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Top 5 Best Amazon Black Friday Deals on Tablets - 28 Nov 2015 08:12

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[[html]]<img src="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/black-friday-deals-tablets.jpg?quality=65&amp;strip=all&amp;strip=all" alt="cheap tablets, tablets, best tablets, Amazon Black Friday Deals, Amazon black friday, black friday 2015, Black Friday Deals, tablet black friday deals, black friday sales" width="780" height="440" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1062256"/><br><br>Black Friday is a great day to score insane deals on cheap laptops, cheap flat screen TVs, and cheap tablets. If youre in the market for some awesome electronics deals, weve rounded up five of the best Black Friday tablet deals on Amazon. These Black Friday tablet deals include deep discounts on Amazons own Fire tab, as well as tablets from Samsung and Acer. Read on to see our top picks, or check out all of Amazons current Black Friday Deals Week promotions here.<br><br>Want more help finding a great holiday gift? Check out our guide to the best rated tablets on the market, or browse our guides to the best gifts for women and best gifts for men. <br><br>Want to see even more great deals? Shop our guide to the best Black Friday sales. <br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/9pia1V2kmOc&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/9pia1V2kmOc&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>1. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7-Inch)<img src="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/tab-3-lite.jpg?quality=65&amp;strip=all&amp;strip=all" alt="cheap tablets, tablets, best tablets, Amazon Black Friday Deals, Amazon black friday, black friday 2015, Black Friday Deals, tablet black friday deals, black friday sales " width="780" height="941" class="size-full wp-image-1062214"/>(Samsung)<br><br>As part of their Black Friday Deals Week promo, Amazon is offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7-inch model) for over 40 percent off. The deal is only valid on select colors. This tablet is a little older, but if youre shopping for a cheap tablet for yourself or the kids, this is a solid option to consider. Its a handy size for business use, or for playing games on the go. <br><br>Amazon did have a limited-time only Lightning Deal on the Samsung Galaxy Kids Edition Tab 3 Lite earlier today that was pretty cool. The Kids Edition was over 30 percent off, clocking in at $99. To sweeten the deal even more, Amazon offered a $25 gift card free with purchase of this tablet. This deal was limited in supply and duration. If you missed out, you can still opt for the regular Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite deal instead. Hoping to find a few last minute Black Friday deals? Try browsing all of Amazons current Black Friday Deals Week sales here.<br><br>Price: $79.99 (43 percent off MSRP)<br><br>Buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7-Inch) here.Top 50 Best Christmas Gifts 2015: The Heavy Power ListWe've created a holiday gift guide that will help you find the perfect gift for every person on your Christmas gift list.<br><br>Click here to read more2. Amazon Fire Tablet<img src="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/fire-tablet.jpg?quality=65&amp;strip=all&amp;strip=all" alt="amazon, amazon black friday, black friday deals, black friday sales, black friday 2015" width="780" height="780" class="size-full wp-image-1061415"/>(Amazon)<br><br>Amazon is selling their Fire tablet for $15 off the normal list price. That doesnt sound like much, but considering the already-low price, its a solid deal. This tablet has a 7-inch display, and a fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. There are both rear and front-facing cameras. This is a good deal, but you should also check out other Amazon tablet deals for Black Friday right here.<br><br>Price: $34.99 <br><br>Buy the Fire tablet here.3. 40 Percent Off Acer Tablets &amp; More<img src="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/acer.jpg?quality=65&amp;strip=all&amp;strip=all" alt="cheap tablets, tablets, best tablets, Amazon Black Friday Deals, Amazon black friday, black friday 2015, Black Friday Deals, tablet black friday deals, black friday sales" width="780" height="780" class="size-full wp-image-1062246"/>(Acer)<br><br>Amazon is offering up to 40 percent off select Acer desktops, monitors, chromebooks, and tablets. One deal weve seen on Amazon is the Acer ICONIA ONE 8 NT.L92AA.001 8-Inch 32 GB Tablet, on sale for 32 percent off list. If Acer isnt your favorite tablet brand, you can also shop more Black Friday electronics deals here.<br><br>Shop all Acer products on sale here.Unique Christmas Gifts 2015: Top 10 Unusual PresentsChristmas is right around the corner. Time to say goodbye to those boring holiday gifts. You're about to amaze and inspire your loved ones our list of presents that are unexpected, funny, functional and memorable.<br><br>Click here to read more4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7-Inch W-Fi Tablet With S-Pen<img src="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/tab-a.jpg?quality=65&amp;strip=all&amp;strip=all" alt="cheap tablets, tablets, best tablets, Amazon Black Friday Deals, Amazon black friday, black friday 2015, Black Friday Deals, tablet black friday deals, black friday sales" width="780" height="1109" class="size-full wp-image-1062258"/>(Samsung)<br><br><img src="http://jeffreykrames.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/STOCK-MARKET-IMAGE.jpg" width="263" /><br><br>Amazon is offering quite a few deals on various Samsung tablets this Black Friday, including a deal on the Galaxy Tab A pictured above. Its a 9.7-inch, 16 GB Tablet that comes with an S-Pen for a more natural writing and note-taking experience. This tablet is 20 percent off the list price. While thats not a huge discount by Black Friday standards, its a nice deal considering the screen size and S-Pen accessory. This is also a relatively new tablet that came out earlier this year, which explains why the discount is so low, compared to older tabs on sale during Black Friday.<br><br>Price: $279 (20 percent off MSRP)<br><br>Buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7-Inch W-Fi Tablet With S-Pen here.Top 10 Best Pashmina ScarvesLooking for a stylish way to keep warm this winter? Check out these 10 pashmina (and pashmina inspired) scarves. These pashminas are sure to be your perfect cold weather accessory. <br><br>Click here to read more5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4<img src="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/tab-4.jpg?quality=65&amp;strip=all&amp;strip=all" alt="cheap tablets, tablets, best tablets, Amazon Black Friday Deals, Amazon black friday, black friday 2015, Black Friday Deals, tablet black friday deals, black friday sales" width="780" height="520" class="size-full wp-image-1062312"/>(Samsung)<br><br>The Samsung Galaxy <a href="https://storify.com/gueroaqnT371254/robert-domanko-hsbc-head-of-institutional-equity-d">Rob Domanko HSBC Securities</a> Tab 4 (7-Inch, Black) is also on sale for Black Friday. Its 34 percent off the list price. This tab is slightly older, which explains why its on sale for almost 35 percent off. <br><br>If this deal doesnt speak to you, try browsing all of Amazons current Black Friday Deals Week sales here. You might also want to check out our posts on the best Black Friday laptop deals, and the best Black Friday clothing deals.<br><br>Price: $119 (34 percent off MSRP)<br><br>Buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 here.Top 20 Best Unique Christmas Gifts 2015Here are the 20 best unique gifts to help you choose something a little different without having to search high and low.<br><br>Click here to read moreWant to see even more great deals? Visit Amazons Black Friday deals page to see all the latest sales. You can also check out Amazons Electronics Holiday Gift guide, which includes some cool deals on the hottest gadgets. You should also visit our Gifts section to get recommendations for all the people on your holiday shopping list. Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.<br><br><a href='http://heavy.com/tech/2015/11/best-amazon-black-friday-deals-online-sales-cheap-tablets/'>http://heavy.com/tech/2015/11/best-amazon-black-friday-deals-online-sales-cheap-tablets/</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Self-help group participation and empowerment in Hong Kong. - 26 Nov 2015 21:01

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[[html]]This paper reports on the first comprehensive study of self-help groups in Hong Kong. Initial findings from the quantative and qualitative data suggest that self-help group participation has an impact on intrapersonal, interpersonal and community/political empowerment. Based on existing data, this study has resulted in the development of a hypothetical model encompassing the interrelationships among self-help group participation, social support, social learning, leadership and empowerment, for testing in future research. <br><br>Key words: intrapersonal empowerment, interpersonal empowerment, community/political empowerment, social support, social learning, leadership <br><br>** <br><br>Participation empowers! When participants interact with each other to make meaningful changes and to assert influences individually and collectively, empowerment occurs. Past research has shown that participation and empowerment are closely related (Berger &amp; Neuhaus, 1977; Schulz et al., 1995; Rappaport, 1987; Zimmerman &amp; Rappaport, 1988). However, this relationship may be complex and complicated. Itzhaky and Schwartz (1988) found that not all the elements of empowerment are affected by all the elements of participation. Itzhaky and York (2000) further suggest that the relationship between participation and empowerment can be erratic, although the former can well be an antecedent of the latter. When participation affects empowerment, the path can be direct, indirect or combined (Zimrnerman, 1990; Prestby et al., 1990; Chavis &amp; Wandersman, 1990; Speer &amp; Hughes, 1995). <br><br>Participation in self-help groups certainly help members to empower themselves (Chesler, 1991; Nylund, 2000; Mok, 2001). Self-help group activities empower members to cope with problems and stresses, and they also empower members in their relations with the organizations that serve them, and with the community where they live. Empirically, it was found that participation in self-help group activities is instrumental in reducing family burden, loneliness, and guilt-feeling, and at a macro-level, self-help group members' advocacy activities can affect government policies (Citron, et al., 1999; Medvene &amp; Krauss, 1989). The strong correlation between self-help group participation and self-confidence, self-efficacy, civil responsibility, and political efficacy has also been supported in research studies (Florin &amp; Wandersman, 1984; Zimmerman &amp; Rappaport, 1988). <br><br>Various social science theories, such as the theories of affiliation, attribution, change, coping, deviance and social exchange provide some explanation of why participation in self-help groups empowers members. Steward (1990) concluded, after synthesizing some theoretical and empirical studies, that the provision of social support and social learning in self-help groups is the major factor in self-help group effectiveness. In a study of three organizations (one of which was a mutual help organization for persons with severe mental illness), Maton and Salem (1995) found that the reason why they are so empowering is because they have a belief system that inspires growth; an opportunity role structure that is pervasive, highly accessible and multi-functional; a support system that is encompassing, peer-based, and cohesive; and leadership that is inspiring, talented and shared. <br><br>The relationship between self-help group participation and empowerment has been widely discussed, but very few studies have been conducted in a Chinese context. Are self-help group members in Chinese communities empowered individually and collectively after joining these groups? What are the covariates of self-help group empowerment in such contexts? This paper explores and analyses these questions, based on a pioneering and comprehensive study of self-help groups in Hong Kong. It is contended that self-help group participation in Chinese communities should lead to individual and collective empowerment, as is the case in Western communities. It is further argued that participating in self-help groups will enable members to obtain social support and social learning opportunities which have a direct and indirect effect on empowerment. Finally, the author believes that the leadership of self-help groups could have an impact on empowerment. A hypothetical model with regard to the interrelationships among self-help group participation, social support, social learning, leadership and empowerment is developed for testing in future research. <br><br>In Hong Kong, self-help groups for vulnerable populations proliferated in the 1980's. They have been formed to serve a wide range of populations, including the mentally ill and their families (Ma, 1992), battered women (Ko &amp; Chang, 1994), persons with disabilities and their care-givers (Chan, 1991), single parents (Cheung &amp; Ng, 1989), and senior citizens (Mok &amp; Mui, 1996). Patient self-help groups were also established by medical social workers, or other medical professionals to provide support and assistance for people with various chronic illnesses (Wong, 1996; Liu, 1997; Chan et al., 1996). Although self-help groups in Hong Kong have grown in an unprecedented speed, there has been little knowledge about their nature and operation. One of the reasons may be attributed to the lack of systematic research and solid methodological foundations. Little was known about how helpful self-help groups are to members, and what kind of social impact they have produced. The research component of the self-help phenomenon has clearly been eclipsed by the self-help movement itself. <br><br>Method <br><br>Using a simple random sampling method, 100 out of the 211 self-help groups that have been identified in a previous study (Mok et al., 2002) were selected and all members of the selected groups were invited to participate in this study during the period of December, 1999 to April, 2000. They were requested to fill out a structured, self-administered questionnaire in a group with the help of one or two research assistants, depending on the size of the group. These group interviews were normally arranged on the same day as the groups' regular meetings (before, during or after the meeting, according to their preference). If this was inconvenient or impossible, a special meeting for the purpose of this research was organized. The questionnaire was completed in about 30-45 minutes. Each participant was given a small souvenir of HK$15 (about US$2) as appreciation for their participation in the study. A total of 719 valid questionnaires were finally completed. <br><br>In addition to the questionnaire survey, in-depth interviews and participant observation were carried out with 10 groups, which were purposively selected to represent different types of self-help group. The aim of the in-depth interviews and participant observation, among others, was to understand how the groups empower the members, and why they succeed or fail to achieve their group goals. <br><br>In this study, the empowerment effect of self-help groups was studied from the members' perspective. Data collected was basically subjective, and the research adopted a cross-sectional survey design, supplemented by qualitative, in-depth interviews and participant observation. Ideally, objective data from a more rigorous design such as experimental or quasi-experimental design would yield more reliable and valid findings. However, given the exploratorydescriptive nature of this study (the first Hong Kong-wide research), the present design and method of data collection are viable and realistic approaches. It is also noted that in the self-help research literature, the use of subjective measurements and a cross-sectional survey design are acceptable, although not necessarily conventional practices. <br><br>Background of Respondents <br><br>There are many different self-help groups in Hong Kong based on the types of common problem that members share. In this study, respondents participated in a variety of these groups, ranging from groups for the chronically ill, groups for persons with mental illness, groups for the physically and mentally disabled, to other social/marginal groups such as single parents, families on welfare, divorced women, new arrivals from Mainland China, and rehabilitated drug abusers. The findings show that most respondents belong to the chronically ill groups (46.7%) followed by those who are members of the physically/mentally disabled groups (21.8%), the social/marginal groups (16.6%) and the mentally ill groups (14.9%). There were more female than male members in all groups, especially in the social/marginal groups which had many single parents, families on welfare and new arrivals from Mainland China. Most respondents were between 30-60 years old, indicating that most self-help group members are normally adults or older persons. The majority of respondents had a low educational level, ranging from primary level or below (34.8%), to lower secondary education (24.9%). This is especially true for the social/marginal groups, with 76% of the members having an educational level of lower secondary or below. Over 60% of the respondents were married, but a substantial number were divorced (9.2%) and widowed (7.9%). Again, the figures for the social/marginal group members (34% and 13% respectively) were significantly higher than those of other groups. On employment status, about one third of the respondents were employed in one way or another and 12% were unemployed. It was noted that over half of the respondents were either housewives (31.8%) or retired (19.2%). <br><br>The findings also show that respondents' participation in their self-help groups is not particularly long; three quarters of them remained with their group for four years or less. Their participation in the groups, however, is regular and for some members, quite frequent. Most of them (37%) attended group meetings/activities monthly, while some did so weekly (10 %) and bi-weekly (18%). <br><br>Self-help Group Participation and Empowerment <br><br><img src="http://www.redrocktraining.co.uk/content/fkinserts/CIS/10779562_s.jpg" width="327" /><br><br>As pointed out rightly by Rappaport (1985), the absence of empowerment is easy to notice, but its presence is difficult to define. Over the years, researchers have attempted to operationalize the concept of empowerment in various ways (Rappaport, 1987; Zimmerman, 1996; Dunst et al., 1992; Zimmerman, 1995; Rich et al., 1995). In this study, empowerment is conceptualized as a process through which members of self-help groups gain power at intrapersonal, interpersonal and political/community levels (Parsons, 1995; Gutierrez et al., 1998). Intrapersonal empowerment was measured by the self-help group members' perception of their ability to make personal changes or choices. Measures of interpersonal empowerment include the extent to which members can relate positively to others. Political/community empowerment was measured by members' perception of their ability to influence community attitudes and social policies. <br><br>A total of 14 statements / questions on the three levels of empowerment were posed to the respondents, and their answers are summarized below. <br><br>The findings clearly indicate that members of the self-help groups surveyed had a rather strong perception of being empowered as a result of self-help group participation. At the intrapersonal level, an overwhelming majority of the respondents felt that since joining the self-help group, they had became more positive (95%), more hopeful (92.6%), more open (91.2%), more gregarious (93.3%), more decisive in taking action (88.5%) and most importantly, more confident in solving their problems (93.7%). At the interpersonal level of empowerment, there was also a great majority who responded that since joining their self-help group, they had become more capable of helping others (93.1%), had learnt to care for others (95.6%), to get along well with others (95.2%), and to understand more about their rights (94.6%) and obligations (92.7%) in society. In terms of political/community empowerment, a substantial number of respondents (53.1%) agreed that their self-help group could help to change society's attitudes towards vulnerable populations, to become more understanding and accepting, and less discriminating. However, when asked about whether their self-help group could impact on social policies, such as welfare, health and housing policies, only one third of them agreed. This finding indicates that members' sense of community/political empowerment is not as strong as their sense of intrapersonal and interpersonal empowerment. <br><br>Members' feeling of being empowered in the self-help groups was further supported by the data obtained in the in-depth interviews. As an example, a stoma cancer patient used to be very dependent on the advice of his doctor but later developed strong confidence in problem solving by means of sharing and joint effort in the group. He said: "The doctors give you theory, that is, they talk about how things can be theoretically. But on a practical <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/PSISeminars">leadership training</a> level, it can be our problem. An example is farting. As long as we move our body, there will be gas. Then the bag will be inflated. The doctor's advice is that you go to the toilet and let go of the air. But how can you go to the toilet all day to let go of the air? So we teach them to pin a hole in the bag and tape it. Then we just have to take off the tape and put it back, then the smell will not go out as much." <br><br>This feeling of empowerment did not stop at the individual level, but extended to the interpersonal level. A member of a pneumoconiosis self-help group recalled an unforgettable experience when he visited another group member who was admitted to the hospital because of breathing difficulty: "When he saw me, he started crying and holding my hands with his hands tightly. He was a quiet member in the group, but this time I saw him, he had so much to talk to me about. I felt that my sheer presence there was so warm, so helpful and so therapeutic to him. I felt that I could help others and could make a difference." <br><br>In some instances, the self-help groups acted collectively to express their concern on matters affecting their lives, to change community attitudes and to fight for their rights. For example, a self-help group for the physically handicapped complained to the Equal Opportunity Commission about the lack of public facilities in the building of their office to cater for their special needs. They also met with officials of the Transport Department and bus companies to voice their concern on the mass transportation system with regard to the needs of the physically handicapped. A parent group (with cleft lip and palate children) has actively organized exhibitions, media interviews and community education programs to eliminate community misunderstanding towards, and discrimination against cleft lip and palate patients, and to seek support and acceptance from the general public. <br><br>In short, responses from the questionnaire and in-depth interviews pointed to the same conclusion: Self-help group participation has an empowerment effect, intrapersonally, interpersonally and collectively. <br><br>Social Support and Social Learning in the Self-help Groups <br><br>Why are self-help groups so empowering? Two possible factors were identified in this study: Social support and social learning. <br><br>Members of self-help groups perceive that they obtain a great deal of benefit from their groups in terms of receiving help from others (94.4%), meeting others with similar problems (98.5%), developing coping strategies (96.9%), knowing more about social resources (96.8%) and fostering a sense of belonging to the group (96.6%). The support they experienced through the self-help group was overwhelming as evidenced by their highly positive answers to the statements in the questionnaire. <br><br>Indeed, one of the biggest benefits of joining self-help groups is meeting people who have the same condition when feelings of pain and suffering can be shared, and mutual support developed. The following statements from members of self-help groups are revealing: <br><br>"Very often when you are sick, the most important thing is fear. How do I care for myself? There are a lot of worries. Even relatives and friends may not be able to help because they may not understand. When patients get in touch with cancer self-help groups, they find many peers here. They feel a strong sense of identification and support. They often see many friends here. So many people give their testimonials and everyone is sitting here. If they ask around, they will find this one got the disease so many years ago, the other one so many years ago, etc. Somehow they feel some kind of encouragement indirectly." <br><br>"The treatment is a huge challenge to cancer patients because the process is quite tough and painful, both physically and mentally. They are really tough. But very often they get support from other patients here. Sometimes the treatment is hard and they would call here. When we exchange greetings, we already feel the support. Sometimes we talk about how badly we throw up, or how many times we throw up. Oh yeah, that time I threw up eight times. If you throw up five times it is not that bad. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes just these conversations can make us feel better." <br><br>"We feel that this group of people are all waiting at the specialty clinic because this is a special clinic for cleft lip and palate children … When us parents sit together, we would talk. As long as we are carrying a child with cleft lip and palate, we would sit together and talk and share our care for the kid. Then we would feel better." <br><br>In addition to social support, the self-help group provides ample opportunities for social learning for its members. As recalled by members, there were many activities related to formal and informal instruction, and role modeling. For example, the single parents' group regularly held training courses on personal development, parenting skills, household maintenance and voluntary social services; the group for families of mental patients organized medical and health seminars and communication workshops to enable group members to take care of their loved ones at home; and the parents' group of cleft lip and palate children held medical seminars with topics surrounding reconstructive surgery, dentistry, orthodontics, and speech theory. The cancer self-help group, on the other hand, conducted activities that were of a more philosophical nature. The chairman of the group said: "Our education: The ultimate fear of a cancer patient is death. Everyone is afraid to die. We teach them to accept death. To put it simply, of course we cannot name the topic to be death. We have had a large-scale lecture for three weeks in a row. The title is the value of life. That is, we use different names to describe these seminars, hoping to educate our members. We welcome people from outside too. We would like them to accept this matter of death … that it is something unavoidable. So if you can accept death, what else are you afraid of? That's the only fear you have … Right? The worst is you are going to die. If you are not even afraid of death, we hope … that is, the time you have now is precious." <br><br>The regular self-help group meetings are important events for members to listen to others and learn to cope with their own problems. This type of informal learning occurred all the time in each of the 10 self-help groups under study. More significantly, members' social learning was not limited to dealing with their personal and emotional problems. They also learned more about their rights and the social resources that are instrumental to promoting their well-being. <br><br>Role modeling was common according to those members involved in the in-depth interviews. In the parents' group of cleft lip and palate children, experienced members were responsible to guide the incoming parents of affected newborns in all aspects. They exchange phone numbers so that immediate advice and help can be provided. The parents' group for the mentally ill children identified some senior members to teach the new members the best ways to take care of their children. <br><br>The preceding analysis indicates that self-help groups provide tremendous social support for members and they create ample opportunities for social learning in the group. Attaining social support and the benefit of learning from others appears to make members feel stronger, help them foster a spirit of hope and enable them to develop a higher level of social consciousness. <br><br>Leadership and Empowerment <br><br>The findings from the in-depth interviews show that strong leaders have a formidable impact on the formation, development and survival of the self-help groups. <br><br>The cancer self-help group is a typical example: Its founder was a breast cancer survivor. After recovering from breast cancer, she intended to do something to help breast cancer patients. As a result, she opened a shop selling products to breast cancer patients such as artificial breasts and special bras to suit their special needs. Every time she did business with the customers, she showed concern for their health condition and had much to share with them about her own rehabilitation experience. Her conviction that she could provide information on cancer rehabilitation and give emotional support to her customers, convinced her that she should set up a sharing group for breast cancer patients. The first meeting was held in a corner of the shop and attended by nine people. However, as the meetings continued, progressively <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/psi-seminars-podcast/id426261519?mt=2">management training courses</a> more people were attracted to join the group. <br><br>As the group grew bigger, the shop became too small for the meetings. With the help of a social worker, the group was able to secure financial support from the Hong Kong Cancer Fund to rent a place for regular meetings and to hire a full-time staff officer to implement its services. At this point, the founder believes that in helping others, the group members were actually helping themselves in building up their confidence and ability to solve their own problems. She encouraged group members to visit other cancer patients in the hospital to give them support and encouragement. <br><br>Under the strong leadership of the founder, the group has grown from a small group of 9 people to a larger group consisting of over 1,000 members. The founder, together with other leaders in the group, have decided to join the Alliance for Patient's Mutual Help organizations which is renowned for its social action activities. In so doing, they believe that they could further benefit members by influencing social policies and fighting for their rights. <br><br>Conclusion and Discussion <br><br>In this study, a major finding from the quantative and qualitative data indicates that self-help group participation has an empowerment effect on participants individually, interpersonally and collectively. However, the finding also shows that while an overwhelming majority of respondents have attained a high degree of intrapersonal and interpersonal empowerment, a remarkably smaller number of them felt that they could impact on social policies or public attitudes. This is in contrast with the situation of self-help groups in Western countries. In the United States of America, for example, self-help groups have been in the forefront of social change they not only empower individuals, but also lead to political activism. Gartner &amp; Riessman (1998) pointed at that the self-help movement has become an important part of the social fabric of American life and that self-help represents a new political potential. In Finland, a study (Nylund, 2000) shows that over 40% of self-help groups have socially oriented goals, including collective goals to promote employment, prevent social exclusion and raise the status of single parents; welfare reform goals to provide better welfare and unemployment benefits and promote cooperation between patients and professionals; and advocacy goals to influence legislation and alter public attitudes. <br><br>Why then, have Hong Kong self-help group members felt relatively powerless in influencing social policies? First, self-help groups in Hong Kong are still in the early stage of development. Most groups devote their energy and resources to helping members cope with their personal problems, and impacting on social policy is not seen as their priority. Secondly, most self-help groups in Hong Kong serve the vulnerable populationsthe chronically ill, the disabled, and the socially handicapped. It is not surprising to find that they often feel powerless and consumed with low-esteem. Finally, the small size of most self-help groups in Hong Kong is a significant negative factor affecting their ability to influence social policies. Therefore, it is important for self-help groups in Hong Kong to organize and form links with each other, so that they can impact on policies that affect their lives. <br><br>Another major finding in this study suggests that social support, social learning, and leadership are closely linked with empowerment. While social support and social learning were identified as possible contributing factors to self-help group empowerment, strong leaders were considered instrumental in empowering members individually and the group as a whole. This finding is consistent with the theories and empirical findings in the self-help literature (Bloom et al., 1991; Caplan, 1979; Cohen &amp; Wills, 1985; Bandura, 1986; Katz, 1993; Kurtz, 1997; Maton &amp; Salem, 1995; King et al., 2000). However, the linkage among the major variables as shown in this study is preliminary. The interrelationships of self-help group participation, social support, social learning, leadership and empowerment have been explored but not yet firmly substantiated. Based on existing data, a hypothetical model of self-help group participation and empowerment is presented below: <br><br>The model proposes that social support and social learning are two important social/psychological processes affected by self-help group participation and self-help group leadership, and both processes are believed to bolster empowerment. Specifically, self-help group participation and self-help group leadership have a direct effect on empowerment, social support and social learning, and they also have an indirect effect on empowerment through their interaction with social support and social learning. In turn, social support and social learning affect empowerment directly. <br><br>Implicit in this model is a set of research questions that need to be asked and answered. For example: To what extent does the length and intensity of self-help group participation affect different levels of empowerment (intrapersonal, interpersonal and collective/community/ political levels)? What is the impact of leadership style (democratic vs. autocratic) and nature of leadership (lay vs. professional) on empowerment? How do SHG participation and leadership interact with social support and social learning in producing an indirect effect on empowerment? What degree of impact do social support and social learning have on empowerment? <br><br>This model is intended to be hypothetical as the relationships among the major variables requires further empirical evidence if firm conclusions are to be drawn. Though hypothetical, it provides direction for future self-help research in Hong Kong. Findings from this study indicate that self-help group participation empowers participants, but further and more specific analyses of self-help group effects are warranted. <br><br>References <br><br>Bandura, A. (1986). A Social Foundation of Though and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hail. <br><br>Berger, P.L. &amp; Neuhaus, R.J. (1977). To Empower People: The <a href="http://ausi-ski-bum.com/personal-growth-planing/">psiseminars</a> Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. <br><br>Bloom, J.R., Kang, S.H. &amp; Romano, P. (1991). Cancer and stress: The effect of social support as a resource. In C.L. Copper &amp; M. Watson (Eds.), Cancer and Stress: Psychological Biological and Coping Studies. N.Y.: John Wiley &amp; Sons Ltd. <br><br>Caplan, R.D. (1979). Social support, person-environment fit and loving. In L.A. Ferman &amp; J.P. Gordus (Eds.), Mental Health and the Economy. Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute. <br><br>Chan, C. (1991). The myth of self-help and family involvement: The case of services for persons with mental retardation. Hong Kong Journal of Social Work, 25, 23-29. <br><br>Chan, C., Ho J., Chan, M. &amp; Ng H.S. (1996). Evaluation Report and Study on Quality of Life of Persons with Chronic Illness of Community Rehabilitation Network. Hong Kong: Department of Social Work and Social Administration, HKU &amp; CRN, Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation. <br><br>Chavis, D.M. &amp; Wandersman, A. (1990). Sense of community in the urban environment: A catalyst for participation and community development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 55-81. <br><br>Chesler, M.A. (1991). Mobilizing consumer activism in health care: The role of self-help groups. Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, 13, 275-305. <br><br>Cheung, Y.L. &amp; Ng, K.T. (1989). Organizing single parent mutual-aid groups. In C. Chan and A. Yeung (Eds.), Community Work—Practice of Community Care (127-137). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Social Workers Association. <br><br>Citron, M., Solomon, P. &amp; Draine, J. (1999). Self-help groups for families of persons with mental illness: Perceived benefits of helpfulness. Community Mental Health Journal, 35(1), 12-30. <br><br>Cohen, S. &amp; Wills, T.A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98(2), 310-357. <br><br>Dunst, C. J., Trivette, C.M. &amp; Lapointe, N. (1992). Toward clarification of the meaning and key elements of empowerment. Family Science Review, 5(1 &amp;2), 111-130. <br><br>Florin, P.R. &amp; Wandersman, A. (1984). Cognitive social learning and participation in community development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 12(6), 689-708. <br><br>Gartner, A. &amp; Riessman, F. (1998). Self-help. Social Policy, 28(3), 83-86. <br><br>Gutierrez, L.M., Parsons, R.J. &amp; Cox, E.O. (1998). Empowerment in Social Work Practice: A Source Book. U.S.A.: Brooks/Cole. <br><br>Itzhaky, H. &amp; Schwartz, C. (1998). Empowering the disabled: A multidimensional approach. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 21, 301-310. <br><br>Itzhaky, H. &amp; York, A.S. (2000). Empowerment and community participation: Does gender make a difference? Social Work Research, 24(4), 225-234. <br><br>Katz, A.H. (1993). Self-help in America: A Social Movement Perspective. New York: Twayne Publishers. <br><br>King, G., Stewart, D., King, S. &amp; Law, M. (2000). Organizational characteristics and issues affecting the longevity of self-help groups for patients of children with special needs. Qualitative Health Research, 10(2), 225-241. <br><br>Ko, C.H.T. &amp; Chang, P.L.E. (1994). Being helped through helping: A self-help group for abused women in Hong Kong. In Casebook of Innovative Attempts in Social Work Intervention (210-224). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Council of Social Service. <br><br>Kurtz, L.F. (1997). Self-help and Support Groups: A Handbook for Practitioners. Thousand Oaks, London &amp; New Delhi: Sage Publications. <br><br>Liu, E. (1997). Self-help groups for parents of children with Cooley's Anaemia. In C. Chan &amp; N. Rhind (Eds.), Social Work Intervention in Health Care: The Hong Kong Scene (296-314). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. <br><br>Ma, J.L.C. (1992). Social support, mutual aid groups, the mentally ill and their families. Hong Kong Journal of Mental Health, 21(1), 16-27. <br><br>Maton, K.I. &amp; Salem, D.A. (1995). Organizational characteristics of empowering community settings: A multiple case study approach. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23(5), 631-656. <br><br>Medvene, L. &amp; Krauss, D. (1989). Causal attributes and parent-child relationships in a self-help group of families of the mentally ill. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19, 1413-1430. <br><br>Mok, B.H. (2001). Cancer self-help groups in China: A study of individual change, perceived benefit and community impact. Small Group Research, 32(2), 115-132. <br><br>Mok, B.H., Chau, K., Fung, H.L. &amp; Ngai, N.P. (2002). Prevalence and nature of self-help groups in Hong Kong. In D. Shek (Ed.), Entering a New Millennium: Advances in Social Welfare in Hong Kong (331-327). Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press. <br><br>Mok, B.H. &amp; Mui, A. (1996). Empowerment in residential care for the elderly: The case of an aged home in Hong Kong. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 27(1/2), 23-35. <br><br>Nylund, M. (2000). The mixed-based nature of self-help groups in Finland. Group Work, 12(2), 64-85. <br><br>Parsons, R.J. (1995). Empowerment based social work practice: A study of process and outcome. Paper presented to the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, San Diego, CA. <br><br>Prestby, J. E., Wandersman, A., Florin, P., Rich, R.C. &amp; Chavis, D.M. (1990). Benefits, costs, incentive management and participation in voluntary organizations: A means to understanding and promoting empowerment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 117-149. <br><br>Rappaport, J. (1985). The power of empowerment language. Social Policy, 17(2), 15-22. <br><br>Rappaport, J. (1987). Terms of empowerment/exemplars of prevention: Toward a theory for community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 15(2), 121-143. <br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6WkYbghphS8&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/6WkYbghphS8&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>Rich, R.C., Edelstein, M., Hallman, W.K. &amp; Wandersman, A.H. (1995). Citizen participation and empowerment: The case of local environmental hazards. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23(5), 657-675. <br><br>Schulz, A.J., Israel, B.A., Zimmerman, M.A. &amp; Checkoway, B.N. (1995). Empowerment as a multi-level construct: Perceived control at the individual, organizational and community levels. Health Education Research: Theory &amp; Practice, 10(3), 309-327. <br><br>Speer, P.H. &amp; Hughes, J. (1995). Community organizing ecological route to empowerment and power. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 729-748. <br><br>Steward, M.J. (1990). Expanding theoretical conceptualizations of self-help groups. Social Science Medicine, 31(9), 1057-1066. <br><br>Wong, Y.M. (1996). The birth and growth of Hong Kong Stoma Association. Special Issue on the Opening of the New Office of the Hong Kong Stoma Association (16-18). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Stoma Association. <br><br>Zimmerman, M.A. (1990). Taking aim on empowerment research: On the distinction between individual and psychological conceptions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 169-177. <br><br>Zimmerman, M.A. (1995). Psychological empowerment: Issues and illustrations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 581-599. <br><br>Zimmerman, M.A. (1996). Empowerment theory: Psychological, organizational, and community levels of analysis. In J. Rappaport &amp; E. Seidman (Eds.), The Handbook of Community Psychology. New York: Plenum Press. <br><br>Zimmerman, M.A. &amp; Rappaport, J. (1988). Citizen participation, perceived control, and psychological empowerment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 16(5), 725-751. <br><br>BONG-HO MOK <br><br>The Chinese University of Hong Kong <br><br>Department of Social Work<br><br><a href='http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Self-help%2Bgroup%2Bparticipation%2Band%2Bempowerment%2Bin%2BHong%2BKong.-a0122418424'>http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Self-help%2Bgroup%2Bparticipation%2Band%2Bempowerment%2Bin%2BHong%2BKong.-a0122418424</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

South Africa's guru for benefits of saturated fat faces hearing - 26 Nov 2015 15:44

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[[html]]Butter! Cream! Meat! (And dont forget to eat the fat!) Roast chicken! (Skin on please!) Duck fat! And burgers with bacon strips on almond flour buns, dripping with thick slices of melted cheese, are also on the menu.<br><br>With this tempting mantra, South African diet guru and self-proclaimed maverick Tim Noakes believes he can save the world. But not if his detractors can help it.<br><br>Noakes, South Africas answer to the controversial inventor of the Atkins diet, Robert Atkins, has been hauled before the Health Professions Council of South Africa on a charge of professional misconduct for tweeting advice to a nursing mother to wean her baby onto a low-carb, high-fat (or LCHF) diet, avoiding infant cereal.<br><br>Noakes, a sports and exercise scientist, developed the Banting diet in South Africa. His eat-all-you-like list of saturated fats flips the guidelines laid down by the top U.S. nutritional panel, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which recommends limits on saturated fats — less than 10% of daily calories.<br><br>In the Banting world, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, croissants, pastries, most cakes, soya and oils made of seeds anything containing refined carbs and sugars - are poisons to be eschewed at all costs. Small helpings of fruit and a teaspoon a day of honey are permitted. And saturated fats are king.<br><br>Noakes organization calls the council session, which began Monday and is expected to last a week, the most significant medical hearing in history.<br><br>Claiming the LCHF approach outperforms the standard diet in correcting all coronary risk factors, Noakes is a prolific and controversial tweeter in support of his views. In 2013, he urged followers to ignore the advice of a British dietitian, Catherine Collins, whose views differed with his, because she was obese.<br><br>Will believe her when she loses wt, Noakes tweeted.<br><br>The Banting diet is named after a short, portly 29th century British undertaker, William Banting. He grew to a prodigious 202 pounds, unable to even tie his shoes, thanks to his love of beer, bread, sugar, potatoes and butter. He was miserable, taunted in public, compelled to go downstairs backward because of his painful knees and ankles, puffing and blowing with the slightest exertion, his body pocked with boils and carbuncles.<br><br>Bantings 1863 Letter on Corpulence, addressed to the public, proclaimed the miraculous diet recommended by a doctor, banning all things that he loved, but prescribing instead meat, fish, poultry, wine, grog, black tea and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TaiLopezOfficial">The 67 Steps Review</a> an occasional biscuit. He lost 35 pounds in 38 weeks and became so famous that the word bant entered the English language of the day, meaning to diet.<br><br>Like most would-be revolutionaries, Noakes is a divisive figure. His legions of supporters follow the celebrity with almost cult-like zeal. South African supermarket shelves are crowded with Banting-friendly cauliflower wraps, cauliflower rice and almond flour bread.<br><br>But his opponents much of the medical and nutritional establishment see him as a false prophet leading his followers potentially to diseased arteries and heart attacks.<br><br>Noakes has long been regarded with a baleful eye by South African dietitians, but the February 2014 tweet to Pippa Leenstra, the nursing mother, was the last straw, according to Claire Strydom, then president of the Assn. for Dietetics in South Africa. She filed a complaint with the Health Professions Council of South Africa that Noakes had behaved unprofessionally by offering online dietary advice for an infant he knew nothing about.<br><br>Strydom told the hearing Tuesday that the association had contacted Noakes in the months before his tweet, pleading with him <a href="http://instagram.com/tailopez">Tai Lopez reviews</a> not to offer advice on social media about infant diets, but he ignored them.<br><br>In the U.S., dietary guidelines are recommended only for children over 2. But Noakes told South African media at the hearing he had no regrets about the tweet because what I said is correct.<br><br>Noakes supporters see the hearing as a witch trial, shrouded by dark conspiracies. They contend that Big Food — the food processing, sugar and grains industries — is lurking in the background, pushing killer foods onto the global population and resisting the truth of the LCHF diet. They see dietitians as Big Foods proxies and skeptical scientists as old fogies.<br><br>Noakes followers have turned up to his hearing in Cape Town wearing revolutionary red T-shirts (the color of his book cover) and posed for selfies with him. On Twitter, they have posted photos of a looped ribbon reminiscent of those worn to create awareness about HIV or breast cancer except theirs is made of bacon.<br><br>Noakes told journalists Monday that he had been waiting for this case for years. I finally get the chance to present the evidence. I am not invited to present the evidence to the South African community. I don't get invited to talk at conferences on this topic.<br><br>His lawyers told the panel they had not found any South African experts willing to testify in Noakes favor, so the panel agreed that experts from Canada and New Zealand will be allowed to present testimony via video.<br><br>Noakes and his legal team appear to be using the hearing to discuss the Banting diet, not just the tweet Noakes was charged over. They presented 4,000 pages of research to the hearing.<br><br>Este Vorster, a nutrition expert asked by the health professions council to testify at the hearing, said Noakes had acted unprofessionally in dispensing advice to a baby's mother on Twitter, according to local media. She said he was not qualified to advise and should have arranged for a professional assessment by a registered dietitian.<br><br>Under tough cross examination from Noakes' lawyer, Ravin Ramdass, Vorster admitted Wednesday that she was not a dietitian and hadn't studied the LCHF diet.<br><br>Noakes has published a study in the South African Medical Journal in which 127 people self-reported on the benefits of his diet.<br><br><a href='http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-south-africa-fat-hearing-20151125-story.html'>http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-south-africa-fat-hearing-20151125-story.html</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

The Seven Senses of Self-Development | Sherrie Campbell, PhD - 26 Nov 2015 15:05

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[[html]]The most fulfilling path to success and personal fulfillment comes through the pursuit of your own self-development. The radically happy and successful immerse themselves in self-development. They have a deep and vested interest in life and relationships. Through self-exploration they remain openly curious and passionate about their self-education and improvement. They hold the belief they can only learn if they are willing to risk themselves personally and professionally. <br><br>It is through life's experiences, good and bad, you become able and ready to be proactive in all your efforts, challenges and successes. You no longer choose to wait for success or happiness, you go out and make them happen. Making a commitment to your own development is the first step on the path to living your personal legend. As you increase of your sense of self you increase your overall success in life.<br><br>1. Sense of self.<br><br>Self-improvement begins with a keen awareness of who you are, your values, beliefs and the larger purpose you wish to pursue. True satisfaction can only manifest from chasing your own dreams. Life, people and business can be hard and insensitive, so remind yourself you are more than the sum total of other people's opinions and continue pursuing what is meaningful to you.<br><br>The experiences you have in life can only have true meaning when you seek to understand them. To become a pristine student of life always remain teachable-ready. Examine how each experience life brings can be used for greater self-knowledge and better decision making going forward. As <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSI_Seminars">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSI_Seminars</a> you gain a more solid sense of who you are you become ready to start planning, designing and pursuing your own identified goals and objectives.<br><br>2. Sense of curiosity.<br><br>To live successfully, be endlessly curious about all the possibilities your future holds. It is important to have an unquenchable thirst for your advancement and for adventure. Curiosity inspires you to push through the unusually painful trials in life, business and relationships leading you through uncertainty. It is through these times you become a deeper, stronger person. This type of resiliency is an acquired self-discipline. It teaches you to cast fears aside, bringing you into the fullest experiences life can bring.<br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/psTB1xB3HE8&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/psTB1xB3HE8&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>Curiosity creates a longing to know more, do more and be more. It inspires that energy which makes it possible to see all situations as opportunities for advancement. When you approach life, relationships and business with a sense of adventure, there is no situation, however limiting, physically, emotionally or economically, which cannot be filled to the brim with the interest and curiosity for how it will all work out.<br><br><img src="http://www.hubtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Personal-Development-Courses.jpg" width="262" /><br><br>Without a sense of curiosity it is impossible to grow. <br><br>3. Sense of direction.<br><br>The more you develop yourself the better you become in achieving what you want. This clarity makes decision-making easier because having a direction improves your ability to prioritize. You know which objectives are important in the short term and which are necessary for your long term. With a sense of direction you become focused and effective. <br><br>There is nothing more organizing to an effort than being clear. Direction provides the clarity necessary for movement forward. It is difficult to commit to something which has no foreseeable future or path. If you are filled with doubt and a lack of certainty there is no way to launch your ideas. Self-development gives you direction, and thereby, the commitment to achieve your ends. <br><br>4. Sense of follow through.<br><br>Knowing what you want to achieve makes it easier for you to see the benefits of taking action. Even when the tasks at hand are not enjoyable, seeing the benefit of following through on them will make it easier to motivate yourself to take the necessary actions to achieve your set goals. There is much truth in the saying, when there is a will there is a way. <br><br>When you are committed to personal development, you always find a way to manifest the necessary will. Your idea of success and the vision of what that will look like is where you grab the incentive to always follow through.<br><br>5. Sense of urgency.<br><br>A sense of urgency drives inspiration. Urgency creates the mindset to work as if your life depends upon it, especially if you have fewer resources than others. When you are the underdog you will dig deep inside yourself for the advances you need in order to thrive. <br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-RP7NYPuk8c&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-RP7NYPuk8c&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>Urgency causes you to activate quickly when making decisions. It forces your out of routine and into doing something different. It motivates you to get results quickly and efficiently, but it does not eliminate assessment. If want to produce results faster you must assess what is and what is not working, and eliminate the efforts which have been identified as wasteful. <br><br><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2294/2285168113_bb1f25d101_z.jpg?zz=1" width="370" /><br><br>Keep in mind it is easier to steer a moving ship, so if you realize you have made a poor decision, a sense of urgency allows you to adjust. If you wait too long you miss opportunities and chances. <br><br>6. Sense of resiliency.<br><br>There will be tough times in life, love and business. When tough times occur you need the skills and attributes to deal effectively with them. Personal development cannot prevent all bad things from occurring but it helps you deal with obstacles as they surface. Resiliency teaches you never to view any challenge as the end of the world. Resilience allows you the patience, awareness and fortitude to continue moving forward, even if that means completely changing course. <br><br>Self-development deepens your maturity to trust that everything happens for reasons which can only be in line with your best interest. With this type of mindset, there is no obstacle that will hold you back. With resilience you have greater confidence, pliability, and the personal and interpersonal skills to cope with any obstacle you face in climb up the ladder of success.<br><br>7. Sense of connectedness.<br><br>Relationships can be double-edged swords. They either lift you up or drag you down. They either bring you closer to your goals or push you further away. When you improve your personal development, you are better able to see which relationships and partnerships are worth investing in and which you need cut loose. This type of self-awareness gives you the skills to make the best of the relationships which have a positive impact on your life, your business and your overall success.<br><br>Make the commitment to invest in your greatest resource — You. If you aren't learning then you aren't living. Many people are put off by personal development because it is viewed as a weakness or something which shows you do not already possess the skills necessary for success. If you assume you already it all you will not be happy or successful. The greatest achievers in life, love and business know the key to success in inherent in their ability to manage themselves in a variety of situations. That ability comes through personal development.<br><br>Sherapy Advice: When you put effort in to developing yourself, the rewards are unfathomable.<br><br><a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sherrie-campbell-phd/the-seven-senses-of-self-development_b_8236174.html'>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sherrie-campbell-phd/the-seven-senses-of-self-development_b_8236174.html</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Robert J Guidry - 25 Nov 2015 08:58

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[[html]]Robert J Guidry Investments Two notable hotel projects underway are an urban 250 room Residence Inn in New Orleans, and a unique dual-branded 330 room resort located near the gates of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The development costs of the two projects are nearly $100,000,000 and will serve as the foundation of Guidry Enterprises’ drive to create a diversified hospitality portfolio consisting of globally recognized branded hotels in carefully selected markets like New Orleans and Orlando where multiple demand drivers are present.
<br><br>Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village
<br><br>In 2009, Mr. Guidry and his brother became owners of Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village, one of Florida’s finest mixed use developments located in Destin, with an original Emerald Grande Resortdevelopment cost of $300 million and is comprised of 293 keys, 6 restaurants, 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a 100 slip marina, 120,000 square feet of retail space, and a world-class spa. In 2014 Mr. Guidry financed the construction of a 22,000 square foot Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville restaurant in Destin, Florida.
<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://robertjguidryinvestments.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Robert-Guidry.jpg" width="271" /><br><br>In 2005 Mr. Guidry built Fountain Park Centre a 20-acre commercial development in Harvey, Louisiana that is home to four additional Guidry Enterprises businesses Parrot Pete’s, Salon Le Rouge, Royal Palm, and Exclusive Fitness.
<br><br>Robert J Guidry Investments Giving Back
<br><br>In <a href="http://robertjguidryinvestments.com/">Robert J Guidry</a> an effort to give back to the communities around him, Mr. Guidry established the Robert J. Guidry Foundation in 2015. Saying of his foundation, “This is an opportunity for me to fund worthwhile charitable projects. I have been blessed in my business life with financial success and I plan to share my good fortune with those less fortunate through this Foundation.”
<br><br>Robert J Guidry<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Robert Guidry - 25 Nov 2015 07:45

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[[html]]Robert Guidry Two notable hotel projects underway are an urban 250 room Residence <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertjguidry">Robert J Guidry</a> Inn in New Orleans, and a unique dual-branded 330 room resort located near the gates of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The development costs of the two projects are nearly $100,000,000 and will serve as the foundation of Guidry Enterprises’ drive to create a diversified hospitality portfolio consisting of globally recognized branded hotels in carefully selected markets like New Orleans and Orlando where multiple demand drivers are present.
<br><br>Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village
<br><br>In 2009, Mr. Guidry and his brother became owners of Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village, one of Florida’s finest mixed use developments located in Destin, with an original Emerald Grande Resortdevelopment cost of $300 million and is comprised of 293 keys, 6 restaurants, 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a 100 slip marina, 120,000 square feet of retail space, and a world-class spa. In 2014 Mr. Guidry financed the construction of a 22,000 square foot Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville restaurant in Destin, Florida.
<br><br>In 2005 Mr. Guidry built Fountain Park Centre a 20-acre commercial development in Harvey, Louisiana that is home to four additional Guidry Enterprises businesses Parrot Pete’s, Salon Le Rouge, Royal Palm, and Exclusive Fitness.
<br><br><img src="http://robertjguidry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Robert-J.-Guidry.jpg" width="331" /><br><br>Robert J Guidry Investments Giving Back
<br><br>In an effort to give back to the communities around him, Mr. Guidry established the Robert J. Guidry Foundation in 2015. Saying of his foundation, “This is an opportunity for me to fund worthwhile charitable projects. I have been blessed in my business life with financial success and I plan to share my good fortune with those less fortunate through this Foundation.”
<br><br>Robert J Guidry Investments<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Bobby Guidry - 25 Nov 2015 07:15

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[[html]]Robert J Guidry Two notable hotel projects underway are an urban 250 room Residence Inn in New Orleans, and a unique dual-branded 330 room resort located near the gates of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The development costs of the two projects are nearly $100,000,000 and will serve as the foundation of Guidry Enterprises’ drive to create a diversified hospitality portfolio consisting of globally recognized branded hotels in carefully selected markets like New Orleans and Orlando where multiple demand drivers are present.
<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://robertjguidryinvestments.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Robert-Guidry.jpg" width="271" /><br><br>Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village
<br><br>In 2009, Mr. Guidry and his brother became owners of Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village, one of Florida’s finest mixed use developments located in Destin, with an original Emerald Grande Resortdevelopment cost of $300 million and is comprised of 293 keys, 6 restaurants, 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a 100 slip marina, 120,000 square feet of retail space, and a world-class <a href="https://vimeo.com/robertjguidry">Robert Guidry</a> spa. In 2014 Mr. Guidry financed the construction of a 22,000 square foot Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville restaurant in Destin, Florida.
<br><br>In 2005 Mr. Guidry built Fountain Park Centre a 20-acre commercial development in Harvey, Louisiana that is home to four additional Guidry Enterprises businesses Parrot Pete’s, Salon Le Rouge, Royal Palm, and Exclusive Fitness.
<br><br>Robert Guidry Giving Back
<br><br>In an effort to give back to the communities around him, Mr. Guidry established the Robert J. Guidry Foundation in 2015. Saying of his foundation, “This is an opportunity for me to fund worthwhile charitable projects. I have been blessed in my business life with financial success and I plan to share my good fortune with those less fortunate through this Foundation.”
<br><br>Robert J Guidry<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Bobby Guidry - 25 Nov 2015 06:46

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[[html]]Robert J Guidry Two notable hotel projects underway are an urban 250 room Residence Inn in New Orleans, and a unique dual-branded 330 room resort located near the gates of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The development costs of the two projects are nearly $100,000,000 and will serve as the foundation of Guidry Enterprises’ drive to create a diversified hospitality portfolio consisting of globally recognized branded hotels in carefully selected markets like New Orleans and Orlando where multiple demand drivers are present.
<br><br>Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village
<br><br>In 2009, Mr. Guidry and his brother became owners of Emerald Grand Resort and Harbor Walk Village, one of Florida’s finest mixed use developments located in Destin, with an original Emerald Grande Resortdevelopment cost of $300 million and is comprised of 293 keys, 6 restaurants, 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a 100 slip marina, 120,000 square feet of retail space, and a world-class spa. In 2014 Mr. Guidry financed the construction of a 22,000 square foot Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville restaurant in Destin, Florida.
<br><br>In 2005 Mr. Guidry built Fountain Park Centre a 20-acre commercial development in Harvey, Louisiana that is home to four additional Guidry Enterprises businesses Parrot Pete’s, Salon Le Rouge, Royal Palm, and Exclusive Fitness.
<br><br><img style="float:right;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://robertjguidryinvestments.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Robert-Guidry.jpg" width="271" /><br><br>Robert J Guidry Investments Giving Back
<br><br>In an effort to give back to the communities around him, Mr. Guidry established the Robert J. Guidry Foundation in 2015. Saying of his foundation, “This is an opportunity for me to fund worthwhile charitable projects. I have been blessed in my business life with financial success and I plan to share my good fortune with <a href="http://robertjguidry.com/">Robert J Guidry Investments</a> those less fortunate through this Foundation.”
<br><br>Robert Guidry<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Why Most Self-Help Books Suck (And a Few That Don't) - 18 Nov 2015 21:10

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[[html]]<img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://static.oprah.com/images/201301/orig/201301-orig-self-help-3-284x426.jpg" width="260" /><br><br>Last Updated Feb 23, 2011 10:33 AM EST<br><br><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-304" title="self-helf-books" src="http://i.bnet.com/blogs/self-helf-books.jpg" alt="" width="240" height="180"/>Christine Whelan is a student of the self-help movement — literally. This University of Pittsburgh professor did her doctoral dissertation on the self-help industry and what makes something in this genre a best-seller. Her take? She tells me that while the idea that we can make ourselves better by reading a book is perennially popular (who wouldn't want to improve their lives in 4 hours?) many books fall far short. Here's why:<br><br>The "real people are made up. Anecdotes are great for illustrating a point. So we learn that "Bob and "Jane learned to communicate well and now their marriage is all better! Um, yeah. Real life is messy, and using composite characters, or those with the details changed, are just <a href="http://instagram.com/tailopez">The 67 Steps Review</a> other words for fiction. Which has its place, but is always suspect in a genre that claims to be true.They promise that change is easy. "We want three easy steps to overhaul our financial life, or washboard abs in 60 seconds a day, Whelan says. "But here's the unpleasant truth: Behavioral change is among the hardest things we can set out to do, and any book that promises you instant changes is selling you snake oil. Put it this way. If changing our lives was painless, you'd see a lot more svelte, rich and happy people walking around.There's probably no evidence. Most self-help writers aren't in the business of documenting whether their ideas work for the majority of people who try them. "There's no efficacy data on the vast majority of diet self-help books, Whelan says. "Who knows if positive thinking actually cures people. But self-help books use rhetoric and repetition to prove their points.So which books don't suck? After wading through more than 300 over the years, Whelan is partial to "books that offer solid advice to guide readers step-by-step toward <a href="http://www.bemidjidda.com/the-philosophies-of-tai-lopez/">67 steps pdf</a> long-term change. These are books that encourage the reader to get back to core virtues like perseverance, honesty, self-control and thrift — not empty quick-fix solutions. These include Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People (1937), M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled (1978), Samuel Smiles' Thrift (1876!), Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1987) and a few other dark horse ones, including — full disclosure and brag alert — 168 Hours.<br><br>For her new book called Generation WTF: From "What the #%$&amp; to a Wise, Tenacious, and Fearless You, Whelan had her students test drive advice from the books that didn't suck, and had some interesting, actual real-people results. One student re-established contact with her grandmother a few days before the grandmother passed away. Another analyzed his TV time logs and decided to get more sleep instead. One reduced her text messages from a record 267 per day to 10.<br><br>So change is possible. It just isn't easy.<br><br>What's your favorite self-help book?<br><br><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tV6zMSJnDDU/TfHV9hOStJI/AAAAAAAAAT8/shYyq1wHxPk/s1600/self%2Bhelp.gif" width="315" /><br><br>Related:<br><br>2011 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved. <br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JkRRh_S2CGA&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JkRRh_S2CGA&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br><a href='http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-most-self-help-books-suck-and-a-few-that-dont/'>http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-most-self-help-books-suck-and-a-few-that-dont/</a><br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/d5ZUtrIh-M0&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/d5ZUtrIh-M0&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Zappix Announces New, Visual IVR Self-Service Features | Reuters - 17 Nov 2015 06:23

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[[html]]BOSTON, Mass., Aug. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via PRWEB - Zappix, a leading Visual IVR platform provider, announced today new self-service features allowing customers to resolve their own problems before calling customer service. These features are easily accessible while on hold for customer service and even after a session with a Customer Service Representative. <br><br>With these new capabilities, Zappix reduces support ticket volumes and the burden on a company's customer service team. This solution enables a smooth Customer Service experience by answering customer service issues as quickly as possible.<br><br>"Today's customers prefer to help themselves as they have become more tech-savvy and less patient when it comes to receiving customer support," said Zappix Chairman, Avner Schneur. "Whenever possible, customers want to buy products and handle issues without agent intervention. That's why <a href="http://psiseminars.org/">PSI Seminars</a> we built our Visual IVR self-service platform; so that companies can provide a self-help option in the context of a customer service interaction." <br><br>The self-service technologies offered by Zappix benefit both customers and companies. While companies gain a cost-effective alternative to live agent support, customers are empowered to solve problems effectively on their own. Recent research supports this approach, showing that 72% of customers prefer self-service options for resolving support issues over picking up the phone or sending an email.<br><br><img src="http://trainersadvice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Pgs02.jpg" width="361" /><br><br><object width="400" height="241"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/hCXiyb8Og_M&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/hCXiyb8Og_M&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="241"></embed></object><br><br>The easy-to-use, Omni Channel technology of the Zappix Visual IVR platform places self-servicethe ability to quickly explore any data available <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/PSISeminars">PSI Seminars</a> and get answers immediatelyat a customer's fingertips. Information and self-help are delivered securely and efficiently on virtually any customer service topic. Business call centers benefit, too through the ability of Zappix to substantially reduce agent support costs, improve customer service job satisfaction and increase a company's Net Promoter Score (NPS). <br><br>"It all comes down to providing companies and their customers fast, easy and secure access to customer service resolution via cross-platform assistance options that are both live and automated," said Zappix Vice President of Marketing, Gal Steinberg. "The Zappix Visual IVR solution is able to deliver such self-service resolutions at little cost and with no IT involvement thanks to a robust, mobile smartphone app that works with Android, iPhone and Web platforms."<br><br>In one self-help, highly intuitive, Visual IVR app, Zappix integrates voice and non-voice visual content with customer service channels that include phone (voice), web, mobile online forms, and multi-media (audio or video) resources. Consequently, companies can realize significant savings in app development costs while simultaneously improving agent/customer interactions and customer outcomes, all due to the greater automation, self-service, around-the-clock accessibility and enhanced mobile/web convenience of Zappix. <br><br>The Zappix Visual IVR platform's ability to deliver cost-effective benefits for companies as well as a rapidly deployed and extremely interactive customer care experience derive from it being a Cloud-based, SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for web or cross-OS mobile app, omni-channel, customer service communications. Continuing to grow rapidly, the Zappix solution currently provides hundreds of companies with a streamlined way to empower and better serve customers. Zappix-supported organizations now include insurance companies, utility companies, banks, internet and mobile service providers, retailers, airlines and government agencies.<br><br>For more information about Zappix, visit http://www.zappix.com or contact Gal Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing at 781.214.8124; gal.steinberg(at)zappix(dot)com.<br><br>This article was originally distributed on PRWeb. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/Zappix-New-Self-Service/prweb12901902.htm<br><br>CONTACT: Zappix Gal Steinberg moc.ecaptep|grebniets.lag#moc.ecaptep|grebniets.lag +1 6174802926<img src="http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ti?nf=MjA0IzEwMTQ1OTcyIzM1MzE3" alt="" width="1" height="1"/><br><br><a href='http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/13/idUSnGNX5qmwxv+1c0+GNW20150813'>http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/13/idUSnGNX5qmwxv+1c0+GNW20150813</a><br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0


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