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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Don’t Wait

Patience is a virtue but so is action.

Perfectionists wait because they want to get every last detail right, but perfection can never be achieved.  It’s just a goal.

The cautious live in limbo uncertain about what to pursue next.

It’s why we are better at getting the next job once we’ve left our present jobs.  We wait too long.

It’s why we stay in toxic relationships for fear of acting instead of anticipating something better.

Why we get less adventurous as we age.

More likely to wait until something forces our hand instead of what we can make happen.

All the while life goes on as if we have endless years to make up our minds.

Don’t wait, don’t delay – jump into every opportunity that could bring you success and happiness.

Never wait for perfection.

Perfect is an illusion.

There is only what’s in our grasp now to be consumed to the fullest.

Don’t miss this moment waiting for the next.

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Not Putting Your Life on Hold

Often the best way to discover a fuller life is to look to a cancer survivor or other person challenged with a life-threatening illness.

They almost universally find a way to acquire the secret to not putting their life on hold even as they face extensive medical treatment and become anxious about their prospects for living.

Live life now – never put it on hold.

Not for health.

Or a divorce.

A personal problem or tragedy.

A career bump in the road.

Ironically, those who live life to the fullest are the ones who are fighting to overcome health issues.

There are no guarantees for anyone even people blessed with good health for the moment.

Tomorrow never comes for people who cannot live life in the present even if they make it to 100.

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