Archive for March, 2017

#754 An Inside Job

Posted by frank March - 27 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Master the inside world and the outside world will be a little kinder. When you’re angry, frustrated or unhappy most things you see have a negative slant to them but when you’re happy the world is all sunshine and flowers!

This is because we have this “stacking” mentality. When we aren’t happy we tend to stack up reasons for our unhappiness, finding fault and pointing out imperfections in every area of our lives.

Quiet reflection and specific gratitude are the ways to master the inside game. Taking a moment or several moments to reflect on what’s good helps to tame those frenetic, worrisome thoughts and promotes internal happiness.

Dan Harris wrote an excellent book called 10% Happier. How I tamed the voice in my head, and reduced stress without losing my edge.

Dan is in a high-pressure, competitive, career as a newscaster and writes simply about his journey into his meditation practice. His book illustrates well this point that life’s outcomes begin inside.

Whether you call it prayer, meditation or quiet reflection make it a point to do it daily. The result will be the same and you will find that a good life is always inside out.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#753 Energy begets Energy

Posted by admin March - 20 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Sluggishness is for people with little to do. Energy begets energy.
Last week we had a snow day. It snowed most of the day so I did not begin the clean up until late in the afternoon. My son in law, Brian, met me out back with his shovel to help and said, “I did nothing all day and I am more tired than if I had worked 12 hours straight!”
Brian spends his work day climbing huge trees with a chainsaw hanging from his tool belt. It is physically demanding work so hearing this from him gives the statement extra punch.
Inertia is an insidious disease. It feeds on itself making it harder and harder to break free. Dr. Rob says, “It’s the start that stops most people.”
Energy begets energy. If you find yourself stuck or resistant to doing something, fool yourself. Begin it with the intention of only doing it for a few minutes. Motion changes emotion and movement alters moods.
2017 Motto daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#752 Mindfulness

Posted by frank March - 13 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Several years ago my cousin Steve encouraged me to create a motto for each year. I like to create a motto that defines my intention for the year or addresses something I need to have front and center.
I, like many of you, am a victim of “Me and the moment.” My 2017 motto encourages me to make a plan and stick with it.

Think about it. We too often make choices that feel good and satisfy us in the moment but cause us pain the next day, the next month or in years to come.

“Yes! I’ll have fries with that!”

Bad choices cannot always be reversed. Those things that you convince yourself make sense, like skipping the exercise, smoking the cigarette, or watching one more episode even though you have to get up in a few hours, may feel good in the moment but looking back you almost always regret them.
The antidote to short-term pleasure causing long-term pain is mindfulness. It’s taking a beat to think about what you really want; and it may be fries today, which is fine, as long as it is a mindful order of fries. I have, too often, eaten 500 calories at the fridge while I am deciding what to eat!

Mindfulness, like sobriety, is essential for making better decisions. Be where you are. Take a beat and think, then choose your move.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#751 Complainers

Posted by frank March - 6 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

You know how some people have a low tolerance for pain? That’s me, except it’s for complaining. I literally become exhausted by complainers.
Let me break this down. I complain. You complain. We all complain. It is part of the human condition. It is our way of working out an issue. We often need to articulate what we don’t like in order to figure out what to do about it. I get that; it’s a process; complain, think, solve in equal parts or hopefully at a formula more like 20-60-20 in terms of the time and energy you give to each part. Here is what exhausts me; 80-10-0.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand the purpose of openly articulating what is bothersome, over and over and over again. My nonscientific finding is that people who are 80-10-0, or close to it, don’t want a solution. In fact, they reject almost all suggestions and help out of hand.
It is as if complaining is a soother for them; that it is in their comfort zone. Yet to me they look and sound miserable.

As I said, I have a very low tolerance for this. I want to hear the problem, think about possible solutions and try something. And I want to do that quickly!
Perhaps it is my sensitive nose but what complainers don’t realize is that they are infecting the very air around them with the toxic plume of their diatribe and creating an environment that will produce more complaining!

I need two things from you this week: One: please give me your take on this. Help me to understand the purpose of unceasing complaining. Perhaps there is some measure of good to it I do not understand?
Two: If you are in my camp on this make a tacit agreement with me, a pact for today, that you (and I) will not utter a complaint for 24 hours. I think it was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see”

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes