Gratitude, Mind

The Science Behind Gratitude
(and How It Can
Change Your Life)
By Derrick Carpenter, MAPP

Being happy takes work!   I know a lot of people don’t get this but it does.   We need to practice certain things on a daily basis like gratitude.   Gratitude is not easy for some of us when we are constantly thinking about what we don’t have.   We need to try to focus more on being thankful for what we do have.

You know, we all have a story and we all have issues.   Sometimes the issues do get in the way of us being able to be thankful.   To be thankful of those things that we do have.

If I wake up cranky and in a bad mood it is hard to think about being grateful but it is something I must practice.   When you are going through a tough time in your life, it is very hard to think about what you do have when you don’t have what you do want.

This is a great article to help you start your gratitude journey.   Let’s practice this together!

Read the entire article by going to the link but I did copy and paste some of what I really liked below.

I like how the author says to have a Gratitude Journal.   That is something I am thinking of doing because it will help me stay focused on being thankful.    There are tons of apps that can be used for journaling and they do have passcode protection so that no one has to read your stuff.

Having a gratitude jar is also a great idea.   This can help you take action every day or very often to put something in the jar.


“Freshen Up Your Thanks

The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you might always be thankful for your great family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh grateful moments. Get specific by writing “Today my husband gave me a shoulder rub when he knew I was really stressed” or “My sister invited me over for dinner so I didn’t have to cook after a long day.” And be sure to stretch yourself beyond the great stuff right in front of you. Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice. Make a game out of noticing new things each day.

Get Real About Your Gratitude Practice

Being excited about the benefits of gratitude can be a great thing because it gives us the kick we need to start making changes. But if our excitement about sleeping better because of our newfound gratitude keeps us from anticipating how tired we’ll be tomorrow night when we attempt to journal, we’re likely to fumble and lose momentum. When we want to achieve a goal, using the technique of mental contrasting—being optimistic about the benefits of a new habit while also being realistic about how difficult building the habit may be – leads us to exert more effort. Recognize and plan for the obstacles that may get in the way. For instance, if you tend to be exhausted at night, accept that it might not be the best time to focus for a few extra minutes and schedule your gratitude in the morning instead.

Make Thankfulness Fun By Mixing It Up

University of Rochester partners in crime Edward Deci and Richard Ryan study intrinsic motivation, which is the deep desire from within to persist on a task. One of the biggest determinants is autonomy, the ability to do things the way we want. So don’t limit yourself—if journaling is feeling stale, try out new and creative ways to track your grateful moments. (Happify offers an endless variety of gratitude activities to choose from.) My fiancée Michaela decided to create a gratitude jar this year. Any time she experiences a poignant moment of gratitude, she writes it on a piece of paper and puts it in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, she’ll empty the jar and review everything she wrote. When a good thing happens, she now exclaims, “That’s one for the gratitude jar!” It immediately makes the moment more meaningful and keeps us on the lookout for more.

Be Social About Your Gratitude Practice

Our relationships with others are the greatest determinant of our happiness. So it makes sense to think of other people as we build our gratitude. Robert Emmons suggests that focusing our gratitude on people for whom we’re thankful rather than circumstances or material items will enhance the benefits we experience. And while you’re at it, why not include others directly into your expression of gratitude? One Happify activity involves writing a gratitude letter to someone who had an impact on you whom you’ve never properly thanked. You could also share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.”

Originally posted 2016-06-14 11:57:28.

Abuse, Links, Mind


Bullying is a big deal and learning about it is critical.

If you are are a parent to a child or teenager read below and do something about it.

If you are a child or teenager and are being bullied and reading this, please learn and do something about it.   Do not allow this behavior to take over your life.    If you need help and no one is helping you, reach out to someone else that may be able to do something about it.    You do not deserve it!

If you do see someone that has no friends and is alone, be their friend.   Sometimes, one friend is all that is needed.   Lastly, do not be a bully.   If you are reading this and you are mean to someone, stop!

Knowledge is power.


Check this video out.

The Bully Movie

This was copied and pasted from the link above.

“Parents play a key role in preventing and responding to bullying. If you know or suspect that your child is involved in bullying, there are several resources that may help.

  • Recognize the warning signs that your child is involved in bullying. They could be being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying.  Although these signs could signal other issues, you should talk to your child if they display any sort of behavioral or emotional changes.  Many times kids won’t ask for help, so it is important to know what to look for. If your child is at immediate risk of harming himself or others, get help right away.
  • Learn what bullying is and what it is not. Understanding what bullying is is the first step in forming a plan to prevent or respond to bullying with your child. Many behaviors that look like bullying may be just as serious, but may require different response strategies.  You can also learn about:
  • Cyberbullying often requires different strategies than in-person bullying.  Learn how to work with your kids to prevent cyberbullying and how to respond when it occurs.
  • Utilize tips and tools to talk to your child about bullying. Opening lines of communication before your child is involved in bullying makes it easier for them to tell you when something happens. It is also important to work with a school to help prevent bullying before it starts.
  • If you know or suspect bullying has occurred, learn how to find out what has happened with your child. Understanding what has happened can also help in communicating with school or community officials about the situation.
  • If you have determined bullying has occurred, learn how you and school or community officials can work together to support your child, whether they were bulliedbullied others, or witnessed bullying.  Learn also about considerations for specific groups.
  • If bullying is occurring at school, learn about what your state requires schools to do in your state’s anti-bullying law. Learn also about federal laws that require schools to address harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disabilities and ways to report situations that have not been adequately addressed to the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.
  • If you have worked with your child and your school and need additional assistance, find resources to help address the situation.”


Originally posted 2016-06-11 22:52:06.

Mind, The Self

How To Love Yourself First
The least-honored–and most powerful path to self-love
Ken Page L.C.S.W. Ken Page L.C.S.W.

Read the entire article by clicking on the link but I extracted what I liked below.


How To Love Yourself First

The least-honored–and most powerful path to self-love

Ken Page L.C.S.W. Ken Page L.C.S.W.

“The great psychoanalytic theorist Donald Winnicot said, “Only the true self can be creative and only the true self can feel real.” I would add that only the true self can bear the risk of deep intimacy.

Every time we face the choice to share our deeper self, we stand at a precipice. Often, it’s just too scary to take the step forward.

Imagine taking a pet you love and putting it in a yard with an invisible electric fence. When it moves outside its allowed space, it gets stunned by an unexpected shock. It will only take a few jolts before your pet gets the message: if it goes too far, punishment will be instantaneous. In a short period of time, your pet won’t act as if the borders even exist; it will simply avoid them. If pushed closer to the danger zone, it will exhibit increasing signs of anxiety. The world outside the fence just isn’t worth the pain.

Now imagine turning off the charge from the invisible fence, and then placing a bowl of food outside its perimeter. Your pet might be starving, but it will still be terrified to enter into the newly free space. And when it finally crosses the line, it does so with trembling; anticipating the pain of new shocks. It is the same with us; even though we yearn for the freedom of our true self, some deep reflexive instinct still tries to protect us from being hurt again.”


Originally posted 2016-06-11 20:19:48.


10 Ways We Get the Odds Wrong

10 Ways We Get the Odds Wrong

Is your gym locker room crawling with drug-resistant bacteria? Is the guy with the bulging backpack a suicide bomber? And what about that innocent-looking arugula: Will pesticide residue cause cancer, or do the leaves themselves harbor E. coli? But wait! Not eating enough vegetables is also potentially deadly.


Originally posted 2016-11-26 08:57:57.


Decisions have consequences





When I took a class in college called decision making, it really changed my mind about how important it is to make decisions in our lives because for every decision their is a consequence…BUT…there is an intellectual side to us and then there is a more impulsive instant gratification side to us…TODAY…I realize the difference…and am fully aware that we as individuals can be very smart BUT also very impulsive which can make us very mindless instead of mindful when making decisions…not making a decision is a decision because not making a decision has a consequence…the goal is to start and continue making mindful choices because when you make mindless choices you get consequences the smart mindful you does not want…

I believe that we all can get into a state that I call “fuck it mode” (please excuse my language) where we feel crappy or are not motivated and just continue in this downward spiral…Why? Well if you eat the doughnut and feel fat you – you say “fuck it” i’m going to eat another doughnut…what difference does it make? you say to yourself…your in debt and you know you can’t afford something and you say “fuck it” I’m already in debt so why not?…It goes back to the pain or pleasure principle where we seek pleasure over the pain…so how do we change? Below are some things that help me but require me to really focus (disclaimer – sooooo not easy to be mindful sometimes)

1. Recognizing you have an issue

2. Feeling enough pain to change the issue at hand

3. Support (people that don’t put you down and are compassionate – that don’t make you feel crazy)

4. Baby steps (don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to fix an issue/habit that took a while to acquire overnight)

5. Learn about the issue or go to a professional that knows more about the subject you are trying to fix

6. Learn from others – if you know of someone that has what you want – learn from them or read about them – they can serve as a mentor to you

7. Be mindful about everything – when we are mindless it is so easy to make poor decisions – let me repeat this – when we are mindless it is soooooo easy to make poor decisions – we need to start paying attention to all areas of our lives and this is soooooooo not easy – and we need to pay attention to the consequence of each decision we make

8. Focus on you – when we are too concerned about others we neglect ourselves – this means anyone that is in your life – when you take care of you – you can take care of others a whole lot better

9. Running or avoiding is sooooo easy and feels so good if you are used to this way of dealing with issues – again being mindful will allow you to recognize running or avoiding patterns or your coping mechanisms

10. Don’t get defensive – it is extremely easy to get defensive when you don’t want to talk about your issues because nobody and I mean nobody wants to feel crazy but only through constructive critism can we develop – so sometimes as hard as this is…we need to listen

That’s all I got for now but i hope this reaches at least one person…I believe all of the things I have been through and am going through happen to me for a reason…I believe the reason is to help others through my journey of self discovery and self improvement…remember life is a journey not a destination…

Originally posted 2016-11-26 06:59:15.

Mind, The Self

Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out
Phil McGraw

Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out - Phil McGraw
Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out – Phil McGraw

Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out

It isn’t easy to find your “authentic self”.     When you have experiences that have hurt you and caused you pain, it is not easy to just forget them.   When you were yourself and that wasn’t good enough, you change.   You start acting different because you may be trying to protect yourself from that pain you felt in the past.

It takes determination and practice to focus on the self.    Life will teach us along the way if we are not being true to ourselves.   You will feel forced and it will cause as Dr. Phil says an imbalance.

Now I’m not saying it is easy because I know that in order for me to be true to myself I have to constantly be hyperaware of what i’m feeling and how i’m acting.    If I feel uncomfortable in a situation, I need to question whether I want to be there or not.

After being hurt, I created the thickest walls imaginable which helped protect me, at least I thought.   It was very hard for me to let anyone in and to trust.    I’m still a work in progress but I am very aware of how my thick walls have alienated me at times.   I am so thankful to those that are around me that have had patience with me.

Getting to know ourselves and improving areas of our lives that we tend to avoid, is part of our development.    It is easy to get distracted with other things when we are trying to ignore or avoid our own weaknesses in certain areas.    We can obsess over a hobby or become a workaholic or even create bad habits that help us distract ourselves from our issues.    In addition, sometimes we focus so much on other people’s issues so that we don’t focus on our very own issues.

We have to get real good at embracing those areas in our lives where we are weak and need to develop more.

I recognize that when I feel uncomfortable with a situation, I run.   I run by making some excuse as to why I don’t want to do something.    I even justify my reasoning to avoid it.  It is the story I tell myself which is all part of my protection.   It is my brains way of saying “you felt pain or got hurt in the past by putting yourself in a situation that was similar so let’s avoid it”.    The only problem is that the more we avoid situations where we are uncomfortable, the more underdeveloped we are in those areas.

My goal and my journey is to develop my weak areas.  Those areas that I avoid.     To not be in denial of my issues and to go head on to improve them.

Join me in this journey if you feel the same.


“Your life has a root core that, once understood, unlocks a powerful force to create the life you want. Key questions and an amazingly clear “map” are now at your fingertips so you can “live by design”.

In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Phil challenges you to find your “authentic self”: that person you have always wanted to be, but were too distracted, busy, or scared to become. Instead, you have created a “fictional self”, taking on the identity of who you believe you are supposed be. The incongruence between these two selves is what leads you to feel that your life is incomplete, unbalanced, and more difficult than it should be.

In Self Matters, Dr. Phil helps you to demystify your self-concept and learn how to reclaim your authentic self. You can learn to think beyond the excuses and fears that have masked the person you want to be. By facing the cards life has dealt you, you can relearn how to best react to them.

Self Matters is one of the most forward-thinking works on self-concept and self-esteem ever published. We get only one chance in this world. Dr. Phil tells us all how to make the most of it.” (

Originally posted 2016-06-11 18:56:20.


Sara Bareilles


You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

Originally posted 2016-06-11 00:53:42.

Communication/ Relationships, Mind

Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman

I studied Emotional Intelligence (EI) years ago and I was interested in the topic.   We hear a lot about Intelligence Quotient (IQ) but not as much about Emotional Intelligence (EI).

In the workplace and in real life we do need these skill sets to work with others.   Some companies value these skills and are training their employees in these skills but there are others that just simply don’t get it.

In real life, Emotional Intelligence is critical in my opinion because people sometimes don’t say what they really feel inside and  portray to the outside world.    It takes a lot for someone to truly open up and feel comfortable to express their inner emotions.   When you know there is something wrong with someone or something is happening in their lives, it is critical to help guide them.   It takes extra effort but totally worth it because people cannot function when they are distressed.

To me the best leaders have high levels of both EI and IQ.   They are not fake, they are genuine.     The higher the corporate ladder the more I believe they need to have high levels of EI.   This is not the case in a lot of companies and that is why employee morale is low.    As Daniel Goleman states, Jack Welch (former CEO and Chairman of GE) instituted a program that bullies would no longer be tolerated at General Electric.  The leaders set the tone for their team – it all cascades down.  If the organization has a great culture but there are two or three or more bosses that have no clue how to work with people, this could really affect how those teams perform.

He talks about the Peter Principle and how managers should be promoted based on their current competencies as a manager instead of managers getting promoted that have no interpersonal skills and are wrongly promoted.

Being in marketing for years, the way employees work with customers and interact with them is part of the brand.   If your employees are rude to your customers because they are not happy with how their boss is treating them it will affect the company’s brand.   It is all a Domino effect.

Daniel Goleman talks about these areas of Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Managing Your Emotions
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills


intelligence quotient
an intelligence test score that is obtained by dividing mental age, which reflects the age-graded level of performance as derived from population norms, by chronological age and multiplying by 100: a score of 100 thus indicates a performance at exactly the normal level for that age group.
Abbreviation: IQ.” (

emotional intelligence
skill in perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions and feelings.
Abbreviation: EI.” (

Originally posted 2016-06-10 11:35:00.