Mentor (noun): an experienced and trusted adviser. Synonyms: coach, guide, helper, counselor, consultant.
Consider these questions:
What is important, meaningful to you now? What do you want to learn … change … improve … accomplish. How would you like to feel? What ignites your passion? What triggers your happiness and joy?
Make a list of your strengths and competencies. Review regularly. Edit and revise as you see fit.
Make a list of well-thought-out outcomes you most desire. Review regularly. Edit and revise as you see fit.
Know your B.S. (Belief System). Do you have a FIXED mindset … or a GROWTH mindset?
Focus on things that you CAN control or manage — choices, attitudes, actions, behaviors, mood, responses.
Take responsibility and accountability for “co-creating” or “shaping” the future you most desire.
Make a list of your own core values/virtues — or TARGET values/virtues. For example: loyalty, dependability, balance, compassion, kindness, generosity, passion, humility, bravery, professionalism, gratitude, flow, love, faith, patience, humor, ambition, optimism, confidence, fitness, wellbeing.
Then, review/reinforce regularly. Research and learn more about ways to demonstrate and embody them.
Compose appropriate “focus phrases” (sayings — proverbs — mottos — affirmations) Use them as reminders, positive triggers, inspirations, “alignments.”
Write, record, display the reminders and reinforcement that is appropriate to the outcomes you seek.
Make a “To-Feel List” — list of “target” or “most desired” feelings or emotional states. Review regularly. For example: happy, joyful, proud, enthusiastic, confident, grateful, compassionate, smart, lucky, appreciative, creative, energetic, inspired, calm, hopeful, positive, serene, helpful, loved, loving, valued, euphoric, strong …
Three other very helpful lists: • To-Do List – “Today’s Mission” • Inspiration List • Gratitude Journal
Gather intelligence, take notes. Flipboard. Google Search. Networking. Books. Magazines. TED Talks.
A KEY QUESTION: “What do I want to do, that I WILL do, to increase the likelihood of the outcomes I desire?”
Your goals should be appropriate, realistic, practical … they need to make sense.
To achieve specific goals: Break them down into small, workable steps. “What will I do TODAY?”
And … schedule those tasks and activities on your calendar! Give yourself honest feedback.
“PRACTICE MAKES HABITS” – to create a new habit or ritual, link it to an existing one.
• “What would I advise my dearest friend with the same goals, or challenges that I’m facing?”
• If a highly motivated person was seeking advice and guidance from you, in areas of interest to you … What would you tell them? How would you help them? Would you follow your own best advice?
Be honest with yourself. Be good to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be self-compassionate.
©2016 Jerry D. Posner
16 for 2016
Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year
Be your best self (especially when other people aren’t being theirs).
Challenge old, outdated fears with a dose of rational thinking.
If you had all the facts, you’d probably have a different opinion.
Allow for the unplanned miracles; and savor them!
Information is power. Ditto gratitude, compassion, forgiveness.
If worrying isn’t helping, then take a different approach!
Appreciate and honor each moment, including the tough ones.
Your life has more meaning than you can possibly know.
Patience is always an excellent option.
We owe our existence to millions of people we’ll never meet.
Sometimes the best thing to do, is to not make it worse.
Social media is inspirational … if you have inspiring friends.
Choose your impact; communicate accordingly.
The “secrets of success” are “common sense” in action.
When you recognize wisdom, act on it (or at least take notes).
Perhaps, the path you’ve been searching for is the path you’re on.
Ways to Make 2015, Your Best Year! – Lecture Notes
We start with who we are, where we are, what we have to work with … NOW!
Attitude, perspective, point-of-view might be just as important as the “things
What might be some elements of ‘your best year?’
What is important, meaningful to you now?
What would you like to change … improve … accomplish?
How would you like to feel?
What ignites your passion?
What triggers your happiness and joy?
Focus on the things that you CAN control or manage. Choices, attitudes, actions, behaviors, etc.
Seek the appropriate balance between PLEASURE and PURPOSE.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to
choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Dr. Viktor Frankl
So … MIND THE GAP!
Emotions are contagious!
You can catch them, and others can catch them from you!
So, it pays to manage emotions, to know what you’re feeling and your emotional targets.
Make a “To-Feel List” — List of feelings or emotional states you want more often. Review regularly.
For example: happy, joyful, proud, enthusiastic, confident, grateful,
compassionate, smart, lucky, appreciative, creative, energetic, professional,
calm, hopeful, positive, serene, helpful, loved, valued.
Three other very helpful lists:
• To-Do List (of course!) – Today’s Mission
• Gratitude Journal
• Inspiration List
Choose a few key words/short phrases – THEMES – to influence attitude, mood, behavior, choices.
Some examples: Listen. Love more. Compassion. Kindness. Calm. Gratitude.
Grace. Faith. Flow. Patience. Acceptance. Balance. Forgiveness. Resilience. Rational.
Honesty. Mindfulness. Ambition. Courage. Laugh more. Eat healthy. Optimism. Serenity. Exercise. Meditate. Peace. Walk, don’t jump, to conclusions. Confidence. Joy. Service.
To achieve specific goals: Break them down into small, workable steps.
“What will I do TODAY?”
“PRACTICE MAKES HABITS” – to create a new habit, link it to an existing one.
These “R’s” could help!
Recognize (what you need to do, think, feel. Having a practical plan is smart)
Remember (write down the goal and your action plan. Read it daily)
Reinforce (with action … practice … repetition … reward yourself)
Review (observe results and feedback … modify your plan as needed or desired)
Repeat (the stuff that works best for you)
“Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
15 For 2015
Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year
By Jerry Posner
1. Sometimes a single act of kindness changes everything.
2. Appreciate and treasure each moment … especially this one.
3. Need courage? Recall inspirational people and their deeds.
4. Preparation reduces fear and shrinks worry.
5. Angry? Count to twenty, slowly. Still angry? Do it again.
6. Expect miracles.
(If that doesn’t work, notice the ones that already exist.)
7. Gratitude: feel it, express it, promote it. Be a grati-tutor!
8. More facts = better beliefs.
9. Message from your Future-Self: love more, kvetch less.
10. If it’s too difficult to forgive and forget, just choose one.
11. Put on your (rational) thinking cap … and leave it on.
12. Courtesy is fundamental, indifference is the enemy.
13. Choose your attitude; many fine options available now.
14. Positive expectations just might skew the odds in your favor.
15. What we do, and how we do it, always matters.
“Since there’s always a choice … choose wisely!”
14 For 2014 — Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year
By Jerry Posner
1. Consider the possibility that nothing is insignificant.
2. A little thanks and appreciation can go a long, long way.
3. Teach people how to love … by example.
4. Count your blessings and write ’em down, a few every day.
5. Do something today that your future-self will thank you for.
6. Know your biases. Dump the crappy ones!
7. Allow for unplanned miracles.
8. Tell at least one person a day, “I love you and I’m glad you’re here.”
9. Good deeds make magic.
10. The best apologies contain no excuses.
11. We owe our existence to the kindness of strangers … and parents.
12. Taking things for granted is the opposite of gratitude — so don’t!
13. Where am I now? Where am I headed? Is a course-correction necessary?
14. Do what makes you feel proud.
And here’s a link to the card:
13 For 2013 — Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year
By Jerry Posner
1. Walk, don’t jump to conclusions.
2. Feeling stressed? Take a “gratitude break.”
3. “Mind the gap” – increase awareness of the space between stimulus and response – and CHOOSE your responses.
4. Banish old negative, stupid biases. Nurture groovy ones!
5. Generate positive, constructive self-fulfilling prophesies.
6. Avoid assumptions – ask good questions … listen carefully.
7. Be thankful for the millions and millions of people who do their jobs so we can do ours.
8. Great to count blessings, even better to write them down.
9. Brightening someone’s day will brighten yours as well.
10. Practice doesn’t make perfect … practice makes habits.
11. Demonstrate and feel love instead of just talking about it.
12. Plant seeds every day. Keep planting. They will eventually sprout. Water them with intention and attention.
13. Skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s at. (Gretzky)
“Since there’s always a choice … choose wisely!”
MY CANCER ADVENTURE
“Am I Cured?”
Confirmation bias – the tendency to find evidence that supports or confirms one’s beliefs, expectations, notions, points-of-view, etc. This bias can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive.
Self-fulfilling prophecy – a statement or mindset that modifies or alters behaviors and actions, to become true. Self-fulfilling prophecies can also be positive or negative, constructive of destructive.
During the follow-up visit with my surgeon, I asked him, “When people ask if I’m cured, what should I say?”
He replied, “probably.”
The likelihood of being cancer-free after my surgery is very, very high, but it can’t be determined with absolute certainty … yet.
I will have a PSA test twice yearly for five years.
At the beginning of this adventure, I made a prophecy: “somehow this will make me a better person.” I could have just as easily predicted that my life would be miserable, and I suppose I could have created that outcome as well.
In the mean time, I am feeling quite good and except for a couple of ‘plumbing’ issues (which will resolve in time), functioning normally.
I am fortunate. This is my chosen “confirmation bias” – created and nurtured over 30 years of consciously choosing optimism over pessimism. Though I was not always successful, the long-term positive outlook eventually became my brain’s default setting.
I could see myself as an “unlucky” person to have had cancer … or a “lucky” person to have caught it early enough, before it spread beyond the prostate.
When you decide to see yourself as a fortunate, blessed, “lucky” person … you will find evidence everywhere! This may take some practice, but it’s definitely worth it – especially during challenging times. Easiest way? Once a day, write down five things that make you feel grateful.
This will probably be the last chapter in “My Cancer Adventure” series for a while. If there are any significant updates, I will keep you, my valued friends and readers, in the loop.
And speaking of valued friends and readers … I am so very grateful for your kind and generous support. Your prayers and positive thoughts mean the world to me. Most of all, my wife Lynne gets the lion’s share of the credit for the relative smoothness of this “adventure.” Our five-year wedding anniversary is next month – truly the very best five years of my life.
PS: I have created a new workshop and keynote speech for businesses, organizations and events – WAYS TO SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE ADVERSITY: What To Do When Things Don’t Exactly Go Your Way. If you’re interested, send me an e-mail – email@example.com
Thanks, and very best wishes to you and yours!
MY CANCER ADVENTURE
“Back To Work”
I am so very grateful and thrilled to have recovered enough to resume my speaking work. Still, I’m not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for another couple of weeks (glad the ukulele ain’t heavy). And no solo long-distance travel for another couple of weeks.
I am reflecting on some of the key points that made my “cancer adventure” as easy and successful as possible. Unquestionably, the single most important factor was the support and partnership of my wife. We worked as a team, increasing efficiency, providing continual emotional support and comic relief!
Some of these points might be important to you, too …
1. Got the PSA test yearly – caught the cancer early.
2. Listened to my primary care physician and saw a urologist.
3. “Bit the bullet” and had the biopsy.
4. Got the diagnosis and began extensive research.
5. Told our network of friends and family that we needed to get the best, most professional second opinion.
6. Thanks to my sister’s friend’s cousin, we connected with a top oncologist and surgeon at Dana-Farber. The best!
7. Received lots of generous input from cancer survivors; prayers and emotional support from friends, colleagues, strangers …
8. Decided on treatment based on our research and the meetings at Dana-Farber.
9. Didn’t wait, scheduled the surgery.
10. Shared the experience by writing an ongoing blog.
11. Determined to be the best patient possible – cheerful, kind, appreciative.
12. Determined to be the best husband possible – cheerful, kind, appreciative.
13. Again – best hospital, best surgeon.
14. Great experience at the hospital – treat people the way you’d want to be treated.
15. Keep positive, hopeful attitude, keep complaints and crabbiness to a minimum. Maintain sense of humor.
16. Following orders – from doctor and Lynne.
17. Writing a daily gratitude journal.
18. Ice cream.