Read This If Yesterday, June 20th, Wasn’t Your Happiest Day of the Year #Tuesdayvibe Tuesdayfeeling #June21 #MondayMotivation

Welsh psychologist Cliff Arnall, who identified Blue Monday (third Monday of January) as the saddest day of the year, also used a mathematical formula which identified 20th June as Yellow Monday, the happiest day of the year.

Arnall created a mathematical formula to reflect the factors that make this date the happiest. The research was sponsored by Wall’s, the British ice cream maker, in 2006 to coincide with the opening of a photographic competition capturing happy summer moments.

These are the six elements he included in his formula:

  • O: The benefits of being outdoors, and enjoying outdoor activities
  • N: The connection with nature during spring
  • S:  More Socializing with friends and family
  • Cpm: Memories of positive childhood memories
  • T: The warm temperature
  • He: The anticipation of the long-awaited summer vacation

Comparing the two dates, and bearing in mind the elements of his formula, I’d agree that most people are probably happier on 20th June than on 17th January. The summer holidays, emotionally significant due to our childhood memories, are closer, the weather has improved, and the days are longer.
 
Yesterday I sent some friends a screenshot of Yellow Monday and wrote, “enjoy the happiest day of the year”. One of my friends’ reply made me think twice about what happiness means to me: She said, “I’ll try my best.”

And we started a conversation, because she’s absolutely right.

We often imagine happiness as something that appears out of the blue, suddenly, and although that may occasionally occur, that isn’t how happy moments usually happen.

We came to the conclusion that we have to actively create happy moments in our lives, as often as possible, embrace them, and bottle them up as wonderful memories.

We should plan to do things we enjoy and make an effort to enjoy the things we have to do.

I took this photo early this morning.

The secret is to make sure we indulge in as many elements of his formula as we can as often as we can:

Go for a walk somewhere in nature. Take photographs of the sea, a tree, a blade of grass, a cloud, or a wildflower. Plan for an outing.

Contact or better still see someone you love face to face or on social media. Plan to meet up.

Do something you love. If you love even if it’s just for half an hour. Watch an episode of your favourite series, read a chapter of a book you love, or read a poem or two. Plan to do something you enjoy during the week.

Allow yourself to enjoy every little moment. You deserve it!

Life is all about the little-big things; hugging my grandchildren, chatting to those who live far away of whatsapp or other social media, reading an engaging novel or an enlightening personal growth book, making a delicious meal for someone I love, taking a pretty photograph, messaging a friend on her birthday, complimenting someone, going for a walk, singing my favourite song in the shower, watching youtube shorts by my favourite speakers, and the list could go on…

I’m happy today, because of hundreds of little-big things I relish in doing, and I’ll make an effort to be just as happy tomorrow, because I believe happiness is an attitude, not a fleeting feeling.

This is a special week for me. I’m on granny duty.

Today I’m happy because I took my granddaughter to school, after dressing her up as a butterfly for a school show, then I had a delicious coffee in a bar and a chat with my husband, then I cooked meat balls for lunch, which my grandkids love, in between I wrote this blog post, and this afternoon I plan to do many more fun things, because I choose to enjoy every little moment.

Let’s make every day the happiest day of the year enjoying the little big things in life and making them happen!

Share some of today’s happy moments in the comments!

AtoZ Blogging Challenge April 2022 #ThemeReveal #WritingMentors #MondayMotivation

My Mentors

Following the main blog’s theme: ACCOMPLISHING YOUR DREAMS, AND THE DUALITY OF 22. I’ve decided to write about my mentors, the people who have helped me accomplish my dream to be a published author since I started my blog in 2013.

These writers and speakers have enlightened me with their spoken and written words, in fiction and non fiction, as well as with their YouTube channels and podcasts.

Their spoken and written words have inspired me to follow my own writing journey and shown me to believe in myself by generously sharing their knowledge, experience, and wisdom.

They do not know it. But they are my mentors and I will always be grateful for their help. During the month of April, I’d like to share what they taught me in the hope that it will inspire and help you in your journey, too.

I look forward to sharing my posts and reading other participants’ posts, too, throughout April. If you’d like to join in follow the link on the image below.

Happy blogging! And Happy first day of spring!💖♥️

Book Release Blitz & #Giveaway! The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed for Becoming the Happiest You by Rob Carpenter @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #NonFiction

I haven’t taken part in book promotions for some time, but when I saw ‘The 48 Laws of Happiness’ and read the blurb, it was exactly the type of book I’ve been reading and reviewing on my #MondayBlogs posts, on personal growth and motivation, so I applied for an ARC, via RRBookTours and offered to take part in the Book Release.

It’s a brilliant book on happiness and how to understand and embrace it in your life. I’ll be reviewing it on Monday, but meanwhile, here is the launch day information, so you can find out more and check it out on amazon.

****

During times like these finding ways to be happy seems like a no brainer! Check out The 48 Laws of Happiness by Dr. Rob Carpenter! Psst… There’s also a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card (International)

The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed for Becoming the Happiest You

UNLOCK THE SECRETS TO HAPPINESS

  • Do you want to discover the untold secrets of happiness in a fun and uplifting read that could change your life?
  • Have you ever been told you should choose to be happy but then not taught how to be happy?
  • Is becoming the happiest possible version of yourself something you would like to achieve right now?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have looked in the right place! In The 48 Laws of Happiness, Dr. Rob Carpenter will teach you how to be happier in every area of your life. Using practical, “how-to” approaches, easily digestible mini-chapters, cutting edge research, and inspirational stories of people from around the world, Dr. Rob will show you the secrets to happiness and what you can do to overcome the common traps preventing you from being the happiest and most confident, version of yourself.

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

About the Author

Dr. Rob Carpenter—known simply as Dr. Rob— miraculously survived a tragic accident and vowed to not only rebuild his life, but to help other people rebuild their lives too. He has become a transformational author, filmmaker, and CEO who now advises professional athletes, celebrities, business titans, and everyday people so they can become the best version of themselves.

Dr. Rob has been featured in the New York Times, Business Insider, and People Magazine, has been a former professor and filmmaker at the 2x Emmy Award Winning USC Media Institute for Social Change, and is host of The Dr. Rob show. He founded The School of Happiness and has countless resources available on his website DrRob.TV to help uplift humanity.

Dr. Rob is the first in his family to graduate from college.

Rob Carpenter

Twitter Tags: @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #NonFiction

International Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! (April 27 – 29)

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Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#MondayBlogs ‘6 Ways to Recover from Grief: A Letter to Myself’ #MondayMotivation

When I was in the midst of grieving the loss of a loved one, it was like being in a dark tunnel. I felt alone, lost, and I had no idea how to get out of the darkness and devastation. I think this sense of desperation, loss and confusion at losing your bearings, was not a unique experience; many others I’ve spoken to have felt much the same.

My sister died over thirty years ago, and although other family members, such as aunts, uncles, cousins, and my father, have died since then, my sister’s death was the most devastating loss I’ve had to date.

It was 1989, the Internet was in its early years, so information was not as easily and readily available. I had no counselling, and no type of bereavement support. I read How We Die, which was helpful from a practical, medical and rational point of view, but not emotionally, at least not for me.

I was bought up a catholic, but the doctrines of the established church, which I am well aware of, did not help, although I picked up the Bible a few times, but could not find any consolation.

My depression lasted ten months, and I got through it if I was walking across a dessert, putting one foot in front of the other and trying my best to cover my head from the burning sun. No pills, no therapy, and no closure. I was working as a teacher and looking after my three children, who were under 4, until one day, ten months after the tragedy, I woke up and bought new clothes, and my mood started to improve.

I have no idea why or how this happened, but I can clearly identify the moment the love I felt when I thought of my sister was greater than the pain I felt for her loss. I was finally walking towards the light and away from the dark tunnel.

I imagined my sister’s voice saying, “You look dreadful. You need to go shopping” and it was true. I hadn’t bought any clothes in over a year and I had lost weight, so I can’t have looked very pretty. I hadn’t gone to the hairdresser’s either. I wore a pony tail every day and stopped wearing make up. This was not a conscious decision, I just didn’t care about how I looked, until suddenly it started mattering.

It’s not the anniversary of my sister’s birth or death, in fact, there is nothing to remind me of it, although she is always in my heart and on my mind. I write her letters sometimes, and think of her with love and melancholy, not sadness, every day. In fact, her photograph is on my desk in my study and I smile every time I see it.

The reason I’m thinking about death today is because it has struck very near home. Covid-19 has claimed the life of my neighbour of twenty-five years and a doctor, and my best friend’s father both in the same month, and their family’s devastation has reminded me of the inevitable pain they must endure in order for their memories to be full of love instead of sorrow.

Giving advice on personal matters is a minefield, you can help or lose a friend, so when I was approached for advice, I decided to be thorough and look carefully at my own pain and process of recovery.

Looking back, I believe there was little I could have done to improve or speed up the process, because we all have to walk through our own tunnel in order to reach the other side. Some of us will take a longer time, or may need the help of medication or therapy or both, but as I have learnt many years later, we all have to go through the stages of grief.

The advice I never received

As far as I remember nobody gave me helpful advice and I had no-one to turn to. My mother was in an even worse state then I was, and the adults around me were either unequipped or unable to offer advice, other than an attempt at a comforting sentence or two, which is nice to hear, but has no lasting effect on lessening the pain.

So, this is the advice I think might have helped me to feel less alone and distressed. It’s like a letter to myself and I’d like to share it with you.

6 Ways to Recover from Grief: Letter to Myself 

1: Acknowledge the Pain

Firstly acknowledge the pain, you have lost someone you loved. Your sadness is a natural reaction to your loss, and although your pain is unique to you, you are not alone. Go through the rituals you have chosen according to your customs, ideas or religion, accept the condolences, pray, cry, express your pain in your own way.

2: Be Aware of What Grieving Involves

Secondly, I wish I had known about the five stages of grief at the time, a wonderful book I read at a later date.

in 1969, a Swiss-American psychiatrist named Elizabeth Kübler-Ross wrote On Death and Dying and On Grief and Grieving based on observations from years of working with terminally ill patients. She put forward the five stages of grief which became known as the Kübler-Ross model.

  • denial.
  • anger.
  • bargaining.
  • depression.
  • acceptance.

They may not always be experienced in the same order, and they may overlap, and some may take longer than others, but know that you will experience these feelings, and you are not alone in the process. If you don’t feel up to reading a book, you can read articles which summarise her theories or watch YouTube videos. Here are some excellent links. but a google search will also be helpful.

Finding Meaning:The Sixth Stage of Grief is on my TBR list. It was written in 2020 by David Kessler, coauthor of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s original book.

Knowing what is happening and that is a process which has happened and will happen in a similar way to everyone who loses a loved one, will lead to an understanding which could help us move forward and accept.

3: Writing letters and Journaling

Thirdly, although I have always enjoyed writing, poems, stories and thoughts, thirty years ago I had not yet understood the power of journaling. So, I wish I’d written a journal dedicated to my sister, like a scrapbook, including photographs, letters, memories. This is something I could still do, and may do. I could gather the letters Ive written, add photos and thoughts, letters and postcards she wrote to me, too.

If you are not used to journaling or would like more ideas, this article on grief journaling could be helpful there are books like Understanding your grief journal which could also help.

The Understanding Your Grief Journal: Exploring the Ten Essential Touchstones de [Alan D. Wolfelt]

Letters are another powerful tool which could be included in your journal they can be to your loved one, or a letter you imagine he or she would write to you.

4: Meditation and Spiritual Guides

If you are part of a supportive religious community, you won’t need to think about this, but of your religious beliefs aren’t helping or you need more spiritual support I’d recommend in the first place meditation, I have two favourite books on this topic, plus there are apps for your mobile which are also very useful.

Any book by Deepak Chopra will be enlightening, especially his book on Total Meditation, which is one of the ones discussed on this blog post.

Books like Heal Your Grieving Soul: 100 Practices for Mourners  can be helpful as it contains one hundred short activities to think about based on meditation, prayer, yoga, breathing exercises, etc are described and proposed.

Five:  Go for a Walk and take photographs

If you already have a favourite exercise, such as cycling, or if you practice a sport, don’t stop because your grieving. You may need to force yourself, but you have to do it because the serotonin you’ll secrete will help you handle your depression.

If you don’t exercise regularly, go for a walk, preferably anywhere in nature, a park, the countryside, and I’d recommend you take photos, because if you plan to take, say, five photos, you will be looking for nice things to photograph. This means you will be actively looking and thinking about your environment which is outside, instead of your pain, which is inside.

6. Humour and Not Moving On, Moving Forward.

This Ted Talk will make you cry and make you laugh. In a talk that’s by turns heartbreaking and hilarious, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny shares her hard-earned wisdom about life and death.  She encourages us to shift how we approach grief. “A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again,” she says. “They’re going to move forward. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve moved on.”

Unfortunately, as Nora reminds us, “Everyone we love has 100% chance of Dying” and so do we, and yet it’s probably the most heart-wrenching pain we’ll have to endure, and there’s no pill or magic wand to make it disappear. We have to go through the stages, walk through the grief, and move forward until the love we feel when we remember is greater than the pain we feel for the loss.  

To conclude my letter to myself and anyone who has or will suffer the loss of a loved one, reading and writing is the answer. Understanding our pain and what is happening by reading and expressing our loss in a coherent way by writing journals, letters, poems, or blog posts.

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth 

 

#MondayMotivation ‘Happy International Women’s Day 2021’ Isabel Allende ‘Soul of a Woman’ #MondayBlogs #IWD2021

For the women I love,

And the women I have loved and will love,

For my mother, who fought to be free,

For my sister who died

Before freedom was grasped,

For my friends, whose love I crave,

For my colleagues, whose support I need,

For readers who devour our adventures,

For writers who spread their stories,

For my daughters who were born free,

For my granddaughter, who must remember

To share our journeys,

And for everyone who is lucky enough

to have a woman in their lives,

Happy Day and Happy Life,

I’m proud of you all.

****

Today I’m sharing a very special book, by a very special writer. Soul of a Woman by one of my favourite writers, the fabulous Isabel Allende.

The Soul of a Woman by [Isabel Allende]

From the Blurb

When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating,” begins Isabel Allende. As a child, she watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children without “resources or voice.” Isabel became a fierce and defiant little girl, determined to fight for the life her mother couldn’t have.

As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the second wave of feminism. Among a tribe of like-minded female journalists, Allende for the first time felt comfortable in her own skin, as they wrote “with a knife between our teeth” about women’s issues. She has seen what the movement has accomplished in the course of her lifetime. And over the course of three passionate marriages, she has learned how to grow as a woman while having a partner, when to step away, and the rewards of embracing one’s sexuality.

I listened to The Soul of A woman on Audible. It is a short but intense memoir of her feminist journey and includes topics that would interest women of any age, such as womanhood, feminism, parenting, and she also discusses aging and love.

This wonderful little book is full of real-life experiences, knowledge and insight of one of the most fascinating contemporary authors writing in Spanish, although she speaks perfect English and all her novels have been translated into English.

Isabel Allende reminds us that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers paved the way for us, and there is still is a lot to be done, all over the world, but young women today, especially in countries which enjoy greater social freedom must be reminded of what previous generations have done and are still doing to further equality.

I like her inclusive idea of Feminism, which is not against men who are also victims of patriarchy, but in favour of women and our struggle to be seen and heard.

Listen to Isabel speaking about the Soul of a Woman.

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #MondayBlogs and on #PersonalGrowth 

Check this post out to find out about my Blogging schedule.

#MondayMotivation ‘Happy For No Reason’ by Marci Shimoff #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

Today I’m sharing my reflections on a wonderful book with an intriguing and motivating title, Happy for no Reason by Marci Shimoff, NY Times bestselling author, and motivational speaker. This is a link to her blog/vlog Your Year of Miracles.

Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out de [Marci Shimoff]

Part one explores the paradigm of happiness based on theories and experiments carried out, so we get a better understanding of what it means to be happy. She also discusses of happiness blocks and how she applies the Law of Attraction to lead a happier life. It also includes a 20-question test to help the reader assess and understand our level of happiness. You can download the questionnaire here.

Part II is about raising our level of happiness through the seven steps she proposes using an analogy of building a Home for Happiness.
1. The Foundation—Take Ownership of Your Happiness. Only you are responsible for your happiness.
2. The Pillar of the Mind—Don’t Believe Everything You Think. Question your thoughts, because your thoughts make your beliefs and sometimes they are negative, limited or simply untrue and they can sabbotage your life.
3. The Pillar of the Heart—Let Love Lead. Focus on gratitude, forgiveness and kindness. I love this chapter because it has many examples and simple practices for emotional growth.
4. The Pillar of the Body—Make Your Cells Happy. In this chapter she discusses taking care of our physical being, food, exercise, sleep etc.
5. The Pillar of the Soul—Plug Yourself In to Spirit. She talks about our connection to a higher power or the universe by inner listening through meditation.
6. The Roof—Live a Life Inspired by Purpose. Find what your are passionate about. this can be your job, career, calling, hobby. Do what you love and love what you do.
7. The Garden—Cultivate Nourishing Relationships. Connecting with and supporting others.

Part three is about building habits which will increase our wellbeing and guide us us in our path to happiness. It also includes a comprehensive bibliography and other online resources.

If you don’t have time to read the book, watch this interview where she explains it all in her own words:

I really enjoyed reading this book which is full of real life stories and examples of all her suggestions. There are also practical and thought-provoking questions, called ‘Exercises’ throughout the book, which make it a useful tool to personal improvement.

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth 

Check this post out to find out about my Blogging schedule.

#MondayMotivation ‘Positive Intelligence’ by Shirzad Chamine #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

Today I’m sharing my reflections on Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, a motivational speaker and coach who lectures at Stanford on Positive Intelligence.

Positive intelligence is one of the most practical and useful books I’ve read on leading a positive and happy life. Shirzad introduces us to our Saboteurs, who cause us stress and unhappiness, our Sages who embody our positive characteristics and our Superpowers who help us overcome the difficult moments we face in life.

Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS de [Shirzad Chamine]

We all have Saboteurs, but if you take the test yourself here, you can find out which degrees you have of each one by measuring your PQ or Positive Intelligence Quotient. You are required to give your email to receive the results, but there’s no spamming, just your results and some interesting advice on being more positive.

This quotient is based on research in neuroscience, organizational science, and positive psychology and according to the author, the relationship between PQ performance and happiness are interrelated. PQ measures to what extent your brain is working positively with your sages or negatively with your saboteurs.

These are our saboteurs:

The Judge is the master Saboteur, and we all have this one. The judge constantly finds faults with yourself and others, and generates most of your anxiety, stress, anger, disappointment, shame, and guilt.

Other saboteurs are the Stickler, the Pleaser, the Hyper-achiever, the Victim, the Hyper-rational, the Hyper-vigilant, the Restless, the Controller and the Avoider.

Fortunately, we all have our Sage Powers to combat the Saboteurs, these are: Empathy, Exploration, Innovation, Navigation and Activation.

The book is full of many practical examples for finding and dealing with life’s saboteurs within ourselves which stop us finding happiness, meaning and purpose in life. There are also chapters about working and living with difficult people (I found this chapter very enlightening), health and dieting and managing stress, including case studies with examples and strategies.

His proposals are related to mindfulness, meditation and self-awareness, by being kind to others and ourselves.

Watch this video where he explains it all in his own words:

Once we have understood these positive and negative influences we all have to varying degrees, he gives us ways to intercept these negative impulses which cause us so much pain and stress.

I found the book, the test and his words mind opening, especially for understanding other people’s struggles and behaviour and how to cope with them. For example, imagine one of your dominant saboteurs arguing with someone else’s! It will lead to an explosive situation. The solution is to use one or more of our sages to handle this situation. The ideas are based on scientific evidence; they are clearly expressed and simple to implement, and the results are incredible.

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth 

Check this post out to find out about my Blogging schedule.

#MondayMotivation ‘Twelve Rules for Life’ #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

Today I’m sharing my reflections on The 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology.

He’s a brilliant speaker and writer whose words and thoughts are sometimes controversial and always inspirational. I have to say that The 12 Rules for Life is the most intellectually demanding of all the personal growth books I’ve to read so far, as he includes many references to religion, ideology, anthropology, biology and psychology, and sometimes I felt the information and ideas were going over my head. It was a challenge to read, but I’m glad I did.

I humbly offer you a brief overview of his rules, which does little justice to the enormity and scope of the book.

I’ve added a question for you to think about for each rule and a very brief summary.

Rule 1: Stand up straight with your shoulders straight

Do you value yourself?

Based on ample examples from the evolution of our species, he concludes that our whole universe and all known societies are hierarchal. Our confidence and demeanour will define our place in the hierarchy. If we straighten up, physically, emotionally and intellectually we can claim a higher position and subsequently more successful life.

2 Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping

Do you treat yourself well? 

You have to figure out how you want to be treated and treat others in the same way, so you’ll get that treatment back from other people. The choice is yours to treat yourself and others well and receive the treatment you deserve in return.

3 Befriend people who want the best for you

Do your friends support you?

Learn to tell the difference between people who support you and bring you down. Move away from those who do not serve you because you are not helping each other in your respective journeys.

Rule 4: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today

Are you better today than you were yesterday?

Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Acknowledge that wealth, intelligence, ability or luck never has been and never will be equally distributed. Don’t get bitter or jealous, work on yourself. You are on your own journey, not someone else’s.

He also suggests pushing yourself with gradually higher goals to do and be better than yourself. Divide big goals into smaller, doable pieces, so you’ll move forward each day.

Rule 5: Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Do you want your children to fit into society?

We all have a capacity for evil, parents should help children understand and control their dark side. He suggests two actions for doing so: positive and negative reinforcement.

Praise the positive actions your children do so they will repeat them.

If your children do things which annoy you, they will surely annoy other people, too. So, by curbing their negative actions, the child will play and interact with other people more effortlessly.

Listen to Jordan Peterson describing the rules himself in 14 minutes on YouTube.

6 Set your house in order before you criticise the world

What are you doing to solve your misfortune?  

Suffering is inevitable. Life can be cruel and unjust, but you can recover from hurt and trauma, through therapy, forgiveness and gratitude. Do not blame others for your situation or problems. Learn from your misfortunes and do not judge others or be resentful or act out of resentment.

7 Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient

How can I improve my life in the long term?  

Short-term satisfaction is fleeting. We need to learn to delay gratification, because meaningful relationships and events take time and patience. We must learn to trade with others, which means both to give or share and receive in exchange.

8 Tell the truth. Or at least don’t lie.

Do you lie to yourself?

We sometimes lie to others to avoid pain, appear better, get what we want, etc. But the worst lies are those we tell ourselves when we are in denial. They don’t allow us to grow because we don’t acknowledge our failings.

9 Assume the person you are listening to might know something you don’t know

Do you want to be right or to learn from others?

This rule is about humility and listening to others. You don’t know everything, so listen to those who know more than you about a specific topic. Listen actively. One strategy is to summarise what the speaker said to see if you understand.

Avoid misunderstandings and arguments which are due to lack of meaningful conversations and listening to each other.

10 Be precise in your speech

Do you know what you want, and why you want it?

First you have to know and understand yourself and your beliefs and desires, and then you should express them clearly. Identify what you want and what your problem is and verbalise it correctly in order to solve it, improve the situation, or move on.

This one is a follow up of the previous rule, which was about active listening, this one is about clear speaking and will also help to avoid or overcoming interpersonal conflicts.

11. Don’t bother children when they’re ice skating

Do you overprotect your children?

Do not restrict children’s natural development in fun and games. You can’t protect your children from everything because the child will eventually have to face the dangers of the real world and find their own way in life. Shelter will not teach children to stand on their own two feet. Encourage honesty, responsibility and participation.

12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.

Do you take time to appreciate the good things in life? 

Suffering is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find moments of joy in your life. Be alert to the unexpected simple joy in life, and remember gratitude, especially when things are bad.

He also gives us an important tip for a long-term or serious difficulty; cut your timeframe until you can cope. Don’t think of next year, next month, or next week even, think of coping until tomorrow, or for the next hour and so on.

I studied and admired the French existentialists in my youth, so I wasn’t distressed by this book’s pessimism, nevertheless  I find Peterson’s proposals more optimistic and useful, because although he acknowledges the inevitability of struggle and strife, he implicitly rejects life’s ‘absurd’ nature by offering us twelve ways to make sense of life so it becomes ‘less chaotic’.

I enjoyed reading about his personal struggles and the real cases he describes. It was engagingly written, although I was sometimes overwhelmed with so much information, but overall it was a pleasure to read.

By the way, which is your favourite rule? 

Mine is number 4!

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth 

Check this post out to find out about my Blogging schedule.

#MondayMotivation ‘The Miracle Morning for Writers’ #MondayBlogs #WritingGoals #amwriting

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m featuring The Miracle Morning for Writers, written by Hal Elrod, Steve Scott and Honoree Corder. As many of my readers are writers, like myself, I’m sure you’ll find the key ideas of this book useful.

The Miracle Morning for Writers: How to Build a Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact and Your Income by [Hal Elrod, Steve Scott, Honoree Corder, S.J. Scott, James Altucher]

Hal Elrod also wrote The Miracle Morning, which I reviewed here, so it’s not surprising that in this book he gives us many examples of successful writers who get up early and do their writing in the morning. The first chapters are all about getting up as early as possible and establishing a morning routine which lasts an hour and comprises the following SAVERS: ‘Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribbling’.

He also insists that we set realistic goals, including intended word counts, eliminate limiting beliefs and treat writing like a full-time job by scheduling time for writing and finding an ideal place to write.

This book also discusses practical aspects such as ways of being more efficient, outlining, writing numerous drafts, editing, monetising blogs and books, advertising, self and traditional publishing, finding an agent, building a platform and social media presence.

I love his ‘Miracle Equation’. You have to believe in yourself, no matter which obstacles come your way, but that’s not enough. You also have to work as hard as you possibly can to fulfill your dreams.

Finally he tells us that in order to achieve our writing goals, we should become the person who can achieve those goals. In the end, it’s not about publishing a book, it’s about the journey of becoming a writer.

I found The Miracle Morning for Writers useful and motivating. It’s a brilliant book for writers in the first stages of their careers because it has everything a would-be-writer needs from inspiration and writing to publishing and marketing.

The authors touch on all the aspects of being a writer, from mindset and motivation to writing and making a living from your writing. Every author at whichever stage you find yourself in your career will find value in The Miracle Morning for Writers.

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth 

Check this post out to find out about my Blogging schedule.

#MondayMotivation ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m featuring ATOMIC HABITS, written by James Clear. Atomic habits deals with how we can gradually incorporate small habits into our lives, which will make a great impact.

In order to change bad habits or introduce new ones, we must believe it is worthwhile and possible and accept our personal responsibility in bringing this about.

Throughout the book, he insists on the importance of small changes. For example, if we improve by 1% each day, the accumulative effect in the long term will be considerable, and he gives ample proof of this in the book.

He links this thought to what he calls the two-minute rule, which is one simple and effective way to establish new habits.

This reminds me of Feel Better in Five by Rangan Chatterjee, which makes the same claims. Start small to get big results in the medium and long term.

Instead of starting by going to the gym for an hour, start by doing some exercises a few minutes a day at home and gradually build it up. Instead of giving up sugar completely, start with not adding sugar to your tea or coffee.

In this eight-minute talk, he explains the essence of his proposals.

James Clear tells us that our aim in changing habits is ultimately to change our lives and be the person we want to be.

If you want to ‘be’ someone, a writer, a doctor, a student, you need to build a habit or repeatedly do the actions of the person you want to become.

For example, if you want to be a writer you have to do something about it, which would be to write, because the habit of writing makes you a writer, just as the habit of studying makes you a student, or the habit of running makes you a runner, and so on.

Once we have decided which habit or habits we want to build in order to be the person we want to be, he suggests certain steps or conditions which will help us create this habit as part of our daily routine.

First, start small and make objectives clear and specific.

I’ll give you an example. If I want to be more healthy and decide I want to do more exercise, I could to start with 5 minutes a day and add one minute more a week, so in three months I should be doing at least twenty minutes a day.

The next stage is to make it as easy as possible, which he calls ‘the path of least resistance‘. That is to have the equipment, materials you need available and in sight. For example, I have my exercise bike in my bedroom, so I see it when I get up or go to bed and every time I use my en-suite bathroom. This makes it easier for me to actually use it. If I decide to use the bike for five minutes every time I brush my teeth, I’d pedal 15 minutes a day, which will make a difference and more importantly, build a habit.

Another requirement is to make it attractive. It can be boring to pedal on your bike looking at your bedroom wall, so you can place the bike by the window, or do something you enjoy while you’re doing it. For example, listen to an audiobook, watch a video on YouTube, or listen to your favourite song, etc. My trick is to phone a friend or one of my daughters, time flies!

Finally, we should reward ourselves for accomplishing our habits. One suggestion is to make a pact with yourself. For example, if you complete your week’s objectives, you can treat yourself to something, such as doing an activity you enjoy.

He makes many other useful suggestions such as, joining a group, because it’s useful to find support in other people who share our values or intentions, reading about the habit we want to create, to increase motivation, sleeping and eating well, for emotional strength, and choosing the ideal time and place for our habits, among other tips.

Atomic Habits gives us valuable reasons for building up good habits and tips to help us create these habits in order to improve our lives.

James Clear has a great blog and free newsletter you can sign up for.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth