15 Life Lessons you need to learn

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Learning lifes lessons

Life lessons you need to learn.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What life lessons do you still need to learn?

There are certain life lessons you will need to learn soon or later. If you were taught them when you were young then you got off to a good start in life.

If no one taught you these things you will need to go looking for teachers that can help you learn these lessons and develop these skills. Which of these 15 life lessons do you still need to work on?

1. Learn all you can about yourself.

You will spend your whole life with you. Others will come in and out of your life. Some will leave. You will always be there. Learn what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Learn about your values and goals.

2. How to be genuinely happy.

You need to learn how to make yourself happy. No other person can make you happy. You may be happier with someone than without them but that should be a choice, not a necessity.

Things will not make you happy. It may be easier to be happy when you have the basic necessities of life but more is not always better. Learn to be happy with what you have and then more is more but less is not an end to your happiness.

3. Learn to believe in yourself.

You need to be your own cheerleader. Believe in yourself. Be the best you can be and accept that if you please you then that is more than enough.

Believe that if you set your mind to doing something then you will do it. That does not mean you will win every prize or conquer every battle. You will learn that if you set out on a task you will give it your best and that if you do not get to the top it will not be for a lack of effort.

4. Develop the skill of loving yourself.

If you do not love yourself you make it hard for others to love you. Work on genuinely being the best you there is. Love yourself unconditionally. You are worthy of love whether you win or lose. If you love yourself you will never be a loser. There will just be a time you finished in a different place.

5. Accept that it is OK to fail.

You do not hit the target every time. No one makes the basket on every throw. Cut yourself some slack and accept that the cost of accomplishing things includes the times you will miss the mark.

6. The buck stops with you.

The buck stops with you. You are in control of your life. There may be times you have limited control. In any circumstance, you can choose your attitude. As long as you stay mentally on track, you are in charge. Make the best choices you can in the circumstances you find yourself and then give yourself credit for trying.

7. You need positive friends.

You will live up to your friends or you will live down to them. Look at your friends. That is who you are about to become. Pick friends wisely.

Friends will support you in trying and succeeding. Fake friends will work to see that you fail. If you want to be a winner hang with the winners. Being a winner is not about the things you accomplish it is about the attitude you have towards what you do. Pick friends with positive attitudes.

8. Help others and accept their help.

Do not be one-sided. Help others, it makes you feel good. Let others help you. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness. We all need some help and encouragement from time to time.

Let others have the experience of feeling good when they help you.

9. Communication is about understanding others.

Communication is not about making sure others understand and agree with what you are saying. Good communication is about understanding what others are saying.

Lots of heated arguments happen when people think the other person is saying one thing and in fact, both people really agree on the subject they just use different words to describe it.

10. Feelings are your friends, not your foes.

Lots of people were taught to have bad relationships with feelings. They try not to feel. For them, sadness is a weakness.

To feel happiness, you need to be able to feel sadness. Feelings are not your enemies. More than half of the brain is outside your head. Those feelings in your gut or that pain in your neck, those are feelings your nervous system is sending. Listen to the messages, the feelings that parts of your body send you. You will be better informed and a better person if you make peace with your feelings and get them on your side.

11. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Take the things you do seriously. Take the big things that matter seriously. Do not take yourself too seriously. We all make mistakes. No one is perfect and those blooper reels can make for some hilarious viewing. Learn to enjoy your own blooper show.

12. Love and laugh.

Learn to live and learn to laugh. Love is not about owning or possessing. Love is a feeling we have when we cherish something. Do not try to hold on too tightly to love or you can squeeze it to death.

13. Believe in something or someone besides yourself.

It is good to believe in yourself. It is better to believe in something more than you. Believe in right and wrong. Believe in a higher power. Believe in truth and justice. Do not believe that you and you alone have the ultimate definitions of all these things.

14. Learn how to set goals.

Learn how to set goals and you will avoid long periods of your life when you drifted aimlessly. If your goal is to drift along and enjoy the scenery for a while do it consciously as part of a plan and hold tight to all the experiences you have and all the things you learn.

15. Learn how to play.

Life is not all seriousness. No one gets out alive anyway. Learn to play and learn to have fun. If you have to take the trip enjoy the ride.

Work to teach yourself these life lessons. What other life lessons have you learned? What lessons do you still need to learn?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

12 Ways to make your head a better neighborhood

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Bad neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Is your mind a scary place? 12 Ways to clean up that neighborhood.

1. Adopt a daily affirmation.

Fill up that space between your ears with positive thoughts. Tell yourself you can. Remind yourself of the things that you do well.

Self-talk matters and replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations can really help improve your mental neighborhood.

2. Before bedtime make up a list of things that you did well today.

It is easy to focus on the mistakes and to beat yourself up over them. To make your mind more positive make sure that you learn to accept compliments and to give yourself credit for things done well. You need lots of thoughts about how you did something well to withstand the storms of doubt that are sure to come.

3. Think of a favorite mental place and visit your happy place whenever times get bad.

Remember those good times and places. Take a short mental trip back to the mountains or the beach. Remember that time you were at the theme park or at grandma’s house.

Wherever and whenever you had a moment of happiness, hold fast to that memory and reinforce it so that it is a bright spot in your inner thoughts.

4. Increase the number of friends that inhabit your memories.

More friends, more happy memories. Watch out for acquaintances and drinking buddies. True friends want the best for you. You may have few or you may have many but cherish all you have.

5. Face your fears and anxieties.

If something is scaring you do not cower in negative thoughts. Face that fear boldly. Let it know that you will not allow that fear to ruin your mental home. Take small steps to create a safer world and to loosen the grip fear and anxiety holds on your mind.

6. Stop angering yourself.

People do not anger you. You may think they are but realize that there are a lot of sick and stupid people out there. They do sick and stupid things. Do not let them ruin your inner peace. Rather than insisting the world be the way you want it to be work on changing whatever small aspect you have the power to change.

Mostly what you can change are yourself and your attitude.

7. Forgive yourself repeatedly.

If you have made an error, been less than you wanted to be, learn to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself often, repeat as needed.

8. Accept your past made you who you are.

You may have experiences in the past that you would never want to undergo again. Accept that those experiences made you the unique person you are and then try to move forward from there. Make peace with the past but do not let it continue to run your present.

9. Stop blaming others and insisting they change.

Others are who they are. You are who you are. Take the actions to make you the best possible you. Do not blame your circumstances on them. They may have wronged you, hurt, and injured you. You can let that run your life or you can choose to take back as much control of your life as is possible.

Creating a happy successful life is the best way to erase their influence on your life.

10. Stop looking for someone or something to make you better.

You are the best expert on you. You can choose the things that are right for you. Do not wait for that one person that can come along and “fix” you. Make use of the coaches and counselors that come your way. Learn from each and every teacher but remember you are the one who is directing your thoughts and take them in the direction you need them to go.

11. Avoid seeing things as black or white, all or nothing.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that things are either perfect or no good. Having some happiness is better than none. Enjoy the things you have. Be grateful for the blessings you receive. No one is ever all the things they want to be.

12. Thinking that your past has determined your future keeps you in the past.

Your past set you on the path to a possible future. You have many possible futures. Do not think that because you have one past that you have only one possible future. Be the architect of the path forward.

Set out today on your own mental urban renewal project and see what a wonderful neighborhood your own mind can be.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Things you need to stop worrying about

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Man worrying,

Some things you do not need to worry about.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Worrying about the wrong things is keeping you stuck.

Some things may be worth worrying about. Especially if that worry will spur you to take action and change something.

There are a whole lot of things that consume people’s time in worry that really should not be on your list of things to worry about.

Chuck these topics of worry for a happier more productive life.

1. Stop worrying about what others think about you.

The more you do the more people will find to criticize you about. What others think about you is none of your business. Do things because you think they are right, do them because they please you and because this is what you chose to do. Let others opinions go.

2. Stop worrying that you are not good enough.

You are however you are. Accept yourself as you are and then go on to make the best of who and what you are. You are plenty good enough for you. If there is room for improvement focus on the things you would like to be better and let go of the thoughts that you are not yet all you want to be.

You are and will be throughout your life a work in progress, not a finished person.

3. Stop worrying about what you “should” do.

That list of “should’s” left over from childhood is holding you back. Do not do things because others said you should. If you think it is right do it. Do only those things that are right for you.

Do what you are doing. Do it to the best of your ability and in a fair and honest way but never sweat whether the thing you have chosen to do is what you “should” be doing.

While doing one thing do not worry about other things you should be doing. Stay focused on the moment or quit and change what you are doing.

You are always doing what you are doing now.

4. Do not worry that people do not agree with you.

There are always people who will disagree no matter who you are or what you will do. New, innovative things arise because someone does something that others never thought of doing.

You will not be able to make everyone happy. Start by making yourself happy. Consider the consequences of who will disagree with you and why, but the final authority on you is you.

5. Do not worry about someone else’s issues.

You can only change you. If someone else has issues then they need to be willing to change. You can offer support if they chose to change but you are not in charge of others’ lives and they are not in control of yours.

Focus on your own issues, those things you can and should be working on, and offer others the same option.

6. Stop trying to get someone to do what you want.

You can waste a lot of time on manipulation and trying to control others. Work on being the kind of person others would want to work with rather than trying to make them do things your way.

Your way may be good for you but it might not be what someone else needs. Especially stay focused on the results you want rather than on making others do things the way you would do them.

7. Don’t worry that you do not have enough education

Plenty of people have accomplished great things with minimal education. People frequently use a lack of formal education as an excuse for not doing anything.

Do what you can with the training you have. Practical experience is a great teacher. Get more education if this is a requirement for a field you want to work in. You are never too old for more learning. Many people have to retrain multiple times for new careers. People with one degree decide that field is not a fit for them and change occupations.

Make the most of what you know and learn something new each day. You will be amazed at how far you can go.

8. Do not worry about your looks.

Make the most of what you have but always stay focused on who you are inside and what you can do. Sure in some fields a certain look is valued. But there are plenty of stories about how a person who is driven to succeed made it even though they did not fit the normal look.

A quick glance around any large employer will show you that there are lots of people working there that have less than perfect looks.

9. Do not think that you can’t face a problem.

Most problems have to be faced one way or another. Even if you run you have had an encounter with that problem. Run once and you may have to run the rest of your life. Problems do not disappear when you run from them. Many problems shrink as soon as you begin to take actions to work on them.

10. Avoid rehashing what you should have done.

The past is gone. Worrying about what you should have done prevents you from doing in the only time you ever really have – the now.

Keep doing. Accept that some things will work out. You will have some regrets and along the way, you will accomplish some things you can be proud of.

11. Stop thinking that you are not doing enough.

Do what you can. Make an honest effort. That is enough. If you can do more do it. Time spent worrying that you are not doing enough is time not spent working or relaxing. Self-care, time not working, is a part of keeping yourself productive.

12. Do not worry that you are doing too much.

If you are highly productive give yourself credit. If this is wearing you out cut back. Practice saying “No.” If you need to do this because of a boss or a position you hold then relax and stop worrying about it.

Do not concern yourself that you are doing more and someone else is doing less. You are not them and they are not you.

13. Stop worrying about things that are out of your control.

Plan for the unexpected. Work to mitigate the effects of disasters and the unexpected but worrying about them wastes time trying to control the uncontrollable when you should be making the most of the opportunities at hand.

Worrying about the unexpected wears you out and accomplishes nothing.

14. Do not worry that you are going to fast.

Some things take more time than others. Some people move and work at a fast pace. If you are making too many mistakes slow down. Work at the pace that is best for you.

15. Stop thinking that you made a mistake.

If you made mistakes, correct the ones that you can. If it can’t be corrected learn from it. Most mistakes are small things in the long run. What is the lesson you needed to learn? The more you try to accomplish the greater the risk that some things will not work out. Do not think of these less than perfect outcomes as mistakes. They are learning opportunities.

16. Avoid worrying about money.

Worrying about money does make more of it. Somehow those with little money get by and those with a lot never seem to have enough. If you have money problems work on ways to spend less, stretch what you have further, and make more.

Worrying is wasted effort. Learn all you can about money and finances. Do not be misled into thinking that if you just had more money your troubles would disappear. You would still have problems they would just be different problems.

17. Avoid the thought that there is something wrong with you.

You are fine just the way you are. If you have medical or psychiatric concerns see a doctor or a therapist. If you have legal or financial issues see a professional in that field.

Learn to accept yourself the way you are and then work on becoming a better more skilled person.

18. Don’t worry that you do not have the best things.

People who judge you based on the things you have are shallow people. Judging yourself that way will make you shallow. The more you have, the farther away the goal of having the “best things” moves.

There is no end to the things people think they need and then tomorrow those things are passé.

Anyone out there jealous of my collection of 8 track cassettes and 8-inch floppy diskettes?

19. Stop thinking that your opinion is wrong.

You have the right to your opinion. You also have the right to sometimes be wrong. Accept that no one is right all the time.

When making decisions and taking actions consider the possibility that you could be wrong. When you get new information or situations change reconsider your opinion.

Do not beat yourself up for having had an incorrect opinion and especially do not waste time on worrying that today’s opinion may be tomorrow’s error.

20. Stop worrying that people are taking advantage of you.

Be careful in your dealings. Do not assume others have your best interest at heart. Make sure you do things because you want to and they are right for you.

Once you make those decisions do not worry if someone else is getting something out of your interaction.

Reserve the right to periodically reevaluate things and change relationships as needed. Worrying will not protect you from being taken advantage of. Careful research and good advice will help here.

21. Do not worry that others are better than you.

There will always be someone better than everyone else. Records only stand so long and then someone breaks them.

You can’t be the best at everything. You may not be the best at anything. Work on being the best you can be and accept that if you approve of yourself then what you do will be good enough.

22. Don’t worry that you are out of time.

Time keeps moving forward. Make the best of what you have and then let it go. Worry that you are out of time waists some of the precious time you do have.

23. The things you want will never happen.

If they did happen then you would only want more. Some things we want do happen and some do not. In retrospect, as we grow older, some of the things we wanted in the past we become glad never happened.

There are 23 different things that you could worry about, but why would you? Stop worrying about as many of these things as you can and see if your life does not become happier and more productive.

Are there other things you have found that you no longer need to worry about?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

18 Ways you are a really bad parent.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Child crying

Ways to be a bad parent.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

18 ways to be a really bad parent.

Here are 18 really bad ways to treat children. Do them enough and you can destroy a child’s life. Some parents do these things out of ignorance, others out of meanness. (Want to be a good parent then avoid these traps.)

How many of these child-warping parenting techniques do you use?

1. Never tell your kids you love them.

Parents are for discipline not love. They should know you love them, you feed them sometimes right?

You can be strict or you can be lenient as long as the kids know you love them. Strict without love is abusive. Lenient without love can turn into neglect.

2. Point out everything wrong with your child.

Point out every mistake they make. Keep at them until they get it right or give up. Over the years I have seen a whole lot of people who came from non-affirming homes. No matter how hard they tried they could never please their caregiver. Eventually most stopped trying. They also developed a concept of themselves that they were incapable of doing anything well. Some of these people had extraordinary talent; just no one ever told them so.

Pick on them every chance you get. Point out the flaws in their face and how ugly they are. Prepare them to deal; with the “real world.”

The result of this sort of bullying is people who develop a victim mentality. They think they deserved to be bullied and they become permanent victims or they get angry and they strike out at anyone and everyone.

Constantly running a child down is a form of child abuse, not good parenting.

3. Belittle children in public whenever possible.

Make sure you publicly belittle your child and you will teach them to avoid others. This can result in a lot of social phobias, people afraid to be in public because they know they will be put down by others.

Break their spirit while they are young and they will never have to attempt anything that might show you up.

4. Do all the things you told them not to.

Remind your children to “do as I say not as I do.” This sets them up to be hypocrites and liars. Do not be surprised when they do sneaky things behind your back. You taught them to say one thing and do another.

5. Never teach them anything, make them find out for themselves.

Remind them you shouldn’t have to explain things to them. Call them stupid if they ask questions. Keep them ignorant and they will be slow to catch onto how lame their caregiver was.

6. Remind them you expect them to be a failure.

Tell them often enough and they will live down to your expectations. Most kids want to be just like their parents.

7. Do not ever talk about the future with them, they have no future.

The best way to repeat the cycle of dropping out of school, early parenthood, and a life on welfare, with no job and no hope, is to set this example yourselves. Let them know that you expect them to be an even bigger failure than you were.

Make sure you never share any of life’s lessons you have learned with them.

8. Remind them constantly you are the king in this castle and they are peasants.

Set them up to be the victims in a controlling relationship for the rest of their life. Undermine their self-esteem and intuition.

9. Tell them how they should be feeling.

Make sure you invalidate everything they feel. If they tell you a feeling tell them no they are not feeling that, they are feeling something else. Remind them that their only purpose in life is to feel the way you tell them to feel.

The expressions “You should not feel that way” and “you should be feeling the same way I do.” Will help undermine their ability to feel what they are feeling.

10. Never let them think for themselves.

Make sure your children do not learn to think for themselves. This makes them easier to control. You will need to control them for a while though eventually they will become controlled by drug dealers, pimps, or abusive partners.

Congratulate yourself you have created an easy to control adult with the emotions of a child.

11. Tell them everything, never ask.

Convince them that their opinions do not matter. Make them doubt themselves and they will never attempt anything worth doing.

12. Never explain anything; it is over their heads anyway.

Create in your children the love of ignorance. This will protect them from schools, learning, and the risk of ever accomplishing anything in life.

13. Family communication means you tell them.

Do not let them ask to have their needs met. Keep all family communication a one-way street. You didn’t talk to their other parent why would you want to talk to them?

14. Toughen them up for the real world.

Make sure you instill a negative dog-eat-dog attitude in your children. You would not want them turning soft on you. People who do for others are soft. You are hardening your children up so they can be takers.

15. Teach them what a bully really looks like.

If you beat the stuffing out of them they will know how to take the beating that others will give them. Make sure that they know the only thing they deserve in life is a good beating.

16. Never tell them the truth about anything, keep them guessing.

You don’t owe children the truth. They wouldn’t recognize it if you told them anyway. Keep them, believing all the stories you tell them for as long as you can.

17. Give them nicknames – stupid, lazy, ugly, fats.

If you call all your kids by pet names you can turn them into animals. It will be fun to watch them quarrel and hurt each other.

18. Forget being consistent, keep them guessing.

Good parents are consistent and loving, two things you would never want to be.

If you enjoy doing all these things to your children you will love watching them do the same things to your grandchildren, should you get to keep them in your life that long.

If these recommendations appall you then make sure you do the opposite and nurture those children.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

16 Ways to create a happy life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Happy children

Happy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Not feeling very good about your life?

Here are 16 ways you can make your life a happier environment.

1. Do things you can be proud of.

When you do things you are proud of, you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself it makes you happy.

To be something you are proud of what you do does not need to be any grand gesture. Make sure you recognize those little positive things you do each day.

Start recognizing all that you do for yourself and for others each day and hold on to those lists of things you have accomplished across your lifetime.

What are the things you are most proud of that you have done so far in your life? Can you do more of those things?

2. Do things for others.

Doing good deeds will make you happier than doing selfish ones. Whenever we are able to help someone else we get an opportunity to feel good about ourselves. Make sure you are doing this because you want to do something for another and as a result feel good yourself. If you do a good deed because someone forces you to or you do one which you really don’t want to do, it will result in developing a resentment.

3. Make a new friend.

Making friends will add to your happiness. Sometimes those friends are just for now. You talk to someone on the bus or in line and then you head off in opposite directions. Other times you will put out your hand, start a conversation, or offer to help and the result will be a friend that will brighten your life for a long time to come.

4. Schedule time to take care of you.

Make self-care a top priority. You can’t feel good or happy if you neglect yourself. Eat well, sleep enough to repair your body, and give yourself time to relax.

5. Treat yourself to something positive you enjoy.

Life should not be made up solely of the necessities. Sometimes you need to treat and pamper yourself. Be sure that these little treats for yourself are positive, not negative pleasures. Do things for yourself that involve relaxation and pleasure, not overspending or substance abuse. That would mean your pleasure comes at a cost that needs to be paid tomorrow.

6. Include humor in your life every chance you get.

Laughter changes your mood. The more you laugh the happier you become. If watching an hour of comedy does not brighten your mood you may have a significant depression. In that case, get help.

Take what you do seriously but do not take yourself overly seriously. Learn to laugh at your own foibles. We all have them, but happy people can laugh at their oddities.

7. Make up a gratitude list.

If you must compare yourself, pick people who have less than you to use for comparison. Be grateful for all you have. There are others, in your town or across the sea that have far less than you. Do not take blessings for granted but develop the practice of seeing those benefits when you have them.

8. Express yourself.

There are all kinds of ways to express yourself. Some people do it by talking. You may also find that you can express yourself through drawing, singing, or dance. You do not need to be an expert. You do not need to be any particular way. What you do need to do is to find ways that allow you to express and affirm who you are.

Draw, make music, or write. Be creative.

9. Visit Mother Nature.

We are getting a long way away from our roots. More people now live in cities than in small towns and rural areas. Make it a practice to stay connected to Mother Nature outside the times of inclement weather.

Take a trip to the beach or the mountains. Visit a park. Grow a plant. Take a walk and notice the things that are growing, flowering, and reaching for the sky.

Marvel at the birds that manage to eke out a living in our cities and still can fly off to places in the trees.

10. Spend time with a favorite animal.

Animals can be powerful connections to a happy life. Have a pet. Watch an animal that lives in your neighborhood. Visit a park and watch the birds and the squirrels.

11. Clean your glasses.

If you start to long at a dirty world the lenses through which you look become dirty. The constant mudslinging on the news can color your view of the world.

Find a fresh positive way to view your world. Look for people who do good things. Find youth that is making a difference and encourage them.

12. Develop your intuition.

Those nerve cells in your body are there for a reason. Learn to listen to those feelings in your stomach and those pains in your neck. They can help you identify risks and pleasures that your conscious mind has forgotten.

Notice the feel of the sun on your skin when you are cold. Live in tune with your senses for greater happiness wherever you find yourself.

13. Care for your body.

The part you call your body is not some inconvenient appendage to your thoughts. The flesh is not a lesser creature to be abused. Get plenty of good healthy food. Sleep well. Do not overtax your body. Do let it have the exercise it needs to function well.

Maintain your body and you will get years of happy use from it. Do not make it carry excess weight or do more than it can with less rest and food than it needs.

14. Develop a schedule for your day and week.

Create a rhythm for your life. Use schedules to bring certainty and predictability to your life. Keep those schedules loose and flexible enough to provide security. But do not become a slave to the tyranny of an excessively crowded schedule of your own making.

Include time in that schedule for happiness and the things that make you happy.

15. Nurture your mind and spirit.

Spend your time wisely. All work leaves you an unhappy person with things. Invest some of that time you get each day on things that improve and nurture your mind and your spirit. Read, watch a play, practice your religious faith.

16. Forgive yourself.

Making mistakes is a part of living life as a human. Learn to accept yourself warts and all. Let your mistakes go. Learn from experiences but don’t stay stuck in regrets.

These are some of my suggestions for creating a happy life. Do you have others that you would care to share?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

How to have a highly productive life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Productivity

Get more done.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Highly productive people, how do they do it?

1. Productive People Set Goals.

Life happens whether you are ready for it or not. Knowing where you want to end up charts your course. Productive people think about the end result they want. What will it look like when they have accomplished that goal?

2. Productive People Plan the Steps.

Goals are nice. Someday you want to own your own business or you want to be a professional athlete. What are the steps you would need to take to move that plan into reality?

Break that goal up into the steps you will need to take to get there.

What skills will you need to learn? What will you have to practice? Most importantly, what other pleasures will you need to forgo along the way. Lots of promising, talented people fade between the start and the finish because they get distracted by the pleasures of the moment and forget to do the work needed to get where they said they wanted to go.

3. Spend more time doing than planning.

Planning is needed. So is preparation. But if all you ever do is dream, the dream stays in your head and does not materialize in reality.

Once you have that goal set and know the steps to get their make sure that each and every day you are doing something, no matter how small that thing is, that will move you toward your goal.

4. Evaluate what you are doing.

The best plans do not always anticipate the changes that happen in the world. Circumstances change, plans do not work out or they need to be modified.

People with very productive lives periodically reevaluate their plans. They know what is working and what is not working. They also reevaluate that goal. Is that goal still where you should be headed?

5. Adjust plans as needed.

Be open to modifying plans when it is clear that you need to do so. Do not make frequent changes out of insecurity and doubt.

That career you planned on in high school, those occupations may not exist. Technology changes, demand changes. Your plans may need to change with the circumstances.

6. Get advice from a coach.

When you are out there doing, you can’t see the things you are doing well or the things that need improvement. Top athletes work with coaches who can spot flaws in their performance.

Working with a good coach can take your efforts to a whole other level.

7. Have a plan B that flows from your plan A.

If you plan to be a professional athlete what happens if you don’t make the team? You can keep trying, but eventually, the dream meets up with reality. Even those who do reach that goal find that they can’t go on being a professional forever. What happens to you if plan A does not work out exactly the way you planned?

College athletes are well-advised to get that degree and develop their other talents. After your career as an athlete, long or short, what will you do? With a degree, you can teach. Maybe coach. Your options remain open.

8. Always be looking for the next step.

Periodically you need to look off into the distance. What is the next step in your development? When you get this goal accomplished what then?

Many people set goals, achieve them, and then lapse into a depression. Their one reason to exist is over. Now what?

9. Do not be easily discouraged.

In attempting anything there will be setbacks. Expect setbacks. Plan on having failures. Learn from those obstacles and perfect your skills.

Learn and practice your skills along the way and you will find that you were able to accomplish much more than you expected. Do not quit before the miracle happens and if you continue to work you are bound to experience some miracles.

10. Do not let obstacles stop you.

If one obstacle causes you to give up you will not get much done.  The more you accomplish the more the obstacles. Learn to climb over them. Sometimes you will need to change course and go around them.

An obstacle is a chance to improve what you do and how you do it not a permanent defeat.

11. Learn something new each day.

Add to your knowledge base. You never know when something you learned will turn out to be useful in the future. Do not wait till you are desperate for an idea to go looking for one.

Many innovations have been the result of taking something that a person had learned in one field and applying it to another area. Be that creative person who can synthesize and create new and novel approaches.

12. Build a team by being a team player.

Most highly productive people have a team that they can depend on that backs them up. Develop that team by being a team player. Get along with and value others around you.

13. Maintain your mental health.

Take care of your emotional health. Do not let things discourage you. Do not become overwhelmed with anxiety.

In the area of mental health, prevention is important. Have a support system. Learn ways to manage your stress and when those problems of life overwhelm you get help.

14. Treat your body well.

The mind depends on the body for its fuel and energy. Eat well, sleep well and play frequently. A healthy body is far more productive than an impaired one.

15. Get a support system for you non-work life

Great producers at work have good lives outside of work. Many a work problem originated at home and was brought to work. If you want a productive life do not neglect your non-work life.

16. Know your work type.

Every job has its characteristic work type. If your personality fits the job you will be more productive and happier. Happy people are more creative and productive.

Look for projects that fit your personality and try to avoid taking on projects that will make you unhappy.

Keep these productivity principles in mind and work towards becoming more productive each day. Over time you will be pleased to see how much you have gotten done and how much your life has improved as a result.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

19 features your potential mate should have.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Good relationship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You know the features you want in your next car. What features should be on your requirements list for a life spouse and partner?

19 suggested features you should be shopping for in a potential mate.

If you are currently in a relationship – how many of these features does your current mate have?

How many do you have and how might you install more of your desired features in the relationship you already have.

It is a lot cheaper and more effective to improve the relationship you have than to trade it in on a new one.

1. You have common goals, dreams, and values.

When you are taking a life journey it helps to have a common destination in mind. If you are all about family and that partner of yours would prefer to avoid children and relatives you are headed for a fork in the road.

Religious and political differences are not insurmountable but if your potential partner plans to be a missionary recruiting for a religion you do not share, neither of you are likely to be happy.

Does one of you expect the woman to be a stay at home mother while the other is thinking dual-career relationship?

2. They trust you, which helps you trust them.

Starting a relationship off when one of you has “trust issues” is a dangerous journey.

Behaving in ways that reduce or damage that trust makes for a relationship headed in the wrong direction.

Partners who do not trust each other are at an extra risk to become controlling. Over time that control can turn to abuse.

3. They know about your defects and accept you anyway.

Far too many relationships begin with one or both of the parties hiding their true selves. If you feel you can’t be who you truly are around this other person then reconsider the relationship. Over time it will get incredibly difficult to hide your inner self.

If that other person can’t accept you for who you are in the beginning, eventually they will feel tricked and trapped. A relationship that begins with deception is headed for disaster.

4. They can tell you the things they like about you.

If your potential partner spends most of your together time talking about the things that are wrong with you and insists you need to change – beware.

Couples who, in the midst of conflict can still think of things they like about each other can work through difficulties. If that potential partner can’t see anything good about you, then you will never be their first choice.

Why would you prefer to be with a person who sees you as inherently defective? You are better off alone than in a relationship that will constantly pull you down.

5. You feel good when you are with them.

You should not have to suffer to be with this other person. Times together should feel like fun. If it feels scary, unhappy or anxiety-provoking to be with this other person, your nerves, the ones that signal you emotionally, are telling you to beware.

6. You are their star, not a supporting role.

Supporting roles are a second place behind the star. If you are just a person to be with, eventually your partner will look for someone to be in the starring role opposite them in their life script.

You deserve to be the first choice in someone’s life.

7. They make time for you, not make you fit their schedule.

A good relationship is built on shared experiences. You need to know that this other person would like to be with you more than to be doing something else.

Granted life is busy these days and earning a living can take a lot of time. But you need to know that this partner of yours will make you and your needs a priority.

8. You do not have to give up “me” for there to be an “US.”

In the early stages of relationships, people want to be together a lot. For the relationship to thrive there will need to be a time when you each are able to have your own separate lives as well as your life together. Do you have to give up family or friends to be with this person? Are their hobbies or activities that you enjoy that the other person insists you give up to be with them?

Is this about them controlling you and trying to change you to be acceptable to them or are they right that you need to give up some unhealthy people in your life?

9. They do not expect you to always be available when they want you.

A healthy relationship is when there is a give and take. If your potential partner demands you make them your one and only priority then this is a bad sign. Your partner should want to be with you but also should understand that there are times when other people and activities need your attention.

10. They do not need to get everything their way and win all the arguments.

Does this significant other of yours insist that they need to get their way all the time? Or can they compromise? Does giving in feel like losing to them?

11. They fit in with your family and friends not cut you off from them.

A good relationship should be a compliment to your existing life not a replacement for those other relationships in your life.

12. They are able to admit when they are wrong.

The longer you are with someone the more times each of you will find out that you made a mistake. Being able to admit those mistakes and move on will help heal any conflicts you two may have.

Some people can admit their errors and try to change. Other people will keep arguing till they make you wrong. Before long you will begin to think either you are going crazy or this person just can’t accept ever being wrong.

A person who thinks they are never wrong can be extremely difficult to live with after a very short time.

13. They are rarely boring.

Relationships do not need to be thrill rides full of adrenaline. But if you find yourself being bored when you are around this other person, you are in for a lot more boring when they are the primary person in your life.

15. Being with them is not a competition.

A relationship is a collaboration, not a competition. Constantly trying to outdo each other becomes old. Look for someone who can enjoy your triumphs and for whom you can cheer, not a partner that always needs to upstage you.

16. They admit their problems and are working on them.

If your potential partner is working to become the best they can be there is always room for improvement. It is the very annoying person who insists that the way they are is “just the way I am” and that you need to change to accommodate them. If they are not willing to work on themselves, they are not likely to be willing to work on the relationship when those inevitable problems arise.

17. They are not moody and let you know why they are feeling down or distant.

Someone who is constantly moody is not someone you can create a happy relationship with. Understand we all have our moods. Some people struggle with serious mental illnesses, depression, or anxiety. You can still have a great relationship together.

What that other person needs to be able to do is to communicate with you about their moods and to let you know that these moody times are about them not about it being your job to make them feel any one way. They also need to be working on themselves not expecting you to adapt yourself to their mood.

18. They are past the impulsive years and ready to be responsible.

Growing up is a process. Many people go through impulsive times. They make choices, try on new things, and grow.

Make sure that your potential partner is past those stages before it becomes too serious.

It is not fun to stay home with the children while your partner is off in another city having fun.

Do they work? Pay their bills and are they off probation? You are getting their past as part of the deal. Is their wreckage involved? Are student loans in default?

19. They are not trying to change you.

Change is a part of life. In any relationship, both people change over time. You want to be changing in the same direction and also be accepting of the way your partner changes.

What is especially bad for any relationship is when one party in the relationship insists that the other person change to suit them.

Be wary of someone who says they would be willing to like you if only you could change into someone else more to their liking.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Lies you are telling yourself.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Truth or lie

Separating truth from lies is hard work.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

If you are telling yourself these things you are lying to yourself and may not even know it.

1. I can’t do it

Can’t usually means won’t.

By telling yourself you are not able to do a thing you convert your own mind into an enemy. Your brain starts creating this failure. Tell yourself you will fail and you will.

People who are positive are much more successful. They tell themselves they can and many times this turns out to be true.

2. Other people think badly of me.

Most of the time, most people are too involved in their own lives to pay any attention to you. Unless they are saying they do not like you and what you are doing, it would be a mistake to think that others disapprove.

Blaming other people for not liking you creates just that result. You think they do not like you, you do not like them and then you’re not liking them results in their not liking you.

You started this avalanche of negativity.

3. I am a failure.

The biggest failure of all is to never try. I see this in a lot of young people who are overly hard on themselves. A few recent graduates do get jobs at top companies. But the majority of them have to start out at the bottom and work their way up. Do not think you are a failure because you are not more successful than everyone else.

The biggest failure of all is to never try.

Accept that you are where you are and then work on improving yourself. You are not a failure because of what you did that did not work. Those are learning opportunities. The ultimate failure is to accept defeat and stop trying.

You have not failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet

4. People will talk about me.

People talk about the President, they talk about the Pope. What? Are you saying you are more important than them?

Having people talk about you indicates you are doing things. No one talks much about those who never try. No one knows they exist.

5. Not paying my bills means I am saving money.

If you came from a poverty mentality then you learned that if you paid the power bill there might be no money for food. What people who live that way miss is that those late charges and extra fees add up.

Learn to manage money, not be bullied by the bills. Pay your bills on time. Budget for what you will need and if there is not enough money find ways to cut expenses and earn more. Avoiding your responsibilities is not an effective way to save anything.

6. I can’t afford to save anything.

Savings is simple. Spend less than you earn. Simple is, of course, not easy.

The more people earn the less able to save they seem to be. Savings do not need to be a lot to add up. Save a dollar a paycheck and at the end of the year, you will have fifty dollars saved up.

Most people in America spend a little more, sometimes just a dollar or two, each pay period than they make. Eventually, this adds up to a mountain of debt.

7. I should do or be —

Beware the tyranny of the “shoulds.” This doing things because you think that you have to can rob you of a lot of time and happiness. Now there are some things you should not do because they are illegal or will cause you problems. There are other things you need to do like pay your bills and care for your children.

But most of us every day do a bunch of things that rob us of time not because we really needed to do those things but because somewhere in our heads we recorded a rule that things always need to be a certain way.

8. Doing things for me is selfish.

Good self-care is not being selfish. Self-neglect is abusive. Do positive things for yourself to maintain your ability to do things.

9. Other people are the cause of my problems.

Blaming others is an excuse. It can keep you stuck. Rarely will you be successful in getting them to change to do things your way. Learn to work around those obstacles. Change yourself, your circumstances, or your reaction to those people, and you can often dissolve the power they have over you.

10. Others can do more than I can.

So? If you use this as an excuse for not trying you will never do anything. You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to be the best at anything. You just need to be you. Do what you can and accept what you do. Just make sure to be truthful to yourself and do your best.

11. Nothing will ever change.

Everything will change – eventually. In the long run, we are all dead. The question is do you want to start living a real-life or do you want an excuse for why you do not try?

12. No one cares about me.

Start caring about yourself. No one in your life is likely to care more about you than you do. If you do not care about yourself you make it difficult for others to care about you.

13. I am right, I know I am.

Insisting you are right can be some comfort but it is rarely helpful to waste time arguing about who is right. Have the courage of your convictions but do not insist that everyone sees things your way.

Be open to the possibility that sometimes you can be mistaken. When new information arrives reevaluate your thoughts on things.

14. I don’t have enough education.

Do what you can with what you have. People often overestimate the education and training they need to find a job, a partner, or to be able to do something.

If you do lack the formal credentials for an opportunity you would like, consider going back to school. Do not tell yourself you are too old to learn. People are living longer these days. Jobs go out of existence. More people than ever before are returning to school in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond.

You are never too old to learn something new.

15. If I just had – Then I would be happy and successful.

If you are not happy in the process of getting to your goals you are unlikely to be happy when you get there. Happiness is not a destination it is a process you learn along the way.

16. I don’t have that talent.

Talent is overrated. Lots of natural talents practiced thousands or even tens of thousands of hours to get that talent. We are all born with the possibility of becoming talented at something.

Most talent turns out to actually be skills. The more you learn, the more you practice, the more skilled you will become.

17. I was just born this way.

You are nothing like you were when you were born.  People grow. They develop. They learn things. If you learned something and it is not working you can unlearn it and learn a new way of being.

Genes turn on and off based on your life experiences. Do good things. Practice happiness skills and those thoughts you think are “just me” will change as a result of new learning and experiences.

Have you been lying to yourself? Would you be happier and more successful if you started telling yourself the truth?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Characteristics of a good friend.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Characteristics of a good friend.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are your friends really good for you?

Some friends are positive factors in your life. Other people, you are calling friends are destructive. We all need people in our lives but how do you tell which of these folk you should keep as friends and which should be demoted to the “acquaintance” category?

Friends are those people who you can turn to when you are down. The ones you think will hold your secrets. Acquaintances are those people you can talk to about sports or the latest show on T. V. but do not feel comfortable telling them things they might use later on to hurt you.

An old but true saying goes “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” For better or worse we become more like our friends over time. Pick your friends wisely.

Here are some characteristics to look for in friends that will enrich your life, not pull you down.

1. Friends build you up not tear you down.

There are some people in your life that it just feels good to be around. They are positive people, and they are positive about you.

Negative people tear you down in order to make themselves feel better. Hang with those who want you to succeed not those who expect you to fail.

2. Friends want the best for you.

If that supposed friend is backbiting, spreading rumors, or competing with you, cut them loose. Some people are too jealous to enjoy seeing you succeed.

A true friend will be happy for you when good things happen in your life. True friends are not jealous.

3. Friends accept you as you are.

True friends know about your flaws and like you anyway. They should care enough to tell you the truth when you mess up but they should also like you anyway.

You do not have to pretend to be someone or something you are not in order to keep their friendship.

If a friend insists you look a certain way, attend a certain function, or spend money on specific things to fit in with their crowd, – beware.

4. They don’t insist you change if they are to remain your friend.

Friends want you to grow and change. They do not ask for the changes because they think there is something wrong with you, they love you for who you are after all. They do want to see you grow and develop because they see that you have so many possibilities that they what to see you succeed.

Friends who insist that you conform to their standards to be with them are all about themselves and not about you.

5. You are happy around them.

Good friendship makes you feel good. If it hurts to be around someone, if seeing them always brings you down, take another look at this relationship.

Friends are a source of joy. You should feel at ease around a good friend not feel that you are constantly being judged.

6. Friends bring out the best in you.

There is just something about having a good friend that makes you want to do more, be more, and results in you being the best you can be. Your friend should be encouraging you to greater accomplishments. They should not be pulling you down.

If that person is holding you back – they are not a friend.

7. Friends are supportive of you.

Friends are there when you need them. They support you in the tough times as well as the good ones. If you only see someone when times are going well they are “fair-weather friends” the kind that has no substance when the storms of life occur.

Pick friends who support you, come what may.

8. You like the same things.

Friendships customarily develop around shared activities and interests. It is possible to be friends with someone who likes or believes in different things than you do. But not having any common interests makes for some difficult choices. If you find that you are both sharing things that help both of you grow and develop this is helpful. But if you find that you need to give up your interest and beliefs to be around this other person, question this friendship.

9. You share common goals and values.

If your friend is all about shopping and having the latest things and you are determined to save and be frugal this friendship is headed for trouble.

Divergent views of right and wrong can undermine your values.

Sure you can hang out with a drug addict and not use, but is that really enjoyable or are you giving up having a friend to be their rescuer?

10. You are headed in the same direction.

Where are you going in your life?

Do you what to be a good parent and this friend wants to stay young and party? Are you serious about your career, relationship, or recovery? Does this other person respect your values and support them or are they always trying to get you to go along with them in things that do not align with your goals?

11. Friends are happy when you succeed.

Does this person get happy for you when you succeed? Or are they jealous and undermine you? True friends revel in their friend’s accomplishments and offer you recognition for what you do well.

Take a look at these characteristics of real true friends. If the ones you have measure up, be thankful. If your friendships are less than they should be work on improving those friendships. But some people you have been calling friends may not belong on that list. Sometimes there are people in our life we need to let go of.

Consider taking an inventory of your friendships today and decide what you need to do to be rich in friendships.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

12 ways to become totally undesirable.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Undesirable person.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you making yourself undesirable?

Being desirable is about more than looks. Outward looks fade with time but what is inside can make you undesirable at any age

Fancy clothes and expensive makeup, nails, and a new hairstyle can hide some faults but don’t rely on them to hide inner unpleasantness. Men, a new suit, and tie will not cover up your rudeness and lack of consideration.

Why waste time on your outside when what you are doing is creating a really ugly person inside. Here are twelve ways people can create a person even they would not want to be around.

1. Make sure everyone knows how awful things are – spread the doom and gloom.

Make sure that everywhere you go you let people know just how bad things really are. Especially let them know that they are incompetent and helpless to alter their fate.

2. Belittle other’s accomplishments – whatever they do tell them you can do it better.

Someone gets straight A’s, let them know that the school they attend has really been slipping academically, why you heard that anyone can get A’s there.

If they run a marathon let them know that you have a younger cousin that is taking after you and now is an Olympic hopeful.

Whatever they do let them know that you can do it better and in fact you know just scads of people who are far superior to them on a daily basis.

3. Fight with everyone every chance you get.

Make sure that any mistake no matter how small does not go uncorrected. Point out the slightest flaw in everyone around you. If anyone says anything, think of ways that you can instantly argue with everything they said. Let those at work know how much smarter you are and how you are surrounded by stupid, ignorant people.

4. Make sure you are always the center of attention – remind everyone who will listen that it is all about you.

Take every opportunity in the conversation to turn the conversation towards you. Tell them what you do, who you know, and how very grateful people are to you for all you do.

Avoid babies and animals because the might upstage you and it is all about you now and ever after.

5. Boss everyone around – if they don’t play by your rules take your ball and go home.

Let people know that you think they are incompetent. Tell them how to do every little thing. Make sure that you take charge of every situation and run every show. No one can be trusted to get things right but you. Make sure to remind them all how hard it is for you to have to take over everything but that you will do it rather than having things done wrong.

6. Focus only on your outside.

Do not waste time on learning and education when you can get a haircut, manicure, or the latest designer clothing.

When you look good then you should not need to know anything.

7. Remind everyone how stupid they are and how smart you are.

Point out every mistake and every omission in what others say. Bring up past errors for as long as possible. Keep mental notes of every fault those around you have and remind them of how you saw what they did.

Slip reminders of how stupid they are into every conversation. “I can’t believe you didn’t know that” “did you take a stupid pill today or what?”

8. Think only of yourself.

Being constantly self-centered is a good way to develop your inner ugly.

9. Lie, cheat, and steal every chance you get.

Lying is wrong when others do it but you are special. The rule should not apply to anyone as special as you. It is not really stealing because you need what others have and if they knew how special you were they would want you to have their stuff anyway.

10 Tell them the truth even if it will hurt someone’s feelings – politeness is for the week.

If they can’t take the truth, then you should not feel sorry for them. You should be as blunt as possible after all you are “only telling the truth,” which is an excuse for all manner of rudeness.

11. Expect others to always do for you but set limits on what you do for them – they owe you the loan of money, rides, and favors but you are just too important to always be doing for others.

Make sure everyone knows that they are expected to pick you up, take you places and get you there on time. Do not worry if you keep them waiting, they should understand how important it is that they be available to help you.

Remind them that you are just so important and so stressed out from having to be you that you could not take time out from your busy schedule to wait on the “little people.”

12. Point out what is wrong with everyone and everything.

Find fault with everything incessantly. If you told them how wrong they were yesterday remind them again today. Announce with certain authority how very wrong and awful the government, the school, your job, and everyone else is.

Let no chance to run someone or something down escape.

Do all 12 of these procedures and you can look good on the outside while developing a really ugly inside.

Do you know or have you met people like this? If we get honest most of us will see that we all do some of these things occasionally. But if you are driving friends away on a regular basis you might want to take another look and see if you are doing any or all of these inner-ugly-making principles.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel