- Is Going Worse than Staying in one Place? (0) December 30, 2017 Bradley Ann Morgan
How often have we heard ourselves, our colleagues or family state that they want a specific goal but never make that desire a reality? Are these just ‘pipe dreams’ or outcomes that would truly add value to our lives? And, why do we seem to be frozen in one place, not really advancing either in our professions, our personal desires, or even on a spiritual level? Is it not enough motivation, lack of resources, or is the journey of going worse than the pain of languishing in the current place?
Sometimes we see folks stuck in the present based on past events, unresolved grief, fear of change, or cultural traditions. And even though we know that we can’t undo history, you see people locked in time saying, “if that had happened differently, I would have been able to do such and such”. Many people make their evaluation of what is possible or not without paying significant attention to the reasons they stay in unrewarding jobs, thankless relationships, or even restrictive social communities. Regardless of the circumstances, human society has the capacity to change, effect change, and transcend to the next chapters of life’s achievement.
If you’re thinking you need to transcend to the next chapter in your life, ask yourself:
• At what point did your life become a declaration of the “non-congruent self”? What factors keep you in the current situation, finances, dependents, environment, or health issues? Is this decision solely your own or are others influencing this decision? What are your feelings with the current situation resignation, sadness, resentful, heart-break, despair, anxiety, etc.?
• If you are considering a career or professional change, what investments do you need to make in your skills or working lifestyle? Would this change require relocation, downsizing for a while, or the separation of close friends for a period of time?
• Do you suffer guilt over ‘breaking out’ of the family or social practices in pursuing your life’s direction? What would be the benefits and consequences of pursuing your direction when it breaks out of the family’s’ or the generally accepted social practices? What invisible rules will you be violating?
• What if your future contributions to the world and yourself are dependent on an appreciation of yourself? If not, how would appreciation for self affect your decisions over changing your future?
“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks & discomforts.”
- Closing Your Year in Satisfaction (0) December 13, 2017 Bradley Ann Morgan
As the close of another year is approaching, many of us begin to list the projects that we didn’t accomplish with regret. It is not uncommon that we focus on what we haven’t accomplished. This year we are suggesting you do something different before December is over. Allow yourself to be fully present and close out this year satisfied with your successes. This process may take a couple of hours or a weekend. Give yourself permission and take the time that feels right for you.
Start by making a list of all the efforts or relationships you began, whether 90% completed or fully completed. You can put them into categories to organize your thinking such as, renewing commitments to your health routine, increasing your phone call frequency with grandparents or relatives, personal lifestyle changes, enriching your career with new skills, developing new hobbies, initiating a house de-clutter plan, joining fresh professional affiliations, or even improving your routine to walk the dog more. For each of your projects, evaluate the following elements:
• What was your mood when you began the project, excited, eager, and apprehensive?
• What pain did you intend on decreasing for yourself or someone else? Do you have measureable results?
• Was there a tangible financial gain by pursuing your efforts such as, less ATM fees for your bank account or reduced expenditures for gasoline by consolidating car trips?
• As you made progress, did you feel bold, confident, self-assured, or gutsy?
• Did each step, even if you stumbled or made a mistake, re-enforce your belief of how small successes can give you cause to celebrate?
• What emotions kept you going, determination, conviction, courageousness, brazenness, perhaps defiance?
• Last, did your endeavors change your outlook from striving to be successful to ‘I can be successful at anything”?
With the results from the questions above, you will be channeling your energies into positive processes instead of dwelling on what could have gone wrong. Positive beliefs affect both your conscious and unconscious thought activity and feelings of self respect. Additionally, when others are involved in your efforts you can celebrate your satisfaction together, often cementing relationships for years.
For the coming year and the satisfaction you need, use the same questioning technique here to:
• Be precise in what you want your outcomes to be and expected steps for measuring achievement.
• Document each target outcome so that other items don’t creep into your list making it impossible to achieve.
• Set realistic time frames for achievement, allowing some downtime for yourself.
• Match the time required for each effort for the rhythm of your lifestyles
• Identify the outside resources or other people’s skills you will need for ultimate success. People are often your greatest assets, use them wisely.
• Develop fallback plans for your pursuits if they become a casualty of unplanned events.
Don’t forget to celebrate! Select some reward mechanism for yourself to celebrate when you have achieved even the smallest step. Plan celebrations and appreciation awards to spotlight others who have supported you in your efforts. Our life’s journey is about what matters to us and who we care about along the way.
If you want to close each year with more satisfaction and less regret, ask yourself:
• In the past, where have you let others define goals for you that were not satisfying such as, running a 10k when high impact sports are not really fulfilling for you?
• What emotions do you let derail you in pursuit of achievements, anxiety, anger, jealousy?
• What have been failures or mistakes that have provided the greatest learning for your next set of goals in the coming year?
• How will you form a support group, innovative networking connections or other expert memberships to sustain you in your plans?
• How will you set triggers for yourself to catch negative self-talk, spiraling you into hopelessness?
- What is Your Identity? (0) November 29, 2017 Bradley Ann Morgan
What is the belief commonly accepted as self-identity? According to Professor Rick Hoyle of the University of Kentucky, “The human self is a self-organizing, interactive system of thoughts, feelings, and motives that characterizes an individual. It gives rise to an enduring experience of physical and psychological existence—a phenomenological sense of constancy and predictability. The self is reflexive and dynamic in nature: responsive yet stable.”
The self can have several identities, both public and private. Identity is not just what you know, but how you came to know it. Identities are realized over time. Think back to when you were a child seeing things in a very trouble-free, non-demanding manner. As you grow older and become shrewder, you identify yourself with very personal experiences, various people’s influences, associate different places and things in additional refined ways.
Your life goals develop and are influenced by your worldview of what you would preferably like to be or avoid being, as well as the influence of culture and faith on what is attainable. Conceptions of self and the world affect how you make progress towards your goals, is monitored, evaluated, redirected, and re-evaluated by your contemporaries and family. Consequently, as we progress on our life’s journey we may have families, become a political advocate, assume human rights advocacy; and, assure environmental safety for the coming
generations. So, we can state that various identities can be present contingent on the world or community you are engaging in at any moment. Your collection of identities can be contained in one physical being, yet as rich and varied as your experiences are.
If you think you need to strengthen or enhance your family of identities, ask yourself:
• Are you aware of your core values and how can they can help you demonstrate your uniqueness of self in the community, the world?
• What do you think your identify is among your peers, your neighborhood, your professional life, your marriage life, motivating, stable, ungrounded without support or assumed to be no-one without a partner?
• If your personal assessment of your identity is faltering in importance, how can you evaluate your strengths and your current achievements to propose a more updated identity for you? Can you make a list of these and truly boast of yourself, and rightly so?
• Do you recognize that you were born with innate gifts that will carry you to fulfillment regardless of the event, fundraising, political speech making whether you are a couple or not?
• If you want to be involved in more than one activity outside of partnership, what actions do you need to take to making yourself available & visible to outside organizations such as, national health organizations or community support groups?
• Even if you are recognized as part of a married couple, what other larger identities do you want to be recognized with such as, the Sierra Club, Boy Scouts of America, And National Cancer Support Group? What is ‘calling’ you that you feel compelled to answer or join?
- Does Your ‘Thrive Drive’ Need a Tune-up? (0) October 23, 2017 Bradley Ann Morgan
It is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain a positive resilient outlook. Have you noticed the frequency of news that bombards you with health threats in air and food quality, global natural disasters, threats of national terrorism, plus the broadcasts of loved ones lost in the Middle East war? Faced with the constant stream of TV bad news and negative psychological publications and talk radio, is it any wonder that there is an increase of folks in therapy, support groups, and anger management groups? When real trauma and crisis arise, how do we thrive and not just be stoic ‘bullet biters’?
Let’s not assume that we can erase all suffering and personal crisis that cause pain. We should avoid thinking that pain is the ultimate enemy with no other intention than to ruin our lives. Pain experiences, both emotional and physical, can be the catalyst for transformation to a different state of being, or the awareness for a new meaning of life. According to psychologist, Karen Saakvitne and Howard Tennen, “Our culture fosters denial of the long-term impact of trauma by urging victims to ‘get over it & get on with it’, idealizing those that bite the bullet and suffer without posttraumatic adaptations. Those that have progressed beyond trauma have processed those events, making them a part of a new, more vigorous and adaptive consciousness. These people now live in a state of discovery rather than just recovery.”
It’s time for positive psychology, not just pretending to be in a good mood everyday. As noted psychologist and immunologist, Dr. Paul Pearsall, states, “positive psychology tries to focus on our strengths, rather than repairing what is wrong with us. Our work is based on enhancing emotional and spiritual resources promoting ‘thriveability’ not simply treating illness to just recover. This thriving ability re-enforces our psychological immunity, so that we don’t have to strive to live well-balanced lives. We just do. Thrivers know that no emotional state or mood will last forever. Those that thrive after traumatic events seem to choose to release the event and its associated negativity and construct new meaning for the rest of their lives.” As one thriver said to Dr. Pearsall’s staff, “The possible we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”
Positive psychology is an integral part of life coaching. Globally, life coaches assist clients of every culture and gender to release the ‘story’ of past events, or discard the assessments of their current situation to achieve desired goals or nurture a deeper calling to their lives. Consequently, people thrive in a real practical sense as well as in a social sense. From one of Dr. Pearsall’s studies, it was documented that thrivers use their wisdom to help others enhance their own talent for thriving. Many of those that had survived painful cancer treatments, horrific car crashes, or cruel domestic abuse, now guide others in the search for meaning after fear and misery. These thrivers will tell you that there is no quick fix. It takes as long as it takes. While it is contrary to psychology’s pathogenic view that depression is bad, many of these folks experienced a rock bottom down phase. However, they used this phase as their inward reflective time to construct the new reality, the more adaptive way that their life will be.
Who has been super-thrivers suffering severe trauma or excelled against overwhelming odds? Helen Keller. She was not born blind and deaf; it was not until nineteen months of age that she came down with an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, possibly been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. By age seven, she had invented over sixty different signs that she could use to communicate with her family. At the age of 24, Helen graduated from Radcliffe magna cum laude, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from a college.
If you think your ‘thrive drive’ may need a tune-up,ask yourself:
• How can you construct an escape route everyday so that you limit yourself to negative talk shows and TV broadcasts on health scares and mud-slinging politicians?
• What practices can you create that will assist in keeping ungrounded fear and insecurity out of your personal & family life?
• How can you dis-engage from affiliations and professional memberships where insenstitivity, intolerance, or discrimination is an accepted way of behavior?
• How are your internal beliefs bolstering your resiliency skills in the event of trauma such as, losing your job, losing a spouse, or even losing the ability to walk?
• What can you do to change any of these beliefs about yourself so that you feel continually aware & alive, not just surviving?
- Avoiding Disappointment (0) October 13, 2017 Bradley Ann Morgan
How many times were you measured unfairly by an unspoken expectation that someone else thought you should know, perform a certain action, or respond in a specific form? Unfortunately, this measurement happens to almost everyone, in every culture, regardless of gender, and in every industry.
The routine of life is not without disappointments, but there are choices you can make to control the occurrence of disappointments and decrease your psychological stress.
• As in resolving conflict, placing blame, moving blame, or trying now to be the winner from disappointment will only deepen the canyon between all parties. When you are able to engage in conversation, stress what the future can be when you reach resolution. It will be vital to state your individual future, or the company’s future, with the benefits from your collaboration together. You will find it heartening to all others when they realize their efforts are directly responsible for their professional development or the company’s revenue increases and subsequent success.
• Identify the outcome you expect from a car service mechanic, a family member, the PTA chairman, or anyone you will be receiving a product or result from. For instance, if your outcome is a new cell phone, you will want to specify model, the quantity of them, possibly a color selection (if color is a choice), the monthly phone fees, the options required for your cell use, and a specified time frame for you to pick it up. This may seem a laborious process, but your result will be the exact phone you desire.
• In the work environment, determine the overall goal or objective with the team members. Frequently, managers think the team will pursue the exact procedure that the manager would. If the team is creative and innovative, they may not have a common philosphy on how to produce the expected outcome. Managers should define the result, not the process that the employees will follow to produce the book, the food product, or the budget plan. Most importantly, communicate your expectations in language the team can understand and a feedback vehicle if the plan becomes jeopardized. Hold the ‘fancy’ words for vision statements and public speeches.
• In all relationships, an explanation of ‘why’ will be useful if your disappointment is from a recurring situation. If your spouse always drapes the dry-cleaning over the couch and this annoys you, explain that your shirts become wrinkled again when they are not hanging up. Anything that has a consequence can be re-structured by making small necessary changes. Last, also be courteous in listening to their response and make apologies where necessary.
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