Knock on Wood: Negative Positives

Following are my results to Weekly Challenge No. 7. But before I type the list, I’d like to comment on the challenge itself (see challenge post here). Continue reading

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Chronological Blog, Weekly Challenges

The mouse, the cheese and the owl; a lesson in motivation when you’re feeling stuck.

Mickey Mouse may teach kids some great moral lessons once in a while, but when it comes to teaching us about human motivation, I have to hand it to another cartoon mouse. This cartoon mouse was the star in a psychological study that offers some interesting lessons for those of us who feel stuck in a rut in our personal lives.

In the study, researchers asked participants to help a cartoon mouse out of a maze, revealing useful lessons in how our brains respond to different circumstances. In one version of the test, the participants were asked to help the mouse get out of the maze toward a reward of cheese. In a second version, the participants were trying to help the cartoon mouse exit the maze to avoid a hovering owl.

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Chronological Blog, Positive Psychology, Shifting Your Perspective

Negative Positives: Weekly Challenge No. 7

I’m stealing this week’s challenge from a viral Facebook message. Instead of counting your blessings for all of the good things you have, this week count your blessings for all of the bad things that you don’t have. Migraines. Bankruptcy. Broken bones. Etc.

Over the week, try to come up with a list of 25.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

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Chronological Blog, Weekly Challenges

That’s no lady; that’s my mother.

Sometimes life seems to get so intense, it’s not until I’m laughing out loud that I remember how good it feels. Tonight’s giggle came at a family dinner for my mom’s birthday.

“It’s so nice of you all to come over and celebrate an old lady’s birthday,” Mom said.

“You’re not old,” a few of us countered.

My 4-year-old nephew, also wanting to make her feel better, chimed in: “You’re not a lady.”

We’ll wait until he’s a teenager in the presence of a cute girl before we explain the error of his ways.

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Chronological Blog, Miscellaneous

66 Days to the New You: Weekly Challenge No. 6

Have you ever pledged to start a new diet, go to the gym daily or never leave a dirty dish in the sink again; your resolution lasts for a week or two, and then you’re back to your old ways?

That’s probably because it takes more time than we think for changes in behavior to stick as a habit. The commonly advised timeframe of 21 to 30 days to break a bad habit or create a positive new habit appears to be overly optimistic, and that may be setting some of us up for disappointment.

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Capacity to Change, Chronological Blog, Goals & Intentions, Weekly Challenges

Called out over coffee.

I had lunch this week with someone who has become an important mentor to me. One of the things I appreciate about our periodic talks is that he’s willing and able to challenge me to look at things from a different viewpoint. There’s nothing like an honest and intuitive outside perspective from someone I highly respect. Continue reading

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Chronological Blog, Feeling Stuck, Shifting Your Perspective

Overwhelmed at work? A 4-step Weekly Challenge No. 5.

My light week of blog posts may give you a clue as to how busy I’ve been at work lately. So when I found the following article on getting unstuck at work via four simple steps, it seemed like a timely read — and a ready-made Weekly Challenge, as well.

Harvard Business Review, via Reuters, offers “4 Steps to Getting Unstuck at work. The steps involve list-making (nothing new to many of us). However, instead of the more typical advice of putting off e-mails and lower priority tasks until the large projects are done, this version of time management offers an unusual balance of quick hits and tougher tasks. Continue reading

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Books & Article Links, Chronological Blog, Getting Unstuck at Work, Weekly Challenges

Be the Change You Wish to See in Your Workplace: Weekly Challenge No. 4

It’s said that a rotten apple can spoil the bushel, and a rising tide can float boats. Can a small shift in attitude by one or two employees create a sea change in the larger group? In this week’s exercise, I’m on a mission to prove a group dynamics theory true. Continue reading

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Chronological Blog, Getting Unstuck at Work, Positive Psychology, Weekly Challenges

Burned out on your job? 10 surefire tactics to survive being stuck in a work rut

The Great Recession has impacted the work lives of more than just those who lost their jobs. Surveys have revealed increasingly high work dissatisfaction rates for the employed. The recession has forced many workers to face longer hours, lower pay, decreased benefits and a lack of opportunity to move up or move on from positions that no longer suit them. Lack of opportunity makes a person feel stuck. Feeling stuck contributes to frustration and burnout.

So what’s a stuck worker to do? Beyond risking your job by surfing the net or playing computer games at your desk, there are some proven ways to help you get through the week. Here are 10 surefire tactics to help you deal with burnout in your job and hold steady until other opportunities arise. Continue reading

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Chronological Blog, Feeling Stuck, Getting Unstuck at Work , , ,

No, this is not a Wanted poster.

This is my attempt to answer Weekly Challenge No. 3 by doing something I typically wouldn’t because I’m not very good at it — drawing.

For the record, I told a friend the general instructions of the challenge (to sing publicly, dance crazy, etc.), and he thought it sounded more like a lesson in public humiliation than in getting comfortable with not doing things great all the time. His comment leads to a challenge addendum. His valid suggestion to get past perfectionism would be to change a well-adopted pattern. For instance, if you are fastidious about making your bed and doing the dishes, you might try leaving the dishes in the sink a little Continue reading

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Perfectionism, Weekly Challenges