Top Mood Boosters

A study of 2,000 adults says this is what is a perfect day for them:

Waking up at 8:15 in the morning 

A sunny, spring-like forecast with a temperature of 74 

Being able to enjoy three hours outdoors

4 hours with family, 3 hours with friends

Another 3 hours watching TV

In bed by 10:50 pm. 

Even at that respondents say they only have 15 “perfect” days a year.

What’s wrong with their typical “perfect” day.

It is self-centered.

Real perfect days come when you’re not making it all about yourself.

Giving the gift of your precious time to someone without expecting anything in return. 

Being a good listener to a friend where you can accurately repeat back the essence of what they are saying without having to match them topic by topic. 

Being grateful for that which is good but also for challenges that have the potential of transforming your life.

And being grateful for people in your life.

Putting your phone away and being 100% present with those around you.

Returning home to greet everyone as if you’ve been on a two-week business trip and can’t wait to see them.

Forgiving someone.

You get more happiness by giving than receiving.

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Reducing Phone Time

A smartphone is like one of those morphine pumps they give patients after surgery where you hit it up to get an instant dose of pain killer and doctors say use it as much as you need to comfort yourself.

Our phones bring us a jolt of adrenalin so we keep tapping it to see if we missed anything, if someone wants us or if they are responding to our social media posts.

It’s a drug.

You can’t just stop turning to your phone unless you have something else that brings happiness to replace it.

Shut the phone down and go solo by interacting with others in real time.

Do like the French, no business emails after work hours — no exceptions. 

Seriously, look at our texts messages.  We could live without 90% of them and not miss a beat. 

Avoid the black hole of scrolling through social media – it’s hard to stop and not worth it.  

Put all apps that help without distracting you on the first two screens of your phone – weather, traffic, Uber, etc.  Everything else goes into folders (Instagram, Facebook, news, music, video, etc.) and when you enter those folders be aware that you are entering a black hole that will usurp your time and distract you from your present surroundings.

51% of Millennials say their number one medical complaint is anxiety.

Reduce it by getting tough with your phone – you own it, don’t let it own you.

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Fear & Worry

I saw an interesting article recently that suggested that phones and digital devices may not be the only source of stress in our lives.

That perhaps people are turning to social media to escape a world of pressure, impossible expectations and feelings of failure for the instant response of someone liking us on Facebook or following us on Instagram.

Fear feeds worry.

Then we begin to worry as if worry is a 100% predictor of doom that will soon follow.

99% of everything we fear never happens.

And in 1% of the cases when it does, what we feared does not happen as we imagined it would.

Yet when it comes to fear and worry, even those odds don’t seem to be good enough.

To stop worry in its tracks, ask what’s the worst that can happen?

Then, realistically how likely is that to occur?

This is important – and if it does, what’s your plan for dealing with your fear

Fear and worry are not rational so to get the emotion under control, add some reality.

What I’m fearing will probably not happen and if it does, here’s my plan – this approach goes a long way toward easing anxiety.

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More Productive Family Time

It’s a joke how people who are very publicly fired from their jobs like to say “I want to spend more time with my family”.

So if they weren’t fired, would they still want to spend less time with the family?

More time with the family is a red herring.

Better time – now that’s a doable goal.

Away with the guilt of working late and not seeing the children if you’re still going to leave your phone on and be distracted.

Or declaring a family day because you need it more than they do.

Quality time does not mean more time.

Spend quality time in the now 100% focused on the person or people who are important to you.

One long walk with a child where communication is taking place is more meaningful than one entire day instigated by guilt.

Listening to a family member without commenting is so golden that it will earn hugs and kisses.

Being present, curious and non-judgmental is preferred over hours of just being there.

Ironically, it’s not the amount of time that is spent but the amount of time focused on the other person’s life. 

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Better Listening

Doctors stop listening to patients after just 11 seconds.

Research at the University of Florida shows doctors may have patients but they have very little patience before jumping in after asking the question what brings you here.

It’s not just doctors.

Almost everyone can’t wait to hear themselves talk.

Being a good listener endears you to others and produces better outcomes in human interaction.

It is a secret that successful people know.

A bad listener cannot succeed in life for very long.

A rare few people are born good listeners but most of us have to work on that skill.

Step one.

Listen until you can repeat back what you’ve heard so accurately that the person speaking can answer “yes” when you say “do I have that about right”.

Communication cannot begin until the message is received and confirmed by the person speaking.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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