Monday, August 31, 2015

Get Out of My Head!

You want to know what’s the single biggest obstacle in the way of your doing pretty much anything? It’s not your boss, your mate, the economy, your kids, your mother, or whatever else is your “why-I-can’t-be/do/have it” mantra, it’s that thing you keep repeating to yourself over and over.

Mine was: “I don’t have the time.” Oh, I always had the time for work, and for whatever other people asked of me, I just never had the time for things I wanted to do for myself. You know--non-productive, non-earning-income things--like taking singing lessons just for the heck of it, or getting out to meet new people just for fun.

Then one day my best friend nailed me on it. I was, once again, voicing something I wanted to do, immediately followed by “but I don’t have the time,” and she said, “You know, you say that all the time. You never have the time.” It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. She was right. I realized over the next few weeks just how often my knee-jerk response to anything outside of work, or something that absolutely needed doing, was “I don’t have the time.”

So I stopped saying it. Cold turkey. After a few months, I stopped thinking it. And magically, I found I did have time. All I had to do was restructure my priorities, set better boundaries, and guess what? Somehow I still managed to get my work done, and be helpful where needed. And I also joined a choir, and sang my happy off-tune self out with great joy, and found time (yes, it can be found!) for lazy lunches with new friends and other pleasures I’d denied myself.

What’s your knee-jerk that holds you back from your dreams? Doesn’t matter which dream, I guarantee if you’re not taking steps, however “baby” towards that dream, it’s because you’re stopping yourself with some fiction you’ve bought into and repeat to yourself endlessly. You probably don’t even realize you’re saying it.

So stop. Listen to how you respond, to yourself first of all, then to others, when there’s an opportunity to go towards your dream, whether that’s getting a puppy, getting a better education/job/financial future, learning to tango, retiring, or finding a mate. And if you don’t like what you’re telling yourself, if what you say to yourself stops you in any way from the pursuit of that dream, stop!

Say something else. For me it was simply “I have the time,” whether I believed it or not. Which at first I didn’t, yet the more I said it, the more I did find the time! Lo and behold, it became my truth.

Don’t let your automatic knee-jerks run your life. Consciously choose the thoughts you want to become your truth. You’ll be that much closer to living whatever dream you’ve been denying yourself. The dream you really want to live.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Three Easy Steps to Becoming An Optimist

You’re convinced, being an optimist is the way to go. But beyond the old adage “See the glass half full” how do you do it?

Here are three quick, easy steps to becoming an optimist.

1. Play the “What If” Game Positively

We all play the “what if” game, but for the most part, we play it negatively. For example, you haven’t been feeling at all well lately. It’s not a cold, not indigestion, nothing you can put your finger on. Your mind starts spinning: “What if it’s cancer? I’m getting older, maybe it’s diabetes? Or something leading to a stroke? Heart attack?!” which leads to “What if it’s already too late? What if I’ve got something terminal? What if they can’t figure out what it is? What if I don’t have enough insurance?”

Panic sets in, and with that your stress increases as your ability to think clearly and make good decisions goes directly downhill.

Instead, play the “what if” game in a hopeful, positive, appreciative direction: “I’ve been in pretty good health all my life. It’s not like I’m in pain even, I just don’t feel as well as I’m used to. I’ve always bounced back from things, I’ve got good stamina. This is probably a vitamin deficiency, like vitamin D or something like that.”

2. Appreciate What Is

Appreciate what is. You have good access to doctors and other healthcare providers. You have endless access to web research. You can remind yourself that our 21st century ability to treat most ailments is sensational, that all sorts of diagnostic tools and techniques exist to ferret out what’s going on with our bodies. At least you have insurance! And you have friends and family who could help out if the need arose.

All this reassures you that the sky isn’t falling right this second, which helps you relax, again assuring that you are functioning at your least-stressed best. You can now be proactive and approach your health concerns in a more rational, logical way.

3. Reminisce Constructively

Most of us, when faced with a situation we don’t like, reminisce destructively. We think of all the bad things that have happened to us, and how awful it felt, and how hard it was to get back on track.

Instead, reminisce constructively. Deliberately think about how easily you healed from that broken leg you got falling out of your treehouse at age 12. How whenever you get a cold or the flu, it never lasts more than a week. How you can’t even remember when you last had a headache. How good you feel most of the time.

Think of all the good health advice friends, doctors and untold others through blogs and webcasts have given you along the way; how you’ve always seem to have been shown the way to a happy, healthy well-being throughout your life.

Now, if in addition to these three steps, you should feel the urge to not just become, but to flourish as an optimist, to embrace optimism mind, body, heart and soul, then do your best to live the Optimist Creed ( It is a powerful appreciation practice that can literally transform you, inside and out, making your happy, healthy longevity practically inevitable.

The Optimist Creed

Promise yourself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Here’s a Switch: Cops Seek Out Good Guys, Not Just Bad Guys

Members of the Denver Police Department are interacting with their community much more these days, but they are not piling up arrests or writing more citations. Instead, they are rewarding people being "caught doing something right" by passing out $10-off pizza coupons.

            “Recognizing people for doing the right thing is a sure fire way to gain loyalty, respect and to motivate people to continue their positive behavior. This is true in any number of situations including a boss signaling out a worker who has gone the extra mile or, in this case, a community member who has obeyed the law.

            The Denver Police will hand out 500 pizza discounts courtesy of Alpine Bank and Papa John's Pizza. Individuals will receive the discount card when a police officer observes them doing such things as using a crosswalk properly and helping others.

            All of us respond in a positive manner when we are on the receiving end of appreciation. It’s human nature. The Denver Police is using this truism for community outreach, but employers can use it in the workplace and see the same kind of results.”

            The show of appreciation doesn’t have to be in the form of a monetary reward. Sometimes, just a "thank you for doing a great job on that proposal" or "I appreciate you staying late so we could meet our delivery deadline" is all it takes. Be sure to be specific about your appreciation. It makes it much more meaningful.

            For more practical workplace tips, go to, on Facebook at or at