Be Your Own Mentor – Lecture Notes

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

Grati-Tuesday Missives — Jan/Feb/Mar 2016

Grati-Tuesday Missives — January, February, March 2016

Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 1/5/16! Thank you, furnace! Thank you, space heater! Thank you, propane! Thank you, hot water! Thank you, electricity!

Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 1/12/16! Reasons to feel grateful? Reasons to be thankful? Reasons to express appreciation? Yes, many!

Grati-Tuesday Greetings: 1/19/16! Gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation – foundations of a meaningful day. Feel it! Express it!

Grati-Tuesday, 1/26/16: More gratitude = _____________.

Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 2/2/16! What goes in your gratitude journal? Things in your life that make you smile. People you love. People that love you. Privileges, blessings and gifts.

Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 2/9/16! “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” — Gertrude Stein

Grati-Tuesday Greetings 2/16/16! If you’re reading these words, you have much to be grateful for. Hot and cold running water? Electricity? Food and shelter? Take a minute to acknowledge the good stuff. (Makes it easier to navigate the tough stuff.)

Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 2/23/16! Breathe in and think, “I’m grateful I can breathe.” Then, exhale and think, “I’m grateful I can breathe.” Repeat for 60 seconds, and notice where your mind goes next.

Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/1/16! “Grateful for the compassionate, caring, constructive people whose lives impact ours.”

Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/8/16! From time to time, let your heart overflow with gratitude. How about now? Facebook will still be here when you’re done.

Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/15/16! “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — G.K. Chesterton

Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/22/16! Add some gratitude to your attitude (as desired or as necessary).

Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/29/16! Gratitude and appreciation to the elementary and high school teachers! Thank you for your service!

Grati-Tuesday Missives – Nov./Dec. 2015

Grati-Tuesdays November/December 2015

 

11/3/15  Grati-Tuesday! “When I look for reasons to feel grateful, I find hundreds, if not thousands. Sure beats self-pity!”

11/10/15 Grati-Tuesday! Think of just one thing that you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be the thing you’re MOST grateful for, just any one thing. Okay, two things. Just two things that make you feel sincerely thankful. Alright … three

11/17/15 Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Gratitude for blessings we are privileged to enjoy, help us maintain balance … especially during tough times.

11/24/15  Grati-Tuesday Greetings!  Thanksgiving is this Thursday.  Why wait?  Be thankful now!

12/1/15  It’s Grati-Tuesday!  An intentional gratitude practice, like a daily gratitude journal, doesn’t guarantee miracles … but CAN increase their likelihood.

12/8/15 Grati-Tuesday Greetings!  Savor this moment.  Gratitude.  Thankfulness.  Appreciation.  Perspective.  Balance.

12/15/15: Grati-Tuesday Greetings! “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” — John Milton

Grati-Tuesday 12/22/15:  When times are stressful and busy, it’s especially helpful to take a “gratitude break!”  How about right now?

12/29/15: Grati-Tuesday Greetings!  “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” – Cicero

Grati-Tuesday Missives: August – October 2015

Grati-Tuesday Missives: August – October 2015

8/4/15 Grati-Tuesday! The bummers don’t have to trump the blessings. Perspective and attitude shape our story. Keep gratitude prominently in the mix! And compassion.

8/11/15 Celebrate Grati-Tuesday! Start your day with gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation. Feel it, express it, share it!

8/18/15 Grati-Tuesday! On easy days, average days and hard days; take some time to express gratitude for the things that DO work, and the privileges that you DO have. A little gratitude can change the picture … especially so, on the harder days.

8/25/15 Grati-Tuesday! “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” — John F. Kennedy. (This is an ongoing project!)

9/1/15 Grati-Tuesday Haiku.
Exude gratitude:
brighten mood, not platitude,
benefits accrued.

9/7/15 (Labor Day) Gratitude to the people who do their jobs, so we can have the quality of life that we’re privileged to enjoy. If we made a list of them, we’d be writing all day.

9/8/15 Grati-Tuesday! A Gratitude Meditation: Breathe deeply, and appreciate where you are, what you are, and what you have. Repeat often.

9/15/15 Grati-Tuesday Greetings! “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” – Cicero. Spend some time with gratitude today.

9/22/15 Grati-Tuesday! “Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence” (neuroscience researcher Alex Korb). Be smart … feel grateful!

9/29/15 Grati-Tuesday! “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” –Gertrude Stein. So, express it … tell it … show it!

10/6/15 Grati-Tuesday! Three things to feel gratitude for (in random order): 1. You can breathe. 2. You have Internet access. 3. You are loved.

10/13/15 Grati-Tuesday! Add some gratitude to your day! “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop.

10/20/15 Grati-Tuesday! “Give gratitude equal time, in your mind!”

10/27/15 Grati-Tuesday! Right where you are now, take a minute and slowly look around. Do you notice anything at all that you could feel grateful for? Thought so!

 

 

Grati-Tuesdays With Jerry

Grati-Tuesdays With Jerry

Here is a collection of Grati-Tuesday missives I’ve written on my Facebook wall. Every Tuesday, I post a reminder to focus some attention on the good things we’re privileged to experience … the gifts, the blessings, the miracles, the random “good fortune” that sometimes comes our way. Useful any day of the week, not just Tuesday.

“If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get, that you don’t want.” — Oscar Wilde

Grati-Tuesday. Celebrate the wonderful, amazing things … celebrate the simple, functional things! Celebrate your unique life!

Having a pity-party? About to pout?
Make gratitude choices instead, no doubt.
Change your focus. Appreciate the good.
And feel that groovy gratitude!
Grati-Tuesday!

Grati-Tuesday! How many miracles do we simply take for granted? Love? WiFi? Hummingbirds? Life itself? Gratitude and Appreciation are the happiness twins.

Grati-Tuesday! Gratitude felt … appreciation expressed.

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Great to count your blessings. Even better to write them down, four or five daily. This practice can yield significant positive results over time.

Grati-Tuesday! Even on challenging days, there’s much to appreciate, much to feel grateful for. Makes difficult times a little easier to navigate.

Grati-Tuesday! We owe our lives to many. Some that we knew, and untold millions we will never know. Include gratitude in your daily ritual. You won’t regret it!

Grati-Tuesday! “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” — John Milton

Grati-Tuesday! Sincere expressions of appreciation and gratitude can significantly brighten someone’s day – especially those whose service, kindness or love is all too often taken for granted.

Grati-Tuesday! “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” — Epicurus

Grati-Tuesday! Get your meetings off on a positive note – have everyone share one thing that makes them feel truly grateful.

Grati-Tuesday! “Gratitude is the gateway to greatness!” (Tavis Smiley)

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust. Nicely said, Marcel!

Having challenges? Try this: make a list of 20 good things about your life, things that you’re genuinely grateful for or happy about. This exercise won’t eliminate the tough stuff, but could give you a more empowering perspective.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite — only a sense of existence.” — Henry David Thoreau

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! A little daily gratitude practice can result in significantly positive outcomes!

“Grati-Tuesday” greetings! Today, write and send a thank-you note to someone who deeply deserves your appreciation and gratitude.

“It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.”
— Roberto Benigni

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Gratitude and appreciation – foundations of an excellent day. Feel it, express it, share it. Be a grati-tutor!

Grati-Tuesday! Feelings of gratitude can help us keep some balance during challenging or stressful times. Take a “gratitude break” a few times daily – remember the good things that already exist – then, navigate onward!

Grati-Tuesday! 2 … 4 … 6 … 8 … Who and what do you appreciate? Just ponder this for a minute.

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.” — Joni Mitchell. Electricity, running water, wifi, cell service — hoping we don’t lose ’em, grateful we have ’em!

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Just take a minute, right now, and let yourself feel grateful for your friends and family; for your resources; for that which is fortunate in your life. Not a bad way to start the day!

Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Sincere expressions of gratitude and appreciation are great gifts! And, there’s a never ending supply of them!

Grati-Tuesday! “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Grati-Tuesday! Grateful to be working … grateful to be earning … grateful to be helping … grateful to be serving!

Grati-Tuesday! Tell the people you’re grateful for, that you are, and why. Tell the people you love, that you do, and why. Don’t wait.

Grati-Tuesday! It’s great to read the “Gratitudes” on so many Facebook walls. They inspire positive feelings for the readers … and the writer!

I find it next to impossible to not feel gratitude.

Affirmations – Negative and Positive

THE STUFF WE TELL OURSELVES – 

CREATIVE, OBSERVATIONAL, OR WHAT?

 

Have you ever repeated “negative affirmations” like these (to yourself or out loud)?

I don’t deserve to succeed.

The world is against me.

Miracles don’t happen, I never get a break.

I am conflicted about most everything, I can’t make any decisions.

I am a disappointment.

I lead a life of self-deception and sheer stupidity.

I cannot be happy. Ever.

I have absolutely no love in my life. None.

I must play the part of a tragic figure.

I must act sad and moody most all of the time.

I am never really good enough.

My timing is pathetically awful.

Most anything makes me angry, then I feel guilty, then I feel ashamed, then I feel angrier.

Let’s stop right here. Do these words help to create negative conditions, or are they simply a sad commentary on what is?  These examples are meant to be somewhat irrational, absolutist, all-or-nothing assumptions, ’cause that’s how we sometimes (or all too often) think.

It’s true that words have power and that thoughts trigger feelings.  Obviously, some emotions can be motivating … and others make us want to get back to bed, pull the covers over our heads, and have a personal (possibly perpetual) pity-party (not pretty)!

Our thoughts … the words we tell ourselves … might or might not be true or helpful. Yet, often by habit, we have been known to focus our thinking on negative, false, (definitely not helpful) words —negative affirmations, so to speak.

Do negative affirmations work as well as positive ones? Or, perhaps a better question is: do affirmations “work” at all?

How did you feel when you read the set of negative affirmations? Read the next bunch slowly and carefully, savor the phrases, and notice the effect.

I can make my choices based on the outcomes I most desire.

I am loved and appreciated.

I value and appreciate my life.

I have tremendous potential.

I am allowed to pursue my best goals.

I can find out whatever I need to know.

I am fortunate, thankful, grateful.

I am perpetually inspired.

I’m open and receptive to miracles in my life.

I deserve to succeed. I am allowed to succeed.

I can make the choices that make me happy.

I can do what I love.

I have great timing (after all, I AM reading this!)

——————————————————–

For me, some kind of affirmation practice is useful in managing thoughts, and the results that follow. Importantly, they have to be worded in such a way that we can accept them as statements of truth.  I think an “affirmation” that is clearly bogus (inflated, unrealistic, irrational, inappropriate) is more like wishful thinking than a practical tool. Nonetheless, sometimes miracles DO happen, and working with positive affirmations could be a catalyst.

What do you think?

The Grati-Tools

Practicing the Practical Power of Gratitude

(This is a repeat of earlier material … but you can’t have enough gratitude, I think!)

Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools”
* to experience more of the positive feelings, moods, emotions associated with gratitude.
* to encourage sincere expressions of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness.
* to gain new perspectives that could create or catalyze improvements in multiple areas of life.
• to literally increase happiness and well-being; short and long term.

Grati-Tool #1: Gratitude For Those Who Touched My Life
List ten people (or animal companions) from your past or present, who have positively contributed to your life. Those you love, who’ve helped you in some way, mentors, teachers … those who deserve your thanks and appreciation. Once a week, read your list and add ten more names. Think about what you would write to them in a thank-you note. And, maybe … write that note!

Grati-Tool #2: The Gratitude Walk
Take a walk (short or long), and notice all the things that you could conceivably be grateful for.
Such as: life itself, pavement, electricity, trees, traffic lights, cars, sky, eyesight … the things that work.
Consider how your life, and everything in it, might be seen as gifts.

Grati-Tool #3: Liberally and Sincerely EXPRESS Appreciation To Those Who Surely Deserve It
• Say “thank you,” “I appreciate you and what you did,” “good job!” … etc.
• Tell the people you love that you love them.
• Send thank-you notes. • Pay a gratitude visit.

Grati-Tool #4: Observe “Grati-Tuesdays”
Just for fun, make Tuesday the day of the week when you particularly focus on gratitude practice(s).
Or … “Thank You Thursdays” — the day you especially express gratitude to others.

Grati-Tool #5: The Gratitude Journal (a.k.a. “Gratitude Diary” … “Gratitude List”)
Once a day, or even once a week, write down things, people, relationships, circumstances, feelings, abilities, talents, blessings, etc. that you feel grateful for. Three, four, five or more. Be specific.
Even better: also write why!

Grati-Tool #6: Happy Birthday – Grateful For Another Year!
Make a gratitude list on your birthday, with one item for each year of your life.

Grati-Tool #7: Take a Gratitude Break
Close your eyes … relax … and for one minute, focus your attention on a person, thing, circumstance, situation, accomplishment, talent, ability, etc. that you’re truly and deeply grateful for. If you can, imagine/visualize him … her … it. If your mind wanders, just bring it back. FEEL the gratitude and happiness as you focus your attention. Making a mental movie, or creating a mental collage – also fine! Do it once a day, or when you feel stressed or petty!

©2015 Jerry D. Posner  • http://www.jerryposner.com •  You can’t lose … with gratitude!

15 For 2015 — Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year

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!”