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!

 

 

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!

Ways to Make 2015, Your Best Year! — Lecture Notes

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
that happen.”

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