Contribution

What are you giving (versus what you are getting)?  And why contributing to leave the world better leads to thriving.When I talk about Thriveology, many people say, “Oh, that is more of that ‘being happy’ stuff, isn’t it?”

My response:  No. Well, not just that.  Sure, being happy is fine.  No need to avoid being happy! But that is only one dimension of life.

It IS the dimension of life that hedonism celebrates and pursues.  If it feels good, do it.  Enjoy life.  Have a good time.  Seek out pleasure and avoid pain.

Except that doesn’t lead much to thriving. It posits your satisfaction with life externally to you.  It is THAT thing that makes you happy, brings you pleasure, makes life worthwhile.

Eudaimonia was the counterpoint in greek thought.  This is the pursuit of life satisfaction by what things mean to you internally. It is how you bring meaning, enjoyment, and satisfaction into your life from within.

And there is a cornerstone of that:  Contribution.  What we GIVE to the world, versus what we GET from the world. Giving versus Taking.

Research has long pointed out the power of giving and contributing to the mental health, wellbeing, meaning/purpose, and satisfaction of people to their lives.  Which is why it is part of The Thrive Code.

Listen below to learn why contribution matters and some principles of doing it.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Challenge
Control
Community
Lee’s Books

Community and Connection

We all need connection and community in our lives. Where is your connection? Where is your community?It’s in our DNA.  We have a need to connect with others, to have connections and relationships.  We express that in close relationships and larger groups.

And unfortunately, lately, we have often allowed tribalism into our connections.  When we slip into our tribal thinking, we work from a place of exclusion.  This leads to a greater illusion of connection.  In reality, that connection is based in being the same as others in the tribe.

Community, on the other hand, allows others to include themselves.  It is not about differences.  Lines are not drawn to separate.  Differences have room for inclusion. And true connection can grow.

Speaking of connection… we need connection in life to thrive.  Those who are caught in isolation suffer, both emotionally and in their health.  It is also deeply wired into our DNA.

Where is YOUR community?

Where is YOUR connection?

Listen to this episode of Thriveology Podcast for why community and connection are so important.

RELATED RESOURCES
Challenge:  Thrive Code #1
Control:  Thrive Code #2

It’s A Challenge!

Life is a challenge, isn’t it? I don’t think I am saying anything that is a surprise these days. We’ve been dealing with a pandemic now for over 2 years. For many people, that has led to many challenges throughout life.

Which brings me to my word for 2022. Each year, my family chooses one word to live into for the year. And this year, my word is Challenge. Not just to acknowledge the challenge of these days, but to claim that I am going to live into and lean into the challenge!

Even without a pandemic, life would still be a challenge. Why?

Challenge is my word for 2022. Life’s a challenge. Challenge Accepted.Because that is the nature of life. Life challenges us.

We can see it as an obstacle. We can even stomp our feet and proclaim that “it shouldn’t be this hard.” But that won’t change the fact that life is just a challenge. So, philosophically, I just acknowledge and accept that it is a challenge. Not an obstacle; a challenge.

Also, I need a challenge. If I don’t have something to take on, some challenge to work toward, I tend to get stagnant. I’ve learned this several times over this past year. Looking back, I see the challenges along the way. I see how they have helped me to grow and expand. A challenge is part of my growth.

But guess what? That is true for all of us. Our bodies and minds have evolved to be at their best when under a challenge. Too little challenge, and the body weakens. So does our brain. So does our mind.

Which is why I will also be doing more challenges (of myself and of clients) in the coming year.

What is YOUR challenge? (Listen to the podcast below for more on why we need a challenge, and how to take one on.)

 

RELATED RESOURCES:
Thrive Principles book
Podcast Episode: What’s YOUR Challenge?
Immutable Law episode: Life Has Challenges

Redux: Merry Stressness!

Merry Stress-ness and Happy Holi-daze! Dealing with holiday stress this Christmas season.And just like that, the Holiday season is upon us! All the hustle and bustle. All the events. All the demands… in the midst of a time that you want to be enjoyable, meaningful, and manageable!

Why the stress?

In a repeat of last year’s podcast (since we still have that holiday stress!), I discuss the causes of holiday stress. But more importantly, I cover the ways to cope with holiday stress.

Don’t let stress rob you of the deeper meanings and connections of this holiday season.

RELATED RESOURCES
Why We Stress
5 Ways to Shift from Stressful to Restful
Deepening the  Holidays
Book: Thrive Principles

Stuck in When/Then?

TheWhenThenTrapIt’s a trap.  And we all fall into it.

Sadly, we set it up on ourselves, then step right into it.

WHACK!  We are stuck… waiting.  And that’s the trap — the wait.  Life can’t begin until….

What’s the trap?  The “When/Then Trap.”  You know, that time when you say, “When ____ happens, then I will ______.”  When you finally get that great job, get that perfect spouse, make $$’s, win the lottery, etc.  THEN, life can finally get started.  THEN you can be happy, help others, find meaning, do… well, you get the point.

It just seems that something has to change, (right?) before you can get to something else.  And so, we get stuck… waiting for that something to change.  Not realizing that there may be other ways to get there… or even other places to get to!

There are alternatives to being stuck in the “When/Then Trap.”  In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we explore why and how we get stuck.  And how to get out of that trap.  Listen below.

GRAB MY BOOKS ON THRIVING:
Thrive Principles
The Immutable Laws of Living

What Is Stress?

WhyWeStressI bet you hear it as much as I do.  You may even say it.  “I’m so stressed!”  The malady of the modern age.  Stressed out, exhausted, and frustrated.

But what IS stress?

As much as we toss that term around, sometimes almost as a badge of honor, you may not think about what that term is REALLY about.

These days, I tend to push my body, physically.  I take a good long walk in the morning, usually do a workout after that, then go to jiu jitsu 3 to 5 evenings per week.  My body can, indeed, get stressed.

When we talk about “stress,” in everyday life, we are more talking about psychological stress.  Which is really just a term for something else.  Something we’d rather not claim.

But once we recognize what it really is, we can do something about it.  So, let’s figure out why we stress… and what we can do about it.

Listen below to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
We ALL Have Fears
Your Thriving Body
Dealing With Anxiety
Dealing With Depression
Thrive Principles Book

Does Gratitude Matter?

Be thankful. Be grateful. Shift mindsets and thrive. 4 ways to focus on gratitude.If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days.

For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little “thank you for that gift,” but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life.

Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dogs, Ziggy and Clementine, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude.

Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up.

But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis.

How about you?

Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain… away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain… just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful.

Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings!

RELATED RESOURCES
Gratitude & Appreciation
Two Targets To Thrive
The Appreciation Approach
Stop Trying To Change The Past
Thrive Principles Books

Correcting Course

Do you need to make a course correction or a course change?“How did I end up here?,” my client asked.  He told me that for so long, he thought he was headed in the right direction.  Now, he thinks maybe it was the entirely wrong direction.

I asked him, “Did you course correct along the way?”  He looked at me rather quizzically.  So, I elaborated, “If you are sailing, you point the boat toward some object in the distance, in the direction you want to sail.  You sail toward it.  But the winds push, the current pushes, and you end up a little off-course.  So, you course correct.”

But then, I added: “Sometimes, you realize that where you thought you wanted to go is not really where you want to go… or maybe it isn’t safe to go.  Maybe a storm or something else.  But you have to go somewhere else.  So, you change course.”

And I continued, “Then there are the times when you don’t course-correct as you go, and the small space of being off-course begins to broaden as you go.  What might have been just a course correction at the beginning is now a course change.”

Then I returned to our dialogue and asked, “So, did you course correct… or is this a course change?”

Just to be clear:  either is fine.  We all have the option of course changes in life.  Sometimes, it is just a course correction.  But it is okay if you need a course change.

It’s a part of life.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore the difference between a course correction and a course change.  What does it look like, and when is it time for a change?

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Book:  Immutable Laws of Living
Dealing with Change
How Are You Showing Up
Meaning and Purpose

Broken??

broken plate meme has it all wrongHave you seen this picture in your FB feed or on Twitter?  It crossed my path a number of times.

The first time I saw it, I was immediately uncomfortable.  But it took a little time for me to be clear on why.

There is a point to it:  just because you apologize doesn’t mean everything is okay.

I like that point.

But I worry about going the other way:  if someone hurts you, you are shattered.  With that, I disagree.

Not just a little.

A lot.

I firmly believe that we are all built to heal from hurts.  I firmly believe that encoded within us is the capacity to not just move forward, but to thrive, even when someone deeply wounds us.

We humans are natural story-tellers.  And we all LOVE to tell the “someone done me wrong” stories — thus, 90% of country songs!

And people do, indeed, do us wrong (and we do others wrong).

The problem is not the stories.  It is our attachment to those stories.  When we begin to define ourselves by the stories of what happened to us, we become that story.  It no longer happened TO us, it IS us.

And we get stuck.  We become defined by the story, (almost always, A story).  Then, we are limited.  We stop growing.  We stay attached to the story.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss what happens with a story, and why we can’t allow ourselves to be caught by the story.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Apologies
How to Forgive
Book: The Forgive Process
Book: The Immutable Laws of Living

Ego Trips

WhenEgoTripsA couple of episodes back, I discussed some lessons I have learned in my less-than-half a year in jiu jitsu.  One of my lessons was about “egoless learning.”  Several people asked what I meant by my ego being involved.  And what’s wrong with that… the ego?

Well, the ego tends to trip us up, throughout our lives.  Why?  Because our ego keeps us focused on how we appear, what others think of us, what we look like.  And because of that, we try to keep up an image.

And because of that, we trip.

Soon after I learned to scuba dive, I decided I wanted to become an instructor.  Partly because I wanted to learn more, partly because I enjoy teaching.

So, after some time of accumulating classes, dive time, and teaching experience, I was ready for my certification process.  It was supposed to be a learning event.  A place for me to learn more about teaching, got some feedback on how I was teaching, and demonstrated my capacity to teach.

They weren’t looking for me to be the best teacher.  I was at the beginning of my teaching.

That said, part of my task was to teach… so they could evaluate me and help me to be better.  And to get ready, I had practiced.  I created a killer PowerPoint.  I had “show and tells.”  I just knew they would see what an amazing teacher I was.  I would show them!

I finished.  They offered feedback.  The first piece, “You went 2 minutes longer than your limit.”  I was in the middle of a rebuttal, when I realized… I was not learning.  I was proving.  I was worried about my appearance.  My ego was there.

More feedback.  More temptation for rebuttal.  My ego tripped me up, and I knew it wasn’t the first time.  When ego appears, learning disappears.

Listen to this episode to hear how ego trips us up.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
Trial and Error Living
Life As An Experiment
Lessons Learned As A Chaplain