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It is good to do some work on growth, before we wish we had found the time. The main difference between this section and the one on "Tough Times" is that in this one there is still time to prepare. We can prepare for the tough times by strengthening our souls and character. Once there, we have to remember what is important to us to help us dig our way out.

There is not a separate section on self-esteem, because there is no direct path to self-esteem. Besides, focusing on raising self-esteem doesn't improve your life or situation. It just improves your opinion of what you've got, not the reality of it.

Esteem is based on respect and respect is unique in that it can only be earned, it can not be given freely. Yes, respect and grace are opposites sides of the coin of life. Once can only be freely given and the other can not. One can only be earned and the other can not.

Freely given respect is not respect, it is a sign of someone being naive. You respect someone who has made decisions and taken actions that you can respect. If you want self-esteem, or self-respect, you need to start making decisions and taking actions that you can respect. You may respect focusing on something other than yourself, for example. Sometimes we respect someone for their achievements as well, but what better achievement, what more respectful a decision and action than to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps!

(click on title to read articles)

The Supermarket Approach to Life This attitude has helped me learn from other people. If you can't accept this article, don't even bother reading the rest of the site. But if this makes some sense, read on.

Phases of Life: We change as we grow. Don't just grow old, grow better!

The Fence Author unknown, but the story is powerful, and I better learn it!

The Power of Goal Setting How does setting goals affect our life in the long-term?

Promises to Keep, by William Arthur Werd A great poem about having high standards.

Voting: Right, Privilege or What? How should you approach your opportunity to vote in political elections?

Section on Bible Confusion: A series of articles on Religious Confusion. Designed to help you become confused, and to help you get through the confusion!

The "Good News": Another series of articles on events in my life that had a profound impact on what I believe and why I believe.

(click on title to link to more information at Amazon.com)

The Prayer of Jabez, by Bruce Wilkinson This makes a powerful point, and offers you a radical way of thinking about your Creator and you!

The sequel, "Secrets of the Vine" is also powerful, explaining the process of pruning!

The third book, "A Life God Rewards" shows you how what you do in this life has a major impact on your life after death!

The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz Powerfully written, it made a lasting impression and change in my life. How about you?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey The best book anywhere on how to change for the better, and why it is a good idea to even try to be more than you are now.

The Spirit of the Disciplines, by Dallas Willard Powerful book on the reason and attitude of undertaking spiritual steps, about getting a better understanding of our spiritual side.

Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster A great book outlining the value and 'how to' of the spiritual disciplines. Don't go overboard on them, but don't ignore them, either.

Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments The world is a mess, but find personal meaning anyway!

If Life is a Game, These are the Rules Ten Rules for Being Human as introduced in Chicken Soup for the Soul