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Psychological strategies
Sep 07

3 Proven Psychological Strategies to Add Years to Your Life!

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , Self Improvement , Stress Management

No, we haven’t found the fountain of youth. However, psychologists and neuroscientists have conducted a ton of research regarding how people can flourish in this life and enjoy happiness, while actually extending their lives— in both a physically and mentally healthy way. This post truly captures the essence of the three most powerful, research-based psychological strategies to make this happen – quickly and permanently!

1. Maintain optimistic expectations

Optimistic expectations can help you challenge setbacks that come your way. Neuroscientists have discovered that self-talk can actually re-wire your brain in either a very positive or very negative way, depending on whether it is optimistic or pessimistic. This re-wiring process is called “neuroplasticity.” One of the best ways of changing your thinking is to develop an optimistic interpretation of negative events that you experience.

Burgeoning research by Dr. Martin Seligman (“Learned Optimism”) involved hundreds of studies where people were trained to change their hard-wiring from reacting to disappointing events pessimistically, to reacting optimistically. Thus effectively changing feelings of helplessness and hopelessness (the main contributors to depression) to hope and self-confidence helped them eliminate their feelings of depression.

Many of these studies also show when people develop an optimistic attribution of negative events, they can often recover from the physical challenges associated with chronic depression and anxiety.

So, how do you explain setbacks and unfortunate events to yourself?

How do you persevere and remain resilient under adverse circumstances?

Do you look at setbacks as overwhelming catastrophes or as hurdles that can be overcome?

[Tweet “Be #optimistic, laugh often—build a strong support system. Find out how to extend your life:”]

How Pessimistic People View Setbacks

I refer to this kind of self-talk as “linguistic toxicity.” When bad things happen, pessimistically hard-wired people tell themselves such things as:

  • Internal Cause (“It’s my fault.”)
  • Permanent (“It’s a permanent flaw.”)
  • Pervasive (“It’s always going to be this way for the rest of my life.”)

How Pessimistic People View Good Outcomes

When good things happen to pessimistically hard-wired people, they view it as

  • External Cause (“It was a fluke, or luck.”)
  • Temporary (“This won’t last.”)
  • Exclusive (“I was lucky with this, but the rest of my life is awful.”)

How Optimistic People View Setbacks

I refer to this type of self-talk as “linguistic nutrition.” People who are hard-wired, or learn to give themselves optimistic explanations for setbacks, view them as follows:

  • External Cause (“This was a fluke and an exception to the rule of how things go with me.”)
  • Temporary (“This is a fluke occurrence. It won’t happen again.”)
  • Exclusivity (“I had difficulty dealing with this, but in the rest of my life I am thriving.”)

How Optimistic People View Good Outcomes

People that are optimistic expect good outcomes to occur frequently.

  • Internal Cause (“It’s my skills, work ethic and motivation that caused this to happen.”)
  • Permanent (“I certainly expect good things to continually happen to me.”)
  • Pervasive (“This is just one example in my life where I have the skills and talent to be successful.”)

Obviously, it is extremely important for people who are not hard-wired to attribute unfortunate outcomes in an optimistic sense, to learn how to remove their pessimistic thinking habits, and change them to positive thinking.

2.  Laugh as often as possible

Research on the amazingly powerful effects of laughing on the body and mind started with the groundbreaking book by Norman Cousins (“The Anatomy of an Illness”).  Cousins chronicled how he completely recovered from a terminal diagnosis by laughing out loud several times a day, for at least a few minutes each time.  He produced the humor by watching the funniest videos he could find (“The Three Stooges,” “Candid Camera,” and others) while hospitalized for his illness.

Once he saw how his pain subsided while laughing, he convinced the medical staff to take his blood pre and post laughing episodes.  The results were remarkable.

His symptoms immediately went into remission, and he helped fund massive research projects studying the power effects of laughing and having fun on brain chemistry, and the eradication of physical symptoms.  One of the more modern advocates of the power of bringing fun and humor into ones’ life is Dr. Steve Allen, Jr., a physician and the son of the famous comedian, Steve Allen.

3.  Maintain a strong support system of friends and family

Depression affects nearly 15 million Americans and each year close to 43,000 commit suicide in this country. Recent research into how to minimize depression without using psychotropic medication demonstrates the idea of an “Anti-Depression Toolkit.”

Three powerful tools in the toolkit are are:

a) using healthy self-talk (“linguistic nutrition”)

b) any form of spirituality, including prayer and meditation

c) frequent exercise.

However, the most important “tool” by far is having a caring, empathetic, and non-judgmental support system.  While depressed individuals often lack the energy or motivation to reach out, it is a critical component of mental health. For example, widows and widowers are particularly vulnerable—having lost their soul mate, and they can slip into depression if they do not build an alternative support system. If you suffer from depression, you must also stay away from critical, judgmental, anxiety-provoking, and demanding people. You can always consult with a therapist to decide who to include and exclude from your network.

Research shows that when one has a strong support network their emotional strength grows. This means getting involved with an objective sounding board of like-minded peers, and removing yourself from the isolation that accompanies depression. Social interaction is conducive to a healthy and active lifestyle.

There you have it. Do you want to build amazing resilience to stress, add joy to your life, and extend your well-being far more than you have ever dreamed? Add an optimistic and expected habit. It brings fun and laughter into each day, and nourishes your support system.

sales success
Aug 04

Simple Secrets for Using the Power of Positive Affirmations to Supercharge Your Sales Success

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Confidence , Sales Professionals , Self Improvement

Since Ruth Fishel published her classic book, Change Almost Anything in 21 Days,” the power of using positive affirmations has gained much attention.  We now know from the rich research conducted in the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that our belief systems and the thoughts connected with them drive our success or failure.

Much outcome research has been conducted with sales professionals. Why do some sales professionals get overwhelmed and flee the profession within a year, while others flourish and continue to build successful careers?  The answer lies in the self-talk habits that sales professionals bring with them when they first enter the profession and continue to use as they adapt to the stresses and strains of selling as a career.

What Are Affirmations?

Affirmations, positive or negative, are the statements we make to ourselves, based on how we interpret the situation in which we find ourselves at the moment.

All too often, our affirmations are negative and self-defeating, such as “That client said ‘no’ to the sale because I screwed up.”

Such a negative affirmation will produce serious damage to the sales professional’s confidence and self-esteem, thus leading to more “failed sales attempts,” and a self-fulfilling prophecy of feeling hopeless and helpless results in continual selling failures.

The good news is that we have choices in the types of affirmations that we say to ourselves, and positive affirmations said consistently can have powerful benefits, both in career success and even your health.

World-renowned experts, such as Dr. Bernie Siegel and Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of the Positive Psychology Movement, point to many cases of people overcoming devastating illnesses, using positive thinking, including repeating positive affirmations.

Dr. Seligman sites 40 years of his own research connecting sales success with affirmations that sales professionals use to maintain an attitude of optimism and gratefulness, discarding “failed” sales as flukes and focusing on the next sales opportunity.

5 Characteristics of Successful Affirmations

1. They must be positive.

The verbiage must always be positive. For example, saying, ”I am confident about my sales skills” is much better than saying “I no longer doubt myself in terms of my sales skills.”

2. The must be said with passion and gusto.

When we believe that our affirmations are true and in the present, and we repeat them with power and energy, we begin the process of conditioning our subconscious minds to actually strive toward making these beliefs true in the present.

Affirmations must be given more than lip service. When you say it with conviction, feel it by visualizing it as real, and let the wonderful feelings of having already accomplished this, then you re-program your mind and your body to accept it as part of the new you.

“I know that what I have to offer my customers will absolutely impact them in a positive way and they will thank me over and over for providing these products (or services) to them!”

[Tweet “Supercharge your #sales success with positive affirmations! Learn how here.”]

3. They must be said in the present moment.

Our subconscious minds do not know whether something is happening in reality or in our minds. For example, if you close your eyes and visualize holding a half of a lemon and see yourself taking a juicy bite out of it, you will salivate, as your subconscious mind believes this visualization is in fact really happening.  Our bodies respond to what we think about just as if it were actually happening at that moment.

So, with affirmations, be sure to state them in the most positive way and as if they are happening and real, right now. Even if you don’t know who your next prospect is, state it as if you have already met this potential customer:

“I know exactly how my product (service) will benefit this customer and if I were this customer’s best friend, I know exactly what I would say right now to convince him to buy.”

4. They must be realistic.

Giving yourself unrealistic affirmations sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Positive affirmations should reflect views of yourself and your success that are truly possible, not only in your fantasies.   For example, I cannot realistically affirm that I am becoming a famous actor or athlete, but I can affirm that I am a terrific psychologist and mentor for sales professionals.

5. They must be personal.

We can only make affirmations about ourselves, not what we want other people to be.  So, give yourself affirmations about your success as a sales professional, living out your career goals in the present.

A wonderful example of using a positive affirmation to explain ones’ success, despite missed opportunities in the past, is this quote from Michael Jordan:

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I have lost almost 300 games.  On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot and I have missed.  I have failed over and over again in my life.  And that’s precisely why I succeed!”

How to Get Started Using Positive Affirmations

  • Use your computer desktop to post your affirmations and repeat them at least 10 times a day, rotating new ones weekly
  • Use sticky notes posted on your bathroom mirror so you will begin to repeat your affirmations while brushing your teeth or brushing your hair
  • Use more sticky notes on your refrigerator, your car visor, or other places that you frequent daily
  • Use affirmations as mantras to use during meditation, while engaged in yoga and while conducting mindfulness exercises

The key to success is repetition and, as Ruth Fishel has shown, if you are consistent, you can change your life and your success in as little as 21 days!

The Important Link Between Optimism and Sales Success
May 26

The Important Link Between Optimism and Sales Success

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Confidence , Sales Professionals , Self Improvement

How do you explain unfortunate events to yourself, such as not getting the sale? Is the tone of your self-talk optimistic or pessimistic? As it turns out, the way you explain negative life events matters because there is a link between optimism and sales success. Based on over 1000 studies, we know that optimism has the power to boost your sales.

Research on the link between optimism and sales began with an investigation of a major life insurance carrier, and since then it has been replicated in more than 1000 studies over 40 years, across many industries and sales organizations. The findings of these studies proves definitively that maintaining an optimistic explanatory style brings dramatic success.

Optimistic VS Pessimistic Explanatory Styles

Explaining Failures

It boils down to how you explain unfortunate events to yourself.  For example, if a sales professional has a disappointing sales call, how does he/she react and explain that disappointment to himself/herself?  People with an OPTIMISTIC explanatory style rationalize the “failure.” They see it as a fluke, a temporary setback and not representative of who they are in general.

A person with a PESSIMISTIC explanatory style, on the other hand, will view unfortunate events as directly related to their inadequacy. They see it as a permanent issue and representative of other “failures” in their lives.  They often view the situation as an insurmountable obstacle and conclude that they may need to consider a change in career.  Sales professionals who quit or are fired are most often pessimistic in their explanatory style.

Explaining Successes

When good outcomes occur, such as closing a sale, OPTIMISTS believe it was exactly because of their skill. These successes will repeat themselves and they view the success as proof that they have the talent to continue to be successful.  Optimists have what social scientists refer to as an “Internal Locus of Control.”  They perceive that outcomes are in their control.

When good outcomes occur to PESSIMISTS, they are more likely view them as “lucky.” The success was temporary and not indicative of their skill and effort.  Pessimists embrace an “External Locus of Control,” where they believe that circumstances beyond their control impact them constantly.

This ground-breaking research by Dr. Martin Seligman led to a questionnaire which can easily determine whether someone tends to maintain an optimistic or pessimistic explanatory style. Knowing the link between optimism and sales, companies often use this instrument to select the optimistic applicants.

Want to learn more? Check out Dr. Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. You can also take this Learned Optimism quiz from Stanford, which is adapted from the book.

Research on Optimism and Sales

Here is a sample of the many research findings that show a clear link between optimism and sales:

Insurance

Optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 38 percent, and extremely optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 88 percent.

Real Estate

Optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 33 percent, and extremely optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by a whopping 319 percent.

Banking

Top sales people are 25 percent more optimistic than below-average sales people.

Automotive

Optimistic sales people outsell pessimists by 20 percent, and optimistic sales managers outsell pessimists by 27 percent.

Telecommunications

Optimistic sales people outsell pessimists by 29 percent, and extremely optimistic sales agents outsell pessimists by 39 percent.

Customer Service

Top customer service staff are 50 percent more optimistic than below-average staff.

In addition, optimism is good for more than just posting excellent sales numbers. Research also shows that optimistic people live longer and have stronger immune systems.

The link between optimism and sales may have you wondering – are you doomed if you are hard-wired with “Pessimistic Genes?”  Absolutely not!  Developing optimism can be easily learned, so there is hope for all professionals. Every individual can start today by practicing a more optimistic style of self-talk. Also, if you think your sales team could benefit from a lesson, I am available to help – just email me at DrJack@FunSpeaker.com or give me a call at 800-497-9880.

How Corporate Wellness Programs Boost Employees AND Companies
May 05

How Corporate Wellness Programs Boost Employees AND Companies

By Dr. Jack Singer | Self Improvement , Stress , Stress Management , Workplace Wellness

Corporate wellness is a current buzz word, but the fact is, some businesses have been offering corporate wellness programs for years or even decades. New research on corporate wellness and the physical effects of stress is making more and more corporations interested in implementing their own wellness programs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes the norm in the future.

Arguably the most convincing study on corporate wellness was recently published by the American Psychological Association (APA). It tackles the argument that some companies have for not enacting wellness programs – more specifically, some argue that although these programs benefit employees, they are costly and don’t help the business’s bottom line. As it turns out, this thinking is wrong.

APA Study Shows the Financial Benefits of Corporate Wellness Programs

This study looked at stock portfolios from two different groups of publically-traded companies. The first group had established wellness programs for their employees – robust wellness programs that had won industry awards. The second group was composed of traditional publicly-traded companies that had no wellness programs.

The researchers then compared the performance of each groups’ stock portfolios over a period of 14 years. In the end, they found that companies with wellness programs outperformed the S&P by more than 200 percent.

This study demonstrates that not only do corporate wellness programs benefit individual employees – they also impact a company’s profit. This shows that it is financially and fiscally smart to implement wellness programs in order to increase revenue and profitability.

How Corporate Wellness Works on the Individual Level

Obviously, this study took a macro-level view of corporate wellness, examining performance at the company level. So how does corporate wellness work at the individual level to produce these astounding results on corporate profit?

On the individual level, corporate wellness programs work to raise the health of your workers. By focusing on physical health, mental health, diet, and exercise, your employees stay healthy and strong. They get sick less often, which means fewer insurance claims and fewer missed days of work. And their work improves because they are alert, confident and perceptive. They make fewer mistakes, their productivity improves and so does their morale. These individual effects then add up to company-wide improvements which fuel profit growth.

Corporate wellness programs contain a range of elements related to physical health, exercise, diet and mental health. Although all of these components are important to a well-rounded corporate wellness program, I argue that mental health is a crucial concern for any business starting a corporate wellness program.

This is because mental health impacts other forms of health and there are proven ways you CAN change the amount of stress in your life. This is done by understanding how stress forms – that it isn’t a result of events but rather your interpretation of those events – and then taking steps to change your interpretations. Doing so not only improves your mental health, but your physical health as well.

How Advisors Can Avoid Fear of Failure
Mar 11

How Advisors Can Avoid Fear of Failure

By Dr. Jack Singer | Advising the Advisors , Self Improvement

In a recent post I talked about how Joe Flacco avoided the temptation to feel like an imposter in the 2013 Super Bowl. Despite few pundits giving the Ravens a chance in the game, and most of the attention focusing on the 49ers and their rookie quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, Flacco overcame any concerns that he did not belong on that stage. Any hint at feeling like an “imposter” disappeared when he scored his first touchdown against the 49ers.

“Imposter Fear” occurs when self-doubt creeps into ones’ psyche and rapidly undermines self-confidence.

As an example, I worked with an NFL quarterback who complained that he deserved to start and he was frustrated with his back-up role. When he was suddenly thrust into a starters role during a game because of an injury to the starting quarterback, he panicked and began to worry about embarrassing himself, his family and ultimately his team.

Here was a man whose goal was to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he had never dealt with the fact that underneath the façade of confidence was a frightened athlete, worried about whether he really had what it takes to start in the NFL. This man felt like an imposter—he looked great in practice, he was in great physical condition, he looked sharp in his uniform, but he felt as if he couldn’t back up his bravado and then he fell apart when given the opportunity. Clearly, this young man fell victim to the “Imposter Fear.”

Example number two: I worked with a financial advisor who was a very successful business major in college and he came into his interview with a brokerage firm with superb confidence. He had no problem getting hired. His confidence continued to grow, as he glided through the training program. In simulated training situations, he seemed confident and ready to go. But, when his manager ultimately tasked him to make cold calls to attract new clients, he took every hang-up and “no thank you” as a personal rejection, lost his confidence and it wasn’t long before he was suffering from what is called “telephobia,” or severe sales call reluctance (a subject I will address in a future article in this magazine).

This, of course, ate away at his confidence and he feared even calling his current clients, worried about not being able to address their questions and concerns about the market and the products he had recommended. He began to question whether this was a career path in which he could thrive. He, too, became another victim of “Imposter Fear.”

Certainly, Flacco, like most premier NFL quarterbacks, must have gone through the same doubts during or after games in which his performance suffered. But, how did he stay optimistic, ward off the fear of failing, and push through mental obstacles to ultimately win the Super Bowl?

Understand the origins of your “imposter fear.” Like professional football players, most financial advisors maintain an external persona of confidence, but if advisors are honest with themselves, many insecurities –including avoiding contacting aggressive clients during market collapses, or fearing that they will look weak if they can’t think quickly on their feet when challenged by their clients—linger beneath the surface. Such doubts raise their anxiety level every time they come to the office, especially on days the market is tanking.

Like most fears, the “imposter fear” is based on false beliefs; in this case the belief that you are really not as competent as you appear. Like most fears, “imposter fear” is learned. We are not hot wired with such a fear. And, any fear that is learned, can be un-learned! The best way to eradicate any fear is to begin by understanding the distorted thinking that causes it in the first place.

Most fears are unwarranted and irrational, but the emotions surrounding them are certainly powerful.

The late Zig Ziglar, world renowned motivational speaker, captured the essence of this when he defined F.E.A.R. as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” You see, we all have experienced distorting the reality of events and situations that take place in our lives and it’s that distortion that causes our emotions–not the events themselves. The distortion comes from our perceptions of the events and those perceptions are based on the self-talk habits that we have developed over the years. So, the key to all of our emotions is our inner dialogue about events that take place in our lives each day. And…the key to mastering your emotions and overcoming fears such as the “Imposter Fear,” is having insight into your inner dialogue patterns and how to modify them. In fact, teaching clients to understand their self-talk habits and how to modify them is the essence of the most powerful form of psychotherapy in use today…Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy.

As an example, let’s say that one morning, your assistant calls you to inform you that one of your clients left a very angry message and he wants you to call him as soon as you arrive at the office. This event does not cause your resultant emotion(s). What does cause your emotion is the internal message you give to yourself about the situation. You might say something like this to yourself after speaking with your assistant: “Oh, no, he’s going to complain about that new equity I purchased for him last week because it has lost a good portion of it’s value with the way the market has tanked in the last few days. I don’t want to feel like a teenager being chastised by his father. How can I avoid this call?”

If you fill your head with such negative, fear producing self-talk, your anxiety level will elevate dramatically and a normal response to such anxiety is avoidance…avoidance of the event that you anticipate will cause more anxiety. So you avoid the call or pass it on to someone else, if possible. From this episode, you could feel very vulnerable, and from there it’s easy to develop the infamous “imposter fear.” You beat yourself up with more self-talk about how you’re probably not cut out for this line of work, it’s much too stressful and you lose your confidence and look for an escape.

But…you have choices in terms of your self-talk and resultant beliefs about any situation. For the scenario above, here is an alternative set of thoughts you could have: “This client has an irrational expectation that every product or equity he purchases must increase in value continuously. I have explained to him the risk/benefit ratio many times and he went into this purchase with his eyes open. I will use my active listening skills (another subject I will address in a future article here) to settle him down, like I have done many times before. I feel wonderful about the care I take managing my clients’ wealth and this client’s irrationality is not a reflection on me, my skills or my expertise.”

So, ultimately, it’s not economic or stock market fluctuations that determine how confident or insecure you feel in your profession. It’s not disgruntled clients that determine how anxious you feel. Regardless of the situation, it’s always your “self talk” about these issues that determines whether you will thrive or struggle during difficult times. That little voice in your head is what I call your “internal critic,” and that critic is filled with negative, pessimistic, self-defeating and distorted thoughts.

Seven Surefire Strategies for Success Over Stress: How to Build Lasting Resilience!
Sep 18

Seven Surefire Strategies for Success Over Stress: How to Build Lasting Resilience!

By Dr. Jack Singer | Self Improvement , Stress , Stress Management

By Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.

Susan has been suffering a series of medical conditions, which her doctors have not been able to diagnose or treat effectively. On and off pain in her stomach, achiness in her neck and back and headaches have become a regular part of her life. Susan fears that she may have cancer or another dreaded disease that has been missed by her doctors. After a series of negative tests, the doctors concluded that there is no disease present and that her symptoms are the result of the stresses in her life. Stress can and does cause medical symptoms with no disease present. In fact, it has been estimated by medical practitioners that up to 75% of the patients they treat have real symptoms, but these symptoms are caused by stress alone, not by a disease. Everyone knows about relaxation, exercise and proper diet, but what other powerful strategies can Susan use to continually master the stresses in her life?

  • Understand the warning signs of your “Internal Critic” at work. Your self-talk will either keep you well or make you sick. Negative, pessimistic messages that you allow to pass through your mind immediately leads to muscle tightening throughout the body. This tightening is accompanied by more rapid breathing and often high blood pressure. You can practice catching yourself when these types of negative thoughts go through your mind and make a fist, which is a reminder to STOP thinking that way. Next, take a few, deep breaths, release the fist, relax and proceed to think positively and optimistically.

There is an old saying that “What you believe, you can achieve.” Internal self-talk leads to beliefs (either positive or negative) and beliefs lead to the body’s reactions. So looking at stressful situations in a positive, optimistic way, calms the body and mind. Example: “My boss may be angry because of something else happening in his life today. I have no evidence that he is really angry at me.”

  • Give yourself positive affirmations each day. Positive affirmations are positive, optimistic thoughts about your future as if you have already gotten there as of today. Since your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between something real or imagined (for example, visualize yourself biting into a tart lemon and see what your mind tells your salivary glands to do), when you give yourself positive affirmations and imagine these things are actually happening right now, your subconscious mind wants to make them happen for you. Example: “I will remain calm and relaxed even when my teenager tries to push my buttons. It is so wonderful to have control over my emotions.”

Make a list of at least seven positive affirmations to say each morning upon arising and each evening when retiring. Say each one 10 times in the morning and 10 times in the evening, breathing slowly and imagine yourself accomplishing each affirmation as you recite it.

  • Choose to make optimistic interpretations of events in your life. Recent research depicts the positive physical health consequences of finding a silver lining in every dark cloud that comes your way. When you view unfortunate, bothersome events in your life as temporary and not permanent indicators of you having a weakness or a flaw, you can continually ward off the stresses of events that take place in your life. In fact, research shows that maintaining an optimistic interpretation of events leads to remission of disease and the generation of T-cells, which are critical components of your immune systems! More importantly, Example: “Just because I haven’t found the right partner in life so far does not discourage me. I am particular and that’s good. It’s only a matter of time until I find my sole mate.”

The key here is choice. You always have the choice in how you will see a situation and deal with it. As someone once said, “You can find yourself in the middle of nowhere…or, in the middle of nowhere, YOU can find yourself!”

  • Set realistic goals. When you set attainable, healthy goals and write them down, you will stay focused and have a high probability of accomplishing them. People are 11 times more likely to reach a goal when they write it down, as opposed to simply thinking about the goal. Put these goals into your computer to flash reminders to you on a regular basis. Visualize attaining these goals each night as you fall asleep and you will maximize your ability to achieve them! Write down short and long-term goals that are specific and action-oriented. Example: “I will have a pad of paper printed with the words, ‘Things to do Today’ across the top and lines with check off boxes on each page. This will help me stay focused on what I have to do each day and I will have a nice sense of accomplishment.”

A key question to ask yourself is “What behaviors could I engage in to be sure I’ll sabotage myself from meeting my goals?” If you are honest with yourself, you’ll see exactly why you haven’t reached your goals before and you’ll realize what you need to do to change those behaviors today.

  • Stay close to positive people and positive influences. Unfortunately, many of you are married to, related to, or work for negative, pessimistic people. These are folks who have their own fears of change, do not take risks, and wallow in their own misery. These members of the “negativity club” want you to join them, because that helps them to justify their own behavior and ideas. Become a “Teflon” person by letting the comments of these folks bounce off you. Assert yourself and politely tell them to keep their negative opinions about you or your ideas to themselves.

Find positive, optimistic, supportive and non-judgmental people to get close to, who will encourage and reinforce you. What a breath of fresh air that will feel like!

  • Find healthy ways to defuse frustration and anger. Schedule regular visits to a gym, take dancing lessons, get involved in church activities, volunteer and scream to your heart’s content at a sporting event. All of these activities have been shown to melt away angry emotions.
  • Search for opportunities for fun and laughter. Research has shown the immense power of fun and laughter on both our emotions and our bodies. Sadly, the average youngster laughs more than 100 times a day, while the average adult laughs only about 15 times.We now know that a primary antidote for stress is fun, laughter and engaging your sense of humor. Whether it is reading a joke book, watching a funny movie or sitcom, or using your creativity to lighten up your workplace, bringing fun into your life is immensely important for your health. Endorphins, which override stress hormones and produce a sense of release and calm, are released by the brain every time you laugh or engage in a fun activity. In fact, the immune system is impacted in a powerful way by fun and laughter.

    Someone once said the “people don’t stop laughing and having fun because they get old…they get old because they stop laughing and having fun!” So, by making sure that your life includes frequent episodes of laughing and looking at the funny side of events that take place in the world…you will surely add life to your years and years to your life!

 

What makes you tick?
Mar 13

What Really Makes You Tick?

By Dr. Jack Singer | Confidence , Self Improvement

Self Improvement – 5 questions you should ask yourself

If you are like me, I often view myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, but of course there is ALWAYS room for improvement. It is human nature to want to aspire daily for something deeper and more meaningful in life.

But life can sometimes get in the way, or to put in in plain language, there is often not enough hours in the day to really do all of the things that you want to do or feel the need to do.

Asking yourself these questions can be helpful when you begin to feel bogged down in the daily business of living.

1. What do I really want?

This is of course the  question of the ages. There are always dreams and ambitions that need to be nurtured and acted upon. Dreaming without action does not move you forward.

2. Should I really change?
If you are consistently feeling that you are letting yourself down in small or large ways, then the answer should be pretty obvious.

3. What’s the bright side in all of this?
Look at making small, consistent, POSITIVE changes as a journey. If you ensure that each day is 1 percent day than the day before, you are making great changes over a very short period of time. Don’t set impossible goals for yourself. Make goals that ensure that you are just that small bit better than you were yesterday. Consider it along the lines of compound interest! It really adds up quickly.

4. Am I comfortable with myself?

This requires some exploration. Go deep within to find out who you are in the deepest recesses of your authentic heart and soul.

5. Have I done enough for myself?

Have you, or is there something more you want to do? Do you have dreams, wants and wishes that you have convinced yourself that you don’t deserve or will never be able to afford. (Insert your own excuses here). Examine them, discard or discount the excuses and then get busy getting what you really do want for yourself.

So? What really makes you tick? I would love to hear from you! Just leave your comments or questions in the box below.

free-consultation

 

Problem solving tips from Dr. Jack Singer
Feb 14

Creative Problem Solving Tips

By Dr. Jack Singer | Self Improvement

Everyday problems usually respond to tried-and-true solutions. But sometimes you need to go beyond the obvious. Try these tactics when you need to take a more creative approach to problem-solving.

  • Do some extra research. Don’t assume you have all the facts you need. Before trying to solve the problem, dig deep into the background and the issues surrounding it. You may uncover something new that will lead to a fresh approach when nothing else has worked.
  • Set up the problem correctly. In your rush to find a solution, you might treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause. Seek opinions and perspectives from other people, and keep an open mind about what’s really going on.
  • Consider the impact. Who else does the problem affect? You may gain valuable insight by including others in your analysis and solution. You’ll also build support for your solution by drawing in your co-workers and other interested parties to help you implement it.
  • Consider and try a lot of solutions. Instead of zeroing in on one approach and hoping it works, experiment with as many different options as you can. Keep track of what you’re doing so you can identify what worked or combine promising aspects of different attempts.
  • Turn it over to your subconscious for review. Many times you have the answer already if you will just let it come to you. When you are ready to go to sleep at night, review the issue one last time without trying to force an answer and deliberately give your subconscious time to work on the problem. You may well have the answer when you first wake up!