Making Bad Days Good

No one has all good days.

Dealing with the bad days can be a challenge.

When you focus on helping someone else with their problems and get the attention off your difficulties, bad days can become more tolerable.

When I speak to groups about topics like these, I will often distribute 3×5 cards and ask everyone to write down their three biggest problems in life right now.

No names on the cards.

I collect the cards and redistribute them to everyone else giving them a new card and a new set of problems.

When I ask who wants their own problems back, 100% of the time everyone prefers their own.

Helping others.

Focusing on problems other than ours.

Two positive ways to get through a bad day or a rough patch.

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Surprises

We love to have our ducks in a row.

Surprises are not something most people want.

Surprises can also be rewarding sources of happiness even ones that are not on the surface happy.

I met my wife by doing something I never do.  I called a temporary service to fill in for a week while I was away doing a conference.  Obviously, she stayed for a lifetime.  And I’m not kidding that the agency wanted me to pay a fee because I married her.

Really?

I know of someone who was surprised that she had breast cancer but even more surprised to find out that she didn’t need chemotherapy.

Or the friend who was surprised her husband was having an affair that led to turmoil, sadness and then a new life with a person who valued her.

The job candidate in radio who didn’t get the job he wanted only to remain on the sidelines for another year until the job of his dreams came along.

Surprises are not so bad because they often have a happy ending.

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The Perfect Response for Insulting Emails

Here’s what I do when I receive an email from someone who either assumes I have no feelings or no brains.

I write a simple response. 

“Is this something that you would have said to me in person?”

About half the time I get no response, but rest assured – message delivered.

And believe it when I say about half the time I get an apology, often a lengthier apology than the original insulting email.

Sometimes I make a new friend – and I’m not kidding.

Hiding behind a computer or smartphone doesn’t always bring the best out of us so when you ask a person if they would have said the insulting thing to you in person many realize that they went too far.

Instant communication does not mean instant gratification.

Before you hit “send” assume you may someday have to read that email on the witness stand in a courtroom.

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Body Shaming Lady Gaga

Gutsy for jumping from the stadium roof onto the field (even if it was recorded in advance).

Electric for the over-the-top Super Bowl halftime show she did.

Talented for her great voice.

These are the things that came to mind when Lady Gaga performed at halftime during Super Bowl 51.

But trolls online had a field day with what they described in all sorts of gross ways as body fat.

In particular, belly fat.

They didn’t like it so they shamed her from the safety and relative anonymity of their mobile devices and social media networks.

Gaga’s response was “I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours, too”.

Body shaming is a coward’s game, but it happens all the time.  Not just to girls like Lady Gaga but to children faced with inconsiderate people who are made more powerful through social media.

The best defense against all types of shaming is being proud of yourself the way you are.
There is only one of you, celebrate it.

We don’t live our lives by outsourcing our self-esteem to others.

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The Super Bowl Comeback

Defeated at halftime, winners in the end.

The New England Patriots surprised the Atlanta Falcons by not really using the usual motivational techniques.

Dour head coach Bill Belichick is far from Pete Carroll in that department but somehow even Atlanta became increasingly shocked to see their certain Super Bowl victory slip away as each minute ticked down.

Both teams were the best that football had to offer.  After all, they made it to the ultimate test, the big game.

You’re never out until let yourself believe you are.

Don’t even think about giving up.

And while pep talks have their value, channeling confidence from deep down inside is far preferable.

This applies to the rest of us as well.

The worst news isn’t necessarily the worst until you give up.  Just ask a cancer survivor.

Pep talks are mind candy, but believing in yourself is power food.

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