1. 7 Secrets To A Successful Marriage

    May 20, 2013

    successful marriage

    by Margie Weigler

    Divorce rates are high, and even a lasting marriage is no guarantee that the relationship is a happy or successful one. Yet some couples seem to go on year after year and decade after decade and grow stronger through all of the trials of life. What are the secrets of those couples?

    A Change in Attitude

    Nobody feels in love all the time. People can’t force themselves to feel things, of course, but the ebb and flow of emotions during a long marriage are normal. The essence of commitment is continuing to behave in a loving manner even during times when one feels less than loving. The feelings of love will eventually return.

    Build Intimacy

    Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman have done extensive research on marriages that last, and one of their most important findings is that couples need to build intimacy with one another by responding to what the Gottmans refer to as “intimacy bids.” If couples are not responsive to one another in this way, the marriages tend to fail.

    Be Your Own Person

    While building intimacy is crucial, it’s also important to maintain independence. Couples who have their own friends and interests retain a strong sense of self and stay together because they choose to rather than out of an inability to be alone. These types of couples also continually bring a fresh and interesting perspective back to the marriage.


    The ability to communicate about everything from wants and needs to dreams and even just what happened during the day is crucial to a strong marriage. Different people may have different communication needs; some may not want to go over what happened at work that day while others may feel that several texts or phone calls throughout the day are necessary. The important thing is for partners to make an effort to meet one another’s communication needs.

    Avoid Gottman’s “Four Horseman”

    John Gottman has also identified four tendencies that he considers the death knell for relationships. Contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling are the four behaviors during conflict that will lead nearly every marriage to failure. Couples need to work hard on avoiding these in order to keep their marriages strong.

    Support One Another

    Among other things, marriage is about mutual support. Whether a partner loses a job, returns to school or faces other challenges in life, a marriage should provide a safe haven for both partners. Support also means being there for one another in the good times. No one should be happier than one’s spouse when a promotion or another important goal is reached.

    Make Quality Time

    It can be easy to fall into a pattern of going to work, taking care of chores and looking after children. Couples must make time to simply be together. They shouldn’t use that time to solve problems or deal with the mundane details of life. It’s not necessary to plan expensive weekends away. Date nights can be arranged even if babysitters are hard to come by. Half an hour talking on the sofa after the children are in bed a few times a week can go a long way toward keeping a marriage strong.

    Image Credit: Katsu Nojiri 

  2. How Education Contributes To Quality Of Life

    April 17, 2013

    high education

    Image Credit: Ralph Daily

    by Diksha Singh

    How does one define ‘quality of life’? Generally, it is an indication of the well-being enjoyed within a society and its people. Sometimes, the term is equated with ‘standard of living’. However, the standard of living is measured in terms of employment and status while quality of life is measured in terms of education, human rights, recreation, mental health, physical heal and other factors.

    Education tops the list. Why?

    Education is not about learning alphabet, abacus and science. It’s not about academia, it goes beyond pedagogy. It is a tool, a resourceful tool that teaches us to be ‘humans’. It is our forever valid passport to the world. A good education may give you a job but intrinsic education teaches you about creating a quality of life, teaches you to create opportunities and engage in self-development.

    How Education Improves our Quality of Life?

    Makes us resourceful.

    When we are resourceful, we have better problem solving skills and these skills help us immensely when we leave the cocooned world of parental tutelage and academic learning.

    Makes us trans-cultural.

    Education is not restricted to any culture and neither does education changes with different culture. Education means knowledge and it is universal. It teaches us to be appreciative of varied cultures, enrich our own culture and enlighten our minds. Education improves our tolerance level and makes us trans-cultural. It tells us that every culture has the right to survive and live in this world; one should be open minded and not narrow minded.

    Education gives us survival.

    The moot point of economic survival in this world rests on money. Education equips up to earn money when we leave academic learning and begin the real journey of life. The chances of someone getting hired and promoted is more with an educated person and not with an uneducated one. After recession, an educated person has a higher chance of getting employed again than the uneducated counterpart.

    Of course, to argue, you can say that Bill Gates is a college dropout and look where he is today. I would say that education is not limited to degrees and rote learning, never. Bill Gates used knowledge, resourcefulness and survival skills endowed via education to reach top position.

    For Healthy  Lifestyle.

    In a global scenario plagued with health problems, certain researches suggest that people who have graduate and post graduate education are less likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While the scientific basis of this claim is not yet proven, medical people believe in this. A better health means an improvement in the quality of life.

    It Enlightens us.

    One of the basic facets of measuring quality of life is knowledge and humans gain knowledge via education. Knowledge is enlightening and thus, education plays a prime role in this enlightenment. Knowledge begets knowledge. There is no end to self-improvement. A knowledgeable person is revered and respected. Knowledge is universal and omnipotent.

    Education trumps all! It is a significant contributor towards improving our quality of life.

    For a child, education begins from home and then continues in a school setting. The academic years in the life of any child is formative and should never be compromised. More than academic learning, education teaches the child to observe, understand and comprehend. It teaches to act sanely, makes the learner resourceful, helps to develop skills and learn more about the thing called ‘life’ so that when the child grows up, he/she uses the education to build a better quality of life.

  3. How to start believing in yourself

    February 21, 2013

    “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will,” people say. Every one of us has our own set of beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. These beliefs define our thoughts about what we deserve in life and what we can and cannot do. These beliefs define our actions.

    Sadly, it is these beliefs that stop many people from going to the new heights in life and fulfilling their dreams.

    positive beliefs

    Photo by Fairuz Othman

    Do you have limiting beliefs?

    If you are unhappy with your current situation for years, but unable to get out of it, you may be a victim of limiting beliefs. More often than not, people stay in conditions they don’t like because deep inside they believe they either don’t deserve or cannot achieve any better.

    This is true for all sorts of situations, such as having the right relationships, getting better health or finding one’s true calling in life.

    –          How many people do you know who constantly complain about their current relationship, but don’t call it quits?

    –          Do you know anyone who hates his job for years, but never looks for another one and never starts his own business?

    –          How about a person who wants better health and leaner body, but never does what it really takes to get it?

    People site all kinds of external obstacles as their reasons to stay in situation they are discontent with.

    They may tell you they stay in an unhappy marriage because everyone lives this way.  They don’t look for another job because you can only get a job if you know the right people. They don’t start a new business because they are afraid to fail. They don’t work on improving their health because “high blood pressure and heart disease runs in the family.”

    In reality, other people around them find better relationships and better jobs, and become the first ones in the family to break the vicious circle of disease.

    They do it because they believe it is possible for them.

    What belief is holding you back?

    To break free from limiting beliefs, it is important to understand where they are coming from.

    Beliefs are formed based on our life experiences and interactions with other people.

    –          We may believe that we are not pretty/witty/interesting enough to get into a relationship with a better person because we never have in the past.

    –          We may believe that a person of our background can NEVER get a better job or become leaner because this is what our parents and our social circles kept telling us.

    Often, people pass their limiting beliefs onto their children. You have likely received some from your family, too.

    Three steps to believing in yourself

    Once we understand what particular belief holds us back, it is time to develop a new belief. Just like an old belief, a new one should be based on experiences and interactions.

    Step 1. Shut off negative noise

    As a first step, shut off anything and anybody who reinforces your old belief. A husband who believes that you can never succeed in business, a friend who thinks you cannot lose weight, and parents who believe it is too risky to change your life situation and that it will only get worse. Naysayers only reinforce your old limiting beliefs and don’t give you a chance to practice new experiences.

    Step 2. Find proof that what you want is possible

    Secondly, you need to find proof that it is possible to achieve what you want. Look for real examples in life. Are there people who did what you want to do and have succeeded? Try not to think about those who failed, because this is an argument that will get you nowhere. You need to list as many examples as you can find. Even if you want “to boldly go where no man has gone before”, there are a lot of examples of people doing so.

    Step 3.  Start small and celebrate mini-successes

    Lastly, you need to start gaining new experiences that prove your new belief.  Too often we concentrate on mulling over our failures instead of celebrating every little successful experience or interaction.  It is through mini-successes in life that we gain that confidence and belief that we CAN DO and WILL DO better.

    Get social support

    There is a simple bullet-proof way to get new experiences and get inspired by other’s doings. You need to surround yourself with people with similar goals and people who already achieved what you are striving to achieve. It is very hard to fight this battle alone. So find yourself a community, offline or online, that operates on a different set of beliefs than your current social circle.

    If you have identified that your limiting belief comes from the people around you, it is time to put your blinders on and associate yourself with other group of people. You really need people who will provide you with enough proof that what you want is achievable, and encourage you to make those mini-steps towards your goal.

    Every big goal is achieved in mini steps. If you want to lose weight, celebrate every time that you chose to eat healthy. Take this as a proof that you are a type of person who makes good decisions, however small they are.  If you want to change jobs, start networking on LinkedIn. Send an invite to people in higher position despite nagging feeling that they will never connect with you. You will be surprised how many actually will, and you will have another reason to celebrate getting a new connection.

    Believing in yourself starts with defining what stops you and eliminating the influence of people who enforce limiting beliefs on you. By finding examples that what you want is possible, making small steps and celebrating your successes, however small they are, you will inevitably start believing that you can and will do better. And then, sky is the limit!