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Learning to love the journey(DW #810)

Self-growth, as we have been saying, is a journey rather than a destination. This means that we will never actually reach our highest potential.
 
It makes sense then, to start enjoying the journey rather than focus only on the destination.
 
The journey, of course, is not always comfortable.
 
In fact, our highest or infinite potential exists right OUTSIDE of our comfort zone - in the middle of our DISCOMFORT ZONE. Rather inconvenient!!
 
However, once we have made peace with this fact, we can stop wasting precious energy in wanting to get rid of the discomfort. And get comfortable in the discomfort zone.
 
The good news, though, is that we are programmed to only feel a deep, true sense of happiness, meaning and flourishing when we are striving on the journey and in the discomfort zone.  
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Highs and Lows(DW#736)

Here is another way to keep connected with the internal world of your loved ones and check in with them.

It is call Highs and Lows. It is a great way to spark off dinner conversation about the happenings of the day.

Ask people to think of their "high and low" of the day – this is the best thing that happened to them during the day, and the worst thing that happened to them.

Give everyone a chance to think, then have everyone share with the family.

Once again, it is up to the person whether they want to explain and elaborate on their feelings about what happened, or not.

Conversations like this are very helpful in letting our family know that we can talk about the hard and challenging stuff as well as the happy and positive stuff. That both our successes and our challenges can be discussed and will be met with validation and understanding.

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Check in with yourself (DW#731)

So how are YOU doing this morning? No, really. How are you doing? (Clearly I am feeling distracted ;) )
 
The world has changed almost overnight and we were not prepared for it. Just as the world changed forever after 9/11, we have hit another transition point in history. One that is likely to change our consciousness for ever.

It is no wonder that many of us are going through strong and changing emotions at this time. Many of us are feeling anxious, sleepless, fearful, angry and sad. We are having trouble focusing and staying on task. We may be experiencing forgetfulness, loss of motivation and intense grief that comes in waves.
 
All of these are predictable responses to a highly unpredictable situation.
 
For now, let us focus on simply noticing which emotions are showing up and practice accepting them rather than pushing them away or escaping them. Practices such as these have good scientific evidence that they work. They have been consistently linked to good...
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Recognize and act within your circle of control (DW#727 )

One of the most important things we can do to cultivate resilience is to recognize our sense of agency.
 
Agency is simply a fancy word for how empowered you feel or how much control or power you feel over your own life. This is where your energy and strength come from.
 
The truth is that there are many many things outside our control. There always have been and always will be. The present world situation has simply brought these into sharp focus.

And the truth is also that some things always were and still remain with our control. (Can you see that?)
 
Now, when we focus our attention to things that are outside our control, we give up our sense of agency. We feel powerless and therefore hopeless.
 
The way out of this feeling of helplessness and the panic that ensues is to become more mindful of where we are focusing our attention.
 
Is it focused on things that are outside our control or those that we have control or power over?
 
When going...
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Simple tools for growing resilience (DW#726)

We will begin a series titled Simple Tools for Growing Resilience and I hope that these simple reminders and practices will inspire us and motivate us to keep going, focus on what we can control, rise up to the challenges and keep doing our best.
 
Let us first define what we mean by resilience:
 
Resilience is the ability to face adversity, to go through challenges without being overwhelmed by them. It is defined as the the capacity to manage challenge and to recover from adversity.

Simply put, it is the ability to face adversity and to "bounce back" after we have been knocked down by life.
 
In other words, resilience helps us:

1)    Face challenges without being overwhelmed by them AND
2)    If we are overwhelmed or ‘knocked down’, it helps us get back on our feet quickly.

 

Resilience, then, helps us survive the worst day of our life AND it also helps us thrive every day of our life.
 
...
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I’m going on a sabbatical and you...(DW#725)

As we mentioned yesterday, a sabbatical is different from a vacation. It is a longer period away from work (anywhere from a month to a year or more) to step away from your regular job and focus on other meaningful activities.

 

Taking sabbaticals does require intentionality, some adjustment in your thinking, and of course planning and financial resources to see you through your time off.

 

The benefits of taking sabbaticals are really worth the effort, though.

 

Taking time off to switch gears, do some long range thinking, learn something new, or pursue other interests can rejuvenate you, not only personally, but also give your career a boost because you return with renewed energy and motivation. People who are about to take a sabbatical often find that they work harder and more effectively, knowing that a sabbatical is just around the corner.

 

I am going on sabbatical from Daily Wisdom until February to work on other projects and discover ways to serve you...
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Five reasons to take a sabbatical (DW#724)

We have been talking about the importance of taking time off for rest and relaxation as a part of our self care practice. Today let’s discuss another kind of time off which has a different but equally valuable purpose.

 

I am talking about a sabbatical. A sabbatical is an extended period of leave from your regular job or employment, the purpose of which is often travel, self growth or learning. While it is common in academia for professors to take a sabbatical in order to focus on their own learning, it is a concept which is gaining more acceptance even in the corporate world.
 

 

Here are 6 ways you can use a sabbatical from work:


1)   Learn a new skill or explore a new subject. If you have always wished you could deepen your expertise in your field, learn something new, or you are curious about a particular subject, a sabbatical is the perfect time to do this.
2)   Do some long range thinking. When we are in the midst of work,...

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Half the fun is in the planning(DW#723)

When we were young, I remember my dad talking about travel a lot. When we would ask when and how we would take all these trips to amazing destinations, his answer was: I don’t know exactly, but planning is half the fun!
 
Turns out that that my dad was on to something. Research shows that the biggest boost in emotional wellbeing related to taking time off actually comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip even starts!

 

So, enjoy and savor the planning process. Allow yourself to dream about what you will do and how you will spend your time.  This way you can maximize the benefits that come from taking a vacation and start to feel the effects of time off well before the scheduled vacation.  
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The perfect length of vacation(DW#722)

A study conducted by the University of Tampere in Finland suggests that eight days is the perfect amount of time to achieve the maximum amount of relaxation and happiness without growing bored or homesick.

 

It appears that the positive benefits of time off kick in on day one, but scientists speculate that it takes until day eight for people to fully shake off their responsibilities and work stress. This is when you get in the groove of a slower pace and really start enjoying downtime.

 

After day eight, however, the positive feelings begin to decrease and they fall rapidly after day 11. After this, you might begin to get anxious about what is waiting for you at work or you might begin to miss home.

 

So the next time you are planning time away, think about scheduling something between 8 and 11 days long.
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When one good night of sleep is not enough (DW#721)

Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about the importance of sleeping well and enough as a way to reboot and replenish our energy.

But sometimes, even though you have been sleeping enough, you still wake up feeling tired and lacking in energy.

If you are experiencing this, you may also be experiencing some or all of the following:

Lack of energy

Lack of motivation

Feeling irritable or frustrated often

Feeling "fuzzy-headed"

Forgetting things or making silly mistakes

Feeling stress at doing things you used to enjoy

If all of any of this is going on, it could be sign that just focusing on sleep is not going to be enough.

It may be a sing that you are experiencing "burnout" And that it is time to consider a longer break.

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