More Face Time

Parents now spend only 5 hours communicating face-to-face with their children per week.

TV, too much time in their rooms and their phones are among the reasons for the worsening disconnect.

This is forcing concerned parents to change.

Learning to play the popular video game Fortnite (yes, 20% in the Cadbury Hereos survey admitted to it).

39% are becoming more involved in their children’s hobbies.

33% have taken an interest in their child’s music – listening to their favorite bands and artists.

But mobile devices are a bad excuse for absentee parenting because many of these parents are setting a bad example by outsourcing their relationships to digital devices.

To reconnect, it’s not necessary to disconnect.

Simply connect with lots of face time and person-centered interest.

The phone is a tool, making it your life is for fools.

Owning Our Happiness

When something goes wrong, most of us have no problem quickly assigning the blame to who (other than us) is responsible.

When something goes right, it is often welcomed with surprise.

You don’t play sports by being surprised if you win because you won’t win unless you believe it first.

If you can quickly name who ruined your dream then you likely gave that person too much control over your life.

Why is it that blame comes easily and success comes surprisingly?

To be happy, expect to win and when you lose, expect to win the next time.

Tiny Habits

B.J. Fogg has a bestselling book titled Tiny Habits in which motivation, ability and prompt (the opportunity) are described as the best ways to make changes.

We’ve been warned with the age-old Chinese saying “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” but we rarely use that wisdom as the basis for getting things done.

In short, if you have the ability, motivation and opportunity, take one small step toward that which you want to accomplish.

Change your mindset.

Stop trying to conquer the world.

Start taking small steps in the right direction.

The idea that little things can be easily accomplished is a big thing.

A Changing Attitude About Failure

I was sharing with my students last week the benefits of failing.

  1. You find out how badly you really want something if your response is to not give up.
  2. You almost always guarantee that you will eventually succeed if you keep getting up and trying again (remember Thomas Edison tried 10,000 times to make the lightbulb work – it was just when, not if).
  3. You overcome the fear of failure in the future when you train yourself to look at failure as a rehearsal for your eventual success.

Your Best Friend

No matter how you cherish the friendship of others, the best friendship is the one you develop with yourself.

Can you count on you?

Do you know what values you stand for?

Do you outsource your enthusiasm for success to others or generate your own?

Do you love yourself for all the good things you are (can you rattle off a list of ten of them right now)?

Are you always there for you even when you’re hurting or when you’re confused?

The very traits we value so much in a special friend should be readily available in ourselves.

If we can’t be our own best friend, why would someone else want to be?

The Number One Way of Communicating

It’s texting – at least among teens (up from 32% in 2012 to 35% 2018).  Probably higher today as it has been trending upward.

In-person communication has paid the price for texting – down 49% to 32% in the same period.

Social media (16%) and video chatting (10%) are also on the rise.

The only means of communication that is declining is in-person.

Depression comes from lack of interpersonal relationships.

The phone is a convenient tool but also a great addiction.  To avoid the downside of too much connectivity, set aside times for meals, bedtime, homework (for students) and social interactions to silence devices.

Stressing Our Pets

Did you know that Spotify and Comcast have streaming music for your pets?

It turns out that pets are stressed by their owners because stress is absolutely the malady of the digital age.

On Spotify you can set up your pet channel, post a picture and let them chill out to music while you’re away which is the major way these channels are used.  Comcast uses images, colors and music to soothe the anxious pets.  No hip-hop and classic rock here.  They seem to prefer Beethoven and soft rock.

When pets are getting stressed out by their owners, it is past the time for us to rethink the role of instant access, social media and streaming video in our lives.

A Sense of Duty

Two months before entering first grade, my father had a massive heart attack.

From that moment on, I learned that I had to take care of him, my mother and later in life everyone else.

Caregivers know the feeling I’m describing.

Pouring your last ounce of physical and emotional energy into saving someone else.

Just as important is to learn to take care of yourself – your needs, emotions and priorities.

That sense of duty toward others also applies to us.

Faith in Yourself

Believing in yourself is not a feeling.

It’s a decision.

Waiting to feel confident enough to live life, pursue careers, enter relationships and deal with adversity is a sure way to never be ready.

It comes down to betting on yourself.

Are you ready to decide to believe in your abilities, motivation and skills or are you going to wait until you feel it?

If you’re not willing to bet on you, how can it be expected for someone else to provide that which you will not?

The first person to believe in you must be you.

The One Thing About Jealousy

If someone is jealous of you, you already won.

Don’t blow it by being jealous of them.

Jealousy kills relationships, self-confidence and trust.

Take the victory and move on.