Wonder

Sunday Inspiration    Post By David Joel Miller.

Wonder

Wonder is all around us.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”

― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Contentment

Sunday Inspiration    Post By David Joel Miller.

Content

Content
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”

― Plato

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

10 School of life lessons you need to learn.

By David Joel Miller.

The School of life is still in session. You can’t stop learning when you leave school.

Classroom

Classroom of life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

In many places here in the northern hemisphere, school is back in session or soon will be. Regardless of whether you are a student or a teacher the lessons don’t stop when school lets out. The most important lessons are often the ones we learn in the process of living. No matter how young or old you are it is never too early or too late to learn the lessons life is trying to teach you. Here are some of the lessons you should be learning from your life experiences.

Learn the difference between tools, crutches and burdens.

When you feel tested or weak, when you struggle with a problem, tools can be helpful.  Friends can help you move forward or hold you back. Substances, drugs and alcohol, creep in to lives disguised as crutches. They tell you that you need a drink to cope. Truth is that those crutches, substances and behaviors start out looking like crutches to help you get through difficult times. They end up being heavy burdens to overcome.

Whether it is “retail therapy,” shopping just for the sake of shopping, or hanging out with negative fiends using crutches to get through life’s difficulties comes at the price. That unhelpful habit may move from being a crutch to being a heavy lifelong burden when you have to clean up the messes.

You find the things, good or bad, you look for.

Are you looking for more anxiety or more calm? Some people are well acquainted with anxiety. He is their best friend. Having some anxiety around can help you if you are in danger. But if every morning you set off on a quest to find more things to be afraid of, anxiety is no longer protecting you he is holding you captive.

The negative things in life scream out for attention. The quieter things happiness and joy take efforts to notice. Calmness sits silently by waiting to be noticed. If you look only for the negative you will get more negativity in your life.

Learn to find the positive in the difficult situation. Detect the calm in the center of every storm of life. Look for the good if you want a good life.

Watch out for “agains.”

Humans make mistakes. The more you do in life the more possible mistakes and errors you will find. Try to learn from these less than ideal outcomes. Avoid having to say, I made that mistake again. I have the same problems again.

Learn life’s lessons and then move on. Failure to learn the lessons at one point in your life dooms you to repeat these same errors over and over “again.”

Do not wear yourself out pushing on walls.

Many obstacles in life will not be moved by the use of brut force. Even a small barrier can wear you out if you insist on trying to force that difficulty out of your way. Look for the gates. Think about ways to make that obstacle a path you need to follow to find the way around.

We can often take one big challenge well enough. It is the constant fighting of the same battles, never learning how to work smarter that eventually will do you in.

Good relationships are more important than being right.

Avoid wasting time and friendships on fighting over who is right and who is wrong. People resent having to deal with a right-fighter. Certainly you can and should have your beliefs and values. It is not required that you change their minds.

Treasure your friendships and close relationships. Think before you argue. Will I really be happier if I win this argument but lose this friend? Allow your friends to be wrong sometimes. Give yourself that same opportunity.

If you want something you need to ask. Did you ask?

Don’t go through life wishing that others would see your needs and fulfill them. If you are wishing for something, have you expressed that wish to the person who could make this happen? It is easy to blame others for the things we lack. They seem obvious to you. But if you never ask do not fall into the trap of thinking that others should recognize your needs before you speak them.

A great pitfall in relationships is expecting the other person to read you mind and hen act on your desire in the way you would want them to. Unless you partner or friend earns their living reading minds do not expect others in your life to spontaneously develop that skill.

Are you building things up or tearing them down.

Don’t tear everything down unless you are ready to rebuild afterwards. It is easy to complain. You can find faults in most any situation. But when something gets torn down, for a time there is nothing left there. Eventually some person sees the empty space created by the destruction and begins to rebuild.

An important life lesson is to learn how to make things better. Building meets people’s needs destroying things does not. Become the architect of a bright future not the demolisher of what is.

Look for the similarities.

People mostly have the same needs. Situations tend to have similarities. Do not think that the way you do things is the only possible alternative. Many problems have common solutions. Applying knowledge from one experience to another reduces the need to be reinventing behaviors.

It is easy to think that others are somehow very different from you. Underneath all the differences are those common needs and desires.

Be aware of the differences.

Differences are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. Recognize how others could look at things and see a different meaning. Consider that old saw that if the only tool you have is a hammer you will see everything as a nail. Different problems in life need different tools.  Around every bend in the road of life there will be something. Look for the novel and look for the similar, expect neither.

It is always today.

We plan for tomorrow, we remember the past but we always live in today.  Learn to keep those distinctions clear. It is always today. You may repeat yesterday or you may chose to do, say and think something different. Change in lie comes from getting up each day and living that day as fully as possible.

Are there other life lessons you have learned? Consider sharing what the school of life has taught you. You can leave a comment below or send a note directly to me by using the contact me form. I will do my best to get back to all of you who contact or email me.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Stop negativity gnawing on your self-esteem.

By David Joel Miller.

Does you doubt chew up your self-confidence?

Negativity chews up your self-esteem. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Negativity chews up your self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Many people have negative self-talk, those unhelpful things we tell ourselves about our lives. Having that load of negativity in your head and life is a sure way to damage your self-esteem. Do you tell yourself you are not good enough? That you can’t do this or that? That you will never?

Those nagging self-doubts amplified each other to a roaring negativity and drown out any possibility of healthy self-esteem. Judging yourself harshly will not make you a better person. Running yourself down will not empower you to do better. Beating yourself up leaves you feeling helpless and hopeless. The key to feeling better about yourself is to stop judging yourself and start believing you, like all other humans, are capable of good things much of the time.

Here are some ways to stop the gnawing doubts.

Embrace your flaws.

Those wrinkles are character lines, you earned every one of your scars. There is no such a thing as a perfect person. We all have our flaws. Those nicks and scratches are what makes you unique. Accept that how you are is just fine with you and those who care will accept you also.

Some day you like me, will become an older person. Those nicks and scrapes you have gathered up along the way will make you that cherished antique person someday.

Cut yourself some slack. Let your mistakes go.

Errors, mistakes and missed opportunities are not signs you are a failure. They are the price you pay for being a human. We are all required to make some mistakes. The only person who thinks they make no mistakes is the person who does not thing. Doing nothing is a mistake.

Decide where you want to go in life.

You may not be able to decide what will happen but you can choose where you will go. Life is a journey not a destination. That saying should ring true for anyone who has lived any portion of time. Live life. Take chances accumulate memories and you will have a richer experience.

Life’s with no goals and values meander along and never go anywhere.  Want to feel good about yourself? Do lots of things. Do the best things you can to feel good about yourself. Regardless of where you place you will have run the races in life to the best of your abilities.

Give yourself a round of applause, recognize the good things you do.

Focusing on the less than prefect experiences robs you of the joy of the accomplishments. Give yourself credit for all the things you do, large or small your accomplishments should mater. They should especially matter to you.

If no one has ever told you that what you did was good, then be that person that cheers you on. If you think back was there someone who was in your corner at some point, maybe a grandmother or close friend? Then remember how they used to acknowledge what you did and repeat that praise to yourself in your head.

Do good deeds to be a good person.

Do things that make you feel good about yourself. The more good things you do the better you will feel. Any time you do something good, for yourself or another person, it improves your self-esteem. Something as simple as a smile can brighten someone’s day. Give a word of encouragement to someone who needs uplifting.

You do not need to do great grand gestures to feel good about being helpful. Any time you are of service you can take credit for that accomplishment.

If you want something to change do something different.

Ruts get deep. The longer you stay in them the deeper they get. To make a life less negative and improve yourself esteem reach out and try something you have never done before. Take a class, start a new hobby, read a self-help blog or book. Each new experience adds to your feeling that you are living this life not simply existing through it.

Jump off the diving board.

Nothing changes until you take that first step. First steps can be scary. If you have an anxiety monster chewing at your self-esteem you may need to stretch out that comfort zone a little at a time. Some new experiences, they can’t be done with a toe in the water. You either stay stuck or you step off the diving board and see what will happen.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Joy

Sunday Inspiration      Post By David Joel Miller.

Joy

Joy is:
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”

― Pearl S. Buck

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Why can’t you say something?

By David Joel Miller.

Do you find it difficult to speak your mind?

Afraid to Speak Up

Afraid to Speak Up.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

For good or bad some people have little or no difficult saying what is on their mind. Others find it next to impossible to speak up even when they have something really important to say. Not expressing yourself can impair your relationships, both personal and professional.

Inability to speak up can be the result of a number of things you have been telling yourself. It is often a case of low self-esteem or it can be a sign of a more serious anxiety disorder. Try the corrective tips below. If after you try these things you are still struggling with speaking up consider working with a counselor to reduce your anxiety and improve your self-confidence.

What are some of the common reasons people hesitate to say what they are thinking and how can you overcome these issues? How many of these excuse do you use to keep from saying your piece?

You are silent because you don’t have the facts.

It pays to be sure you have your facts straight. Telling yourself this too much inhibits your ability to communicate with others. Unfortunately people never have every possible fact. Sometimes you need to form an opinion based on the information you have. You also will have times when you need to express your preferences and feelings. There is no such thing as the “correct” way to feel or think. Some preferences may make your life easier but your preferences are, after all, your desires. If you don’t express them you make it unlikely that your wishes will be taken into consideration.

Negative self-talk inhibits expression.

Do you have a running commentary going on in your head? One that questions your judgment, tells you to stay silent because you could be wrong? Negative self-talk can lower your self-esteem and reduce your ability to take action. Tell those runaway thoughts to stop running away with your self-esteem.

Early in life many people fell into the habit of calling themselves “stupid” or “dumb.” You may have developed this habit because others called you names or this may have arisen because you felt embarrassed about making mistakes. Repeatedly calling yourself names results in your brain trying to make these things come true. This self-created commandment “though shalt not express your thought” gets to be the default setting in your brain.

Positive affirmations can help alter this mental conversation. Tell yourself that your thoughts matter. “I have the right to express my feelings.’ Look for positive affirmations that improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Thought stopping can also be used to get those unhelpful thoughts to leave your head. When you child does something that you do not want them to do we quickly tell them to “stop that.” Learn to tell that voce in your head. The one you are creating thorough your negative self-talk, to be silent and see what happens.

Your need to be liked gets in the way of being you.

People who only like you when you agree with them are pretty shallow. Mature relationships leave plenty of room for two people to disagree and still be friends. People who matter will like you for you. If you start speaking up in an assertive not aggressive way, you will find that others will respect you and want to hear what you have to say.

If your life is full of people who are only your friends if you agree with them, take another look at how healthy these friendships are. Some people, family in particular, you may need to just accept that is the way they are and leave it at that. Other people are not worth your being fake to yourself to be liked by them.

You don’t believe what you have to say is important.

You are an important person, just like every other person. You will never know what kind of valuable contribution to a conversation you might make until you make it. Those people in your life should want to hear what you have to say. Some of those closest to you have been waiting for you to express yourself. Close friends and partners may have been wondering why you were not willing to share what you thought with them.

Become a part of the conversation and see how much closer and more connected you will become.

You are deathly afraid of conflict.

Avoiding conflict by not being and not feeling is no way to be. You won’t avoid conflict by not expressing yourself you will just hide it. How would others know what you wanted and liked if you fail to express it?

Unexpressed differences of opinion keep people from connecting on deep personal levels. Let others know how you feel and who you are deep down on that essential level. The way to resolve conflicts is to get them out in the open, work through them and find solutions that work for all involved.

You are afraid of rejection.

Some people will reject you if they don’t like the things you have to say. Are those people really worth the effort if you need to be a fake person to be around them?  People who matter, the kind you would want for friends and intimate partners are unlikely to reject you because of what you say.

Test this out. Start by expressing small thinks, what you like and were you want to go. See how others respond to you. You may well discover that others in your life will appreciate this new, more communicative person you are becoming.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

5 Easy ways to get better grades.

By David Joel Miller.

Learn the secrets of the A students.

Get an A

Ways to get better grades.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

If you have struggled in school you may have concluded that getting good grades was beyond your reach. Today more than ever education is important. A two-year college degree today qualifies you for jobs that once only required an 8th grade education. Whether this is your first go around or you are returning to school after many years knowing the secrets of the “A” students can make the road easier.

Sleep more for better grades.

During sleep memory is consolidated. Want to be able to find that fact you studied during the exam? Make sure you show up for the exam well rested. Pulling an “all-nighter” just before the final exam will not make up for all the study time you should have put in beforehand. Study early and often and avoid the last-minute rush.

Life happens. There are all kinds of things to do and distractions that can keep you up late. The most productive people in life and the best students in school budget some hours for sleep and show up rested and ready to take the test.

Drink less alcohol to up your GPA.

One study reported that “D” students drank twice as much alcohol as “A” students. The more you party, the more you abuse drugs and alcohol the less energy you have for study and school.

Alcohol is the granddaddy of grade killers but he has a junior cousin that has been messing up student’s grade recently. Marijuana may seem all good, some people even think it has medicinal properties. Getting good grades is not one of the benefits of lighting that joint up.

Smoking Marijuana scrambles the information going into your brain if you smoke when studying. Smoking before the test scrambles the information as you try to retrieve it. Smoke both times and you start marking test answers that would never make sense if you were clean. Marijuana, specifically THC the active ingredient, stays in your blood stream a lot longer than other drugs. So Marijuana’s memory altering effects can last long after your last smoke.

Go to class if you want better grades.

Some people do not see the benefit from the class they are taking. They think they can just show up for the final and that will get them by. You may be able to pass the test that way, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

I am surprised at the students who pay tuition, sometimes lots of it, and then skip class. This is like buying a ticket for the concert and then showing up for the last encore. You may think you are such a great athlete you can skip practice and still play in the big game. But in the academic game if you are not there for practice you will not know the moves to pick the right test answer.

The more often you go to class the better your chances of absorbing the answer you will need for the test.

Read the book if you want to pass.

There is a reason that classes require books and it is usually not because the bookstore needs to make money on them. The things that the instructor thinks are important are probably in the book. If there are things that are important and not in to book, guess what, the teacher will tell you those things in class. You got the last point on going to class right?

Take notes for better memory.

I see students recording the lecture on their communicator devices. If you are an auditory learner this may help. But think for a moment, you were in class and heard it once already right? Will you really re-listen to all those recordings?

Technology is nice. I see people taking pictures of the power point slides. For visual learners this may help also. So will typing the notes out on your lap top. I do not recommend texting your notes. The test will not be given in text language.

What is very helpful for many students is to take notes the old fashion way. This is not because the old way is necessarily the best way. I am a big fan of indoor plumbing and running water.  What actually does work though is to write out the notes during class.

Writing notes helps keep you on tract and concentrating. I tend to think that one reason we have more attention problems these days is because people are sitting still more and moving less. Writing the notes out helps store the information in the part of the brain that controls those movements. Any surprise, you will need to write them out for the test. You may picture the slide you saved from the power point but you will need to write down the things you saw. Try practicing writing and see if your grades and your memory don’t improve.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books