Category Archives: Curiosity

What to Do After Your Alarm Clock Rings

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Yesterday we talked about James Allen’s explanation of why we should get up when our alarm clock first rings. He recommends rising early, even if you don’t have to. We mentioned a few things to do in the morning such as taking the time to contemplate sacred or inspirational writings, gentle exercise, or broadening our understanding of–and expertise in–the industry in which we are employed.

Just today I began reading the book Your Creative Mind: How to Disrupt Your Thinking, Abandon Your Comfort Zone, and Develop Bold New Strategies by Scott Cochrane. In this book he’s talking about creativity and how to develop it. The section of the book that stood out to me was “Chapter 3: Creative Power and the Power of Creation”. He lists several things a person can do to stimulate his/her inborn creativity. When I read the list, I realized many of the things he suggests are activities we can do in the morning during the time that James Allen suggests we take for ourselves.

These are the suggestions offered in the book by Scott Cochrane:

~Purge Negative Thoughts

This can easily and effectively be done while smiling at ourselves in the mirror as we brush our teeth, comb our hair, and tend to other personal grooming tasks. We can also do this as we shower and bathe for the day linking the activity with the imagining that we’re washing away unproductive, unhelpful thoughts and attitudes.

~Step into Bright Sunlight

This stimulates the production of seratonin and dopamine which, according to Scott Cochrane, are essential to fostering creativity. This can be incorporated into the morning walk or while doing Tai Chi or Yoga outside in the morning.

~Take Time for Music

Getting back to the instrument we played as a child or learning how to play an instrument for the first time are great workouts for our mind. It spurs creativity because our brains are working in ways they haven’t before. Doing this first thing in the morning can give us a reason to get out of bed right away as well as give us a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning. This can then insulate us from the frustrations of the day.

These are just three of the several suggestions Scott Cochrane has made in the book so far. I thought these would be easy to incorporate into a morning routine. I haven’t finished reading the book yet and I expect there will be other points the author makes that I’ll want to share with you–stay tuned!

What activities will you add to your morning routine? Are they brand new or are they ones you’ve enjoyed in the past and are now bringing back into your life? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Quotes to Ponder Over the Weekend

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As we head into the weekend, take a moment to read over the following quotes. Choose one that resonates strongly with you and let it perk on the back burner of your mind as you go about your weekend chores and routines. Then take some quite time where you can be alone and undisturbed and mull over the quote you’ve chosen. Jot down the thoughts, insights, and ideas that come to you.

How can you incorporate what you’ve discovered into your days so that you can have a richer, more fulfilling life? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. – Stephen King

 

Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is. – Anne Frank

 

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. – Tony Robbins

 

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. – Garrison Keillor

 

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out. – Edwin Markham

 

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. -Corrie Boom

 

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable. -Walt Disney

Crafting a Life of Meaning, a Life that Matters: The First Step

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We all want a meaningful life, one that matters and the first step is admitting that your life isn’t working for you right now, not like it used to.  

The next step is to change it.  Obvious, right?

But how do you make that change?   And why would you because, probably,  you’ve led a good life so far. It might be that you and your spouse are in a loving committed relationship,  your finances are in decent shape,  the kids are making good solid lives for themselves,  you have good friends, good family relationships,  and you’ve achieved a level of success in your career.

What’s to complain about?  Nothing.

So, why are you feeling such discontent?

Plenty of people would change places with you in less than a nanosecond.  Knowing this makes you feel guilty.  You think that perhaps you’re selfish to want more, or to want something else.  By the same token, you’re a little scared to try anything new because you do have it pretty good and you don’t want to lose any of it.

Perhaps you think that painting the living room, buying the snazzy sports car, going on that impressive vacation may help ease the unsettledness inside of you. And these do help…temporarily.  Because your heart and soul are yearning for deeper change, pressing you for lasting change.

Here’s where the little baby steps come to the rescue!

In the space between admitting your life isn’t satisfying and getting up the gumption to make the changes that will enable you to be enthused and energized about your life, are little baby steps.

These baby steps deal with coming to grips with the realization that your Good Life is missing something—something profound.   These steps involve making your peace with your realization so that you aren’t hamstrung and tripped up by it.

Each person’s baby steps are a little different because each person and each life is unique. Having said that, though, some common baby steps are:

~Doing your homework of understanding exactly where you are dissatisfied.   Understanding that you probably don’t have to chuck it all. Your dissatisfaction may be only a small part of your life that isn’t working.

~Recognizing you don’t have to know all the answers of what isn’t working; you only need to start with the one piece that’s the most bothersome.

~Have a heart to heart with your spouse. Treating your unsettledness as a Big Adventure and going on it together. Also, encouraging and supporting your spouse in exploring the  inner recesses of himself/herself.

~Reminding yourself that it’s normal and natural to question your life from time-to-time. People through the ages—the Ancient Greeks, and probably earlier!—have been questioning their existence all along. You’re in good company!

 

These steps should be enough to get you going. We’ll continue to talk more about this in upcoming posts.

Let me know what you think of this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Please pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Giving Yourself Permission: Take Baby Steps

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Yesterday we talked about asking yourself why you can’t give yourself permission and then to follow that up with a brainstorming session on ways to “solve the problem” of saying you can’t.

Today, let’s think about taking self-permission in little baby steps.

Last weekend I was at a training program and one of the sessions was on risk taking and it was given by Caitie Whelan, a former Senior Foreign Policy Advisor in Congress.   She encouraged us to take one little risk each day—one that was quick and easy to do.  She said this would help us get over the fear of risk taking and it would strengthen our risk taking muscles so that when we needed to take a risk where the stakes were higher, we would be ready to go.

Let’s apply this strategy for giving ourselves permission.  Perhaps you can give yourself permission to lounge in bed for an extra 15 minutes.  Or maybe you can give yourself permission to comb your hair before you brush your teeth.  Perhaps you can give yourself permission to purchase a jar of bubbles with a bubble wand and then blow bubbles at home or in a park.  How about giving yourself permission to notice which early spring flowers are starting to bloom in your neighborhood….

You get the idea!

Have fun practicing this weekend!  And let me know in the comments below which activities you gave yourself permission to do.

WOO HOO!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Giving Yourself Permission: Why Can’t You?

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We made it to Friday—Yay!!  Give yourself a pat on the back!

Earlier this week we read some quotes on giving yourself permission to do that which your heart and soul is calling you to do.

Instead of looking outside yourself and to someone else or some organization for permission, have you looked to yourself, looked within, to give yourself permission?  If you’re waiting for someone else or an organization or group to give you permission, I am sorry to say, my Friend and Pep Pal, but you probably will be waiting for a very long time.

So, instead of waiting—or while you are waiting—why don’t YOU give YOURSELF permission?

If this doesn’t sound like a good idea to you, why not?

What is holding you back from giving yourself permission?

Are you afraid you’ll look foolish or stupid or that you’ll embarrass yourself?  Are you nervous about what others will think?  Are you concerned about not fitting into your life within your comfort zone?  Are you afraid of being ostracized or cast out or abandoned?

Are you concerned about having the skills or knowledge you’ll need once you give yourself permission?  Are you worried that you’ll have to do everything yourself and you’re barely keeping up now?

Take the time today and this weekend to get to the core of why you can’t and won’t give yourself permission to follow the whisperings of your heart and the urgings of your soul.  This is important work so make sure you do it!

After you come up with the reason or reasons of why you can’t give yourself permission, brainstorm things you can do to “solve the problem” of why you can’t.  Remember with brainstorming that all ideas are good ones even if they are outlandish, impractical, silly, wild, and the like.  Jot them all down because you never know how a piece of outlandish idea combined with a dash of the impractical idea along with a smidgen of the silly idea and sprinkled with the wild idea just might be the breakthrough, the eureka! moment you’re looking for!

Have fun with this!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Quotes to Start Your Week Off Right: Viktor E. Frankl

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Viktor E. Frankl survived Auschwitz and went on to found Logotherapy, a method of psychotherapy where the patient is guided to discover the meanings to be fulfilled by his/her future.  Frankl believed that the Will to Meaning, as he called it, is one of the most fundamental driving human forces, along with the need for food, clothing, and shelter.

Here are a few of his thoughts—ones that will encourage you to contemplate the deeper reasons for your existence and, thus, directing you toward a personally compelling meaning and purpose in your life.

 

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

You don’t have to respond to everything that happens in your day or week.  You can step back, take a breath, and let the situation unfold more fully before choosing how you want to respond—if at all.  Don’t be so quick to judge or to blurt out that snappy comeback.  Perhaps it’s better to wait a beat or two and give yourself a chance to choose what you do or do not want to do.

 

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.

When we encounter situations we don’t like, we’re quick to try to change them.  But perhaps the gift lies not in how strong we are and how well we overcome a setback/challenge/obstacle but rather how we can see what it’s revealing in us that needs strengthening or improving or changing in some way.

 

Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.

This is another way of saying what Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

 

When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.

Pleasure’s satisfactions are fleeting and, like a drug, one finds that they need more and more of it to receive the same level of pleasure.  Meaning, on the other hand, sates the deep need within all of us to live lives that matter.

 

Make a note of the quote(s) that resonated with you and keep them handy; refer to them often this week.

Which quote resonated with you?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks!

Please feel free to pass this post along to a friend who may need a boost.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thoughts on Reading from Earl Nightingale

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Here’s a wonderful essay from Earl Nightingale (who would have been 96 tomorrow) on the importance of reading.  Enjoy!

How are you coming with your home library? Do you need some good ammunition on why it’s so important to read? The last time I checked the statistics…I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year. That’s dangerous. It’s extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent.

In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality. The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes.

You do not read a book for the book’s sake, but for your own.

You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind.

You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life.

You may read because you did go to college.

You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too.

You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people.

Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise.

Books are a source of pleasure – the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight.

Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it.

Some people act as if it were demeaning to their manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: “Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.”
― Earl Nightingale

 

Make time in your week to read.  You’ll be glad you did!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren