Taking a Mental Health Day

It’s not a day off.

It’s a day on — with expressed goals of refocusing on life other than anxiety, complexity, frustration, work and digital devices.

A planned walk, a conversation with someone else, an entirely different routine and things that are opposite from the stressors that weigh us down.

The difference between a sick day and a mental health day is one is a retreat from being overwhelmed and the other is a structured treat for becoming refreshed.

Developing Confidence

When I was on the air, I worked for a boss who was a task master – very tough on his air staff and he listened to the station all the time (even the middle of the night) to catch your mistakes and then call you during your show.

Talk about PTSD.

Looking back, it wasn’t the criticisms I remember, it’s the compliments – a tough coach who also knew how to pay a meaningful compliment.

We can live with high expectations and high standards.

But we cannot live without appreciation.

Auditioning for the Next Job

Allen Stone was an iconic, longtime newsperson on WFIL in Philadelphia when one Sunday, the station’s programming suddenly changed from adult music to top 40 and Stone’s career on Monday morning was thought to be over.

The dean of newscasters was told in no uncertain terms that the new rock-and-roll news format that involved loud voices, short sentences, screaming, yes screaming – would be beyond him.  After all, he was a dignified adult newscaster.

Stone asked for a chance – one week to prove that he could do it.

Within hours everyone knew Allen Stone could not only do it, but set a high bar for his younger associates to rock the news.

What if he never asked?

What if they never gave him the chance?

Life is a continual audition – always be prepared to ask for the chance to show your stuff.

The One Thing to Live Longer

Living with a sense of purpose has been shown in studies to add years to life and improve happiness.

A recent article in The Washington Post put it bluntly:

“In his 1946 book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” the Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote that belief in something “external” — potentially as mundane as unfinished work, or the hope to reunite with a loved one — helped prisoners survive.”

Getting through the day is admirable but not purposeful enough to reap the benefits.

Younger people live happier, older people live longer.

What is the purpose that drives you?

How to Focus Better

Did you hear about the 23 year-old Italian woman who was mistakenly given six doses of the Pfizer vaccine at once by a distracted nurse?

Sounds like the patient may have been distracted as well as she sat there for the six jabs – six!

Healthcare workers may be forgiven considering the stress that they have been under but this illustrates the stressful world we’re living in – it’s not just the person in the car ahead of you texting when the light turns green.

You can’t just stop distractions because our minds live in a distracted state 24/7 – multi-tasking is working by distractions and it’s considered normal.

Rest is the key to better focusing – the mind can only take so much and then it needs a break.  Changing activities, refreshing your mind and putting the brakes on a life that is aroused by interruption.

An average 41.5 texts sent or received every day.

Over 120 new emails a day with most people responding to only 25% of them.

Over 560 billion texts sent every month globally.

Focus does not require concentration — it begs for fewer distractions.

Phil Mickelson’s Comebacks

Phil Mickelson who won the PGA Championship this year one month before his 51st birthday is the same person who fought bad luck, trouble of his own creation and adversity in his career.

A lefty who was never supposed to win a major just keeps on winning through physical problems, the cancer of his wife, Amy, some classic meltdowns, a few unfortunate comments from his own mouth and his age.

Even non-golfers were taken with his PGA victory recently – some because they wanted the “old guy” to win at the younger person’s game and others because of the pure theater when he was rushed by fans as he approached the final green.

Comebacks happen when you expect them not because they surprise you.

Strengthening the Will to Succeed

The person who underestimates the potential of others overestimates their own ability.

Some of the most accomplished, famous and successful people in the world were marginalized by those who for one reason or another were not able to accurately gauge

the strong will of another to succeed.

A person who can recognize the good in others guarantees to raise their own ability simultaneously.

Live Life Like an Air Traffic Controller

The brain tires out at about two hours.

This explains why it is so difficult to focus.

And we spend 80% of our day in the default mode of tired brain at which point we make more mistakes, become less efficient and turn to stimulants.

So, today’s DayStarters suggests that we live like an air traffic controller.

Work two hours on and then 45 minutes off to rest, rewind and refocus.

The Max Number of Friends Anyone Can Have

We can have 1.5 at the most intimate friends (it’s an average).

5 close friends.

15 best friends.

50 good friends.

150 generic friends.

500 possible acquaintances.

1,500 known names.

5,000 known faces.

A new report in The Atlantic says there are different kinds of friends and that we can have between 100 and 250 with 150 being the average total.

Not all friendships are equal.

The question is: are we spending the appropriate amount of time on the intimate, best and closest friends where the value is greatest or dissipating our efforts over all types of friends even though they may not be as personally rewarding?

There’s Only Today

Live like there is no tomorrow but savor each day along the way.

All we have is now – the past is useless, the future not assured.

Live life like there is no tomorrow does not mean live recklessly.

It means live today like it is your last day.

Not to get it all in but to eat it all up.

Amazingly the most common regret for people at the end of life is not that they don’t have more time but the time they previously wasted.