Friday, 11 February 2011

Book Summary Preview : Success is a State of Mind

By Praveen Verma
Wisdom Tree, 2004
ISBN 81-86685-71-5
208 pages

The Big Idea

There are three kinds of people – or perhaps it would be better to say that everyone falls into one of the following categories:
  • Those who wait for things to happen
  • Those who make things happen
  • Those who wonder what's happening
Under which category do you fall? This is a question everyone needs to be able to answer, success and excellence are most likely to come to those who fall into the second category. But that is not to say that if you happen to fall under either of the other two, success is automatically out of your reach.
Your state of mind can help you orient yourself to success in this game called life. Success is really no more – and no less – than a state of mind.

Why You Need This Book

When you realize that what is going on inside you determines your success, then you make another important realization. Success is a choice that you can make. This one realization has an amazing power that cannot be underemphasized.
Success is a decision. Make the decision and this book aims to help you implement your new choice. Success is an inside job.

People Who Wait For Things to Happen

The Art of Living teaches us to be here now, in this moment. Think of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful of today. Your health, your job, your intellect, your physical body, your home, your friends – the list is as infinite as you are.
Take a moment to reflect, to embrace the real you, the true you that respects people and is creative, the true you that is sacred.
Pause for a moment! Breathe!
Listen to the song inside you – that wonderful resonance inside you that longs to be heard. Feeling present, feeling grounded, enjoying the moment and allowing you to be you!
As you make your way through your day, remember this feeling – the feeling that you have all that you need to fulfil your desires. You know that you are on the right path, embracing each moment for its sweetness and beauty, even if it seems difficult. As you do this, you will attract what you most passionately desire!

People Who Make Things Happen

They are the real go-getters and the belief – borne out by experience – is that most successful persons in all areas of life fall into this category.
Like the people who wait for things to happen, these people also live in the present moment most of the time, but the difference between the first type and this type is that they can and do go back to the past. While they do look to the future, their actions revolve around the present moment.
Such people aim for two things in life:
  • Prosperity
  • Peace of mind
They achieve this through the following steps:
  • Adopting a positive attitude
  • Taking life as a series of choices to be made
  • Setting goals and working towards achieving them



The Pleasure Prescription

By Paul Pearsall, Ph.D.
Magna Publishing, 2004
ISBN 81-7809-264-6
232 pages

The Big Idea

Are you stressed and unhappy? Are you feeling burned out? Anxious? Unmotivated? Do you feel you have too much to do in too little time? You are not alone. More and more of people struggle with a lack of pleasure in their daily lives and the illness that go along with stress.
Take a Pleasure Prescription! Psychologist and author Paul Pearsall is an expert on the relationship between pleasure, stress, and the immune system. According to him, it isn’t too much stress but too little joy that is killing people.
We know more than we think we know, Dr. Pearsall reassures us, about what is good and healthy for us. He invites us to embrace a new contentment, and his compelling lessons gleaned from science and an age-old wisdom light the way.

Why You Need This Book

This book shows how the latest research in physical and emotional health validates the Oceanic Way – the principles and practices of ancient Polynesian cultures. The five key components of this Way are patience, connection, pleasantness, modesty and tenderness.

The Pleasure of Patience

There is a mental illness called cyclothymia. It is a type of “impatience madness,” and it refers to a person who is in a constant state of flux between lively, “up” moods and feelings of depression.
Cyclothymia has been called “the fine madness,” a mood disorder that relates to a sense of failed perfectionism and under-development of the seventh sense resulting in lack of daily life pleasure.
  1. Elevated self-esteem, accompanied by cynicism
  2. Abundant energy to the point of agitation, followed by periods of complete fatigue and withdrawal
  3. High productivity accompanied by periods of no motivation or direction
  4. Distrust, discomfort and inability to receive compliments, perhaps because they serve as stimulants for even more effort
  5. Impatience with others’ flaws and with one’s own
  6. Excitability and quickness to anger
  7. Strong convictions about the correctness and validity of their own views
  8. Grandiosity to the point of poor judgment, accompanied by destructive impulsivity
  9. Chaotic intimate personal and professional relationships
  10. Disregard for personal health and safety, to the point of substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, reckless driving, and other life-threatening behaviors
On the first day, place three pennies in a pocket, which you will now call your “patience pocket.” Every time you become impatient or irritated with yourself or others, reach into the pocket, gently turn one of the pennies between your forefinger and thumb, and count ten breaths without taking your hand out of the pocket. Then, take one of the pennies from the pocket and give it to someone, or leave it where someone can find it.
At the end of each day, see how many pennies you have left. If you still have pennies in your “patience pocket,” save them and add them to three in your pocket the next day.
If, as the week draws to a close, you begin to jingle as you walk, congratulate yourself on developing equanimity, and celebrate by taking your pile of pennies and putting them in a charity container!


Think Positive & Things Will Go Right

By A.K. Kamath
Lotus Press, 2006
ISBN 81-8382-087-5
140 pages

The Big Idea

Positive thinking is the practice or result of concentrating one’s mind affirmatively on what is constructive and good, thereby eliminating from it negative or destructive thoughts and emotions. Whether it be about their business, family or health, the most fulfilled and successful individuals all think positively.
Since the concept of positive thinking has not been clearly defined, positive thinking usually is bypassed or used incorrectly and is often simply referred to as mere optimism. Those who do so run the risk of leaving out key aspects of positive thinking – a definite no-no if one wants to be successful.

Why You Need This Book

This is an inspiring book that will help you create a positive change in your life. This concrete work on self-esteem and success will help you learn how to break the worry habit, get other people to like you, avoid ‘the jitters’ in your daily work, believe in your self and everything you do, develop the power to reach your goals, and so much more.

Good Thoughts vs. Evil Thoughts

A good thought has three important applications:
  1. It benefits the thinker by improving his mental body.
  2. It benefits the person about whom it is entertained.
  3. It benefits all mankind by improving the general mental atmosphere.
An evil thought has three equivalent disadvantages:
  1. It harms the thinker by doing injury to his mental body.
  2. It harms the person who is its object.
  3. It harms all mankind by vitiating the whole mental atmosphere.

Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking brings inner peace, success, improved relationships and better health. The daily affairs of life move more smoothly, life brightens up, and there is more happiness and satisfaction.
You need to develop a positive attitude toward life, expect a successful and beneficial outcome in whatever you do, and also take any necessary actions to ensure your success. It is not enough to think positively for a few moments, and then let fears and lack of belief enter your mind. Some effort and inner work are necessary.
You can develop a positive attitude that will lead you to happiness and success by following the guidelines given below:
  • Choose to be happy.
  • Look at the bright side of life.
  • Find reasons to smile more often.
  • Have faith in yourself and in the Power of the Universe.
  • Contemplate upon the futility of negative thinking and worries.
  • Associate with happy people.
  • Read inspiring stories.
  • Read inspiring quotes.
  • Repeat affirmations that inspire and motivate you.
  • Visualize only what you want to happen.
  • Learn to master your thoughts.
  • Learn concentration and meditation.

Develop Positive Thinking

The first step in developing positive thinking is to change our inner conversations.
  • What should we be saying? One approach is called the three C’s: Commitment, Control and Challenge.
  • Commitment : Make a positive commitment to yourself, to learning, work, family, friends, nature, and other worthwhile causes. Praise yourself and others. Dream of success. Be enthusiastic.
  • Control : Keep your mind focused on important things. Set goals and priorities for what you think and do.
  • Challenge : Be courageous. Change and improve each day. Do your best and don’t look back. See learning and change as opportunities.
Studies show that people with these characteristics are winners in good times and survivors in hard times. Positive thinking can change, enrich and transform your life. Just by becoming a positive thinker you can become a winner!

Wisdom in a Nutshell from Who Moved My Cheese?

Wisdom in a Nutshell from Who Moved My Cheese?
  • Anticipate change.
  • Adapt quickly.
  • Enjoy change.
  • Be ready to change quickly, again and again.
  • Having Cheese makes you happy.
  • The more important your Cheese is to you, the more you want to hold on to it.
  • If you do not change, you can become extinct.
  • Ask yourself "What would I do if I weren't afraid?"
  • Smell the Cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
  • Movement in a new direction helps you find New Cheese.
  • When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.
  • Imagining myself enjoying New Cheese, even before I find it, leads me to it.
  • The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find New Cheese.
  • It is safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.
  • Old beliefs do not lead you to New Cheese.
  • When you see that you can find and enjoy New Cheese, you change course.
  • Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.
  • Read the Handwriting on the Wall
  • Change happens. They keep moving the Cheese.
  • Move with the Cheese and enjoy it! ...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Attitude is Everything

Attitude is Everything By Jim Rohn 

The process of human change begins within us. We all have tremendous potential. We all desire good results from our efforts. Most of us are willing to work hard and to pay the price that success and happiness demand.

Each of us has the ability to put our unique human potential into action and to acquire a desired result. But the one thing that determines the level of our potential, that produces the intensity of our activity, and that predicts the quality of the result we receive is our attitude.

Attitude determines how much of the future we are allowed to see. It decides the size of our dreams and influences our determination when we are faced with new challenges. No other person on earth has dominion over our attitude. People can affect our attitude by teaching us poor thinking habits or unintentionally misinforming us or providing us with negative sources of influence, but no one can control our attitude unless we voluntarily surrender that control.

No one else "makes us angry." We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant. We choose, not they. They merely put our attitude to a test. If we select a volatile attitude by becoming hostile, angry, jealous or suspicious, then we have failed the test. If we condemn ourselves by believing that we are unworthy, then again, we have failed the test.

If we care at all about ourselves, then we must accept full responsibility for our own feelings. We must learn to guard against those feelings that have the capacity to lead our attitude down the wrong path and to strengthen those feelings that can lead us confidently into a better future.

If we want to receive the rewards the future holds in trust for us, then we must exercise the most important choice given to us as members of the human race by maintaining total dominion over our attitude. Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value, which must be protected accordingly. Beware of the vandals and thieves among us who would injure our positive attitude or seek to steal it away.

Having the right attitude is one of the basics that success requires. The combination of a sound personal philosophy and a positive attitude about ourselves and the world around us gives us an inner strength and a firm resolve that influences all the other areas of our existence.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011



"In the middle of difficulty, lies oppurtunity ~Albert Einstein"

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

"You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself." Harry Firestone

A little extra effort can bring your life to a much higher level. Once you've done what must be done, do a little more.
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~ Dalai Lama

Who you are and what you do will always speak far more convincingly than the words you have to say.

I am responsible for what I think #SOL
Good mental habits: Explore every thought in depth.
Weed out prejudices and personal biases. Be above the drama of the situation

Rather than looking for reasons to deny it, simply allow joy to flow from you.

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"

Daily Morning Motivator Don't use the hardships of your past as excuses to deny the possibilities of your future. ~ Robin Sharma

When people go out of their way to say something rude and hateful to you, they're just trying to heal their own misery. Forgive them - Virag  We attract to ourselves what we hold inside.

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

Drop everything you're clinging to & keep walking. What remains is what's meant to stay ~ what goes is what was in your way. (Dee Foster)

Satisfaction is characterized by inner peace. It arises frm generosity,honesty   a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy.

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

Let one guard oneself against irritability in thought;
let one be controlled in mind.
Abandoning mental misconduct,
let one practice good conduct in thought.
Let one guard oneself against irritability in speech;let one be controlled in speech.Abandoning verbal misconduct,let one practice good conduct in speech. :- Buddha

When you focus on what you WANT, you often get it. When you dwell on what you DON’T WANT, you often get that!

Awakening to your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

We must learn how to identify the opposing sides in our inner conflicts. Take anger: we need to see how destructive it is and at the same time, realize there are antidotes within our own thoughts and emotions that can counter it. So by understanding how negative it is and then by strengthening our positive thoughts and emotions, we can gradually reduce the force of our anger and hatred. - Dalai Lama

Satisfaction is characterized by inner peace. It arises from generosity, honesty and what I call ethical conduct, a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy. Dalai Lama

The greatest thing in the world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving

that when you are unsure how to proceed, stop. Be still and enter into the silence. Allow your mind to cease its restless thinking. Wait. Let the answer come in its time.

"Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live." :- Eckhart Tolle

Who AM I , what is really important.

The Universe is not punishing you or blessing you. The Universe is responding to the vibrational attitude that you are emitting. The more joyful you are, the more Well-being flows to you If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

“Life loves me and it is safe for me to love myself.”   “Life loves me and I am safe.”

At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important. Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.

The life you've been living is a reflection of the thoughts you've been thinking

The happiest people don't worry too much about whether life is fair or not. They just get on with it.


Everytime you indulge in guilt,you are setting a limitation.If you hurt someone, say you are sorry and don't hurt the person anymore.Don't walk around feeling guilty because it keeps you locked out from experiencing your good and has nothing to do with the reality of your true being.-Louise Hay -ak-

Try to show a little flexibility today -- you've got to make sure that your family and coworkers see the right side of you. It's a good time for you to just go with the flow, if at all possible.

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.
- Ivan Turgenev

Do you ever tell people things like: "I'm FAT, I'm BORING! I'm HOPELESS!” Don’t! It irritates people.
If you have nothing good to say about yourself, say nothing. Self criticism isn’t humility, it’s stupidity.

People who call themselves 'LUCKY' smile more, talk to more people, make more friends and persist more often – which proves its not luck!

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

I love the people who keep a smile when they have every right to break down !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 "Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still." -- Chinese Proverb

"Life is a lot more fun if you treat its challenges in creative ways." -Bill Gates

 Life is never complicated. We often think much of it and make it complicated. Obstacles do come in the way of life and yet we have to learn to equally divide matters, overcoming the obstacles.

Be flexible. Adjust to others' temperaments. And don't take things personally.
Quality about u , u like most.

Don't go preaching to your pals. Each person will make up their own mind, in time.

How do you expect others to know what you want if you don't make it clear?
Your indecisive , should become load for over react????

Never talk in TENSION &/Or Anger .... other might take it other way and may use against you

You only lose what you cling to

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.

Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world

may i be happy
May i be in safe
may i be Healthy
may i be in Joy
May i be , live in peace

Write you Objective on paper

your current life, your current circumstances, your current reality, your current state of affairs, is the outcome of The Law of Attraction from your past, it is the effect from causes (thoughts) in your past (this and other incarnations) and these effects also come from The Law of Attraction ... the power of gratitude and appreciation stands above anything if there is any pattern you would like to change …

whatever feelings you have within you are attraction your tomorrow … … thus worry attracts more worry;
anxiety attracts more anxiety; unhappiness attracts more unhappiness; dissatisfaction attracts more dissatisfaction ... …
thus joy attracts more joy; happiness attracts more happiness; peace attracts more peace;gratitude attracts more
gratitude; kindness attracts more kindness; love attracts more love ...

to change your world, all you have to do is to change whatever feelings you have within you …
… to change whatever feelings you have within you, all you have to do is to change your thoughts …

Sometimes you think you know best. You may even be right. But bossiness won't help.
VYou're always a sucker for a persuasive argument. Expect your mind to change today.

Take a time-out before reacting to something that gets you all hot under the collar.

in life we all have an unspeakable secret,an irreversible regret,an unreachable dream nd an unforgettable love. All have there share for link-up , allowed to have past.

“Life loves me and it is safe for me to love myself.”   “Life loves me and I am safe.”

It is when life feels

Top 10: Proven Ways To Improve Your Relationship

Top 10: Proven Ways To Improve Your Relationship

These 10 tips are scientifically proven, so they're guaranteed to work.
By Farah Averill,

Page 1:

Do you feel like your relationship isn’t quite what it used to be? To help you revive your relationship, we’ve reviewed a serious body of research to bring you the 10 most powerful, scientifically proven ways to improve virtually any relationship. These tips also happen to be the key ingredients that go into making a good relationship work, so even if you think everything’s great, you can use this list as a diagnostic tool to make sure you and your partner are on the road to relationship bliss.

Page 2: Solidify your friendship

How satisfied you feel in your relationship has to do with how connected you feel to your partner. Research suggests that our ability to connect with others (our attachment style) is influenced by our childhood experiences. According to Prior and Glasser (2006), 65% of children can be classified as having a secure attachment style, with the remaining 35% having an insecure attachment style.

As an adult, an insecure attachment style is associated with a slew of relationship troubles, including jealousy, obsession, and emotional highs and lows. The good news is that, regardless of your present pattern, you can become more securely attached, or connected, to your partner by developing a deeper friendship. To do that, incrementally spend more time with her doing something you both enjoy. Also, regularly ask for updates on your partner’s likes, dislikes, current stressors, and new interests, as people change over time.

Page 3: Appreciate each other

Remember when you first started dating, how you used to go that extra mile to impress her? Well, one of the secrets to a long, fulfilling relationship is to continue to actively appreciate your partner. You don’t necessarily have to pull out all the stops the way you did back in the day, but regular efforts to show your partner that you appreciate her will do wonders for improving your relationship.

If you’re not sure where to start, a good place is by doling out daily compliments. Tell her she looks hot or thank her for organizational abilities when she reminds you to call your mother. The only rule is to make sure that you genuinely mean what you say.

Page 4: Concentrate on the present to ensure your future

Interestingly, the ability of your relationship to weather tough times has a lot to do with your mutual availability in the here and now. Unfortunately, over time, for a variety of reasons, many couples move further apart from each other, meaning that when a rough patch hits, their relationship doesn’t survive. To build a rock-solid relationship, start by acknowledging rather than ignoring the ordinary moments in your relationship. If your partner wants to share something she’s reading on the net, for example, take a minute to listen, even if you simply grunt in response. It may sound strange, but if you accumulate enough of the little things, when you really need your partner, you’ll find she’s there for you.

Page 5: Don't distort

Researchers have known for a long time that unhappy couples focus on the negatives in their relationships. An early study by Robinson and Price (1980) found that unhappy couples underestimated the occurrence of pleasurable events in their relationships by 50%. Also, Fincham, Beach and Baucom (1987) found that individuals in distressed relationships were prone to attributing negative intentions to their partner’s behavior.

If you find yourself stuck in this rut of distorted thinking, the next time you have a negative thought about something your partner has done try to come up with a more neutral explanation for her actions. Another strategy is to consider whether you would judge yourself so harshly if the situation were reversed. Finally, remind yourself often of the good times you’ve spent together recently.

Page 6: Share power

When a man is not willing to share power with his relationship partner, John Gottman’s research indicates there is an 81% chance that his relationship will self-destruct. While hoarding power may have got you ahead in your career, this strategy will backfire in your relationship because your girlfriend will end up feeling like her opinions aren’t valuable and she doesn’t matter to you. To help save your relationship, develop a more accepting attitude toward compromise. Practice by giving in on issues you don’t feel extremely invested in.

Page 7: Find common goals

A study conducted in collaboration with a dating site in the UK found that 13% of couples reported no longer having the same goals. This situation represents a ticking time bomb, as research has shown that couples who share dreams and goals have longer-lasting, more satisfying relationships. If you feel like you’ve been out of sync lately with your partner on this front, discuss your philosophy of life together. The aim is for both of you to share what you want your life to be about, where you want to end up and what these things mean to you. Look for anything that’s common between the two of you and talk about ways to work toward that aspiration together.

Page 8: Understand anger

While outbursts of anger are common even in healthy relationships, when anger becomes an entrenched part of your couple life, you should be concerned. Sue Johnson, master therapist and pioneer of emotion-focused therapy, an empirically validated treatment for distressed relationships, refers to anger as a secondary emotion. Her theory holds that other (primary) emotions, such as sadness or a fear of being abandoned, can be found behind an angry front.

Think back to the last argument you had with your partner and use this new knowledge to look for hidden messages in what you and your partner were each trying to communicate. Attempting to disregard the angry tone you both used and trying to tune in to what you were each really trying to say will help you to see that you both have needs in your relationship that make sense. For instance, “You’re a workaholic!” might really mean “I miss you and want to spend more time with you.”

Page 9: Break negative cycles

Troubled relationships tend to follow a demand-withdraw pattern. That means that one person tends to be more critical and demanding, while the other tends to withdraw or shut down in response to conflict. Douglas Tilley, a proponent of emotion-focused therapy, notes that 85% of the time men tend to be the withdrawer. The reason may be biological -- men’s cardiovascular systems are more responsive to stress, so tuning out your mate is an attempt to avoid uncomfortable sensations. To break the negative pattern of conflict in your relationship, next time things get heated, let your partner know what’s going on with you by saying: “I can see this issue is important to you. I’m feeling too angry to discuss it right now, though, so let’s come back to it once we’ve cooled off.”

Page 10: Focus on what's fixable

As long as an argument doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve been through an emotional roller coaster, consider it fixable. One major area that causes tension in relationships is finances, with a longitudinal study by economist Jay Zagorsky finding that 33% of couples have seriously divergent views on income, wealth and debts. In particular, the initial stages of living together may be especially fraught with monetary concerns. So that this problem doesn’t spiral out of control, sit down with your other half and craft a detailed action plan, consulting any resources that might help to get your finances on track. You should both be able to live with the new arrangement or it won’t work. Use this method to address any other problems in your life that you deem fixable.

Page 11: Accept the unsolvable

Unfortunately, according to relationship scientist John Gottman, 69% of relationship conflicts are persistent problems, meaning they revolve around issues that tend to resurface no matter how long you’ve been together. If you find a problem seems to call up painful emotions, you’re looking at one that’s persistent.

To stop this trouble from ruining your relationship, you’ll need to address the bigger issues underlying your difficulty. Take turns discussing with your partner what this loaded issue really means to you. When your partner is talking, your job is to listen, be nonjudgmental and to find something in her perspective that makes sense to you. When it’s your turn to talk, she should be doing the same thing. By treading more gently into touchy areas, you should at least be able to agree to disagree or make some small concessions for one another.

Check out more dating top 10s like Top 10: Simple Ways To Become A Better Lover and Top 10: Ways A Good Woman Improves You

The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets: Which Are YOU Guilty Of?

The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets: Which Are YOU Guilty Of?

In cognitive therapy we focus on the way that you think about things. When we are distressed, we have automatic thoughts -- that is, thoughts that come to us spontaneously, seem true and generally go unexamined. Sometimes your thoughts are accurate; sometimes they are biased. But the first thing to do is to identify what you are thinking. Look at the list of typical thoughts that distressed couples have and ask yourself if any of these are true for you. You can also consider alternative ways to view what is going on -- as I suggest below. Sometimes we get stuck in the way we think and then withdraw, attack or give up. The first question to ask is, "Is there a different way to think about this?"

You attribute a negative personality trait to your partner, leading you to believe that he or she can never change: "He's passive-aggressive"; "She's neurotic." As an alternative, rather than label your partner, you can look for "variability" in his behavior. "Sometimes he withdraws and sometimes he interacts with me. Let me ask him what might lead him to withdraw."

You forecast the future and predict that things will never get better, leaving you feeling helpless and hopeless: "He'll never change"; "I'll always be unhappy in my marriage." An alternative to this is to focus on specific things that you can say or do now -- such as the exercises described in this piece. Another good option is to look back at positive experiences that you have to challenge your idea that nothing will improve. You can also play a little game called "Catch Your Partner Being Good." Just list every positive every day and then share it with each other. You might be surprised what you are doing that is working already -- if you only noticed.

You interpret your partner's motivations as hostile or selfish on the basis of very little evidence: "You don't care how I feel"; "You're saying that because you're trying to get back at me." Rather than engaging in mind-reading, you can ask your partner what he meant or how she is feeling. Sometimes it's beneficial to give your partner the benefit of the doubt: "She's simply taking a little time to unwind" is a better interpretation than "He doesn't find me interesting."

Catastrophic Thinking
You treat conflict or problems as if they indicate that the world has ended or that your marriage is a disaster: "I can't stand her nagging"; "It's awful that we haven't had sex recently." A better way of looking at this is that all couples face problems -- some of them quite upsetting. Rather than look at an obstacle or a problem as "terrible," you might validate that it is difficult for both of you but that it is also an opportunity to learn new skills in communicating and interacting. Problems can be learning experiences and can provide some new ways to grow.

Emotional Reasoning
You feel depressed and anxious, and you conclude that your emotions indicate that your marriage is a failure. "We must have a terrible marriage because I'm unhappy"; "I don't have the same feelings toward him that I used to; therefore, we're no longer in love." A better way of looking at your emotions is that your feelings may go up and down, depending on what you and your partner are doing. Emotions are changeable and don't always tell you about how good things can be. It's also important to ask yourself, "What are we doing when we feel better together?" Then do more of those positives.

Negative Filter
You focus on the few negative experiences in your relationship and fail to recognize or recall the positives. You probably bring up past history in a series of complaints that sounds like you're putting your partner on trial: "You were rude to me last week"; "You talked to that other person and ignored me entirely." This is where "Catch Your Partner Doing Good" is so helpful -- it allows you to look at things without the dark lens on. You can also keep a list of positives about your partner to remind you to put the "negatives" in perspective. We all do dumb things at times, but it's useful to take off the negative filter and remind ourselves of the positives.

All-or-Nothing Thinking
You describe your interactions as being all good or all bad without examining the possibility that some experiences with your partner are positive: "You're never kind toward me"; "You never show affection"; "You're always negative." Whenever you use the words "always" and "never," try assuming that you are wrong. For example, when Phyllis began looking for positives from Ralph, she realized that he was affectionate at times and that he was rewarding to her as well. The best way to test out your distorted and biased negative thinking is to look at the facts. Maybe the facts aren't as terrible as they seem to be.

Discounting the Positive
You may recognize the positive things in your relationship but disregard them: "That's what a wife or husband should do"; "Well, so what that he did that? It means nothing?"; "These are trivial things that you're talking about." Every positive should be counted -- it's the only way to build up good will. In fact, if you start counting the positives rather than discounting them, they will no longer seem trivial to both of you. Vinnie was happy to learn that the very little things that he was doing, like complimenting Cynthia, made a big difference to her. This in turn made him less critical. And Vinnie began keeping track of Cynthia's positives, which helped him recognize that an occasional negative -- which was probably due to depression -- was outweighed by the many good things in their relationship.

You have a list of "commandments" about your relationship and condemn yourself (when you're depressed) or your partner (when you're angry) for not living up to your "should." There is no end to these nagging negative thoughts. Here are a few typical examples.

"My partner should always know what I want without my asking."

"If my partner doesn't do what I want her to do, I should punish her."

"I shouldn't ever be unhappy (bored, angry, etc.) with my partner."

"I shouldn't have to work at a relationship; it should come naturally."

"I shouldn't have to wait for change; it should come immediately."

"My partner should change first."

"It's all his fault, so why should I change?"

"If I don't get my way, I should complain (pout, withdraw, give up, etc.)."

"Our sex life should always be fantastic."

"If I'm attracted to other people, it means that I shouldn't stay in this marriage."

"I should try to win in all our conflicts."

"My partner should accept me just the way I am."

"If we're having problems it means we have an awful relationship."

Now, be honest with yourself. Are these "shoulds" helping or hurting you and your relationship? I guarantee that if you have a lot of them, you are pretty unhappy. Rather than talk about the way things "should" be, you might consider how you can make things better. Replace your shoulds with "how to" and "let's try." Rather than "We should have a better sex life," you might try action statements such as "We can give each other a massage" or "We can set up a time to be affectionate." You won't make progress by "shoulding" on each other. But you can make progress by acting differently and communicating in a caring way.

You attribute your partner's moods and behavior to something about yourself, or you take all the blame for the problems: "He's in a bad mood because of me"; "If it weren't for me, we wouldn't have any of these problems." It's almost never all about one person; it takes two to tango and two to be miserable. Phyllis was doing a lot of personalizing, thinking that Ralph wanted to be alone because he found her boring. But really Ralph was so burned out at the end of the day that he needed a little while to cool down. It wasn't about Phyllis; it was about Ralph's day.

You hold up a standard for a relationship that is unrealistically high and then measure your relationship by this standard. "It's not like it was in the first year, so it's not worth it"; "We have problems, so our relationship can't work out." The problem with perfectionism is that it is bound to make you miserable. You may think that you are holding up your ideals, but you are really putting you and your partner down. No relationship is perfect -- and no relationship needs to be perfect. Once Vinnie and Cynthia recognized how futile and depressing perfectionism was, they were able to work constructively on their relationship. "I realized that we would never have exactly what we wanted from each other, but we could still get a lot our needs met," Vinnie finally said. It was a breakthrough to give up on having to be perfect and demanding the same from Cynthia.

You believe that all the problems in the relationship are caused by your partner: "If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have these problems"; "He argues with me; that's why we can't get along." Again, there is a grain of truth in almost any negative thought, but blaming your partner will make you feel helpless and trapped. A better way of approaching this is to take a "Let's fix it together" approach. You can validate each other, share responsibility for the problems, plan to catch each other being good, reward each other, plan positives together, and accept some differences. It sure beats blaming each other and becoming victims.

For more ideas, see

"Beat the Blues Before They Beat You: How to Overcome Depression"

by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D.

Follow Robert Leahy, Ph.D. on Twitter: