17 for 2017


Variations on “Grati-Tool #1”

Intentional gratitude practices can have a multitude of benefits … when we do them!


The “Grati-Tools” are suggestions for ways to increase awareness of our blessings and privileges, (the ones that already exist), resulting in a multitude of potential benefits – emotionally, behaviorally, neurologically, physiologically, etc.


Your mileage may vary, but the likelihood of benefit is high.


Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools” – some possible results:

* experiencing more positive feelings, moods, and emotions associated with gratitude.

* more sincere expressions of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness.

* gaining new perspectives that could catalyze improvements in multiple areas of life.

* literally increasing 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!


Some variations:


• Make an ongoing list of your best teachers, professors, mentors, coaches, advisors.


• Make an ongoing list of people you love and people you’ve ever loved,

people who love you, and people who’ve ever loved you.


• Make an ongoing list of people whom you’ve forgiven, and people you’d like to forgive.


• Make an ongoing list of musicians, writers, poets and artists who’ve inspired you.


• Make an ongoing list of businesspeople, social activists, change agents and heroes who’ve inspired you.


Choose to experiment with the one or the ones you like most.

Revisit and add to them, as you’d like to.  Over time, you’ll remember more!

Have fun as you gain some new perspectives!




Celebrate Gratitude!

Gratitude for our privileges, blessings and conveniences.

Gratitude for our loved ones, past and present.

Gratitude for our skills, abilities and competencies.

Gratitude for our bodies and minds – especially the parts that still work!

Grateful for the kindness of strangers.
Grateful for the kindness of friends.
Grateful for kindness, period!

How many people, present and past, do you think deserve your gratitude?
Probably millions. Let some of them know.

Noticing and appreciating our blessings,
can help us stay balanced in turbulent times.
Reinvigorate, with a gratitude break!

Modulate your mood – with intentional gratitude!
Don’t just know it … do It!

When waiting in line, or about to pout,
make the gratitude choice, without a doubt.
Change your focus, appreciate the good,
And feel that groovy gratitude!


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

“The Art and Science of Keeping Your Cool” Lecture Notes

The Art and Science of Keeping Your Cool


Notes, Ideas and Food For Thought


What sorts of things might cause you to “stress out?” 

Deadlines?  Rude people?  Money worries?  Too much to do?  Making a mistake?  Running late?  GPS malfunctioning?

And, what sorts of “stimuli” might cause you to “lose your cool?” 

Feeling disrespected, ignored, insulted, misunderstood?  Being told “what to do?”  A driver cuts you off?   Unfairness?


“Stressing Out” – suffering from high levels of worry, tension or anxiety.

“Losing Your Cool” – ranting, raving, yelling, raging, throwing a tantrum, snapping, having a meltdown.

“Keeping Your Cool” – staying calm, making rational choices, responding instead of reacting.


REACT                                                    RESPOND

Unaware of behavior and impact        Choose behavior and impact

Emotionally volatile, irrational            Emotionally adult, rational

Out of control                                          In control

“I’m a victim of circumstance!”             “This is a challenge that I will meet!”


Stress is the body’s response to a threat (real or imagined).  It is a biochemical reaction within the body.

Stressors are things (people, events, places) that an individual perceives or interprets as a threat.  Stressors differ from person to person.  For example, the same event or stimulus that causes a stress response in one person, might create a positive or exciting response in another.

The “Stress Response” and INVOLUNTARY RESPONSES are triggered by structures in the limbic system.

We react inappropriately.  We “flinch.”  We might rage or “snap” if the trigger hits an extra-sensitive point.


When our brain interprets a signal that comes through our senses as threatening, a series of reactions (the stress response) are set off, and the body prepares itself for danger.  Flight, fight, freeze or flee.  Humans share this with other animals.

It’s programmed into our genes.  The stress response prepared early humans for actual physical dangers.


“TRIGGERS” — events, circumstances, communications, interactions, words, etc.;  that cause a reaction —

sometimes, a disproportionally dramatic one.  Can be positive or negative, mild or intense.


• We can possibly eliminate, or reduce, the cause or source of stress.

(Reduce choices.  Clear clutter.  Be better organized.  Change your environment.  Modify behavior.  Be prepared!)

• Or, we can change our interpretation of, and reaction to, the stress-triggering event or source.

Cognitive appraisal – we define, we frame, we interpret.  Crisis, threat, challenge, or nothing much?

Cognitive distortions – “awfulizing,” “catastrophising,” distorted threat perceptions — “mountains out of molehills.”


Learn to challenge or dispute the accuracy of your own thoughts and assumptions.



Brains work differently when we feel “threatened” by a problem … or “challenged” to find a solution!

Guess which one is more efficient and resourceful?


©2016 Jerry Posner  •  http://www.jerryposner.com  •  jerryposner@icloud.com  • Blog: http://www.jerryposner.wordpress.com


A Program Suggestion for Your Business or Organization…

The Art and Science of Keeping Your Cool

Available as a lecture or workshop.

In all aspects of customer service (as well as every other relationships), the ability to keep a positive mood is vitally important!  Understanding the science behind stress, anger and rage reactions can help us in a multitude of ways – in business and otherwise.

This lecture or workshop will help you understand “stress triggers” and “anger triggers” in your customers, staff … and yourself!  And, you’ll learn to use some rational, practical tools, techniques and strategies for successfully managing them.

Since “one size does not fit all” – you’ll be offered an “all-you-can-eat buffet” of relevant information, life-changing practices and really good ideas!  Even just one good idea APPLIED, can make for a meaningful improvement in work life and personal life.

Some topics include:

  • Good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress) – what are the causes?
  • Managing your own stress responses.
  • React or respond?  Challenges or threats?
  • Basic neuroscience you need to know.
  • How long does it take to make and break habits?
  • Cognitive appraisal and cognitive distortions.
  • Fixed and growth mindsets.
  • Can multitasking cause stress?
  • What to do when your customer is angry.
  • Service recovery the right ways.

Your instructor:  Jerry Posner is an accomplished training specialist, conference speaker, author and ukulele player!  For more than 25 years, he’s presented engaging and entertaining workshops and programs for a wide variety of clients, locally and nationally.  He is considered an expert in the fields of self-improvement, customer service, leadership, communication skills, and as he says, “ways to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes at work … and in life!”

Jerry is also a popular lecturer at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, having presented over 1,800 inspirational, motivational lectures for their guests since 1993.  His books, “Attention Late Bloomers: You’re Right On Time!” and “Eternal Cosmic Wisdom at Bargain Basement Prices” are available on Amazon.com.

Raised in Northern New Jersey, he attended Emerson College in Boston, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in mass communications. Jerry lives in Sheffield, with his wife Lynne and their canine companions, Maxwell and Grace.

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