Friday, April 30, 2010

LETTING CORPORATIONS GUIDE US

The last two blogs were about HP's "Let's Do Amazing" and Google's, "Do No Evil" informal, internal slogans.

When I worked for IBM in the 60's as an organizational psychologist, signs posted all over the place said "THINK". They clearly wanted us to do just that to avoid errors and gaffes, using poor judgment and what I have come to call glop.

Not a bad encouragement for us all to follow, don't you THINK?

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, April 29, 2010

ANOTHER CORPORATE SLOGAN

Yesterday I spoke about HP's slogan, "LET's DO Amazing."

Google's informal slogan is "Do No Evil."

Yet another one we can all embrace. In this case it needs to be other and self-directed. Evil can be unintentional,but no less hurtful.

Watch out for evil. Wonder what happens when you Google it?

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

AMAZING YOU IS

Not only sport teams have slogans. I read an article about Hewlett Packard--a 115 billion dollar company started by two engineers in a small rented garage years ago.Don't you just love those inspirational stories of creativity, perseverance and plain dumb luck?

It said their new slogan is,"Let's Do Amazing." I understand the marketing/branding/image building issue.

But how about if we adopt that for ourselves. We can all do better if we set our sights on amazing.

Have an amazing day just being you.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FANATIC FAN ADDICTS

Yesterday I spoke about the Heat game I was struck by the Fans. They sure root, root root for the home team. They scream, shout, sing and dance. They jump up and down and block my view of the game. They are pumped and enthused. They are PSYCHED.They wear black and some paint their faces.

Nothing wrong with that. It is a very healthy release of emotions. I just wonder if they root, root root the same way for themselves.I wonder if they put the same enthusiasm and energy into their own lives. I hope so.

I hope you do too! Go self.Fist bump me.Yes!! I am proud. May my personal team and yours go all the way to the finish line.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, April 26, 2010

IMPERFECTIONS BY THE MILLIONS

I went to the third playoff game of the Heat vs. Celtics. I had never been to a Heat game before. It was interesting, though I would rather watch it in the calm of my family room where the big guy in front can't stand up at every important play and block my view.

I was fascinated by the fact that these giants of the game who are paid millions upon millions, practice continuously and receive more coaching than I can imagine, mess up on a regular basis.

Back in the schoolyard at PS 64 in the Bronx, NY and at the Y on the Concourse we missed foul shots, double dribbled,walked, passed to the other team, had the ball stolen away and otherwise failed. So did these big, high priced dudes on both teams with surprising repetition. We didn't call ourselves the Jokers for nothing. But the pros are supposed to play seriously. I'm serious!!

The message to me was clear. If they can so can we. We don't have to be perfect because there is no such thing. All we need do is accept our gaffes and try not to make a mess for ourselves. These guys are better than most. We need to strive in that direction. We need to try as hard as we can. So do the Heat on Sunday afternoon or their season is finis!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, April 23, 2010

TOWARD A NEW END

THOUGH NO ONE CAN GO BACK AND MAKE A BRAND-NEW START,ANYONE CAN
START FROM NOW AND MAKE A BRAND-NEW END.
Carl Bard

This is a most brilliant statement about any aspect of our lives and particularly about our hurtful,glopful habits. It is a statement upon which therapy is based as well any other life/mind/behavior modifying event. It is why people sign up for a gym or a class, why we read, go to lectures or otherwise seek out forces and sources that will motivate and teach us new ways.

The beauty of being a person lies in our vast potential to adjust, adapt and grow as a person, partner,parent or in any other role. I sincerely hope you will take a personal inventory, set some goals and go for them. This will enable you to make a different end in any area from which you and those you love could benefit from so doing.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, April 22, 2010

WORDS WORTH HEARING RE DISCIPLINE

Yesterdays blog spoke to discipline as it relates to our less than healthy habits. Here are some words worth considering:


THE ONE WHO LACKS THE COURAGE TO START HAS ALREADY FINISHED.

DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT,AND DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO EXCHANGE
FOR IT. ESTABLISH YOUR PRIORITIES AND GO TO WORK.
H.L. Hunt

JOY IS WHEN ANTICIPATION MEETS ACTION.

ALL IS A PATTERN,ALL LIFE,BUT WE CAN'T ALWAYS SEE THE PATTERN WHEN WE ARE
PART OF IT.
Mary Landson

THERE ARE NO LOSERS IN LOSING,ONLY LOSERS IN NOT WANTING TO WIN.
Mario Trejo

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ON FINDING DISCIPLINE

Of all the challenges facing humankind,finding and sustaining discipline is probably the most difficult of all.From as far back as Adam and Eve we know that people were created strong in most areas, but weaker in one or two or a few.

Notice how smart, successful,savvy people trip over themselves on a pretty regular basis.Notice how controlling seemingly simple matters such as what we eat or drink, the substances we put into our bodies,how we spend our hard earned money, etc., can cause us to betray ourselves repeatedly. All of our hurtful habits reflect a lack of discipline-- even among the most disciplined of people.

It is truly a puzzle or perhaps a maze in which we become trapped.Here is a simple minded (perhaps too simple minded) formula for escaping from the maze:

observe what you are doing to yourself that is hurtful
think about how you would respond if someone else was hurting you in a similar or parallel way.
create a fight within yourself that resists whatever tempts you into self-defeating and hurtful behaviors.
make believe your life depended on your stopping ( it often does!).
set it up in your mind so avoidance is more motivating than giving in.
consciously say, "I am enjoying taking charge and being disciplined".
find a way similar to pounds lost to measure results.
sustain your behavior for 3-4 weeks.....keep it going......

and you will have found discipline. It isn't as easy as I make it sound, but it is undeniably doable.Rocket science it is not. A challenge it is. Take the challenge and strut your strong self-stuff.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TAKING CHARGE OF TECHNOLOGY

Yesterday I said the world worked better BT (Before Technology). I guess it depends on what one means by better. Today's world is clearly a more efficient place in which communications have been expanded exponentially. I was rereading a diary from 1982 when I went with a group of psychologists to Africa to study alternative medicine. Communications with my wife were severely limited compared to what it would be like today.

But, Mark in Brazil of a few weeks ago said it best when he said, "It is nice to have email, but sometimes it gets to be too much. I am trying to be away, not bombarded with emails from family and friends."

Certainly during BT times people were happier and less hassled.Privacy was better protected. Being off duty was more clearly delineated.A day off was just that. The white noise of irrelevant communiques was nonexistent. Interruptions and intrusions were few and far between. Almost always communications could wait. Then came the fax machine and it was up and down hill from there.

So, like with most things in life, we need to take charge and find a balance where technology is enhancing and helpful, without allowing it to dominate or control us. We need to regulate the flow and our addictive potentials to it. We need to take charge and we need to repeat the techno version of the serenity prayer (from yesterday's blog)to ourselves at least once a day. True control demands discipline in all areas of life. More about that tomorrow.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, April 19, 2010

TECH OVERLOAD

Everywhere I look people are texting or talking on a cell. A father swinging his baby in the Park. A cheer leader between cheers at a High School football game. The clerk at the register helping me and talking at the same time. The driver next to me swerving into my lane. The person walking in the park.The security guard at my Mom's condo.A man at a urinal next to mine. Secretaries and receptionists.Cops.People on the beach in Jupiter or Rio.Many walking along in the mall.

The question I ponder is whether we truly need this level of communications. Why, obviously except in emergencies,can't the news of the moment wait a while? Why can't we do our jobs and focus on what we are doing or just enjoy relaxing, exercise, etc without this overload of connected content.

Today I saw a little boy and his grandma greet his Mommy. She didn't even look up from the text she was working on or say Hi. Will he someday sit on some therapist's couch and say, "Mom loved her I phone more than me?"

Why does anyone need to know that Joe is taking a nap or Joan is on a business trip or Jane is hoping for great sex (or no sex) tonight or Tom is constipated? All texts and tweets are not created equal and most are not needed.

I believe we all need to take a look at our techno activity and create a new version of the serenity prayer:

Gds (aka as Gates and Jobs) please give me the courage to resist needless
techno activities, the strength to engage in that which is important in the
moment and the wisdom to know the difference.

Remember, the world worked well and in my opinion much better than it does now, when we had no voice mail, cell phones,personal computers,etc. More on this tomorrow.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, April 16, 2010

SING A SONG OR WRITE A BLOG

I have always admired good song writers. They can sum up complex emotions and human conditions in three minutes or less in simple terms.

So when I read a brief interview of Alicia Keys in Time (4/12/10) I was impressed with her statement:

We all have the ability to affect someone in a positive
way. And one thing I've found from the very beginning is that thoughts
are real. What you think is what is.So I really want to give people
something empowering to think about and live for.

Me too, Alicia!! Wish I could carry a tune.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, April 15, 2010

MORE ON GRATITUDE

I have previously said that gratitude is milk for our mind. It shifts our focus from negative to positive. We appreciate rather than depreciating. We acknowledge what we have instead of what we don't. We lift our dam and calm our cess.

It can be very simple. The best things in life are truly free. In that context I appreciate and feel grateful that it stays lighter longer these days. I bet you do too. Feel grateful and enjoy the extra light.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SUMMING IT UP

Before we move on I would like to sum up what I have been saying the last week or so.

It all began with the phrase "yours to create." I truly believe that where we have the most control is where we tend to take the least. Typically, we strive to control that which is not that easily controllable --like our safety,security and well being.

Better, I believe, we strive to influence our futures by making shifts in our routines and habits--at least once in a while. At the very least we can look a little more closely at those routines and habits and see which, if any, are modifiable.

The stories about the people we met in the airport in Brazil are all true. I told their tales without embellishment. I am NOT encouraging risk or ridiculousness--at least in terms of your present life. I am encouraging thinking, exploring and sometimes challenging your comfortable space for interesting, enjoyable and exciting space.

Here is an example. A woman I know works hard all week and spends most of the weekend catching up on chores at home. Once a month or even once a quarter I'd like to see her chose some different, more enjoyable way to spend a weekend or at least part of it. Sleep in, catch a brunch with a friend, go to a movie, the beach, a park, a massage--whatever! Life's just too short to be enslaved to work, children and chores.

For many years I have said, "Time flies whether you are having fun or not, so you better have some fun."I sincerely hope you do now and that you will find ways to add to it."

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SELF-CARE AMONG THE BRAZILIANS

In concluding this week of talking about our recent trip to Brazil as it applies to taking care of ourselves and expanding our horizons I need to talk about Brazilians and exercise.

In Rio, on the beach, there was a continuous parade of joggers, walkers, bikers,and skaters passing by our window from 6AM to well after dark. Those on the beach were similarly engaged morning to night in volley ball or paddle ball. Soccer volley ball is fascinating (look Mom no hands!).

In all of our travels I never seen so many devoted to so much exercise on a regular basis. We can learn from them and within our limitations begin to move about the planet a little bit more and a bit more often.

Bravo Brazil!

By For Now,

Bill

Monday, April 12, 2010

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED BY ME

Yesterday I talked about driving to work a different way today. I did it. Yea for me!!

Not a big deal, really. But certainly an interesting experience.

Intriguingly,the road I chose was being torn up and was down to one lane. I didn't leave it, though I could have returned to my usual route. Nor did that spoil my ride to the office. My ability to change overrode the road!

Might want to check out Bill O'Hanlon's book, "Do One Thing Different". I never read it, but it sounds like he and I are on the same page.

More importantly, try to follow my encouragement and his title. I can't guarantee you will like it, but I can assure that it will contribute to your viewing your actions from a different angle and motivate you to keep looking for pleasurable modifications and rewarding changes to your script.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, April 9, 2010

YET ANOTHER BRIEF ENCOUNTER WITH AN ADVENTUROUS YOUNG PERSON

Once again at the airport waiting for the plane for Rio we met another young traveler. It was interesting to us that so many young people were interested in befriending we "old farts". Everyone was in a good mood after a few days at the magnificent Falls.

We didn't spend much time talking with her, but learned she was from Israel, traveling by herself around South America. We were aware that there young people do their year army stint, then work their butts off to accumulate money and then take off, often to South America, for as long as their money lasts. Then they go back and resume their studies.

Isn't that exactly what I am talking about? I am encouraging thinking about rewarding ourselves in small, medium and large ways. I am also encouraging thinking outside the box of routine and repetition and doing something(s) differently. Once again, we are not all brave backpackers, but that is not what I am encouraging. I'll settle for driving to work a different route. Think I will do that tomorrow.

By the way, Mark managed to sit next to this girl from Israel on the brief flight. Yes, she kissed him. Some guys have all the luck!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A SHORT TALE OF THINKING LONG TERM

We met a young couple on a very short train ride to Iquazuu Falls on the Argentinian side. She was 16 and he 17. They were both foreign exchange students from Germany. They hadn't known each other there, but met here on a month long bus trip with many other such students.

We were struck by their maturity and poise. They were serious minded. She raved about the cultural learning opportunities, while he acknowledged those as well as this experience " helping to further build my character."

Of interest, in terms of the theme this week of expanding our range, this couple typified people, albeit young who think about how to do their lives a little bit differently. From that they enjoy personal growth, fun and learning.They also had the courage to venture forth into unknown territories for their own greater good. We can learn from them.

I hope personally that they fell in love at the Falls and have a wonderful romantic adventurer as well. That builds character too!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!

We also met a young man heading for Rio. Let's call him Mark. He lives in the Northwest of the U.S. When his real estate business fell apart he didn't.

He rented his house out, took the money he saved during the boom times and headed to South America with a rather large back pack that his large, muscular frame handled easily. With his rugged, movie star good looks, his only kindnesses were in kissing beautiful South American woman. That and volley ball on the beach and some serious drinking times seemed to occupy him. Much more fun for this twenty something than showing properties to people who can't qualify for mortgages.

The point of sharing this tale is that people can shift their focus and put themselves into more positive spaces.Mark doesn't know how long he will stay away or where he will head after he goes to Columbia. He doesn't even know how long he will stay there, but he heard from other backpackers that the country and the woman are beautiful.Knowing Mark he will stay a while. He does know that he will continue to enjoy himself until he decides to get back to the more serious side of living. He will definitely do that--someday.

Obviously, we are not all built, physically or emotionally for such adventuresome living. But I bet there is something we can each do within our own personal comfort zone to spice up our life just a little. Think about it! Then do it. You might just like it. You just never know.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A SPECIAL YOUNG WOMAN

Yesterday I talked about how we can modify and influence our lives in positive directions of all kinds.

When traveling in Brazil a few weeks ago we met a young woman whom I will call Linda (not her real name) for reasons of privacy. She works as a speech therapist on the East Coast of the U.S. She was on the plane we were on to meet up with her boyfriend.Both were arriving in Rio that day. The really neat part of the story is that she had just spent a week in a small town in Brazil volunteering to work with children with cleft palates. And she did it mostly on her own dime having been given very little funding.

So here was a woman who cared enough to use her time, money and energy to reach out and help others. To me that is one special person who has the kindness, caring and courage to go that extra step. She is an example of someone we can learn from and follow in kind ( and in kindness) in some way.

And you know how they say when you give something away, good things come to you. Well, her boyfriend asked her to marry him on Ipanema Beach. How's that for a Danielle Steel-esque story. And it is all true.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, April 5, 2010

IS IT REALLY YOURS TO CREATE?

Friday I used the title phrase to encourage people to ask themselves questions about their future so as to create a more fulfilling one. But is it really ours to create?

Philosophers have long raised the question of whether free will or determinism influenced the course of our lives. As with most such debates the answer is "d)all of the above".Not much in life is black or white. Gray is the prevailing color.

Clearly, many forces inhibit our free will and determine our future. We are all programmed by our history and experiences to see life and ourselves in certain limiting ways.It is easy for us to become married to our habits, routines and rituals as they are comfortable and comforting.

However, time and time again I meet people who have taken baby or giant steps to put themselves into more positive and enhancing space. This ranges from recovering addicts to couples who work on their relationship to individuals who overcome depression, anxiety, etc. It also includes those who take vacations, change jobs or homes, move to a new city or volunteer at a local homeless shelter, hospital, boys and girls club or whatever.

I am awe struck every time I observe our human and mindly potentials for change,growth and variation. I am equally excited when I observe it in myself. It takes energy and effort to be sure, but I do believe it is ours to create.

More on this the rest of the week.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, April 2, 2010

FAQ's WORTH CONTEMPLATING

FAQ'S(frequently asked questions) have become a popular part of many websites that try to answer questions about the services or products being offered.Years ago,who would have thought that websites would become the marketplace? That we never thought of that suggests we didn't ask the right questions about the future. Maybe we still don't.

The same may be true about our selves. The majority of FAQ's people ask about themselves and their futures revolve around their safety,security and well-being.Will I be OK seems to be a universal question. Our needs for reassurance have been strong ever since we were little and seem to linger well into adulthood --even senior hood.

I encourage that we assume we will be fine and that we shall overcome the challenges we face. Then I would turn my gaze to the following questions in any order:

HOW CAN I HAVE MORE FUN AND ENJOYMENT IN THE FUTURE?
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH?
WHAT DID I LIKE TO DO THAT I NO LONGER DO?
HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE MORE TO THE WORLD AROUND ME?
IN WHAT WAYS CAN I BECOME A MORE COMPLETE ADULT?

Interestingly enough, the former FAQ's lack solid answers as so much is unknown. All we can do is assume we will be OK. We have much more control over my suggested FAQ's. It's not important that you envision technology of the future. It is important that you envision your own future in as clear, comfortable and fulfilling way as possible -- simply because it is yours to create.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, April 1, 2010

AND I AIN'T APRIL FOOLING AROUND!

Yesterday's blog talked about learning from the heavies in our life that have caused us and others pain and sorrow. We also have uncanny ways to undermine ourselves in smaller,but no less hurtful ways.

I am thinking here of what we say to ourselves that undermines our confidence and creates worry, stress and pessimism. We can take relatively small issues and magnify them with the scope of a Hubble. This generates negative energies, hopelessness and fear-- sometimes reaching overwhelming proportions. Most of the time our terrors are self-created.

I encourage you to begin to listen to your self-talk. Note whether you are being a cheer leader or a jeer leader. If it is the latter try to modify your script.Try to promote optimism and hopefulness. Assume things will go well until you have data to the contrary. Even if that occurs try to give it a more neutral, if not positive, spin.

I am not talking about seeing yourself and the world through rose-colored glasses. I am talking about not dying them black. Typically, most problems resolve. Usually, we are better and stronger people than we think we are.Face your challenges squarely,confidently and hopefully.With that mindset you will overcome them more easily and more quickly.

And if you struggle trying to modify your script consider talking to a mental health specialist. We help people to accomplish that every day. It is not always easy, but it is doable!

Bye For Now,

Bill