It has been a while since I have written but it does not mean that I have been idle. The last couple month I found myself very busy. Yet as I look at what I accomplished I realize that much of the time I was not productive. I took on tasks that kept me busy yet I could see in retrospect that they kept me from accomplishing what I had previously decided were my priorities.
There is a big difference between being busy and being productive. To be productive means putting energy into achieving goals. Being busy is allocating your time to things that will not bring you closer to the outcome you say you want. Every one of us has at times let busyness overtake productivity.
Ask yourself have you set a goal that you can see yourself achieving? Make sure that the goal you have set is in synch with your values and is something that you truly want to achieve. Decide where you want to put your energy and commit to it. Commitment leads to focused action. Busyness can also be a way of avoiding tackling a task that is new and scary. It may not look like avoidance at first but if you are not making progress towards your goal it is something to contemplate. If you realize you have been using busyness to avoid doing something that creates inner fear try to figure out what you need in order to be able to move forward. You may also need to reexamine your goal to see if you are on a path you still want to pursue.
As I thought about why my busyness kept me from being productive I realized it was because I was afraid to move out of my comfort zone to move my business forward. Instead I took on all kinds of worthwhile activities. I do not regret doing them. What I do regret is not realizing for many months as to how come I was so busy. Once I realized what I had been doing I was again able to move from being busy to being productive.
What can you do when you find yourself in a major disagreement with your partner? I am talking about the kind of situation where you are both raising your voices and feel strongly about the subject at hand. This is the kind of situation that we have all found ourselves in at some time or other. This is when you want the other one to understand your position. When that does not happen instead the tendency is for each person to become louder while hoping to be understood. Unfortunately the desired result generally does not happen. Instead both people end up feeling alone and not understood.
Here are a few ideas on how to defuse such a situation.
- You feel strongly about the issue at hand and want to be heard and understood
- It is a truism that the more worked up we become the more we are operating from our emotions.
- When we are all emotion we are no longer able to think clearly.
- Therefore, it becomes important to find a way to calm oneself by breathing deeply or taking time out. You may have to say “I need to calm myself down first so that I can continue the discussion reasonably.”
- When you are calmer think through as to why this is so important to you. Usually there is anxiety and worry about something.
- Be sure to give your partner the courtesy of listening
- When you have both expressed how come this is so important to you it becomes easier to arrive at a solution that both can support.
In my Kindle eBook you will find many other useful ideas sure to enhance communication. Please visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/BOOBH4XR90
Arguments between two people can sound very repetitive. After my husband and I have had a heated discussion I finally realized that we both sounded again just like we did the time before. I kept taking things personally and he kept making the same logical point over and over. Like most couples there are plenty of things we resolved well, but when we got stuck we sounded like broken records.
If you looked at our process through the years it was evident that we repeated this pattern with some regularity. One day I decided that the next time we found ourselves in such a situation I would do my part differently. I made the following decision: I would calm myself so that I would not be so reactive. I did that by consciously taking deep breaths. I had to do that many times in order to be able to think. I needed to be able to think so that I could respond in a new way. I then decided that I would focus on my husband and really try to find out from him how come he felt so strongly about the issue at hand. He seemed surprised that I really wanted to hear where he was coming from. We both visibly calmed down as I listened differently. The cycle was interrupted and we managed to come up with a solution to the issue at hand.
There are still times when we get stuck but it happens much less frequently. When it does, we are able to regroup much more quickly. The key invariably is to try to calm down the strong feelings in order to think and find a solution that both of us can support.
I have written a brief Kindle eBook filled with simple ideas on how to create relationship success. You can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BH4XR9O/.
Change is part of life and yet some changes are more challenging than others. Moving from one home to another is one of those times. Much depends on what the move means to the person who is relocating and how the transaction is handled. Recently, I read an article in the New York Times about “Relocation Therapy”. Shortly after that I came across an interesting blog by Ken Torrino who handles web relations for Elliman, brokers for New York City Real Estate, www.elliman.com .The focus in his blog and in the NY Times article is from the perspective of realtors. As a therapist I have over the years worked with many people where addressing relocation became an important part of therapy. Until I read these articles I had not fully appreciated that in Real Estate such moves are referred to as Relocation Therapy.
Mr. Torrino writes that Americans move for employment, education and economic opportunities. Now I quote” Moving around like this used to be called “making a change”. In recent years, as sociologists and other human professionals have become more interested in the behavior and underlying motivations behind relocations, the term “relocation therapy” has been coined for people who leave behind the familiar place for reasons that are not mandated by the demands of one’s employment or schooling. One common reason for relocation therapy is bereavement or victimization by criminals.”
He describes how a move to a new location may well be a very positive change in the person’s life. I can only agree with that. When the apartment where my daughter and her husband were living was broken into they began to look for a new place to live shortly thereafter. The relocation helped them move on from the trauma and it indeed was therapeutic.
What is not clear to me from Mr. Torrino’s article is as to who will provide the relocation therapy. It is possible that realtors may have a conflict of interest since their goal is to make a sale. Helping someone therapeutically explore what will be in their best interest may entail also considering that there may indeed be times when the best decision may be not to move. I appreciated Mr. Torrino’s sensitivity to the varietyof reasons why people contemplate relocation and his emphasis that it is a positive change in their life.
In my Kindle eBook “Relationship Success: How to be Happy Together” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BH4XR9O I talk about a couple’s struggle with the “good news” that the husband has received an offer of a job promotion. I describe in detail how this offer created an emotional crisis in their relationship because accepting the offer involved a move to a new area. When two people are affected by the upcoming change it challenges them in new ways. This couple had to find a solution which both could support or they would have experienced continued stress in their relationship.
Another stressful time for families is when an older parent loses his/her spouse through death and the adult children are involved in the relocation planning. As a therapist and life coach my task has been to help the parties involved keep in mind that the final outcome has to be in the best interest of the person undertaking the move.
Mr. Torrino says that the purpose of relocation therapy is to reset the mind and move from a loss inthe family, a midlife crisis, or relationship transformation or another life event. I whole heartedly agree. We want our home to be a place where we can have peace of mind. When relocation achieves that goal it will indeed be therapeutic.
There are specific strategies and tools that will strengthen couple relationships. For instance, did you know that the biggest challenge that committed/married couples face is that they have to learn to think in a new way? They can no longer just think of themselves but they also each have to think of the well-being of their relationship.
Thus the question to ask has two parts to it: “What do I want ” followed by “How does what I want fit with what we want”. The big difference is that from now on the relationship has to also be considered. They have to find a successful way to balance their individual needs with their togetherness needs. How a couple manages this task has a lot to do with how a couple deals with challenges in their relationship.
In my Kindle e-book: “Relationship Success: How to be Happy Together” I give an example of a couple who become stuck trying to deal with a job relocation offer which both could support. The tools they use to come to a mutually successful solution are the key to resolving differences effectively. You can find many helpful ideas for strengthening togetherness happiness by going to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BH4XR9O/
To make changes in order to be happy with how you are leading your life is a worthwhile goal to have. Did you know that studies show that there are very few of us who live our life to the fullest? Instead most of us have resigned ourselves to being less than we are capable of being.
I am convinced that each one of us has inside us a little voice that urges us on to be who we are capable of being. It is easy to ignore this voice by saying “I am too busy”, “this is not the right time”, “after this commitment is over than I will start” etc. I can look at myself and see how many times I have limited myself with such self talk. In retrospect,I might say “I really could have done it” but at the time that is not how I saw things.
Since I am a therapist and life coach people seek me out because they want to change something in their life. It could be struggles in relationships, wanting help with life direction, desiring a a job change, wanting or having to relocate, etc. They are all looking for help in finding solutions to life stresses and/or how to attain goals. I become the voice that believes in them and guides them as they venture out of their comfort zone and try something new. What I have learned is that when change is desired it has to be accompanied with a willingness to take action to make it happen.
Let’s say you wish you had more energy. One of the ways to increase energy is to exercise regularly. In order to commit to exercising you have to believe that you deserve to feel vibrant. Only then will you take action to create more energy for yourself. With such a belief it will be much easier to stick to exercising regularly. Maya Angelou said: “If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Recently much has been written about the ideas expressed by Sheryl Sandberg in her new book ”Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.” One idea is that “we hold ourselves back in ways both big and small …we lower our expectations of what we can achieve.”
I think she is so right. What we expect of ourselves will either empower us or hold us back. Our mindset is influenced in so many different ways. A while back I came across a notebook from when I was in sixth grade. In there is a composition I have been asked to write about the joys of being a housewife and raising children. As I look back all my teacher’s were single women who were teaching other people’s children.
Through the years my views of what I could be expanded but they continued to be deeply influenced by the culture of my day which included meeting a spouse in college. I did not meet my husband in college so I went on to graduate school where I did meet him. Although I had worked professionally for six years I chose to stay home when we had children. That is what most women did. I remember feeling sorry for the children of a former co worker who continued to work. As I look back I can see how I limited myself with my mindset. Yet at the time it seemed to me that what I was doing was right and I minimized the reality that part of me yearned to be back in the workforce. I did not take steps to see how I could make that work.
Of course in time I did return to the work force. My specialty is helping people enhance their lives and strengthen their relationships. I encourage them to become aware of their mindset so that they can see where it expands them and where it limits them. The increased self awareness helps them take charge of their own life. Each person’s mindset also contains the expectations they have for their relationship and their ideas for togetherness happiness.
I have written a concise kindle eBook on the power of relationships and how to use it to create togetherness happiness. You can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BH4XR9O . In there you will find specific ideas for enhancing self-growth and strengthening relationships.
I am proud to announce that my book ” Relationship Success: How to be Happy Together” is now available on Kindle. This is the first in a series I am calling “Enhance Your Life”. My goal is to give you “how to” information that will help you live your life to the fullest while enjoying meaningful relationships.
“How to be Happy Together” is based on keeping the focus on one’s own life while at the same time being with others who also want that for themselves. Relationship Success is the result of balancing the individual and togetherness forces. As you read the book you will see, through examples, how couples have successfully made decisions that are based on both people feeling validated. It is by knowing how to think relationally that we create healthy relationships.
Much of our happiness occurs in relation to someone else. Our happiness is greatest if we can be around people who allow us to be fully human. What we want in our relationships is to be with someone who takes responsibility for his/her life and chooses to be in a partnership because life is enriched by being together. It is my hope that by learning how to create healthy relationships that you will experience togetherness happiness.
You can find Relationship Success: How to Be Happy Together at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BH4XR9O
A while back I came across the phrase “change will happen whether you like it or not”. I had to agree that there was a lot of truth to it. Just think about it, how are you the same and how are you different than you were 5, 10, 15 years ago? No doubt you can visualize many ways that you have changed in the intervening years. What did you leave to chance and what did you do to create the change that you have experienced?
There is much about change that is in our control. For instance as our bodies age we can fuel our well being by exercising, by what we eat, by our outlook on life and the relationships we have. It is when we believe that we have control over the changes we make that we feel in charge of our life.
Yet why is it that we so often resist change? Change takes us out of our familiar comfort zone. Jonathan described how scared he was to tell his wife that he was having difficulties with his boss at work. Throughout the years he had always presented only how great things were going on his job. To now open up and begin to share made him feel weak and vulnerable and worried as to how his wife would react to him. His wife was surprised by the news but pleased that he shared his worries. She valued that he confided in her and she felt emotionally closer.
Jonathan no longer felt so alone and trusted that whatever happened they would get through it together. When we risk making changes we grow in the process.
“No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it. The state of the mind must be belief, not merely hope or wish” . This quote is by Napoleon Hill. He believed that we all have the power within us to direct our mind to achieve what we desire for ourselves. The key is having an unwavering belief. You must trust with certainty that you can have it. As you focus on what you want your belief will pull you forward. You begin to see opportunities that you can take which will transform your belief into reality.
Recently I wrote an article for the iPad magazine “Secrets of the Secret”. Every month there is a new theme. This time it was BELIEVE . It is one of the three steps of the law of attraction. In my article I talk about a couple who came to see me where the husband was involved in an affair and they were at the brink of divorce. I first worked with the wife and later saw them both as a couple. Once they got over the hurt and anger they made good use of the communication and relationship skills I taught them. Yet there was something else happening that did not have anything to do with what I did. The wife had an unwavering belief that their marriage would come out of this crisis better than ever. She held this belief quietly in front of her like a beacon. As she visualized how she wanted their relationship to be she became more loving and forgiving. I had this distinct feeling that there was a power greater than they or I that was moving them towards a stronger relationship than they had had before. To me this was a beautiful example of the power of BELIEF in action. There have been times in my own life when I have believed strongly that unexpected doors opened and I had to grasp the opportunity and walk through.
Here is the link to “Secrets of the Secret” iPad magazine , February 2013, where you can read the whole article on your iPad.