Archive for the ‘Self Improvement’ Category
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“We” versus “I” — Which do you say the most?

we versus I“We” versus “I” – which you say the most may determine your success in life.

As a Keith Urban fan, I make a point of listening to interviews with him. Something caught my attention earlier this year when he was being interviewed about his duet with Miranda Lambert on their hit song, “When We Were Us.”

Urban said “Miranda used to open for us…”

Note that this megastar musician who is backed up by his own band said “us” not “me.” He considers his band as important in the equation of success as he is.

That’s class.

And it also shows a high consciousness.

“Us” and “we” consciousness is what makes the world go around in a good way.

“I” and “me” – not so much.

No successful person says “I”

Ernesto Sirolli in his September 2012 TED talk has this to say on the subject:

Five questions that can change your life

Thinking Woman With Question Marks Above The Head Isolated

There are five questions I suggest people ask themselves to steer their life in the right direction.

These are questions I’ve asked myself to bring about powerful change.

Questions are motivators: we can’t help but start working on an answer.

In fact, in studying copywriting, the writer is encouraged to phrase statements as questions– because people naturally want to know the answer! Humans are problem solvers at heart.

QUESTION ONE. “If you won the lottery and never had to worry about earning an income again, what would you do?”

This was a question asked of me by a career counselor many years ago. And the answer is a key to revealing what you should be doing with your life — even without winning the lottery.

Did you ask the turtle?

ask the turtle

“Did you ask the turtle?”

That’s a question Gloria Steinham was asked in college after helping a turtle to the other side of the road.

It’s a cautionary tale about wanting to help people who don’t need our help.

That can be a hard lesson to learn.

Gloria Steinem, writer and leader of the women’s rights movement, gave a talk to Smith College alumni about lessons from her education, about how seemingly small incidents can have very big impacts.

At Smith, needing to fulfill her science course requirements, Ms. Steinem admitted she took a geology course because she considered it the least scientific of all the sciences.

While on a field trip in the wetlands of New England’s Connecticut River, she saw a giant turtle which had climbed out of the river, crossed a road and was in the mud of an embankment of another road, seemingly about to crawl up and get squashed by a car.

Gloria, fearing the turtle was going to cross the road and get run over, picked it up and carried it to the other side.

Her professor saw this and said, “Did you ask the turtle before you moved it? That turtle probably spent a week crawling up that dirt road to lay its eggs in the mud by the side of the road, and you just put it back in the river.”

So the lesson was, “Always ask the turtle.”

Or put another way, always ask those you want to help what it is they actually need and want.

Why you should never think about your age

never think about your age

Never think about your age! I learned that from a horse.

When I started riding lessons as an adult, the horse I rode most often was a Quarterhorse gelding by the name of Bug.

Bug and I got along quite well together and, as a result, my teacher usually paired me with him.

He was big, gentle and responded well to everything I asked him to do. Of course, as a beginning rider, I didn’t ask that much of him.

But I was still quite surprised when a few months into our relationship, I found out that Bug was 30 years old. That’s pretty old in horse years.

When I expressed my amazement to my riding teacher, she responded, “Well, the thing is, Bug doesn’t know he’s 30.”

What others think of your age is none of your business

So much of our self-perception is based on what others think we should be, do or have at whatever our chronological age is. That can be a lot of pressure.

For many years I refused to tell my age because I didn’t want people’s belief systems telling me I was a failure because I hadn’t achieved certain milestones by whatever age I was.

You’re as old as you feel. Period.

These days I don’t mind telling people my age because I enjoy the looks of surprise I get because I look much younger than my chronological years. [I’m 67].

Yes, I still color my hair, because I’ve vowed I won’t go grey until Bonnie Raitt does.

But I’ve never had “work” done. I’m vegan, exercise every day and live a healthy lifestyle– and all that belies my years.

If a problem starts to manifest, I nip it in the bud.

For example, arthritis in the knees? Here are the solutions:

  • Yoga: research has shown that yoga improves joint health and reduces the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
  • Glucosamine helps keep the cartilage in joints healthy. Natural glucosamine levels drop as we age and there is evidence that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet helps minimize arthritis pain. Foods to avoid include: fried and processed foods, sugars and refined carbs, dairy, alcohol and tobacco, processed table salt and preservatives, and corn oil. Foods to eat more of: fruits and vegetables. It’s not really a diet – it’s a lifestyle.

All the things my orthopedist told me I wouldn’t be able to do I am still able to do because of the above regimen.

As a healing practitioner, I’ve also done an enormous amount of work on healing my past emotional traumas. Continuing to carry them around also ages us. Get healing!

I refuse to let an arbitrary number slow me down. No one should.

Aging may be more cultural than biological

When Social Security was created in the U.S. in the 1930s, the legislation decreed 65 as the age of obsolescence.

That thought form still exists yet more and more people in their sixties, seventies and beyond are leading vibrant, healthy lives that contribute to the world around them.

How many stories have we heard of men being forced into retirement at 65 and dying a short time later because they felt their lives no longer held purpose? It’s just plain wrong.

Native American and other ancient cultures honor the elders, those who have lived and learned and can share their wisdom. Western culture does the opposite.

In some Native American nations, the equivalent of our Supreme Court is a counsel of women, led by the “oldest sensible woman.”

Our youth-obsessed culture, particularly here in the U.S., does a disservice to us all. It convinces otherwise intelligent people that they need plastic surgery and lipo-suction in order to feel valued.

In “Learning to Love Growing Old” on PsychologyToday.com, writer Jere Daniel says:

“The signs of denial and anxiety over aging permeate every aspect of our lives. We have no role models for growing old gracefully, only for postponing it. For example:

  • “The vast dependence on plastic surgery specifically to hide the visual signs of aging is arguably the sharpest index of our anxiety. In just two decades, from the 1960s to the 1980s, the number of . . . wrinkle-removing face-lifts rose from 60,000 to an estimated 2 million a year at an annual cost of $10 billion.
  • “The negative view of aging is disastrously reinforced by the media. Articles and advertising never show a mature model, even in displaying fashions designed for women over 50. A Newsweek cover of a sweating, gray-haired young man bears the cover line, “Oh God… I’m really turning 50.” Nursing home ads ask: “What shall we do about Mother?” By some sleight of mind, we not only come to accept these images, we come to expect them as truths.”

And I admit to falling for it, too. When I choose photos of people to accompany blog posts, I’m embarrassed to say I usually have gone for young 20-something women.

Two weeks ago I was searching for a photo to accompany my article on stretching. I almost went for a photo of a young woman, then I caught myself and said, “What in the world am I doing? Don’t buy into this.”

So I chose a photo of a vibrant, healthy grey haired woman doing yoga. You can see it at the top of this article today.

Whatever you believe is true

“If you believe it, it’s true. Period.”

This was said to me by an Arapaho elder many years ago. Nothing “new age” about that statement at all – it’s ancient wisdom.

Queens in the middle ages bought into the common belief that a woman couldn’t rule on her own and needed a husband to guide them. They believed it even though they were Queens! So they married.

The only exception was Elizabeth 1 who ruled England very successfully for 45 years without being married.

Many years ago, I was at a party and wandered into a room where friends were playing billiards. I had never played before so when asked if I wanted to join them, I said, “Sure, what do I do?” My friend told me which balls should go into which pockets and I picked up a cue and did just that!

My friends were stunned, but I was able to do it because I didn’t know it was supposed to be hard. I believed it must be easy so I just did what I was told!

Believe you’re young — because you are!

“Why do they say we’re over the hill? I don’t even know that that means and why it’s a bad thing. When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I’m past the hard part and there’s a snack in my future.” Ellen Degeneres, age 56

Why Facebook may save the world

facebookI love Facebook, and not for the usual reasons.

I joined kicking and screaming about five years ago after my Australian friend Barbara convinced me it was a great way to stay in touch with friends around the world.

She was right, but I’ve found it’s also so much more.

“Between Twitter and Facebook and how close you can be with your fans and how close they can be to you these days is, I think, quite miraculous. It’s like getting a greeting card every single day.” Holland Roden, actress

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2003 and has since changed the way we live our lives.

Is it misused? Of course. But the good it is doing can’t be minimized – it’s connecting the world, or at least the half a billion people worldwide who use it.

Facebook is an excellent example of the old saying: “you get out of it what you put into it.”

Here is what I don’t do on Facebook

  1. I don’t play games [with the exception of an occasional online Scrabble game with my friend Wanda].
  2. I don’t take surveys to find out what kind of flower, animal or moonbeam I am. Turns out many of these quizzes are actually data mining tools for advertisers. Ever notice the ads on the right of the page are for things you have searched for or were answers on these quizzes? We’re going to be seeing more of these games, so just be discerning.
  3. I don’t post much personal information.
  4. I don’t complain. In fact, I have unfriended many people who use Facebook that way. If you’re not contributing to the raising of the vibration of the planet, I don’t want to interact with you. This may sound harsh but we’re living in a time of great danger to our planet. In the words of Buckminster Fuller, “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.” Either contribute to solutions or step aside.
  5. I don’t stalk or bully people.

“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time. I would never say the people on it are losers, but that’s only because I’m polite. People say ‘But Betty, Facebook is a great way to connect with old friends.’ Well at my age, if I wanna connect with old friends, I need a Ouija Board. Needless to say, we didn’t have Facebook when I was growing up. We had a phonebook, but you wouldn’t waste an afternoon with it.” Betty White, 92-year old American actress and comedian

 Here’s what I do on Facebook

  1. Post and share inspiring articles, photos and quotes. My favorite sites are Zig Ziglar and The Mind Unleashed. If I’m feeling a little down, taking a look at Facebook for the inspiration shared by my friends and my “liked” organizations is a great pick-me-up.
  2. Occasionally announce a class or event I’m hosting.
  3. Take a look at friends and family pages to see photos they’ve posted and get updates on their travels, etc.
  4. Get the important news that mainstream media won’t touch, particularly about health and the environment. Facebook is the only place to get the full story about GMOs, environmental pollution by big business, etc. Did you know that foods labeled “USDA Organic” are not actually organic?? I learned that from a very intelligent, well-researched article on Facebook. Of course, you have to be discerning and consider the source, because there are many false articles, too.
  5. Comment on issues I find important and of interest.
  6. Private message friends who’s emails I don’t have. Emails can change, but FB private messaging will likely always be there. I’ve found that many people spend more time on Facebook than checking e-mail, so private messaging may be a faster way to reach them.

 Little known Facebook facts:

• Facebook encourages community and communication. Did you know that anything you post on Facebook only gets seen by about 16% of your friends or fans?

And the ones likely to see your posts are those who interact with you most often through likes, shares and comments. So, the more you comment on and share posts from a particular source, the more of them you’ll see.

“The thing that we are trying to do at Facebook, is just help people connect and communicate more efficiently.” Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

• In 2011, Facebook was sited as a reason for a third of divorces, according to Divorce – Online, a British divorce firm. The most common reasons cited were inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex, separated spouses posting nasty comments about each other, and Facebook friends reporting spouse’s behavior.

It once again comes down to the fact that we all need to take responsibility for our actions and be discerning.

• The general consensus by experts is that Facebook has facilitated political protests around the world, such as in Columbia and the Arab Spring: communication through social media is hard for oppressive regimes to control unless they shut the down the internet entirely.

Facebook is bringing the world together… It has become an overarching common cultural experience for people worldwide, especially young people….It’s membership spans generations, geographies, languages and class. It changes how people communicate and interact, how marketers sell products, how governments reach out to citizens, even how companies operate. It is altering the character of political activism, and in some countries it is starting to affect the processes of democracy itself.” David Kirkpatrick in The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.” Mark Zuckerberg

And isn’t that what we all want?

There is great good to be accomplished by open communication among the 99% of the world. Let’s all use social media for the good it can do.

 

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