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Archive for March, 2013

In Pursuit of Happiness

In Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is not something we chase; it is not something we can buy. Happiness is a state of mind and it comes from within, but it is influenced by our environment.

The country of Bhutan measures Gross National Happiness (GNH) the way we measure Gross National Product (GNP).

Bhutan’s Centre for Bhutan Studies developed a sophisticated survey instrument to measure the population’s general level of well-being or happiness. The four pillars of GNH are

  • the promotion of sustainable development,
  • preservation and promotion of cultural values,
  • conservation of the natural environment, and
  • establishment of good governance.

The Centre for Bhutan Studies further defined these four pillars with greater specificity into eight general contributors to happiness—

  • physical, mental and spiritual health;
  • time-balance;
  • social and community vitality;
  • cultural vitality;
  • education;
  • living standards;
  • good governance; and
  • ecological vitality

These eight contributors to happiness are solidly based upon the empirical research literature of happiness, positive psychology and well-being.

Measuring Happiness

So – how can we measure happiness? And more importantly – how can we increase our happiness?

At its simplest form we can rate our happiness from 1 to 10 on these categories:

  • Health – physical
  • Health – mental/emotional
  • Spirituality/religion
  • Work – Life balance
  • Relationships – significant other
  • Relationships – family
  • Relationships – friends and social network
  • Finances
  • Physical environment – home and neighborhood
  • Access to nature

Once you see in which categories you are happiest and in which you are less happy, you can decide which category you would like to improve.

Increasing Happiness

Be Grateful: First of all we can increase our happiness by being grateful. It’s easy to forget just how good we have it. The practice of being grateful can help us focus on the many good things we have. Take a small notebook and at the end of each day write down at least five things you are grateful for. These can be things like having a roof over your head, a nice meal, having money to pay your bills, a conversation with a friend, a nice and sunny day.

Celebrate: Next, make a habit of celebrating accomplishments – large and small. It is easy to check off tasks off a to do list, and move from one thing to another. After completing a small task, celebrate by giving yourself a short break, may be do a little happiness dance. Just watch a football player after a touchdown. You get the idea. When a major project is done, be sure to recognize and reward yourself and other team members.

Change: Now take a category that you would like to improve. Let’s take relationships for example. Evaluate your friends – which uplift you and which drag you down. May be it’s time for a heart to heart talk; may be it is time to let a friendship end. People change over time, may be you are no longer into the bar scene, but your friends are. If nothing else holds the friendship together, then maybe it’s time to let it go. Make room for new friends that share your other interests.

Share Happiness: Lastly, get in the habit of sharing the happiness of others. For example if you are playing a game and the other person wins, congratulate them on a game well played or on their good luck.  When you win, accept congratulations graciously.

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

Two Yummy Vegetable Side Dishes

Two Yummy Vegetable Side Dishes

Today I’ll share with you two yummy and easy to make side dishes.

Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash the cauliflower and cut it into little florets. Spread them out on a cookie tray.
  3. Generously drizzle on olive oil,
  4. then sprinkle salt and
  5. garlic powder on the florets.
  6. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Watch the video at http://youtu.be/-11gmhGWits

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Thoroughly scrub 2 potatoes (no need to peel).
  3. Cut the potatoes into wedges and spread them out on a cookie sheet.
  4. Drizzle on olive oil,
  5. Then sprinkle on salt,
  6. Paprika and
  7. Rosemary
  8. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes.

I’ll often put one tray of each in the oven at the same time. If combining both recipes, set the oven to 350 degrees and put the potatoes in the oven first for about 10 minutes, and then add the cauliflower and leave both in for 30 more minutes.

These side dishes are easy to make, and add a nice touch to any hearty meal or diet.

 

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

How to Deal With an Angry Person?

How to Deal With an Angry Person?

Whether you encounter an angry person in your family, workplace or in another setting, there are things you can do to help yourself. Understand that long-term exposure to an angry person has its consequences.

When you encounter an angry person, realize that you are likely the whipping boy for something that you had nothing to do with. I remember a person who, when angry, stomped loudly going up stairs. Next thing someone would be yelled at for some innocuous reason. Once the person let out their anger, they pretended that nothing had happened. They showed absolutely no understanding of the harm that they had just caused.

So – what can you do? First of all be safe. If there appears to be no physical danger, then use the following steps.

  1. If you are in a situation where you can just walk away or hang up the phone, then that might be the best solution.
  2. If the angry person is someone close to you with whom you have repeated encounters, you may tell them that you are happy to talk with them when they have calmed down. Then walk away.
  3. If you are in a situation where a customer is angry, put on your customer service hat and listen. Once the angry person feels heard, you are likely to know what to do next.
    • If the angry outburst is due to a mistake or fault of your business, then apologize.
    • If you can take corrective measures, then tell the customer exactly what will be done to correct the error, by whom, and by when.
    • If you don’t know how to make things right, ask the customer, “What can we do to make it right?” If that is within your power to grant, then make it so, or propose something similar.
    • If there is nothing that can be done, at least empathize with the customer for the trouble or inconvenience that was created. Often a customer wants to be truly listened to and their complaint heard. That may suffice.

Why this Matters:

We all deal with angry persons from time to time. When an angry person feels truly listened to, often the person will be impressed with the non-confrontational way they were dealt with. If it is a business situation, you may just have won customer loyalty. If it is another encounter, you may have just diffused a volatile situation.

Taking it Further:

Some people, especially in close relationships, use anger, sarcasm, cynicism, or put downs to control and to get their way. This is unhealthy behavior and results in unhealthy relationships. In family situations you will need to be strong and create healthy boundaries. For further reading I suggest the “Boundaries” books by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.

In interpersonal work situations, if you can’t solve the problem yourself, you may need to seek help from personnel. For further reading I suggest the book from Harvard Business Press Pocket Mentor: “Managing Difficult Interactions – Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges”.

 

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life

Many years ago, people believed that the world was flat and when you got to the edge of it, you would fall off the earth. Once that belief changed, people like Christopher Columbus would dare to go to the edge of the horizon and beyond.

Another belief was that it was humanly impossible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. But once Roger Bannister broke that record in 1954, many top runners achieved this milestone shortly thereafter.

Here are a few other beliefs, which have proven to be false:

  • Whomever travels with a speed of 30 miles per hour or more will certainly suffocate and die.
  • There is no possible combination that can be put together in a machine that can help a man fly.
  • Traveling to the moon is a stupid idea and is impossible

Beliefs can be changed:

I used to believe that I can’t write and my grades in school reflected that belief. A number of years ago, while I was pursuing my family genealogy, I made contact with a man who had written several books and told me how he found writing to be enjoyable and relaxing. This first made me think how such a thing might be possible. I was changing my belief that writing was arduous and difficult for everyone. Now I find that there are times when I enjoy writing and it flows easily – almost effortlessly.

We all have taken on beliefs from parents, teachers, and others who we considered authority figures: words like “math is difficult, you don’t have the talent for singing, you’re too dumb to go to college, and you’ll never amount to anything”. At some point these and other often repeated thoughts became beliefs, which we took on as facts.

What are your beliefs about relationships, money, health, your body, … ? These beliefs are holding you back from what you could achieve and the life you could have. The first step is to make these beliefs conscious.

Taking it Further:

Write down your goals in an area of your life, for example how much money you can earn. Then write down your beliefs about that subject. Lastly, find clues for why those beliefs might be false and what you can change these beliefs to. Then take action.

I was recently reminded about Peggy Cappy who thought she couldn’t earn much money as a yoga instructor. She was a very ordinary yoga instructor, not one of those who could turn themselves into a pretzel with fancy poses. Only a few years ago she was a fellow attendee at a Jack Canfield Success Workshop. She ended up turning her ordinariness into an asset. I recently saw her Health & Fitness CDs sold in a PBS catalog. They are entitled “Yoga for the Rest of Us” and “Easy Yoga for Easing Pain”. Peggy has come a long way from earning money by teaching yoga classes. http://www.peggycappy.net/

Now start to come up with ideas how YOU can change your beliefs and achieve your goals.

 

Contact me:

Many people struggle to take the steps they know they need to take. As a coach I can help you clarify what’s most important and offer support and accountability so you make important changes in your life. Think about the life you could have. Schedule a free coaching consultation, call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

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