Category Archives: gratitude

Choose How You Want to Feel

By Kare Anderson
Emmy-Winner | TEDx | Connective Behavior | Speaker | Columnist | Author | Strategist
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Breandan and Emma, the couple up the hill from me in Sausalito have been married 54 years, they proudly told me last year. They walked, hand-in-hand past my home each morning, usually laughing, smiling and pointing out things to each other along the way.

Originally from Ireland, they listened, in bed, to BBC News at dawn so they usually had a tidbit of news to share with me if they happened to pass my home when I was finishing my lame attempt at morning exercises in the back yard.

When Emma died suddenly, Breandan stopped walking. He stayed inside their home and ignored my knock on their door. Several times. Later, when he started walking again, he told me his son, a motivational speaker on leadership, suggested that he start saying positive self-affirmations every morning “to lift his mood.”

He retorted, “My mood doesn’t need lifting! It’s right where it’s supposed to be.” So his well-intentioned son then mailed him a card pack with cheery faces on one side and, on the other, a series of upbeat daily affirmations. The card pack was entitled ”Yes, I Can!” to which Breandan hotly responded (to me, but not his son, I gather) “No I won’t!”

Write Yourself Through Your Journey to a Better Emotional Place

That gift inspired Breandan to get out of the old chair he sat in most days, with a morose look on his face, and take action, but not in the way his son intended. He wrote his own collection of “realistic affirmations.” I figured that the sentiments reflected his way of responding to grief, his stubborn resistance to being told to feel better and his core attitude about living life as it happens. Some were darkly funny. Yet his basic resilience started to shine through as he finished writing his sayings by the end of the year. “Not every cloud has a silver lining so start liking the clouds.”

I thought of Breandan when I read that Norman Vincent Peale may have been wrong, at least for some people, when he advocated saying positive self-affirmations to lift one’s mood. That’s a startling revelation for many of us Americans who have been bombarded with self-help messages based on the belief that positive affirmations are entirely beneficial.

“Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as those with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most,” concludes social psychology professor Dr. Joanne Wood. Even those with high self-esteem felt only slightly better after repeating a positive self-statement.

The news gets worse for those with a low self-image Wood and her colleagues found:

• People with high self-esteem are more likely than those with low self-esteem to try to improve their moods when they are sad, as well as to savor their moods when they are happy.

• Those with low self-esteem sometimes even try to dampen their happiness, and engaging with others on Facebook seems to reinforce that reaction.

Don’t Fight Those Feelings. Instead, Notice Them, Then Choose What to Feel

Like obsessing more about the elephant in the room after being told to ignore it, being told to repeat “get happy” sayings, when sad, can make us feel even more sad. As Ed Yong concluded, “Statements that contradict a person’s self-image, no matter how rallying in intention, are likely to boomerang.“ “Don’t believe everything you think. “Thoughts are just that – thoughts,” wrote Pocket Peace author Allan Lokos.

Instead, of trying to change your feelings (as cognitive therapy attempts to do) change how you choose to view your thoughts. That approach calls on us to be mindfully observing what we are thinking and feeling from a calm pool, so to speak, without getting repeatedly sucked into the downward swirl of them. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Practicing this way we can notice what we are feeling in the moment without immediately reacting, thus becoming better at choosing how we want to act. This approach is called ACT:Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. To reinforce that practice, “think of yourself as a kind friend,” suggests Duke University psychology professor Mark Leary. That bolsters yourself-compassion and thus your happiness. “One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt,” Alan Watts wrote.

Breandan, by the way, has begun writing his memoir, describing some of the adventures he shared with Emma, the people they met and the joy of living with her “through thick and thin.” His writing enables him to take the ACT approach, to observing and accept his sadness at his wife’s passing and to choose to focus, instead, on the many of the happy times they enjoyed together. He showed me the quote he chose for the first page:

“In the end, just three things matter:

How well we have lived

How well we have loved

How well we have learned to let go” ~ Jack Kornfield

As Byron Katie would say, he is “loving what is.” See more ideas at my Quotable and Connected column at Forbes.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140716144633-7216756-choose-how-you-want-to-feel?_mSplash=1%5C&published=t

Frey Freyday – Memories

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff..)

Memories are thoughts that arise. They’re not realities. Only when you believe that they are real, then they have the power over you. But when you realize it’s just another thought arising about the past, then you can have a spacious relationship with that thought. The thought no longer has you in its grip.-Eckhart Tolle

The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods.-Bill Cosby

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.-Bob Dylan

You shouldn’t wait for other people to make special things happen. You have to create your own memories.-Heidi Klum

To reminisce with my old friends, a chance to share some memories, and play our songs again.-Ricky Nelson

Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.-Corrie Ten Boom

Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: Deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.-Mariska Hargitay

It’s great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later.-George Foreman

Memories of my girls are pretty precious. – Jim Frey

Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.-Steven Wright

I think it would be interesting if old people got anti-Alzheimer’s disease where they slowly began to recover other people’s lost memories.-George Carlin

Do This to Get Everything You Want in Life

read this recently and felt it worthy enough to pass along.
Enjoy and Happy New Year.
—–
You’ve worked hard, studied long hours, and taken the high road while watching so many others take the easy way out. But trust me, you’ve made the right choice, even though it might seem there is a missing ingredient holding you back from the success you desire – and deserve. Today, you’ll discover exactly how to achieve it, and you just might be surprised when you find out how to get it. It all starts with one simple solution.

Craig Ballantyne

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge
Do This to Get Everything You Want in Life

By Craig Ballantyne

After listening to the silky smooth Rat Pack Christmas Album over and over for three days, it was finally time for my favorite day of the year. No, not December 25th, but the Night Before Christmas because of the anticipation and magic it brings.

I love that there are so many creatures stirring, hurriedly finishing their shopping in time to place them under the tree with care. I love the thrill of expectation hanging in the air. I love that hope springs eternal in kids from one to ninety-two, tiny tots and old men alike with their eyes all aglow, finding it hard to sleep at night. I suppose if Christmas came more than once per year that feeling would be diminished, but oh how I wish I could bottle it and pour some on the world on a hot muggy August day when sitting in a traffic jam.

This past Christmas Eve did not disappoint me. Our family sat down to a wonderful dinner with all the fixings. We then settled in for Christmas snacking, holiday movies, and to finish wrapping gifts or making phone calls to friends and family far away.

Having grown older, Christmas morning is now anti-climatic. Gone are the days of waking up before dawn to sneak down to the Christmas tree and wait…and wait…and wait until Mom and Dad got up. Nowadays we don’t check the tree until mid- or late-morning, almost as an afterthought of, “Oh yeah, we better exchange gifts before we start eating again”.

But there was something special about this Christmas. After reflecting upon the big day, I think I’ve finally figured out why.

It all starts with 2013 being my Big Year of Giving.

This was the year that I worked harder than ever in my businesses to create memorable, shareable products and free content. I spent more hours in front of the camera filming and brought more energy to every video. I studied speaker after speaker, from business professionals to stand-up comedians, to see how they entertained and informed their audiences. As a result, our products sold better, and we reached many more readers. Giving more brought us more.

Likewise, I held nothing back and revealed even more deeply personal lessons from my life in our daily essays at EarlyToRise.com. I spent more time improving my coaching program, and I went all out in creating our greatest event ever at last June’s Turbulence Training Summit. I even flew out my family to be in the audience (and just wait till you see what we have planned for next year). By giving more, we received more. My seminars were rated higher, audience engagement went up, and we expect to double the number of attendees again this year.

The spirit of giving continued this Christmas.

I spent more time than ever shopping for my friends and family this year. I sent out over 65 handwritten Christmas cards, this in addition to the over one hundred hand-written thank you cards I had sent to friends, family, and work colleagues since beginning my daily Thank You Therapy habit in early summer (read about that habit here). In 2013 I simply gave more than ever and a big smile crosses my face with each card dropped in the mailbox.

It is because of this giving that I received so much in 2013, from the volume of life-changing entries in our Transformation Contests to the number of presents under the tree this year with my name on it, and even to the amount of money we raised for our Early To Rise Toys for Tots drive this December. I apologize if this sounds selfish, but I received so much this year because when you give, give, and give, the Universe can’t help but respond by giving back to you in return.

“Oh here we go,” you might be thinking. “Craig is going all ‘woo-woo’ on us. Just stick to the business advice, buddy,” you say.

It might sound hokey, but I urge you to try it. Make 2014 your Year of Giving.

The most successful people I know are the most generous. From my business partners, Matt Smith and Bedros Keuilian, to my friends Joel Marion and Porter Stansberry, they are true givers. They give more than they get, with no expectation of getting anything in return. It’s no surprise to me that these four gentlemen all run the fastest-growing and most profitable businesses that I know.

Giving is the focus of TED speaker and NY Times best-seller author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Adam Grant. The youngest-ever tenured professor at the Wharton School of Business, Grant writes, “If you decide to shift in the giver direction, my favorite strategy is what one of America’s top networkers calls the five-minute favor. The key is to look for ways to help others…It might be making an introduction between two people who could benefit from knowing each other, sharing an interesting article, or offering to provide advice or feedback. If you choose a form of helping that you find enjoyable and meaningful, it might even boost your mood and energy.”

Every one of us has something more that we can give. It might be money or time. Or it might be that you might have more love, more energy, more wisdom, or more experience that you can share with the world. You might be the person who simply knows the right thing to say at the right time. Maybe you’re the person that can shoulder the load when everyone else is collapsing around you.

Whatever it is that you are blessed with, give it away this year. Give until you think that you can’t give any more. It will all come back to you, and more, many fold.

“If you want to be given everything, give everything up,” instructs the Ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching.

But do not give with a greedy mindset. Do not give thinking only about what is in it for you. Don’t just give to get or take. Don’t do it for the material rewards. Don’t do it for how great you will feel during and after. Give because it is good. Give because you can.

Trying to ‘out-give the Universe’ in 2013 allowed me to have my greatest year ever in both my personal and professional life. I dropped my guard a little, gave more of myself, and it’s resulted in deeper friendships, better – and exponentially less stressful – family relationships. Just imagine what this approach can do for you.

2014 will be your best year ever if you make it a Year of Giving. You can be a coach or a mentor, you can become a better influencer and speaker, you can help more people make big changes in their lives, and it all starts with giving more of yourself.

If we were all a little more generous in 2014, the world will, of course, be a better place. And if you make it your goal to be a lot more generous, I can assure you that your world will change for the better, and that this year you will receive more than ever. That’s the way it works, my friend, so give your gifts today.

Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with research of proven methods in your career, in your business and in your personal life. He has created a unique system to show gratitude and appreciation to stay on

Feeling stressed, tense, worried?

happyfacefinger

You know, we’ve all been there in one way or another: we’ve been tense and focused on money, maybe stressed, maybe short with our spouse, maybe short with our kids….and in that moment when we’re stressing about money, we’re missing the world around us.

You know what I mean when I say “That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach because you feel like you have to worry about running out of money at the end of the month.”

I’ve been there, then back on “top”, then stressed again, a few times in my life.

I heard a funny thing the other day; someone was saying how they thought ‘rich people’ always think about money and ‘rich people’ are all shallow.

Maybe some are shallow, but in my experience and from what I read, when you had enough money to pay the bills and to live in a decent way, you’re NOT thinking about money much at all. When you have enough to cover the bills, you can think about fun things, about things that you WANT to do in your job and career, and things that you can do for or contribute to others – you can choose to enjoy life a little more.

When I was struggling with income and bills, and when I observe others that have the same struggle to pay bills and meet their obligations, they think about money all day long.

There is a great book that I highly recommend called “Bridges out of Poverty”. It helps explain how people struggling in poverty are constantly thinking about how they are paying the bills, food on the table, tires on the car, utility bills, etc.

Even if we aren’t at the poverty level, we can sometimes have some traits of the poverty mindset……we worry about money, about paying the mortgage, about our jobs, etc. This never creates a good feeling inside, does it?

Again, as someone that has been back and forth, here is some wisdom that I’ve learned from a few others and I believe that it really can help:

  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want – instead of focusing on the bills and lack of cash, focus on the things that you really want, the freedom, peace of mind, better health, better relationships, enjoying life, security for your family, etc.

  • Watch your self-talk- we all talk to ourselves and ask ourselves questions throughout the day. There is enough negativity in the world, don’t add to it by bringing yourself down. I was someone who beat myself up for many things and once in a while still do – if you do also, STOP. Reflect on accomplishments, look for references why you’re good at something, ask yourself questions like “Why do I deserve this?” and “Why am I so lucky?” instead of things like “Why can’t I earn more money” or ‘why is this such a struggle’ or ‘why don’t I ever win anything?”

  • Have a vision – ok maybe your life isn’t where you want it to be now and you want to improve – almost everyone does….create a vision. It doesn’t have to be a major complicated thing – something as simple as some bullet points or a paragraph or two is fine – create a simple story of you as you want to be – make the story in present tense as if you already have it – as if you are already “THERE” and you’re looking back on today, when you are struggling. Make sure that in the story you talk about how you’re proud of the steps you took, the hard work, the good attitude, and how you changed for the better. Remember, tell the ideal story of your life as if it is already done!

  • Enjoy the present, live in the moment – when we worry about the future or fret over the past, we miss moments and experiences right in front of us. I recall a time when my wife and I had time alone and I sat there worrrying about something that never even happened. Another time I recall worrying about something and basically ignoring my daughters when I had a free day with them. We all lost and nothing was gained. Take a moment to look around, be aware, and live today’s life. Things can happen in a moment. Look for miracles. You gotta celebrate life’s moments no matter what. There is no rehearsal.

  • Here’s something that can be the toughest for any of us – do the above each and everyday. We can all do things for a while or on occasion, or here and there. We have to ask the right questions, focus on the good stuff, reflect on our vision, and enjoy the present every day! We all must take action – even if they are just baby steps each day. Ask, ‘what thing, regardless how big or small, can I do today?” You don’t have to spend long on it – but at least 5 -10 minutes. Can you turn off the TV, put down the phone, or walk away from the computer or ipad for 10 minutes if it makes you better?

Remember, people with much less smarts, ability, education, opportunity have done great things, contributed, made money, helped others, and been successful , you have the ability, you have the power inside, you just need to take action.

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

😉

Simple Stuff

SimpleStuff

(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Being in the right place at the right time, isn’t something you can force. It just happens when you keep busy. Effortlessly.  Imagine that,      The Universe (www.tut.com)

“Everything that happens in your life— both what you’re thrilled with and what you’re challenged by— began with a decision. I believe that it’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. The decisions that you’re making right now, every day, will shape how you feel today as well as who you’re going to become in the nineties and beyond.” —Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, p. 32-33

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea how other people should lead their lives but none about his or her own.” – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

It’s not the dazzling voice that makes a singer. Or clever stories that make a writer. And it’s not piles of money that make a tycoon.
It’s having a dream and wanting to live it so greatly that one would rather move with it and “fail” than succeed in another realm.  Michael Dooley

Simple Stuff

SimpleStuff

(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Quality questions create a quality life. Businesses succeed when their decision makes ask the right questions about product lines or markets or strategic planning. Relationships flourish when people ask the right questions about where potential conflicts exist and how to support each other rather than tearing each other down. Communities benefit when leaders ask the right questions about what is most important and how citizens can work together towards shared goals – Tony Robbins

6 questions successful, high-performing individuals ask themselves. http://youtu.be/02Bzjj1eeeo Summary:
1. Presence: What level am I in this moment in terms of my emotional and physical vibrancy and presence?
2. Psychology: Am I living my truth – am I being who I know I can be and interacting with others as my best self?
3. Physiology: Am I rested, fit and hydrated?
4. Productivity: What is my mission today – what must I accomplish today to progress my life?
5. Persuasion: Am I demonstrating bold enthusiasm when I seek to influence others?
6. Purpose: How can I serve greatly?

From Brendon Burchard

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.” — Buddha

Each and every day we ask ourselves questions the wrong questions can have a disempowering effect on us, when what we really need is to be empowered. What if you could ask an empowering question instead? –Noah St. John

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle: American comedian and actor

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www.onewebstrategy.com

🙂

The top 10 things people claim to have taken for granted

elephant couple

A single item today – this from Michael Dooley of http://www.tut.com aka The Universe

The top 10 things people claim to have taken for granted, when they were alive:

10. How important they were to so many.
9. How easy life was when they stopped struggling.
8. That all of their prayers and thoughts were heard.
7. That there really were no coincidences.
6. How far ripples of their kindness actually spread.
5. What really was important: happiness, friends, love.
4. That any and all of their dreams could have come true.
3. How good looking and fun they always were.
2. How much guidance they received, whenever they asked for help.
1. That God was alive in everything, including themselves.

As expressed by the recently departed, fresh after their life-review on the big, BIG screen.

Ah-so,
The Universe

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