Your “Why” Or Your “Process”?

Your “Why” Or Your “Process”?

As promised, an update on my new ‘ Ready, Reset, Go’ focus.  If you didn’t read the first post, you may want some background so click to read it here.  As expected, some revelations have entered the forward planning for this epic adventure.

THE PROCESS

My good friend and amazingly talented psychologist Nancy Morris and I had a lengthy discussion regarding weight loss and fitness.  I believe that to succeed at something, you need to fall in love with the process.  If you plant a garden and hope to have an abundant crop, you need to get up every single day and be excited about all the watering, weeding, cultivating,  hard work. etc. that are necessary for your plants to flourish.  It is the ‘process’ that gets you to the goal, your ‘why’.

YOUR ‘WHY’

Nancy believes that ‘why you are doing this’ is of utmost importance.  She says that if you have a deep-seated, passionate reason for doing something, your brain will assist you in getting there.  I really can’t argue about that because I also believe that having a huge ‘why’ is vital to anything you decide to do, especially if you are effecting a major life change such as creating health, weight loss and fitness.  Losing weight and getting fit are not simple projects to accomplish.  The blood, sweat, toil and tears are real and being a long process, your ‘why’ needs to be rock solid.

MAYBE THE COMBO?

All of this to let you know that I needed to make adjustments to my process shortly after I began the health/fitness quest.  I had resolved in the initial stages of my planning to add 500 steps per day to my routine until I reached the recommended 10,000 steps per day.  This proved to be much more difficult than I actually imagined.  500 additional steps doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re used to being a couch potato and you haven’t exercised to any great extent in a very long time, going from 2,000 steps a day to 2,500 the next day is fairly simple.  Trying to get to 3,000 the next day is much more difficult. By the time I had reached 4,000 steps per day, getting to 4,500 the next day proved to be extremely challenging.  I still haven’t taken my eyes off the prize, so the ‘why’ is still solidly in place. But the process seems to have hit a plateau.  What to do?

IT’S OKAY TO CHANGE THE PROCESS

Realizing that if I didn’t make adjustments the mission could stall prompted me to re-evaluate and regenerate the process.  Apparently at this point in my metamorphosis, a step count increase of 500 per day was not terribly well thought out.  I had simply picked a number and flown with it.  So I  did some research, found that my initial process was flawed and changed the number to something more usually recommended by fitness gurus.  For the past two days I have again found myself in love with the process and the ‘why’ hasn’t changed.  I still know where I’m going.  It’s just going to take me a bit longer to get there.

NOT A FAILURE

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  That was Thomas Edison’s response when he was asked about the thousands of times he had not achieved his goal of creating a functional lightbulb.  I don’t see revamping the process as a failure.  I see it as a necessary change to the process to achieve my ‘why’.  Focus on the all-important ‘why’ and accept that it is okay to modify the process to achieve.  Focus on the destination but make sure you are loving the trip.  Sounds solid to to me.  Thanks, Nancy!

As you know, I end all blog posts with something to think about, but I suspect the quote from Edison above will serve that purpose today.

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On Searching For Happiness

On Searching For Happiness

Sixty six percent of people in North America aren’t happy.  That’s a really, really big number. Multiple  surveys confirm it.  Its not that they are unhappy or miserable.  They are just not ‘happy’.  Obviously something is missing.  Or several somethings.

I’ve been researching, studying and making changes in my life for the past nine months and there is a solution.  Perhaps not the solution that two thirds of the continent are looking for.  Perhaps not an easy answer as the solution requires some learning, some commitment and some plain old fashioned hard work.  But it worked for me.

For six of the past nine months, I have woken up every single morning with happiness and joy ( yes, joy) as my first thought.  I’m happy to be where I am, surrounded by people I love and  respect, doing the things I love to do and enjoying incredible leaps forward in health.  Life really doesn’t get any better than that.

“IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY, BE”

People are unhappy for a multitude of reasons, from health challenges to financial concerns, from relationship difficulties to employment problems.  But mostly they are just unhappy being who they are.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”  Tolstoy wrote, “If you want to be happy, be.”  In a previous post, I mentioned a friend who’s joyful email created lasting happiness for me.  I found myself reading it again today.

Great motivator and mentor Richard Bliss Brooke believes that “to be happier, stronger and more powerful, the answer lies in Vision“.  It was Richard’s message that I internalized six months ago.  It is his message that started me on my journey of discovery and brought me to a place in my life where I truly experience happiness and joy every single day.

IT BEGINS WITH YOU

The good news is that the path to happiness is well researched and duplicatable.  It begins with you, ends with you and is totally dependant on you and your commitment to change.  From my perspective, it has been worth every minute of the past six months to get to this point in my life.

My mission is not only to be happy, but to create happiness around me with people that are motivated to take that first step.  And the first step is incredibly simple.  In fact, the first step requires only two words.  “Teach me”.

TEACH ME

Take a moment and think about your ‘happiness’ factor.  Do you wake up every morning happy and joyful?  Are you happy, truly happy about who you are, what you do and what you think?  This can be a gut-wrenching process if you are brutally honest with yourself.  I’m asking you to be brutally honest.  And if you believe that you can change, if you aren’t afraid to roll your sleeves up and get busy and that you have a true passion for learning, let me know.  Let’s chat about getting serious about getting happy.  Just enter “teach me” in the comment section directly below this article.  And by the way, I don’t charge for the assistance.  That’s another one of those magical, empowering ingredients that make me happy.

Ending as usual with something to think about.  “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It is what you think about.”  (Dale Carnegie)

On A Sad, Reflective Day

On A Sad, Reflective Day

One of the most important mentors in my life passed away yesterday.  I should probably mourn his loss.  But I can’t.  He won’t let me.

I won’t use his name in this article.  And I ask you, if you know him, not to use his name in any comments you may feel compelled to add at the bottom of this post.  He asked me not to and I will not break that trust.

I can’t help but think about all the things I could have said and all the ways I could have honored him.   Not that I didn’t do that while he was alive.  I just didn’t do it enough.  The man took me from meagre beginnings to an enlightenment of who I was, who I needed to be and how I needed to get there.

There is an old expression, when the student is ready the master appears, and I promise you that’s true.  He arrived in my life at a time when I truly needed him.  We grew from mentor/student to longtime friends.  And he added Ginger and I to his life and his family.  His wife of 45 years, his two exceptional children and grandchildren were his greatest joy.  They were all with him yesterday in a quiet, loving place.  All gave him hugs.  All said goodbye.  All told him how much he was loved.  Then he asked everyone else politely to leave and spent the last few moments of his wonderful life holding hands with the remarkable woman that was by his side for almost five decades.

His passing wasn’t a surprise.  He’d been ailing for several years and always the realist, he knew his time was limited.  He confided in those closest to him exactly what he wanted done when he passed.  Rather, the list should be called the things he didn’t want done.  For that reason, we are today honouring his legacy and his wishes by observing the following requests.

As he directed, there will be no public funeral.  No announcement of his passing will appear in the local newspaper.  And there will be no outpouring of grief.  Instead of what is considered the norm in our society, he simply wanted those he mentored to spend a few minutes today in quiet reflection of their own contributions to the world, not his.

So, in his honour, I have spent most of my day counting the blessings that were showered on me simply from knowing him.  And tonight, also in tribute, I will sit down and enjoy two fingers of scotch.  Neat.  No ice.  And I will say to no one in particular, “So a duck walks into a pharmacy”.

See you around my friend……

Regular readers know that I always close with something to think about.  Today’s is something he would have loved.  And he would have laughed.

“I am prepared to meet my Maker.  Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”  (William Shakespeare)

 

Develop An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude

A focus on gratitude is particularly necessary at this time of year.  It is, after all, the season of joy and glad tidings.  But truly, it should be a year round, every single day kind of practice.

The Universal Laws of Attraction teach that when you are grateful for what you have you will naturally attract more things to be grateful for.  The universe works that way.

More on this topic:  The Inuksuk

I recently ran across a blog post that included a list of steps you can take to create your ‘attitude of gratitude’.  I just had to share it and ask you which of these you already practice, which you need to work on and those that you think really aren’t relevant.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post please.  I’d love to read your them….

here are six simple tips on how to make gratitude a natural part of your daily routine, so you can attract more joy and abundance into your life all year long:

Take a couple of minutes each morning to write down everything you appreciate in life

Starting your day this way primes you to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring. It also helps you cultivate an air of positivity that makes you naturally more attractive to other positive people – and inspires them to want to help you achieve your goals.

Make a conscious effort to appreciate at least three people every day

By letting people know how much you appreciate them, you increase their own sense of appreciation and self-worth, and encourage them to pay this positive energy forward to other people.

While most people enjoy receiving verbal appreciation, written notes are also nice because they can be saved and re-read.

Play the Appreciation Game

Set a specific time each day to consciously appreciate everything you encounter. An ideal time to do this is on your way to or from work. Appreciate the people you pass, the road you walk on, the cars that let you merge into a different lane, the street signs that make it easy for you to know where you’re going, the rain that’s nourishing the plants and trees, and so on.

Look for the good in all situations – even those you would normally view as negative. As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For example, when my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.

Carry a physical token of gratitude in your pocket, such as a heart-shaped stone, crystal, or some other small item

A physical reminder can bring you back to your practice of gratitude when your mind has drifted elsewhere. As you reach into your pocket throughout the day and feel the token, use it as a reminder to stop, breathe and take a moment to fully experience the emotion of gratitude. The more conscious effort you put into seeking it out, the easier it will be to find it – and the more powerful your experience will be.

Remember to appreciate the smallest blessings

The best way to activate your gratitude is by acknowledging the gifts most people take for granted. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet and a roof over your head, you are better off than seventy-five percent of the world’s population.

If you eat three meals a day, you are far better off than the 1 billion people on the planet who eat once a day at most.

Do you have a phone? How about a car that allows you to travel to work or to explore the country? Is your family healthy? Do you have a computer and Internet access to stay in touch with the world, get access to education, and perform work for which you are paid? Do you have clean water to drink?

Celebrate these simple blessings. These daily conveniences are gifts that most people in the world do not enjoy.

Appreciate yourself

Finally, don’t forget to appreciate your OWN positive qualities and accomplishments. In addition to celebrating your big successes, acknowledge your small daily successes too.”

I particularly like the last point.  It is very difficult to appreciate others when you’re not comfortable with you.  Like most things in life, it is a process to get there.

Something to think about:  “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”  (Mother Teresa)

Text Neck. Yep, It’s A Thing!

Distracted by technology

Let me apologize in advance.  I feel a rant coming on.  So there I was, reading through some of my favorite entrepreneurial websites and I ran across a phrase I haven’t heard before.

Text Neck.  Yep, it’s apparently a thing.  And not a very good thing.

Have we really come to this point that so many people spend so much time on so many handheld devices that there’s actually a new medical condition?  I’m calling it a condition because I’m not sure that the word ‘disease’ fits.  Maybe it is a disease.  Staring at your device and ignoring people certainly has become one.  I’m not even sure what my doctor would say if I made an appointment to discuss text neck.  I’m guessing his immediate response would be “you’re an idiot”.  He’s blunt like that.

Text Neck even has people talking about the right name for this condition/disease/whatever.  Some think it should be called Text Neck and others are lobbying for the name iHunch.  I’m not going to jump into that highly controversial slugfest.  I’m actually getting a headache just thinking about it.

The worst part is that these are not just physical ailments.  They apparently also lead to psychological problems.  I thought ‘psychological’ problems were pretty much guaranteed if you were actually trying to figure out whether Text Neck or iHunch was a better name.

But I digress.  The article says that “If you haven’t heard the official term “text neck“–the slouched posture one gradually adopts over time from texting too much–chances are you’ve felt its physical effects in the form of headaches and a sore neck.

And even more concerning, according to a recent New York Times piece by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, existing research indicates that bad posture isn’t just reflective of a bad mood or low self-esteem–slouching may actually cause self-esteem issues.

STUDY SAYS ‘FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION’

June study conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland …found that participants with good posture reported feeling more confident and being in a better mood after the tests. And a study published last year inClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy found that bad posture may also affect your memory.

COPING WITH TEXT NECK

If you’re on your phone constantly, there’s no need to panic yet. Cuddy says that there are simple ways to prevent your phone from ruining your posture. Try using a larger device, so that you don’t have to slouch over as much to be able to read the screen. Remember to hold your phone at eye level, so you can read through your emails and texts while sitting upright.

I HAVE A MUCH SIMPLER SOLUTION

Put the darn device down and talk to people.

Or better still, put the darn device down and go have some fun outside.  You remember where outside is, right?  That’s the place you used to spend lots of your time before you discovered texting.  It’s easy to find.  Go to the door, turn the knob (usually a round thing that opens the door) and step outside.  You’re going to find the world’s largest screen with the highest possible resolution presented in breathtaking real colour.  Plus, it’s free.

Final thought is always something to think about:  “A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.” (Truman Capote)