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

Fear or Love; Your Choice!

Immutable Laws of Living Series

You can live in fear and threat or love and appreciation.  Your choice.Have you ever wondered whether your brain controlled your mind or your mind controlled your brain?  Here is the answer:

YES.

Your brain certainly affects your thinking. But your thinking affects your brain. . . and you can CHOOSE where your thoughts dwell.

Brain chemistry is much more complicated.  And we know very little about how that chemistry works, anyway.

What we DO know about the brain is there are three layers.  The most primitive and deepest part of your brain scans the environment for threats — locking you into a fight/flight mode when it is activated.  The next layer is all about emotions.  And the top layer is about thoughts and reason.  We like that part.  But we often forget about the other layers.  Those other layers can keep us stuck, though.

Let’s talk about your brain and your mind.  Let’s discuss how to shift to Love/Appreciation — or you default to Fear/Threat.

Where do you want to spend your time?

(If you missed the earlier parts of the Immutable Laws Of Living Series, the links are below.)
Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges
Life Isn’t About Happiness
A Thought Is A Thought
Every Perspective Is Limited
Change Is Inevitable
People Do The Best They Can
We ALL Have Fears
Life is YOUR Responsibility
“What Is” IS What Is
Control What You Can (Release The Rest)
Forgive To Live
Life Is The NOW
How Do You Spend Your Time?

Anchored or Stuck? “Anchors Aweigh!”

Part of the Getting Unstuck Series

Are you anchored or are you stuck?Are you anchored, waiting for the next opportunity to sail?  Or are you stuck?

Sometimes, we have to set anchor for a bit, let the tide change, wait for a storm to pass, or wait for a new day.

Sometimes, we set the anchor so well that we end up stuck.

Time to weigh anchor and depart.  Time to seek the next port.

Let me suggest three A’s to help you weigh anchor and get sailing:

A- Acceptance

A- Awe

A- Appreciation

No need to stay stuck.  Grab the tools you need and anchors aweigh!

Getting Unstuck Intro

New Series Introduction on How To Get Un-Stuck

How we get stuck.  And how we get un-stuck.During my career as a therapist, person after person came to figure out why they were stuck.  As I transitioned to coaching, I realized my focus was on how to get unstuck.

How we get stuck is merely a starting point.  The real task is how to get un-stuck and moving toward our aspirations.

When we are stuck, we can’t be thriving.  But the process of getting unstuck is also the process of thriving.

I believe that we all have the capacity of being un-stuck, regardless of circumstances and situations.

How you are stuck is similar for all of us.  What you do when you are un-stuck, that can vary greatly.  But the process of getting unstuck is the same.

Today, listen in as I tell you how Bill got stuck.

If this strikes a cord in you, please share this episode with the social sharing buttons below, and consider giving a review of the podcast in iTunes or in Stitcher.

Let’s thrive!

Can’t Change The Past So Stop Trying

Let your past stay in your past.  Focus on the present and future.It is an interesting human characteristic that we spend lots of energy trying to rework and change the past — at the same time, we fail to believe we can change our future!

A belief that the future is unchangeable (and actions/inactions that often reveal this hidden belief) is called fatalism.  It is a belief that fate is set.  The ancient Greeks and Romans believed in the Fates, three women who created the thread of life for each person, measured it out, then cut it, when it was time to die.  No beating the fates.

Que sera sera.  

“Whatever will be, will be.”

I think I much prefer (please excuse my attempt at translation),  Que fuera era. Whatever was, was.  That might be “reverse fatalism.”  The past has happened and can’t be changed.  But we do have some choice about how the future plays out.

We don’t have FULL control of our futures.  But we have much more than we often like to claim.  And that might be the better focus:  changing what we CAN change, what we CAN control.

The past is NOT part of what we can change.  The future (starting in the present) holds much more potential.

Join me as I explore this “Reverse Fatalism.”

RELATED RESOURCES:
Interview With Jack Canfield
Accepting What Is
The Control Paradox
Forgive
Show Up
Responsibility
Gratitude
Consider Being A Patron


What Thrivers Do To Nurture Spirituality

NurtureSpiritualityWe all know it:  there is an essence deep within.  There is something that calls us to a higher place, a deeper perspective, a need for purpose.

Thrivers know they must nurture and protect their sense of spirituality.  That is the essence within each of us.

When we speak of spirituality, some people get a bit nervous.  Some even react with anger.  Some claim there is nothing there.  Many confuse it with religion.

I believe that this essence within us is quite obvious.  We are drawn toward meaning.  We experience moments of amazement and awe.  We become aware, even briefly, of how each of us are connected to everything else.

Those glimpses, those moments, are experienced by us. . . and then we try to rationalize it or distance from it.  But it is there.  Like it or not, it is there.

People who thrive know this and accept it.  More than that, thrivers work to nurture their spirituality — not their religion, but their spirituality.

Here is why it is important, and how to do it.

 

What Thriving People Know About Gratitude And Appreciation

What Thrivers Know About Gratitude And AppreciationSome people seem to just know how to thrive.  For the rest of us, we need to learn the skills of thriving.

Today, we discuss one skill easily learned, with incredible impact.  And it is one I work to incorporate into my life.

Thrivers practice gratitude and appreciation.

Gratitude is the attitude and mindset of noticing what is right, what is enough, and what is in abundance in our lives.  You see, our brains naturally look at the world through scarcity — “I don’t have enough.”  But there is another mode, one that switches the brain to love — Gratitude!

When we focus upon and look for the pieces of life for which to be grateful, our brain begins to switch modes.  It re-wires to look for more evidence of abundance.  And when we show appreciation, we carve out stronger bonds with those around us.

Practicing gratitude leaves you more satisfied and happy, healthier, better connected, less depressed, and less anxious.

And you can practice gratitude in just a few minutes each day!

Learn how in this week’s podcast.

Dealing With Endings and Beginnings

Life is filled with endings.  And beginnings.  There is no avoiding the endings.  And there is always another beginning.

Some endings are by choice:  you decide to leave a job or move to a new town.  Some endings give you no choice:  someone dies or there is an illness.  Others are just what happens by stages:  children come along and children depart for their own lives.

Every new opportunity, every new beginning, only comes along because something ended.  And whether the ending is by choice or by circumstance, our challenge is to accept, adapt, and move forward.

In this podcast episode, I discuss four ways to move through the ending and four ways to move into the new beginning.

Life is all about change, whether we fight it or embrace it.  Change comes.  Learn how to end and begin in healthy and helpful ways.

The Success Principles with Jack Canfield

Jack CanfieldOne of my favorite authors and experts is Jack Canfield.  My kids grew up with Chicken Soup For The Soul.  I “grew up” with The Success Principles, a book that gave me a plan to shift my mindset.

A while back, I ran into Jack at a conference.  We chatted and committed to an interview.

Today was the day!

Jack and I really got into some important topics.  We talked about being 100% responsible (one of his Principles), and what that means.

One of my favorite principles is the equation, E + R = O (event + response = outcome).  We had a chance to discuss that equation in-depth.  This is a crucial formula for thriving in life.

As we discussed fear, Jack talked about the fact that fear is NOT a stop sign.  It is simply a caution sign.  And then Jack discussed a way to even eliminate that fear (a slight movement away from the “feel the fear and do it anyway” idea from his earlier work).

SuccessPrinciplesCoverIs your life where you want it to be?  If not, please listen in and discover how to start getting there.  Jack gives specific steps to take.

If you want to learn more, go to TheSuccessPrinciples.com, or GRAB HIS BOOK right here.

You can find the interview below.

And please share this below, so others can benefit from Jack’s wisdom and advice.

You Feel Your Focus

You feel your focus.What is your focus?

Do you focus on the threats and dangers, the “what’s wrong” of life?

It is seductive.  The “news” surrounds us with stories that can lead you to believe we are in danger at every turn.

The “self-help” world tells us all the things that are “wrong” with us.

And our brain latches on to those messages.  Our brain gets sucked into the fears and threats.

So why do we seem to miss all that is “right,” going well, and good?

The “Amygdala Hijack” is to blame.

Unless we choose our focus, we will become focused on the fearful, the dangerous, the threatening.

And we will miss the beautiful, the hopeful, the meaningful, and the inspirational.

Let’s talk about how you limit your exposure.  Let me tell you about 5 ways to take back your brain and your mind from the Amygdala Hijack.