Gratitude Myth-Busting

It takes a lot of courage to be a strong and grateful woman. Myths swirl about both. Strong women are still perceived as difficult or angry, b*tches or worse. Being a kind and grateful women makes you a doormat, a Pollyanna, or just silly. After 15 years of research here's what Dr. Richard Emmons, the world's foremost authority on gratitude, says that shatters gratitude myths... 5 Gratitude Myths Busted Myth 1 - Gratitude leads to complacency. Busted: Being grateful doesn't make you lazy, it gives you a sense of purpose and desire to do more. Myth 2 - Gratitude makes us too self-effacing. Busted: From my observation, when women state they're grateful it is often perceived by others as weakness. Gratitude is actually associated with a greater sense of personal control over one’s success according to studies on this powerful trait. Myth 3 - Gratitude isn't possible -- or appropriate -- in the midst of suffering. Busted: Science suggests we can cultivate or maintain an attitude of gratitude through hard times, and that we’ll be better for it. Even when suffering intensely, keeping a gratitude journal is likely to lift your spirits and connectedness to others which … [Read more...]

Want to Change? Shake Up Your Perceptions

Conceptual artist Leandro Erlich's work is brilliant and tricky. Like an optical illusion, Erlich's work creates perceptions that fool our eyes and our minds. Above in Batiment, Erlich forces us to fill in the details of something we don’t quite understand with things that we believe we already know. That's the funny thing about perceptions. We blink and assume, we fill in gaps to quickly make sense of life. Why is it so darn hard to change? Because our perceptions are our reality. Your Perceptions are Your  Reality In the 18th century, philosopher Immanual Kant proposed that reality is not an ordered universe waiting to be perceived by the human mind. Instead, Kant theorized that the human mind takes the chaos out there and orders, frames, and structures it into the reality that we perceive. In short, “perception is reality.” As leadership guru Stephen R. Covey points out,“To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.” Let that sink in. To change ourselves, we have to change our perceptions first. This is BIG! This requires preparation. 5 Gentle Shake-Up-Your-Reality Tips To get those change-juices flowing, here are my favorite quotes … [Read more...]

Shifting Your Lens

At the risk of setting off a Geek Alert:   I read Popular Science magazine. In a past issue Erin Biba’s article, “Not Just the Facts,” really touched a nerve. Biba explains that we largely favor scientists whose conclusions match our own existing beliefs. Think U.S. Climate Change debate. Otherwise rational people, it seems that “selective perception” rules us – if we let it. Walter Lippmann, a Pulitzer-winning journalist and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 1964 said, “We do not first see, then define, we define first and then see.” Bibi makes me want to add "hear" to Lippmann’s statement. Being Human Means Using Selective Perception Selective perception is very human. We put facts through a personal lens that is so influenced by our own beliefs, our own worldview, that even in the face of incontrovertible evidence we’ll distort what we see and hear to conform to what we expect, what we already believe. Bias, stereotypes, or just plain mindlessness – selective perception can hurt us. It can limit how well we connect with others. Our decision-making capacities might be hampered. It may stop us from reaching our full potential, our joy in … [Read more...]

5 Practices to Cure Worst Criticitis

“Oh @*#+!” I berate myself just prior to taking a trip recently. Why did I put off some work I wanted to get done before leaving? Why did I wait until the last minute to buy gifts I wanted to take with me? “Oh joy! You procrastinated,” proclaims my meanie-in-mind, “I get to run wild right now!” My meanie-in-mind uses words like "always" and "never." It lies glibly and smoothly. It takes its show on the road too. No doubt about it, procrastination exposes the worst critic I have: ME. Worst Criticitis If we're honest with ourselves, we may find that we're procrastinating to create situations that give us a rush of adrenaline and a chance to feel super successful:  Procrastination, after all, generates a problem that we then get to solve.  There are a zillion pieces of advice on time management, on doing what's important not what's urgent. I love the thought of saying "no" to free up my time to say "yes" to what really matters most. But if you're anything like me, the real danger procrastination presents is not that you don't get things done, that you don't produce great results. The danger is that procrastination promotes 'Worst Criticitis,' a term I'm coining to … [Read more...]

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