Tag Archives: strategies

Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measurement

Here is a great set of ideas created by the founder of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff.

A good, quick list to remind you of the power of good questions and thoughts, each day….

V2MOM

It stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measurement

1. What do I really want? (Vision)

2. What is important about it? (Values)

3. How will I get it? (Methods)

4. What is preventing me from having it? (Obstacles)

5. How will I know I am successful? (Measurements)

bigsky

Little habits mean a lot…

As I may have mentioned, several years ago I had a challenging year, and I felt that it set me back in many ways.

I lost both parents within 5 weeks of each other, I was temporarily unemployed, and I had losses with my investment property.

I was grieving, sad, depressed, I felt like I wasn’t living up to being a man, a father, etc.

My self talk and thoughts were probably the biggest problem. I worried a lot, thought negative thoughts, went over bad things in the past, focused on what wasn’t working.

Looking back now, trying to learn from the experience, the things that helped me the most were these items:
1. having a vision of how I wanted things to be – and thinking/talking about that vision as if it was already done, already here.

2. asking great, positive questions – like “Why am I so happy?” instead of “Why do I feel so down?”

3. Focusing on what is working, what I have that is good, instead of what doesn’t work, what isn’t good.

I adopted little habits that I tried to do each day –

  1. I would write down my vision and when I could, handwrite it/copy it again.
  2. I would write down my powerful questions on index cards and read them, even copy them whenever I could. I would pick one each day to really focus on.
  3. I started using passwords that were meaningful and helpful to changing my thinking. So instead of some random password like shoe$1lace I might choose whydoIwin6 or whatisgr8, Iamgr8ful and so on. Think about how many times you put in different passwords each day. We type them over and over. What if these were little empowering questions, messages or reminders? wouldn’t that help a little?

Have a good week!

Visualize-090604

14 Ways to Be a Happier Person

A great article to consider:

http://time.com/3433493/14-ways-to-be-a-happier-person/?utm_content=buffer72c3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Billboard-worthy news: It’s possible to amp up your bliss every single day with these simple, unexpected strategies

Also tricky: keeping the glee going when you have work to do, kids to raise, bills to pay and more work to do. Mercifully, big, costly, splashy events are not the ultimate bliss bringers. As people get older, they tend to find ordinary treats—such as a latte or a manicure—just as joy-inducing as extraordinary ones like an around-the-world cruise, found a 2014 study by researchers at Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. With age, the authors speculate, we’re more aware of how fleeting time is, so we’re particularly likely to relish everyday bright spots.

What you won’t find here: a step-by-step happiness guide. How draining would that be? Instead, we tapped top positive psychologists for easy ways to infuse your days with more pleasure. Consider this a pick-and-choose list; even doing just a few will help. Ready for more joy? Plan on it!

First up: Make it your goal

Although increasing happiness levels shouldn’t feel like work, having a can-do mindset really comes in handy. In a study published in theJournal of Positive Psychology, people who were told to listen to music and attempt to feel happier had a greater boost in bliss over a two-week period than those instructed only to relax as they listened to the same upbeat tunes. It comes down to motivation: You can transform into more of a glass-half-full type.

While researchers believe that genetics are behind about 50 percent of the variation in happiness levels among you and your neighbors and that life circumstances account for maybe 10 percent, you’re fully in charge of the rest. “A lot of people think you can’t control happiness—you either have it or you don’t—which is totally not true,” stresses Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, professor of psychology at University of California, Riverside, and author of The Myths of Happiness. “It’s like controlling your health. First you need to believe that you can do it before you take those first steps.”

Know your own bliss

When was the last time you mulled over what truly brings you pleasure, aside from biggies like your partner and the kids? “A key to steering your own happiness is reflecting on the things that make you come alive,” Fredrickson says. Perhaps it’s been so long since you’ve done some of them that they’ve fallen off your radar. Make a list, if it helps. “Think back to what gave you joy in your younger years,” says psychiatrist Stuart Brown, MD, founder of the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, Calif., and author of Play. Maybe you’re not jamming on a guitar in your bedroom anymore, but “you can recall the carefree state,” Dr. Brown says, “in which the outcome wasn’t as important as what you were experiencing.” You want to find what does that for you now and…

…Prioritize it

Sigh if this sounds familiar: You make a major effort to avoid future stress—say, staying up late to finish laundry so tomorrow will be a better day—only to suck your evening dry of all fun. Happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD, founder and managing director of the consulting firm Positive Acorn in Milwaukie, Ore., knows this treadmill effect well. He delivers a lecture regularly at Portland State University: “I give the students an hour off and tell them to do anything they want that’s legal that will make them happy. Some have a hard time with it—they even do homework! What they say is, ‘I’d be stressed if I didn’t get that task done.’ People think that working toward less stress will make them happier. That’s a minor form of insanity.”

In a get-stuff-done world, it’s hard to avoid our efficiency instinct. The answer, then, is to focus on enjoyable stuff, along with the must-dos. “Don’t fit joyful activities into your days—fit your days around them,” Biswas-Diener urges. “Do you ever hear devoted church attendees say, ‘Can we reschedule church because something came up?’ You need to have that church mentality about whatever it is that gives you pleasure. If you say that your weeks are full, find the next blank spot in your calendar.” Protect that sacred time from “nibblers” (otherwise known as your family), adds productivity consultant Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management from the Inside Out:“Announce to everyone that it’s your time to recharge your batteries.” Tap a friend to make sure you use that time strictly for fun.

Smell the shower gel

The act of savoring—mining pleasant moments for their joy—is a proven happiness booster. In one study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, 101 men and women kept diaries for a month, recording positive activities they participated in and how much they did or didn’t savor them. Those who tended to enjoy a good thing—and share their delight with others—maintained high levels of happiness no matter what the day brought, whereas nonappreciators needed positive events to get into a good mood. Savoring is a no-brainer—just tune in to your senses. Inhale that pinot grigio, feel the soft rug under your bare feet. “I leave a little time in the morning to savor my showers,” Lyubomirsky says. “I go out of my way to buy gels with the best scents.” You can even find ways to relish tasks; try running YouTube as you delete junk email. (Why hasn’t anyone yet studied the happiness powers of panda videos?!)

Ration your time

Gold, natural gas and your attention: They’re all scarce resources. Allocate wisely so you can max out time for pleasure, recommends Paul Dolan, PhD, in his new book Happiness By Design. “Every tweet, text or email distracts us from the good experiences and people in our lives,” he says. Some research shows that heavy social media users are less merry than others. One study published in the scientific journal Plos One found that the more people went on Facebook, the more their life satisfaction levels declined. (Click: dis-like.)

Experts widely recommend electronic time-outs; shut off your phone for a couple of hours a night or do email-free Saturdays or Sundays. You also want to dump any activity that “should” make you happy but in reality doesn’t, like the book club that picks crappy reads or an overly earnest yoga class. It’s hard to walk away, Dolan acknowledges, “but you probably haven’t regretted breaking joyless commitments in the past. Remember: Lost happiness is lost forever.”

Think perky thoughts

On those days when you barely have time to breathe, recall something that made you happy and you can get a boost. In one study from Michigan State University, bus drivers who smiled as a result of thinking about a positive event, such as a child’s recital, were in more upbeat moods than workers who fake-smiled. Science suggests that a full, genuine grin—one that involves facial muscles around the eyes—sparks a change in brain activity related to a good mood. So, yep: Say cheese.

Buy some happy

As any woman who has ever bought a trendy, overpriced accessory knows, the kick we get out of purchases wears off fast. However, spending on experiences (like tickets to a Broadway show) rather than things (another black sweater) creates lasting contentment—with one new caveat. A study co-authored by Ryan T. Howell, PhD, associate professor at San Francisco State University and director of its Personality and Well-Being Lab, found that people fail to get pleasure from objects or experiences if they’re acquiring them mainly for bragging rights. That is, if you’re more of a local-Thai-restaurant person and you plan a 40th-birthday blowout at Le Fancy Schmancy Bistro, you may get admiration on Facebook but miss out on feeling personal delight.

Play around in love

If the words Honey, take out the trash! are your idea of foreplay, you know that running our domestic lives sometimes saps the fun out of relationships. “Playfulness energizes both of you and gets your brains in sync,” says Vagdevi Meunier, PsyD, a relationship therapist certified by the Gottman Institute in Seattle and founder of The Center for Relationships in Austin, Texas. “It also lightens the vibe of a relationship and helps us manage the business of our lives—otherwise it’s too much about dishes and bills.” She likes to tell couples she works with, “I can help you fight better, but that’s not nearly as effective as if I help you play better.” One recent suggestion to busy parents of three: Zap each other more playful texts. “They’d send links to funny sites. Or he would text her at work, suggesting she imagine him naked,” Meunier says. “The couple started looking forward to coming home instead of being grumpy. And they’d talk about the texts.”

Have a bad-day backup plan

You have backup in case your electricity goes out, even if it’s just a stockpile of flashlights. Time to come up with one in case your moodfails. Michele Phillips, a performance coach in Piermont, N.Y., and author of Happiness Is a Habit, has a group of friends who’ve dubbed themselves the Village. “I can call them anytime my day is going badly, and they will change my frame of mind,” she says. She recalls sitting in a bar in Colorado after her divorce, feeling lonely and, she says, “like I had loser written on my forehead.” She called a Village friend, “and she said, ‘Look around: You’re in Vail, skiing!’ She helped me shift the thinking from ‘poor me’ to ‘lucky me.’”

Find purpose in pleasure

For total happiness, you need a mix of activities that give you joy and a sense of meaning, what Dolan calls the pleasure-purpose principle. “If happiness were only about pleasure, what would be the point of having kids or helping others?” he says. “To be truly happy, we need feelings of purpose, too.” Think volunteer work or taking a cooking class. The positive feelings that come from these sorts of activities can help train the brain’s neurons to overcome its negativity bias. As neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, PhD, explains in his bookHardwiring Happiness, the brain is all too good at remembering adverse experiences, which he traces to ancestors who had to focus on threats like predators in order to survive. But when you rack up feel-good experiences that give you a sense of achievement, they can serve as a buffer against the disappointing ones.

Think less “me” time, more “we” time

Truly sunny people have one thing in common, and it’s got nothing to do with their paychecks, IQs or gender, Biswas-Diener says: They have plenty of good social relationships. These include interactions that psychologists refer to as social snacking—little ways of connecting with other human beings, including strangers. In one 2014 study by Nicholas Epley, PhD, professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and author ofMindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Want, participants heading to work by train either refrained from engaging with fellow passengers or made conversation. Chatty commuters—both introverts and extroverts alike—reported having the most pleasant commute. In another recent study co-authored by Elizabeth Dunn, PhD, at the University of British Columbia, people kept a running tab of social interactions with folks with whom they had either a strong or weak tie. Regardless of the type of person they connected with, they consistently felt more chipper on days when they mingled.

Yes, camaraderie is comforting—that feeling that we’re all in this crazy world together. “But when you talk with strangers, there’s also the pleasant surprise of finding stuff in common and sometimes the exhilaration of their opening up your world when they tell you something interesting you didn’t know,” Epley says. Surprisingly, having conversations with new people can even keep things upbeat at home. As Dunn puts it, “Trying to be pleasant and cheerful ends up improving your mood in ways you can’t foresee.”

Go off the grid

Weekend getaways continue to trend; cruise lines are even creating shorter jaunts for time-crunched travelers. And yet for deeper joy, you can’t beat a long trip. “One of the biggest deterrents to happiness is that we adapt to our situations—you buy your house and it has a beautiful view, but at some point you stop deriving pleasure from it,” Howell says. When you take only a quick journey, the elation spike is brief. How high you go! How quickly you return to reality! An extended vacation—even to somewhere familiar like a beach town three hours away from home—may create more impactful, lasting memories. And having a bank of them to tap into can add to happiness, research shows. So try to budget for a two-week trip. Even just planning gives you a boost: One study from the Netherlands indicated that the bliss of a trip can start months before it begins, owing to the anticipation.

Be nicer

Nobody is calling you evil, but committing to a few do-good gestures a day can increase your general level of contentment. “I’ve found that when people are told to try to do three to five acts of kindness a week, they get happier,” Lyubomirsky reports. “It does not have to be a grand gesture, given that women are already doing so much caregiving. At the store, let someone get in line ahead of you. Give a compliment. Smile at someone.” Or simply do something thoughtful for your significant other, she continues: “We just finished a study in which we asked someone to choose a person in her life to make happier, like her husband, three times a week. It also made the giversignificantly happier.”

Make Sunday future-fun day

One enjoyable thing you should do every weekend: Make plans for the next one. “The anticipation powers you through the workweek,” Morgenstern says. The tactic also helps you avoid making passive, meh plans, like accepting the Saturday dinner invite from that couple you don’t totally like just because you have nothing better on tap. Morgenstern has a formula for a blissful weekend: PEP (physical, escape, people). In other words, a mix of physical activities that energize you, escapist activities that relax you and people who inspire you. “It’s a good framework for putting together weekends that leave you happy,” she says. Not to mention entire happier weeks.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Words to live by: Celebration

This was the most-visited post that I’ve ever had on my blog– I posted it over a year ago. Let’s celebrate!

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

I know right away some people may question why or what I mean by celebration and why it is a Word To Live By.

I think we all need to celebrate more often.

Yes, I said we. As I’ve mentioned before, I am naturally a low-key guy. I think part of me tries to downplay things. I notice that especially with friends, with my sisters, and relatives – those with which I grew up – when something good happens or when I’m excited about something – I try to act cool, calm, and un-excited when I tell them about it.

The other day I was excited about a project at work. I was telling a relative and I noticed that right way, I downplayed the whole thing. It came off like I was actually down about it. He tried to give me some encouragement. I was actually excited. I needed and wanted to celebrate with him. We both would have enjoyed it and benefited, right?

In any case, celebrating is something I believe to be a key issue in life, here’s why:

  • We need to celebrate things each day, even the little things – we paid the bills, we have good health, we took some kind of action and had some kind of success, we did something good for someone else, etc.
  • So many times we actually did something good, accomplished something, took action and we don’t take a moment to celebrate.
  • Celebrating in the present moment allows us and helps us to focus on the now, what is going on – whether it be with our family, friends, work, or fun things.
  • We can benefit greatly from celebrating future events – here’s what I mean – if you act as if what you want in life is already a reality, celebrating “IT” as already being reality brings in all kinds of good emotions, eliminates thoughts of conditions, limitations. Your brain doesn’t know that the difference between the imagination and reality of it all – so Celebration for something as if it has already happened is very powerful.

Imagine that you already have “it” or that you’ve already accomplished “it” – then celebrate! Wayne Dyer says “Highly realized people learn to think from the end- that is, they experience what they wish to intend before it shows up in the material form.” Celebrate that car, that job, that improved relationship, that newly thinner, leaner body. Enjoy it.

I practice money coming in and I get the feeling like I’m winning the lottery. I hold my arms up like Rocky on the top of the Philly steps and I jump around. I visualize and celebrate. I enjoy it.

How would you react if you won the lottery? Got a perfect job? Had that perfect car/house/relationship/health? OK, now go ahead and practice celebrating it so that when it arrives, you’ll be ready. In the meantime, you’ll feel great.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it will always work, but EVERYTIME I feel really great afterwards! I’m smiling, happier, energized, and guess what? I’m now looking for good things to come, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Celebrate what you’ve accomplished in your life! Too many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. Look into the past, briefly, get those good references and celebrate them. You endured hurdles and mistakes and you are now the person you are because you kept moving. Celebrate it!

Celebrate the present – your family, friends, work, life, health – even if it isn’t perfect. Sure you can want to improve something but hell, if you didn’t have your situation now, you wouldn’t have the perspective, wisdom, and knowledge to make it better, right? Guess what, you can help yourself now, you can even help others, you have choices, that’s great, celebrate! Celebrate your health and life – would you prefer the alternative?

I know that there are some days when you don’t feel like celebrating. Use Tony Robbins’ method “What could I celebrate today? (then even if you can’t think of something ask:) If I could think of something to celebrate, what would it be?”

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” — Oprah Winfrey

Celebrate the future as if it is already happened! Celebrate the person you want to be, the thing you want to have, the issue you want to resolve, the situation that you want to improve! Enjoy it! Feel the fun!

Celebrate what you want to see more of. – Tom Peters (author of In Search of Excellence and other books)

Feeling happy/celebratory/abundant/whatever surpasses the money in your bank account, the report from the doctor, the whatever – and transcends what others may think of you. Genuinely feeling a certain way is possible when you detach yourself from the things you desire and then celebrating it.

Dream on it. Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities. And don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t know how to dream.
Liza Minnelli

Don’t you think that you’re more attractive to others when you’re thinking celebrating rather than the “ho-hum” you? Wouldn’t your career be a little different if you approached it in a ‘celebrating-way’ rather that complaining, whining and doing the minimum as so many people do? (not you of course)

Celebrating sends a message to others around you, even to the Universe (if you believe in such)

“Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!!! Anchor the experience of doing something truly extraordinary with an awesome celebration.”- Tony Robbins

Celebrating brings smiles and laughter. It brings joy and happiness. Enough said.

Make THE decision in the right state of mind

Here is a great video that can help anyone with a tough decision, a tough situation, facing a situation or challenge that brings fear.

We all have to go outside a comfort level, we need to handle things without fear.

Our story can empower us or limit us.

http://getrmt.com/v1.php

Being rich is all about having the right habits

Being rich is all about having the right habits. That’s the message from Tom Corley, who spent five years observing how rich and poor people lived, worked, and even slept. Then, Corley wrote about his research in a book called “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”

Here’s what he found:

First: Be an early bird. Because among people making six-figures a year, about half wake up at least three hours before they have to be at work. Then, Corley says they use that extra morning time to focus on self-improvement like reading and exercising, because those things help them be more productive at work.
Another daily habit that can make you rich:Don’t gossip. According to Corley’s research, wealthy people are a whopping 14 times less likely to say they spread gossip, compared to people earning less than $30,000 a year.


Also: Spend less time using the Internet. Corley says most people who struggle with money spend at least an hour a day surfing the Web, or watching TV. But rich people are HALF as likely to go online every day. Instead, they spend that extra hour connecting with others in the “real world,” doing things like networking, socializing, and volunteering.


Another helpful habit: Make more “to-do” lists. Because wealthy people say they cross off 70% percent of the tasks on their to-do list every day – including short-term and long-term goals, meaning, rich people love getting stuff done.


Finally: According to the book, wealthy people are calorie counters. They generally limit alcoholic consumption, keep their junk food snacks to less than 300 calories per day, and weigh less. And it makes sense that successful people would weight less, 75% of executives in a recent survey said that being overweight is a “serious career impediment.” Overweight people are 3,000 times more likely to get passed over for a promotion. And fair or not, overweight applicants get turned down for jobs more than any other group.

http://www.tesh.com

Survive the Unthinkable,

 

I am always on the lookout for good books.

I try not to ‘over-recommend’ either, but here is a great one….Survive the Unthinkable,

 

…here is some background…..you may know someone in a situation that this may be relevant…..

Violence against women remains one of the most common human rights abuses in the world. Women ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined.

Rape and attempted rape are very much silent assassins. Only 16 percent of rape victims actually report an incident to the police, which means that the statistics we have about rape in the United States barely reflect the grim reality. The World Health Organization has found that domestic and sexual violence affects 30 to 60 percent of women in most countries. And the majority of offenses are committed by someone the victim knows or at least recognizes.

Perhaps the most disturbing truth is that the rape perpetrator will probably victimize seven to nine women before he’s jailed.

In our increasingly violent collective, women must often yield to an incessant voice that warns: Be careful where you walk. Be careful where you park. Be careful where you go. Be careful what you wear. Be careful what you say.

The unnerving posture of gender violence is what prompted me to seek out the best self-defense instructor I could find for the women I care about in my life — who just happens to be the author of the book you’re holding in your hands right now.

Tim Larkin’s Survive the Unthinkable relays a message of empowerment, not panic. It’s the key that can unlock your personal power as a woman.

With many things in life, the truth is often nearly 180 degrees from what your imagination might suggest. The principles and methods that Tim Larkin shares in this critical book are perfect examples of this:

  • Women need NOT be vulnerable to attack, and they already have the tools necessary to avoid violence or protect themselves in those rare instances where avoidance isn’t possible.

  • Even the most violent sociopaths are incredibly vulnerable once you know the psychology of what drives their behavior.

  • The people who are most effective at “self-defense” typically have no formal training.

Being able to protect yourself doesn’t require muscle, fancy techniques, or months of practice at the martial arts studio. All that you need to live confidently and joyfully is knowledge and the willingness to apply it.

As a woman, you have people who depend on you — perhaps your partner, children, siblings, friends. Please consider the ability to defend yourself a responsibility, not a luxury, in much the same way that you might exercise, wear your seatbelt, or get regular medical checkups.

This book presents imperative components that ensure peace of mind, which ultimately allows us to find fulfillment in our daily life. The emotional edge my friend Tim Larkin presents helps to create a better life through key adjustments to our perception, psychology, and awareness. You can trust, as I do, that Tim Larkin’s teachings are the most effective, thoroughly tested, and reliable way to ensure your safety, confidence, and self-assurance, which will in turn enable you to effectively cooperate with others, operate at optimal productivity, and get the most enjoyment out of every day of your life.

www.timlarkin.com

Approximately   1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United   States alone. In his New York Times bestselling book Survive the Unthinkable, Tim Larkin empowers women to   understand that surviving a potential attack isn’t about being   physically bigger, faster, or stronger; it’s about knowing how to   self-protect, not self-defend. – See more at: http://www.timlarkin.com/book.php#more

(Foreward by Tony Robbins)

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