Coaching for Life Success: Goals – Part 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Goals – Part 1
Last time, we talked about BHAG –– Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  This lesson is for setting goals.

Goals are very important.  Our opening quote is: “Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”   Yes, add meaning and direction to your life by setting goals and by charging after them.

First – set high, but possible goals.  Stretch yourself. A ‘non-stretch goal’:  This semester, my goal is to get all “C’s”.  For some people setting a goal of all “A’s” would be a real stretch – but it is possible.  

Poor goal:  By age 30, I will be the CEO of Apple and making 5 million dollars a year.  Wouldn’t that be nice – but impossible (maybe by age 40 – and even then probably very difficult, but not quite impossible)

Poor goal (at least for most of us): By age 23, I will be the starting quarterback on the Green Bay Packers.  Unless you are an experienced quarterback, playing on a nationally ranked NCAA Division I football team, that goal is pretty much unreachable.  

Second – goals should have short term goals; medium range goals and long range goals.  

Short Range goals: Goals for the semester.  The best suggestion is 5 to 7 reachable (but also stretch) goals for the semester.  They can include academic, fitness and even social.

Goals for the week:  This week, I will do these goals (list)

Even goals for the day:  Today I will work on these goals (list)

Medium range goals – could be for the academic year; for your college years; for an internship, study abroad, learning a language or other goal.

Longer range goals could be for 2 to 50 years.  Long range goals should have short range and medium range goals that build up to the final long range goal.   Having a goal of being elected President of the United States in 2060 might be a good goal, but you will need several other goals along the way:  getting involved in politics, working on other campaigns, working as an aid to a congressman or other, running for a low level office, working up to national prominence, and more.  

Third – Write your goals down and carry them.  I carry my goals on a folder Post-it note in my billfold.  On flights, taxi rides, even while waiting for appointments, I can pull out my goals and affirm them in my mind.  I say them aloud to get them into my memory. Saying goals out loud uses the brain, eyes (to read), ears (to hear the goals); mouth (to speak the goals) and by using more of the body it becomes more of your entire being.  

Print them on a sheet of paper and have them in your bathroom / bedroom so you can see them when you get up and when you go to bed.  Go over them as you fall asleep.

Things to work on:

Take time to write down specific short-term, medium-term and long-range goals

Include some BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)

Put them where you can see them frequently

Review them at least five times every day.

 

And a quote from Abraham Lincoln: ““Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.”

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Blog #428 Coaching for Life Success – Attitude 2

Coaching for Life Success – Attitude 2

You can adjust your attitude – yes you can!!!!

It was one of ‘those’ mornings.  I got up ‘on the wrong side of the bed’. I nicked myself shaving. By the time I was ready to go, I knew it was going to be close, so skipped breakfast. I had two red lights (that seems longer than normal) as I drove to the CapMetro bus station. and as I pulled into the station, my 987 bus was leaving.  I caught the 983 bus – which stops more frequently than the express 987 bus.

I found myself being mad at myself.  I found myself grumbling to myself “if I would have gotten to bed a little earlier last night”; “if those lights would have been green”; “if I would have been more careful while shaving”.  Then I stopped my negative thoughts.

The 983 bus would still get me to campus in plenty of time for my first class.  I could stop for a quick breakfast taco at the School of Business snack bar. I would still have time for my cup of coffee.  The world was not coming to an end. Instead of reviewing my lecture in my office, I opened my laptop and reviewed it on the bus and even had a few minutes to check my email.

Like many times before and after that morning, I learned that I could (and ‘must’) adjust my attitude.  Life was good, it was going to work out.

A favorite quote from Zig Ziglar is: “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”  I needed to change MY MIND – and to change what was going into my mind – my own negative thoughts. I knew I could change my attitude – and change those negative thoughts into positive thoughts.

“I can do it” is a favorite mantra; and even better is “I will do it, with expertise, grace, and knowledge that I am on top of it”. (what ‘it’ is that I am doing).  

We sneak negative thoughts into our heads all the time – and I, for one, know that I can overcome those negative thoughts by putting positive ones in place.  

In World War II (year 1944) Bing Crosby sang “You’ve got to accentuate the positive; Eliminate the negative; Latch on to the affirmative; Don’t mess with Mister In-Between”.  

There are thousands of speakers, blogs, websites that agree on this – be positive.  Norman Vincent Peale wrote “The Power of Positive Thinking” in 1952; Tony Robbins has made millions speaking on the topic.

Today, take an hour and go out and search for positive thinking, positive attitudes, positive affirmations – that hour will pay off immensely!!

What do you think?

Could you share a story about overcoming negative thoughts below?

Bruce

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Blog Post #427 BHAG

Coaching for Life Success – BHAG

This lesson introduces you to the “BHAG” – Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  Technically the term BHAG comes from Jim Collins in his book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”.

But, the concept of big, hairy, audacious goals has been around for centuries.  Columbus said “We can get to the East Indies by sailing west, not east” – and while he didn’t make it to the East Indies, he did discover a new world.  John Kennedy said “We will put a man on the moon by the end of this decade” and the USA / NASA did it. Settlers from the Old World said “we can create a new life in the Americas” and did.  The United States said “We can build a canal across Panama” and did it. Of course there were others that had big, hairy, audacious goals and didn’t achieve them. But this lesson is on creating the vision – YOUR VISION.

First, if you had a magic wand or a genie in a lamp you could rub and the genie would grant you wishes; what would be your wishes in terms of your future?  What WOULD you like to be or become? Do you want to become President of the United States? CEO of Google? CEO of Apple? Do you have goals for a family?  For advanced degrees? For doing humanitarian activities? For being the best in some category? For climbing the highest peak on each continent? For going to the moon?  For flying your own airplane solo? For being in the Olympics? There are obvious a lot of things you COULD be – but for each one of us, we can have a BHAG. (One of the author’s big goals is to get this published and have it be a significant self-help document for college students and pre-college students.)

Now, big hairy audacious goals don’t just happen.  For example, it doesn’t happen that yesterday a person was an average 30 year old high school math teacher in rural Iowa with two kids, a job and a mortgage and today, that person is the President of Citigroup.  

First you need to set an ambitious goal – or … a BIG goal, a HAIRY (maybe even ‘hairy scary’) goal; an AUDACIOUS goal.  Now there is a difference between a goal and a wish. I’d like to win the PowerBall Lottery. That is a wish – there is little you can do to achieve that goal, other than buy tickets – and theoretically the more tickets you buy, the better your chances, but even with a 100 tickets your changes are still very low.  

To achieve a goal, you have to have a definable goal – what exactly are you looking to achieve?  The more specific the better (more on goals in later lessons). A goal to be rich is still more of a wish, a goal to have $1 million in investments and banks by age 45 is better defined.  A goal to be the starting quarterback on the Dallas Cowboys might be a real goal, but if you are not much of a football player that is probably only a wish.

Then you need to work on that goal.  When President Kennedy set the goal of putting a man on the moon in the next decade that was only the start. What also happened was that resources were set aside to reach that goal; sub goals of test flights sub-orbit manned flights; 1 to 3 orbit flights, multi-day flights and more.  

If your goal is to be CEO of Apple by 2055, you will have to seriously determine the path to get there.  What college degree would you need? What experience? What kind of person does Apple hire for entry level jobs?  What career path to get to the “C” suite of officers? Then start working the plan.

You might have to alter your goals.  Maybe as you get started, you get hired at Google and then maybe you want to shoot for the CEO of Google.  

Things to do:

Take some time (suggested two hours) to determine what your BHAG is.  

Take additional time to research how to reach that goal.

Write how to get to your BHAG plan down – pick specific dates – for example: such as by July 1, 2025, I will be a team leader at Apple in User Interface Design; by July 1, 2028, I will be an assistant director of the User Interface Design department for phones.  

Print enough details to put on a Post-It note – and review it multiple times each day.

 

Quote for today’s lesson:  “The more I accomplish, the more I know I’m capable of accomplishing.” 
― Tawny Lara

 

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Blog Post #426 Does Practice Makes Perfect?

Coaching for Life Success – But, does  Practice Makes Perfect?

Continuing attitude – but attitude alone isn’t going to get there – you need to keep working!!

Lou Holtz, football coach and television football commentator said: “Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.

So … put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.  This author adds – and WORK ON IT.

Sports analogy.  I coached high school basketball.  Prior to our first game, the team could have gathered in a classroom while I diagramed X’s and O’x and set up plays.  I could have lectured on the ‘give-and-go’; on playing the 1-3-1 defense; on setting screens; on passing to the open man.  The team would really understand the game of basketball – until they put on their jerseys and stepped on the court for our first game.  “Hey, coach, what is this round thing?” (It’s a basketball).

What if you were really passionate about basketball?  What if you went to the school gym for four hours every weekday and six hours on Saturday and Sunday and put up three-point shots?  What if a mentor or coach was there to help with your technique and to encourage you? You would really become a great three point shooter!

There is an old adage “Practice makes perfect”.  That isn’t necessarily true though. What if I practiced three-point shots for all of those hours by putting the ball between my legs and lobbing it in a big arc towards the hoop?  I’d probably get really good at that type of shot. Unfortunately, during a real game, I probably wouldn’t get any opportunities to put up shots from between my legs. The wrong kind of practice can make bad habits part of your style.

But, what if I – with a mentor or coach – practiced all those hours with running quickly to a spot on the floor, getting a pass and quickly turning towards the basketball and shooting?  My muscles would line up with my attitude and shooting would become natural.

Let’s say I want to be a better student.  So, tonight I’m going to study for four hours.  I’m going to turn on the TV in my room (low volume), turn on my iTunes to my favorite songs, get some candy and soda, and read my textbooks – but allowing for checking my email, my Instagram, and Facebook pages frequently.  After four hours, I could say “Wow – I really nailed that – four hours of studying – WOOO”. The reality is that I may have only half-an-hour of real studying and maybe not that much with the distractions.

Or, maybe I turn off the television, the iTunes, and the internet (with some exceptions), sit in a comfortable chair at my desk, open my textbook and read.  I have a highlighter to select topics, sentences, and paragraphs that are important. I have a notebook next to my book where I write down a synopsis of the concepts.  I close the book after sections and chapters and quiz myself – what was important? What should I be learning from this reading? How can I make this lesson and material ‘mine’?

I can use the internet and find related articles (your college library will have online access to thousands of journals, articles and more).  Use something like Dictionary.com and find definitions, use a thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms to important terms. Quiz yourself what is the definition of a term and what are three similar terms and what are three opposite terms?  In four hours, you will be really studying and not just going through the motions.

Yes, you need to practice, but you need to practice appropriately.

Later we’ll look more at attitude and practice together!!!

Bruce

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Blog Post #425 Attitude – part 1

COACHING FOR LIFE SUCCESS

Attitude – part I

http://i67.tinypic.com/2rqo8zl.jpg

There is one thing that is absolutely necessary for you to succeed:  That is your attitude. We’ll talk about attitude several times in this series.

You get to choose your attitude.  Yes – when doing a home repair job and you hit your thumb with a hammer, even then you get to choose your attitude.  You can scream (probably acceptable), you can swear (may not be acceptable), you can pick up your hammer and throw it through a window in your anger (not acceptable).  You can choose to be happy – or you can choose to be depressed, angry and upset – really – you have the choice. The American “Declaration of Independence” says “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  The government can’t guarantee you happiness as you have to adjust your attitude to be happy.

A quote from Henry Ford, American industrialist, and car maker “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

Let’s look at “I think I can”.  Now there are times when “I think I can” are impossible.  “I think I can climb Mount Everest blindfolded with my legs tied together” – not a good idea.  But, the various climbers of Mount Everest BELIEVED that they could climb Mount Everest. They planned carefully, had thought through various scenarios and achieved that goal.

As a child, I read the Little Golden book about the “Little engine who could”.  This little engine when asked to pull a train over the mountain kept saying to himself “I think I can; I think I can”.  The engine’s attitude was about doing it – not how heavy the train was, not how steep the mountain was, but that he could do it.

“I think I can” is chronicled in history.  Edison supposedly tried over 1,000 times to find a workable light bulb.  His belief in himself “I think I can” made all of the many failures acceptable.  He later just viewed them as steps on the journey to the creation of the light bulb.

Abraham Lincoln failed in many endeavors – as a businessman, as a soldier as a lawyer and as a politician until he was elected president.  He exhibited the “I think I can” attitude.

What do you want to do?  Think about it; get your attitude right.

You are driving on a four-lane road at the posted speed limit.  You see a car coming up behind you. That car zips passed you and then cuts back in front of you.  As you watch, the same car zips in-and-out ahead of you – sometimes almost causing accidents as the car cuts back in front of other cars too quickly.  What is your attitude? Do you get road rage? “That Jerk. I hope he has an accident” – or maybe a more gentle attitude “I bet he just got a call that his mother is dying and he is rushing to her deathbed to say ‘goodbye’”.  While it might not be true, it keeps your emotions and negative attitude in check.

When you took calculus before the class started did you say to yourself “I can never learn calculus, it is too hard” – or did you say “I think I can I think I can”.  You can also say “Look at student X, he passed calculus and I’m smarter than he is. If he can do it, so can I”.

A good attitude does not whine.  “It is too hot today” (and can you do anything about that – other than stay indoors?); “I hate doing this” (sounds like a bad attitude to me)

“I just got fired from my job” might actually be a great opportunity to move on to try something new.  Or, do you want to whine “I shouldn’t have gotten fired”, “Those idiots, I’m much better than most the staff that wasn’t fired”.   There is a concept that when a door closes a window opens.  

You can get out of bed, stretch and start singing “Oh what a beautiful morning”.  What is your attitude towards the new day and especially towards Monday? “Wow – this is a brand new week, I am SO EXCITED to find new adventures, new things to learn this week”.

What is your self-talk?  We do all talk to ourselves (if only mentally).  Do you say frequently “This is a great day!” “I really enjoy doing this”; “This is going to be a success”?  If so, you are reinforcing a positive attitude.

In my first year of high school teaching, during my preparation period, I went to the teacher’s lounge.  There was free coffee (and in those days, a haze of smoke) and a lot of whining. “I hate my students”, “I hate my classes”, “I don’t like the principal”.  I learned quickly to get in, get my cup of coffee and go back to my classroom to do my preparation. I learned that negative people can bring you down. Like Winnie-the-Pooh character Eeyore, nothing is right, it is always raining, it is always miserable.  

Don’t say “I think I can” just once, embedded it in your brain.  Say it again and again.

Start making a list of your attitude statements.  Write it down. Start with “I can <something>”

Look up getting a positive attitude on the internet.  What did you find?

Notice other’s attitudes that you are around frequently – are they positive or negative?  Can you learn anything from them?

Quote: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” ― Walt Whitman

(And – today is my birthday!!!)

 

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Blog Post #424 Know Your Competition – part 2 / Critical Thinking

Know your competition – Part 2 / Critical Thinking

For this, I want you to do some research.  What jobs will there be in 10 years, 20 years?  Will artificial intelligence be ‘hot’? Autonomous cars? (that is – self-driving cars – and trucks and buses and trains).  Where will you fit in to that world?

What disruptive technologies might change all of this?

What if artificial intelligence takes off, how can you get on the bandwagon?

What if public/massive space travel can occur – do you want to be part of the group colonizing Mars?

What is cheap desalination would occur?  What could that mean for Saudi Arabia, Australia, and other desert areas.

What skills will you need?  

What is critical thinking?

What is creative thinking?

Can you learn how to be a critical thinker?  Find some exercises on the web for critical thinking

Then you can:

h   a   p   p   i   n   e   s   s

1  Can you solve that?

2   What word phrase do you find here:

WHEEL

WHEEL    DRIVE

WHEEL

WHEEL   

3   What word phrase do you find here:

ECNAGL

4   A tree doubles in size every year until it stops growing in year 20.  When will the tree be one-half of its full size?

5  What time is it when a father gives 5 cents to one of his children, 3 cents to another and finally 2 cents to the last child?

Did you figure out the puzzles?

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Blog Post #423 Know Your Competition – part 1

Coaching for Life Success – 1

Know your competition – part 1

First – an overview:

Overview – Over 20 million of US students are in college according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/ )  millions more are in colleges around the world. They all have aspirations, dreams, and goals; they all want fantastic careers and good earnings.  Where do you sit? Unfortunately, as of 20189, there were over 150,000,000 (150 million) college students in the World (http://chronicle.com/article/Chart-More-College-Students/48516/).  This is to increase to approximately 262 million by 2025 (http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20120216105739999)

What does that mean to you?  A lot, frankly.

How many of these students as bright and smart as you?  Definitely! (Millions might be brighter and smarter than you)

How many of these students majoring in the same field as you? Definitely!

Do many or most of them speak English?  Definitely!

Definitely!

How many of them take jobs that you want at a much lower salary? Definitely!

Will global outsourcing to bright and smart students from around the world affect you? Definitely!

Economics talks of three resources to exploit in making money:  land, labor, and capital. You as a college student probably don’t have land and capital, so the only resource you have is yourself – as labor.   But, with millions of students worldwide, how can you sell yourself? Can they hire someone as talented (or more talented) at less money? Definitely!

And, the reality:  Money doesn’t grow on trees; you WILL have to have a job, you WILL have to go to work.  

In these blogs, the author will present insights to make you unique and help you obtain your ideal position.

Disruptive Technologies:

Not only are there millions of students worldwide going to college; but the jobs of the future are going to be vastly different.  Technology is changing ‘everything’. Your smartphone is more sophisticated than many of the computers of the 1960’s that sent men to the moon.  Autonomous cars are already being used for Uber drivers in Pittsburgh and autonomous trucks are soon to follow; Amazon is looking at drone delivery; robotics and artificial intelligence are growing.  Elon Musk (of Tesla Cars and more) envisions a colony on Mars (and has said, when he dies, he wants to be on Mars). The jobs of the future may not have been invented yet (and may be taken over by cheaper international labor and robotics and artificial intelligence).  It is imperative that college students today are able to think critically be able to adapt to rapidly changing environments, and are open to new technologies.

Global sourcing (or outsourcing) is projected to grow; communications technologies enable instant communications worldwide.  As long as the internet is available, work can be done from almost anyplace!

Are you scared?  You are just a minnow in a sea of sharks (who are hungrier than you are!!

BUT – how can you compete against all the millions of other people in the world?  Stay tuned.

Here are the questions from yesterday – did you think about them?

  1. Who are you?  What do you want to be in ten years; thirty years?
  2. How can YOU compete against all the others in the world?  
  3. What are you thinking about for a major?  Double major?
  4. Research the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  What is the forecast for jobs in your field/major?
  5. Research the worldwide number of students in that field / major.  How does it look?
  6. Start thinking of how you can increase your value and your marketability.

And a couple of new ones:

7) If you had a magic wand and could create the ‘ideal’ job for you, what would it be?
8) WHY will you be successful in that ‘ideal’ job?
9) WHAT would you have to do to get to that ‘ideal’ job?
10) HOW might you achieve that?  (College? Vocational School? Military?)
11)  What resources (time and money) will you need to get to that ‘ideal’ job?

What do you think?

Bruce

 

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Blog Post #422 Coaching for Life Success

Coaching for Life Success

Two years ago I wrote “Bring it On:  Coaching and Mentoring for College Students”, and a similar book “Rebooting:  Creating the Change and Career You Want”. In the next several weeks, I am going to be presenting that material in my blog (both on Facebook and at:  http://drbrucewhite.com).  There are topics like attitude, setting goals, BHAG, mentors, ambition, enthusiasm, entrepreneurship, and much more.

I will still do the blog commentary on interesting articles I have been reading.  

So, come along with me; I’m sure there are things that I still need to learn, but also things that I can share from my 38 years in higher education.  

Questions for this lesson (to write down, or to think about):

  1. Who are you?  What do you want to be in ten years; thirty years?
  2. What are you thinking about for a major?  Double major?
  3. Research the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  What is the forecast for jobs in your field/major?
  4. Research the worldwide number of students in that field / major.  How does it look?
  5. Start thinking of how you can increase your value and your marketability.

(By-the-way – both ebooks are available on Amazon.Com – Bring it On: Coaching and Mentoring for College Students – $4.49; Rebooting:  Creating the Change and Career you Seek – $3.49)

You are what you are by what goes into your mind.  Like computers, garbage-in, garbage-out (GIGO).  Put positive thoughts and actions in your brain!!!

Tomorrow – Know your competition – part 1

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Blog Post #421:  Easier and cheaper baggage checks with WiFi

Blog Post #421:  Easier and cheaper baggage checks with WiFi
Taken from:  https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/wi-fi-detects-suspicious-items/

The article starts:

“For the last couple of decades, security measures in places like airports, schools, stadiums, and other public venues have continuously ramped up. X-ray machines, surveillance cameras, and bag searches have all become commonplace, but still concealed weapons, bombs, and explosive can slip through the cracks — sometimes with tragically devastating effect.”

Then it adds:

“Looking for a new way to help solve this problem, researchers from Rutgers University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, and Binghamton University have found a fresh use for a technology that is ubiquitous in 2018: Ordinary Wi-Fi. Using this radio wave-based connectivity tool, they developed a new type of security screening system which is both low-cost and, potentially, life-saving. It works by detecting suspicious objects by leveraging the fine-grained channel state information (CSI) from off-the-shelf Wi-Fi, without needing to invade the user’s privacy by physically rifling through bags.”

So, common, ordinary Wi-Fi can be about 95% effective on suspicious items and 90% on dangerous objects.  If it isn’t 100%, it just isn’t good enough.

A recent news story on Austin television was that a few months ago a passenger got through screening and was waiting for his flight and opened his carry-on bag and right at the top was his gun!!!  He immediately went to a TSA rep, apologized, but also carried the message – “Hey, your screening didn’t catch this.”

Assuming the researchers can tweak the system to get 100% accuracy out of common Wi-Fi that would be a great advantage.  I’m guessing that the person sitting behind the X-Ray screen can get bored after a while and maybe would yawn and miss something.  Human error is probably the most common error and if there could be a better system with 100% accuracy and cut down on human error it would be great!!!

(This reminds me of a mathematical joke:  Before all the screen occurred in air travel, a professor was flying with a companion.  The professor opened his carry-on and showed it to his friend – he had a BOMB in his bag.  His companion was aghast. But, the professor had done his homework: “The probability of a bomb on any given flight is 0.001%, but the probability of TWO bombs on any given flight is 0.0000001%.  So, to give myself a better chance, I bring my own bomb with me!!!”)

What do you think?  Would you feel safe in a screening that relied on common Wi-Fi signals?

Bruce

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Blog Post #420:  Power of Positive Thinking for Seniors!!!

Blog Post #420:  Power of Positive Thinking for Seniors!!!
Taken from:  https://stonegatesl.com/the-power-of-positive-thinking-renewing-senior-lives/

This topic is NOT just for seniors – but for all of us.  But as a senior, I think it is more important.

Staying positive can be hard – no matter the age.  When your body aches, when you see more doctors than any other profession, it is easy to get down and depressed.  

The article mentions a song from the 1940’s – Accent the Positive, Eliminate the Negative.  The article says “Studies have found that actively fostering positive emotions can boost the immune system, stave off depression, and enhance health and quality of life overall”.

Again the article says:

“As wellness professionals, we look at the whole person, striving to help each resident not only physically, but emotionally, intellectually, vocationally, socially, and spiritually,” Whitwell explains. “Our program focuses on all these areas, with the goal of improving physical health, mental outlook, and social belonging.”

For a second, think of your car’s gas gauge.  When the tank is full, the arrow points to “F”; and when empty, the arrow points to “E”.  Now think of your happiness gauge, is it on “F” or is it on “E”? When it gets to “E”, you are unhappy, depressed, feeling worthless, sick and very negative.  You need to find your happiness filling station to get your happiness gauge back to “F”. For some people it is easy and for others, very hard.
I find that I can get some ‘happiness’ into my tank through music.  I’ve had Tschaikowsky on my iPod in the car for the last week and before I can hum along or even whistle.  (I do try to avoid Symphony Six finale as that is a down movement – of the last symphony before he died). Or, the movement from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite – from the Berceuse (the next to last movement) into the Finale.  I hold my breath as the firebird dies at the end of the Berceuse and wait for the solo French Horn to open the finale as the firebird comes back to life.  At the end of the piece, in fortissimo volume, the orchestra joins in the joyful leading to a very peaceful final measure. (As a tuba player, there is one note that the tuba and timpani change the chord before the rest of the orchestra that I also await).  If I am in the car next to you, and my windows are down, and my volume is full and if you look at me, I am the conductor – directing this awesome finale.

Others can find joy and happiness in their gardens or hobbies; I also find great joy and happiness in my grand-children.  

Deep inside, when you are starting to hurt, find that special place in your mind, that special process to fill your tank again and conquer the pain and depression.

What do you do to fill up your life with happiness and joy?

Bruce

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