What traps do you use to put yourself in the jail of your mind?
As some of you know, both Thom and I are self-employed. I get to be the writer and Thom has been a commercial real estate broker for nearly 30 years. While we both enjoy an incredible amount of freedom with our work, now and then things get challenging.
For example, this last week Thom made a commitment to a project he was working on for a client. But instead of being able to finish it as expected, several new opportunities popped up that demanded attention. Yet rather than enjoy the abundance of new business, he started stressing about not being able to meet his previous commitment. Fortunately when his neck and shoulders constricted like tight rubber bands, and he heard the catch in his breath, he knew it was time to stop and figure out what was going on. That’s when he admitted that his thinking was responsible for his stress. In fact, he had built the jail that was slowly closing in around him. Continue reading
Like the game or just going after the trophy?
The other day during my morning walk I was listening to a talk by Abraham-Hicks who is the author of The Law Of Attraction. I find that listening to talks while walking makes the time go quickly, and if I’m listening to something uplifting I start my day in a positive way. During that particular morning Abraham-Hicks was responding to a question from a young man who wanted to know why it was taking so long for his dreams to be realized. Like many people, he wanted to know if he was doing something wrong or if there was something he could do to make it happen faster. That’s when Abraham-Hicks asked the young man a question that made me stop, rewind my iPod and listen again. She asked, “Do you think any successful person is doing what they do just for the trophy? Or do you think they love the game?” When I heard those questions I knew it applied to most people, myself included, in more ways than we usually consider. Continue reading
Several months ago a neighbor in her mid-sixties lost her husband due to a heart attack. Even worse than dealing with the unexpected loss and heartbreak of losing her life partner, is her torment with stress and anxiety because of her debt and lack of resources. Unfortunately, she’s not alone. A recent article by CNN Money confirms that most Americans as are deeply worried about their financial future. According to CNN Money, “The Great Recession may be over, but a Great Insecurity seems to have emerged in its wake.” What’s going on here and what can we do? Perhaps a focus on simple living is the way to eliminate the anxiety and stress that so many feel today. Continue reading
What’s your focus and why it matters!
Do you see the glass half-full or half-empty? Do you hunt down risk or avoid it like the plague? Do you prefer the excitement of adventure or the comfort of the familiar? Until recently I was under the impression that those questions simply determined whether a person was an optimist or a pessimist. However, now I know they actually reveal two different but important motivational perspectives—a promotional focus or the prevention focus. And while each of us tends to favor one or the other, we all use both ways to focus from time to time. What’s even more important to understand is how each kind differs and how using one or the other can go a long way toward helping us stay motivated, and live a more fulfilled and rewarding life.
Which are you?
A couple of months ago I received a recommendation on Amazon that caught my eye. The title was Succeed—How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. Frankly, the title didn’t impress me much. Haven’t we all read too many books that claim the same thing, only to nod in agreement while stifling a yawn? What hooked me instead were the reviews. Dozens of reviewers said, “It’s a smart, fun, highly practical look at what we ‘scientifically’ know about setting and achieving goals.” As a person who enjoys learning why people do what they do (or don’t do what they should do), this book backs up its claims with scientific research. And while the pursuit of goals is the focus of the book, it is done in terms of behavior psychology and research. In fact, a key strategy to learning how a person pursues a goal is to discover whether they like to “Be-Good” or “Get-Better.” That choice says a lot about us and often determines whether or not we eventually succeed. Continue reading
During the last several months I’ve been experimenting with what is called the “list post.” For anyone who isn’t a blogger, a list post is one where you use both a number in the title and then you write the post around the ideas offered by that number. The reason I got started was that one of my favorite bloggers is Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. As a hugely successful blogger he reports one of the strategies behind his enormous growth was using the list blog post. In fact, it is estimated by List.ly that 30% of all blog posts are lists. So as an experiment I’ve been giving it a try and ten of the last eleven posts I have written have been in the form of a list. So do I keep it up or let it go? Here is my list of why I am both for an against list posts. Continue reading
Want to let go of a bad habit? Lent just might be the way.
Yesterday I read an article about the coming season of Lent. It’s not something I’ve ever observed or celebrated before, but certain aspects of the ritual appeal to me. That got me thinking. Regardless of where a practice comes from, who says we have to be religious to learn and benefit from them? And even if we consider ourselves completely non-religious, we all routinely practice habits and other traditions, every single day. So why not mix the two ideas together into a powerful way to experience greater wellbeing and happiness? With the Lenten Season beginning next Wednesday, let’s consider whether a variation on the tradition can help us to be more mindful and eliminate a couple of bad habits at the same time. Interested? Continue reading
Ever feel like your Credit Card came from this bank?
Okay I’ll admit it—Thom and I enjoy tales of the supernatural. For years we watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer on television. Together we’ve seen all sorts of movies and shows about werewolves, vampires, aliens and all sorts of bizarre characters doing all sorts of strange things. Most of them are pure entertainment. However, one of the more sinister creatures is called a succubus. While never fully fleshed out in most episodes, it needs little description. Simply put, a succubus is something that sucks out the very essence and joy of a person in all sorts of horrifying and painful ways. When you think about it, oppressive debt feels exactly the same. The good news is that just like how Buffy knew ways to slay vampires, there are at least five ways any of us can rise above even the worst sort of debt succubus on the way to a happy life. Continue reading
Serving others serves us.
For the last two years I have volunteered for a local organization called The Ophelia Project where I mentor teenage girls enrolled in high school. While not well known, I first learned of them from another volunteer named Sandy who told me how much she loved the experience. She explained that although it was an eight-month long commitment per year, adding up to about 12-15 hours a month, the time spent was some of the most rewarding things she did in her life. Right after that conversation, I got in touch with the director of Ophelia and signed up. Continue reading