Thursday, February 23, 2006

Are you feeling lucky?

Did you know there’s a structure to luck? There is! According to Prof. Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, who has studied it for 10 years, luck consists of:

- creating and noticing chance opportunities (being relaxed enough to notice them)
- listening to your intuition to make good choices
- create self-fulfilling prophecies by having positive expectations
- adopting a resilient attitude that turns bad luck into good

So what can you do to improve your luck?

1) be open to new experiences; change your routine
2) listen to your intuition/gut instincts/the still small voice within or pay attention to those images that flash by
3) visualize positive outcomes before you do something. e.g. see yourself making that shot, or having the negotiation go well
4) grattitude journal -- at the end of each day, write down at least 2 good things that happened

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How to have a great Valentine’s Day – Next Year

First, you can have a great Valentine's Day this year by just expressing your love for your friends and family. Make cards, make phone calls, give cookies that say "I love you". There are a thousand ways to say, "I love you" and one of them, or maybe several of them, will be right for you.

But I'm assuming that for you, having a great Valentine's day can means having a Valentine, having a great relationship with a great partner. So how do you create that in your life? You do it in 3 simple steps:

1. Know what you want in a mate and in a relationship:

- What have you liked in former mates/partners?
- What do you like about your friends?
- What have you like about your relationships?
- What do you like about your friends’ partners?

Take your time! Keep adding to the list ove the course of a week or so. External characteristics, like age, height, weight, or parental status, often come up first, but keep thinking. What qualities do you want? Kindness? Centeredness? Honesty? And how will you know that your potential partner has these qualities? And list the qualities even if they're not PC. The qualities are what YOU want, not what it's cool to want. If race or religion matters to you, then specify it.

Think of EVERYTHING you want. if you want someone who plays pool, or eats meat, or plays racquetball, add it to the list! Because the one thing you forget is the one thing that will be missing. If you want him or her to bring you coffee in bed in the morning, add it to the list.

2. What do I do about what I don’t want?

Turn it into a positive – "no drugs/ alcohol" becomes "clean and sober". Sometimes this takes a bit of thinking. When you say "non-smoker", do you mean someone who has never smoked, or an ex-smoker? Or do you say, someone who has always respected his/her body.

3. Boy, I sure want a lot – do I narrow it down?

Yes and no. Organize the list into 3 groups:

- Have to have, i.e. deal breaker
- Important, but if a couple are missing, I’ll deal with it
- Nice to have, but if most are missing, it’s okay

4. What do I do once I know what I want?

Turn the must have list into an affirmation, a positive, present tense statement of what you want, as if it already existed. It should include not only the description of your partner, but also a description of your relationship. Again, take your time with this, and know that the affirmation may shift over time. That's okay.

Do the affirmation every day.

Use the list, including the rest of the list, as a kind of screen – you’ll know if you want someone who is kind, and he snarls at dogs, or puts down your best friend, it’s probably a good one to pass on.

5. Ask yourself, "Who do I have to be to attract this person and relationship?" and then be that person.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Satisfaction with Life Scale

Please rate the following 5 statements for yourself, on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is "not at all true", 4 is "moderately true" and 7 is "very true":

1) In most ways, my life is close to my ideal.
2) The conditions of my life are excellent.
3) I am satisfied with my life.
4) So far, I have gotten the important things I want in life.
5) If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.


31 - 35: extremely satisfied
26 - 30: very satisfied
21 - 25: slightly satisfied
20: neutral
15 - 19: slightly dissatisfied
10 - 14: dissatisfied
5 - 9: very dissatisfied

(Devised in 1980 by Univ. of Illinois psychologist Edward Diener, copied from Time Magazine)

Do you know where you're going to?

There are basically two kinds of motivation. The first is “away from”, as in “get me out of here!” The second is “towards”, as in “I want that!”

Each has its place, that is, each is useful in certain circumstances. “Towards” is what you use when you decide you want a degree in some subject, or you want a date with that hottie. “Away from” is terrific in emergencies. It’s how you automatically get your hand out of the fire, or get away from the menacing guy with the knife. But even there, what do you do immediately after? You probably call 911 to get help. And that is a “towards” -- toward help, toward healing.

The problem comes when you only have one sort of motivation, especially when you only have “away from“. Don’t’ we all know a complainer who says (s)he’s going to leave that awful job, but then doesn’t because (s)he can’t figure out what to do instead?

Here’s why. When you only know you want to get away from something, you don’t know where you want to go. Think of your conscious mind as the driver of a car, with the unconscious as the car itself. The car has energy, and machinery and will take you where you want to go — but the driver has to decide where to go and how fast. The car doesn’t go anywhere on its own. If you hit the gas pedal and just tell it to get away from here — it can drive you into a ditch, or a wall. But if you steer it to the nearest McDonald’s, it will take you there. If you steer it to the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, it will take you there, too, even if you’re in San Francisco. So your conscious mind must have a “towards” mindset to get where you want to go.

Now, the unconscious has a motor, but it also has a fuel line that will block up of its own accord and starve the motor for fuel. The block here is usually fear, often fear of the unknown. This fear really is fear of losing safety or security. Why should the car use all that energy just to leave the nice, warm, dry garage? What’s in it for the car? (This is what people generally call “self-sabotage”. It isn’t self-sabotage at all, it’s that part of you wants to stay safe, which means sticking with the known.)

The key to getting the car to go it is to short circuit the fear (pardon the mixed metaphor — add a second fuel line?). Here are a few ways to do it:

1) Check – is fear reasonable? Sometimes that’s enough to work around it
2) Find ways to help the unconscious feel safe
a) get all the information you can by reading or asking others
b) visualize yourself doing it
c) try it out (why do you think so many infomercials offer “risk free” trials?)
d) make the positives/”towards” so great that the fear/”away from” doesn’t matter. If someone told you that you’d get
paid a million dollars to bungee jump one time – would you do it?
e) Ask yourself if the fear is really about what’s going on now. Many times it isn’t, but is instead about something
that happened in the past. If this is the case, sometimes just knowing that is enough to shift it, but sometimes you
need hypnotic help to do that. After all, you can’t fix the past by dealing with what’s going on today.

Be clear where you want to go and you can almost always get there!