The Appreciation Approach

Tools to Thrive Series

The Appreciation ApproachYour brain is really only capable of being in one of two modes:  fear/threat or love/appreciation. Unfortunately, the fear/threat mode is pretty much the default and automatic.

Fortunately, changing to manual and shifting to love/appreciation is not complicated.

More than that, there is plenty of research to point to the specific benefits of that shift:

  • Better emotional health,
  • Higher pain tolerance,
  • Higher sociability,
  • Greater life satisfaction,
  • More sleep,
  • More exercise,
  • etc., etc., etc.

There really isn’t much of a downside to gratitude and appreciation.  It just requires a shift in habits to get there.

Got 10 minutes or so per day, just for the next month?  YOU can build your appreciation/gratitude  toolkit and add it to your Thriving Toolbox.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix

Your Built-In Importance Indicator

Tools To Thrive Series

Your Built-In Importance IndicatorWouldn’t it be nice if you had a built-in detector that let you know when something is important?  Kind of like a treasure detector to point out when to pay attention and dig in?

Guess what?

You do!

But you probably aren’t using it the way it was designed.  Most people aren’t.  In fact, most people use this indicator as an Avoidance Indicator — using it to AVOID things, even important things.

Used correctly, this built-in indicator will help you decide what is important and what is trivial.  It will also guide your choices.  Used incorrectly, and it will keep you stuck, small, and missing opportunities.

Ready to learn how to use it?  Listen below. . .

 

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift

The Perspective Shift

Tools To Thrive Series

Shift Your PerspectiveAs I ran through the woods, I could only see the trees and path right in front of me.  I had no idea how far up the mountain I had climbed.  I had no idea about the turns in the trail ahead.  And I couldn’t even see very far back, given all the twists.  My vision was only the few yards ahead.

Sometimes, life is like that.  We are so close to something, we lose perspective.  We can only see the next little period of time.  Which means that some things seem bigger than they are, and some things seem insignificant, but prove important.

Fortunately, one tool in your Thrive Toolbox is the capacity of changing perspectives when you want.

This week, to equip you, I want to provide you with 4 perspective shifts you can use.  Then, you can see the forest, even when the trees are right in front.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula

Only Control What You Can

Tools To Thrive Series

Control what you can.Isn’t it interesting how much time people spend trying to control what they can’t control, and how little time we spend trying to control what we can control?

Imagine what would happen if we could flip that.  What if we spent our time trying to control what we CAN control.  And what if we released the rest?

There are really only 3 things that you can truly control.  After that, you are wasting your time and energy.  And you will likely frustrate yourself and others.

This week, as we add another tool to the toolbox, let’s look at the 3 A’s you can control.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness

3 Ways You Complicate Your Life

3 ways we complicate our life.Wouldn’t it make sense if we just made things easy, direct, and effective?

We don’t.  We tend to complicate things.  Repeatedly.

Life is already a challenge many days.  So why do we make it harder on ourselves?  Sometimes, it is mental blocks.  Sometimes, it is reaction.  Sometimes, we let our emotions run the show.

This week, I discuss 3 ways you likely complicate your life.  I know, because I fall into those same traps many times.

The first step is understanding the traps.  The second step is avoiding those traps.

Listen in to discover 3 ways you complicate your life. . . and how to avoid those traps.

Are You a WHY or a HOW Person?

Are You A How Or Why Person?I was madly taking notes at a conference a couple of months back.  This guy beside me was taking no notes.  I was impressed with someone who could remember all the details needed.  The conference was about setting up social media, blogs, and other technical elements of launching a program.

At the break, I turned to him and chatted.  I asked him what he did, and what he was hoping to get out of the conference.  He shared.  I asked him how it was going so far.  For the rest of the break, he told me “WHY this won’t work for me.”

Huh.  I was spending the conference asking “HOW can I get this implemented as quickly as possible?”  I was puzzled.  Why was he doubting, seeing WHY it would not work, and I was scrambling to figure out HOW to do it.

And I paused.  Because I have done the exact same thing as my seat neighbor.  Plenty of times, I was hearing great ideas, but only fixated on why it would NOT work.  In fact, my wife called me on being a NO person years ago.  And I am trying to reform.

In many areas, hopefully more and more, I am a HOW person.  What about you?  Where are you a WHY person?  Where could you be more of a HOW person?

Listen to the podcast below for more on what I mean and how to do it.

“Commit!”

"Commit," my friend called to me in the surf.It happened long ago, in what feels like another life.  And the story I tell is absolutely true (as far as I absolutely remember it happening this way!).  I promise accuracy, as far as my memory is capable.

Early in my college life, my rather foolish young man’s brain thought it made sense to drive to the beach, toward a pending hurricane. . . and surf!  I will readily admit that if my kids checked in with me about their plans, I would urge them to reconsider.  And likely knowing this would also be true in my case, I did not check in with my parents.

Not surprisingly, we were able to find a good room for cheap.  It would appear that all the traffic we saw going the other way, as we headed to the coast, were those leaving behind rooms.

In my own defense, this was in the day when people would ride out a storm, proudly buying an “I survived Hurricane ______” t-shirt.

I don’t have a t-shirt, but I did learn a lesson.  I apply it every single day, as I strive to thrive.

Can I tell you my little story?  Listen below. . .

(I mentioned my new book.  Please Check It Out HERE!)

Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Does everything happen for a reason?In recent days, I have been with people in the middle of horrific losses.  Inevitably, someone steps up  and in an attempt to comfort, says, “Everything happens for a reason.”

That comment is rarely comforting in the painful moments.

But deeper than that, is it even true?

Many people default to this as a reaction to something that happens and is outside of our capacity to understand.

Sometimes, we want to think that there is something behind it — not just some random event.  But what does that phrase mean?  Does it mean that some force is trying to teach some lesson?

For many people, the answer is yes.

But does that make it so?

Does everything happen for a reason?

Let’s chat. . .

RELATED RESOURCES:
Moving Through Grief
Living The Big Stuff with Kristine Carlson

Moving Through My Midlife

Midlife Transition Series

Moving through MY midlife.Yep, MY midlife.  Because I find myself at midlife (maybe, even probably, beyond “midpoint,” but in the midst of midlife).

I thought that since I have been discussing midlife transitions and crises, I needed to be open about my own midlife issues and transitions.  While not a crisis, it is definitely a transition.

Let me be clear that I don’t believe I should in any way be a model of how to do this (or how NOT to do this).  But I do think it may be helpful to hear from someone else who is going through this.

It turns out that many people think what they are feeling is unique to them — and that is just NOT so.  Midlife is a transition.  And it CAN become a crisis.

Here’s how it has been for me. . .

MID LIFE TRANSITION SERIES
4 Myths of a Mid Life Crisis
The Heart Of A Midlife Crisis
A Healthy Midlife Transition
Midlife Crisis or Depression?