Blog

March 10, 2014

Happiness Helps Us Live Longer

Happiness 3

Happiness feels good, looks good and also allows us to live a better quality and much longer life. Research at the University of Missouri has come up with a formula for happiness! They use a measure called “Subjective Well Being” (SWB).

SWB =  HIGH Positive Mood + LOW Negative Mood + HIGH Life Satisfaction (As self reported since it is SUBJECTive Well Being)
All 3 typically move in tandem (trandem?)


Is SWB Real?   YES

-Self reports agree with family and friends
-Happy people have better and longer marriages
-Happy people have more career success and income
-Happy people live longer!

The researchers codified positive emotions from diaries of nuns in the 1930′s, the nuns were in their mid 20′s. The researchers could predict the lifespan of the nuns based on their happiness (SWB).

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The Amazing Results:
Most cheerful (top quarter) of nuns:  A staggering 90% were still alive at age 85!
Least cheerful (bottom quarter) of nuns: Only 34% were still alive at age 85!
So get happy!
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February 10, 2014

Increasing Your Self Acceptance / Self Worth

  
Finding/Increasing Your Self-Acceptance/ Self -Worth
From the fabulous “Get Out of Your Own Way” book by Dr. RuskOnce concern about self worth is set aside, awareness of your mortality will help make each moment more valuable.

“I didn’t ask to be here, but here I am anyway. And I’m not going to be here forever. I’ve been given inherited talents and weaknesses. I had no say about my genetic capacities. I’m a product of my past- my inheritance and my experiences. I can’t change that. However., I do have some say about how I act now.

I am not who I was years ago, I am not who I may be sometime in the future, and I may not be who others want me to be. I’m not even who I have believed I am. Like it or not, I am exactly who I am. And I’d like to find out who that is and who I could grow to become.

I do have some choices and because I do, I can chose to take risks and experiment to find out what I’m capable of. I can try on different attitudes that seem to offer more than my familiar attitudes. I can behave differently, in new ways that seem preferable to my habits.

 

I will concentrate on my strengths, instead of trying to hide or compensate for my weaknesses. The only way I can discover what I have to offer is by exploring various activities. It’s up to me to locate my wellsprings of talent. I can experiment until I find those pursuits that make me feel better about myself and come to me more readily than other activities.

And since I have control over how I do whatever I’m doing, why not do the best I can? Maybe what I do and what I accomplish is less important than how I do it. Perhaps it is less important to do the right things that to do things for the right reasons. I’ll earn self-respect automatically. And the more difficult the thing I try to accomplish, the more self respect I’ll earn.

If I’m good enough to succeed at something I feel good about, then not only will I earn self-respect, I’ll also feel fulfilled. If I fail despite my best efforts, I’ll still have self-respect.”

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February 2, 2014

Getting Yourself Out of the “Bad Feelings are Wrong” Mind Trap

This article is derived from a great book, “Get Out of Your Own Way” by Dr. Tom Rusk
We all have times when we feel bad. When we are below the #8 (Boredom) on the emotional scale. Feeling bad can mean we feel fearful, powerless, depressed, jealous, grieving, angry, pessimistic, worried, blaming.  These emotions don’t feel good, far from it. Worse yet is we usually make ourselves wrong for feeling bad too! So we feel bad, and feel worse about feeling bad.

We have grown up in a world where we have to justify why we feel bad, thus making it a shameful emotion to be avoided, except we can’t Not feel bad, that would mean we have lost all our feelings. Our feelings are guides and signals to us that we are not living our truth and are “playing small”.

The fields of psychology and psychiatry have done us a grave disservice in separating feelings out of their trades. It makes sense as feelings are messy and difficult to put a label on.

Bad Feelings show us where our spirit is in pain 

To find your way out Dr. Rusk suggests the following attitude.

“If I hope to be loved  and loving, to discover and develop my talents and to find meaningful ways to use my time. i must stay attuned to my spirit and allow it to guide me in my decisions. That means paying close attention  to my feelings, because they are the medium through which my spirit is revealed to me.

I’m going to stop seeing myself as defective when I feel bad. Instead I’m going to try to figure out why my spirit is in pain. keeping a notebook and writing down what I’m feeling when I have strong feelings can help me learn to understand what my feelings are telling me.”

This is pretty deep and I find it very comforting and loving to our inner child who is afraid and small. We all need to be more empathetic and less judgmental of our feelings (especially those that feel bad).

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Assertiveness: Your Rights and Responsabilities

 Assertiveness: Your Rights and Responsabilities
To be assertive you need to believe in both a) your individual rights and b) the rights of others. This balance is shown below, rights are standard  and responsabilities italics. As you read these, check statements that make you uncomfortable or which DO NOT reflect your normal behavior. This is from the United Nations.
If you are not assertive memorize the 1st ones, if you are aggressive memorize the 2nd ones.
  • I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
        I have the responsability to treat others with the same dignity and respect I desire from them.
  • I have the right to decide what is best for me.
         I have the responsability to allow others to decide what is best for them.
  • I have the right to have and express my own feelings and opinions.
        I have the responsabilty to express those feelings and opinions in a way that does not insult or put others down.
  • I have the right to ask for what I want and need.
        I have the responsability to allow others to refuse my request even though I don’t like to be refused.
  •  I have the right to say “NO” without feeling guilty.
         I have the responsability to allow others the right to say “NO”
  • I have the right to be listened to and taken seriously.
        I have the responsability to listen to others and take them seriously 
  •  I have the right to make mistakes.
         I have the responsability to accept the consequences of those mistakes. 
  • I have the right to all my human weaknesses and limitations without guilt or shame.
        I have the responsability to allow others their weaknesses without ridiculing or resenting them.
  •  I have the right to do what is necessary to protect my physical and mental health even though this sometimes requires non-assertive or aggressive  behavior and discomforting of others.
         I have the responsability to do this in a way that causes the least amount of harm to both myself and others.
                       
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January 20, 2014

5 “Prescriptions” For Happiness

        No matter how much you have, you could always use more. Even the happiest person could want even more. This week I will cover some phenomenal research (scientific) on happiness. There are over 800 books on “Happiness” out there, very few (a handful) are actually research and science based information. As such so many happiness cookbooks are of the “Grandma always said” or simply the opinion of one person having “found” it after suffering. I’d like to thank Karl for sharing this with me so I can share it with you. 
1) Change What you DO Not What you have:  Forget “I’ll be happier when I get ____” (raise, new car, new position, etc.). Also change “HOW” you do things (vary them). Example: Volunteer, Big Brother/Sister2) Pursue intrinsic goals for self-concordant reasons: Goals that mean something to you and that resonate with your values and who you are. Goals are VERY important. They are a way to travel to the future we want! Pursue goals out of interest, not pressure. Expressing your identity, not your guilt.
3) Strive to be your Authentic/Unguarded self in social settings: Those whose social self is closest to their “true” self live the happiest. Have the courage to be yourself and see the magic as others reflect authenticity.

4) Balance your time across the day: Don’t do too much of only one thing, mix it up.

5) Manage your life so that you feel autonomous, competent and connected:
Humans have 3 basic psychological needs:
A) Autonomous:  Doing what you choose.
Fortune Cookie: ”Do not depend on others to make you happy, you can do it yourself.”
B) Competence: Whatever you do, do it well.
Fortune Cookie: “To guarantee success, act as if it were impossible to fail.” 
C) Relatedness: Connect with others.
Fortune Cookie: “Your friends and family are the key to your happiness.”

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January 12, 2014

2014 Go For It!

2014 Go for It!
Last week looked at finding out our wins and challenges for the year 2013. Now we will look forward always in the objective of creating a compelling future that jazzes US (no one else!). I’ve included a few

1) In terms of each of the following life areas, rank your level of satisfaction RIGHT Now (in this moment, don’t over-analyze) with that area in your life 1 to 10 where 1 means that area is completely unsatisfactory to 10 being completely and utterly over the moon.
Satisfaction (Out of /10)
My Relationship with family                __
My Realtionship friends                        __
Significant Other                                       __
Fun and Recreation                                  __
Health                                                             __
Money                                                            __
Career                                                            __
Personal Growth                                       __
Physical Environment                            __

So any areas at or below a “5″ should definately be focused on for you to live a fulfilling life in 2014.

2) Look forward to the end of 2014, you are writing out what an incredible year it was.
You begin:

  1. Imagine that it is one year from now – you’re feeling especially gratified and thankful. You are looking back over the past year with a sense of satisfaction and pride. It has been a fabulous year of growth and personal achievement – a year that spoke to your heart. You sit down to write a letter to your closest friends, describing the year,
  2. What are the highlights? You begin: “This has been a most extraordinary year for me…”

What are the obstacles you had to overcome?
There is an underlying theme for the whole year – a thread that was woven through it all. What was that thread?
Who did you have to be in order to get to that place?

3) What experiences on your bucket list will you endeavour to experience/accomplish?

These should get you started!

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January 2, 2014

2013 an overview

A New Year, a Newsletter Returns
For the long time readers welcome back to 2BFRANK Living, Canada’s most authentic newsletter. For those of you who are new welcome and enjoy!

Since this is 2014 I thought I would share with you some questions you may want to ask yourself to learn and gain insight from 2013!
I use these with my coaching clients

1) What was/were my biggest breakthrough(s) in 2013 in terms of:
My Relationship with a) family and b) friends.
Dating/Relationship
Fun and Recreation
Health
Money
Career
Personal Growth
Physical Environment

2) What was the biggest challenge I overcame in 2013? Who did I have to become to do so?

3) What were my 3 greatest accomplishments for the year (think about if you will remember them in 10 years time)?

4) What experiences did I have that were on my “bucket list”?

5) How am I different than I was January 1st, 2013?

6) What personal Milestones did I accomplish (example: ran a 5K race, saved $5,000, took my scuba diving licence)?

7) What difficult choices did I make to be authentic and live my values?

Next Week we will get focused on 2014!

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September 9, 2013

The Cracked Pot

“A New life , is a new mind”    James Allen
Back to School/Work  Reality
The summer of 2013 is in the books and we are all back to some combination of work, school and a little more structure. Before we launch on into busyness, as we are all so “BUSY”, sometimes focusing on the urgent and ignoring the important.Remembering Good is the enemy of Great.

I came across this wonderful parable that celebrates our deficiencies, you read that right, the things you hate about yourself could be gifts to the world, give that one a second thought.

“A water bearer in China had 2 large pots, each hung at the end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the  long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot was only half-full. For a full 2 years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for what it was made to do. The poor cracked pot, on the other hand, was ashamed of its imperfection. It was miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it was made to do.

After 2 years of feeling a bitter failure, the poor cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. i have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack on my side causes water to leak as you walk all the way back to your house. because of my flaw, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get the full value of your efforts.” , the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side. That’s because  I have always known your flaw. So I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day, while we walk back, you water them. For 2 years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”                                             
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August 27, 2013

Defeating Depression: Two Wolves

Defeating Depression: Two Wolves Fighting
We have a mind whose scope and magnitude have NEVER been tested. Used correctly our minds are amazing instruments of power that can transform our lives once we learn to harness them.
Negative thoughts are like a cancer as they attract other negative thoughts, which destroy success vibration.
There is a great Native American story of a grandfather speaking to his young grandson who is learning his way in the world. The grandfather says,

“Imagine 2 wolves. They are fighting a great battle in your mind. One wolf, the good wolf, represents courage, love integrity, grit and compassion. The other wolf represents fear, hatred, dishonesty, weakness and heartlessness. the fight continues until one wolf wins.”

The grandson, curious, asks, ”Which wolf wins the battle?”

The grandfather smiles and answers, “Whichever wolf you FEED.”  

If you feed your anger and sadness, you will create more anger and sadness. If you feed your love and courage, that is what you will get.

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July 8, 2013

Adversity Quotient: Separates the Successful from the Mediocre

As a college professor myself I am keenly aware of the fact  that all educational systems around the world do a very poor job preparing young  and not so young minds for the reality of the real world. In school we are taught that failure is bad and that one strive for perfectionism. I don’t teach this mumbo jumbo, as I realize that applied hands on skills and failure within a learning environment builds “ADVERSITY QUOTIENT”, or AQ. Also known as resilience.
What does the academic complex value? Safety and security in a job. Secular and technological innovation have made the security and safety of a job actually unsafe. Corporations (dinosaurs) are going through a hundred year cycle of adjustment as smaller, faster, nimbler and technologically proficient firms (mammals) are taking over.

How we handle challenges is whats separates the great from the also rans.
Here is the formula:

Adversity Quotient = IQ x EQ x WQ
IQ is the least important, as often the most intelligent aren’t open to learn (we don’t know what we don’t kinow : most dangerous blind spot). Minimum intelligence required is to create and follow ma game plan.EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is very important as it is how we deal with people and the interrelationships between us.
WQ (Willpower Quotient) is the most important as those who don’t quit get better and eventually win.

Success Formula: 1) What do you want and why, 2) What it costs, 3) Pay it!
A good Life coach can help.
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