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Four Ways Out of the Pit

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We must learn to sail in high winds.

— Aristotle Onassis

Some of us need inspiration every day.  Like antiperspirant, we need to reapply inspiration every day… or we might start to develop “stinkin’ thinkin’”.

These days it’s harder to avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ and believe that things will be OK.  During the crash, things went bad so quickly that we’ve developed a habit of expecting the worst – even now that things are going better.

We’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop.

You see it in the behavior of Continue reading » Four Ways Out of the Pit

Dr. Ingersoll Lectures

How to Take Back Control of Your Life

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Old age is no place for sissies.

— Bette Davis

Have you noticed?  Every field of endeavor has a list of things that we need to do in order to be living correctly.  Finance, health, career, parenting.  If you look, you can find at least one list of the “correct” way to invest, be healthy, create a wonderful and fulfilling career, and best of all, how to raise perfect children.  To make sure that you have all the options, there’s never just one approach.  There are conflicting approaches.  Then, if something isn’t working the way you want, you can decide that you’ve just been Continue reading » How to Take Back Control of Your Life

Christmas: Santa with Elves

7 Keys to a Happy Holiday Season

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I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.

— Harlan Miller

On this blog, we write a lot about resilience – the ability to come back from adversity.  The more I study about resilience, the more I’ve realized that:

  • Most of us are resilient whether we know it or not.  Very few of us give up permanently.  Admittedly some of us do, but the majority eventually get back up and into the game.  That is resilience.
  • Our self-image around resilience has more to do with how quickly we recover rather than whether we recover.  Many of us are too hard on ourselves about our rate of recovery.  Our self-judgment is that we don’t recover quickly enough.

Each time that we come back from an adversity, we learn something – usually we learn about ourselves and how to encourage our recovery – which is a good thing because the Continue reading » 7 Keys to a Happy Holiday Season


Happy New Year! – Again

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You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.

— CS Lewis

I’ve decided to start 2012 over again.  January was the pits and I had great expectations for 2012, so I’ve decided that as of today, February 1st I’m starting over.  It’s the only way I know to get a do-over.

January was a sad month.  Between friends, family and co-workers we lost five people.  It seemed like I was always signing condolence cards.  These things happen.  But, I don’t want to spend the rest of the year in a January hangover, so I’m declaring February 1st my New Year.

Sad Times

In Happily Flourishing I said that since I was getting soooo old I needed to focus on being healthier and happier now.  What I said in my first post this year is still true today.  Every day I get a little older.  From now on, I intend to get healthier, happier, and older (I can’t stop that one) every day.

What stopped me last month?  Sadness.  Losing people is a sad process.  And I will still miss the ones I knew and empathize with the people I know who also lost someone.  But, I will focus on remembering the good times.  I am sad that my friends and family are no longer here, but I am grateful for the blessings they gave me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a good cry now and again.  But I still must learn to keep going.  As we get older, we either learn how to grieve in a healthy way or we give up.  It’s just that simple – and just that hard.

I have a bad habit of anticipating… not so much the good things, but the other losses that will inevitably come.  When it gets away from me, I become unable to move – as if by staying still I can halt the passage of time and stop anything from changing.  Since I can’t stop change, I must cherish what I have today.  And to really cherish today, I need to be healthier and happier while I am here.

Here’s to a Healthier, Happier 2012

So, I’m starting over.  Sometimes, that feels like going backward but in this case, it’s a positive step forward.

I hope your January was better than mine.  But no matter, let’s get back up on the horse together and get moving.  If we stop, we quit and I’M NOT READY TO QUIT just yet.

Chocolate cake is good, we agree?

Reasonable Expectations

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Originally published on December 14, 2009.

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

— John Lubbock

Today I stumbled across [amazon-product text=”The Happiness Project” type=”text”]0061583251[/amazon-product], a book that hasn’t even been released yet. It is Gretchen Rubin’s account of how she tried to take all the wisdom that is out there about how to be happy and integrate it into her life.

It’s a little like the idea behind [amazon-product text=”Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” type=”text”]031610969X[/amazon-product] only instead of food, the author focused on happiness (which some people would say is the same thing.) In a recent post, Gretchen writes about choosing to let go of one of her resolutions – “entertain more” – after having struggled with it for several years.

What she found was that when she let go of her expectation to “entertain more,” she was able to invite people over and actually enjoy both the event and their company. By not “entertaining” in the way she had been trained, she was able to Continue reading » Reasonable Expectations