One Simple Step to Being Happier

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

What helps us lower our chances of heart disease, tolerate pain better and even extend our life expectancy? Friendships. Yep – you read that right. Hanging out with friends can help us lead a happier, healthier and longer life. According to research, friendships actually increases a feel-good hormone called oxytocin. It helps us strengthen bonds with other people in our lives and create lasting relationships.

In my humble opinion, hanging out with friends can be different than spending time with family. If you’ve ever been away on a “girl’s weekend,” you understand what I’m talking about. It’s an experience that makes us laugh a little longer and share a few secrets that we never thought we would. It’s a time for acceptance and bonding and just taking care of ourselves.

But in this fast-paced world, how do you keep up with friends? People change jobs, they move, they start their own families. Times change, and so do people. So it’s important to make the time to create experiences with those you really connect with. It’s not about the time we spend together but the bond that is developed. I couldn’t have said this better myself:

“Friendship isn’t about who you have known the longest–It’s about those who came and never left your side.

This is a quote that really touched my heart. It’s a great reminder to invest in the friendships that make you the happiest and brighten your day. I have been so fortunate to meet and become friends with some amazing women. Without them, I would have never survived some of the greatest challenges life threw my way. To all my girlfriends out there, may you all find the happiness and joy that you have brought into my life. I am a richer person because of you.

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Drop Back 10 Yards and Punt

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How many times have you had a great idea, then stopped short of following through. It could be something in your business life, like: “I’m going to apply for that promotion” OR something in your personal life, like: “I’d really like to go skydiving.” Yet when it comes time to actually DO it, you stop yourself. All those internal “no’s” sweep over you like a huge wave and you just can’t catch your breath.

Why? Why do we find every excuse in the world to sell ourselves short???

It might help to step back and take a look at the end goal. Can you somehow get the same result by taking another road? For instance, if you’ve always wanted to go to veterinary school but just couldn’t afford it, what other options do you have? What other avenues can you explore:

  • Work as a veterinary assistant?
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter??
  • Become a professional groomer or pursue other animal related careers???

Do you get the idea? Figure out what you love to do, then adjust a bit and look at the other options that are available to you. Once you declare to yourself and to the world what your passion is, you will find doors that you never even knew existed. Now all you have to do is open them and discover what lies behind them. And if it doesn’t fit your needs, try the next door.

Life is a continuous process of adjustment and you never know what you will discover along the way.

Think of it as a treasure hunt that will lead you to your moment of triumph.

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My Beacon in the Night

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It was my beacon in the dark, my light at the end of the tunnel, my Taj Mahal. What am I referring to??? The Super 8 hotel in Hampshire, Illinois. No, I can’t even tell you where Hampshire, Illinois is, but what I do know is that when I hit an unexpected, fierce snowstorm, everything came to a standstill. The expressway was totally covered with snow and ice and slush so thick you could not see the lines on the road. I had no idea if I was in my lane or not. With the whiteout conditions, I could barely see five feet in front of me. Then, almost like an apparition, I saw a sign on the side of the road that read Super 8. I could barely see the exit ramp and even made a wrong turn as I tried to find the hotel.

Finally, I made my way to their parking lot and my only worry now was: do they have a vacancy?

WHEW – they did! As other travelers lined up behind me hoping for the same result, I got the key to my room and was happy to be safe.

I had no idea where I was but that didn’t matter. I was warm and safe and on the other side of the window that protected me from the blaring storm outside.

It’s interesting. I drive this route at least once a month. That means I must have passed this specific Super 8 hundreds of times, yet I never noticed it. I’m curious how many other places I’ve missed because I’ve been so consumed by whatever is happening in my life at that moment. I remind myself to make more of an effort to stay in the present. With all of life’s distractions, this is really difficult to do. I promise myself I will try harder tomorrow.

In the meantime, a huge thanks to the Super 8 in Hampshire, Illinois and to the day and night managers for giving me a safe place to lay my head.

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It Only Takes One Little Word

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

One small word – only three little letters – can make all the difference in the world. Yes, it’s the power of one word, and the word I’m talking about today is yet.

My good friend and colleague, Roger Wolkoff, taught me this trick: The next time you feel like you can’t do something, just pause, then finish the sentence with yet.

I can’t find a job – yet.

I don’t know how to do this project – yet.

I have no idea what I’m doing – yet.

Get the idea? For me it’s learning to play the ukulele. A couple of years ago I went to a concert where someone sang a lovely song while playing the ukulele and it looked like so much fun. So, I asked for one for my birthday.  When I got my ukulele, I immediately signed up for lessons. OMG – what was I thinking??? I have never played any kind of instrument before and wouldn’t know a musical note if it hit me in the head. So what did I do? I immediately went to:

“I can’t play the ukulele!”

Then, I remembered the trick of using the word yet, and I changed my sentence to:

“I can’t play the ukulele – yet!”

It makes all the difference in the world. That one three letter word opens all sorts of opportunities to you. It helps you flip the switch and begin thinking about what is possible.

So, give it a try. The next time you tell yourself you can’t do something, pause, then add the word yet. It works wonders.

 

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Sorry, What’s Your Name Again?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How many times have you been in a meeting, an event or even a family reunion and you forgot someone’s name. This happens to me all the time. How embarrassing! So, I wanted to ease my pain and get better at remembering names for more than five seconds after I met the person.

Here are a few ideas that have helped me and may help you as well:

First, really focus on the person and concentrate on their name, nothing else. As you shake their hand, repeat their name and make sure you are pronouncing it correctly. Saying their name once will do, otherwise it can get a little creepy.

Second, make a mental connection with someone you already know. When I recently meet a woman named Anna, I immediately pictured my niece, Anna. It really helps me remember names. If there is no connection with someone you already know, try visualizing. Find something about their face or what they are wearing to remind you of their name. For instance, Carla may be wearing colorful eyeglasses. Hence, Colorful Carla.

Third, introduce the person to someone else using their name. You get double points for this one because not only do you remember their name, but you are also helping them with a meaningful introduction.

People who are good at remembering names probably don’t have a better memory than you do. They just work harder at remembering names. Check out this short video and see if this helps you: https://binged.it/2WGwHEi. Now go out there and meet some new people trying out these techniques. Let me know how it works for you.

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