Lessons From Hurricane Sandy

The devastation from Hurricane Sandy has challenged millions of people in its wake forcing them to count their blessings and believe in their ability to begin anew.

Henry Kavett, a long time friend of mine dating back to his ABC Radio days has been without electricity, low on food and running on empty and yet his recent email could be an inspiration to all of us because it takes a hurricane to cause this kind of widespread damage but only a moment of gratitude to put things in perspective.

 “Things will get back to some kind of normal…because…” Out of bad…comes  good”, right? You said that…and I believe it… 

Things that we learned this week:

  1. Gas is gas– brand name or XXX off brand, doesn’t matter
  2. Life is precious and fragile
  3. Live wisely
  4. Things can be replaced
  5. You will find out who truly cares about you in a crisis”

Adversity introduces a person to him or her self and to those around them.

Oprah Winfrey said:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

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The Jealousy Diet

Go on a jealousy diet and relieve yourself of the deadweight that kills relationships. 

I think the two worst human conditions are the fear of intimacy and jealousy.

Jealousy is a complicated and involved malady but to the extent that it hurts us from being our best and bringing the best out of others, we need a plan to eliminate or greatly reduce it from our lives, our families, relationships and workplaces.

We go on low-fat and low carb diets.  Why not a Jealousy Diet as I outline in my book.

  1. Let go of the fear that you don’t have any value.  Take the eye off of others and turn the attention to within.
  2. Repeat often:  “Jealousy hurts me more than it hurts them”.  William Penn wrote that “the jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves”.
  3. Count jealousies like calories – make a list of the people of whom you are jealous.
  4. Focus on your accomplishments.  Harold Coffin said, “Envy is the art of counting the other person’s blessings instead of your own.”
  5. Make amends for jealous behavior.

“In jealousy there is more self-love than love” – Francois VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes (1665)

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The Forgiveness Principle

We need to forgive ourselves and others.

Sometimes simply repeating the decision to forgive ourselves helps us to absorb painful feelings.

When we forgive those who have offended us, it is also an act of self-love

Martin Padovani, in his book “Healing Wounded Relationships” says letting go means moving on with our lives and relationships. 

Padovani says:

“It is futile to refuse to forgive another in order to punish him.  In the long run we are only self-destructively punishing ourselves, because we are immobilizing ourselves emotionally and spiritually.  We need to forgive others first for our own sake in order to heal”.

And forgiveness doesn’t mean that reconciliation with others is always possible.

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.

Forgiveness can start here and now, but it may take a lifetime if ever to forget.

And for those who continually hurt us, remembering is protection from future offenses.

If the offender refuses our forgiveness, let them go.

We have done what we can and we can move on with life.

If this touches you, please feel free to forward it to friends and family. 

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When a Friend Hurts You

We live in an age of collecting “friends” on Facebook and in our heart of hearts most of us know that we would be lucky to have a small handful of true friends in our lifetime.

It has been said that “Making a million friends is not an achievement, the achievement is to make a friend who stands with you when millions are against you”.

When a trusted and dear friend hurts us for whatever reason, it is a mind-jarring experience with repercussions to our future happiness.

After all the suffering and pain, this one thought is most important.

Never let anyone who hurts you make you doubt your ability to be a good friend to others or make you doubt that someone else will be a good friend to you.

If you do, your loss doubles.

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.” – Sherrilyn Kenyon, Invincible.

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Instant Confidence Builders

Our confidence tends to ebb and flow naturally based on how things are going in our lives.

When all is going our way, it’s hard not to be confident.

When times get tough, we often get tentative and second guess the very instincts that have previously made us successful.

So I thought I would pass along some instant confidence builders – things I have found to be effective just giving them a try.   I hope you like them and pass them on to others:

  1. Repeat, “I have done it before, I can do it again”. 
  2. Use an IOU from your past.  Borrow from something unexpected that you had to handle and did very well.  Then apply it to your current challenge.
  3. Before opening the door to a meeting or interview where you need an extra dose of confidence say, “There is an important reason why I have been called to this meeting”.
  4. Remind yourself, “I have earned the right” to do that which you are setting out to accomplish.
  5. Preparation breeds self-confidence.  Instead of worrying, prepare more.

As William Jennings Bryan said:

“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you”.

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