Category Archives: independence

Kids: Strategies and Ideas to move them?

AE5 AE4 AE3 AE2 AE1 AE6 A smile What do you say to your children? What self-talk do you use that they observe?

What kind of example do you set for your children? What other reminders, helpful hints, tools, strategies can you provide for your children?

These are just some questions I’ve been asking myself in recent years. My daughters were just 6 and 7 years old yesterday (or so it seemed), now they are 12 and 13. They still think that I am funny and semi-cool but I can tell that may be fading.

So how do I use this time to help them learn, experience, and integrate some good strategies and tools for life? How do I help them be more independent? How do I help them be better people?

I was at a client’s conference room a few years ago. Around the top of the wall, almost like a decorative border all around the room, they had all sorts of positive sayings. Some were about serving their clients, some were about personal success, some were about life. That was one of my actions – to put things around my daughters’s rooms, bathroom, etc. so maybe they’ll see it, think about it, etc. Likewise I would try to talk about it and discuss it with them so they integrate some of it.

These photos that you see here are many of them. We try to change them to keep it fresh. You can see that the girls made many of them (suggested). Look at the large mirror – my oldest daughter decided to write a bunch of inspiration quotes on the mirror all on her own. One day I walked in the bathroom and saw writing. I thought it was dribble about OneDirection or something and then I saw what she wrote. Inspirational and motivational stuff.

Some was from what we discussed, other items she found/learned on her own. I was deeply moved.

What are some ideas that you can share/suggest for helping our kids be a step ahead on ‘life strategies’, wise ideas, and inspirational thoughts?

No Sideways in Life; only forward or back

 No Sideways in Life; only forward or back

My daughters are at the age that they still like me, still laugh at my jokes, still hold my hand. However my wife and I see the glimmer of the teenage years and the changes that sometimes come. I like to think my kids are well adjusted and that even though change will come, we’ll all still be close.

In any case, I’m trying to cram in a variety of things while they are still receptive….things like important values on life; inspiration, encouragement, independence, confidence, ….getting them to think about focusing on things to pursue some level of mastery or at least competence….having a good sense of humor….thinkining good thoughts….and yes, sharing the love of my geekness.

What do I mean by the latter? I am trying to get them to appreciate some good movies and books….anything from the Power of One, The Help, The Insider, Ten Commandments, True Lies, Rocky, Rear Window, Indiana Jones, Apollo 13, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings,  (which I loved as a kid), to more romantic ones like Sleepless in Seattle, Affair to Remember, You’ve Got Mail (my wife and I like it together), to funny movies like Ace Ventura, Naked Gun,  to all the great comic book related movies like Iron Man, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, etc.

I was joking a bit about Superman one day with them and then I thought of a serious point I read somewhere in the world of comicbook geekdom….something like “Superman really isn’t that courageous, he is almost invincible, he has little chance of failing…everyday people are truly courageous, or have the opportunity to be courageous, because we are vulnerable and we can fail just as easily as we can succeed.”

I tried to relate that to a life lesson and got a bit carried away but I wanted to run with it…..

We then spoke about being shy, intimidated, scared, and how do you handle fear? Specifically we spoke of the fear of failure, of embarrassment, of losing or making mistakes.

I wanted to try to get them to look at life from a different perspective. I asked them to take a look at what life will look like not if you try and fail…but if you if you just accept the conditions and don’t take chances, don’t take actions and have some courage, and especially if you let it go on for decades. That’s the real nightmare scenario for most people.

In my opinion, we all have to continuously improve. Maybe I’m neurotic or maybe I have a self-image problem but I constantly try to improve me. I sometimes fool myself, or loaf a bit, or I may even regress but I know that long term, I am better than the old me. As many authors have stated, “Simple fact, there is no sideways, no coasting…no neutral.”

I believe that there is no stopping the need to improve, or at least work on all key parts of your life; spiritual growth, career, relationships, business, frienships, health…. There’s only up or down

We all experience times when things go well or move ahead. We experience times when things seem to fail all around us. Author Jonathan Fields provides a quote about this, “Either way, the speed and magnitude of the change in the way we experience life is so great and, often, so outwardly apparent, that we – or those around us – are moved to act to either support or redirect our trajectory. Action in the context of such powerful movement is a near mandate.”

As Fields notes, the most ‘dangerous’ periods are those times when we’re sliding ever-so-slowly up or down? For whatever reasons, we’re at a point in our lives because of momentum or inertia. We sometimes get to a point where we think life is good and we don’t want to rock the boat – if it isn’t broken, why fix it?  Sometimes we might get to a point where we even say “hey, my _____ isn’t great, but it’s not THAT bad. Who cares if I’m a little fatter, poorer, lazier, sicker and in just a bit more pain. It’s not such a big deal.”

That is a terrible thing we’ve all slipped into from time to time. Call it complacency, call it whatever. There is no coasting. There is no neutral. No sideways.

As Jonathan Fields says in his article ‘There is No Sideways in Life’.  “It’s a myth, an illusion. There’s only up or down.”

Fields says, “Your currently “passable” life becomes increasingly painful as you enter the long, slow slide toward death. Because you failed to accept the knowledge that there is no sideways, there is only up or down. Even if the pace is slow, barely detectable. There’s no such thing as sideways.”

Tony Robbins, Fields, Oprah, and countless classic philosophers have said it in one way or another, you need to have better questions like, “What if I succeed?…What if I do nothing?”

This is where you build a vision, make it strong and vivid. Add emotion, then consistently repeat it over and over. Think about it as if you’re already there. Think of it as how you’ll feel looking back to when you didn’t have it and feel the accomplishment. How good will you feel?

Think about what actions, even a small one, can you do today to work to that image, that vistion. And, the next time you feel like momentum, inertia, sideways, coasting…neutral is enough. Think again. It takes courage to take action, to get out of that comfortable spot….

Have courage, us the courage to move towards your dream, however big or small. Whether it’s just talking to someone at a social event, making a call, writing or creating, taking a chance. We’re all scared. Veteran rock stars and movie stars admit that they still get scared or nervous even after years of experience.

Courage is often confused as people who have no fear and just move ahead. ON the contrary, courage is when there is fear and we overcome that fear, even just for a moment, and then move ahead to take action, to do something we once would not have done.

13 Ways Your Office Job Is Ruining Your Life

Just passing this article along, FYI

From the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/office-life-facts_n_1776644.html?utm_hp_ref=business

13 Ways Your Office Job Is Ruining Your Life

The Huffington Post  |  By

Anything is possible

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Walt Disney

Anything is possible if you just keep on rolling ahead….

Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.
Pope John Paul II

 

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
Audrey Hepburn

Good Luck Bad Luck!

This is always a good reminder about life and the things that happen to us.

I recall once when I thought something terrible happened (in my career) but it turned out to be a great thing. My daughters were pretty small, just barely old enough to take them to Disney and make it worthwhile. We spent a few days there and then went to visit my parents in Sarasota. We were enjoying ourselves and life was good. Then I got a call out of the blue, my manager said that the parent company had a problem with a newsletter I sent out.

Meanwhile I got some great feedback from friends and clients who read the newsletter. I was surprised. They said that they were uncomfortable with me and that I was a loose cannon. I didn’t even understand where they were coming from. Eventually he and I decided to split company. There I was with a young family and I lost a chunk of income.

However, I later found out that the company didn’t feel that way, that he was trying to get out of our contract because of something regarding his cashflow. He and I never really clicked, he was not a fun guy to work with and in retrospect, I was glad to be rid of him.

As it happened, I soon found another opportunity with more independence, more potential, and I didn’t have his personality and limiting guidelines to deal with anymore – it turned out to be a much better thing for me.

One never knows. Did you ever have something like that happen?

Chinese Word for Luck!

Good Luck Bad Luck!

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?” A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?

Everything that seems on the surface to be an evil may be a good in disguise. And everything that seems good on the surface may really be an evil.

So we are wise when we leave it to God, the Universe, the Source, or simply to let go.  It is foolish and short sighted to try and decide what is good fortune and what misfortune. I believe that we can all benefit from simply being grateful for the present and for accepting where we are in life, then focus on what we want and what actions we can take next.

Author Unknown

9 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids

Here are some good reminders for us parents…most are obvious or should be. Some seem obvious but many can benefit.

Good to refresh though…

FROM: 9 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids By Woman’s Day

I know you can try harder. Frustrated by a daughter who you know is capable of much more in school, sports, music, etc.? Any comment that makes it seem as though you’re not satisfied with her efforts can not only be discouraging to your child, but can also do the opposite of motivating her to try harder, says Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time… If your “try harder” has to do with tasks or chores, then be clear about what you expect: “When you have your room cleaned up, then you can go out and play.”

You always… or You never… “At the heart of these statements are labels that can stick for life,” says Jenn Berman, Ph.D. and author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. “Telling your child that he ‘always’ forgets to call makes him more likely to be the kid who, you guessed it, never calls.” Instead, ask your child how you can help him or her change: “I notice you seem to have trouble remembering to bring home your textbooks. What can we do to try to help?

Because I said so! This phrase puts all the control in your hands, and dismisses your child’s growing sense of autonomy and ability to figure things out, says Berman. It also leaves out a potential teaching moment. Let’s say your kids don’t want to visit their aging great-aunt on a sunny day when they’d rather play. Instead of “Because I said so” try, “I know you’d rather ride your bike, but Aunt Clara really loves seeing you, and we try our best to honor our family.”

I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake! You’ve repeatedly told your son that if he played video games all afternoon, then he’d have less time to study for the math test. And guess what? Unprepared, he didn’t do well on the exam. But saying “I told you so” tells your child that you’re always right and that, by contrast, he’s wrong, says McCready. Instead, point out positive outcomes when he follows through, says McCready. If he cleans his room when asked, say, “Isn’t it easier to find all your stuff when your room’s tidy?” This puts the control and the credit with him.

You’re the best at soccer! “Say you always tell your child how smart she is. She may, over time, become scared of trying new things or more challenging work, for fear she won’t be ‘smart’ anymore if she gets a B instead of an A,” says McCready. It can also backfire if your child is struggling with work and you say, “But you’re so smart!” She may only feel worse for not living up to the label you’ve given her. Focus instead on her hard work: “You show up to every practice and try your best” or “What a fantastic job you did on this science project!”

Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine. What’s wrong with trying to soothe an anxious kid out of worry? “If you tell your child not to worry, then you’re dismissing her feelings,” says Berman. “So now she’s still worried about the first day of school, and she’s worried that she’s worried, or that you’re upset over her worry.” Same goes for “Don’t cry” and “Don’t be angry.” Instead, say, “I can see you’re worried. Can you tell me what you’re most concerned about, so we can talk about it?”

I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid. Yeah, a lot of parents don’t like “that kid,” for whatever reason, but “the moment you tell your child that ‘that kid’ is not your favorite, he becomes more appealing,” says Berman. Keep the lines of communication open between you two to hopefully spark discussion about values, right and wrong, and so on. “Ask your child some open-ended questions,” says Berman. “Such as, ‘What do you like about hanging out with Jack?’ ‘What do you guys do?'”

That’s not how you do it! Here, let me. You asked your child to help you with a task—but then she does a not-so-great job. It can be tough to hold yourself back from just jumping in and taking the task back, “but that’s a mistake, because then she never learns how, and is less likely to try anything else you ask down the line,” says Berman. If you must, then you can step in—but in a collaborative rather than dismissive way: “Here, let me show you a neat trick my mom taught me about folding towels!” Let the child do it!

Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother? Siblings and rivalry go hand in hand—and anything you say that sets up comparisons only fuels that natural flame, says McCready. “Comparisons slot siblings into categories—the smart one, the athlete—and discourage kids from trying the thing their sibling is ‘good’ at.” Try instead to encourage each child in whatever pursuits are “his” or “hers,” while avoiding comparisons.

Words to Live By: Independence

Happy Fourth of July! My thoughts immediately go to independence on this day – for our country and each of us.

Here are some thoughts.

Might I also encourage you to read this at the Daily Beast? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/03/american-dream-may-have-waned-for-some-but-lives-on-for-many.html

in·de·pend·ence

[in-di-pen-duhns]  noun

1.

Also, independency. the state or quality of beingindependent.
2.

freedom from the controlinfluence, support, aid, or the like,of others.
3.

Archaic a competency.
Independence is a condition of a nationcountry, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independence is dependence.

Attainment of independence should not be confused with revolution, which typically refers to the violent overthrow of a ruling authority. While some revolutions seek and achieve national independence, others aim only to redistribute power — with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization — within a state, which as such may remain unaltered. Furthermore, some countries were granted independence without any revolutionary acts. The Russian October Revolution, for example, was not intended to seek national independence; the United States Revolutionary War, however, was.

Autonomy (in slight contrast) refers to a kind of independence which has been granted by an overseeing authority that itself still retains ultimate authority over that territory (seeDevolution). A protectorate refers to an autonomous region that depends upon a larger government for its protection as an autonomous region. The dates of established independence (or, less commonly, the commencement of revolution), are typically celebrated as a national holiday known as an independence day.

Sometimes, a state wishing to achieve independence from a dominating power will issue a declaration of independence; the earliest surviving example is Scotland‘s Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, with the most recent example being Azawad‘s declaration of independence in 2012. Declaring independence and attaining it however, are quite different. A well-known successful example is the U.S. Declaration of Independenceissued in 1776.

ARTICLE:

American Dream May Have Waned for Some, But Lives On for Many

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