Putting Off Joy

Don’t postpone joy until after normal returns.

  • You’ll get out of practice
  • Joy can be found even during tough times.

Every day is a new opportunity to practice being joyful.

Enter Free Agency

Sports figures, authors and actors aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of their currency to negotiate a new deal or a new beginning.

  • As the new year begins, take a long hard look at whether you are happy in your career before continuing on without a plan to change it.
  • As in sports, ask “do I want to play another year in this career?” even if you are the business owner.
  • Look for alternatives and spend some time to examine and pursue them.
  • If what you’re doing now is your best path, continue on – consider it a one-year renewal, a contract with yourself. If not, take steps to find something different.

Always ask, what’s my value:  You are worth considering all options before continuing on to stay the course or seek the road not taken.

Betting Against Someone

It’s useless to bet against someone because there is no upside.

It’s often done out of jealousy.

  • When I was studying radio and television in college, I thought no one without a big voice could make it in media. I was wrong. At that moment in time big voices were in but later unique voices were also in demand.
  • We wouldn’t place a bet on losing — or wait, it’s done in the stock market all the time. But with people you lose the moment you downplay another person’s chances.

The alternative:  believe in everyone’s ability to succeed and at the least you get satisfaction and at the best you make a connection that might be useful for the future.

Don’t Forget YOUR Gift

  • Why do we vividly remember every insult that is directed our way?
  • Why do we then go on and believe them?
  • And why do we keep repeating such nonsense?

On the other hand …

  • Why not recognize positive input about us publicly?
  • And use it to confirm the good things we already know are part of us.
  • And why not repeat on an endless loop all the good and dismiss all the bad?

There is no law that requires us to participate in dragging ourselves down. 

The one gift you don’t want to forget this year is to love the person you are and stop helping the jealous and arrogant from getting into your head.

Personal Growth

Life too often becomes a test instead of a progress report.

A test is a proficiency exam.

But making progress is more important and a better way to judge.

Fumbling with the latest anxiety is an inaccurate way to assess our ability to deal with it.

Any advancement or development toward dealing with anxiety inspires real time growth in handling the challenge.

You can fail every test in life if making progress is the way you grade personal growth.

A Better Day Ahead

“Along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometime”
Joe South, Rose Garden lyrics © Sony/atv Songs Llc, Bike Music

Every day, think of a way to remind yourself that there is hope of a better day ahead.

Regaining Lost Confidence

So the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles is a $100 million backup now after being benched for a lousy season.

It took more than his play to get him a seat on the bench but obviously the quarterback controversy is not going to increase Carson Wentz’ confidence.

His replacement, Jalen Hurts is a rookie who is seizing his chance to build his confidence.

Ironically, both will succeed.

Wentz will either earn his job back or regain his confidence on another team.

What’s important is that confidence never remains strong – it wanes and rises, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly.

To think of confidence as permanent is to expect too much from ourselves.

When confidence needs a boost, work toward that.  When it is on autopilot, enjoy the ride.

To judge your self-worth by confidence that by nature ebbs and flows is personal abuse that can be curtailed by looking for another opportunity.

Proof Positive That 99% of Worries Never Happen

Go back five years and try to remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with at the time, recall the good and the bad.

Then fast forward to today – who is in your life (are they the same people as five years ago?), did your fears come true all these years later (probably not but if they did, you likely feared the wrong things).

What is surprising about life today that you could not see then – In my life a move from west back east, a new university at which to teach, a health scare from a loved one – you get the idea – all unseen previously.

What bothers us most is fear thoughts – things that will never come true.  To dwell on them is a waste of time and life.

Instead, concentrate on resilience – the ability to recover from difficulties that we can never predict and therefore should not waste time worrying about them.

Become expert at springing back from life’s curve balls not worrying about what will likely never happen.

Scientifically Proven Ways to Decrease Stress

The Mayo Clinic’s Resilient Option program identifies four things that are science-enabled and confirmed to reduce life’s anxieties.

Gratitude – Mind off of problems, redirect thoughts to that which we’re grateful.

Mindful presence – Don’t just be there, be 100% focused on the present.

Kindness – It’s hard to increase stress when trying to be kind to yourself and others.

Resilient Mindset – The more I think about “me”, the weaker I become.  Upgrade to higher values.

Accepting that stress is a part of our life is helpful and focusing on these four remedies makes us more resilient.

How to Think of Encouragement

Fans standing by a track as runners race to the finish line scream words of encouragement along with their cheers.

Even horses get loud positive reinforcement at race tracks – and we’ve even got our money on them.

But this is not how we encourage each other or for that matter ourselves.

Instead we offer words of advice, caution – sometimes fear to get us and those around us over the finish line.

If no one ever gave another word of advice again, it probably would be an improvement if those words were replaced with 100% full vocal encouragement.

Support, confidence and hope are more effective than even well-meaning advice, added pressure and fear.