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Archive | December, 2007

How to Kick Your Motivation into High Gear

the long haul

photo by granth

You’ve got the New Year’s Resolutions. Now how are you going to elevate and maintain your motivation to stick with them for the long haul? Here are some solid tips to help you do just that.

Check out the article over at Dumb Little Man:

How to Kick Your Motivation into High Gear

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What’s your New Year’s Resolution? How do you plan to stick with it? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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14

A Powerful Way to Strengthen Your Relationship

Relationship

photo by Katie Tegtmeyer

A Nagging Question

It’s difficult to know someone completely and it’s impossible to read minds, at least for most of us. So what do we do when we have questions that are important to growing a relationship, but scary to ask? Do we ask the source? Unfortunately, many of us seek out the answer from our safety zone of confidants or from the web or worse yet, we simply make assumptions. And we all know how effective these methods are. We don’t get the right answer and we’re left still feeling the anxiety of not knowing the answers.

A Better Way

If you want to grow and strengthen your relationship, the thing to do is ask your burning questions directly of that person. How do you do this when you have fears? How do you do this and not damage the relationship? The answer is to ask from a place of compassion and not judgment. The benefits of doing this will be a relief of anxiety, and clarity about how to move forward with your relationship.

Tips to Asking Scary Questions.

1. Compassion. Let the person know that you care about them very much and that your goal is to grow and strengthen the relationship. Be sincere and kind. Make sure that you are feeling that compassion in your heart. If what you are really feeling is judgment, that will come across so be aware of that.

2. Humility. Consider starting with showing your vulnerabilities. (see example below) You may share your fears about how you would feel if the relationship doesn’t continue to grow. Put things in terms of “I feel….” and refrain from “You” statements such as “You make me feel….”

3. Be Direct. Specific questions call for specific answers. Vague questions will get you vague answers. If you want to start out with a softer, more vague question, you’ll want to be sure to use follow up questions that are more specific until you get the answers that you are looking for.

4. Tell Me More. Ask follow up questions, but try using questions like “Tell me more” and “when you say X, what does that mean to you?” If you get an answer and you “think” you know what they mean, ask another question to be sure.

5. Confirm. When you think you have the answer, confirm your understanding. “So what you’re saying is that X, Y, and Z. Is that right?” This gives the other person the benefit of knowing that you were really listening to them and it also gives that person the opportunity to clarify anything that you misunderstood.

6. Thanks. Whether the answer is what you wanted to hear or not, express gratitude to the person for taking the time to answer your questions. Again, be sure to thank that person from a sincere feeling of compassion. Even if the answer means the end of your relationship, at least you have been set free by it, free to move onto relationships that are better for you.

7. Decide. Once you have your answer, you’ll either feel relief or a letdown. If you are relieved, you can now drink in the bliss that comes from asking tough questions that make that relationship stronger. If you are left feeling anxiety or let down, you have some thinking to do. Is the answer something you can live with? Is it something you and the other person can work on together? Or is it something that is unacceptable to you? If that is the case, then you are faced with the decision of moving on from that relationship. If that is the case, realize that you are better off than yesterday when your body and mind were consumed with worry about it. Today, having clarified the situation, you can now move your life forward in a direction that is better suited for you. It’s not always easy to see today, but down the line you will look back and see it as a blessing that opened up doors of possibility for you.

An Example

Let’s say you’ve been in a serious relationship for a year and you’re moving towards marriage. You love this person very much, but you are concerned about how they handle their finances. You’ve spent the last few years digging out of debt, and you want to ensure that within the marriage that you’ll be able to be a strong team financially. Your conversation might start something like this:

“Sally, I’m so happy that I met you. This has been the best year, and I’m looking forward to spending my life with you. At the same time, I want to make sure that we start our marriage out on a strong footing so that we can avoid as much conflict as possible. So I was hoping we could discuss some of the important aspects of marriage. I’d love for us to share with each other where we stand on certain things. One of those things is finances and how we would partner in that regard. You know that in my past I had a lot of debt that I worked hard to eliminate and I want to make sure that we can agree on how we’ll handle things going forward. It’s not always easy for me, but here is where I stand financially. XYZ. I was hoping that you would share with me where you stand right now. And maybe we could come up with a plan for how we would work together if we get married. How does that sound to you?”

Sometimes, if questions are really uncomfortable, such as finances, you might even want to involve a neutral third party expert to guide you both through more complex situations.

What If You Do Get “Punished” for Asking Questions

If you ask questions with all the above tips in mind, and you get a strong negative reaction, you need to listen to your intuition. It may be that your question touched a nerve and that person needs time to come around before being able to talk about the subject. Or it may be that their reaction provides the clear indication that it is time to move on from this relationship because of chronic toxicity. If it’s a relationship with a family member that you don’t want to cut off from, but that person is hurtful towards you and your question was aimed at reducing that hurt, you may need to establish boundaries with that person to keep from being treated poorly, but which also allow you to maintain some relationship with that person. Approach it from a place of both compassion for the other person and strength for taking care of your needs, and then listen to what your intuition tells you.

Please Share!

What’s the scariest question you were glad you asked? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

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15

The 10 Step Cure for the Post-Christmas Letdown

post-christmas blues

photo by SuperFantastic

Feeling a little blue now that Christmas is over? Don’t get swept up in that tide!

Instead, follow me over to Dumb Little Man for an uplifting article on how you can keep the happiness of Christmas in your life all year long:

The 10 Step Cure for the Post-Christmas Letdown

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What do you do after Christmas is over to cheer up? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!
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5

How to Eliminate Unwanted Drama in Your Life

drama

photo by ribena_wrath

Do You Keep Reliving the Same Dramas?

For each of us there are dramas that occur on a regular basis. It might be that you are always late. Maybe you always get into arguments with your spouse. Or perhaps you just can’t seem to take action on goals that are really important to you.

A Simple Quiz

Before we delve into this common problem, take this one minute test. Fill in the blanks below to identify the patterns you would like to break.

  • I always __________________________.
  • _______________always happens to me.
  • I can’t stop _______________________.


Why Does This Keep Happening to Me?

So why do we keep reliving the same dramas? It’s the result of a program in your subconscious mind. You subconscious mind has many “programs” that it runs automatically such as getting dressed or dialing your mom’s phone number. Here’s the proof. Have you ever driven home from work and had little or no memory of driving. That’s because you were using your autopilot, the subconscious.

The subconscious is a fabulous tool. It’s like a computer that carries out routines that we program into it. The automatic execution of these programs allows us to be more productive. We can think about our day while we are tying our shoes. Our brains are the original multitasking machine.

The only problem with the subconscious is how unfailing it is even when the program is self-destructive. So how do we rectify this? It’s simple: modify or replace the self-defeating programs. Here’s how.

Reprogramming Your Subconscious

1. Choose. First you need to know what your faulty patterns are. So take a little time to explore the things you want to change. Use the one minute quiz above to help get you started and be sure to write them down.

2. Analyze. Once you have the things you want to change, ask yourself “what is the belief that underlies this?” Determine why the pattern keeps happening. The best way to get down to the root of an issue is to keep asking why. Once you get to the root, then ask yourself what new belief or perspective could change your pattern. Here’s an example. Let’s say you always fight with your mother. Start by asking “why?”

  • Why do I fight with my mother?
  • Because she annoys me.
  • Why does she annoy you?
  • Because she is constantly providing unwanted advice that feels like judging.
  • Why does that bother you?
  • Because I’m trying my hardest to live the best life I can and I get frustrated because I can’t possibly live up to everything she suggests.
  • Why do you feel like you have to do that?
  • Because she pushes and pushes with her opinions.
  • So you feel like you have to jump and take action whenever she makes a suggestion?
  • Yes.
  • OK. What new perspective could change your pattern?
  • Hmm. I could believe that she is trying to help me.
  • Tell me more.
  • I could believe that there is no pressure to take action. I’m a grownup and can live my life my way. I could believe that she might have some useful suggestions that I could consider. I could make a habit of thanking her, writing it down, and explaining that I may or may not take action, but that I will thoughtfully consider it. And then I could thank her for loving me enough to care and give me advice.
  • Good.
  • OK, but there’s a little more to the fighting. She also seems to like to needle me with “Told you so” kind of comments.
  • So why does that bother you?
  • It’s annoying!
  • Why?
  • Because, well, I guess it’s because sometimes she’s right. That stings. It backs me into a corner and makes me want to bite! (not literally, well maybe just a little)
  • Sooo, what could you do to change that pattern? (Because you know you can’t change her!)
  • I could take the wind out of those sails by simply adopting a habit of saying, “yes, you are right” instead of fighting it. I could believe that even though it’s not the most effective method, that when she says “told you so” that she is still doing it because she loves me. I could choose to focus on her love and not her method. That should hopefully soften things.

This is a long example, but I think it demonstrates that how we need to keep asking why to get to the root issue. Our first answer is usually our emotion coming through. When we keep asking why, that when we can get to what is really behind it all. Once you know the cause then you can work on addressing it.


3. Write. Take that little internal conversation you just had and write down the key items you’ll want to program. So in our example it would be:
“My mother loves me so much that she wants to give me advice to improve my life. I can see past her methods and focus on her message which is based in love. I know that I don’t have to take action if it doesn’t work for me. I will feel calm each time I receive her loving advice even if her tone is frantic and urgent. In fact the more frantic she is, the more calm I will feel. I will thank my mother for all advice and tell her that I love her. And I will thoughtfully consider her advice. If she is right then I will be grateful to have someone looking out for me. Being wrong is ok as long as I have someone to help show me the right way. When I feel my way works better for me, I will thank her for the advice and love and calmly ask her to understand my decision.”

4. Upload. The way to program your subconscious is tread a path with a repeated message. So take your new program(s) and read them out loud to yourself each morning for a month. Throughout the day read your new program(s), and think about them when you see the drama coming down the tracks. Read your program out loud at night too. If you meditate, this is one of the best times to upload your new program(s) because when the mind is slowed down it is most receptive to absorbing a new belief.

5. Persistence. In theory, this is simple and straightforward, but in practice it will take some persistence and determination. Expect to see old programs rear their ugly head and try to put up a fight. Just remember to stick with it.

6. Feeling. Another helpful tip is to be sure to put feeling and emotion into your message when uploading to your subconscious. The reason why self-defeating patterns stay in place so well is because they usually have a high emotional charge which acts like superglue where the subconscious is concerned. So do your best to drum up some positive and strong emotions when uploading. Do this by trying to imagine the positive emotion. Take on on the actual facial and body movements and postures that would accompany that emotion. Take it slow. Each day you do this you will get better and better at it.

7. Visualize. The last piece of the puzzle is to also visualize what success will look like. Imagine yourself living out your new patterns. Imagine the colors. Turn up the volume. Turn up the emotional volume. Do this at least once a day when you are uploading your new program.

8. Be Amazed. Truly, what you can do with this formula is limitless! Use it each time you need to improve your life. If you follow the simple steps, you can’t fail! It’s impossible!

Please Share!

Do repeated dramas rule your life? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

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15

Stop Being Treated like Garbage

stop

photo by hansol

Are you sick and tired of poor treatment from someone? You might be surprised to know just how much power you have over that situation.

To learn how to take back control, read my article over at Dumb Little Man:

Stop Being Treated like Garbage

Please Share!

Have you ever encountered this and how did you handle it? What was the outcome? All comments big and small are very welcomed!


You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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8

Power Play: Show Your Strength to Compete and Win

strength

photo by mind on fire

You’ve just made a major fumble at work. There’s no denying it. Here’s how to recover from the crisis and regain career stability and strength.

You can read the article over at Dumb Little Man:

Power Play: Show Your Strength to Compete and Win

Please Share!

What was your worst crisis at work and how did you handle it? All comments big and small are very welcomed!


You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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3

The Simple Life Can Be Yours

simple life

Many of us have the fleeting dream of living a simple life. That fantasy floats through our mind and just as it arrives, it floats out.

Stop putting off that dream. The idea is to start small and begin living the life of your dreams little by little. Read how in my article at Dumb Little Man:

The Simple Life Can Be Yours

Please Share!

Do you live the simple life? How? Looking forward to hearing from you!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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7

6 Simple Steps to Achieve Laser-Like Focus

focus

Once and for all, learn how to simply focus your mind for improved productivity. You can do it! And all you need is the power of your mind!

Click on the link below to read my article over at Dumb Little Man:

6 Simple Steps to Achieve Laser-Like Focus

Please Share!

How do you achieve and stay focused? Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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2

How to Get a Great Annual Review with These 7 Steps

It’s that time of year again. No, not holiday parties. The looming annual review from your boss. There’s still time to make sure that you get the best one you can get as well as tips on how to prepare for a good year next year too.

It’s over at Dumb Little Man. Check it out!

How to Get a Great Annual Review with These 7 Steps

exceeds most

Please Share!

What was the toughest lesson you ever learned regarding an annual review? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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7

It Feels Good

Baby It's Cold Outside

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Life Learning Today programming to bring you a little winter reverie.

I went for a walk today. Cold winter air was biting my cheeks, watering my eyes, and taking my breath away. But I was loving it. You see, that cold crisp air was delivering a steady stream of fond cold weather memories. I’ll share a few fleeting glimpses with you today. I hope it spurs you daydream about your most cherished winter memories the next time you take a step out into the cold.

Cold Air Memories

sledding…running like crazy to be the first one down the hill at the golf course on a snow day when I was 10. And then running back up that hill each time with no thought of it being difficult, but just a singular focus on the next thrill to come.

winter kiss…a first kiss under the bleachers at a night football game. On that night the cold had no power to touch me.

moon in the trees…finishing a cross-country ski workout in college, the sun long since set, breathing heavily in the completely still and frozen air. The moon was rising over the tops of the trees bigger than I’ve ever seen it. What an incredible sense of peace.

cross country skiing at night

starry sky…walking home late at night across campus from a party, the false warmth from alcohol blocking the cold air’s icy fingers from stinging me, reveling in the immense and daunting starry winter sky.

first night boston…ringing in the New Year on First Night in Boston with my brother, sisters, and brother-in-law being totally goofy, pretending that we were a dance troupe called “Liquid Emotion.” We gave many impromptu dance shows over the course of the night to keep warm. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so much in my life as that night.

dance troupe

There are so many more, but I’m hoping that I can turn the reins over to you now to share your favorite cold weather memories. OK, it’s your turn…click on comments to take the reins!

 

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15

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