#97 Mentor Someone

It’s similar to picking through an old file and discovering something there you’d forgotten or are just happy to be reminded of. This is true for both industry knowledge and life skills in general.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#97

Mentor Someone

What do you do with all of your accumulated knowledge, experience, and wisdom? Is it just there? Untapped except for your own judgment?Why not make the effort to share it by mentoring someone?

A mentor is defined as someone who establishes a trusting relationship with a younger, less experienced individual and provides guidance, support, and encouragement.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is at least some accumulation of information that can be helpful to those younger or less experienced than yourself. Children in a homeless shelter, teens attending an after school support program, college students looking to enter the workforce, Twenty-somethings just starting out, new mothers, new fathers, first time home buyers, startup entrepreneurs, and the list goes on… can all benefit from the insight generated by someone who’s ‘been there… done that’.

Children

Children, in particular, benefit from mentoring. A child who’s been mentored is 53% more likely to go to college and 130% more likely to hold a leadership role of some kind. They are 81% more likely to engage in extracurricular activities such as sports and 46% less likely to use illegal drugs. One of the primary advantages of being mentored is the increase in self-esteem of the mentee. Emotional support and approval derived from mentoring relationships is responsible for increases of self-esteem in most cases.

Young Adults

Graduate students who have defined mentor relationships as strong and successful demonstrate more satisfaction with their graduate programs and postgraduate well-being. Some research indicates that the stronger the reported mentoring relationship – the more professional success is earned by the mentee. Adults entering the corporate marketplace also report higher job satisfaction when mentored by seasoned workers.

Good For You

Mentoring has other benefits aside from doing a good thing and the satisfaction that comes from giving back. Often, the things we teach are things that we need to remind ourselves to do. It’s similar to picking through an old file and discovering something there you’d forgotten or are just happy to be reminded of. This is true for both industry knowledge and life skills in general.

Additionally, mentoring offers you the opportunity to gain perspective; to remember what it was like before you ‘knew it all’. It is a blatant reminder that the world goes around, and around again. As we gain experience, we understand more intently, how to prioritize and we learn to trust our intuition and decisions. Working with mentees can demonstrate how far we’ve come in our own journey – increasing our confidence.

This is a suggestion that is a win-win for all parties involved so take a look at your schedule and research some of the opportunities where you live where you can…

Mentor someone.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#261 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We all have countless recollections of mishaps and momentary errors in judgment that are retrospectively funny or immensely satisfying. Sometimes…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#261

Remember when…

This recommendation might sound a bit like the idea of savoring that I presented earlier but it’s a bit different in its goal. The idea here is to recall random shared memories of minor debacles when you are with another person with whom you have some history. Ideally, you’re thinking of a time that you can laugh about now. A time when you had solved a problem, survived a hazard, or preserved through a challenge.

The goal is laughter or at the very least, an appreciation for the lesson learned. It’s an opportunity to review a moment in time from another perspective and share a sense of satisfaction of a previous experience.

‘Remember when we got that flat tire and…’

‘Remember when I left the cake in the oven for an hour…’

‘Remember when we took the wrong bus…’

We all have countless recollections of mishaps and momentary errors in judgment that are retrospectively funny or immensely satisfying. Sometimes, just recalling the collection of awkward moments we shared with another strengthens our appreciation of their role in our life. It’s another type of walk down memory lane that can have you rolling on the floor laughing or being grateful that it is over now.

Pick up the phone today and share a blast from the past with an old friend or randomly bring it up at the dinner table tonight… “Hey honey…”

Remember when…

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#361 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

My goal, for those of you who are curious, is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#361

Open your hands and let it go.

Coping literature and psychological dictates frequently make suggestions that are parodied into concepts which, insist we “just let it go”, “forgive and move on”, or “get over it”, to name a few. The idea/concept is great and truly I think most of us attempt to follow any advice that implies we will move away from something that instils emotional pain.

I’ve talked to hundreds of people over time that have certainly heard and/or read that advice but have failed in finding peace. Eventually, the question is raised “so how is it done? How do you ‘let go’ of something?”

There are plenty of strategies but the one that has worked the best for me when necessary and is reported to be a successful option by many of my clients is the practice of holding your hands open flat when imagining that you are letting go (literally) of the thing that you wish to disappear. I must admit to the absence of any scientific evidence validating the efficacy of this gesture and yet I know enough about the way our minds organize rational thinking to believe that it simply makes sense.

In a closed position, our hands are capable of ‘holding’ something. In an open position, they are not. Our brains just don’t make the correlation of ‘holding on’ if we imagine it in our open flat hands. One caveat… letting go is not a one and done thing. The trick is to open your hands EVERY time a thought / feeling you are attempting to diminish, presents itself.

Thought arrives > vocalize “let go” while opening hands.

As often as that thought shows up. Try it and let me know how you do!

Just open your hands and ‘let it go’.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Jlhopgood on Foter.com / CC BY-ND

365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive; #363

My goal, for those of you who are curious, is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#363

Don’t interrupt

The majority of us learn a few basic social rules as we grow. We are told not to pick our noses in public and most of us remember this into adulthood. We learn not to interrupt someone speaking and yet we don’t master that skill. How can we be good at one but not the other? They are both rather gross habits.

Being a good listener depends on hearing the entire context of what we are listening to. When we interrupt a speaker, we cut short the speakers context. Often, we fill in the missing piece with a personal assumption as understood through our own lens, potentially misconstruing the speaker’s intent.

When we interrupt, we steal energy from the speaker, diminishing the value of their comment; implying that it is less important than what we need to say. At the very least, it is a show of disrespect for what they are sharing. It may validate a sense of “I don’t matter”.

If the speaker – more so than ‘what’ the speaker is saying – matters to you; Don’t interrupt. Even if the content is not your ‘thing’… if your interest in the topic is nil… if it is emotionally charged… if it is controversial… let the speaker finish an entire thought before you chime in. Imagine the respect that can be demonstrated in a conversation if the entire exchange is transacted with complete thoughts and implied value!

Don’t interrupt.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

Starting 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive.

I thought about waiting to start writing this new blog section at a more apropos time in terms of measurement, perhaps the 1st of next month or July… a nicer, neater way to track 365 days because this is the beginning of a new commitment to write. My goal, for those of you who are curious, is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

So… let’s get started.

#365

Challenge your beliefs.

Ask why – All. The. Time. Yes, this is relatively annoying when a 4-year-old echoes every one of your thoughts with “but, why?” and yet it seems as if that is when we stop asking ourselves. We learn (or assume) so many beliefs as we mature that often never again get examined and some of them are -in fact – simply untrue. I worked with a 20-year-old client once who held the erroneous belief that putting ice into milk would poison it. She was unaware of how she developed that belief; only knew that it was concretely woven into her knowledge system. I don’t recall how we discovered that bit of information as it seems trite in comparison to her presenting problem but there were more mistaken notions lingering there as well that needed to be corrected to allow her a more accurate view of the world.

Even those things that we ‘know to be true’ today may not reflect our growth as the years go by. I find that people who were shy in their youth and developed beliefs from that perspective often need to reexamine those thoughts after developing mature confidence (i.e., “I can’t do it.”). Rules and ideas that were appropriate in one situation become implanted in our thought systems and then when the conditions change, we may fail to change our thoughts.

This concept is at the crux of all new discovery. If we fail to challenge our ideas about the world, science, medicine, and technology would standstill. It makes sense – a ‘no brainer’ – of sorts in that arena but it is just as important on the personal front. Take a step back and consider your personal, individual belief system. Validate what is fact from some acquired fiction. Distinguish what is still appropriate for your current circumstances and environment. Redefine as necessary.

Challenge your beliefs often!

 

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

Time to Teach

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

In the book ‘Big Magic’, Elizabeth Gilbert spends some time talking about ideas – how they come in… swirl around to see if you want it… and then move on. I found it to be an amazing concept because I am always having ideas and every once in a while, they stick around.

Recently, I had an idea. It wasn’t new actually. It was a returning one but it looked a little different and this time, I liked its appearance. The timing seemed right – actually – it seemed perfect.  Although I am tempted to keep things status quo so that Harlan’s energy in my surroundings doesn’t get disturbed. In reality – I sense it is HIS energy that is stirring things up. I can feel him pushing me and I dream that he is encouraging me – he was always so good at that.

The idea said “TEACH”.

I was momentarily hesitant to start something new and exciting because well… I’m still grieving, right? It’s not the right time. But the idea wouldn’t budge. It was there constantly and it was loud. I considered that in actuality – it is the right time – right now in the middle of all this coping – while the tools are being used and put to the test. The time is perfect for me to aggregate the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated over the last 30 years.

I got busy and created The Elevate Class – an online class designed to motivate and inspire you to discover and live your best life.

Elevate Banner aa

I’ve poured more than one hundred hours now,  digging through my bookcase, my graduate syllabuses, academic papers, and inspirational heroes of mine. I’ve assembled the best of them into ten categories and outlined them in a way that helps me explain how I’ve coped all these years; through the ongoing parade of yuck that life keeps dishing out. I will explain how to make your own life lemonade!

I do so by walking WITH the people who take the class. It’s one thing to watch a video or read a book — but having someone to digest it with, to dig into the deeper questions they evoke, to validate or dismiss its value… now that’s helpful – and fun!

After a decade of working with clients as a psychotherapist and examining the tips, tricks, and techniques that have allowed me to stay positive and focused – no matter what – I am positioned and ready to teach.

To learn more about The Elevate Class visit the website. I hope you’ll read more and get excited to start a journey yourself!

 

A Letter to Myself Series – Age 20

The next few years are going to be some of the best and some of the worst that you can imagine.

Second in the series A Letter to Myself

Sit back for just a moment and think of the growth that happens in the time that spans the second decade of life. The change between a ten and a twenty-year-old is amazing. It is in this decade that we learn independence and crave autonomy. As we leave our childhood behind, we experience puberty and explore sexuality. We physically turn into adults and obtain the privileges to drive, vote, and fight for our country. We may learn about love and loss for the first time. It’s a time for exploration and challenge.

In my life, everything changed during that decade. My parents split, I moved across the country and went to five different high schools. I took on a ton of responsibility as my parents lost and then found themselves again in different partners. I became the one everyone could depend on and didn’t buck the system until very late in the decade and then I made up for lost time. I experimented with everything that was on the naughty list. I started school but didn’t take it seriously.

By the age of twenty I was living on my own and self-supportive. My family had moved out of the area and so I surrounded myself with friends who became what I called my family of choice. Not all of my decisions were good and there were some f***ed up days coming, so if there is ever a time I can do it over again – this is what I want that girl to know.

Hey you,

Wow. Look at you. You did it. You made it through all those changes and faced the challenges of being a teenager all at once! I know you didn’t want to, I know it was hard, I know you struggled but you did it. You could have let a few more people help… you didn’t have to do so much of it by yourself. In the future – being stubborn isn’t going to offer you the easiest option. Life is better when you let people in, when you let them help.

So, your family looks a little different huh? Yeah, it gets bigger and a little more convoluted but you end up depending on each other a lot. You’ve got a great foundation to build on and the family values that you have gathered will be reinforced over and over again by most everyone. You are going to need those people! Good job on noticing how much they mean to you.

I want to encourage you to get better about finishing things. It would be great if you could finish college now even though everything turns out ok, it’s harder – much harder when you do it later. Most importantly… without that degree, you end up thinking that you don’t have as many choices and ‘that’ moves you in directions that end in pain. You work it out but… if you finish school now it will make things easier for you. And that stone sculpture that you never completed… you will shake your head over that for years! It will make a great door stop – just do it!

I know you’ve struggled in the boy arena. It’s not them… it’s YOU. You are OK, just like you are and when you finally figure that out – it will be everything you think it should be. I know adults tell you this all the time… they say it because it’s true – when you are happy with yourself, the ‘beautiful’ in you is visible to everyone. You are not fat! Your body is fine and the best thing you can do is to learn acceptance of it.

Adults are not saying these things to make you feel better (well, maybe a little) … they say them because they are TRUE!

You fall in love. Yup! There is a man out there who will love you as much as any Prince Charming. I’ll keep the suspense up and not go into many details but just know that he is on your horizon.

You will have a baby and he will grow your heart so much that you think it is going to burst. Yes, sorry to spoil the surprise – your first child will be a boy, just like you’ve always wanted. Just watching him sleep will bring you more joy than you knew was possible and when his little hand reaches for yours… well, your heart is just never the same.

The next few years are going to be some of the best and some of the worst that you can imagine. I’m not trying to scare you – it’s all going to be OK but you need to know that everything that has happened before now… it is preparing you. It has taught you to persevere, to keep going. You’ll need that but know that I am here too… your older self. You make it through – really… I am here on the other side as evidence. Just keep remembering that everything fits together at some point. Life is worth it, so don’t give up!

Believe it or not… the best is yet to come.

With love and support,

Me

 

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