I am so excited to be showcasing the new format for Life Adventure Notes this month. We have taken all the great information you expect each month and polished the look of it. I feel it’s cleaner and fresher. And I’m optimistic you’ll agree… What do you think of the new look?
It’s January! Now that the New Year buzz about goals has died down, you may find yourself feeling stressed, grumpy or blue. It’s the post-holiday letdown, the cold weather, the flu season and the lack of outdoor fun. It can all make an impact. I know from experience that weather effects mood. I grew up in Maine after all, where the winter is long, cold and often grey; and the fog can roll in for days at a time. It can be hard to think positively when you haven’t seen the sun for a while…So I’ve decided to talk about optimism this month. It’s that habit of thinking that can help you keep those dark thoughts at bay. And we all need to do that at times. I’m grateful to be a natural optimist, but many people actually have to practice to think positively in many situations. You can make that switch if your nature leans towards pessimism. Dive into the main article here to get the details. Warmly,Janet
PS – As always, I love to hear your comments on Life Adventure Notes.Send me a line to let me know your optimism level or comments aboutthis month’s issue.
Optimism – Taking Charge of Your Thinking
How are you looking at your life and the world these days? You probably have a lot of stressors like we all do. Whether it is food prices, work demands, family busy-ness or even the terrorism overseas, living a life of adventure means that you are able to look at all these things and still keep your optimistic outlook.Let’s dive into what that means and how to do it.Optimism can be defined as happiness about the future. You can see it in someone as joy, a sense of humor, playfulness, enthusiasm or even just a high energy level. Good news! The basis of optimism is certain thinking patterns that you can learn if they are not natural to you.Optimists explain the good and bad events in their lives in certain ways. When something good happens, an optimist believes that event had a permanent cause. This might sound like, “I had a huge income tax refund because I am so good with numbers and finding the loopholes.”You are also being optimistic when you think about good events as having universal explanations – that the good is not confined to just one area of your life. Listen to your self-talk for statements such as, “Things are really starting to go my way” in response to good events. Here’s another example: your optimistic thinking might also including noticing how good life is in general in response to praise from your boss at work. In addition, when something good happens, you are being optimistic when you take it personally. For example, you say, “I’ve been working hard on that area of my life; it’s great that it’s starting to pay off.” It’s always positive to take good things personally!When bad events happen, the optimist also has characteristic ways of thinking about the misfortune. These thoughts are the opposite pattern of those for good events. Optimists will explain a bad event by believing it has a temporary cause. For example, “My boss is in a bad mood today” rather than “My boss doesn’t like any of my ideas”. There are also specific explanations for bad events according to optimistic thinking. After an unsuccessful sales call, the optimist might think, “I really didn’t do my homework on that one” rather than, “I’m just not cut out for sales”. You’ll notice that in optimistic thinking, you definitely do not take bad events personally, but brush them off as unrelated to your own level of effort.To summarize, optimistic thinking requires you to –Believe good events are permanent, widespread and personal.Believe bad events are temporary, specific and not personal. Use these ideas to check out your current view of your life and our world and remember you CAN tweak your thinking if it is not where you would like it to be. That pessimism in you does NOT have to be permanent or widespread. Simply notice your thinking patterns and intentionally bring up the optimistic viewpoint. Keep practicing that shift until it comes naturally. Before you know it, optimism will be your FIRST thought.
Questions From Janet
How are you doing with optimistic thinking?
What areas can you think about in a different way to change your view?
What reminders can you give yourself to think optimistically when things are not going your way?
Making the Ordinary Come AliveFrom The Parent’s Tao Te Ching by William MartinDo not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness. Help them instead to see the wonder and the marvel of ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when people and pets die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
Individual Coaching by Phone
Want to stop that feeling that life is passing you by?
Would you like to able to experience your life as an exciting series of adventures?
Would you like to feel more joy and achieve more success?
That is what I help my clients develop in their own lives. Working with a coach helps you overcome the challenges that can keep you from a successful life. Coaching gives you a companion on the journey; someone with whom to discuss events as they unfold and to help you move toward joy in the adventure. Developing clear goals, focusing intently and staying committed become possible. If you aren’t sure and would like to explore whether coaching is right for you, please send an email to Janet@lifeadventurecoaching.com or call me at 828-691-4655 for a complimentary consultation.
Janet Slack Janet Slack is a professional coach and therapist living in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. From there, she maintains an office in Hendersonville for her local coaching and therapy clients and works by telephone with others from all over the United States and several foreign countries.