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Hi Lori -- I'll side with Tennyson on this one. To me, lost romantic love is still worth it -- but only if you take the time to reflect on what you learned from that experience. Happy to say that in my case I learned a lot from one particular relationship that ended badly. It hurt a lot at the time but I also learned a lot more about what I was looking for -- and my next relationship turned into my marriage!
1 year, 7 months ago on Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost…
Congratulations, Justin. This looks like a great resource. A dozen years or so ago when I was in the thick of an anxiety disorder, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was holding me back from recovering faster. One day it just kind of occurred to me -- I was living in a continual state of fear about everything. Once I understood that simple principle, it was much easier to make progress. Hopefully this product will prevent some people from being stuck as long as I was!
1 year, 8 months ago on Overcoming Fear: Sticking It To What's Holding You Back eBook and Audio Program
Sandi -- nice post, it made me think about what I've been doing in these different areas. On the soulful front, I've recently started meditating for 15 or 20 minutes a night. In terms of being kind, I've been helping some younger kids with their reading through a volunteer program at my son's school. Previously, I'd tried to make headway in both of these areas and really struggled, partly because I was trying to do too many things. What I finally settled on was picking one project in each area and then really trying to turn it into a habit by getting more deeply involved. It's easy, as you say, for it all to fade away without real focus. I've read that it takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for a new habit to stick -- and that seems to be true in my experience. Thanks for prompting me to pause and think about this a bit.
1 year, 8 months ago on Do You Take Care of Yourself?
Hiten -- really useful information. I don't do much cold calling, but I do have a book coming out very soon that will require me to give some speeches. That's not something I have much experience with, and just thinking about it makes me a bit nervous. But it seems that your techniques here could apply just as well to public speaking. Will give them a try! Would love to see a follow-up post from you sometime on how to use anchoring or similar techniques in other situations.
1 year, 8 months ago on How To Use Anchoring To Help You Make Cold Calls
Great question, Lori. I'm certainly not a prolific quoter of the Bible, but I especially like "May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38). It's what Mary says when the angel appears to tell her she will be Jesus' mother. It used to strike me as a very passive thing to say, but I've come to appreciate what an extraordinary statement it is. It's simultaneously an unprecedented act of letting go and also an ambitious pledge to work hard on cultivating the receptivity and mindfulness needed to live in that fashion. I usually want things done according to my word, but, if I'm honest, most of the good things in my life, were done for me and not by me.
1 year, 8 months ago on What’s Your Favorite Positive Affirmation?
Justin, thanks for sharing the story of your challenges with anxiety and also putting the spotlight on this disorder in your post. Having struggled mightily with anxiety myself in my teens and 20s, I learned how misunderstood it is not only by the general public but even by some medical professionals. The program you're describing here sounds really helpful. I've also found Edmund Bourne's Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (the fifth edition came out last year) to be a tremendous resource. It got me through some of my worst times with anxiety, and I highly recommend it to anyone with similar problems.
1 year, 8 months ago on Midwest Center – Attacking Anxiety and Depression Review
You know what, Lori? I really like the idea of a surprise journal -- will experiment with that for the next week or so and see how it goes!
1 year, 8 months ago on Do You Like Surprises?
Lori -- the older I've gotten, the more I've come to enjoy small surprises -- they're the ones that seem to stick with me the most. For example, my son had a couple boys sleep over at our house the other night for his 8th birthday. In the middle of the night, apparently, one of the boys forgot where he was and crawled from his sleeping bag into my son's bed! My son couldn't get him to move, so he got out of bed and tried sleeping on the carpet. Finally he moved into the boy's sleeping bag and spent the night there. What surprised me and my wife was that he figured the whole thing out by himself -- without waking us up to provide a solution. Little surprises come up like that all the time, and they're great because they offer new insights into other people and myself.
Hi Lori -- rather than being inspired by the big accomplishments of famous people, I tend to prefer the work of more obscure people who make extraordinary lives out of ordinary moments, much like Bradbury in that wonderful passage you cite. About 10 years ago, I first heard about Brother Lawrence -- a lowly cook in a 17th century French monastery. Very few people thought much of him at the time. But the letters he exchanged with a few confidantes revealed his remarkable spiritual insight and were later turned into a short, conversational, very practical book called The Practice of the Presence of God. 400 years later, this man, who never had claim to worldly glory during his life, is still regarded as one of the greatest Christian exemplars of prayer. People like that never fail to inspire me with their work and their personal example!
1 year, 9 months ago on Who Inspires You?
Justin -- great reminder that sleep and diet are the fundamental building blocks of our lives, and yet we tend to shortchange ourselves in both areas. In this arena, I like Tony Schwartz's work on how to manage energy instead of time. Some of his insights are similar to yours. I work a 9 to 5 job and also have young kids, so naps are not a real possibility. Have learned to do my toughest work in the early morning, late afternoon or evening when I'm sharpest and focus on the less demanding stuff in between. It makes a difference.
1 year, 9 months ago on Why Am I Always Tired
@Lori -- Hi Lori, think my calling(s) has become clearer as I've gotten a little older. Family and writing were always big priorities for me, but I've grown into them more and learned to appreciate them more as well. So, for me, it hasn't been so much a process of new callings emerging as it's been moving deeper into existing ones, if that makes sense.
1 year, 9 months ago on How Would You Describe Yourself in Four Words?
Great exercise, Lori. I'll go with Husband, Father, Seeker, Writer. Especially like your point that how we see ourselves changes as our roles change. Having written a good bit lately about how to find callings in our lives, I've noticed that many people think that a calling is a single thing you find and then the quest is done; your calling won't change. Certainly I've been guilty of believing that. The truth, of course, is that our callings can and do change. But we need to stay aware of that and step back periodically to be sure we're seeing ourselves as we are right now, rather than how we used to be.
Hajra -- nice post; perfect for a gloomy, rainy afternoon in North Carolina. I've learned two key things from life's lemons: 1) going out for a three-mile run always helps and 2) disappointments and frustrations always teach me a lot more than the things that go exactly the way I want them to. It's hard to keep that perspective in the moment sometimes, but I'm grudgingly trying to accept it.
1 year, 9 months ago on How Do You Deal With Life’s Lemons?
Dan -- I work at a leadership institute where our research has shown a strong correlation between fitness and effective leadership. And yet it's amazing how many high-powered leaders still struggle to make room for a balanced diet and regular exercise. I've had a good routine of running and weightlifting going for years, but still don't feel all the way there yet on diet. Not eating a lot of bad stuff, just not enough good stuff. If you could tell someone like me the three biggest things I need to focus on with diet (as in 3 things I really should or should really not do), what would they be?
1 year, 9 months ago on --- Dieting and Exercise: The Ultimate Balancing Act ---
Justin -- particularly like the point you made about getting out of your own way. It's hard to emphasize that enough. Almost all of the best things that have happened to me were not actually caused by me; they came about when I was focused on something else (thought I was still usually focused on myself in some way). How much more progress might we make on our journeys if, like you urge, we put other people first?
1 year, 10 months ago on The Secret to Getting What You Want