Tag Archives: attitude

HERE IS A GREAT ARTICLE THAT CAN STAND ALONE AND SPEAK BY ITSELF. NOTHING MORE THAT I CAN REALLY ADD OTHER THAN PLEASE READ AND USE IT !

From Psychology Today Magazine………

Fulfillment at Any Age

    How to remain productive and healthy into your later years
    by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

Giving thanks: The benefits of gratitude

      Why gratitude is good for your mental health

We all like being thanked. It’s a great feeling to have someone, especially someone who doesn’t stand to gain, tell us that we made a difference in their lives. In the past few weeks, I’ve had the good fortune of receiving some heartfelt thank you notes from students, pausing as they got ready to leave campus for the summer, or perhaps for good, to take a moment and let me know that something I said or did proved helpful to them. I’ve also had the good fortune of having favors done for me by people who went out of their way to help me solve a problem, fix something, or in fortunately only one case- return a lost cellphone. Being thanked and having reason to thank others are two sides of the same gratefulness coin. Both exemplify the positive in human behavior and provide us with a positive charge that boosts our emotional balance.

On the surface it seems like gratitude has everything to recommend it. There are a few gratitude traps, though. Some people feel uncomfortable about being thanked. They get truly embarrassed, dismissing the thanker by insisting that “it was nothing” (though clearly the thanker felt otherwise). There are also some uncomfortable aspects about thank-yous when it comes to thank-you presents that are overly generous or could be interpreted as bribes.

If you’re at the receiving end of a thank-you, you may feel unsure about how to reciprocate. Does a thank-you present require a thank-you note? What about thanking someone who’s helped you? Do you reward a person who returns a lost item with cash or just allow your relieved face to serve as its own reward? Then there’s the guilt factor: What if you let a few weeks slip by without sending a thank-you note for a birthday gift? Does it look worse to send a belated thank-you note or just to forget the whole thing and hope the gift-giver won’t notice? Thank-you notes inspire their own particular forms of angst, as was pointed out in one particularly insightful Social Q’s column of the New York Times (for the record: this column is a treasure trove of psychological insight on quirky behaviors).

It might be reassuring, then, to learn that the expression of thanks can be its own reward. Being the recipient of a favor can also make the favor-giver (if there is such a word) feel good too. Everyone benefits when thanks are freely given and just as freely acknowledged. 

There are always exceptional circumstances involving acts of extreme altruism. Heroes are known as the people who put the needs of others above our own. These cases put in bold relief the fact that a hero doesn’t expect thank-you notes or little gift baskets as acknowledgement of his or her sacrifice.

Many real-life heroes also do not expect thank-yous. Yet, when we benefit from the labors that others put out for our sake, we feel internally driven to and want to express our gratitude. And that’s a good thing, in more ways than one.

Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough point out that gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research. They point out the benefits of expressing gratitude as ranging from better physical health to improved mental alertness. People who express gratitude also are more likely to offer emotional support to others.

Expressing gratitude in your daily life might even have a protective effect on staving off certain forms of psychological disorders. In a review article published this past March (see below), researchers found that habitually focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of life is related to a generally higher level of psychological well-being and a lower risk of certain forms of psychopathology.

Now how can you apply these ideas to your own life? Here are some suggestions to boost your own, shall we say, GQ’s (“gratitude quotient”):

1. If someone thanks you, accept the thanks graciously. Let the person know you appreciate being thanked. That’s all you need to do. Really.

2. If you find that difficult, think about why gratitude makes you uncomfortable. Do you not feel worthy of being thanked? In my study of personal fulfillment in midlife, I identified a subgroup of people whose own fulfillment was hampered by their lack of faith in their own worth. Chronic feelings of inadequacy can make it difficult for people to benefit from any thanks that come their way.

3. Look for small things to be grateful for. Not all acts of kindness have a capital “K.” A driver who lets you ease into a busy highway deserves a wave just as much as someone who holds open a door when you’re loaded down with packages. A smile will boost your GQ and make both of you feel better.

4. Don’t fret about gratitude infractions. If you forget to send a thank you note don’t worry about it and certainly don’t use elapsed time as an excuse to avoid the task altogether. Send a quick email and then get to the real thing. If you’re a chronic forgetter, though, you might try to figure out why. By the same token, if someone forgets to thank you, don’t ruminate over it, thereby raising your BP if not your GQ.

5. Keep your thank you’s short, sweet, and easy to write. One reason people procrastinate about writing thank you’s is that they want them to be original and not seem hasty, insincere, or ill conceived. This doesn’t mean the thank you should be one that is short enough to tweet but if you don’t build it up in your mind as having to be a magnum opus you’ll be less inclined to put it off. Whatever you do, don’t make excuses or lie about having sent a thank you that you never did (for more on lying and excuse-making, check out my previous post).

I’ll close by saying thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to add their comments to the discussion or wishes to forward the blog link. It’s the least I can do!

Follow me on Twitter @swhitbo for daily updates on psychology, health, and aging. Feel free to join my Facebook group, “Fulfillment at Any Age,” to discuss today’s blog, or to ask further questions about this posting. 

Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. 2010

Frey Freyday – Worry (don’t worry)

(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….)

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.-Leo Buscaglia

A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.-John Lubbock

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.-Walter Hagen

To be a champion, you have to learn to handle stress and pressure. But if you’ve prepared mentally and physically, you don’t have to worry.-Harvey Mackay

I think my mother… made it clear that you have to live life by your own terms and you have to not worry about what other people think and you have to have the courage to do the unexpected.-Caroline Kennedy

Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.-Dale Carnegie

Worry is a technique you created to fill the moments of your life. –Wayne Dyer

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.-Charles M. Schulz

WORD TO (not) LIVE BY:
Worry: [wur-ee, wuhr-ee] – to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.

Worrying is a learned habit. (It can be unlearned) Worrying is almost always useless. It has been said that worrying is like praying for bad things to happen. Worrying makes us feel worse, it makes us focus on things we don’t want, it makes us tense and unhappy, it takes us away from what we do want or hope for. We can interrupt the pattern of worrying anytime we want. We can choose to think of good things, hope for good outcomes, or even simply stop worrying and take action instead!

In our society, sometimes some of us think that worrying shows love or caring for another. Traditionally our grandmothers and mothers would say something like, “I worry about you” and maybe they sometimes mean, “I care about you.” We can care about someone or love them without worrying about them.

Instead of worrying, think about good things for our loved ones. Instead of worrying, write a list of things you’re grateful for, happy about, hopeful for, action steps – or just go take action. Write someone a quick positive letter instead of worrying. Send out some good energy!

I’ve heard someone say that ‘Worry makes us immobilized in the present moment as a result of things that may or may not happen in the future, or things that have already happened and we can’t change.’ So why do it? Does it help? No! Is it useful, no.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB).
Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also
a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would
raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other
children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education.
Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally,
sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc.
with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one
word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and
they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images
with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and
references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

BONUS Article:

Worried? How Not to Let It Get the Best of You<http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Eliminate-Worry-From-Your-Life-Wayne-Dyer#ixzz3Vc6budu1>

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Eliminate-Worry-From-Your-Life-Wayne-Dyer#ixzz3Vc6budu1

A video: how to handle money

Another great yet quick video about thinking about, and handling money…..

 

FROM:http://brendonburchard.tumblr.com/post/110086806578/how-to-handle-money

Summary:
If you handle your money in the right way, you can have more, give more, and enjoy your life more.
Here’s what you can do to start taking control of your money now:

1. Revisit your story about money. Where we come from and what we hear about money unconsciously shapes our lives. If you think rich people are negative or that having money is bad, you won’t attain wealth because you don’t want to be negative or bad. If wealth is something that brings you more happiness, joy, and service, you’ll want to make more of it. So, first, redefine what wealth means to YOU!

2. Make sure you automatically invest. When get a check from your employer, have some of the funds automatically go into your savings account or investment account. This way you won’t forget and you won’t spend the money unnecessarily. Automatically investing means your money will be earning money for you and working for you.

3. Ask the question, “How can I add more value in the time in which I serve?” Squeeze in more value. Hustle a little bit more. Serve even more. Adding more value to people in the same amount of time makes you more productive, gets you more recognition, and gives you more opportunities. There’s no traffic beyond the extra mile! Just add a little more than anyone else is doing, and you’ll be in a category of one.

4. Raise your standards for a reward! If you’re a high performer and really adding value but you’re still not being rewarded for your true contribution, raise your minimum of what you will allow in your life. Be bold, push the boundaries, and you will be rewarded.

When you follow these simple steps for handling your money, you will have a positive story about wealth, your money will be earning money for you, you will be adding more value, you will have a higher standard for yourself and you will be experiencing The Charged Life!

Full Transcript:
How to handle money. First, wash your hands. Kidding.…that’s a great question.
How do you handle your money more intelligently so you can have more of it, so you can give more of it, so you can enjoy your life to the next level?
1. Number one, I think you must revisit your orientation to wealth.
If I say to you, ‘rich people,’ what does that bring up for you?
When you think about rich people,what do you think of?
Are they good? Are they bad? Are the rich, 1, 2, 3, 4% of the world good people, bad people?
What are they like?
What are their values like?
Do you want to become one of them?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes you discover that where you live or where you came from or what you heard of about money in your life is absolutely unconsciously driving your life today.
For example, I grew up in a very difficult economic situation. I grew up in a very difficult town and place, an old Irish mining town that had been economically depressed for nearly a century, where people didn’t have a lot, and people really struggled. Very blue collared, tried to get through the day, lots of poverty, lots of people struggling and I can share with you that there was this conversation often, about people on the other side.
There’s people on the other side of the tracks. There’speople on the other side who are wealthier. There was a lot of the culture Igrew up in where, ‘oh, those rich people.’ There was this projection offrustration, restlessness or anger towards ‘rich’ or ‘wealthier’ people, andbecause of that I didn’t ever want to become one of them. So I didn’t, for avery long time.
It’s funny, because one of the basic human drives we have isthe human drive for congruence. We want to be congruent in our thoughts and behaviors.
If we think that a type of person is negative, our body, our mind and our subconscious will do everything it can not to become that. We don’t want to become something that we think is negative.
So if you think wealthy people or rich people are negative, guess what you’re never going to attain? Wealth. And that’s why it’s important to revisit all those old stories and phrases we heard growing up, you know.
‘Money is the root of all evil.’
‘People with money are insensitive.’
‘People with money are selfish.’
If you gain more wealth and success in life you’re just going to be more busy and you’re never going to have time for your family, and you’re going to forget anybody who ever came along with you and ever supported you and all these things. We think this big story about money.
So, what’s your story about money? Is it positive? Is it negative? Is wealth something that will bring you more joy, more happiness, more ability to give and serve and do something with in your life? Or, is it something that terrifies you because you think you won’t be able to handle the obligations that come along with it?
You worry that if you make more money or to make more money you’re going to have to be away from your family more, so you never try.
Most of us have a lot of really bad assumptions about what it would take to succeed, but also what it would take to make more money, and ultimately to keep more money, to sustain more money. Because I bet you also think, ‘oh I heard it’s lonely at the top.’ Well who wants to be lonely? And if rich people are bad, who wants to be a bad person? If rich people are pushing family members away and becoming selfish, who wants to become that?
So you have to redefine what wealth would mean for you specifically, not what the culture told you it could be.
I will share with you that after… I’ve been through the ringer financially in my life. I grew up with nothing and then I started making something in corporate America. I built something of myself. I started working really hard. I got a good job. I started climbing that corporate ladder. I discovered that the corporate world wasn’t for me, and so I left, I quit to start my own dream of doing videos and writing, and doing my seminars and all the things I do now. You know what, I did exactly what people predicted; I promptly went bankrupt. I went broke. I had no idea what I was doing.
It would have been easy at that point, very easy to quit, very easy to say, ‘oh you know what, money’s not for me,’ but I thought I know that sometimes if you don’t have money you can’t sustain the message. If you’re not earning than you can’t keep giving. I thought, ‘I have to change my orientation here. I have to get serious about making money and do it without all the guilt and the nonsense that my culture, the past or the popular media thrusts on people with money.’
Because guess what? There are also philanthropists. There are also people who take money and support their family. They send their kids to college. They get safer cars. They do well in their community. They buy books for kids. They do things that matter with their wealth and matter of fact, that’s most wealthy people.
It’s really hard to believe that if you’re not wealthy yet, but I can share with you, after I had my big breakthrough and I started learning how to build more value in the marketplace, everything shifted for me. For the first time in my life I had money. The funniest thing is, I didn’t even know what to do with it, because I never had it before so it was just there.
Guess what? I started finding things to do with it, no problem, as you will. But those things I found to do with money, they didn’t tear me from my family or make me a bad person. I gave more to charities. I spent more time with my family. I could take them on vacations. We could go to the Caribbean together. I could do things for people I love, little gifts, treats and acknowledgements that made them feel happy.
I found ways to utilize it that made me happy and now I had no negative associations to it anymore. So, all I can encourage you to do if you have any hooks or negativity about rich people, or about wealthy people or about the top 1, 2, 5, 20, 30, 50%. If you have any negative thoughts about people in general, it’s time to clear those up and try to rewrite your own meaning about what it would take and what it would be to have wealth in your life.
2. I think the second thing you already know, I just want to make sure you’re doing that, is that you are automatically investing.
If you’re not already doing that, please do that. It’s so simple. There are so many books on what you need to do. It just basically means, if you are in charge of putting money in your savings or into your investments, you’re in trouble. Because you’re never going to do it. And I’m not saying go hire somebody. It just means, when a check comes to you from your employer, have it automatically divert some funds to a savings account or investments account, so you never even see the money. You don’t have to write the check, you never see it, it’s just gone.
Just take 5 – 20%, whatever you can do, do something. Put it directly into savings or into an investment account. You can ask your banker about it. You can ask anybody about it. You can read tons of books, like The Automatic Millionaire or Money Masters. You can learn how to do this. All it means is you just never see the money, because if you’re in charge you’ll forget or you’ll say, ‘this month i’m not going to do it,’ and then for four months you don’t invest and put your money away.
Warren Buffet was asked, what would he do if his family didn’t have money? What advice would he give them? He said, ‘you know what, to take whatever extra money they do have and put it in an index fund.’ Index funds beat the market over a period of time almost always, not always, but over a period of time they’re one of the safest investments. So put your money there. If you don’t know anything just keep putting money there and over a period of time it seems to do pretty good. It usually seems to work.
You can talk with any investment advisor or your banker to set it up so that your employer’s money comes to you or your business money comes to you, but not into your account. It comes to and through your accounts right into your money market fund, your index fund, and your savings. Just have it happen automatically so you’re never in charge of that money, because if you’re in charge of it you know what you do. You spend it or you lie to yourself and say, ‘one day I’ll put it in there and it’s not earning money for you.’
Once your money is automatically placed in that investment account, that index fund or savings fund, it starts earning money for you and it’s working for you.
Most Americans unfortunately, are going to retire with little to no retirement funds, because they never set it up automatically. Personally, I feel like it should be a political thing that people should have to do it as part of employment. It’s like make sure they’re guaranteeing their future will be okay, but I know that’s very controversial and the reality, now we have such a situation of so many people retiring with no money, not because they’re stupid or bad people, because they didn’t learn to beat human behavior.
Human behavior is to delay. Human behavior is to utilize resources now. So cut yourself out of the equation, and set up the process so that it happens automatically. Money is being diverted into your own account, earning money from you, setting you up. You have to do that.
3. Third, I think it’s important for you to ask, ‘how can I add more value in the time in which I serve?’
Meaning, if your day is eight hours a day for a company, how can you squeeze in more value in that eight hours? I don’t think it’s necessary for you to work 9-10-12-14-15 hours and, I think, for most people that’s a negative thing. It causes too much stress, too much lack of sleep, so their creativity goes down and their productivity goes down. But, if you’re working, within that time you’re working, how can you do a little bit more than the next guy or the next gal? How can you hustle a little bit more? How can you see the connections between what everybody else is doing in the company or what everyone else needs in the company and serve them?
How can you come up with a new idea for your clients, for your customers? It’s about adding more value in the marketplace in the same amount of time that gets you more productive and it gets you to be recognized more for what you’re doing. The janitor, who does more than just sweep the floors, but starts asking intelligent questions around the place in which they work to discover, how can we add more value, starts getting recognized more and soon gets other opportunities.
It’s time to add more value during the same amount of time that you are currently working. Most people are working at a mediocre level, and that’s not to be judgmental, it’s just the reality of the stats, the graphs or efficiency curves. You can tell, most people are just going through the motions in the day. They aren’t adding a tremendous amount of creativity or value they’re just doing what they were told. And so, if you can go beyond that… it’s like that old saying, ‘there’s no traffic beyond the extra mile.’ If you add a little bit more extra than anyone else is doing, you’re flying out there. You’re out there and you’re standing in a world by your own. You’ve gotten to a place where so few people can keep up with you they’re not even around.
People don’t try at work as hard as we think they do. It’s negative to say that, but we can see that from every single productivity study, efficiency studies at workplaces. Most people, because they don’t like their job, they aren’t giving to their job.
But here’s the deal, what if you could teach yourself to like your job by giving more to your job?
What if you could learn to enjoy what you’re doing by thinking of new creative things to add to what you are doing? And by adding new creative things you start to get more results. By getting more results you usually get more recognition and rewards and you start to add value and eventually move on up or get paid more.
Now, in some cases that doesn’t happen, which is why I have this last point.
4. Also, raise your standards for reward.
What do I mean by that? It’s like, if you’re a top contributor, if you’re what we call a high performer… many of you know I teach a program called High Performance Academy, I hope you attend it, it’s one of the best programs in personal and professional development in the US today. I can share with you, what we know at High Performance Academy, if you’re a higher performer, if you are giving and you are not being recognized it’s time to leave or to have a very honest conversation with the people around you and say look, ‘I’m giving a lot. I feel like I’m doing great value of service here and I don’t feel like I’m being compensated enough, so I need to have a forthright conversation of whether or not it’s time for us to revisit my contract or it’s time for me to leave.’
You have to have the boldness in life like that. If you are not being rewarded for your true contribution and you have to question it, because lots of people are entitled and say, ‘I’m contributing so much.’ And you look at it like no, you’re really not, you’re contributing the same as the 15 people around you.
But if you’re really raising the bar on yourself and you’re really hustling and adding value then guess what? You deserve to be compensated. And if you’re not, it’s time to look for new places to go work. It’s time to look for new job opportunities or new employment or entrepreneurial opportunities.
Raise your standards. Raise the expectation. Raise your minimums. Raise your minimums of what you will allow in your life that is not good for you, do something that honors or respects you. Raise your minimums of what you expect out of your bank account. If your only expectation, if every month you’re like, ‘gosh I hope I’m going to have $500 in my bank account this month.’ You’re never going to become wealthy, ever! It’s mean to say that, especially when you’re there and I’ve been there. I’ve been in places where I couldn’t afford a burrito, so believe me I get it sucks when you don’t have money.
But if your only expectation is, ah you know, I hope I have $500 and every month you have $500 and you’re coasting through at $500, you’re never going to become wealthy. Because, at some point, you have to say, ‘what is that number for me that I can aspire to and work myself into?’
A lot of people who discover that six figure job, that $100,000 job, when you interview and ask them, how’d you end up at a six figure job? They all say the same thing. They say, ‘I started looking for a six figure job.’ You’re like ‘whoa!’ Isn’t that amazing?
How’d you end up in a six figure job? They started looking for jobs that were like that and they earned their way into it. They got the experiences or the results that were necessary to earn their way into it or, they just went buck wild crazy and started applying for jobs that were beyond their capabilities and some of them got lucky enough to get hired into them and that’s what happened. Sometimes to get paid at the next level you need to move your city, you need to move to another place, you need to move the employer, you need to quit, and you need to do something new.
But, you shouldn’t be afraid of doing something new that could potentially bring some new value, new lifestyle into your life experience. Sometimes you have to be bold, try new things, push the boundaries, and I think the more you do that with your career, your entrepreneurial opportunities, the way you look at money then you start to experience what we call, The Charged Life.

Frey Freyday – State of Mind

(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….)

Some people, say life is hard. It is not. Some people say it’s easy. It is not.
Some say it’s lonely, tricky, or a test. It is not. Life is only a reflection, of whatever you say. What say you? The Universe (
www.tut.com)

Conflict is very much a state of mind. If you’re not in that state of mind, it doesn’t bother you. -Unknown

Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.-Napoleon Hill


I have about concluded that wealth is a state of mind, and that anyone can acquire a wealthy state of mind by thinking rich thoughts.-Andrew Young

In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.-Plutarch


A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.-Morihei Ueshiba

There can only be one state of mind as you approach any profound test; total concentration, a spirit of togetherness, and strength.-Pat Riley


It is not a dreamlike state, but the somehow insulated state, that a great musician achieves in a great performance. He’s aware of where he is and what he’s doing, but his mind is on the playing of the instrument with an internal sense of rightness.-Arnold Palmer


Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation. To the ego, death is always just around the corner. In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life.-Eckhart Tolle

People may hear your words, but they feel your state of mind.-John C. Maxwell


My state of mind is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.-Michael Jordan

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way, to choose one’s own state of mind.-Victor E. Frankl

Words To Live By:

state of mind –noun attitude, perspective, outlook, approach, mood, disposition, frame of mind, mindset, way of looking at things.

Your state of mind is everything. The Triad of Posture/Physiology, Language, and Focus affect your state of mind greatly. How you stand and move affects your thoughts and attitude. Shoulders back, check back and up, head up, deep breaths and you feel confident. Shoulders and head down, shallow breathing and you’re depressed or fearful, etc. Similarly, the language and questions you use all day long affect you. Do you ask, “Why am I so lucky?” or do you ask “What’s wrong with me?”-Your brain will search for an answer to each. Do you say “I don’t know” “I don’t care” or “Whatever” a lot? Is that useful? What you focus on expands- focus on what works in your life, focus on what you want and what you can take action to reach your dreams and goals. Focus on what you are- or could be- grateful for. There are still negative things in life, hurdles, setbacks and irritating things/people but focusing on the good stuff makes life better.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

Is it Useful?

“Adjust your habitual vocabulary—the words you consistently use to describe your emotions and sensations—immediately change how you think, feel and live.”

Did you ever notice someone who has some believe from long ago that seems to hold them back?

I know of someone that was once not afraid to fly, then one small thing seemed to happen once on a flight 15 years ago, and now this person is very afraid to fly. She holds onto the belief that she is scared to fly and it is part of her story. Is it useful to have that belief?

Maybe even one event happened in there lives and from that point on, they just hold this belief?
Sometimes we have a judgement, fear, perception, or whatever.

Or, do you ever see someone getting upset, angry, or emotional and it is hurting their judgement or how they are handling a certain situation?

Worrying is another thing that some people do – some people even believe that they ‘need’ to or ‘should’ worry.

Many of our mothers worry about things. There are people that stay awake at night worrying. Is this useful?

(Of course I know that none of the above items ever apply to you or I)

Here is a question to ask in any of the above situations:

IS IT USEFUL?

  • Is that belief, that story from the past, that judgement, fear, perception…..
  • Is it useful to get angry in all occasions or upset at all times?
  • Is worrying useful?
  • Maybe there are times when the above make sense, but asking the question ‘is it useful?” may make us more aware of those times when we have a belief that limits us.

Sometimes we have to be aware of our thoughts, beliefs and actions and be willing to let go of things that are not useful so that we can grow and move on.

 

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.

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