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

Dr. Viktor Frankl … and Me

Dr. Viktor Frankl … and Me

I never met Dr. Frankl, but I am deeply inspired by his philosophy and his classic work, “Man’s Search For Meaning” (1959). When I need inspiration and a better perspective on my own life’s challenges, remembering, and sometimes rereading that book usually does the trick for me. It has been known to snap me out of quite a few self-pity-parties!

Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) was born in Vienna. He was a brilliant neurologist and psychologist who was an inmate in several Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau, during World War II. His wife, mother and brother, also imprisoned for being Jewish, did not survive. His father had died earlier when they were all deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in 1942.

After three years in the camps, he was able to return to Austria, where he wrote the book that became “Man’s Search For Meaning” – the original title translated as “Saying Yes to Life in Spite of Everything: A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp.”

He taught the importance of finding meaning in life, even when experiencing extreme suffering and adversity, which of course, he most certainly did.

I often quote Dr. Frankl in my workshops and lectures. My favorites are these two from “Man’s Search For Meaning”:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

“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.”

When I face my own challenges, imagining a conversation with Dr. Frankl helps me gain a more rational, realistic and empowering perspective.

For example: I was having some work done on my car. While I was in the waiting area, a friend I hadn’t seen in a couple of years walked in.

“How are you Jerry,” she asked.

I was poised to answer that question by complaining about the expense of an unexpected car repair. But before I spoke, Dr. Frankl popped into my awareness and I thought, “what if Viktor Frankl appeared before me and asked the same question?” Would I be kvetching about a $250 bill, or telling him how grateful I am for the privileges and blessings I’m so fortunate to have? If I choose the latter, I’d probably feel a lot better! So, why would I choose the former? I wouldn’t. It’s just a habit. My “habit” would have “chosen” for me.

Conjuring up the mental image of a respected hero, especially someone who navigated horrific circumstances, might make it a little easier to wait in a long line at the ice cream shop … or cope with an unexpected bill … or respond to an event that is more inconvenience than tragedy.

Cognitive psychology calls this type of exaggeration “magnification.” I’ve also heard it called “awfulizing” and “catastrophising.”

So …”Don’t make mountains out of molehills!”
And maybe, your heroes can help with that!

Resolutions and “Focus Phrases” For a Stellar Year – 2011!

21 for 2011

By Jerry Posner


Resolutions and “Focus Phrases” For a Stellar Year!


REMEMBER …


1.      Anticipate life’s tests and the best ways to pass them.

2.      Compassion is always an option.

3.      Confidence just might stack the odds in my favor.

4.      Express curiosity instead of becoming defensive.

5.      Return all phone calls.  Yes, all of them.

6.      Make my mom proud.

7.      Say, “you’re welcome” instead of “no problem.”

8.      Am I worrying for nothing … again?

9.      Moment-to-moment appreciation and gratitude.

10.    Two great answers:  It depends.  You never know.

11.     Another great answer:  I don’t know, but I will find out.

12.    Think twice before broadcasting sarcasm.

13.    Every eye-roll and frown sends a message.

14.    Every smile sends a message, too.

15.    Look for the miracles in everyday life.

16.    Avoid superstitions … unless they work, of course!

17.    Synchronize communication codes.

18.    Ask myself, “what do I keep, what do I throw away?”

19.    Notice and thank the angels amongst us.

20.   Know what I want most, and act accordingly.

21.   Wisdom works better when applied daily.

BE INSPIRED – STAY INSPIRED!

BE INSPIRED – STAY INSPIRED!

When I think about “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor Frankl or “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pauch … or listen to recordings by The Beatles, Susan Boyle, Stevie Wonder … when I see Shawn White snowboard … when I think about my dad and mom’s kindness or my wife’s artistic ability – I’m INSPIRED!

Inspired to believe that “I can do it also.”

Inspired to make my life just a little better than it is now.

Inspired to refrain from complaining.

Inspired to “do the right thing.”

Inspired to help others.

Inspired to stop eating the “worry curry”

Extend the benefits that come from inspiration by remembering and reinforcing the inspiration-triggers.

Suggestion: Make a list –

I’M INSPIRED BY (people, books, music, news):

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

Read and revise regularly (4-7 days a week)

EVEN BETTER —

I’M INSPIRED BY ____________________ BECAUSE ____________________

I’M INSPIRED BY ____________________ BECAUSE ____________________

I’M INSPIRED BY ____________________ BECAUSE ____________________

I’M INSPIRED BY ____________________ BECAUSE ____________________

I’M INSPIRED BY ____________________ BECAUSE ____________________

SUGGESTION: When you read a book, hear a lecture or watch a video that inspires you:

  1. Write down the key points on a little card.
  2. Look at the little card for a minute or two daily as you feel the feelings that energize you, focus on and remember your goals, vividly imagine the outcomes you desire most … and the steps necessary to achieve them, and feel excited about all this.
  3. Keep doing it.  Create a collection of little cards.
  4. Read those little cards every day.  With attention, not by rote.  Feel the feelings!
  5. I mean it.  Daily.

If this process, and techniques like this, seem a bit dorky to you, we’ll just keep it between us.  No one else has to know.  It can be our secret.

But, will it work?  Try it and see for yourself!

©2010 Jerry D. Posner