Dream On

Wayne Gretzky was the greatest hockey player ever.

His father, Walter Gretzky who died within the past month, wanted to be good enough to play at the pro level but he could never make a career of it and spent his efforts coaching the player who would be known as “The Great One”.

But his superstar son was a lousy NHL coach when his playing days were over – Dad seemed to have the better skills there.

The funny thing about our dreams is that we should always have but not limit them.

Had Walter Gretzky hung up his skates there may have been no Great One.

And had Wayne Gretzky fancied himself as a coach because he was a great player, he might still be looking for his first Stanley Cup if not his first winning season.

Dreams cannot be managed – they are like radar showing you the best opportunities.

Forward to a friend.

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What Motto Best Describes You?

Golf magazine has a great motto, “Life, Well Played”.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

John Doe, always consistent?

Karen Smith, reliable and resourceful?

What words sum up your best advantages?

Coming up with positive descriptors is more difficult than the negative thoughts that seem to flow so easily into our minds.

John Doe, difficult to get along with.

Karen Smith, stubborn.

The trick is to know which words best describe the best you and repeat them as a mantra over and over again in your head to build legitimate self-respect.

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The Cards You’re Dealt

No one gets to choose their own cards.

Even solitaire players have to play them as they are dealt.

This is helpful in understanding adversity because no one is able to avoid adversity and just deal themselves good luck – you have to play with what you get.

Card players can complain, but it does no good – they can fold them but they are admitting defeat or they can hold them and use their skills to manage what they are dealt.

Being lucky is good.

Being resourceful is better.

In life you don’t often get to choose your own cards.

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Live as If It’s Your Second Life

Viktor Frankl said “Live as if you were living for the second time.”

Every crisis presents opportunity.

Learn from the mistakes of your “first life”.

Those who have come face to face with their own mortality take Frankl’s advice literally because it is never too late to hit “restart” and change the course of your life.

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Know Your Surgeon’s Birthday

No less than Harvard Women’s Health reports in its March, 2021 issue that patients who underwent surgery on their surgeon’s birthday were more likely to die!

6.9% died compared to 5.6% on any other day and the explanation is that the surgeons might have been distracted by life’s events and were not focused on work.

What it does show is that it is hard to focus in a world of distractions so the more crucial something is to us, the more we need to eliminate outside factors that could harm the results.

You’ve no doubt been there – I worked for a radio program director who couldn’t accept severe laryngitis as a reason to get a substitute to sit in for you preferring no voice over a healthy one.

Focus is key to positive outcomes in all areas of life not just surgery reminding us of the importance of learning to not just be in the now but focused on the present.

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Living Beyond Disappointment

Can you imagine what it must be like to be responsible for your entire team losing?

That’s what happened to The Seattle Seahawks playing against the Patriots in the 2015 Super Bowl.

They had the game won and it was the coach, Pete Carroll who blew the call.  At the last minute the Seahawks lost what should have been their second Super Bowl victory in a row to the team that seems to win all of them.

But not Pete Carroll who is known as a master motivator took the hurt and heartbreak and turned it into personal growth.

Things don’t always work out, but they always provide a path to become better.

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Anxiety Excuses

Almost everyone I know is stressed (including me).

But not everyone thinks of stress the same way.

Some look at each new anxiety as the one that may break them – usually it doesn’t, but thinking like this doesn’t help.

Anxiety is best treated with two things – a little self-kindness and gratitude.

A mental hug is appropriate because we need to know that we’re doing the best we can at all times.

And gratitude not only for the good things in life but the people who love and care for us puts anxiety in perspective.

The world is a tough place that is handled best with soft touches like being kind to ourselves and grateful for the things and people in life that destress us.

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Changing the Way You See Yourself

You wouldn’t make a presentation or a speech and tell yourself “I hope I don’t blow it” before you begin – it’s the wrong message for a positive outcome.

That’s exactly how we beat ourselves up every day wondering what mistake we will make next or how we won’t measure up.

That stops today.

You’re always good enough – it’s all you can be.

You’ve succeeded a lot in life but somehow fear of failure hijacks all our successes.

Scroll back, they’re all there just not recalled often enough.

Picture a brain with a sign firmly planted in it that says “Keep Out”.

The negatives input of others is not welcomed and it’s our head, you decide what gets in and gets repeated.

If you can’t believe in you, how can you ask any individual or group to believe.

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How to Prevent a Meltdown

It’s not the amount of anxiety people face, it’s their ability to take a pause before getting caught up in it.

Not a grand plan, not retribution nor avoiding the stressful world we live in.

A pause for a moment to allow the brain to respond instead of react.

Meltdowns occur when we pile yet another stressful situation, irritation, problem or crisis on top of the things we’re already carrying with us that cause us to be anxious.

The difference between reacting and adding another stressor or responding to prevent more unneeded stress is something as simple as waiting 5-7 seconds before acting.

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Empathy from Children

“When my older daughter came into my room early one morning to wake me up on the weekend, my sweet 5-year old son stopped her outside my room and said:  ‘Let Mommy sleep.  She needs some sleep to have a happier day.’  Considering how sleep-deprived I am as a working mom with both kids remote schooling, it was a relief to receive a bit of empathy.”  — Faye D’Silva, Toronto, CA/New York Times Parenting Letter

Even more important than sleep is empathy.

Understanding and sharing feelings is a potent elixir for burnout.

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