Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Secrets behind Instant Gratification

Instant Gratification has such draw that most of us at one point or another chose instant pleasure over long-term gain.
No matter your education, age or gender: It’s still difficult sometimes to overcome your inner resistance against working on tasks that have a late pay-off. For some individuals, the gym and exercise are the activities they cannot get themselves to commit to. For others it is discipline in food intake, getting up early in the day or completing the difficult projects on the work to-do list. What is it for you? Where do you find yourself resisting against committing to work for your long-term benefits?

One way to overcome the pull of Instant Gratification is your realization how little you are honest with yourself. The more your give in to Instant Gratification, the more it shows you have found ways to lie to yourself about your reality in this situation. We all prefer immediate positive pleasures but they will not be authentic and genuine satisfaction if one part of you realizes you justified away something that you should have done. Being truly honest with yourself about your choices and your needs has great pay-offs in terms of pride, empowerment and the genuine feeling of being in control of your future. Until you overcome your draw for immediate pleasure, you will struggle against discipline for many years to come. The earlier you do what’s good for you, the easier it gets and the more self pride and true satisfaction you feel for your choices.

You can only change if you are honest with yourself and you find the leverage inside to tell yourself: This is not where I wanted to be at this age
. This is not the weight I ever wanted for myself. This is not the lifestyle I would have chosen. Unless you get fed up with your current set of circumstances and eliminate your tendencies to justify away your frustration with saying “It’s not too bad yet” or “I’ll do it tomorrow”, you will stay where you are right now. Make a decision to do today, what you wanted to do weeks or years ago. A great part of you knows the right actions to take, so make a commitment and maybe find someone to hold you accountable - today.

How would you feel if you finally overcame your draw to instant gratification in the areas that matter to you? What would you tell yourself, if you were truly honest with yourself about your reality? What small action could you take today, to commit yourself into the right direction?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are you living on the defensive?

Here are some questions that will help you understand your current situation:

Are you living to get through the day instead of getting from it? Are you proactively planning for your week, your year, or are trying to deal with the crisis that are coming your way? Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed by the amount of responsibility you take on? When we get overwhelmed by our challenges, we start living on the defensive, managing the adversity we take on.  Living on the defensive will prevent you from actively growing, taking care of your needs and living outside the fear-zone.

The best way to stop feeling overwhelmed is starting to take an honest look at what your week looks like: Do you have systems in place to keep yourself healthy and your mind focused? Are you developing skills you need to be better prepared when crisis hits? Does it feel like you struggle with similar situations of stress regularly - maybe it is time to establish systems to deal with those struggles. Do you fuel your body with foods that keep it energized and strong? Those are questions which help you define your situation and possible areas of improvement. It will enable you to take the long view versus defending against short term struggle.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Time Management Class Part 7: Crisis at home/work

Learning about Time Management has had an incredible influence in how I approach work and life. I believe with the right Time Management, you can reach your Goals, live with greater ease and feel in control of your work and family schedule. Brian Tracy and Anthony Robbins have created great programs to teach you how to manage your time and thanks to these influences, I am able to provide you some quick tips and tools as well. I hope it helps you to maximize your productivity and family quality time while at the same time minimizes the possibilities for you to loose whole days where nothing really gets done (and we all know those days, don’t we?). 

To recapitulate, here are the last 6 Parts of the Time Management Class in summary for you to access:

Time Management Series
Bad Habits
Other Employees/Friends dropping by the office
Inability to set Priorities

Today it’s all about dealing with the unexpected. Sometimes even though learned to discipline and focus ourselves, get through the to-do list and even create constructive habits, our greatest chunks of time get lost through unexpected Crisis. Have you ever taken the time to think about possible future crisis? What could go wrong at work or life in the next 3,6,12 months? How would you deal with those crisis? Anticipating the things that could  go wrong and setting tentative plans in place will help you tremendously when it comes to dealing with the unexpected. What is the worst possible thing that could happen and how could we take action? Think about the time it takes you to go from the shock of an unexpected crisis to move toward overcoming the emotional turbulence and realizing a positive constructive plan to move forward. If you send some tentative proactive plans in place, you will save yourself great amounts of time plus those tentative solutions will prevent you from feeling emotionally overwhelmed and out of control. If you think of yourself as the primary strategist of your life, it is your responsibility to look down the road and plan for proactive contingencies that give you control in the moments that would otherwise create great frustration and turbulence. Realize how circumstances can overwhelm you any day, and the little time it takes to prepare for those possible circumstances will make or break your well-being and personal goals.
Sometimes you might realize the same crisis at work or home seems to re-occur on a regular basis, which is a sign of bad planning and lack of organization. Feeling overwhelmed will take the motivation out of your day, the ease to take control and the possibility to get quickly on your feet.

Which crisis are happening in your life? Has the same crisis happened more than once or twice? Then it might be time to look at your system and ask yourself: what is not working?

When a crisis happens, use this post to turn toward for an exercise that allows you to find solutions quickly and keep a cool head. It’s time to get over your reluctance to ask for help and turn toward people who are able to take some of the pressure. Ask constructive questions and instead of wondering “Why does this happen to me?” or 
“Why do bad things always come at the same time”, ask yourself “How can I find a quick solution?” and “What specifically can I do to change this situation?”

How are you dealing with a crisis when it comes along? Do you feel overwhelmed or out of control when something negative and unexpected happens?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cutting loose - coming to terms with your Parents

I specialize in working together with Women on their Goals, Visions and Self-Esteem. To a large degree I do so because I believe that a balanced, fulfilled woman does not only make an amazing difference in her career, but also for her community and her family. Everyone should feel like they can achieve what they set their life out to be. Every woman should feel like she has control over her own progress and even if she sets aside years raising her children, should still have the inner knowledge that there is personal growth and happiness for herself. Once you reach the point where stability comes within, you can provide the feeling of accomplishment to those around you. 

On the other hand, if you have difficulties feeling balanced and you try to draw stability from your children, you enter a different kind of parent-child relationship. Howard M. Halpern explains in his book "Cutting Loose", how each of us as parents have 2 drives: we want our children to become strong and independent, and we also want them to be weak and dependent on us. In my experience, the more you focus on balance and personal growth, the more you will want your child to be independent and strong. 

Here is a paragraph from the book that explains quickly and simply the difficulties one might experience in having a healthy relationship between parents and children:

"In every parent there is a wish that his or her children grow up to be strong, independent, effective people. And in every parent there is a wish that his or her children remain weak, dependent, ineffectual people. The relative power of these two wishes can vary greatly, but if your parent's wishes that you be dependent and inadequate have been dominant, then you are probably in trouble, because the pressure on you to obey their "Don't grow up" wish may be irresistible.
The parental wish to have his child become strong and independent doesn't need much explaining. That is what parents are for, and throughout the animal kingdom parents train their offspring for autonomous survival and then unceremoniously push them from the nest. Kahlil Gibran talks of his parents being the bow and the child's being the arrow.
The parents wish to have his or her child remain weak and dependent needs a lot more explaining, because it contradicts basic biological reason for parenting. We can understand it more clearly when we realize that the parent's desire to see his offspring grow and be independent comes from the mature parenting part of himself, while the parent's desire to have his offspring remain attached and dependent comes from the little child within."

Extract out of "Cutting Loose - An Adults Guide to coming to terms with your Parents", Howard M. Halpern 

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