Self-Test for Anxiety & Fears

Self-Diagnosis Anxiety Checklist

Directions: Check off which of these 7 symptom combinations you have and which type of anxiety you probably have.

__1. I feel uncomfortable and experience building tension or discomfort that seems to come out of the blue when I think about a particular situation.

__2. I avoid specific situations that make me feel uncomfortable.

__3. I have a least four of the following symptoms at the same time: shortness of breath or feeling smothered; heart palpitations; trembling or shaking; choking; dizziness or unsteadiness; nausea or abdominal distress; numbness; feeling detached or out of touch with myself; fear of dying; fear of going crazy or out of control; hot flashes or chills; sweating without exertion.

__4. I worry excessively, feel restless, keyed up, on edge, irritable easily fatigued, have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or I wake up tired, have tense and tight muscles,have difficulty concentrating, and/or find my mind going blank.

__5. I have recurring intrusive thoughts such as hurting or harming a close relative, being contaminated by dirt or a toxic substance, fearing I forgot to lock my door or turn off an appliance, and or have unpleasant fantasies about a catastrophe.

__6. I perform ritualistic actions such as washing my hands or counting to relieve my discomfort because I have fears that keep entering my mind.

__7. I have witnessed or been subjected to a life-threatening experience and have persistent symptoms that have lasted for at least a month, including repetitive and distressing

thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, attempts to reenact the situation, emotional numbness(out of touch with your emotions)—feeling no anger, sadness, guilt, or relief), feeling detached from other people, losing interest in activities that once gave me pleasure, sleep or concentration problems, startling easily, irritability and/or outbursts of anger.

Key to Your Answers:

If you check #1: Just thinking about a situation brings on discomfort; you have anticipatory anxiety.

If you checked #2: Your discomfort arises only in response to being in a specific situation, you have what is called, situational anxiety, and you are likely to be dealing with agoraphobia or fear of going to specific places or being alone. If your discomfort is related to being in social situations and is related to avoiding humiliating or embarrassing yourself, you may be suffering from social phobia.

If you checked #3: You include among your symptosm shortness of breath or feeling smothered, you have panic attacks. If your anxiety forces you to avoid certain situationsor objects, you have a phobia. If the avoidance is of places, such as driving on highways, going to doctors, riding in elevators, using public transportation, going over bridges or going through tunnels, eating in restaurants, going to work, and so forth, you are likely dealing with

agorophobia.

If you checked #4: You probably have a generalized anxiety disorder.

If you checked #5:. You may have an obsessive-compulsive disorder, with obsessions only.

If you checked #6: You are probably dealing with an obsessive compulsive disorder with both obsessions and compulsions.

If you checked #7: You are probably in post-traumatic stress or non-specific anxiety condition.

This self-test is excerpted with permission from Carolyn Chambers Clark’s book, LIVING WELL WITH ANXIETY: WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN’T TELL YOU THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, HarperCollins, 2006. For more information about what to do about your condition, consult LIVING WELL WITH ANXIETY. Ask for it at your local bookstore or find it at amazon.com

Bankruptcy Lawyer – Things To Consider When Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyer

In a world increasingly dominated by concerns with capital, it is important to have a bankruptcy lawyer with a solid understanding of your finances and some of the options you may have should extenuating circumstances arise on your side. The monetary demands of our day-to-day lives can be many times demanding. We are continually amassing costs for living, transportation, medical bills and other expenses. Sometimes when unfortunate circumstances befall us we are forced into a situation where we cannot meet our debt requirements. If your wages begin to be garnished and debtors and creditors are calling your residence repeatedly, you may be in the market for someone who can provide some financial relief. For those of us who have little to no other recourse, a final option may be bankruptcy law.

When you are in the market for a bankruptcy lawyer there are some things you should keep in mind. Many of these law institutions are well versed in the typical arrangements and procedures involving filing for this declaration. When debts befall you and you are unable to meet your creditors demands, finding the right representation and legal services can be of great importance. These types of financial issues can cause tremendous stress, so finding experienced professionals can help ease you through this process. If you have an interest in filing and would like more information, many of these legal service providers offer free consultations where you can become informed about the process. Many of these doctors of law offer many services in addition to legal representation related to filing this declaration.

Another thing you may like to think about when you are hiring an attorney is their overall experience. Make sure that the people you hire for representation have experience in the legal code and case law so that they are versed in the types of services you may require. To check on their experience it may be as easy as visiting their web-site or asking people in the office for information on past client experiences. Professional representatives in this field have the expertise that allows them to guide you through the process of filing with ease and comfort. This stress-free approach can reveal for you the best options going forward financially. Some elegant providers even offer more extensive credit counseling services so you can reclaim your life and rebuild your financial reputation.

There are many aspects to filing bankruptcy that you need to consider when hiring a lawyer. Not only are there issues of wage garnishment and taxation, but other property and possession issues may arise. The right professionals can help with even possible foreclosure procedures and other things you may need assistance with. When you choose a representative in the legal field, make sure you are choosing someone with a high degree of professionalism. These experienced service providers recognize that filing is a difficult decision and are sensitive to your needs as a person both financially and emotionally. Many are even aware that you may be in this situation by no fault of your own. A receptive environment in the legal avenue can help you get through difficulties more easily.

Whatever the reason behind your legal difficulties, when you decide on a bankruptcy lawyer be sure that you consider the many facets of the approach of the team you hire. Many providers offer services far exceedingly only legal assistance. Regardless of the reason behind your filing, be it divorce, unemployment, medical problems or the like, these professionals can help you get your life back on track. Finding professionals with the right expertise can help you file the right documents, get relief for the debt causing your issues, and help you get on the right track for the future of your finances. If you consider these key aspects when making your decision you should be able to find the right option for your needs.

Best Dating Sites for Men

If you’re in a happy and healthy relationship with no qualms whatsoever when it comes to your love life, it’s probably best that you skip this article and avoid temptation. However, if you’re badly in need of someone to spend evening after cozy night together or even to simply have some company when you feel lonely, then welcome to the club comrade!

When it comes to the world of online dating, you can only have two approaches to consider. There’s the perfect guy persona which is probably made up 90% lies and guaranteed to make a girl love and doubt the real you as well. Then there’s the show the world who you really are approach which can either result to everyone vying for your attention or passing you as another average guy who doesn’t deserve their time or attention. So the question is, which will you use?

But before we delve into the more complex world of online personalities and fa├žades, it would do you well to remember that it’s just as important to find the right online dating site for you as it is to choose the person you want to be known in the online world. To get started, let’s look at the best dating sites for men.

OkCupid

Listed as one of the top ten dating sites in the 2007 issue of Time Magazine, OkCupid is the perfect way for you to meet that special someone you’ve been waiting for. What makes this matchmaker unique from the others is that it provides member-created quizzes in order to identify if you’re compatible with a certain person or not. This makes the hunt so much easier if you get straight to the top of the food chain. It also tells you how compatible you are with a certain person.

eHarmony

From the name itself we can already identify what this websites gig is all about. Best dating sites for men are not always about opposites attract. In fact, studies show that the more similarities you have with your partner, the longer you’ll last together. eHarmony focuses on that aspect and asks information about YOU so it can match you with a stranger whose information is compatible with yours too. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a girl who likes to dip her fries in her sundae too.

Lavalife

Probably the most flexible of all the best dating sites for men is Lavalife. This matchmaking site isn’t only limited to those who are seriously looking for a relationship. If you’re single and only want to meet someone new, go for this and you won’t regret doing so. You can choose from the three options provided-Dating, Relationship or Intimate Encounters.

Match.com

As one of the best dating sites for men there is out there, match.com is a classic and simple dating site that you can access easily. Create a profile, describe yourself and get ready to meet the girl who would make you feel loved throughout your lifetime.

Free Dating Sites for Men

In every single serious date you’ve been, you probably brushed your messy hair, shaved that days old moustache and checked out the mirror before meeting that charming lady you already imagine shackling yourself with. When it comes to online dating, the routine is just as important but not until you’ve decided to meet the other person on the other side of the screen.

So it probably irks plenty of men when they try to look for online dating sites and discover that before they get to the moon, they have to pay a hefty transportation fee first. Most dating sites scream the word “FREE!” at first glance and it’s only until you get interested and decide to sign up when you discover that yes, there is something you need to pay first.

While others are contented with doing just as the website requires them to, isn’t it better if you can go to free dating sites for men without the added baggage? Though love has a price, you needn’t pay that amount to get the girl of your dreams.

Take Plentyoffish for example. It’s one of the largest online dating sites but guaranteed to charge absolutely nothing for its services. You can find a person who matches you well and keep your wallet intact at the same time. Not too shabby.

Then there’s the OkCupid which is probably one of the best free online dating sites for men that was ever created. It has a little quirk of its own through the tests it provides which stores up information about you and matches you with just the right person who shares most, if not all your likes and dislikes.

Looking for something classic and easy to use? Not interested in complicated features that give you technological headaches? Why don’t you try using Mingle2. This free online dating for men and women has quickly garnered the attention of the masses because of its simple yet effective way of matching one lonely soul to another and create an entirely new and happy relationship.

If you can’t be bothered with surfing through one boring profile after another, YesNoMayB might just be one of the right free online dating sites for men that would fit your tastes. The website has what you call “speed dating” features which allows you to browse different photos quickly and add those you like to the list of contacts that you would want to mingle with in the future.

Aside from the ones stated above, there so many more free dating sites for men that would bring you to cloud nine and make you head over heels with a woman that you’ve never even met in person! Just remember to heed caution. While online dating is fast and efficient, most people aren’t who they seem to be. You can never be too careful and it takes a keen eye to distinguish the liars from those who are telling the truth about who they really are and about what they truly feel about you.

Was The Moon Walk A Hoax?

Was There EVER A Man On The Moon?

Back on 20 July, in the year of 1969 C.E. the eyes of the whole world were riveted to their television screens in order to see a man walk on the moon. Those that chose not to believe their eyes were laughed to scorn — for there truly were thousands of people that firmly believed that the entire event was staged right here on Terra Firma.

They believed that the Apollo 11 space flight that claimed to land the first humans on Earth’s Moon was nothing but a hoax.

The well-publicized mission to the moon, carried out by the United States, was considered a major accomplishment in the history of exploration and it was a smashing victory for the United States in its Cold War Space Race with the Soviet Union.

Did any man ever really walk on the moon?

The evidence — just now coming fully to light — is overwhelmingly against it.

1- For pure-reality film footage power the broadcast sponsored by an entire Government Space Agency comprised of the finest brains in the world Sponsored broadcast that commemorated this alleged event could not even come close to competing with the film footage conceived by one mere mortal — George Lucas — and released less than 8 years later, on 25 May, in the year 1977 C.E. to be exact, by 20th Century Fox for the fascinated movie-goers clamoring to get into the Star Wars box office.

2- No genuine evidence of the trip was ever offered that could be verified by independent analysis.

2- Nor has the United States produced any subsequent evidence that could be substantiated by teams of honestly earthbound scientists.

3- Here it is the year of 2010 and the United States still has not followed up on its alleged trip to the moon by establishing a colony there.

4- If we are to believe the supposed broadcast the United States had communication devices that could transmit and receive messages flashing between the moon and the earth back in 1969, and yet, until last week we couldn’t even get phone service more than half way up Mount Everest.

5- In 1969 our little moon-walker was supposed to have a space suit capable of producing zones of genuine comfort in a voyage through an absolute vacuum and surrounded by absolute cold, and yet the men and women attempting the climb up Mount Everest come right close to freezing their whiskers off because earth-bound scientists cannot provide them with adequate protection from the comparatively moderate earthly elements they face.

6- Look at this with an open mind: We have space suits that are not supposed to explode in the absolute vacuum of outer space, but our submarines — designed by the best brains on earth — cannot safely plunge even half way to the bottom of the ocean. Now, before you start laughing here, you take an egg, even one of them reasonable facsimiles fresh out of the supermarket carton and not one that I furnish you with, and let’s run 2 quick experiments with it.

7- Put that egg inside the fist of the strongest man you know and ask him to crush it as if it were an empty aluminum can; odds are, unless he can squeeze more than 200 pounds of pressure, he can’t do it.

8- That egg will withstand him.

9- Now take a hypodermic needle from your own hospital choice and pump 10 pounds of air inside the shell of that egg. Odds are, you’d better run and grab a face mask before you try this experiment at home. In fact, you’d better haul it outside before you try it!

10- What do these 2 experiments teach us? A- When the pressure outside a shell is less than the pressure inside the shell (as one should experience if a spaceship really left the earth’s atmosphere) the contents inside that shell blasts its way outside much faster than B- when the pressure inside that shell is less than the pressure outside that shell (as it is demonstrably verified to be when a submarine is drifting downward).

In other words, it should be 1,420 times harder to construct a little space suit that can resist bursting apart 1,000 miles above the earth’s sea level than it is to construct a submarine that won’t go any farther down than 7 miles below sea level.

Here, Let’s try that another way – let’s throw an egg into outer space together and I guarantee you it will come apart on US. You go half way to Paris and drop it into the ocean, and I guarantee you, it will safely go down deeper than a whale can dive.

I can safely rest my case on the fragile skin of an egg, if you’ll let me have one gathered fresh off the nest of an open-range chicken farm, not one of them scientifically engineered products that gets scrambled on the trip home over a city street made by a Government Transportation Agency supervised construction crew working to meet scientifically engineered specifications. Land Sakes, Alive! Here they are claiming they can travel safely all the way to the moon, and they can’t even build a road from here to Washington Avenue without 9 potholes showing up in it before the year’s out? Come ON!

The end.

Five Benefits That Might Help Make Your Decision to Earn Your Degree Online

The internet has paved the way for you to earn your degree online so you can get a better paying job or simply for self-improvement. Online bachelor degree programs are available in a variety of disciplines as well as two year associate’s degrees and graduate level degrees too. There are five basic benefits that should help you make the decision to enroll in an online college or university.

No Physical Barriers

Whether you live in a rural area far away from the nearest schools or you want a degree from an accredited college program half way across the country, the distance does not have to stop you. Thanks to online classes, you may not need to ever step foot inside a brick and mortar institution to earn your degree.

Reduced Costs

E-learning reduces the cost of your materials such as textbooks, workbooks and other course materials that normally are necessary. The materials you need to earn your degree online are often downloadable or viewable files on the internet. That is not to say you will never need any textbooks but the ability to enroll in online bachelor degree programs means that the “normal” expenses for classroom materials is much less than if you had to attend in person.

Do not forget the cost you would not be incurring for insurance and gasoline for transportation to school. In addition, if you work, you do not have to hire a babysitter or keep your kids in day care for longer periods of time in order to go to school.

Varied Learning Style to Suit You

Enrolling in an online college or university for your degree means that you will be introduced to various learning styles which actually may promote greater participation with the professor and other students. Some classes may be “live” with the professor in front of a webcam encouraging real time interaction with students. Other classes may involve accessing a pre-recorded lecture that you access on your own schedule to review. Email, interactive chat rooms, online bulletin boards and webcams help facilitate communication between you and the professor.

Convenience and Flexibility

No longer do you have to drive to school hoping for a decent parking place and hoping you get to class on time. You do not have to fight traffic, juggle babysitters, or figure out how to squeeze in classes with your busy schedule. With everything online, you can complete your coursework around your schedule. If you want to watch your class lecture over your cornflakes in the morning, you can.

The only true barrier to signing up for one of the many available online bachelor degree programs is deciding which university or college you want to sign with. Earn your degree online with you dictating the terms.

Truck Driver Career – Long Term Career Goals

Establishing long-term career goals early in your truck driver career helps you to reach them. When you set goals for yourself, you are able to focus your efforts on the process. Goal setting helps you to get to where you eventually want to be. Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking, planning and motivating yourself to make your vision a reality. Also, because you will be focused on your goals, you will be less likely to be distracted in your efforts.

If you are a newly licensed commercial truck driver you’ve already successfully reached an established goal to get to this point. You’ve worked hard and successfully met all of the extensive licensing requirements. You successfully completed your truck driver training, passed the commercial drivers license exam and the Department of Transportation Medical Exam.

Newly licensed drivers are often hired by trucking companies which will place them with an experienced driver who will be their trainer for a period of time. If this is your situation take advantage of this training period to learn as much as you can about the trucking industry. This includes learning as much as you can about your current employer. Also, get information from other truck drivers about the companies they work for. This will enable you to learn about the many truck driving opportunities that may be available to you once you gain more experience.

The majority of new commercial truck drivers are assigned to haul dry van freight. However, there are a number of truck driving job possibilities. When you are on the road look at trucks and trailers that other drivers are operating. Make notes if you see something that interests you. This can be drivers pulling flatbed trailers, wide loads, tankers, etc. If any of these types of loads interest you it is important that you learn more about the requirements needed to work in these areas of trucking.

Whereas experienced truck drivers already possess significant knowledge about the trucking industry, new drivers have a great deal to learn. This is why it is so important to do good research. Make a list of both positive and negative things you learn about various trucking companies. This should include the advantages and disadvantages of hauling different types of freight. Also, you should consider the type of income you want to earn.

You might want to own your own trucking company. If so, do comprehensive research plus talk to other drivers who own their companies. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of owning your own company. This will enable you to discover if you have the traits, skills and patience necessary to build a successful trucking company.

Good goal setting requires you to make realistic plans.Your plans should be very specific and achievable. Don’t frustrate yourself by making unrealistic plans. Also, it is important to talk to your trusted circle of friends to get honest feedback from them in addition to their support. Good research and planning will greatly benefit you in setting your long-term goals.

Your desires, personality and goals will determine the type of truck driver career that you want. Ideally,this should be one that matches your skills, interests, salary requirements plus any other requirements you have. However, you might need to learn additional skills and it will take your time and energy. Also, it is most important that you have the confidence to believe that you can reach your goals.

How to Travel Abroad Safely: Six Important Tips You Need to Know in an Emergency

Millions of Americans enjoy the adventure and experience of traveling abroad each year. But even the best-planned vacation can turn into a nightmare in the face of a natural disaster, terrorist attack, civil unrest, illness, or other emergency situation.

Fortunately, with a little forethought you can prepare for your trip in a way that offers you the most security and peace of mind even while visiting international locations.

1. Have the Right Paperwork.

A valid passport, current and with the emergency page complete, along with any necessary visas, is essential. The U.S. Department of State recommends that you make two copies of the identification page of your passport–one to keep with you (if you lose your passport this will help you get it replaced) and one to leave with your family or friends at home.

2. Do Your Homework.

Take the time to read up on the country you are visiting. Pay attention to local customs and laws. Remember that once you leave the United States, U.S. laws no longer apply. Also, watch out for travel warnings and consider postponing or relocating your trip if danger is present.

3. Tell Your Friends and Family Where You Will Be.

Leave a copy of your itinerary, including flight numbers, hotels and contact information, and any other plans, with your family or friends at home. In the event of an emergency, they’ll have a starting place of where to look.

4. Register With the Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

These agencies help close to 200,000 Americans each year who fall victim to crime, accident or illness or whose family is trying to contact them due to an emergency. In the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Wilma, which stranded thousands of tourists in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, it’s the embassy or consulates job to locate Americans and help them.

If you register your trip with the agency, it will be much easier for them to locate you. Also be sure to take the addresses and telephone numbers of U.S. embassies and consulates in the countries you will visit with you on your trip.

5. Be Prepared Medically.

Make sure to take your insurance cards with you and determine what medical services are covered while you’re overseas. The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs also recommends that you carry a letter from your physician describing any pre-existing medical conditions and names of medications, along with any medications you take (in their original containers with labels). You may also want to take an extra week’s worth of medication with you in the event of emergency.

6. Make Sure Your Cell Phone Has International Access.

Not every cell phone will work once you travel outside of the United States. Making sure that your cell phone does work when you’re abroad makes it much easier to stay in touch with loved ones at home in the event of an emergency.

Civil War Food – What Union and Confederate Soldiers Ate

The modern U.S. army has a wide array of food products available to them in base camps and in the field. There are a large number of MREs (which are actually quite tasty) and other portable foods available to them when on missions and when stationed in hostile terrain. And when posted at an established base camp, the food that is prepared is also quite good. A large part of this is of course the ready availability of large quantities of any sort of food imaginable in today’s modern environment. In fact, today’s soldiers have the best food ever made available to a fighting force.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Take the Civil War. Civil War food kept the soldiers fed and not much else. Lets take a look at the diet that comprised the typical Civil War food ration. There were several issues that affected the food that was supplied to the Civil War soldiers. These include the organization of the Commissary Department – which was tasked with the acquisition and distribution of food to the soldiers in the field, the season which determined if fresh food was available or if it was preserved in some way and the ability of the food to stay good for long term storage and transportation.

Prior to the war, the concentration of Commissaries was in the North so when the Civil War began, the North had a great advantage as they already had an existing Commissary Department that was already trained in how to acquire and transport food to soldiers in the field. Their job was to work with the troop numbers and schedules and keep a constant supply of foods going to each area where troops were stationed so that the soldiers could keep on fighting without worrying about where their next meal would be coming from. It took the Confederacy several years to develop a working Commissary so being a soldier of the South was more difficult. It required real dedication to be fighting when you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from. Because of this lack of infrastructure, the South had to do a lot of foraging for food between battles until the supply lines were up and operational.

Civil War soldier food was typically very simple fare – often consisting of meat, coffee, sugar and hardtack – a type of dried biscuit. The meat was often salted or dried so it would last a bit longer and fruits and vegetables were rarities on the battlefield. Because the soldiers were often in the field, they needed to carry rations with them. They had a special bag – called a haversack – which was made of canvas with an inner cloth bag that could be washed to get food debris cleaned out once in a while. But even with this design, the bags were often quite contaminated and foul smelling. Cleanliness was typically not high on the Civil War soldiers priority list.

Union soldiers and Confederate soldiers typically had a different mix of rations. A Union soldier might have salt pork, fresh or salted beef, coffee, sugar, salt, vinegar, dried fruit and vegetables. And if it was in season, they might have fresh carrots, onions, turnips and potatoes. A Confederate soldier typically had bacon, corn meal, tea, sugar, molasses and the very occasional fresh vegetable.

The other difference in Civil War food between the Union and Confederate armies was the type of bread product they had available to them. Confederate soldiers had something called “Johnnie Cake” that they made in the field from cornmeal, milk and a few other ingredients. The Union soldiers had hardtack, also referred to as “tooth dullers” or “sheet iron crackers”. Hardtack was manufactured in large factories in the North and was a staple food for the Union soldiers. Hardtack got its name because it was often not used until months after it was made and during that time, it hardened rock solid which is how it got its nicknames.

As you can see, food has come a long way due to the advent of technologies that allow for better preservation of a wide variety of foods. Gone are the days of weevil infested hardtack. They have been replaced with modern vacuum seal technologies that allow foods to stay fresh and tasty years after they have been packages. And since they say an army is run by its stomach, it is no surprise that the modern soldier is the best the world has ever seen.

Vision-Mission-Purpose-What Does It All Mean?

We hear the words purpose, vision and mission everyday, but what do they really mean and how are they different from each other? It is easy to puzzle over these questions for hours. Large companies will pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to help them craft elegant statements to adorn their walls and motivate their employees. Many times these become so overlaid with business jargon that they end up not saying much at all. As a small business, choosing the right words and applying them to your business can serve the organization by defining leadership roles, unifying efforts, setting departmental and company-wide goals, better serving customers and encouraging and motivating employees. However, the larger purpose of defining these words and applying their meaning is to illuminate your focused strategy and ensure that everyone that comes in contact with your company has a clear understanding of what your organization is abut and what they can rely on you for. A few well crafted sentences can save a tremendous amount of time in the long run, by becoming crystal clear on the answer to – What are we here for?

First you must be able to see your vision. Companies like many things in our universe start as nothing but an idea in someone’s mind and then turn into a physical reality. In order to get others actively working towards creating that physical reality, they must be able to see the vision; therefore, you must be able to convey it. A business’s vision is a desired future. It can help to guide all who accept and understand it. A shared vision can be a great tool for building a sense of belonging and community. A vision is not a CEO’s desire to make a billion dollars. While a CEO’s ideas are important to the future of the company, the management team and other players’ are equally as important because they relate to personal commitment to the business. If employees don’t believe in a company they are less likely to give their best effort. The old adage, ‘You are only as strong as your weakest link’ can be very true. The questions you need to ask in order to frame your vision are, “What value do we offer the market?” and “How are we going to offer it in a unique way?” Unlike a company’s goals but similar to its mission, a vision does not have a deadline. It can evolve with the company and can be vague or exact to have impact and meaning. A company’s vision is how it sees itself fitting into the marketplace at large. Think of your vision as your “I have a dream speech” for your business.

Next we define the mission and the purpose. Sometimes the mission and the purpose are the same thing, and other times it is worth separating them. A company’s Mission Statement defines why your organization exists; the purpose gets into what it hopes to achieve in the future and how they fit into the greater good of society and the world. Your mission answers the question “What are we here to do?” It should be well defined, so it can guide your business’ planned actions.

A company’s purpose answers the question, “Why do our mission and vision matter?” That can include giving back to employees, management and shareholders. Some company’s say their purpose is to serve all related parties from workers to clients in the best way possible. Others are in existence solely to make money. There is no right or wrong purpose. There is only what you decide your organization is meant to do. The dictionary says that a purpose is “an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions.” This anticipated outcome can be spiritual, practical or comical. It can be health or environmentally conscious or convenience oriented. It is how ever you see your organization changing the world, in whatever small or big way you intend to.

For example, the mission of a bicycle part manufacturing company could be to make the highest quality bicycle parts that allow customers to maximize the usable life of their bike. Or it could be to be the largest bike part manufacturer in the world or to be the brand of choice for cost conscious customers or to be the trusted vendor of the largest athletic chain stores. Their purpose may be to make solid, safe parts to improve bike safety, or to make a community or an entire planet healthier by encouraging outdoor bike riding as a form of exercise, or to encourage people to use bikes as transportation rather than cars an reduce pollution. You can see how these different missions and purposes would guide a company to operate in different ways.

When Mark Walker decided to re-brand his business J M Walker Group with a mind for building a solid, valuable entity for the future, that he could pass on to his children one day, he wanted to make sure he built on a strong foundation. He started by defining his vision, mission and purpose with the following:

Vision (What this business means to me): To empower companies and individuals rise to their highest potential through high quality training content and inspiring delivery.

Mission (What we are here to accomplish): To be a premiere provider of training to large and mid-size companies in the Southeast. We help businesses grow value and profits by training their people to become exceptional in selling, serving, communicating and managing time, with clients, customers and their daily contacts. We get excited when people tell us that they feel like they are now part of something bigger than themselves, and see great value in what they do to serve their customers, clients, or patients.

Purpose (What my business means to the world): The purpose of J M Walker Group is to leave a legacy of earning an excellent living, using and sharing our gifts and talents to help businesses and individuals succeed. We desire to bring a positive view of God to our marketplace and to reflect His special love for people in all that we do.

Once you get the right vision, mission and purpose on paper, you can then move on to setting meaningful goals to move the business forward in those directions.

It is important for any organization to spend time figuring out what their purpose, vision and mission are so that all parties involve to understand them implicitly. This insures that everyone is moving in the same direction, which is critically important for being able to grow quickly. Taking the necessary time to assess these three words is critical because a company should be a machine with many differentiated parts, but only one mind. For more information on how you can improve your business, visit www.flourishingbusiness.com.

Top Tips for Business Travel

Business travel is a wonderful practical experience and is an integral part of any corporate life. It not only allows you to blend with people of various cultures and work ethics but also gives you a chance to explore various parts of the world. However, unlike leisure trips business trips require much careful planning and you must plan your itinerary in such a way that you don’t put too much strain on yourself and make the best out of your trip. Following are some top tips for business travel that will help to ease your travel.

Use technology

Irrespective of whether you are involved in a big business or small, technology always helps to simplify things up for you. The various gadgets including PDAs, smartphones, laptops and tablets will help you to organize and plan things in the much better way. Also, while you are away from the office you may require various files and folders which you can easily access using cloud computing and emails with the help of these gadgets.

Get the right clothing

It is very important that you take a perfect mix of clothing with you. Your suitcase should not only consist of formal shirts and business suits but also casual clothing and footwear as you never know you may end up in a nightclub or beach during your free time. Thus, a good combination of formal and casual clothing is a must.

Research on the city

Before you go to a particular place for a business trip, you must devote some time in researching about that city. A good knowledge of popular tourist spots, embassies, hospitals and public transportation system will be good for you. Also, you should check the currency conversion rates, prices of utilities and other things as it will definitely help you to save money.

Know the Law

The law of land varies from country to country and some of them are very stringent with their rules and regulations. Thus, you must know about the basic laws of the land and avoid getting into embarrassing situations.

Focus on trip

No matter how popular or good the place is, you should remember that you are there for a purpose, i.e., business. You should not get carried away by the lovely sand beaches or places of tourist attraction or nightlife and should focus on the work. A business trip is considered as successful only if you get positive results for the work.