Friday, October 30, 2015

Change Your Life: Bring Humour and Lightness to Life

A person without a sense of humour is like a wagon without springs.
It’s jolted by every pebble on the road” (Henry Ward Beecher)

I read psychologists use the term cognitive reconstruction to describe our ability to look at a situation from different perspectives. In difficult times and in tough situations it can be beneficial for us to look at things from a new angle, including seeing the humorous element – the lighter and brighter side – of our troubles. Of course, there are times when solemnity and gravity are the appropriate response, but more often than not we take ourselves – and life in general – too seriously, and we miss out on the comical and the playfulness of life. I personally think that Jesus was also a humorous and fun person to be with. If He was a serious man all the time, why do you think that children were drawn to him and wanted to be around him?

After God created the world, He made man and woman,” writes Guillermo Mordillo, “Then, to keep the whole thing from collapsing, He invented humour.” Gordon W. Allport said, “So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter.” Regaining that spark of laughter and fun that we may have lost long time ago will make life more pleasant, contribute to our psychological and physical health, and will, of course – make us more pleasant to be around. “Anyone without a sense of humour is at the mercy of everyone else” (William Rotsler).

Don’t treat life with solemnity and gravity,
Bring humour and lightness to life.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!

2. Exuberance: The Passion for Life by K.R. Jamison (New York: Vintage, 2005).

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Change Your Life: Accept Reality and Act on It

Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be
(Jack Welch)

While we can change certain things, other things are out of our control. And if something is really out of our control, we have to learn to accept it regardless of how much we wish it were different. We may not like the law of gravity and may hope it did not exist (so we can fly!), and yet most of us accept it and learn to live with it. If we refuse to accept the reality of this law, we will not survive for long, and even if we do, we will experience constant frustration. The same applies to every fact of reality, such as the fact that it is impossible to literally go back in time and undo something that was done, or the fact that all of us have some real physical limitations.

Instead of evading reality and spending our life engaged in wishful thinking, we ought to spend our time and effort on real thinking. “You cannot tailor-make the situations in life,” said Zig Ziglar, “but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.” See things as it really are, but then don’t let those that are beyond our control paralyzed us. Facts and our limitations may seem impossible to change – accept reality - but we have the choice of how we are to react about it (attitude) and act on it (positive actions).

Don’t refuse to accept reality,
Accept reality and act on it.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

 Reference: Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Change Your Life: Say 'Yes' Only When Your Vision is Served (Don't Refrain from Saying 'No')

A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than
a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble
(Mahatma Gandhi)

‘No’ is one of the shortest words in the English language, and one of the easiest to pronounce – and yet it is one of the most difficult words for so many of us to utter. We often end up saying ‘yes’ because we want to please, because we don’t want to let others down, or because we fear that their disappointment will turn to anger, which will be directed toward us. We forget, however, that sometimes saying ‘yes’ to others is tantamount to saying ‘no’ to ourselves.

To become more joyful and more productive, we have to focus our sights on the vision that God gives to us. This implies learning to say ‘no’ more often – to people as well as opportunities (even though how good they are) – which is not easy. Sometime we have to say ‘no’ to lots of good things in order to say ‘yes’ to the best ones. It means prioritizing, choosing activities that we really want to be involved in, while letting go of others.

’No’ is a complete sentence and so often we forget that. When we don't want to do something we can simply smile and say ‘no’. We don't have to explain ourselves, we can just say ‘No’. Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say ‘no’ expanded my ability to say ‘yes’ and really mean it. My early attempts at saying ‘no’ were often far from graceful but with practice even my ‘no’ came from a place of love. Love yourself enough to be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’” (Susan Gregg)

Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say ‘Yes’ all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say ‘No’ without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions” (Stephanie Lahart)

Say ‘no’ to everything, so you can say ‘yes’ to the one thing” (Richie Norton)

Don’t refrain from saying ‘no’
Say ‘yes’ only when your vision is served
P.s: Sometime ‘no’ is the kindest word.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Change Your Life: Listen with Empathy and Openness (Don't Rush to Give Advice)

It is the province of knowledge to speak,
And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

I’m still learning this: the key to providing emotional and moral support to people in need, is the ability to listen to what they are saying. When others need our help, my instincts, our instinct is to rush in and provide comfort and practical advice. But no matter how valuable the knowledge that we wish to share, no matter how well intentioned our desire to help, our first obligation is to provide the space and the opportunity for others to share experiences, feelings and thoughts. We need to beware of our inclination to think about our response while others are speaking, jump to complete their sentences, or interject with our advice – even if it is the best advice possible.

Learning from the experience and advice of others is extremely important – it is one of principal ways in which we grow as individuals and humankind. But it usually works only if those receiving the advice feel that they have been heard. Once a student told earnestly to me, “Thank you for listening to me.” I didn’t give any advice, I just listened and I asked questions. Well, if advice is needed and necessary, then give advice. But first – listen.

In the early 1970s, Robert Greenleaf coined the term Servant Leadership after noticing that the great leaders throughout history spoke and acted as servants. According to Greenleaf and other leadership scholars, one of the core characteristics of servant leaders is that they listen first and talk later. In fact, in become a servant leader, Greenleaf argued, a person has to go through “a long arduous discipline of learning to listen, a discipline sufficiently sustained that the automatic response to any problem is to listen first.” First we need to learn how to listen.

Don’t rush to give advice,
Listen with empathy and openness
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!
2. On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy by C.R. Rogers (Boston: Mariner Books, 1995)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Change Your Life: Don't Rush, Savour Life

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand;
the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone
(George Eliot)

The guiding axiom of modern life is that more is better. But we pay a heavy price for placing quantity above quality. Activities, no matter how potentially enjoyable they are, bring us no pleasure if we are constantly on the run, racing from one thing to the next. Even the most delicious food in the world can give me no enjoyment if I devour it as fast as I can. To be a good wine drinker, for example, I cannot sip the entire glass in one gulp; to fully enjoy the richness of the drink, I smell, I taste, I savour, I take my time. To become good at life, to enjoy the richness that life has to offer, I sometimes need to slow down, to take my time.

The first step to truly see the potential of my vocations and ministries, the richness in the world and the beauty in our life, to love and appreciate people around me, is to – slow down. Can you slow down just a little and, rather than rush through life, savour its treasures and gifts? (Life is hard you know, don’t make it harder. Speeding is not necessary winning. Slow down).

Don’t rush through life,
Savour life
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!
2. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by C. Honore (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2005)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Change Your Life: Seek the Win-Win

In his book The 7 Habits, Stephen R. Covey puts #4: Think Win-Win
There’s plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. An Abundance Mentality involves sharing prestige, recognition, profits, and decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity
(Stephen R. Covey).

In most dispute – whether a minor argument or a major relational conflict – it is possible to find a solution that benefits both sides. When I set out to fight and defeat my opponent, I end up expending a great deal of energy and resources on destroying rather than on creating maximum value. Moreover, entering a dispute with a win-lose approach often leads to a similar approach being adopted by the other party. As a result, both of us may end up losing.

When I show goodwill and a desire to help, I invite similar behaviour from the other. When we put our joint resources, our mind and heart, to the task of increasing the benefits to the individual and the group, we stand a better chance of success – for all who are involved. The pleasure of winning when the other side loses is short-lived; the joy of a win-win outcome lasts a great deal longer, and often creates the basis for yet another round of positive experiences.

The next time you (and I have to remind myself very strongly because I’m naturally a very competitive person) interact with someone, whether the context is a cooperative or a ministerial or a competitive one, think about how you can both benefit, how you can both win.

Don’t focus on defeating the other
Seek the win-win
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (New York: Free Press, 2004)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Change Your Life: Express and Reveal (Stop Pretending)

Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness,
but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, or belonging, or love
(Brene Brown)

To express myself – to openly share my thoughts and feelings – is to risk being rejected and hurt by others. But choosing not to express myself and to hide behind a façade, no matter how impressive that façade is, is a form of self-rejection that leads to unhappiness and discontent. While it is the case that if I am true to myself others may not like what they see, it is certain that if I constantly put on a show, eventually I will not like myself.

Putting on a façade is often an indicator of low self-esteem. But far from being a fix for the problem, pretending to be someone I am not has the effect, over time, of lowering my self-esteem. Moreover, even if others like what they see when I put on a show, it is not me that they like, but the person I am pretending to be. When I choose the real over the unreal, the authentic over the inauthentic – when I express rather than impress – I no longer apologize for who I am. I allow my inner light in Christ to shine.

Rather than constantly being concerned about whether my love would be appreciated, I give love first. Rather than concerning myself about how I would be perceived, I was authentic – willing to let go of who I thought (or who people thought) I should be in order to be who I am, who God made me to be. Rather than hide my vulnerabilities and imperfections, I’m willing to express and reveal them.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, to let go of the mask of perfection, is very hard. Vulnerability comes at a price – it can hurt a lot! But this cost is negligible compared to the cost we pay when we suppress part of our humanity. When we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we are also supressing our joy and happiness and the potential to cultivate deep and meaningful connections in our life. Can you open up a little more, reveal part of your true self? Go on, be vulnerable, and be real!

Don’t always impress and conceal
Express and reveal. Stop pretending!
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!
2. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, 10th Anniversary Edition by P.J. Palmer (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Change Your Life: Actively Learn the Lessons of Hardship

Never let a good crisis go to waste
(Anne Harbison)

Although I do not wish hardship on myself, hardship often finds me, and when it does, I have a choice. I can treat it as a purely negative experience – one that I should put behind me as soon as possible and never think of again – or I can actively seek to identify and understand the lesson that every hardship contains within it.

For example, through hardship I can learn about humbleness (gaining a better understanding of my limitations), empathy (learning to connect to the pain of others), patience (absorbing the lesson that things do not always turn out as we planned), and resilience (gaining confidence from my ability to bounce back after the hardship is overcome). I most certainly do not have to be happy about everything negative happens to me, I can use it as a tool for development and growth. Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but I can choose to make the best things that happen.

Find the lessons in difficulties that you are facing right now. Look back and learn from hardships that you’ve experienced in the past; you will not only derive important lessons from reflecting on these challenges, you will also realize how much you have grown as a result. And how God works in and through you all this while.

Don’t avoid learning from hardship,
Actively learn the lessons of hardship.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!

2. The Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth: Research and Practice by L.G. Calhoun and R.G. Tedeschi (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Change Your Life: Appreciate and Learn from Those Around You

Appreciation is to humans what the sun is for plants
(Frank Iversen)

There are certain people – ones we know intimately and others we meet for the first time – who, for one reason or another, irritate us. It could be the way they act or talk, the way they look or walk. And while there is no need to always change our perspective about those people – leaving the scene or minimizing the time we spend with them could be the right thing to do – we lose many opportunities when we mindlessly succumb to the dictates of our unpleasant reactions.

Reflecting on the source of our dislike toward another person can reveal something about ourselves, because we often get annoyed by precisely those things we dislike in ourselves. Learning to appreciate things about the person who vexes us can help us cultivate the benefit-finder within, as well as develop deeper compassion – both of which will contribute to our relationships with others and with ourselves. What can you learn from others now?

Don’t allow others to upset you,
Appreciate and learn from those around you.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012) Buy this book!
2. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life by Dalai Lama (New York: Back Bay Books, 2002).

Top 10 Most Read Idea(s) Last 7 Days


Thinking Creative Question Action Change Your Life Essential Thinker Series Focus Positive Secrets of the Millionaire Mind Harv Eker Success Attitude Choice Learning Nurture Creativity Play Mindset Perspective Time Experience Habit Observation Curious Different Failure Hardworking How-to Generate Ideas Imagination Problem-Solving Wealth 12 Rules for Life Children Inspiration Jordan Peterson Relax Rich Break the Rules Change Perseverance Reading Risk-Taker Seeing Albert Einstein Barriers to Creativity Confidence I Wonder Series People The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck (Mark Hanson) Connection Happiness Money Possibilities The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Thought With Winning In Mind Asking Books Character Characteristics of Creative Person Is Technology Changing Our Brains Knowledge Practical Process Writing Believe Challenge Childlike Criticism How to Choose Optimism How to Nurture Your Child to Be Creative Innovative Listening Purpose Relationship Responsibility Story of Idea Thomas Edison Value 7 Climate Facts You Need to Know Communicate Control Enjoy Freedom Fun Idea-Quote Meaning Mistakes Open Mind Opportunity Optimistic Original Resourceful Roger von Oech Talent As A Man Thinketh Combination Commitment Discovery Don't Give Up Dream Energetic Environment Friendship Genius Give Up Growth Leonardo da Vinci Picture Playground Quiet Space Random Reason Start With Why (Simon Sinek) Steve Jobs Understand Walk Wisdom Yew Kam Keong Ability Ambiguity Behavior Crazy Daydreaming Decision-Making Example Facts about Creativity Faith Fear Feeling Goal Hearing Humour Improvement Independence Intuition Isaac Newton Lead Love Motivated Nature Non-Conformist Passion Potential Respect Savor Life Self-Image Stephen R. Covey The Power of Habit Word Alternative Application Awareness Common Blocks to Creativity Conversation Discipline Dynamic Emotion Encouragement Expectation Feedback Flexibility Idealistic Jack Foster Leader Logic Mindful Music Negative Performance Persistence Physical Reinforcement Result Right Answer Sixth Sense Society Talking The Human Body Tony Buzan Vincent Ryan Ruggiero Vision Adventurous Appreciate Attention Be Yourself Beautiful Christopher Columbus Conscious Daring Desire Edward de Bono Empathy Excuses Exercise Financial Galileo Goodness Hardship Help Henry Ford How to Be Innovative Humble IQ Jesus Kindness Laugh Let's Get Started! Memory Mental Rehearsal Michael J. Gelb Multitasking Nicolaus Copernicus Patient Pen and Paper Planning Power Praise Prejudice Proactive Progressive Quality Reality Recording Rejection Routine Sharing Simplicity Sleep Social Media Stand Firm Starbuck Stimulate Strength Stress Studying The Internet Theology Think like A Fool Touching Unpopular Usefulness Victor Hugo What If Win-Win Zig Ziglar 6 Common Creative Killers 9 Types of Intelligence A. Samad Said Affirmation Alexander the Great Aristotle Association Assumption Austin Kleon Balance Benedict de Spinoza Benjamin Franklin Bette Nesmith Graham Bill Gates Blessing Brainstorming Business Carpe Diem Chaos and Order Cicero Colonel Sanders Compliance Concentration Contribute Copernicus David Hume Descartes Desiderius Erasmus Development Diversity Don't Try Download Drug Elaboration Eleanor Roosevelt Enthusiasm Error Ethics Eurika Experiment Explore Extrovert Fluency Francis Bacon Free Book Generalist Giving Back Heroes Hopeful Hormones How to Spark Your Creative Mind How-to Maximizing a New Idea Howard Schultz Hunting Illustration Information Integrity Intention Interruption Introvert Investment James Webb Young Jason Mraz Jean-Jacques Rouseau Jim Carrey Jogging John Locke Jurgen Wolff Juxtapositions Legacy Leon Ann Mean Leon Trotsky Light Liquid Paper Machiavelli Management Manifestation Manipulation Marcus Aurelius Mark Zurkerberg Martin Luther Marty Neumeier Maturity Mental Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Mind Maping Miracles Mission Statement Modeling Money Blueprint Mood Move On My Top 17 Book on Innovative and Creativity Lists Navigation Skills Niccolo Machiavelli Offline Ontology Ordinary Pablo Picasso Pain Paracelsus Paradigm Paradox of Creative People Parenting Passive Income Peace Perception Philosophy Plato Political Practice Priority Privacy Procrastination Productivity Promote Pythagoras of Samos Rational Rebellious Receiving Reformer Rene Descartes Resilience Resource Myopia Rest Reverse Robert Korn Running Safe Saving Say No Scientific Method Scott Belsky Self-Gratification Selling Seneca Skeptic Slow Down Smelling Social Skills Socrates of Athens Soichiro Honda Specialist Spider-Man St Anselm St Augustine of Hippo St Thomas Aquinas Steal like An Artist Stubborn Suffering Synergize Tasting Technology Thales of Miletus The Creative Environment The Empiricist The Mozart Effect Thomas More Tok Nan Toy Tradition Truth Uniformity Unique Universe Unorthodox Volunteer Walt Disney Wildlife Wonder Xenophanes of Colophon