Posts

After Thanksgiving Thought

Thank you to everyone who sent out their warm wishes for Thanksgiving. It is important to stop at times and remember all of the things in life that we are thankful for; friends, family, job, career, health, etc.

I was thinking about the holiday and wondered what it would be like if, in order to balance out Thanksgiving, we had a Receiving Day?

Some people have a hard time receiving the gifts offered to them and it costs them their self-confidence, personal power and self-worth.

It reminded me of the story of the little girl who was so excited and grateful that she and her daddy went out for ice cream. She got a big scoop of vanilla on a sugar cone and it was looking so good. As she stepped outside of the ice cream shop, she tripped forward and “SPLAT” went the ball of ice cream on the ground. Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked up at her daddy. But then, she noticed the sign in the window behind her daddy of a sugar cone with two and three scoops of ice cream. So, she started begging daddy to get the two and three scoop ice cream cones to replace the one she had just tipped off the cone. Did Dad go for it and get her the two or three scoop cone? No. If you can’t handle one scoop of ice cream, why would someone turn around and give you even more than you can handle?

The same principle applies with receiving.

When someone pays you a compliment, do you feel uncomfortable and do you feel automatically compelled to give that person a compliment in return? If someone offers to buy you lunch, do you start playing the “see who can sneak the credit card to the waiter first” game? If someone gives you a gift, do you feel compelled to get them a gift in return?

If the answer is yes, you might want to ask yourself whether or not it’s because you place less value and worth in yourself than the person giving you a gift. You send a signal to yourself that you are somehow a little “less than” or not as deserving as others might think. Talk about an undermining belief pattern!

In order to handle a second and third scoop, master the phrase, “Thank you.” And let it go.

That can be tricky since reciprocating is also a form of politeness, but then again, so is accepting a compliment graciously.

As often as you can, practice graciously accepting what your friends, co-workers, clients and life are offering you. Don’t be too quick to dismiss someone’s appreciation of you in an effort to appear humble.

Be a thankful and a gracious receiver.

Nothing is too small to be grateful for. Practice receiving compliments, money, and gifts this season with a simple and sincere, “Thank you.”

It may seem odd at first, but what you receive in return will be a real gift!

Thank you!!!

 

Liked This Article?  Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week newsletter directly in your inbox!  (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)

The Best Holiday Gift Ever…

Last night, my wife asked that dreaded question, “What should we get the kids for Christmas this year?” My mind immediately flashed to pictures of sitting on the couch with my daughter flipping through endless pages of American Girl, Target, and Toys-R-Us ads, and I groaned.

You have heard the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, that does NOT work when it comes to gift giving.

It is actually much better to, “Do unto others as they want you to do unto them.” But what do they really want?

Do they really want what is on their list or are they in love with the idea of having what is on the list? For example, we still have that Easy Bake oven in the pantry that was used once, the Lego kit still that has had more interaction with the vacuum cleaner than my kids or the cool flashlights that are still encased in plastic in the bottom of the junk drawer.

How many times have thought of the perfect gift and in the moment of giving, the moment of love, joy and connection you hoped for never came?

So, how can you give a gift this Holiday Season that your loved one truly wants, would really use, and be meaningful to both of you?

It comes down to understanding how they “love to be loved.”

I have covered this psychology previously but it bears repeating this holiday season because we typically: buy what we think is great for them (and they don’t love it) or we buy what they “think” they want on an emotional impulse or idea (like flipping through the American Girl catalogue) but when they get it, the idea was greater than the gift itself.

According to Gary Chapman, people can be loved in 5 different patterns and everyone has their natural hierarchy of preference. They are

    • Spending Time,
    • Physical Touch,
    • Verbal or Written Tell,
    • Doing Things (acts of service) or
    • Buying Things (material gifts).

To find a persons’ love preference just ask, “Give me a few examples of when you have known you were loved the most?”

I asked my son that when he was 6 and he said, “When you snuggle and cuddle with me and watch movies.” (Time & Touch) The next Easter, with tremendous insight, the Easter Bunny brought him a new kind of Easter basket filled with coupons for Time together (tickle time, extra reading time, cuddle time), movie coupons, money for popcorn at the movies, books for reading time, and trip to the book store. (and much to his parents’ delight, hardly any candy and other junk) He said, “It was the best Bunny-Visit ever!”

We have a friend who has made a habit of giving his wife “experiences” for her birthday or for the holidays.  She has been the happy recipient of “girlfriends getaway weekends”, “tennis lessons”, “rowing lessons” as well as “romantic weekend” trips.  Year after year, she feels cherished and love by these acts of service in a way jewelry could never do.

So, as we move into this Holiday season, “When have you felt most loved?” And more importantly, before you whip out your wallet, “When has your loved one felt most loved?” Give the gift that will make them the happiest.  Find a gift that speaks to their love language. You will be surprised how it can ease the financial strain, create more loving moments with those you love, and it too, could be the most meaningful “Santa-visit” ever.

Liked This Article?  Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week newsletter directly in your inbox!  (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)

5 Strategies To Deal With Holiday Stress

 

It’s starting already… there are Holiday decorations at the local stores!!! Fall is here and the change of seasons marks the beginning of a four month stretch of holidays and stress. Here are five solid tips on reducing your stress between Halloween and New Year’s.

 

1- Get Solid Sleep in Terms of Quantity & Quality

Your body needs proper sleep so that it can rejuvenate itself every night. Since a normal sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes, keep your sleep in 90 minute intervals (6, 7.5 or 9 hours) so you can wake more refreshed every day.

Almost as important, give yourself a consistent bedtime. Your body has a natural rhythm. The more consistent you are at going to bed, the more rested you will be.

If falling asleep is an issue for you, there are other steps you can take to help. Beyond the obvious advice to avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hrs before bedtime, create a sleep routine for yourself, and give yourself some quiet time 20-30 minutes before bed. What you focus on during that time is what you will unconsciously think of all night. Similarly, don’t eat a large, heavy meal before bed and keep your bedroom relatively cool and well ventilated. On the nutrition side, you might want to try to have a light snack with protein (a glass of milk, sliced turkey on a rice cake) or a cup of chamomile tea to induce sleep.

 

2- Always take the healthiest eating choice

Stay away from telling yourself, “I can’t have that sweet,” it creates scarcity. An easier way to handle all of the treats, desserts, and drinks is to always take the healthiest choice. Instead of the double layer chocolate cake, take the chocolate chip cookie. Watch out for too much caffeine and sugars.

Keep your sanity and don’t diet during the holidays. Make it your goal to stay the same weight! There are so many treats, desserts, parties, and temptations. Eat and drink in moderation. Incidentally, there is a connection between overeating and being tired, so make sure you do get enough sleep, it’ll help you be in the frame of mind to make better choices.

 

3- Find a way to exercise, no excuses

Not only will it help you burn those extra calories you are bound to take in, but the body is made to move so we can feel better. Look for a way to physically move every day. You can find a 4-minute workout on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXy3NjHtBSc&NR=1 It will boost your metabolism and help you feel better. Remember, where there is a will, there is a way. If you don’t make time for your body, your body will make you make time for it, in the way of colds, flu, and no energy.

 

4- Give yourself a Time-Out

Take a yoga class, learn to meditate, or put on that relaxing music for 5 minutes. When things get too crazy give yourself a time-out. There are many ways to do it. For some, taking a breather could mean taking a 15 minute walk around the block, giving yourself permission to sit and watch a specific TV show, or sneaking in 5-minutes of quiet time in your car in the parking lot. For others, it could mean making the commitment to “unplug” from all electronics for a night each week.

 

5- Plan ahead but stay flexible

Schedule your sleep, exercise, and time-outs for the next four months in your calendar right now, and make the commitment to stick to them. But, when things start to go crazy-busy, stay flexible in prioritizing the day. Don’t just let the scheduled de- stress time disappear. Immediately reschedule it. Stay proactive and flexible.

If you start feeling overwhelmed, “brain dump” everything that you need to do on a piece of paper and put a “label” on each line item. Decide if it’s “important and urgent”, “important but not urgent”, “urgent but not important” or “not urgent and not important”.

Classifying your to-dos, will help you decide what needs to be tackled right away or left on the schedule, and what can be pushed back or eliminated entirely.

 

The whole period around the holidays can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be something you dread. Stress is best managed by being proactive. It’s often a response to overwhelm and a general sense of lack of control –too many things coming at you and too little time to complete them.

So choose to take back that control and manage the holiday stress by being proactive in your planning and setting yourself up with the coping skills you need to enjoy the holiday season.

 

For more tips and strategies about increasing your motivation and personal effectiveness, boosting your self-confidence and developing a clearer focus go to http://www.evolutionforsuccess.com. James Murphy is a personal development expert and executive coach. He can be reached directly at 919-745-7569.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Liked This Article?  Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week newsletter directly in your inbox!  (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)