Two Easy Tips for More Restful Sleep

by Rich Nilsen, author of “Sleep Great for Life” ebook

Do you sleep great?Do you often have trouble falling asleep? Do you suffer from insomnia one or more nights per week? There are many things you can do to significantly improve your chances for a better night’s sleep. Here are two easy tips that everyone can start applying right away.


Don’t want to miss that favorite television show that starts at 10:00 p.m.?  Well, that is what DVRs and VCRs are for. DVRs are wonderful in that you can set up a regular, scheduled taping every time your favorite show airs. You can also easily record the remainder of a show if you find yourself getting sleepy. Use modern technology to your advantage. Your sleep is too important.


I am a firm believer that by putting your thoughts to paper, it helps release them from your mind.  It allows you to wake up the next day and, at that time, begin to address the issue(s). Another benefit of doing this is that you will not lose that great idea that you just had while lying in bed!

Make sure you do not go to bed with your mind racing or with problems still pending.  Put them “to bed” for the night, and then you will be able to put yourself to bed – peacefully.

This blog was reprinted in part from


Endowed with the Seeds of Greatness

Seeds of GreatnessYour power is much greater than you think.  Sure you have limitations, but you also have some tremendous strengths that you may take for granted.  After all, you have been made in God’s image.  If you accept the fact that you were born for greatness, you will be surprised how you can control your own destiny.

Find that place deep within your heart where you know you where hardwired to succeed.  If you do not know where to look, it is that tiny spot buried under the busy-ness of modern day life and all the difficulties that have come your way recently.  Find the spot, dust it off, and take a look.  You know it is there.  It has just been neglected for a while.  It’s time to clean it up and give it some attention.

Once you recognize the truth that you were born for greatness, ACT like the great person you know you were meant to be.  Start getting your health under control.  Pour some energy into the people around you.  Set a goal for yourself.  Start reading or learning or becoming an expert at something.  Inch your way toward getting out of debt.

If these are all too tough for you at the moment, start by controlling some simple behaviors.  Consciously put a spring in your step.  Hold your head high when you walk.  Look people directly in the eye and when they talk listen to them not just with your ears, but with your eyes and your heart.  Introduce yourself first to new people you meet.  Smile.  Be a little bold in your speech by talking first and saying things that put a high energy positive spin on the conversation.  These are the behaviors of a person who is born to win.

You need these behaviors even if you have to fake them at first.  If you start to ACT like you believe in yourself, you will start to FEEL like you believe in yourself.  When you start to act bold and confident and optimistic, you will draw people in, which will give you power.  When people give you this power, you turn their expectations into reality by becoming the person they think you are  … a person of greatness.

You may have self-doubt that makes you feel small at times, but think of the power a mosquito has trapped in your bedroom.  Despite its tiny size, the mosquito rules all.  You can rule your entire destiny and consciously alter your future…by a simple personal choice to succeed.

Because of this great potential, you must accept responsibility for all your actions.  You must consciously choose what thoughts to let grow in your mind.  You must act with graciousness and bold action.  Be aware of the self-doubt and the worries, but do not let these thoughts take root in your mind.  Instead, focus on turning positive, optimistic thoughts into tangible, concrete actions.   When you have no time to entertain negative thoughts, no one will be able to stop you.  You will constantly push on when you encounter setbacks, because you truly were designed to succeed.  Like the world champ Mohammad Ali said, “It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up.”   Your job search starts with the recognition that you were endowed with the seeds of greatness.

Advertise Free on Facebook according to P&G

 P & GFortune 500 company Proctor and Gamble has layed off over 1,600 employees because they realize how affordably they can reach consumers via the social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, among others.

 CEO Robert McDonald told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” his ad budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually eats into P&G’s ad budget.

 Every aspiring author needs to have a presence via social networking. If you haven’t set up a profile yet on Facebook, get on it!

Learn more about Proctor and Gamble’s decision

Get Up and Run Again

by Rich Nilsen,

What do you do when you face obstacles? Do you fold up like an accordian, or do you get right back up, shake the dust off, and get back on track? How you handle roadblocks that get in your way during the course of life will play a huge factor in whether or not you meet your goals on personal and professional levels.

If you are looking for inspiration to start your week and help get you on the right path, look no further than this short video that went viral on YouTube some time ago.

Have a super week!

The Mountain’s Call

Mountain View
Are you listening to the mountain's call?

“It’s impossible!” yelled pride.

“It’s risky!” bellowed experience.

“It’s pointless!” howled reason.

“Ignore the others.  Follow the mountain’s call.” whispered the heart.

Today, you will discover your destiny.

Look at your feet and you’ll be surprised to see that right before you there is an unexpected fork in your career path.  You have a choice of taking your life down one of two directions.

You cannot take a single step farther without making an irrevocable commitment to one of the two paths. Both branches lead to a possible future.  Both create very different destinies.

One path takes you up the mountain—the other leaves you wandering in the valley.  One path will take you to new heights—the other will keep you in the lowlands.  One path promises light—the other shadows.  One puts you in the glow of the elite few—the other leaves you with the grayness of the masses.  One guarantees the joy of accomplishment—the other promises the seduction of comfort and ease.

One path will show you self-doubt, test your resolve, and make you stronger—the other will leave you soft.  One promises success beyond your widest imaginations—the other will ensnare you in failure.  One has Yeti and scary demons to challenge every step—the other is monster free.

One path has thin oxygen and threatens to suffocate you—the other is comfy cozy.  One offers true hope—the other appears hopeful, but only has deceit.  One preserves for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth—the other sentences us to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

The choice of which path to take is ours.  We cannot delegate this responsibility.  And if we cower from this responsibility, our fate will be sealed.  I pray we all have the intellect to choose wisely, the courage to take each step with confidence, and the discernment to discover the call from the mountain’s summit.

Do the Impossible…So now, go!

Ever feel like the task before you is impossible? Ever feel like what you’re being called to do is beyond your reach?  This blogs for you.

“So now, go.  I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  God said these words to Moses.  Exo 3:10

Never in the history of mankind has a man been given a task as impossible as that which Moses was given by God.  When God gave Moses the mission, it reads like a passing comment tacked onto the end of God’s expression of concern.  Here’s my paraphrase:  “I’ve seen how my people are suffering and how much misery they are in.  I’ve come down from heaven to rescue them and lead them to the promised land.  I’ve seen how they’re being mistreated and I’m going to do something about it.  So now, go on.  Here’s the bus ticket to Egypt, Moses.  Go and bring my people to me.”

“So now, go.”  Moses must have been stunned.  I’m sure he was expecting God to do it Himself.  Maybe he expected that God would ride in on chariots of fire with lightning bolts and thunder and angels all around.  But God’s plan was different.

“So now, go.”  I can imagine God saying this the way I would tell my daughter, “We need some milk.  So now, go.  I’m sending you to the store to bring home some milk.”  Or maybe it was like a boss telling an employee, “We need to make this sell; it’s a huge client.  So now, go.  I’m sending you to make the sell.”

There are any number of things in our lives that may seem impossible to us.  But consider Moses’ task.  Walk into the throne room of the most powerful ruler of the biggest superpower on earth and tell him to let his largest labor pool (2-3 million slaves) leave!  Moses was surely feeling inadequate.  Afterall, he was a foster child who was rejected by his people (the Hebrews) and condemned to death by his adoptive family (Pharaoh).  He had fled to the wilderness as a fugitive when his family tried to kill him.  He had murdered a man so he was carrying the baggage of being a wanted criminal.  He had a low self-esteem at this point and possibly even a speech impediment (or at least in his eyes).  He had fallen in life from being the son of Pharaoh to being a sheep herder in the desert!  He had just had an experience with a talking burning bush that probably made him doubt his very sanity.

This man…this flawed imperfect man…was being asked to do the most impossible task!  “Uh…Mr. Pharaoh, will you let all your slaves go…this voice out of a burning bush in the middle of the desert told me to tell you that.  I’ll be waiting outside for them.”

How could this man even contemplate accepting this Mission: Impossible?  It was suicide!  Now consider God’s next words to Moses:  Exo 3:12 And God said, “I will be with you.”

What could you do if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was going to be with you?  What could you accomplish if you were so confident that God was with you that there was NO doubt in your mind?  There are times in my life that I’m so confident that God is with me that I’m ready to charge into hell with a water gun!  And there are times that I cower in insecurity and fear over the simplest task that I know that I could do.  The difference is when you know that God is with you!

“So now, go.”

What are the seemingly impossible dreams and goals in your life that you know that God would want you to do?  Moses grappled with fear and insecurity over his impossible mission.  Yet, after that initial struggle, he went.  And we know the rest of the story!

Jesus told us that there is nothing impossible for God.  Paul told us that if God is with us, nothing can stand against us.  All we have to do is “go.”  And God said, “I will be with you.”

So now, go!

StoryBundle to offer ebook bundle subscriptions

Netflix for ebooks? Lifehacker editor Jason Chen has left Gawker Media to launch an e-bookstore called StoryBundle, which is expected to begin in early Spring.

Chen will sell bundles of e-books under a pay-what-you-want plan. He imagines the average price of a bundle will be around $5 in most cases. He is modeling his new company, StoryBundle, after “Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), Rdio, Steam and indie game bundles”—particularly Humble Bundle for games—that “deliver content without having a bunch of physical stores get in the way.” Chen believes “making things easy to buy, easy to get and easy to consume will be the key to StoryBundle’s success.”

Authors participating in StoryBundle would share in the price of the books selected in the ebook bundle.

Read more about the ebook bundle service at Paid Content.


School Libraries adding more e-books

School libraries ebooksThe number of school libraries building electronic stacks is increasing in the past few years.

A 2011 survey by the School Library Journal found that 31 percent had e-books in their collections. But 63 percent of those surveyed said they couldn’t afford to buy digital books.

On a recent afternoon, 9-year-old Josh Hezel and his classmates were in the library at Long Elementary.

A generation ago, Hezel and the others might have stopped by a shelf of recommended books, or searched on his own in the card catalog. Instead, he and his classmates sat down with some of the school’s new e-readers. The book titles flew by on a digital screen as the boy scrolled through, stopping at one that caught his eye.

“I think librarians are in favor of anything that gets students reading,” said Margaret Sullivan, regional director for the Missouri Association of School Libraries and president of St. Louis Suburban School Librarians Association. “What we just want to make sure is that every student has access to technology, because some students might not have that at home.”

Read more about the Library ebook movement

The Mind of The Resume Writer

Resume CartoonWhat is a resume? A resume is a specialized teaching tool.  It is not a marketing piece or an advertisement.  This is in contrast to what most resume “experts” will tell you.  But think about the mindset of a marketer.  Marketers pull out all the stops and do whatever they can to get us to think we need their product.  They spend millions researching logos, product names, color usage, and advertising campaigns.

Marketers exaggerate product claims about what their products can do for us (check out the weight loss and get-rich-quick infomercials), sometimes crossing over the line by lying or at least providing false hope to the general public.  (“I lost 35 pounds in a week eating nothing but Oreos and ice cream!”)  The marketer doesn’t reveal that the product rarely works this good.  It’s all a marketing scheme, grounded in well-researched persuasive psychology and walking the line on legality and the ethical high road.

The purpose of a resume is to teach—not to market yourself.  When you draft your resume, think about the characteristics of great teachers.

Marketers don’t care what buying their product will do to your budget, and they don’t have your best interest at heart.  YOUR best interest is not THEIR job—their job is to make money.  If they don’t make money, they lose their job and their kids go hungry.  Their job is to play to your emotions, your intellect, and your sense of urgency so that you leave the house right now and go buy their product.  That’s their job.  It doesn’t necessarily make them bad people; it just means that they don’t care that much about you.

Lots of people writing their resumes think of themselves as self-marketers.  They try to present themselves as bigger than life, greater than great.  Studies indicate that over 60-90% of resume writers exaggerate the truth on their resumes.  And, as a hiring manager, I’ve sometimes fallen for this.  The result:  I’ve hired people who SEEM to be a good fit for the job, but after a while, they don’t work out.  They’ve sold themselves to me and end up not being a good fit for the job.

Everyone pays a price for resume lies:  the manager, because he’s hired a person who is unable to do the job; HIS boss, because he now thinks the hiring manager is incompetent;  and the person hired, because he is not able to do the job he convinced the manager he COULD do.  As a result, the employee can end up with disciplinary actions against him, which could result in termination of his employment—not to mention all the associated stress caused from his failure on the job.  Or he may have just locked himself into a job for life because his incompetence means he won’t be promoted.  Or, if the company finds out he falsified information to get the job, he could end up at the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Experienced managers can smell self-interest marketing techniques.  They intuitively identify someone who is trying to sell themselves.  When an experienced manager senses that someone is trying to sell themselves in a resume or job interview, the manager sees the person as desperate and self-centered.  The manager will run away, because the applicant sounds like a used car salesman trying to unload a junker.  It’s like the applicant is holding a big “WILL WORK FOR FOOD” sign—People tend to look the other way.  As a resume writer, you are trying to teach managers what you can do for their particular business, not trying to sell yourself as the best thing since sliced bread.

The purpose of a resume is to teach—not to market yourself.  When you draft your resume, think about the characteristics of great teachers.  This takes the pressure off of you.  You don’t have to become a salesman.  But, in teaching the hiring manager, you must adhere to teaching basics:  First, eliminate distractions.  Remember how easy it was in school to get distracted by things going on outside the windows or things the class clown was doing?  And sometimes you were so bored in the class that you probably LOOKED for things to distract you.  I know I did.  The hiring manager is the same.  If your resume is too wordy, has a distracting layout, or has any other attributes that distract the manager, it will be headed for the trash can.

Second, educational psychologists have found that people need to hear a message at least three times before they remember it.  If you give students a piece of information once and never bring it up again, they are sure to forget it.  So what does this mean for you?  I want you to remember that 3 X 3 does not equal 9 x 1.  Here’s what I mean:  Giving a manager examples of three skills you have and repeating these skills in three different situations is much more powerful than giving the manager nine different skills and mentioning each only once.  The nine won’t make an impression, but the three will make you look like an expert. For example, if a company is accepting resumes for a team leader, you are better off using three different examples of when you’ve successfully led team projects, rather than nine different skills you have, one of which is team leader.

Condense and emphasize.  Otherwise, you end up hiding your qualifications behind too much data and trivial facts.  In writing your resume, you will have to choose what to include and what to leave out of each description of your past and current jobs.  Leave out irrelevant details and emphasize necessary qualities for the job you want.

The hiring manager has the right to hire the very best person for the job.  They get to choose—that’s their job.  It is their right and their responsibility to the company.  Your job is not to sway them that you are better than some other job candidate.  Chances are you don’t know the other people the hiring manager is considering.  But your job, on the other hand, is to teach them who you are.  You have the right AND the responsibility—to yourself and those affected by your employment decisions—to put your very best in front of the manager for him to consider.  You are an educator, not a sales person.

This is a complete mental shift for most people.  Every day many great applicants are passed over because they are selling themselves, not teaching the manager.  If a manager can look over your resume and know what you have accomplished and what skills you could bring to the job, you have succeeded as a teacher, regardless of who gets the job offer.  But, remember, most people draft their resume as a sales tool.  Draft your resume as a teaching tool and you WILL stand out.

Susan Powell, Her Two Sons, and One Promise

[Warning: This blog post is of an adult nature]

by Rich Nilsen,

Chuck and Judy Cox, parents of Susan PowellThis week one of the worst acts of evil ever witnessed in my lifetime was accomplished by Josh Powell, the man most sane people felt was responsible for the disappearance of his wife Susan in 2009. Powell claimed that he took his two sons on a camping trip during a snow storm that featured bitterly cold temperatures. During this overnight trip his wife Susan disappeared. He felt that Susan just up and left, abandoning not only him but also her two young sons. It was arguably one of the worst “stories” ever used by a pathological killer.Shortly after the national story hit the press, Powell moved out of state.

Evil often begets evil, and over the subsequent weeks and months that followed, Josh’s father was an accomplice in tarnishing the reputation of his beautiful daughter-in-law, Susan. He made outrageous claims, including that he had an affair with Susan. During this incredibly difficult time, Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, stood strong in their faith and attested that they believed Josh was responsible for his wife’s disappearance.

Then in 2011 it came out that child pornography was found on the hard drives of Josh’s father. As a result, the elder Powell was sent to prison on child porn and voyeurism charges.

In recent weeks the grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox, obtained custody of the two boys, and Josh Powell would only be allowed supervised visits. To make matters worse for Powell, at least one of the two boys had started recalling events from that fateful night, stating that he remembered “mommy in the trunk.”

Clearly, these events pushed Powell over the edge. Before blowing up his house this week in a shocking suicide-double murder, Josh Powell attacked his sons with a hatchet. Evil at its absolute worst.

1 Corinthians 2:9

But, as it is written, “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

In a remarkable portrayal of strength, Chuck and Judy Cox appeared on NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday, only a couple of days after the two grandsons they had been caring for were murdered in a brutal and horrific way. The Cox’s discussed how they feared something awful could happen to the boys on one of the visits with their father, and they warned the authorities about their concerns.

At the conclusion of this amazing interview, NBC host Ann Curry asked the grieving couple what gives them the strength and peace to handle this.

“Our faith,” replied Judy Cox.

“We know where our daughter is,” explained Chuck Cox. “We know that she is safe, and we know that the boys are now back with their mother.”

Susan Powell reunited with her two beautiful sons.

No eye has seen.

No ear has heard.

No heart of man conceived.

What God has prepared for those who love him.