed Theme which would include “magazine styles.” I use a magazine style on my food blog, “Get Cooking” and absolutely love it. The rotating pics, the thumbnails, the professional-looking front page… they do it for me.

I’d love to see more options for taking the Get Noticed Theme further.

Unusual Approach to Updates & Support

I’m accustomed to purchasing themes and getting updates… period. You make the purchase, you get the updates. In this way, a community is built – a community of people who are loyal and help one another on support forums.

From Get Noticed Theme’s FAQ Page:

6-12 months of updates are included with your initial purchase, depending on the license level you choose.

If you want continued updates and support after your included period, you will be able to renew on an annual basis at a substantially discounted rate during your renewal window. We have not yet determined the exact pricing or details of renewals as we’re waiting to see what our support costs are before making a promise we can’t keep.

I just… I dunno… there has to be a better way to do this. Again, you set the cost – you set the expectations.

I spoke earlier about the lack of a strong Get Noticed community in the forums.  I don’t think things like this do anything to help the matter. A strong community – for any product – is built on trust in the product and in the people who stand behind the product. When these people seem to be thinking of themselves more than they are the rest of us.. well, it’s just a bit of a turn off.

I believe that if you buy a theme, you should be able to expect updates and support. Period.  That’s how a loyal community is built.

Not Really a Pro or Con, But…

A lot of people don’t love the fact that there isn’t an affiliate program with the Get Noticed Theme. Seriously, though, that’s just not that big of a deal to me. If I love something, I say so – I want people to have a chance to love it too. I don’t need compensation for this.

Okay, so there’s the bad news. The negatives are out of the way, so we can move on to the positives… and there are plenty.

Get Noticed is a Mobile Responsive Dream

One of the things that made me initially fall head over heels in love with the Get Noticed Theme was the beautiful (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) and effortless way it displays on all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, and even iPhones.  I have had issues with all other themes I’ve used when it comes to mobile responsiveness. Images, usually header images, would either be cut off or, worse yet, would suddenly look as small as a Smurf’s smile.

On my Kentucky website, Genuine Kentucky, this is a huge problem because I use so many pictures. I want my website to look good and coherent for my visitors no matter how they’re accessing my website.  In addition to this particular website (Self Help Daily), I also use the Get Noticed theme on Genuine Kentucky and I’ve never had a single mobile responsiveness issue.

My header looks as pretty on an iPhone as it does on a desktop computer.

I appreciate and downright love the fact that I don’t even have to think or worry about this VERY important aspect of web design anymore… not with the websites that have the Get Noticed Theme, anyway.

Simple, Painless, and Quick to Customize

As someone with multiple websites and blogs (I’d count them, but it’s simply too overwhelming), I love how the Get Noticed Theme is set up. You can simply click a few buttons and change any of the fonts, colors, or other details on your website. No digging through code.. how cool is that?!

This innovative approach is something all themes should use, whether they know it or not.  People don’t want to have to pay coders to do it for them, they want to be able to control the changes themselves. Fast. Easy. Painless.

While I know how to dig through code to change a font or color, the way Get Noticed is set up, my time can be spent doing more important things.  A lot of coders forget that we aren’t here to “fix” or  “change” their idea of what looks nice – we’re actually here to write and provide content (and reviews!).

Any time we spend on “the other” takes away from our bread and butter. Or, to be more accurate in my case… it takes things out of my Target cart.

That’s a NO.

So Many Beautiful Options!

I haven’t “fancied up” Self Help Daily yet, simply because I’ve been busy with the crazy needs of other websites, but the options for making your website look beautiful are endless.

One option that I am totally in love with is the ability to have “rotating” header pictures that change throughout your website. I use this on Genuine Kentucky and I’m having the time of my life with it. I can use summer pictures in summer, autumn pictures in autumn, etc. This creates an overall “mood” for the website and it’s something I’ve wished for since I first began the website.

The header picture at the top of this review is one of the ones featured in my “Summer Rotation” on Genuine Kentucky.

When it’s College Basketball season (or as it’s known in our house, UK Basketball season), if I were obnoxious enough (which I am), I could make all of the pictures blue and white (which I will).

I’ve always wished for the ability to do this and finally a theme has given me the go ahead.

With Get Noticed, you can painlessly make your website look just how you want it to and it’ll take you far less time to do so.

What’s more, it’s even fun.

Comments, SEO, and Social Sharing

Personally, I have not noticed a difference – either way – since switching to the Get Noticed Theme on two of my websites.  Traffic, Google performance, social interaction and sharing have all been steady.

While this may not seem like much to some, many will realize that this is a big deal.

I always get nervous when I change themes – especially when the ENTIRE foundation is SO different. I was honestly scared of the outcome. However, my desire to make my websites 100 percent mobile responsive forced me to face my fears.

I literally looked at Genuine Kentucky one day on my iPad, saw the beautiful header reduced so small it couldn’t even be read, took a big sip of my Chai Tea Latte, and vowed to jump into the Get Noticed waters.

I haven’t regretted it once. I’m happy to say, the end of the world did not materialize and the trips to Target weren’t affected.

Genuine Kentucky and Self Help Daily are two of the most important websites I have – the fact that they’re still on the Get Noticed Theme and the fact that I trust the Get Noticed with these websites says something.  However, the fact that I haven’t switched all of my websites to the theme can’t totally be discounted either.

The cost along with the fairly limited layout options mean that I’ll use Get Noticed on some websites and other premium themes on others.  It would be easier if I had ONE premium theme I used everywhere, but that just isn’t in the cards.

Not yet anyway.

If you are a blogger interested in a theme with effortless customizing and beautiful mobile responsiveness, I’d urge you to look into the Get Noticed Theme.  The theme is fairly new and they very well may turn the negatives into positives.

I always believed Bullwinkle would pull a rabbit out of that hat and I believe they will make magic with this theme. WHEN that happens, I’ll come back here and edit the review.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at joisigers @

~ Joi