Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Life is too short for long pity parties – Take control of your quality of life


Life is too short for long pity parties – Take control of your quality of life Ralf a

When your life suddenly changes because you have just found out you have a challenging medical condition you can either keep feeling sorry for yourself, or you can already see the new path and plan that goes along with it. Some folks just get stuck in the anger, grieving, and resistance mode: “Why did this happen to me?”, “I just do not believe this!” It can lead to a state of utter confusion and self-pity. Another major issue is being overweight. Do you expect your doctor to do something about this, or is this not up to you to ponder and figure out? It is time to take action yourself!

Feeling sorry for yourself however wastes time and lets your brain go on a down spiraling path to severe depression. Neither is helpful if time is of the essence. I will never forget the incident where my mom was sharing a hospital room with a woman who was exactly in this state of mind. Her illness was severe and her outlook on how long she was to live did not look great at all. When nurses and doctors asked her what she wanted to do she constantly changed direction. When she was alone with my mom or visitors she was constantly complaining about the medical staff, her condition – nothing seemed to work out right for her. It was painful to watch, especially when she snuck out the room to go downstairs for a quick smoke in order to “calm her nerves down”. Calm your nerves down, but stress your body even more with the effects of smoking? The woman went in a circle of self-destruction – she got really busy dying.

Compare this with my mom who had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer 9 months prior. At the beginning of her journey of the long goodbye that is cancer, she had been given a few weeks to live. Not our mom, nope, she would have none of it. Hope and faith let her go through the anger, grief, and resistance time period really quickly. Plans were made to see specialists, treatments, and she even got new glasses to be able to see and read better. She had not gotten new ones in decades.

In the end cancer finally claimed her life 10 months after diagnosis. At the time the above mentioned story happened things were already not looking good at all, but my mom found the time helping the woman with advice, thoughts and prayers. The irony puzzles me to this day. Bottom line though was that mom was always busy living.

When things look bleak it may be easier succumbing to self-pity. Two processes are at work here. One is how a sudden major change goes through a U shaped process (explained here in more detail) and what you are going through is normal: Resistance, anger, grief, etc. That is the downward side of the U on the left. There comes a time when you hit the bottom of the U (figuratively speaking). You can either swing back up to anger etc, or start looking at the upside to the right leg of the U. It is the onset of careful optimism, hope, and exploration of opportunities. The other main process is that you have a choice. Are you choosing to get busy dying, or are you choosing to get busy living? What will be your choice?

Ralf

Would you give up YOUR gift? Have Kleenex handy


Would you give up YOUR gift? Have Kleenex handy Smaller FB

Christmas may be just over, but we are very lucky here as the next special days and further holidays are just around the corner. More gifts should be headed our way. Imagine you were asked what gift your heart desires and you would be presented with it. Then you are given the choice to either accept your gift or to give it up in favor of a present to someone of your family you dearly love. How would you decide?

Now grab a box of Kleenex (just to be on the safe side) and watch this recent 3-minute YouTube film (discover the film here). You will find yourself in good company with young children who faced the above tough decision: “Should I choose a present for myself? Should I pick a present for a loved one?” The results are heart warming.

It’s also a lesson in leadership. How so? It is one thing to give up something nice for a loved one. It is yet another thing to give it up for someone you do not like. Would you still decide the same way? This is where we can all grow: Do we have enough unconditional love for everyone whom we serve?

Ralf

Had enough of bitter and whiny people? Find out about 2 ways dealing with them


Had enough of bitter and whiny people? Find out about 2 ways dealing with them Smaller FB

Whiners are very costly time and energy sinks. They neither help you or themselves carrying on about how the rest of the world has come together to mess with them. Oh my. You know exactly whom I am talking about, because you know at least one. When they are headed your way you wished you could get a hold of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, but to no avail. You are stuck. Or are you?

There are two basic ways of how to deal with them. One is avoidance and the other confrontation. The former is much more effective, whereas the latter sometimes must be employed in order to protect yourself or others from harm.

Avoidance:

  • Listen, acknowledge, and move on. It is really that simple and usually does not take long to be effective. Never let yourself get sucked into this kind of negativity.
  • Give yourself a mental break. When at work there are situations when you cannot avoid a whiner. While they talk imagine a box of Kleenex and how you hand them one to let them dry their tears and blow their noses.
  • Ask for a more formal meeting. It works pretty efficiently: “Listen, this sounds like it is really important to you and I want to hear more of it, but I have a really important meeting (fill in here what suits your situation best) to go to. Should we sit down for a meeting later?” The vast majority of folks will say that it was not so important and that they will catch up with you at a later time. If not, well, than this must be really important after all.

Push back:

  • Confront them only when they violate your core values. Stick by what you believe and what you stand for. Just make sure that they know where you are coming from and that you are not agreeing with their point of view.
  • Try explaining why they do not have it so bad. Who knows? Sometimes you can convince a whiner that life typically does not discriminate – it does provide a nasty left hook no matter who is at the receiving end of it. Their bad life is someone else’s nirvana.

No one erects statues for critics and bitter people. As far as I know, there are none around that are honoring whiners either. Looking only at the bad side of life does not help and it is a constant negative mental load and I venture saying also causes physical strain on your body. So why do it?

Make an active choice surrounding yourself with positive people and things that give you energy. You need this energy to do the things you are meant to do – wasting it on whiners should not be one of them.

Ralf

10 mental survival methods when you are really sad and grieving


10 mental survival methods when you are really sad and grieving Smaller FB

The older we get, the more we get acquainted with the substantial pain and suffering when dear friends and family members suffer terrible diseases, or worse – die. This pain makes a root canal feel like a walk in the park.

It can be outright debilitating. You hear your blood swooshing in your head, you have lost your appetite, your stomach may hurt no matter what and you just do not even want to get out of bed. If it was someone really close, you can experience vivid flash backs where the memories of the loved one are so real that you can almost touch them. Perhaps you break out in tears. Out of nowhere the pain is overwhelming and the tears start rolling down your cheeks. I have such events less frequently than I used to, but when they happen it can put me into a funk.

Of course there are quite a few other causes of deep sadness and grief. Losing your job, being told that your health is declining, chronic pain, divorce, survivor’s guilt, etc are powerful reasons why you can feel depressed. Often this can turn into anger towards people and any higher authority that you believe (or not).

There are a variety of things you have in your funk busting tool box. They have sustained me during the times of great despair. Stir your snow globe a little for a view to a brighter future that is all but certain around the corner.

  1. Seek community. This is one of the toughest things to do. Body and soul tell you to go back into your clam-shell. Chose the opposite and open up to others and perhaps you find even people that have gone or are going through what you are going through. Shared sorrow is half the sorrow.
  2. No regrets; make good use of the time you have. Feel like you need to hang out more with your friends and family? Make it a priority. You only have this one life to live and that will have to do. Listen to your inner voice and follow it.
  3. Make a plan and even have a plan B on deck. This does two things for you. On one hand control feels good. Plan and execute it and you automatically will feel better already because of you shaping your future – even if it’s only in part of it.
  4. Whatever you believe in make sure to say a prayer in the evening and be thankful what you have. When you get up in the morning pray for good guidance for the day. Invite others to pray for or with you. Create your own predictable miracles.
  5. Be angry when you feel like it. Do not let this type of anger fester within you. It needs to come out. Share it, shout it out, and get it out of your system. Be careful though and curb it the moment you realize it no longer gives you and your listeners any energy any more.
  6. Let it go. Do not look for fairness and a rhyme or reason why whatever happened and why it happened to “only” you. Good people die. Why? Do not get anywhere close to this time and nerve wasting self-questioning. Ponder it and move on. There is no extra time on a time bank account for how nice or nasty you are.
  7. It is similar to letting go, but it typically happens at a different time frame. Letting go closes the chapter of the past. Accepting your new reality looks forward of what comes next. Only when you actively accept your new reality will you commit to your future.
  8. Laugh anyway. Make sure to laugh; it is an awesome stress and depression buster. Weeks before my mother-in-law died of cancer she had a period of being on a drug that induced hallucinations. One day we were gathered around her and she claimed she had seen a black cat – in the hospital bed room. It was funny and we laughed. There is no fun-police around that could tell you not to laugh. It is part of the coping process.
  9. Assume a positive, yet realistic outcome. Guess what, if you assume that more bad stuff is going to happen, either way, you may be correct. Why not taking the higher road and assume for the better?
  10. Make it YOUR journey – it is really only yours. There is no “normal” here. What you are going through is unique to you and intricate part of your life journey. In us humans

You know the saying that God only puts as much load on your shoulders as you can handle? Well, I really wished that He would not trust me/ us so much sometimes. It is true though; we grow so much with any challenge we master. Choose your attitude and you may be surprised about how many more positive instances you will encounter.

Ralf

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