Experience a Great Lesson

September 13, 2013 by  
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Most of the time the best way to learn the great lessons of life are through experience. And, wow, I sure saw the truth of that the last few days. What is kind of crazy is that just a handful of days before I had read about this exact same life lesson I recently experienced and skimmed right over it not learning a thing.

What lesson am I talking about? I’ll tell you but let me back up a bit first.

Right now, as I write this I am flying from Rome to the island country of Malta. It has taken this great getaway vacation, traveling from Paris to Rome to Brindisi to Malta and eventually to London, to learn what a few simple words in a book had just tried to tell me. This lesson is very simple but in our fast paced high tech world too many of us are forgetting about it, losing touch, and it is hurting us.

So what is the huge and simple great life lesson I learned or I should say relearned? Well, when you need a quick but solid mood boost, get up off your butt and go outdoors! See, I told you that it was simple. But it is no less important than any of the other great lessons in our lives. Just a bit of “green exercise” has been proven in ten different controlled studies to decrease stress, boost mood as well as self-control, and even enhance your ability to focus. All that from what might be just a 5 minute walk around the block.

I had read all this and agreed with it in my mind but it didn’t really hit home until I was cycling around the south of Italy. Then I felt it. And wow, it made such a huge difference in my mood and my mental clarity. I could sit here and just tell you about it but my own experience showed me that you really need to just get out and experience it for yourself. Remember the studies on this showed great improvement in the above categories with even very short outdoor time. So why don’t we all start adding this simple habit to our daily routines? Yes, take your kids cell phones and I pads from them and kick their butts out of the house too. It is a great experience for everyone.


Life Lessons for People Young and Old

May 31, 2013 by  
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A few nights ago I presented 2 Cottonwood High School Senior scholarships. 27 years ago I set up the Kristin Haroldsen scholarship fund in honor and in memory of my daughter Kristin, who died suddenly at age 16 from an eating disorder.  I told the 400 or so high school seniors and parents how shocking and painful it was to lose a child and sadly a few families already knew from experience the deep sorrow parents, families and friends suffer.

But then I tried to explain the huge “life lesson” I learned from that tragedy. And yes, it took years for me to learn this big life lesson.  I tried to convey to the audience and especially these wonderful young, senior high school students what I consider the great secret of a happy, fulfilling and productive life. Here are those 2 messages:

LIFE’S BIG LESSON:  It’s not what happens to you during your life but how you react or respond to what happens to you. You have to remember that whatever happens, you have choices and you determine the quality of your life by the choices you make.

LIFE’S BIG SECRET:  To have a happy, fulfilling and productive life, you must monitor, control and program your self-talk and constantly make positive affirmations to yourself, inside your head. Talk  to yourself by saying simple things like,

“I can handle any situation.”

“I am happy and healthy.”

“I am positive and upbeat.”

“My life is working out beautifully.”

“I love people and I listen to them.”

Based on the many comments I received later that night from these wonderful teenagers I think they got the message, The real key, however, is how long they will remember it and live by it. That goes for their parents too. And for you and me!