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

The Importance Matrix

Tools To Thrive Series

The Importance MatrixDo you find yourself chasing after all of those “urgent” tasks, only to discover that they really don’t matter?

President Dwight Eisenhower said, “I have to kinds of problems.  The urgent and the important.  The urgent are not important and the important are never urgent.”

Sometimes, the urgent things ARE important.  They probably get done right then and there.  But then the urgent (but not important) tend to crowd out the important (but not urgent).  For example, those meetings and tasks at work that you take on can seem urgent.  But they might not be important.  On the other hand, relationships with a spouse or children can get pushed to the side because they are not urgent.  Yet they are important.

The sad part is when the important (but not urgent) get shuffled off to the side for so long that they become no longer important.  Broken relationships, hurting spouses — they drift away.

The Eisenhower Box is named for President Eisenhower.  It is a powerful tool in your Thriving Toolbox, as you work to get priorities clarified.

Listen in to learn how to use it in your life.

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

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

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

The Responsibility Formula

Tools To Thrive Series

Being 100% Responsible:  The Responsibility Formula

E + R = O

It’s one of my favorite formulas.  And it isn’t even math!

Well, it kinda is.  It is the Responsibility Formula Dr. Robert Resnick developed, and Jack Canfield popularized.

And it is powerful.

Like most formulas, all the parts must be present.

Many times, people assume that what happens around them determines what happens to them.  They miss a piece of the formula.

Sometimes, people assume they have full control of life, that they can choose their path, without outside interference.  They also miss a piece of the formula.

Master this formula and you will have a grasp on responsibility in your life — and how to work the formula in your favor.

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

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

Thought Awareness

Tools to Thrive Series

Tool to thrive:  Thought AwarenessThe human mind is amazing.  It is capable of so much.  Thoughts that lead to great works of art, inventions, beautiful buildings, great literature, and everyday life.  Thoughts can also lead to destruction, pain, hurt, and anguish.  All from the same mind.

Your mind and my mind does one thing all day long:  it creates thoughts.  Some are helpful.  Others, not so much.

The fact that the mind creates these thoughts is not a problem.  The fact that we forget we are thinking, that IS a problem.  Because then we confuse a thought with reality.  And we act as if that thought is real.

The first tool of thriving is Thought Awareness.  It is always within your grasp.  But it is a tool many people fail to use.

Let’s talk about how to use Thought Awareness to thrive.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction

Your Thrive Toolbox

Tools To Thrive Series

Your Thrive Toolbox.Having the right tool can make ALL the difference.  Ever tried to drive a screw with a hammer?  I have.  It didn’t go so well.

A few years back, I was changing out some faucets.  After stripping the skin off my knuckles and muttering a few choice words, I decided there HAD to be a tool that would help me get those faucets loose.

Turns out there was!  Once I had the tool, everything was easier.

The other day, as I was taking my morning walk with Ziggy (my dog), it occurred to me that there were some tools that help you to thrive.  You might need these tools in your “thrive toolbox.”

Some are mindset shifts.  Others are processes.  And others are exercises.  They all help you build toward a thriving life.

This week, we launch into a new series on these Thriving Tools.  What they are.  How to use them.  How they help you to thrive.

Listen below.

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.