Have you ever stepped back to realize what we've gone through as a nation up to this point? Just in the 1900s alone we've seen dramatic rises and falls in the economy. Some businesses have found their way through the rough times and still exist today, while others were more of a feather in a storm and were quickly blown away. I'd say that most of us would be in agreement that those businesses that can weather the economic storms are certainly doing something right and can be trusted with our business.

Not only can general companies and firms be trusted with our business, but banks especially. When we hand over our hard earned dollars to the bank for safekeeping, we want to be sure it's safe. And, over the last couple of years many of us have come to the realization that just because we deposit our money into a credit union or bank doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be there when we get back.

When competition rises, companies have to do things better, or do more, or get more creative, and bank are certainly not excluded from this capitalist world. They need to continually get better and do more, especially since more and more banks are popping up every day. Just because a bank pops up in a neighborhood, it no longer means that that institution will thrive and grow. Nope, it not only has surrounding competition, but it also has competitors online that can offer higher interest on savings accounts and lower interest on loans because they don't have as much overhead invested into their establishment. After all, they're just an online presence. There's no need for a building or front line salespeople to take your cash. It's all electronic and automated!

When Was Your Bank Established?

If you have a fairly new bank, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're bad. But, without a history to go by, it certainly is more of a gamble. For me and my heard-earned money, I would rather deal with a bank that has been around a long time and knows what to do when the next financial storm hits (which might not be far off by the way).

Take a guess when Clydesdale Bank was started. Would you even believe me if I told you that this bank originated in 1838? That's right. If you're in the market to switch banks, I would strongly recommend them. Or, if you're looking at loan rates, be sure to take a look at the rates on Clydesdale Bank loans. They offer competitive rates, and they've been in business for almost 200 years!

How we can literally think differently

As we age, neuroscientists tell us, our thoughts and patterns become more ingrained. The way our brains process, sort and ultimately respond to questions is akin to taking the same path through the garden over and over. We get to know the path very well, and it becomes familiar to us. As long as the problems we face are familiar, so are our approaches to solving these problems. We are in our intellectual "comfort zones."

What happens if our efforts to solve a problem aren't producing innovative results? The thought might occur to us, "How do I go about thinking differently?" When we are asked to deviate from the paths ingrained in our minds, it may seem like an interesting notion, but here's where the going gets tough. Despite trying to think differently, we typically end up with little to show for our efforts. Our steps continue to lead us down the same old garden path.

Why is it so difficult to achieve innovative breakthroughs in thinking? I'm not a neuroscientist, but I'll hazard a guess based on my intensive research over several years in the course of writing my book on the subject, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.

Since our thought processes are holistic and ingrained, we tend to arrive at familiar responses to most problem-solving questions. Our brains act like survival mechanisms; consequently, we learn what we need to do to keep us alive and evolving as a species. If we heard a loud noise in the past associated with a near-death experience, we tend to adjust our response the next time we hear a similar noise.

Absent that experience, we are more likely to respond to a loud noise by staring, covering our ears, or looking around to see where the noise came from. Ever notice how difficult it is to break out of our patterns and behaviors? Popcorn at the movies? Driving to work a specific way? Sitting in the same pews in church or the same chairs in a conference room? We stick to the same path because it's what we know.

When we're asked to think differently, we're essentially being asked to take a path through the proverbial garden we've never taken before. It's a bit uncomfortable, for we're no longer in familiar territory. If asked to deviate too far from our comfort zone, we may even experience a mild panic.

How, then, do we break out of our intransigent ways of thinking? Research demonstrates that we can indeed learn to think differently. Some 50 years ago, Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Roger Sperry discovered a new path by studying the independence of consciousness between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. His pioneering work led to breakthrough, best-selling books applying the implications of his research both to learning how to draw (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards) and learning how to resolve psychological traumas (Recovery of Your Inner Child, by Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D.).

In both books, the authors describe the technique of using the non-dominant hand as the pathway to specifically activate the right hemisphere of the brain. Why the right hemisphere? Scientifically identified as the source of innovation (important for problem solving), insight and intuitiveness, and creativity, the right hemisphere is a valued destination. Neuroscientists have made amazing discoveries in this area of research by studying those with brain injuries, split brains due to severed corpus callosums, and brain scans of individuals performing creative functions.

How exactly can we activate the right hemisphere? The simple act of using our non-dominant hand combined with suspending the conventional thought process allows synapses to fire in a manner that taps directly into the right hemisphere. Sound bizarre? As a former CEO, I've used this technique for over a decade as a way to think more creatively. I've also observed hundreds of others do so while conducting research for my book.

Tapping into the right brain is much more than the simple motor skill of writing with the non-dominant hand. Suspend judgment and allow the answer to the question you posed to flow from the right hemisphere through the neural pathway to the non-dominant hand. That answer will likely surprise you!

Uncanny as this process may sound, it works. The result is a prescription for literally thinking differently. Using this technique forces us to move from our familiar holistic thought process into one initiated in a different manner. The process of using the non-dominant hand, considering a question and allowing an answer to flow forth from that hand without consciously thinking about it, is in effect, walking yourself down a new garden path – a truly amazing experience. It sounds impossible, but once you've experienced it for yourself, the results seem more probable and less bizarre.

"Aha, I get it!" That's what I typically hear when individuals experience the process and validate the answer they received in response to a considered question. It's almost like magic. Next time you're asked to think "innovatively," "creatively" or "differently," don't despair. There really is a different way to think.

Author Bio:

William Alan Donius' first book, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius (March 2012, Changing Lives Press) debuted in a dramatic fashion making all the major Best Seller lists including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly and Nielsen lists.

He currently serves on the Human Rights Campaign Board in Washington, D.C., writes for the Huffington Post and is working on a second book.

Broadening the perspective from his first book, this time the focus is on corporate America. What happens when organizations apply the methodology for tapping into the right hemisphere of the brain as a means for disrupting complacency and conventional thinking? The early results are very encouraging, including: substantial bottom line increases, boosting the company to a new level and an entirely re-imagined entity.


How comfortable are you getting naked?

It can be scary to present your authentic, stripped-down self to the world, but it will lead to living a happier life. As in life, this is also true in relationships. Without allowing your partner to see the real you, your partner can only love the version you have presented. It will ultimately limit the depth of connection possible, and will greatly reduce the chance of long-term success in the relationship. While it is a frightening thought to be exposed and risk rejection, it will be worth the effort.

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." ~Judy Garland

The first step in allowing others to see you as you are starts with two things: confidence and love. Being confident enough to allow the other to see you naked might be an unnerving proposition, but you will be much better being you with your partner than being someone else. And, equally important, love yourself enough to believe you are worthy of love and affection just the way you are.

When you reach a point where you begin to allow someone to see you as you are, you will be happier. Freeing yourself of the exhausting task of pretending to be someone you are not will be a wonderful feeling.

The level of intimacy and love shared with your partner will be deeper as a result of exposing your authentic self. Allowing your partner to see, and fall in love with the real you means knowing you on a more intimate level. It will most likely lead to your partner opening up to you more as well. The result will be experiencing a much more rewarding, fulfilling relationship.

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." ~Oscar Wilde

by Kelly Sajonia

When you consult with an insurance specialist and read the fine print associated with your current insurance policy, more than likely you will discover that you are not covered once you leave your country of residence; this is especially the case if you carry insurance from the United States as most insurance providers here do not provide that level of coverage.

Even in the few rare cases where your insurance provides tells you the coverage will follow you abroad, there are usually stipulations attached. For example, you’ll find that the “accidental death” clause doesn’t cross over to death through terrorist attack; if you’re heading to a hostile country for temporary work, it’s important that you understand that coverage difference within your policy.

In most cases, in order to make sure you have the coverage that you need to travel abroad, you’ll need to pick up an international insurance policy.


Unfortunately, they’re a bit complicated and should only be navigated with the help of an insurance specialist who is highly qualified in arena of global insurance. This kind of professional will be able to walk you through the very specific nature of these policies; while they are highly customizable, they are very rigid in what they will cover and are trip specific.

Basically, what that means is that you’ll outline the exact nature of your trip, where exactly you’ll be, and what the exact risks are. Once you have all of those variables in place, the policy will be adjusted to suit those specific variables and very little deviation from them will still be covered, if any.

For example, if the majority of your trip is set to be in one specific, peaceful, country, than your policy and the premium associated with it, will reflect that. However, if you were to take an unexpected two-day trip to another, more hostile, country and something were to happen to you, chances are your coverage will not come through.

Every aspect of your trip must be accounted for to ensure coverage.


These details vary from insurance provider to insurance provider, so aligning yourself with a specialist is going to be beneficial when shopping around.

Generally speaking, the details will look something like this:

  • To obtain international coverage, the holder of the policy must be living or working outside of the country where they hold citizenship;
  • 1 to 10 year term policies are available;
  • To be a policy holder, an individual must be 18 to 65 years old;
  • Coverage can be obtain for up to $1,000,000 USD

Being You, Work, Life and Huge, Crazy Dreams

by Elisa Van Arnam

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson It was a couple of years ago and we were out of money. My husband, who had done really, really well financially had been let go a year and a half before […]

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An Important Life Lesson from Gordon Ramsay

by Jason Kotecki

Kim and I love watching MasterChef on Fox, starring one of our favorite TV personalities, fiery chef Gordon Ramsay.  MasterChef conducts a nationwide search for the best home cooks in America, and through a series of exciting elimination rounds, turns one of them into a culinary master. In the initial audition episodes of the first […]

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5 Ways to Keep That Spark Alive

by Guest Author

Most relationships start out with a bang but begin to fade as a couple get used to one another. Whether it is work pressures or communication issues, couples on the rocks need to get back to that place of romance and love they first experienced early on in their relationships. There are many things that […]

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Boosting Your Self-Esteem

by Guest Author

We all have periods where we feel low, down and less than happy with ourselves; it’s part of being human and something that we can’t avoid completely. But having the tools to deal with those feelings of worthlessness and anxiety can help you deal with them more effectively and become a happier and better-rounded individual. […]

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How to Be You Even When You Don’t Like You

by Stacey Curnow

The 12th-century poet Rumi said each of us is trying to hide the same secret from each other. It isn’t anything malicious – we’re just hiding the mere fact of our flawed humanness. Rumi called it the “Open Secret.” I know that I expend too much energy feeling less-than-adequate and I expend even more of […]

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Remarkable ME and LOUSY Jealousy

by Jen Slayden

When I saw the theme for the month from Lance, BE YOU, I immediately remembered an article I had written back in 2010 when I was contemplating the subject of self-worth and identity. It was a period in my life that I had become more aware of how much time I had wasted on wishing […]

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