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.
As a writer, it’s easy for me to imagine each New Year as a blank piece of paper awaiting my inspiration. But when you think about it, that metaphor actually works for everyone. Every year we all have the potential to start over with a story—our personal story for sure—and any other story we want to create. And because this year is 2017, you may be already creating a year filled with all sort of drama and possibility. Or, it’s also likely that this year will just be a carbon-copy of last year. As usual, the choice is up to us.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
I’m taking a chance here that there are some of you who read SMART Living 365 who don’t already know about TED.com. But if you don’t, then it is definitely time you did. TED.com is mostly a website that posts videos of people who speak at TED conferences held annually around the world. The very best of those talks—called Ted Talks—are condensed versions. What is TED? TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. But a better way to think of TED is explained on their website where it says they are, “Ideas worth spreading. Or Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” How SMART is that?
We are all creatures of habit. Don’t believe me? This morning Facebook came out with yet another change to its layout and the comments are: “If I was Facebook’s mom I would ground it for a month.” Or: “HATE: the new Facebook Newsfeed,” or “How do you like the new Facebook layout? So far I can’t stand it! Boooo Hiss Facebook, Boooo Hiss!” Unfortunately, while habits can make our lives easier in many cases, it is also a recipe for a life of boredom, routine and a diminished creativity and brain capacity. When you know the facts, you might consider that Facebook is doing us all a favor.
Drop a light bulb on the floor and it shatters. Drop an apple and it bruises. Drop a hard rubber ball and it bounces back—good as new. What about you? Every single one of us experiences a variety of events every day. Some experiences are smooth and pleasant, some merely okay, and others downright tough. While most of us can sail easily through the good times—whether we shatter, bruise or bounce during the tough times are as individual as we are. We all know a few people who are amazing at bounding right back. Others—not so great. The good news is that with the desire, every one of us can improve our bounce-ability quotient. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
When most people search for happiness, they seldom think of beauty or being artful unless they claim to be an artist. I certainly used to think that way. When focused on creating a happy and successful life, I seldom realized that unless I was also creating something artful or beautiful, that dream often eluded me. I think that is because there is something inside each of us that finds peace, harmony, awe and connection whenever we see and recognize beauty. And if we don’t see beauty, then no matter how close we are to achieving any goal, something seems to be missing. That’s why I believe it is critical to create beauty when living SMART 365.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
In order to be happy and fulfilled, all people everywhere share one fundamental need regardless of their background, race, religion, education or any number of cultural differences—that one thing is “meaning.” When we have meaning, we believe our life has a purpose and that our being here matters. In other words, in order to live SMART every day, a sense of meaning is critical.
One of the champions for the value of meaning was a man named Viktor Frankl. As a three-year survivor of the horror of Nazi concentration camps, he eventually became an eminent psychotherapist. While many of Frankl’s fellow prisoners died in the camps, he believed that a key reason for his survival was the inner strength he derived from meaning.
Ta-Da!! This is my first official post. And while it is very tempting to hold off until I have the perfect thing to say, I think it is far better to just get started than obsess about whether it will be good enough, wise enough, cover enough, or even make sense. Maybe that is one of the first ideas that make SMART Living 365?
In other words, don’t put off doing something because you are worried about the end-product. I’ve provided a great example about how I can up with a thousand reasons not to make this first post. But every one of them is just a delay-tactic, thinking I could eventually create something so perfect that anyone who ever read it would think that I was #1 brilliant; #2 wise; #3 insanely creative; #a great writer; etc. etc…you get the idea right?