Gratitude

This is a week of giving where I live. It is good to give.  Along with giving to others, we should also give something to ourselves.  Money turns out to often be a negative incentive. So, I would like to suggest something different.  I would recommend remembering and listing what you are grateful for having received.

Gratitude is often defined as thankfulness for the things we have.  Some will have more, and some will have less, yet everyone has something to be grateful for having or knowing or feeling. We have the freedom that was given to us because of the work of others. We have known someone and enjoy their company; and all the other positive things that have happened within our lives.

Gratitude is a positive emotion. It makes us feel better. We are happier when we think of the things we’re grateful to have had, and it inspires us to go out and do good ourselves. Gratitude for what we have also makes us want to share what we have with others. And again, there are great rewards for this, including joy.

I am not saying you should give away the farm. I believe that sharing some of what you have with somebody else helps everyone to feel better. Personally, I believe it also inspires another option. Hope.

As we begin the last few weeks of the year, with all the celebrations that various cultures have, I think it is helpful to remember the positives and share the good feelings.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you tomorrow.    

Take a Positive Step

By now, I guess it’s no secret I am opening up my own life coaching office. Just like everyone else, life coaches have highs and lows. And being an entrepreneur, those highs and lows seem to come very frequently.

I learned something important, though, this weekend. Everyone has highs and lows. What matters is how you handle the roller coaster of emotion. Because you can control it and succeed, or you can let it control you and really give it license to make you miserable. What I’m talking about here is whether you worry, or get incredibly anxious over what is going on around you.

When you worry, you understand that there is something that may cause you a problem. You gather the facts and make a plan. You may need to rehearse, devise a checklist to use, pack early so you can get to the train station on time. You plan and do everything to be prepared.

Anxiety is a little different. When you’re anxious, you just worry at an exponential and uncontrollable rate. You’re actually afraid of what might happen, and you believe so many things could happen that are rarely believable options. The next thing you know, you can’t do your work, and everything else you wanted to do is taken over and consumed by this anxiety.

Usually, anxiety will go away as the event that started it winds down and it and is over. Unfortunately, some people just transfer their fear to the next concern and the future. They seem to live in an almost constant turmoil.

The secret to breaking the chain, in part, is to work out planning. Take the things you are concerned about and make a plan.  If you are afraid that you will say something wrong, practice what to say that would be good.  If you feel someone will think less of you, study the things they are interested in or know about.  If you are worried about other things, ask yourself how realistic that scenario would be, and take steps to understand and diminish the chances of that happening.

The positive thing is that you are actually in control of yourself, and you have the power to change what is not helping.

Like everything, small steps are best.  They can lead to significant improvements when they add up.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

You Can Succeed

Have you ever wanted to lose a little weight? I have. In the Air Force, we had weight standards we had to maintain. When I found myself overweight, I went out and purchased all kinds of exercise videos, jazzercise videos, and even a few implements such as weight belts and such. I used to sit on the couch wearing the weight belts and watching jazzercise videos and eating popcorn. I don’t think I ever really lost any weight. Go figure.

The truth is that whatever we attempt when trying to do something, nothing will work until we do.  We are the ones in control of ourselves.  Others can help you, guide you, help you decide the right decisions for you, yet, only you can actually do what needs to be done.

Where you want to go and what you want to do has probably been done or attempted before, and that means other people have been where you are now. Think of what they might have learned along their way that could make your goals possibly easier to obtain.  We are actually not alone nor without positive guidance.  All we have to do is look around and ask.

Never let anyone tell you something cannot be done or that you cannot do it.  The only thing someone is telling you when speaking like that is that the person has limited themselves. You do not have to live by their limitations.  You can set your own goals and reach your own heights. And I, for one, have faith that if you really work at succeeding, you will.

This week we’ve been talking about addictions and habits. The tough news is you are the only one in control to take charge of you. You should do what you want to accomplish. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are others to help you find ways, support you as needed, and help you in your bid to succeed.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again soon.

Finding New Habits

If you have bad habits and you do not want them, trade them in for good ones.  I do not wish to sound glib here, I just know you can do this.  You have proven you can build habits.  And you can actually stick with them.  Now, you need to find out the practices that are best for you and work with those habits.

Warning, the old habits are not going to go away easily.  The old ways were there first, and they feel they have earned their spot at the table. And yet the more you use new habits, the stronger they will become, and the less you use the old, bad habits, the less they will have control, and they will slowly fade away.

So how do you distinguish between good and bad habits?  Habits are different for different people.  My grandparents would have a shot of alcohol in the morning and a beer at night.  They lived rich lives well into their upper eighties. For others, drinking could be a bad habit.  You have to figure out what works best for you. 

If the habit does good things for you, such as better memory, closer friendships, more productivity, it is probably a good habit.  If your habits hurt your work, make you lose productivity, or drives friends away, you may want to find practices that work better for you.

We each have to take action for ourselves.  Others can help and coach you.  As you try new and better habits,  you will probably find some encouragement along the way. Just remember, you are the one who is doing the work to make yourself a better and more productive person.

Each of us is unique.  We cannot give up on ourselves, and we should not give up on each other.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow

Habits

Just as addictions try to control our lives, whether we are addicted to doing a good thing or addicted to doing a bad thing, habits can have the same effect, both good and bad. Where addictions try to control our lives, habits are things we learn and use to run our lives. We must stay in control of ourselves. Unlike the old Outer limits show, we’re the ones who are actually in charge of our sharpness and blurriness, our perspective, and our actions.

The trick to beating a habit is the same as ridding yourself of and addiction. 

The Trick? You have to want to make a change into something and someone you would rather be.  No one else can make your changes for you.  No one else can decide that this is your time to do something. And no one else can be you.  You are the one and only.  You are unique.  No one else has permission to change you. Only you can do it. Everyone else can only help.

However, once you make the decision to change, there will be a lot of help for you.  Although it is not easy, it is probably not as hard as you may have thought.  If you thought impossible, it would be easier than that.  Just bring some determination with you on your trip.

Find good mentors that you trust and want to emulate. Then find a good program or a good coach or therapist that can help you.  You want someone who you can relate to.  Someone you have good faith in. And, remember that faith you need to have in yourself.  After all, you are looking to build a better you.  And that takes good gumption.

Have faith in yourself, and even with all the triumphs and tribulations that will come and go, keep doing your best.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Addiction

When my daughter-in-law married my son, I told her that she would never have to worry again.  I worried about everyone.  And that was true.  I worried whether there was a reason to worry or not.  Sessions with counselors, marvels of modern medicine, and other help have made me very well and a lot healthier. I do not fear a tenth of the amount I did in the past.  However…

I am worried, and not just for opium addicts, vapers, cigarette smokers, and those hooked on various drugs. There is a new addiction that has been around for years.  It used to be benign, and people would use it or not.  And anyone could walk away from it at any time.  Now, these modern marvels have been changed so that you will use them more, with less of an ability to succeed, and an endless stream of ads and side ventures that take you nowhere.  I am talking about video games.

Video games are getting people to sign up for free and then quickly stealing them away from other and more essential tasks to play games all day.  Add in multiple social media channels and an endless supply of videos and movies, and pretty soon, the user has no motivation other than watching the next kitty chase the laser beam or other wasteful time consumers.

When they talk about losing a generation, it is a real tragedy. This epidemic actually holds the ability to work across generations and wipe out whole areas of potential growth and new ideas. This is something we need to focus attention on before we end up with more problems than we have answers.

This week I will share ideas and thoughts on how to enjoy activities on the Internet without losing yourself to endless staring at the screen.  These ideas are just suggestions of things that might help.  The real work is what you do with them.

Thanks for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

The Importance of Black Friday

The day post-Thanksgiving is usually considered Black Friday.  Many people believe that it is a false concept designed to help spur Christmas spending. In truth, historically, Black Friday was the day that companies broke even for the year and moved from being in the red to finally being in the black.

Black Friday actually has more to do with the economy than selling for Christmas. Companies and industries will traditionally buy the new items that they need at the end of the year, so they can build interest with their money first. They buy at the end of the year, also, because they want to be able to claim the tax credits for the large purchases they need to make for new technology and machinery.

Another good thing about Black Friday is it gets everybody out of the house and into a social setting where they get to exercise. Some people stand in lines for long periods. Some people rush from sale to sale.  And others play a game of how many people can go through one door at the same time. 

Exhilarating, nerve-racking, tiresome, and many other descriptions that will, unfortunately, go downhill from here.  The one good thought that you should remember is that the young children you surprise In December will never forget the joy of the presents. Unfortunately, the actual credit may be going to a fictional character and not those who faced the onslaught of Black Friday. 

There is a silver lining, though.  If the presents are rejected for any reason, you have that fictional character mentioned above to blame.  You can take the tykes out to return the items and let them pick out their own desired gifts.

Just a thought for sanity over the holidays.

Thank you for being with me today, I hope to be with you again tomorrow.