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

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

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

How To Accept AND Excel

How to accept what is and start growing toward what could be.In my latest book, Thrive Principles, one of my strategies is Accepting What Is.  Which has caused some readers to wonder how that fits into my ideas about constantly growing and changing.

They are not mutually opposed.  Accepting What Is creates a beginning point, a starting line.  From there, you can move toward who you want to be.  You can build a life of meaning and purpose.

Many people struggle with where they are.  But where we are is just that, our current spot.  Not a permanent place, but a starting point.

This week, I discuss how to both Accept What Is AND plot a growth course to become the person you want to be.  Make your impact with both sides of the equation.

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.

Thought Habits

Thriving Habits Series

For the last few weeks, we’ve been talking habits.  What they are, how they form who you are, how you make them stick, how to turn your goals into habits, and finding your “linchpin habits.”

Your thoughts are habits.This week, I want to draw your attention to your thoughts.  Really, I want to draw attention to the fact that your thinking is also habitual.  Not all of your thoughts.  But how you think and many of the thoughts are really habits.

Those thought habits can either keep you stuck or push you along, depending on the habits.

Do you notice that you think the same way, over and over? Or perhaps you notice you think the same thoughts over and over.  Those are thought habits.

Once those habits start, they become invisible.  Your thoughts keep following the same pathway (in fact, the same neuronal pathway).

Thought habits only change when they are seen as habits.  Let’s make those thoughts thriving thoughts!

Listen below for how your thoughts are habits and what to do.

Habit Series:
You Become Your Habits
Habit Sticking
Habiting Your Goals
LinchPin Habits