Those who say they will forgive but can’t forget an injury simply bury the hatchet while they leave the handle out, ready for immediate use. – Dwight L. Moody

Focus of 2015 on Self Help Daily: Building a Happier Family

Everything Begins and Ends with Family

Birtt and Steph
 

 Want to build a happier family? It’s time to stop just talking about it and do it!

When I say the word “treasure,” what do you automatically think of? Some people picture Pirate’s treasure (especially those who are just really, really into pirates!). Others may picture cars, big screen televisions, jewelry, or anything else money can buy.

Me? I picture a crazy, colorful cast of characters I call my family. Humans, cats, fish, and a guinea pig make up this family and, quite frankly, they make my world go around. They set the sun, the moon, and the stars in my sky.

They are my treasure.

Are they perfect? The world might not think so, but they’re all more than perfect enough for me.

I learned long ago that nothing matters as much as your family (which includes, of course, friends who are so close they’re “like” family).  There’s no doubt in my mind that you agree 100 percent with me on that.  I’m sure you also agree that you will only be as happy, when all’s said and done, as your family is.

Close, happy families that are filled with equal parts love and laughter… that’s what everyone wants, right?  We want holidays without tension, reunions without rudeness, Sunday dinners without judgement.

A happy family isn’t just going to happen, though.  What’s more, if we’re being completely honest, sometimes they take a little work.

Think about it: Families are made up of individuals. Individuals with different temperaments, outlooks, core beliefs, dispositions, attitudes, style, etc. And, regardless of what you may have heard – opposites don’t always attract. Sometimes there’s nothing “attractive” about them whatsoever!

Yet, in my opinion, it’s these very differences that keep things interesting. I wouldn’t want to, for example, sit around a table at Cracker Barrel with 10 other MEs. Sure, we’d all agree on television shows, favorite baseball players, food preferences, and political views. We’d talk non-stop about cats and sweet tea – but frankly, the thought isn’t that appealing. For one thing, they’d never have enough sweet potatoes for all of us and for another, the thought of not being exposed to any fresh or new concepts or ideas seems kind of like a drag.

I don’t want everyone to be like me and I don’t want to be like anyone else.  That’s one of the things I love the most about my own personal cast of characters. No two nuts in this tree are alike and no single nut seems to mind.

During Christmas season 2014, I read a lot of people’s comments, tweets, and posts about family and family get-togethers. So many people were anxious, nervous, apprehensive, and downright scared and that struck me as sadder than sad.

Imagine that. A time of year when we should all be excited about getting everyone together – there are actually people who dread it. They “hold their breath” until everyone has gone their separate ways.

That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. It also sounds downright unhealthy to the body and mind.  Stress, in any picture, is disastrous but when it’s in a family picture, it’s even more so.

I decided to make one of the focuses of 2015 on Self Help Daily building happier families.  The regular posts, articles, quotes, and book reviews will continue to flow, but there’ll be a lot of happy family related material woven throughout.

I’m in the middle of reading a book that’ll I’ll tell you all about next week. It is what can only be called a “difference maker” and I’m really excited to tell you all about it.

As soon as I finish it, that is!

In the meantime, here’s an article I wrote a while back called Treasure Your Family.  It’ll help to sort of set the stage for our 2015 Family Focus and remind you of how blessed you are to have your own cast of characters. Some really can be characters, can’t they….

~ Joi

Ice Skating

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. – Foster C. McClellan

Review: Happywork by Chris Reimer

A Parable about Happiness and Purpose in the Workplace

Happywork by Chris Reimer
 

Below, within my review of Happywork, you’ll find three groups of people who you’ll hope read this book as soon as they can get their hands on it.

Quite a while back, I made two specific New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. I vowed to consume my life source, chocolate, daily.
  2. I vowed to read my favorite (non-family/non-Biblical) author, Agatha Christie, daily.

What do these resolutions tell you about me? Well, pretty much all you need to know. I like, very much, to set myself up for success. They also tell you another truth – I may, I just may, mind you, be nuttier than a Payday candy bar.

Dipped in chocolate, of course.

I would have also resolved to spoil my family and cats rotten, obsess over animals, and drink coffee like its my job – but, let’s be honest – I already have a gold medal in each of these sports and carry them out as often as I breathe.

I only mention these resolutions to get at this: I am obsessed with Agatha Christie mysteries and have read and re-read them for years. My favorites are the Hercule Poirot stories and often thank the literary Heavens that the great Christie wrote so many of them.

A recent non-Agatha Christie book I read – and enjoyed very much – made me think of my much loved Hercule Poirot mysteries.  You’ll see the tie-in soon enough.

(Review continued below Charlie’s great quote…)

 Happywork by Chris Reimer
 

Happywork, by Chris Reimer, is a highly unique book and, as you would imagine, I love anything that can be described as highly unique.

With Happywork, Chris Reimer has given us a highly entertaining parable – a fictitious story that holds wisdom and very sound teachings within the plot, characters, and dialogue.

A fictitious manufacturing company  (“Vunorri Inc”) is in deep, deep trouble.  The hero of the story, Sam Maslow (a “turnaround specialist“) is called in to save the day.  This is where yours truly, the Agatha Christie fan girl, drew an instant comparison to Hercule Poirot.  Sam is called in to get to the bottom of the problem, as Poirot would be called in to solve a mystery.

Sam Maslow runs into mysteries of his own. He only has a certain amount of time to BOTH find the problem and eliminate the problem. And without Poirot’s sidekick Captain Hastings!

Along the way, author Chris Reimer gives the reader a lot of opportunities to reflect over our own approach to work – to be more specific, our attitudes toward work and the way we treat others. We see both sides of the story as they relate to the workplace, the employers and the employees. More importantly, we see how each of these two equally important and necessary groups must have respect for one another.

They have to realize that they’re all working to keep the same ship afloat because, make no mistake about it, if it goes down, they’re all going down with it.

 Three Groups of People Who Will Want to Read Happywork:

  1. Men and Women in Managerial Positions. The mysteries unraveled by Sam aren’t entirely fictitious. These mysteries – or crimes against management, if you will – happen every single day. If not these exact occurrences, then certainly similar ones. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, once identified, these problems can be remedied.  However, make no mistake about it – identity must come first.  I think Happywork has the power to open a lot of eyes. When eyes remain closed, the company soon follows suit. And, let’s face it, closed companies are bad business.
  2. Men and Women in the Workplace… any workplace. If you have co-workers, whether it’s one or one hundred, Happywork can help you with your attitude – toward work as well as your attitude toward your co-workers and “bosses.”  We all look at life, whether it’s our home life or work life through our own personal window. Father Time, discouragements, disappointments, stress, and disagreements can leave streaks and smears across our “work window.”  After awhile, we find ourselves looking through a window PAIN as opposed to a PANE.  Happywork could be just the thing you need to clean that glass.  If you stop to think about the number of hours a week… month… and year you spend at work, you’ll soon realize that the window through which you look at this particular scenery of your life is of the utmost importance. How we see our world determines, to a very large extent, our world.  Oftentimes a simple change of attitude can bring greater contentment, peace,  purpose, and something you may not associate with work… happiness.
  3. People who Enjoy a Great Story! I work entirely from home with my web publishing business. My co-workers? My cats. My bosses? My cats. Can you say, “Zero drama.”? However, even I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Obviously, I enjoy a good mystery. Watching Sam get to the bottom of problems (sometimes in spite of himself) was greatly entertaining and – without giving anything away – I will say that, like Agatha Christie, he provided a couple of plot twists and shockers along the way.

About the Author Chris Reimer:

Chris Reimer is an award-winning communications strategist, a humanist, and a student of human interaction. He founded Rizzo Tees, a t-shirt company headquartered in his basement. Using the skills gained from marketing his t-shirt business, he went on to become possibly the only human alive who went from being a CPA and CFO to a marketing and communications strategist.

Chris is currently Marketing Director at both Kaldi’s Coffee and Honolulu Coffee, is a guest lecturer at Washington University, and resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about improving the way humans treat each other, and that especially includes adding more NICE to the workplace. He drinks coffee in the morning and red wine at night, and loves everything Italian.

Join him on HappyworkBook.com, or say hi on Twitter at @ChrisReimer (99% he’ll say hi back). – From “Happywork”

Happywork: A Business Parable About the Journey to Teamwork, Profit, and Purpose is now available on Amazon!

 

Happywork by Chris Reimer

Work Getting You Down? – How to Make the Most of Your Working Day

Self Help Daily Info
by Mike James

Being productive at work is something we all try to do, yet it can often be our downfall as we are bombarded with a multitude of tasks we simply can’t cope with all at once. It takes some time to realise that your life has become overloaded with work and you’re starting to judge your happiness by how much you manage to get done in the workplace. This leads to work becoming more of a chore with little in the way of enjoyment until you’ve got everything done. Work is a recurring process and you’ll soon realise there’s just too much on your plate to think about anything else. So what can you do to ensure the office doesn’t turn into a drag and instead makes you feel a whole lot better about yourself?

If you find that you’re not working productively, it could be down to a lack of enjoyment. You’re far more likely to hate the workplace if you’re constantly forcing yourself to do something you simply don’t feel like doing. Think about how often you’re looking to relax at work as this is usually a sign that you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. If you’ve noted down a specific lunch hour but keep forcing yourself to get things done, you’re likely to be distracted every now and then which will ultimately lead to frustration and a much less productive working day.

Instead of constantly pressurising yourself to get things done, focus more on how you’re feeling throughout the day. If you feel like working at one point, do as much as you can over this period. If you find yourself getting distracted, take a short, relaxed break away from your working area. Make sure any scenario that sees you having to work results in some form of reward to keep you motivated.

Getting the appropriate start to the day is a huge part of working productively and is likely to contribute immensely to you staying healthy and feeling good. One of the first things we do in the morning is eat, or at least it should be. Skipping breakfast is the first and most common flaw in anyone’s plan to arrive at work in the best possible mood. Another huge mistake is eating food that simply isn’t good for you, such as cakes, biscuits and crisps. Stick to fruit and eat a well balanced meal at lunch for the best results. This is how you get the energy you need to work effectively.

If your daily routine doesn’t seem to be the problem and your still experiencing tedious days at work despite a healthy selection of snacks, there could be something else blocking your productivity. Consider whether or not you’re mentally prepared to face the day. Are you going into work thinking that you haven’t got the experience or that you’re not good enough to do the job properly? If you find that you’re seriously struggling for any sort of morale when it comes to work, it might be a good idea to focus on building some self confidence.

We can only do our best at times, so it’s important not to go into work hoping for perfection every single day. There will be people at your establishment with far more experience than you and others with enough self confidence to feel they are doing their best every day, so try and avoid focusing on what others are doing and instead do the best that you can on your own. You shouldn’t keep judging yourself at the end of the day nor worry about the consequences as this can make seem like much more effort than it really is. Taking a laid back approach can often be a wonderful decision.

Not having enough trust in your own abilities is a common reason for struggling at work, so it’s important to take full advantage of what you perceive to be a good idea. All you really need to do is trust yourself to the point where you’re acting on your own intuition on a regular basis. This not only gives you the confidence you need to thrive at work but also demonstrates to others that you are dedicated to achieving what’s best for the business.

Multi-tasking is an admirable skill to have, yet it can have its downfalls. For instance, juggling work with a plethora of chores and additional smaller jobs can cause you to lose focus. You may be losing track of a proper schedule if you are always occupying yourself with distractions. There are some jobs you might have to do every now and then and others you might be able to push back to later date. Whatever the specific job, there’s always time to sit and note down everything you need to do in the forthcoming week so that you have an organised plan of action. The most important things should always take priority and in some cases you may have to be ruthless, but as you progress you’ll find that time gaps in your routine will appear and distractions instead become short, pleasurable breaks.

Mike James
Content Editor
www.brightonandhovepsychotherapy.com

He only is advancing in life whose heart is getting softer, whose blood warmer, whose brain quicker, and whose spirit is entering into living peace. And the men who have this life in them are the true lords and kings of the earth — they, and they only. – John Ruskin

How to Slow Down Your Life and Enjoy the Ride – Right Now

4 Considerations To Help You Embrace The Moment

Quote About Life and Happiness
The following article was written by author and member of the Speaker Hall of Fame Steve Gilliland. At the end, you can read more about Mr. Gilliland – you can also find more information about the books he has authored. I have not read them yet, but look forward to doing so. They sound fantastic, and if this article is any indications, I’d say they’re “must reads.” – Joi

by Steve Gilliland

It’s finally Friday night, the beginning of a weekend of freedom, which also happens to include your birthday. Your family, friends and spouse all have celebratory plans for you.

You have a rewarding career and a network of beautiful people who want to rejoice in your life. As you walk out to your car to officially kickoff the fun, a giddy thrill washes over you.

But as you click the seatbelt into place, rather than sitting in awe of how lucky you are, a list of concerns begin worming their way into your consciousness: “I need gas, but the conveniently located gas station charges more than others … I hope it’s not a surprise party … Maybe I should get the beverages I like before going home … I haven’t been to the gym all week … Did I pay the electric bill?”

And so it goes.

“I think we’ve all had this experience, which often has us psychically living 30 minutes into the future – no matter how great the present circumstances might be,” says Steve Gilliland (www.stevegilliland.com), a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame and author of the widely acclaimed “Enjoy The Ride,” for which he is set to publish a follow-up that will be released in May 2015.

“Are we doomed to this torrent of noise which distracts us from enjoying our life? We don’t have to be.”

Don’t live your life 30 minutes ahead of the present. If you won’t live your life now, in the present, then who will?

“An older man came up to me, grabbed my hand, and said he wished he’d heard me speak decades ago,” Gilliland says. “After I asked why, he said that when he was eating lunch on break or dinner with his family, he was always thinking about what he had to do after the meal, which represented his daily life. ‘At the age of 97,’ he said, ‘I’ve officially lived my life 30 minutes ahead’ – 30 minutes ahead of whatever he was doing at the moment.”

Laugh more! It’s better than crying before you’re hurt. Don’t put your umbrella up until it rains. Worry restricts your ability to think and act effectively, and it forces you to mortgage fear and anxiety about something that may never occur. Laughter is the opposite. When you laugh, you’re living almost completely in the moment, and it’s one of the best feelings you can have.

No one can ruin your day without your permission. As much as we cannot control in life – our genes, our past and what has led up to today – there is much control we may take upon ourselves. Today, for example, we can understand that life picks on everyone, so when the going gets tough, we don’t have to take it personally. When we do take misfortune personally, we tend to obsess, giving a legacy to something that may make you a day poorer in life.

Cure your destination disease. Live more for today, less for tomorrow, and never about yesterday. How? You might have to repeatedly remind yourself that yesterday is gone forever, yet we perpetually have to deal with now, so why not live it? And what if tomorrow never occurs? There is a difference between working toward the future, which is inherently enjoyable in light of hope, and living in an unrealistic future that remains perpetually elusive. If tomorrow never comes, would you be satisfied with the way today ended?

“It is not how you start in life and it is not how you finish. The true joy of life is in the trip, so enjoy the ride!” – Steve Gilliland

About Steve Gilliland:

A member of the National Speaker Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve Gilliland (www.stevegilliland.com) is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in the world. Recognized by his peers as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily alongside Jeff Foxworthy and other celebrities on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA and Blue Collar Radio. With an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation—plus an interactive and entertaining style—Steve shows audiences how to open doors to success in their careers, their relationships and their lives. He speaks to more than 250,000 people a year and has shared the platform with numerous dignitaries. Also, he is a prolific writer who has achieved popular acclaim with his books “Enjoy the Ride: How to Experience the True Joy of Life,” “Making a Difference,” and “Hide Your Goat: Strategies To Stay Positive When Negativity Surrounds You.”

His new book “Detour, Developing the Mindset to Navigate Life’s Turns,” which will focus on change, will be released in early May 2015.

Thanks so much to Steve Gilliland for sharing his wisdom with the wonderful readers of Self Help Daily!

Sometimes a Surplus of Information Creates a Deficit of Action

Don't Let Paralysis by Analysis Afflict You...

Action Quote About Taking a Step
Humans are pretty funny when you think about it. We have more information at our fingertips than ever before, yet we often don’t seem to know what to do with it. It’s as though we’re suffering from information overload and can’t figure out how to dump it all out.

If you’ve watched much golf – or any golf for that matter – no doubt you’ve seen golfers who suffer from something the great tennis player (and even better human being) Arthur Ashe referred to as “paralysis by analysis.” I remember one time thinking I could have baked a pie in the time it took Jim Furyk to hit a shot. He stood over the tiny little ball for what seemed like forever.

Finally, I just bellowed at the tv, “Hit the darn thing! It’s not going to hit back, I promise!

He spent too much time thinking and, sure enough, the golf shot was lousy.

Sergio is another golfer who often seems lost in time as well as in his own thoughts.

“Doing nothing gets you nothing.” – Sean Reichl

Truth be told, you don’t have to be a golfer to battle with over-thinking.  It gets us all at one time or another.  We gather data, facts, figures, and quotes. Heck, some of us (guilty, guilty, guilty) even print our information out, give it the hole-punch treatment, and house it in an appropriately colored binder. We fill our brains with information but we neglect to carry it out. It’s great to have facts, don’t get me wrong – but if that’s all we’ve got then… Well, then that’s all we’ve got.

To be fair, sometimes it takes a great leap of faith and a significant amount of guts to carry out an action. It’s so much safer to sit back and think about the action.

And think about it, and think about it… And, and, think about it….

The only problem is we end up standing around, doing little more than just getting in our own way. Our intentions are out of this world – but we just can’t seem to get everything out of our brains and into our hands.

People will gather and read everything they can get their hands on about eating healthy, then go out and order the biggest burger their lips will fit around as a prize for all the research.

If you aren’t going to change your game why even bother reading the rule book?

Is there anything in your life that you’ve been “studying on” without “acting on?” Decide, today, to stop standing over the ball – hit it a country mile. It may, or may not, go exactly where you expected it to go – but at least it went. You can always stomp through the rough and hit it again. If it goes in the water, you can roll up your pants and wade out to meet it. You wouldn’t be the first. You wouldn’t be the last.

Oh the stories I could tell you about my miniature golf experiences…

The point is, at some point we have to stop planning to act and just act!

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

Think of at least one thing that you’ve been rolling over in your mind. Maybe you’ve been planning out the great walking regime you want to start, or maybe you’ve been planning to launch an e-bay business. Take ACTION right now. DO SOMETHING that will put these plans and thoughts in motion

The most important thing you can do is this: Take your first step. It’s the toughest, so just go ahead and get it out of the way.

Once you’ve put yourself in motion, keep on keeping on.

I’ll be here cheering you on!
~ Joi

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