Life as we find it…

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...

 

“Life as we find it, is too hard for us it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it, we cannot dispense with palliative measures. There are three such measures; powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery, substitute satisfactions, which diminish it and intoxicating substances which make us insensitive to it.” Sigmund Freud

Go to the source of this quote: Sigmund Freud Quotes | Famous Sigmund Freud Quotations – Page 3

 

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Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life?

I frequently curate ‘pattern interrupts’ like the one above from Karen Salmansohn at notsalmon.com and I love her mind and her images. Did you know she is also a beautiful thinker? Here’s proof…

You can get there by making small changes daily. After all, it’s easier to be a saint for 15 minutes, than to be a saint for 2 hours. Right? Of course!  I’m personally a big fan of small daily changes – which means I’m a big fan of “Kaizen” – which is a Japanese word which pithily summed up means: “doing small changes over time which create huge life changes.”

With all this in mind, I want you to do a Kaizen Experiment. For the next month commit to devoting a tiny 15 minutes a day to a new improved habit- and tweak your way to a happier life. The good news: You can always find an extra 15 minutes in your day!

More good news: Brain researchers Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang believe if you can train yourself to stay disciplined for a mere 15 minutes a day doing a specific task – eventually – over time – you will become a more disciplined person in general – and be able to do a habit for far longer than 15 minutes!

The Brain Research Cliff Notes: Aamodt and Wang have discovered that a human brain‘s overall willpower capacity increases like a muscle every time a human practices even a little bit of willpower — for even 15 minutes — because the human is literally strengthening their brain‘s neural pathways.

Meaning? If you want a toosh of steel, exercise your toosh muscles a little daily! If you want a discipline of steel, exercise your discipline muscles a little daily.  On an amusing note: Aamodt and Wang mention in their report how increasing “a human’s overall willpower muscle” can begin with something as simple as disciplining yourself to brush your teeth for two weeks with your non-dominant hand.

Well, instead of having you brush your teeth differently, I want you to brush up on doing “that thing” you know you need to brush up on! For example: Yoga stretches. Jumping rope. Organizing closets. Meditating. Gratitude journaling. Staying in closer loving touch with friends/family. Reading that NYTimes Best Selling book. Reading that cute picture book to your child at bedtime. Writing that book you want to write. Writing that business plan. Looking into a family vacation. Creating a vision board (then happily staring at your vision board) etc…
Basically, sometimes the idea of doing something new to change your life can feel so overwhelming – that you wind up choosing not to do anything at all. However, if you commit to doing a tiny 15 minute habit a day – moving one tiny 15 minute step forward a day – you will happily discover changing your life is not as overwhelming as you‘d thought.

Start today. Right now. Start to do “that thing” you know you gotta do – for just a mere 15 minutes of doing. No excuses. You can find 15 minutes. I promise you that if you can do this 15 minute habit tweak daily for the month, over time you’ll want to do this habit more and more – and over time you’ll find yourself smiling more and more – because both your discipline and your happiness will increase substantially.

By the way, I believe thereʼs a secondary reason why discipline for changing your life increases when doing small 15 minute habit changes over time. Youʼre creating what I call “identity shifting.” Basically, when you start doing a new disciplined live-improving 15 minute action, your identity begins to shift to see yourself as a disciplined life-improving person.

Your subconscious starts to say: “The old me did not used to have discipline. But lo and behold, now this new me does! I be da boss of my cerebrum, baby!” Thereʼs even a famed psychological theory called “Cognitive Dissonance” which explains this identity shift. The Cliff Notes On “Cognitive Dissonance”: We humans donʼt like to have a disparity between our thoughts and our actions — so when we change our actions, we change our thoughts to match them.

For example: If Human A starts to do a loving action for Human B — through Cognitive Dissonance — Human Aʼs brain will start to tell them “Geez, I must surely like Human B if Iʼm now doing a loving action for them!” As a result, according to studies on cognitive dissonance, Human A will wind up liking Human B a wee bit more.

Likewise: If you force yourself to do positive, disciplined actions, then your brain — via the perks of Cognitive Dissonance — will start to tell you, “Geez, I must be a positive, disciplined person if I am doing positive, disciplined actions.” Eventually you will wind up being a wee bit more positive and disciplined!

Source: Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life? – Karen Salmansohn

I hope Karen doesn’t mind that I shared her post in its entirety on my blog. You can find her site by following the link and she has books full of pattern interrupts and other great thinking available on Amazon.com:

Click to buy…

If you like By the way,  for those of you keeping score at home this is post number 5,000 on this blog…

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Sixteen Strategies for Combating Rumination

Did you know that goats and cows and other animals that chew their cud are called ‘ruminants’? You learn all kinds of thinks living on a farm! Think about that image as you ruminate about rumination!

Conquering ruminative tendencies can make a big difference in your wellbeing.

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.”  Many great thinkers and philosophers have articulated, in one form or another that altering your thoughts is the key to wellbeing.  Mind Shift, a technique in The Creativity Cure involves transforming self-defeating thoughts into life affirming ones.  It is possible.

When something terrible has happened it is tempting to ruminate. Over-thinking is a way of trying to attain a sense of mastery or a feeling of control when you feel trammeled, helpless or victimized.  There is a tiny hope that you can get somewhere if you just get to the bottom of it.  Accept that trying to understand what happened is often not a good investment of your time. Some people’s actions will never make sense so you will not uncover a satisfying answer. Pondering other subjects rather than ruminating allows your mood can change. Your creative thoughts can emerge.” Get more here: Sixteen Strategies for Combating Rumination | Psychology Today.

Don’t chew the cud of your past! Stop ruminating and move on…

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See Your Imperfect Self As Precious

Leslie Becker-PhelpsLeslie Becker-Phelps writes:

As a therapist, I am often faced with people who struggle with feeling essentially flawed in some way. They are quick to take responsibility for their errors or to blame themselves for problems with friends. And, they experience their struggles, mistakes, and imperfections as proof that they are lesser as a person.

As I listen to them, I know that when they look in the mirror, they do not see the value in them that I see. It is this negative self-perception that is the real source of their torture, not the daily issues that loom so large for them. Being overweight, shy, depressed, or socially awkward may cause them great pain; but I see this pain as a distress that requires caring – not condemnation. Making mistakes at work or becoming upset with your children is just part of life. After all, there’s a reason that “It’s only human” has come to be an expression. No one – and I mean no one – handles everything well all the time. And everyone – and, again, I mean everyone – has things they really struggle with.” Get more here: See Your Imperfect Self As Precious | Psychology Today.

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One way to Stop Being Disappointed

English: Pigs in Mud A sow and piglet on the n...

Have you ever heard the expression ‘Doing _____ is like wrestling with a pig; you get dirty and the pig likes it’. Steve Pavlina writes:

If someone is late about 70% of the time, and you expect them to be on time, that’s a rather foolish prediction, isn’t it? They may be on time, but they probably won’t be.

What many people will do is get angry with the friend who’s frequently late. Does this usually change that person’s behavior? Perhaps sometimes, but it usually has little or no effect. The person will most likely continue being late at roughly the same frequency.

Wanting a person to change doesn’t change their behavior. It’s more likely to cement the behavior in place since people tend to resist others’ demands of them.

Instead of resisting your predictions, a more sensible approach is to accept them. Accept that your friend will probably continue to be late most of the time.

Note that this doesn’t mean predicting that your friend will always be late, so you can be pleasantly surprised when they’re on time. That would be inaccurate as well. It means accepting that you don’t really know when they’ll show up and that most likely they’ll be later than they say they will. Predict based on reality, not on overly positive or negative expectations. In many cases your prediction will be a spectrum of possible outcomes with some being more probable than others.

Now your friend may change their behavior over time, but when such changes are going to occur, you’ll typically see advance evidence of them. Is your friend committed to becoming more punctual? If so, is there any physical evidence other than empty promises? For instance, when you visit your friend’s home, do you see books like How to Be Punctual lying around? Does your friend share details of their efforts to change? In other words, do you have some solid evidence that this habit will in fact be corrected?

Let me put this another way. If someone said they’d bet you $100 that your friend would be late most of the time for all get-togethers for the next six months, would you take that bet (meaning that you’re betting that your friend will usually be on time)? If you wouldn’t take the bet, it’s fair to say you expect the old behavior to continue.

If there’s no evidence of change, then your best prediction of future behavior is past behavior. In this case, the past does equal the future.

If your current prediction is that the old behavior is likely to continue, then go ahead and project this expectation forward in time for at least a decade. In the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, it’s reasonable to expect that this pattern will continue year after year for at least the next 10 years.

Now do your best to accept this prediction without resistance. Don’t try to alter it for emotional reasons.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so if you’re clear about the past behavior, you can reasonably expect that it will continue as-is for the most part, absent any serious commitment to alter course. Change is always possible, but entertain the possibility that it may not happen.

Now with this newfound acceptance in mind, how does that affect your relationship with your friend? Does it mandate that you kick this person out of your life? Not necessarily. What it means is that you can now account for the likelihood that this person will be late most of the time. This means your decisions will be more intelligent since they’ll be based on more accurate predictions, not on false hopes.” via How to Stop Being Disappointed.

My old friend RJ always says that when it comes to people what you got is what you’ll get; we can hope that people change but to expect otherwise is an invitation to disappointment. Stop wrestling with pigs!!!

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Is Your Life “Bucket” Leaking?

A plastic yellow bucket.

“Each of has a psychological “bucket.”

It’s our inner reservoir of positive energy that enables us to engage other people with good will, kindness, consideration, generosity, care and concern, acceptance, and respect.

And all of our buckets are leaky, to some extent or other.

At those times when our buckets are pretty well topped up, and not leaking very much, we feel good about ourselves and we’re likely to act in ways other people experience as “nourishing” – we help them feel good about themselves.

And when our internal buckets get leaky, we’re more inclined to treat others in ways they experience as “toxic” – we say and do things that cause them to feel offended, insulted, ignored, devalued, disrespected, unappreciated, or unloved.

Most of us manage to keep our buckets fairly well topped up, most of the time. Some days we’re more “up” than others, but over the long run most of us realize the value of expressing this positive energy to those around us.” Get the rest here: Is Your “Bucket” Leaking? | Psychology Today.

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