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Three Ways To Find The Bright Side Of Dark Days

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Bad things are going to happen; can’t help you there. But I can help you DEAL with the bad stuff. No magic wands, just proven techniques that when applied steadily and persistently will begin to move the needle a tiny bit every day, a tiny bit that will surprise you by how much it can compound to over the years, indeed, even have a “magical” impact over a lifetime!

1) RESPOND EFFECTIVELY: Folks frequently sabotage themselves by responding in short term, “hot” emotional states (angry, tired, discouraged) to situations that have long term consequences. “Sleep on it” is still excellent advice as is “Count to 10!” before responding with words you will later regret. Some folks imagine themselves on a balcony, looking down upon themselves/the situation, in order to get perspective, imaginary distance helping create emotional distance; others prefer “Going to the mountaintop”. Buddhism has a concept called the “The 2nd Arrow”. Life sometimes wounds us with the first arrow but all too often our response compounds the situation; this is the “2nd arrow”. Be smart, avoid dumb, don’t sabotage: avoid the 2nd arrow!

2) CREATE A SUPPORT NETWORK: Surround yourself with people who are positive, who have a purpose and a plan for their life, who will be your cheerleaders, coaches, and biggest fans! And make sure you return their energy! Birds of a feather flock together; you rarely see eagles hanging out with mocking birds. 

3) CHANGE IS CERTAIN. ACCEPT IT, WORK WITH IT! Think of yourself as a sailing ship or glider. You work with the wind; you use it, you do NOT fight it. The problem isn’t that there are problems, problems are inevitable. The problem is that we don’t want there to be problems so we are not prepared, we get upset and/or respond poorly. Prepare! Plan! Execute! Evaluate and Repeat.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

 

Cynical Attitude of Negativity = Financial Self Sabotage

journal of personality and social psych

“Cynical individuals are more likely to avoid cooperation and trust or to overinvest in monitoring, control, and other means of protection from potential exploitation. As a result, they are more likely to forgo valuable opportunities for cooperation and consequently less likely to reap the benefits of joint efforts and mutual help.” – Cynical Beliefs About Human Nature and Income; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May 25, 2015 (see link below)

Three studies showed that, over 2 to 9 year time horizons, those with negative believes about human nature earned less than their more optimistic, positive counterparts. Other studies have linked cynicism to increased risk of inflammation, dementia, and cancer. On the financial side, in anything other than a true low trust environment (Wall Street? Russia?), we all benefit from cooperation, working together to expand the pie to help everyone earn a bigger slice.  On the health front, one theory is that negative thoughts trigger your body’s “fight or flight” syndrome at a low but continuous level with long term detrimental effects.

Want to stop being cynical and cease thinking negative thoughts? 

1) Focus on what you want, release any thoughts directed toward what you don’t want. We can’t always control the thoughts that come to mind but it is within our power to learn how to direct our minds and control the thoughts that STAY in mind.

2) Find affirmations that work for you; short, positive, present tense, first person statements that resonate with you on a deep emotional level and direct your mind where you want it to go. Thoughts held in mind, attract in kind. What you focus on, expands. One of my personal affirmation favorites is “My joyful thoughts create my joyful world.” 

3) Heal any past wounds, release any past hurts. Refuse to see yourself as a victim. You may not be fully responsible for any negatives in your life, but it is your responsibility to respond as effectively as possible, to create and implement solutions. My favorite affirmations on this issue are “I will release all thoughts that hurt.” and “The past is over, it cannot hurt me now (unless I let it)!”

4) Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude” and “The Habit of Happiness.” Count your blessings daily, acknowledge all the good things and people in your life that you have to be grateful for; remember to appreciate the little things. As I walk about Manhattan, many places have planted flowers or other touches to brighten up the city; I find it improves my mood when I notice them, appreciate the labor that went into them, acknowledge the caring that motivated the effort and reflect upon how much duller and lifeless the city would be without those thoughtful touches.

Link to study cited:
http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/pspp0000050

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Vous Allez Trouver Votre Place

Mark-Twain-quote-positive

Vous allez trouver votre place is a French saying that translates as “you will find your place.” Its message is that there is a purpose to everyone’s life; somewhere, some way we can contribute, find meaning, contentment, happiness. Believing that and knowing that can bring a calming sense of certainty in what in other ways can be a hectic, chaotic, confusing, and ever changing world.

As we attempt to chart our life’s course, it is important to experiment, to try new things, to get out and about and explore. With many things, we never know until we try or at least observe up close. Of necessity, there will be mistakes, wrong turns, dead ends (The course of true love never did run smooth). That is to be expected and not to be obsessed over, simply learned from and released.

It is vital that you remain on your own side, your own BFF, your enthusiastic cheerleader, your own dedicated, committed, ever learning/growing coach. Too many folks allow their internal critic to take over and sabotage their lives, undermine their efforts, and sap their energy.  Gently love and accept yourself, believe in the fullness of your potential and turn your internal self-chatter into a firm but supportive coach. Have faith in yourself. Rest assured, every little thing will work out just fine. Relax, breath deep, energize, go forth and create!

Closing quotes:

“Be your own best friend and you will have a friend for life.” – Harold Becker, author, ‘Unconditional Love, An Unlimited Way of Being’

“My sense of self is anchored deep within, from that flows wonderful peace.” – NSC

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

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