Finding More Time

Americans check their phones once every 4 minutes.

Spend 26 seconds on average reading online content.

The young spend an hour and a half per day on TikTok.

It takes 10 seconds to choose a YouTube video.

The key question that helps you to gain control of your digital devices and social apps is:  “How EXACTLY does this device, this app, this program, this game, this podcast make your life better or happier?”

Answer that and you are back in control with time to spare.

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A True Friend

The duty of a real friend may not be listening and giving advice or cheer a person up. 

It’s to acknowledge the reality of the situation.

Hear, respect and love the person.

Show that you haven’t given up on them.

Haven’t walked away.

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Fear of the Future

What if I told you that you were going to get the job of your dreams, make nice money, have a special person in your life and enjoy less stress – interested?

The reason we fear the future is because we have become caught up expecting the WORST even when we are doing our BEST.

The future is a journey – like a vacation, it is not to be feared.

If you want to have a new appreciation for the unforeseen ahead in the future, talk to a person who has run out of years on this earth – wouldn’t they take an uncertain future over no future at all?

From today on, vow to look for all the good things that have not yet happened instead of fearing what will likely never happen.

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Finding People Who Care

The best answer for someone who doesn’t care, is someone who does.

It’s a waste to try and convince such a person to become more invested in what they are doing but that doesn’t usually stop us from trying.

A better use of time is to look for someone who cares.

They will become an ally.

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When Something Goes Wrong

There are 3 usual responses.

Panic, deny and run.

Or rise to the task.

Every opportunity changes the way the brain is wired.

Being committed to act decisively and without fear is a rehearsal for overcoming the problem.

Most people get undone when something goes wrong.

But imagine if you are ready to respond before something goes wrong.

Less fear, no denial and never panic.

Anticipate the worst to be ready to do your best.

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Eagerly Relish the Next Chance

When a baseball player makes an out – even strikes out, no matter what they feel when they walk back to the dugout, they can’t wait to bat again.

That’s how we should do it.

Fail and get back and try again but with one big difference.

Relish the opportunity.

Even if it leads to the same result.

It’s not how many times we try.

It’s how we relish each attempt.

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The Lenten Challenge

Instead of giving up chocolate or fasting give up self-neglect 

That’s what Columbia Theological Seminary professor Chanequa Walker-Barnes is doing to reverse the usual Lenten practices.

Committing to healthy eating, yoga, meditation, making do with what she had instead of getting something new.

Self-care is a workaround for the neglect of living in a demanding world that deemphasizes mental wellness.

Sacrifice has its place and adding psychologically healthy practices can also be beneficial.

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In Pursuit of Happiness

The brain is not wired for happiness 

The brain is designed as an instrument for survival and safety not peace and happiness – think of our cave dwelling predecessors.

You have to tell your brain constantly to switch off the inflammatory stuff and increase the immunity to happiness.

The good news is stress is not a creation we all made up – it’s real, how the brain operates so blaming ourselves for unhappiness is unproductive.

Tell yourself you are having a good time in your life on this planet because when we feel miserable or negative, we are only hurting our chances to overcome the brain’s biases and find happiness.

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Trying to Improve

It’s not what other people think that holds us back.

It’s how we look at ourselves.

But that person is not you.

What you are today is you.

More important than failing to become that which you are not is to never stop trying.

No one perfect lives on this earth.

Be the fine person you are.

Don’t look to anyone else to tell you that.

Look at yourself favorably and others will do the same.

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Can People Change?

That’s a question one of my stress course in the music industry students asked aloud last week.

Most evidence shows we are heavily influenced in the early years of life by our families.

If change is desired, the will to do it must exceed the need.

Golfers who hit a slice can eliminate it through hard work but when it returns as it often does, the will to eliminate the unhelpful swing must exceed the need.

Yes, we can change.

No, it is not permanent unless that change is important enough to us to outwork the thing we want to improve.

That ability makes us more powerful than we often realize.

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