Busy People

If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person to do.

As crazy as that sounds, it’s true because people who stay busy tend to measure their happiness by productivity.

Another benefit:  Busy people suffer from less anxiety and depression.

  • My NYU college students are already onto this epiphany even during midterms, a pressure-filled time even without a pandemic – that the more they focus on getting things done, the less time they have to worry.

The brain is all-powerful – if we keep it actively engaged in productive things, it rewards us by lowering our anxiety.

Don’t fear being too busy, be concerned about too much time to worry.

Preparing for Another Round of COVID

It’s hard to find good news even after seven months but there are reasons for hope.

  • We’ve all made it through seven months with most remaining healthy.
  • The horrible pandemic of 1918 went away after a few years with people adapting to new rules of engagement in the meantime.
  • Adversity always brings good (I wrote a book on this topic) – therefore if we tough it out and deal with this health crisis together, there is a reward at the end of it all.

College students are anxious and depressed because their lives have been interrupted, they are not having fun and they worry about graduating into a market with few jobs.

COVID is not just an inconvenience or a pause, it is a disruptor of life as it used to be and 100 years ago it launched another decade of prosperity giving all of us a reason to have hope.

Best Couples Advice Ever

A couple I know was experiencing marital problems that threatened their relationship.

She had been through a double mastectomy and he felt the pressure of keeping the family  together.

When he returned home from work, that’s when the heated arguments would begin.

So, they went to a counselor but it only took 3 appointments to get their relationship back on track again.

  • The advice: give each other one hour alone when you see each other at the end of the day – to unwind, make a transition from the day’s problems until you are ready to engage each other.

Good relationships are difficult where stress and anxiety are present.

Tough Decisions

A caddy gives advice and strategy but the player makes the decisions.

Giving away the right to decide happens because of stronger personalities, control issues and fear on our part that we might blow it so we play it safe and give away our power.

Advice is a valuable tool but no substitute for making your own decisions.

Searching for Approval

We look to others, but should look to ourselves.

Approval comes from within by assessing your sincerity, passion, reliability, skill level and motivation.

Leaving this up to someone else is a recipe for trouble.

Did you do your best?

Are you doing it for the right reasons? 

Are you capable of making it happen?

Are you willing to stick to it until you succeed?

The person you absolutely must win over first is you.  No one else matters.

Growing Stronger

You don’t get more fit by getting more comfortable.

Walk more, run more, box more, more Yoga, more challenges.

Those Peloton commercials are attractive because they show what getting uncomfortable can produce in fitness and physique.

Getting out of your comfort zone to strive for more makes you stronger.

A new way to conduct a meeting, a different approach to teams, redefining leadership.

If you’re comfortable, you’re likely not growing.

Starting Now

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now” – Chinese proverb.

It’s not laziness that prevents us from acting, it’s lack of confidence.

When we’re sure, we’re more likely to get started.

To get an extra supply of confidence that is needed in life, do as Shakespeare said, “assume a virtue if you have it not”.

So today, it’s ready, set, I can do it.

Finding More Time

Bill Gates in reviewing the book The Case for Reason, Science, Humanitaism and Progress noted how life has improved for us over the decades:

 “Time spent doing laundry fell from 11.5 hours a week in 1920 to an hour and a half in 2014”.  

So what are we doing with the extra time and what other things take less time in a modern world?

Are we giving it to others?

Spending it on ourselves?

Are we learning, growing, helping?

Or are we bingeing, distracted by social media or playing games?

There is no doubt life has become easier, but are we using the valuable time better?

There’s a thought for today.

The “Be Kind to People” Pledge

My longtime friend Mike LaBauve shared a pledge from podcaster Harry Sleighel who was talking about the Be Kind People Project.

Here is their pledge that embodies the skills of kindness that I thought was worth passing along.

I Pledge To …

– Be Encouraging

– Be Supportive

– Be Positive

– Be Helpful

– Be Honest

– Be Considerate

– Be Thankful

– Be Responsible

– Be Respectful

– Be A Friend

Committing to Win

In sports you don’t take the field with the mindset that you’re afraid to lose.

It’s the opposite – you can’t wait to win.

But how many of us can’t wait to win in other areas of our lives?

Playing it safe, harboring doubts, being defensive will likely yield the same poor results off the field as they would on.

When you have a challenge, relish it.

Expect to win – or at least give 100% trying.

Learn from losses and move on to the next challenge.

Never fear losing, relish winning.