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Growing Ageless

July 27, 2012 by  
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I set a huge goal a few weeks ago–not long after my 68th birthday—to get in the best physical shape of my life!

Now I know that may sound like a bit of fantasy at my age but if you look hard enough you will find some great motivational examples of people well into their 70’s and 80’s and even 90’s who are in super incredible shape.

You may not believe it until you see it so check out these people:

Not such a fantasy after all, is it?

My goals is not necessarily to have just a ripped type body but to be in overall great shape which includes getting down to my high school weight of 160 pounds, be super flexible and be able to run faster and longer than ever before! Well, okay, maybe not faster but certainly longer.

There is no reason that I can’t achieve these goals. It is physically possible. But it will take a lot of work and dedication. That is the issue–keeping with the program not whether it’s possible to reach it.

Next week I’ll start talking about that—the role of willpower in our lives. I’ll tell you how to gain successful self-control so you can reach whatever goal you have your heart set on.

 

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?

The Power of Empathy

July 20, 2012 by  
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Most of the time, when a couple or friends get into a fight, it’s because one of them is assuming they know why the other person is acting the way they do or reads into something they are saying. The thing is our assumptions are primarily based on how we think or what we would do or say which is not going to be an accurate reflection of the other person. If you try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes first, you might come to a completely different conclusion and misunderstandings can be avoided.

There is a great book, written a couple decades ago but still so very relevant, called “Love is Never Enough” by Aaron T. Beck. The one thing you really take away from this book is the power of empathizing. Beck’s book is full of great advice. Here are just a few points of his to keep in mind:

Ask questions rather than just assume and act on what you “think” the other person is thinking. There is no better way to come to an understanding of someone’s position than to let them tell you what they are thinking.
Try to figure out where the other person’s thoughts are coming from rather than focus on the words alone. What a person says and what the message really is can be quite different.
Don’t’ react defensively. This can just make things worse. Stop and try to figure out what they are feeling and respond to that, not the words themselves.

Remember, just making a sincere effort to understand the other person can do wonders for the relationship. The effort you make shows you care and is also commonly followed up by the other person trying harder to understand your point of view as well.

Regaining Our Patience

July 13, 2012 by  
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I’ve learned to be more patient than ever over the last couple months. With my wife recovering from surgery and not being able to talk, being patient is a must! But it’s not easy to do, especially in a world where everything is at our fingertips, where we can access information and people wirelessly and instantaneously. I think we’re getting a little out of practice. So here are a few things to help you regain your patience when it seems to be a bit thin:

Ask yourself what is so important that you can’t give someone a little extra time to say or do something? Are you truly in a hurry or just feeling anxious or worried?

Ask yourself if it’s the person, the circumstance or an outside issue that is making you impatient? Identifying the reason you a feeling impatient can help you understand and combat it.

Put yourself in shoes of the person you are being impatient with. Are they struggling with their words or ideas? Is this difficult for them to do or say? Maybe you can help in some way or at least empathize with their situation which should diminish your impatience.

Ask yourself, what really matters here? If you really have no time, then kindly excuse yourself noting your schedule crunch but otherwise, focusing on what is important–both of you understanding the point of the conversation, that a task is done right, or that the other person feels a sense of accomplishment when they do complete the task at hand–will help you calm down and redirect your thoughts.

Lastly, take pride in the moments you conquer impatience. These days it often no small feat and the things we are proud of we tend to do more readily in the future.

On Becoming a Good Communicator

July 6, 2012 by  
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“I love people and I listen”

I must admit I am not a very good listener. The quote above is a positive affirmation that has been helping me change this in myself. But what really helped me become a more aware listener and more empathic to others was helping my wife as she recovered from her difficult trachea surgery.

The thing is she couldn’t talk for almost a month. In the hospital she had her chin sewed down to her chest so as not to damage the repair of her trachea. Then after her 10 days in the hospital she was on mandatory voice rest for another 2 plus weeks. She had a pad and would write down her thoughts and comments but of course that is very slow and cumbersome and I could see that growing frustration each day. I found myself trying to figure out what she was thinking since I knew she didn’t want or have the energy to write everything down, so I constantly found myself trying to see the world from her eyes.

Even though my wife wasn’t speaking, this need to pay closer attention made me a more aware listener and because she couldn’t write out every word she wanted to speak she had to be more particular about the words she chose. Because of this our communication became more valuable and we paid closer attention to what the other person had to say .

After this experience I couldn’t help but think about how this might help people who are having relationship problems. I think that if one or both people agreed to not speak a word for, let’s say, a few days or even a week and the only way they could communicate was by writing their thoughts and comments down, I believe it would be incredibly good therapy and help people solve a lot of problems. Why not give it a shot if you are having any struggles with someone. They don’t have to agree to the no talking rules because this experiment can be carried out by just one person. Do it and see if you don’t become a better communicator.