“I’m Just Not Happy” and What To Do About It

What to do when you are "just not happy."Do you ever hear yourself say (or just feel), “I’m just not happy”?

What does it mean? What’s keeping you feeling better?  It might be depression. But it might be something else. (If you are concerned about depression, CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES.)

There are some other reasons for “just not being happy.”  In fact, in this week’s podcast (you can listen below), I note 4 different reasons.  The good news is there is a path through each one.  But you can only follow the path when you identify it.

If you are “just not happy,” take a listen.  If you know someone who is “just not happy,” invite them to listen with you!

3 Growth Mindsets for Tough Times

3 growth mindsets to help you with tough times.Your mindset doesn’t change what is happening “out there,” but it can change how you perceive it “in here,” in your mind and thoughts.  Which can also change your actions.

The circumstances are the same.  But whether you feel stuck or empowered, that depends upon the mindset you carry.

Over the years, I have worked to shift into more productive and useful mindsets when tough times hit.

(And I promise, they will hit — just part of life.  Not a sign that the world, the universe, God, or anything else hates you, is teaching you a lesson, or anything else.  Being alive means there will be tough times.)

In this week’s podcast, I try to compare some not-so-helpful mindsets with some better ones.  I want to suggest three mindsets for you.  And you can adopt them at any time!

Mindset is up to you. . . once you realize it is up to you!

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Roadblocks
You and Your Thoughts
Thrive Principles

Building Your Resilience Muscle

Building your resilience muscle.You’ve got this muscle in you that you might not know about it.  Maybe it is strong, just naturally.  Or maybe you have built it on purpose.  Or maybe it needs a little strengthening.

The muscle?

Your “resilience muscle.”  It helps power you through tough times, so you can bounce back from the struggles.

Here’s the problem:  many people don’t know you can build it.  Many people do their best to avoid tough times and struggles.  And many refuse to let that struggle build the muscle.

One problem:  the struggles are unavoidable.  But if you let that Resilience Muscle atrophy, those struggles are just tougher.  If you strengthen the muscle, future struggles are not so insurmountable.

Let’s get fit and build that Resilience Muscle!

RELATED RESOURCES
Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving?
Thrive Principles Book
What Thriving People Know About Tough Times

Parenting Toward Your Goal

Raising Thriving Children Series

Wrapping up our series on raising thriving children.Start with where you want to end.  Always a good plan for any trip.  Including the long-range trip of parenting.  We need to know where we want to go, if we want any hope of getting there.

This week, we close out the series on Raising Thriving Children with a few reflections and final thoughts.  And the first comes straight from Stephen Covey:  “Start with the end in mind.”

And then course-correct as you go!  Because that is part of good navigation.  It isn’t a straight path.  Clarity of the destination is important.  Being exactly on-track is not so important.

As you are going through those stages, remember this:  Parenting is always toward your own obsolescence.  Your task as a parent is to make yourself unnecessary (not absent, just not needed).  We are here to raise self-sufficient, capable people.  And that requires recognizing that parenting is toward obsolescence.

I provide 5 final thoughts in this week’s podcast.

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children
Antidote To A Narcissistic World
Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids
Shift From Expectation To Agreement

Shift From Expectation To Agreement

Raising Thriving Children Series

Expectations don't work.  Shift to agreements.“I expect you to _____” is the starting point to many dead-end conversations.  First, it is not a conversation — it is a demand.  Second, it often leads to resentment, resistance, or both.

And yet, it tends to be the default for many parents.

Why?

Because they don’t see an alternative.

Let me suggest one:  Agreement.

“Can we agree ______?” is often far more productive — and FAR more likely to actually happen.

This is not abdication of parenting.  It is recognizing that expectations don’t work in relationships.  But agreements can be built.

Give it a try.

Listen in to this week’s podcast to learn how.

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children
Antidote To A Narcissistic World
Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids

Antidote To A Narcissistic World

Raising Thriving Children Series

For parents:  An antidote to the culture of narcissism.Have you noticed that the world is getting more and more narcissistic?  More “Me-Me-Me” thinking is infecting society — to the detriment to the environment, civility, and those at risk.

We can’t stay on this course.

Is there an alternative?

I believe there is a clear antidote to the narcissistic culture.  And I believe parents play a roll in inoculating their children from the narcissism.

Let’s discuss the family antidote to the culture of narcissism.

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children

Eggs, Balls, And Turtles

Raising Thriving Children Series

Raising thriving children.  Are they eggs or balls?  Lessons from baby turtles. . .Summer has flown by!  Here we are, already at Labor Day in the States.  That kind of marks the end of summer for many.  Most schools are back in session and schedules start to be a wee bit more important.  Structure returns.

And parenting may be ratcheted up just a bit.

It’s a great time to be thinking some about your hopes and goals of your parenting.  I’m guessing that your hope is NOT to be the rescuer for life.  Maybe more like coaching from the sidelines while the kids run their plays.

Or maybe like volunteer turtle patrols.

Know what I mean?

If not, maybe a listen to this week’s podcast will clarify for you.  Remember, there are two models of viewing kids:  Eggs or Balls.  I’m leaning toward balls.

Let’s think about it in this week’s podcast, below.

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction

Raising Thriving Children

Raising Thriving Children Series

Raising thriving children. A new series on parenting resilient kids.If you are a parent, you know that hope/fear.  You hope to raise a wonderful human being, and you fear making a mistake on the way.

This week, we begin a series on raising thriving children.

During this series, we will look at the goals of parenting, the limits of parenting, and what a parent can do to help a child learn to thrive.  Thriving is not an innate skill.  It is learned.

But it can also be lost in the shuffle of life.

I believe there are two paradigms of parenting:  children are like eggs or children are like balls.

Since eggs can shatter, they must be protected and insulated.  Balls, on the other hand, bounce.

Which model do you see in your own life?

(By the way, if you missed it, I challenged our common understanding of self-confidence just last week.  You can learn about that by CLICKING HERE.)

Listen below for the two theories of parenting and an introduction to this new series.

Finding Your Confidence

Tools To Thrive Series

The truth about self confidence.  How to find it.  How to build it.  How to have it.Confidence.  We all want to feel it.  We are in a culture dedicated to the importance of strong self-confidence.  And yet, it always seems out of grasp.

Why is that?

Because we want confidence to be “there,” already present.  We want it to be a preset of living.  You know, just an innate part of you.

But it isn’t.

If you have self-confidence that you can do something — regardless of preparation, training, knowledge, or skill — that is false self-confidence.  And it will fail at the first moment of challenge.

Which is the innate problem in our current model of raising “self-confident children” (and, by the way, next week is the start of a series on Raising Thriving Children).

And it is why we keep hoping to feel confidence, first, rather than having to build it as we go.

Listen to this week’s podcast for the Thriving Tool of Confidence — and we will be wrapping up the Thriving Tool Series with this tool.

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 Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath
Systemize Your Life
Using Mindfulness To Thrive

Using Mindfulness To Thrive

Tools To Thrive Series

Thrive tool of mindfulness.It’s a hot topic these days:  Mindfulness.

It has been touted as a stress reliever.  But it is far more than that (although it does relieve stress).  Mindfulness is really an awareness your experience.  In other words, instead of lost in thought or distracted, you are experiencing the world and you in it.

When you are mindful, you are more engaged with others.  You taste the food you are eating.  You feel the environment around you.

And you are not as lost in thought.  Do remember that your emotional state is a derivative of your thoughts (NOT your experience of your environment).

Stress is really about fear.  Fear comes from thoughts.  Not the experience, but your thoughts and interpretations of the experience.  Reconnecting with the experience disengages the thoughts.

Give it a try.  I give 3 simple mindfulness exercises in the podcast below.

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 Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath
Systemize Your Life