Blog #522 Nine Habits that can lead to unhappiness – part 1

Coaching for Life Success: Bad Habits that can lead to unhappiness Part 1

Do we do things that turn us around?  That is things that shouldn’t be bad, but somehow starts us down the ‘unhappy’ path?  In today’s article, there are a couple of things that I need to think about.

Here we go!!

Item 1- Holding your feelings in.  Be careful with this item. You can’t explode like a volcano when things go wrong, but you do need to express your feelings.  If you hold your feelings in, they can build up. Maybe for some reason, you really don’t like professional football games, but you have never expressed this.  Every Sunday during the fall, your spouse turns on the television and assumes you want to watch the game. Maybe you don’t ‘hate’ professional football, but it really isn’t what you want to waste six hours of your time on a Sunday afternoon.  Keeping your feelings inside can lead to unhappiness.

Item 2- Too much technology?  We’ve all done it and seen it.  The couples at dinner with both of them on their smartphones.  We’ve seen it when we come home, the first thing we after we come in the door is turn on the television, turn on our computers.  The concept is “I don’t want to miss out”. Turn the phones off if you are at dinner with your spouse. Hopefully, you have plenty to talk about, your dreams, aspirations, even your feelings about things (like item 1 above).  

Item 3- Chasing after things. Some things are nice to have.  It is nice to have a nice television set, maybe a game console, a great backyard grill.  But, somethings ‘things’ get in the way of people. If you have children, have you taken time today to wrap your arm around them and hug them and tell them how proud you are of them?  The best things in life are not THINGS!!!

Item 4- Waiting for the future.  You might keep saying “In a few years I can retire”; or “Life will be much better in four years when our son goes off to college”; or “I can’t wait until I get promoted”.  There are three times in our lives – past, present, and future. The past is gone, and we can’t do much about that; the future is unknown and waiting for the future might be disappointing, but the present is NOW – live in the present!!  Work on being happy NOW.

So, which ones can you identify with?  I’m trying to work on expressing my feelings (in a gentle way) and also putting my phone away.  I can miss out on things. If they were important, they will come back.

What do you think?


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Blog #521 Eight traits of successful people

Coaching for Life Success:  Eight traits to be successful

This article focuses on success traits – and says (point blank) that being smart (high IQ) isn’t one of them!!!

Let’s see.

1- Self-Regulation.  Can you keep your emotions in control?  Even in tense situations, you can handle yourself rationally.  Get the facts first, keep cool and react after you have done some thinking.

2- Growth Mindset.  If you want to be successful, you need to be thinking ahead, thinking of your next idea, You have a plan and direction of where you are going.  You can overcome challenges and move ahead.

3- Resilience.  Hey, you can’t bat 1.000 (even the best hitters in the Baseball Major Leagues hit about ⅓ of their trips to bat.  Very few teams win 100% of their games. You have to pick yourself up and go again. Don’t quit!!

4- Passion.  Okay – this is a ‘biggie’.  Are you enthusiastic and passionate about what you are doing?  Passion can overcome weak spots as you push towards success.

5- Empathy.  You need to put yourself in other’s shoes.  Can you understand them? Can you meet THEIR needs rather than your own?  Taking care of customers/clients/employees before taking care of yourself.  When your company makes its first million, don’t buy yourself a big new car, but take care of the people who made it possible

6- Conscientious.  Put effort into planning and working your plan.  The old adage of “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’.  Plan ahead? What is coming up in 2019 for you? What technologies are on the horizons that you need to know?  As Stephen Covey would say “Sharpen the Saw”

7- Openness to experience.  An adage I like is “You learn from your mistakes”.  Of course, you (and I) will have mistakes. Learn from them.  What could you have done differently? Be curious about how things work.  Be a lifelong learner!!!

8-Social Skills.  Network, network, network.  Find a great mentor. Bring a great team together.  Have role models and milestones along the way to keep you on the right path.

Story.  In the 1990’s, personal computers were just becoming a hot commodity.  Apple, of course, had its unique model. But, PC’s were open. Many companies made PCs.  Even Olivetti typewriter company made PC’s (and sold them under the AT&T brand). One of these companies was very successful.  Their profit margin was very slim, but by making and selling a lot of computers they were profitable. Eventually (note – this is MY opinion and my speculation), the CEO decided he was a great leader; he made it all come together; he was ‘invincible’.  And … (again, my opinion) lost his edge, lost the passion, lost the vision, and eventually lost his company (actually sold it for a bargain to another company). Stay humble, or as attributed to Yogi Berra “It ain’t over until it’s over”

It isn’t necessarily the smartest, the best products as it is the perseverance, passion, conscientious that comes out on top.  

How about you?  How do you stand on these eight principles?  Can you do it – and be successful?



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Blog 520 Senior Technology #2

Coaching for Life Success:  Technology for Aging #2

Continuing the look at technology for seniors from yesterday.  Today, we are going to look at the last five technologies:

Wireless Internet
Wireless home monitoring
Home assistive devices

1- Wireless Internet.  So many devices need to get (and give) information across the internet.  The IoT (Internet of Things) can be so useful to seniors. With items like Amazon Alexa or Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod, seniors (and people) can ask questions like What is the Temperature? Who won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1986? (Geraldine Page), Is the Packer game on TV this weekend – and what channel? Let alone “Alexa, I have fallen and need help”.  With wireless internet, seniors (and all) don’t have to fuss with wires all over the place. Want to print something? Your wireless network connects to your wireless printer.

2- Smartphones.  For some seniors, the advent of smartphones has been bewildering.  (Let along the rest of us). Should I buy the Apple iPhone or one of the android phones? Smartphones can come with larger keys and larger displays (for some of those weakened senior eyes).  

3- Wireless home monitoring.  Having your home monitored gives peace of mind for families of seniors.  Falls, fires, and other problems can be detected and reported. Even for break-ins and other factors (like Ring to see who is at the door), home monitoring is good for seniors

4- GPS – Families can track where their senior family members are located.  “Is Grandpa lost” can be answered with GPS. Even for the regular trips, the seniors can put the location (going to daughter’s house, etc.) into the GPS unit (or spoken into the GPS unit) [In reality, I am LOOKING FORWARD to autonomous cars that I can speak the directions and don’t have to drive.  If Grandpa has some health issues while driving and passes out, GPS and autonomous cars can keep tabs on Grandpa.

5- Home assistive devices.  More and more devices have been adapted for seniors.  Stoves can detect when the soup is done (or that a burner is left on); sinks/water taps can detect when a faucet is running (or a toilet is running).  

So, technology can make better for senior – and also give more peace of mind to families.

What do you think?


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Blog #519 Senior Health Technologies #1

Coaching for Life Success:  Technology for seniors – part 1

Okay, yes, I am technically a ‘senior’.  Age is one aspect of being a senior, and according to my driver’s license (and birth certificate and other things), I am 71 years old.

But physical age and mental age can be different!!  There are times that I’m more of a teenager or a kid.

This article highlights ten technology items for seniors (and really many of us).  I will cover five technologies today and the last five tomorrow.

1- iPad and tablets.  This can keep the seniors in touch with the world.  They can play games to keep their minds active and busy; they can read e-books, and if eyesight is getting tired, expand the print for easier readability.  Try using your two fingers to enlarge a print text!!!

2- Hearing aids.  In the past ten years, I have had maybe six hearing tests.  The results say “you don’t need hearing aids yet, but you are on the border”.  Actually, I think I have been hearing much better in the last two years. At times I think people are almost yelling at me.  (I remember the old family doctor (Dr. Chapman), who was growing hard-of-hearing. I’m not sure he realized that he was speaking very loudly to me and would repeat himself if my reply to his question wasn’t loud enough!!)  But, the technology has greatly improved, smaller, transparent and really almost invisible. When the day comes (if it comes), it won’t be a big bulky hearing aid.

3- Video games!!  Yes, video games for seniors.  Keeps their mind busy. The article says “video games have been shown to improve cognition, mental agility, and even physical health for seniors”.

4- Video communications – Skype, Facetime, Google Hangout.  Yes, seniors can keep in touch with their families and friends.  I remember my mother when she first had a Facetime with one of her granddaughters.  She just couldn’t believe that she was in Michigan and talking to her granddaughter in Tennessee!!!  

5- Health tracking software.  You can have software on those iPads/tablets to record one’s health.  You can take your blood pressure and record it for your doctor. With some additional equipment, you can take other vital readings and automatically upload them.  If your doctor/clinic has the software, the readings that a person uploads can be scanned (with artificial intelligence if possible) to see if any of the readings are out-of-line and the person needs to come in for an in-person check (or have a Skype session with a health professional)

So, just a quick look at some technologies for seniors.  More tomorrow.

What about you?  Do you have aging parents, grandparents or others that you worry about (like my 95-year-old Uncle George)?  Can technology help out? (Uncle George is so hard to talk to on the phone because of his hearing, but he likes to see pictures of the family).


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Blog #518 Update on autonomous cars

Coaching for Life Success:  Update on Self-driving cars

The article is a good overall review of where the car makers are with self-driving cars.

They do delineate levels of self-driving from 0 to 5 – or no automation to full automation.  The article looks at levels 3, 4 and 5. 3 is Conditional Automation; 4 is High Automation and 5 is Full Automation.  

Their comments:

GM – Rumors of Self-Driving by 2018 (hmmm – they better come along quickly – there is only a month and ½ left in the year!!

Ford – True Self-Driving by 2021.  The article stated: “Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields told CNBC that Ford plans to have a “Level 4 vehicle in 2021, no gas pedal, no steering wheel, and the passenger will never need to take control of the vehicle in a predefined area.”

Honda – Self-driving on the highway by 2020.  (Using Waymo – a subsidiary of Alphabet (which used to be known as Google – ever heard of them?))

Toyota – Self-driving on the highway by 2020

Renault/Nissan – 2020 for autonomous cars in urban conditions and 2025 for fully-automated cars

Volvo – Self-driving on the highway by 2021

Hyundai – Highway 2020; Urban Driving by 2030

And others (check it out)

The situation seems to all car makers are chasing each other.  But, it also seems that advances are being made. [Hmm… the major car companies seem to have purchased start-ups in the autonomous car area and adapting their vehicles to that start-up.  So, … if any of you want to pair up with me, we will make the WhiteMobile – a fully automated car on paper. Incorporate, give all up stock and wait for one of the car companies to buy us up!!!]

I see lots of positives here.  Less accidents, cheaper car insurance, less speeding tickets (hmm … I hope some of the ‘speed trap’ towns think of what they are going to do with less revenue); help for the really tired drivers who shouldn’t be on the roads, but are trying to get home even though they are falling asleep; and more.  Grandpa can still ‘drive’ even when with current models he shouldn’t be driving.

I am excited about this development.  How about you?


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Blog #517 Early to bed, early to rise

Coaching for Life Success:  Early to Bed, Early to Rise?

The title of our featured article is: “7 Ways Science Proves Early to Bed and Early to Rise Really Works” – so for you ‘morning haters’, let’s figure this out!!

The real point of this article is SLEEP!!!  Do you have great sleep? I do?

Of course, I am different than most!!  As a retired person, my sleep habits are different than most.  I get to bed fairly early. Many nights I am in bed by 9:30 p.m. – and then up by 6:00 a.m.  It is a good rhythm for me.

The article states these benefits of early to bed, early to rise:

1- Helps you deal better with negativity.  A good night sleep can help you focus with more positivity.

2- Early to bed and early to rise can help enhance your chances of success.  Morning people have shown better attitudes. The article states about morning people: “ They’re proactive. Many studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”

3- Morning people are more persistent, cooperative, agreeable and conscientious.  Sounds like a great reason to get to bed early tonight!!

4- Sleep keeps you healthy.  This can apply to both early and late risers – but get your sleep!!

5 – Reduces stress and makes you happier.  If you get up by (say) 6:00, you can have your cup of coffee, a good, nutritious breakfast and be early to the bus or early to work and start the day without rushing and frustrations.

6- Early Risers procrastinate less!!  They get up and face the day – with less stress and more ‘quiet time’ to reflect and face the new day

7- Sleep makes you look better!!  Hey – what a great benefit – you can look better and make a stronger impression on clients and co-workers.

So, although the article is mostly on sleep – getting to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up early enough to gather your thoughts and not rush through your morning routines can make you a better employee and a better person!!!

What do you think?  Are you a morning person?





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Blog #516 Handling Toxic People

Coaching for Life Success:  Handling Toxic People

We do run into toxic people in our lives.  You know, the habitual complainers, whiners, pessimists, naysayers in our lives.  

First, were they always like this?  

Second, can they be ‘turned to the light’ (or, if you will, letting ‘the force’ flow through to them)?

Third, how to deal with them.


The article is mostly for handling them as successful people:  According to the article, you should:

1- set limits,  Treat them maybe like a smoker blowing second hand smoke in your face.  You might take it for a few seconds, but you need to get away.”Hi Bob, I only have two minutes to talk with you” – then set your iPhone timer to two minutes.

2- watch your emotions – don’t buy into their negativity, and don’t argue.  Move on. Generally you can’t win these discussions and they will tear you done.  Move on.

3- Don’t play their game – rise above.  Don’t get sucked into their whining and complaining.  “Bob, that just doesn’t appeal to me. That seems to be petty and whining.  I’m going to pass on it. I have other things to do of a positive nature. <period>”

4- Don’t let them push your buttons.  They are probably zealous about their thoughts and ideas – they may either try to get you to support them, or get you to fight against them.  It isn’t in your best interest to do either.

5- Establish boundaries. Stick to your guns.  “Excuse me Bob, but I only had two minutes, and we’ve gone past that.  I have to move on”

6-The whiners will try to steal your joy.  Don’t let them. You are a winner and a victor – don’t wallow in the mud.

7- Focus on solutions, not problems – the whiners will tell you how bad it is, but don’t have a solution. Was a bad year for farming?  Sure you can talk about prices and markets, but what can you do for positive things?

8- Squash negative self-talk. – winners talk and live success.

9- Get some sleep.   I know when I’m tired I am more susceptible to whiners.  Get some rest, things will be better in the morning.

10-And, if you are spiritual – pray for them.  What stole their joy from them? Can they get it back?  “In everything give thanks”; “Love one-another”; “We are all made in the image and likeness of God” – including whiners and complainers.

What about you?  Are you a successful person and can overcome toxic people, or do you like to join in the toxicity?

What do you think?



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Blog #515 Black Friday

Coaching for Life Success:  Black Friday thoughts

The article states:

Black Friday is November 23, 2018, the day after Thanksgiving. It’s traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year because it kicks off the holiday season. This season is crucial for the economy because around 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. For some retailers, such as jewelers, it’s even higher, at almost 40 percent.”

With the law of averages would suggest that any one month should be about 8.33% of the year (or 1/12th as a fraction).  So the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas amounting to 30% of the annual retail sales is a big deal for retailers!!

And it isn’t just “Black Friday”, but Cyber Monday, Green Monday (December 10th this year) and even Cyber Monday #2!!!

Cyber Monday has changed some from the early days of Cyber Monday.  It then was when a worker returned to work (and high-speed internet) from the Thanksgiving Weekend.  With dial-up internet (like AOL – American OnLine) things were slow. So, as people went to work and had higher speed internet, they bought things online – so “Cyber Monday”.  As our society has moved to high-speed internet at home and at work, this has tapered off some.

Green Monday is the last day to shop and mail presents in order for them to reach the recipient by December 25th.  It also couples with Cyber Monday #2 as people can order things online to be delivered by Christmas.

I will not be partaking in Black Friday this year.  On November 23, 2018, I/we will be in Amsterdam (so, yes, I am writing this in advance).  I/we will have seen the Van Gogh Museum and enjoying the last day before we start up the Rhine River until November 30th when we fly home.

Enjoy your shopping – I will be enjoying my trip!!!



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Blog Post #514 Thanksgiving

Coaching for Life Success:  Giving Thanks

It is good to give thanks – for health reasons (plus more)

This article is perfect for today – Thanksgiving Day 2018.

It gives five reasons for why being thankful is good for you:

1- Counting your blessings boosts your health.  The old song from White Christmas goes:

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

You can fall asleep counting your blessings – you can boost your health by counting your blessings (and I can count sleeping great as one of the blessings – I generally sleep like a rock)

2- Slow done the aging process.  In a research study, it was found that people who had a daily practice of gratitude have less depression and can lessen the impact of aging

3- Being grateful can cut your stress.  Another research study found that practicing being grateful can lower a stress hormone in your body.

4- It can help your relationships.  Being grateful and thankful can help you bond better in your relationships as it helps with serenity and calmness in those relationships.

5- It CAN LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE AND WAISTLINE!!  Okay, on Thanksgiving is it okay to talk about losing weight?  The research shows that being grateful can lower systolic blood pressure by 10 points and decrease fat intake by 20%

So, today – do take the time to “count your blessings”; make peace with those around you, be loving (as you ask your family or friends to pass the green-bean casserole!!)  It is really good for your health!!



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Blog Post #513 – Pilgrims as Entrepreneurs

Coaching for Life Success – Entrepreneurship Plus

Okay, this is not quite your normal entrepreneurship blog.  It is about the 102 people on the Mayflower – being ‘entrepreneurs’.

For probably a variety of reasons, but primarily for religious reasons, they set off from Plymouth England for the New World.  They had a charter from the Virginia Company to establish a colony. They really landed north of where the charter was – but they settled in what is now Massachusetts.  After two rough months crossing the ocean, to be on land again, even if not quite the location they envisioned was better than being on the Mayflower another day.

In some respects, the ‘separatists’ were entrepreneurs – setting off to find a new life, a new career, a new location, new tasks.  

The separatists had moved from England to Holland to avoid religious persecution, but found that in Holland, while they were free to worship as they saw fit, that they couldn’t get the jobs and income that they wanted since there were ‘immigrant’ (maybe not unlike the immigrants coming to the United States today).  

I look at them (and the Jamestown colony which was founded thirteen years early) as leaving all that they knew for a wild and untamed land.  Yes, they were free to worship, but not free from discomfort.

Of the 102 that started on the journey, the reports say only 53 survived the first winter which was spent living on the Mayflower; and then when they built houses and started living off the ship, even more died of malnutrition, disease, and exposure to the elements (it was a long trip back to an English hospital!!!)

I have tried to imagine what their lives must have been like.  Could I live in a drafty log cabin (without electricity and a toilet)?  Could I live on shellfish and other fish from Cape Cod? (Yes, I do like cod – like with fish-and-chips – but every day?).  Then everyday working communally they built more houses, more infrastructure – in the new environment.

I have lived in Connecticut for thirteen years – and while it is not Cape Cod, it was hit by the winter Noreasters; by rain in the summer.  I can imagine being chilled to the bone almost constantly – and the drafty houses would not keep the rain, the snow, and the cold out very well.  Plus, summers in New England could bring flies, mosquitoes, and some unpleasant days too.

I’m guessing that if the people were offered a free trip back to England, they may have opted to take it – even if it meant renouncing their faith practices and beliefs.  But, they stayed.

Yes, they did befriend the Indians (Native Americans), yes, it eventually did prosper, yes, there are those that really can trace their heritage back to the Mayflower.  

I’m glad they made it – I’m glad for all those that came after looking for the new utopia, for a new adventure and a new life.  Entrepreneurs? Yes, in that sense of quitting all that they had known for the unknown of a new land.

Thank you, Pilgrims!!!  You set an early standard of living through trials and hardships – to make a new life!!



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