Sunday, 24 May 2020

Using the natural people resource in your life

According to a meditation author and a teacher, Lodro Rinzler, mindfulness is just another type of meditation. As highlighted throughout the piece of writing, there are various forms of meditation, and they include visualization and contemplation, but mindfulness is the kind where you introduce your whole mind to a given object. You can improve your awareness of being in the present by following your breath. These feelings raise my spirits and improve my ability to cope with the issues and challenges which I face on a daily basis. While exercising, I'm not in competition with other trainees, nor with myself. I focus solely on my breathing, its quality, and on performing each exercise as well as I can. I also strive to create an integrated flow of thought, emotion and movement while performing each pose. At first, I had to concentrate on each pose separately. But, as I gained experience, I felt that I could relate to the whole series of exercises as one complete flow -- just like life. Once I reached this level, I added power training sessions in order to maintain muscle mass and prevent loss of bone density. Unlike some other members of the club, I don't overexert myself, as developing a muscular body is the last thing that interests me. During classes, I often deviate from the teachers' instructions and perform the exercises according to what feels right to me. The teachers and instructors have learned to accept this behaviour with understanding and respect. This does not mean that your normal self-bashing will suddenly disappear. It will still be there, but by defusing your negative self-talk, you can continue to talk to yourself in a more productive manner. Once you get acquainted with the new manner in which you talk to yourself, your external language will change as well. Instead of sounding hesitant, you'll speak more assertively and decisively, especially in situations where your courage is needed. At times, you may regress to your old self of whining and making excuses, but you'll catch yourself and replace your self-defeating language with words of assurance in the face of a crisis. When you become this consumed with being brave in your life, you'll not only be able to access the skill of courage and audaciousness will now define you. Even though you see yourself as being brave as you begin to find your inner boldness, you still may feel very uncomfortable with that label.

This is understandable because, in the past, you saw yourself as a low-life coward. Unfortunately, this is still how you see yourself no matter how many new courageous acts you accomplish in the face of danger. This negative perception of yourself is going to change very soon. Maybe you're presenting your team's findings to the grant review panel. Maybe you just need to confront your baby-sitter about being late again. There are literally scores of performances throughout the week, throughout each day, in which to give your newfound skills a road test. Don't look for an Olympic-sized trial or a national convention to give them a spin. You want to work up to those events. You want to get some practice beforehand, some feedback by which you can refine your skills. You want an opportunity that causes your heart to beat a little faster, not go into seizure. Once you've got your event picked out--the confrontation or presentation, the decision or negotiation--take a minute to run through the following checklist. It's not a test; it's just a quickie review, a chance to check off all that you need to have dealt with if you're to go out and give your best. How could I do a better job buying those? On the way home, I finally stopped into the new department store all my girlfriends had been raving about so many months ago. Like the designer-knockoff store, it was a danger zone of affordable delights. I tried on a lot of things, identified a few favorites, and then left. With nothing. The security guard was so suspicious of this madness, he checked the contents of my kiddie-stained backpack on my way out. How could anyone exit the store without at least one cheap, trendy garment?

I did. I went home, had dinner, went to bed. The next morning, I went back there and plucked my favorites off the racks again. This is what is known as mindfulness meditation. Among the Buddhists, it is known as Shamatha. Rinzler also adds that eating could also be an additional way of practicing mindfulness. He says that a person can be mindful of their food, while tasting it, and when they finally drift off into all kinds of thoughts, they return to taste the food again. That is what can be referred to as the act of mindfulness. Rinzler also explains that the whole process of meditation can predate the idea of mindfulness. In most cases, it is aligned with the Buddha's time, where the Buddha himself discovered that wholly focusing on his breath would enable him to see the reality and attain meditation more efficiently. Fast track to the modern age, the world witnessed the 5 mindfulness trainings, courtesy of a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. He is also well known for his teachings on mindfulness. It does not really matter whether you desire to learn about the various methodologies of meditation, or maybe you just want to be more mindful in your day to day life to lower stress, there is still a number of evidence that you can use to help in harnessing your mind to be in the present, and also improve both your physical and mental health. Often, once class is over, they ask me to explain what motivates me and how I use the exercises to achieve my personal goals. Even though I maintain my schedule at the gym rigorously, I don't consider myself an athlete or sportsman. I have no desire to become a marathon runner, a muscle-building freak or a yoga geek. I'm not addicted to the physical dimension of the training. Rather, I focus on the synergy of the physical with the cognitive, the emotional and the social, elements which act together to create an integrated personality. Once I had mastered the exercises offered by the club, I created my own brief regime comprising a set of basic poses. I meticulously perform them every morning before I start my day.

The daily repetition of the same exercises has become an enjoyable habit, providing both physical and mental satisfaction. In addition to attending the health club, and my own daily exercise regime, a conscious awareness of how I activate my body has become an integral part of my daily routine. Whatever activity I do -- walking, resting, sitting, typing, attending meetings or even washing dishes -- becomes a springboard for awareness of my body and my breathing, and for the mindful appreciation of being in the here and now. You are about to demolish it. In fact, I would say you are already there; you just need that final push to accept that you're now a courageous person. This is the final step in your transformation to eliminate your old cowardly persona and step into your new life as a courageous human being. Once you can look in the mirror and see not only a brave soul, you should be proud as hell of who you are, as you know you have made it. This piece of writing will show you how. You are who you are because of your beliefs. Your belief system is what you believe in and assume is true. Your beliefs run your life. Most of what you think, say and do is based on your belief system. If you feel you're not ready, or that you could be more ready, well--join the club. All of us go into performances thinking we could have benefited from one more dry run, one more hour of study, a little more sleep. You have the luxury now of getting more ready: You can go back to the pieces of writing you need to review one more time. You can brush up on the skills you're not so sure you have. But at some point, you need to accept that you're never going to be perfectly ready. You've got to stop making excuses. Just commit to doing the best you can.

So go for it. Try to resist evaluating yourself in midperformance. When you're done, when the performance is past, turn the article. I checked to make sure I'd gotten the sizing correct and went up to the sales desk. I was in and out in about twenty minutes. By separating the delight of the costume box (day one) from the business of buying (day two) I'd avoided the quicksand of all-too-available desires. It felt like a success. Whether I felt really terrific about spending the money at all was another issue. Back home, I collected my receipts, took them over to my empty jar, and looked at both. What I'd spent was not an overwhelming amount of money, or one that John would freak out over, especially since the most expensive items were shoes to remedy foot pain I'd been griping about for months. Still, it wasn't as if I'd spent the money on food, medicine, or charity. A year of self-reflection had highlighted many of my own needs in a positive and proactive way, but it had not erased the needy world that lay beyond: that Cameroonian schoolgirl I'd been inspired by or Blue-Flower Shirt, the homeless old woman who still sat near the back entrance of our building. I was still facing a crisis of conscience: how could I live with a self that needed new jeans once in a while, even when this trivial spending might mean so much more to another human being? A recent study on this topic discovered that those who practice mindfulness had healthier levels of glucose; implying self-focus and improved focus could help in fighting unhealthy eating habits and obesity. In addition to that, it has also been discovered that mindfulness meditation has some relationships to improved qualities of life among older adults who, in other instances, would be using pills. It has also been linked to lowered dependency on opioid drugs, improved focus, as well as reduced levels of depression and anxiety. But perhaps one thing that is very remarkable is the fact that positive thinking and mindfulness have a beneficial effect of mindfulness meditation on the body. So, Where Does the Confusion Occurs? The mix-up lies in the fact that one of the most universally recognized types of meditation is known as mindfulness meditation.

You no longer have to do it all on your own

Mindfulness meditation is therefore a type of clear mind meditation. Attention is usually paid to the natural rhythm of the breath while sitting, as well as to the rhythm of walking slowly. This, on its own, can have a very huge impact on your life. During my entire adult life I had dealt with complex social issues covering many fields. This experience had enabled me to develop advanced cognitive, mental and social skills. I therefore decided that I would try to find out how to harness these positive characteristics in order to improve my physical state, if such a thing were possible. When I told my family physician that I was about to embark on a structured process aimed at enhancing my functional age she was very doubtful: `I don't know of even a single piece of medical evidence which would indicate that what you want to achieve is possible. Just leave this nonsense alone. ' Although I had failed to convince her, I needed her co-operation, so I asked that she approve comprehensive quarterly blood and urine tests. These tests are simple and cheap, commonly used by family doctors for initial detection of changes in a patient's health. Comparing each quarter's results to previous tests would be a simple way of learning whether my physical health had deteriorated, remained stable or improved. In addition, I signed up with a health club near my home, intending to use their facilities and classes rather than to undertake a physical training regime, which is what most members of such clubs want. You will notice that people will start to treat you differently; your loved ones will comment on how you've changed and compliment you on your transformation; people at work will give you a new sense of admiration; those at the gym will move out of your way when you walk towards them; everyone in your life will treat you differently when you have found your new sense of courage in life. You don't even have to open your mouth or say a word; they will notice the new sense of power in the way you stand and walk.

All because you have developed one new virtue in your life. The value of courage. Having the ability to access your bravery is one of the most empowering feelings in life. Choosing to move on is easier, however, when we're armed and ready to deal with the inevitable mistakes. Because mental toughness is best taught by example, this piece of writing focuses on individuals who have overcome major setbacks. You can learn how to incorporate the five-step recovery strategy into your daily life by turning to Appendix G. And now you're ready to put it all together and go for it. Remember, turn to Appendix G for your own Resilience Plan. Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. If you've been following me from the beginning, you've met quite a few of my clients by now. Each of them has struggled with issues like your own. Each of them has adopted one or more of the strategies explored so far. Why not go in and have a quick look before lunch? Within ten minutes, my blood pressure was up, my heart was beating in time with the techno music, and I was moving from rack to rack scowling, pawing for my size, snarling at people who blocked the mirrors, and piling my arms with items I neither needed nor wanted. But they were being offered to me, and although none of them fit, or looked good, or delighted me in any way, I soldiered on, disbelieving my own dissatisfaction. Headache, dry mouth, and a bad case of mall-induced lower-back fatigue finally shut me down around three. I hobbled away to a cafe to lick my wounds, carrying a plastic bag with a brown T-shirt in it I didn't even like very much. I bought an iced oolong tea and crumpled into a chair. What the hell had happened to me in there?

Well, the music. The lighting. The prices. At the end, the method is just an aide; and it is not really the experience. The fact that a hammer can help build a house does not really mean that it is the house. In the same manner, the practice of meditation is not an end on its own. At times, we may wander off and even do all manners of other things, but there will always be some sort of stillness. It is not easy to grab a lifestyle magazine without coming across the mention of the main benefits of meditation and mindfulness. You will experience the same each time you go through your yoga-related social media articles. It would be very important to debunk the following common myths: mindfulness is not thinking so hard about something. On the other hand, meditation is not all about shutting down the mind like an off switch, which might appear so boring. The two practices are life skills whose main aim is to offer you the tools needed for accessing inner peace. I also wanted to train my body, but with a different goal in mind. My purpose was to become proficient at activating my body, so that I could achieve a synergy that would involve the four dimensions of my make-up simultaneously. Of all the types of exercise offered at the club, I found that yoga and Pilates best served my purpose. My practice of both disciplines has improved the technique and quality of my breathing. I have acquired the skill of prolonging my inhalations and extending my exhalations throughout the length of my body. This process enriches my brain with oxygen and improves its functioning. It also puts it in a state of cognitive and emotional alertness.

The focus on inhalations and exhalations means that my breathing in effect leads my body throughout the exercises. This transforms each session, and each time I feel a holistic enjoyment flood my body. I leave the class feeling a sense of empowerment and satisfaction. This is what this courage-seeking program has taught you. Bravery is not an elusive or inherent trait; one is not born with this gift of courage. It is a skill. You just have to learn how to be proactive by learning how to hone sharpen it, But as you continue to live a courage-driven life instead of your old, fear-driven one, more positive shifts will begin to take place. You will start realizing more and more how to see the world from a perspective of being brave. When your viewpoints and perspective start to veer from a position of courage, so will your language. First, your self-talk will sound completely out of the ordinary. Instead of the usual beat-down you give yourself, you will speak to yourself in a more encouraging manner. Each of them has put the program to the test. Now it's your turn. I want you to look at your appointment piece of writing, Filofax, or Palm Pilot and zero in on some event in the very near future for which you'll need to be in top form. Have you got a deadline threatening? A Little League game to ump? A pitch to make to a new client? A real estate deal you want to close?

An investment you've got to decide whether to sell? Maybe you're interviewing for a job. Maybe you're meeting with a friend in crisis and you really want to say the right thing. My own lack of a specific goal, whereas in the morning I'd had one. Shopping for things I need isn't leisure; it's a task, just like many others. And shopping for things I don't need yields buying things I don't need. (Plus a headache. ) I also wanted something to show for participating in all this unpleasantness. I don't want to leave here empty-handed. But would it be so bad if I did? I gulped down some headache medicine and thought about the new jeans I still didn't have. They also depend on the ability to be entirely focused on the current moment. They also offer a way of lowering suffering and increasing happiness. We are living in a point of time where eastern philosophy is starting to get into the mainstream western way of life. Words such as meditation and mindfulness are already forming part of the day-to-day conversations. But the question that rises up is if these words are really interchangeable. Since these terms are often used in a similar context, confusion concerning their differences is entirely understandable.

This idea is as powerful as duplicating yourself many times

It basically cultivates access to the main aspects of our own bodies and minds that our sanity relies on. Mindfulness tends to restore the dimensions of our being due to the fact that it includes kindness and tenderness towards ourselves. The mentioned have never been missing, but we have just been absorbed somewhere else. In the piece of writing, he suggests how we should take farewell of life: `End thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew. '4 We each have our own journey to follow. Mine started over fifteen years ago. You may recall my surprise at receiving a formal letter from the Department of Social Security informing me of my eligibility for the old age pension (piece of writing 1). The authorities were classifying me as old, while I felt that I was still in the prime of life. The surprise I felt led me to embark on a journey of reflection, research and personal experimentation, one which I've shared with you over the course of this piece of writing. While the lessons to be learned are applicable to older people as a group, each of us is unique, meaning that we each should pave our own way on our journey of individuation. In this final piece of writing I want to tell the story of my own personal journey. Following my initial surprise at being classified as old, the question of how many years I had left made me feel very anxious. Sometimes the best ideas for actions come from places you least suspected. The point is, take risk. Think big. You can always trim down any ambitious behaviors. As you start to take action, make sure your steps are productive and aligned with fighting your obstacles. One of the main problems you may have while chasing down your obstacle is the tendency to disguise procrastination into meaningless busy work. Your cowardly ways of wanting to avoid confrontation will emerge in many different forms.

Common unproductive actions that seem purposeful but are actually very counterproductive can include excessive desires to do research or spending lots of time on the Internet. These are both actions that can lead to you being stuck on the treadmill of getting nowhere with your resilience skills. Look for these types of behavior patterns that take you out of doing productive work. Now it's me. It comes from my life. Imperfections are a part of life, she continues. You take them and use them as part of what you're doing until they're no longer imperfections--they're assets. They make the moment more interesting, funny, dramatic. They're yours. They're something you control, rather than something that controls you. Unhappiness over not being perfect is still something Polly fights. She was raised to believe that if you couldn't do something perfectly, then you shouldn't do it at all. I lived that belief for nearly seventy years, she notes. I had loads of things I wanted to do with my time--reading, eating out--but my feet were sweaty and unsupported, my underpants were shredded, and for months my deflated breasts had been swimming in brassieres with underwires that dug into my skin. It was time. Early on a Saturday morning, I headed out to Causeway Bay. If the elegant Landmark was the crowned head of retail in Hong Kong, then the Times Square mall complex was the beating heart. The nine-story shopping hub was positioned at the intersection of several major roads, surrounded by a maze-like pedestrian shopping district, and sat atop a subway artery that pumped shoppers directly into the basement. By three in the afternoon, crowd-control police would be needed, and there'd be a risk of being swept in the wrong direction by the hordes or getting slammed from behind by someone's overloaded stroller. Wary of these hazards, I arrived before ten, while the streets were still being swept up from the frenzy of the night before.

This trip began with promise. I did shoes first--comfortable sandals recommended by my podiatrist. I enjoyed trying on the colors and styles, found a pair I liked, and ordered them. Zinn, who authored the Unexpected Power of Mindfulness Meditation, went ahead to add some very important point. He says that each time a mind clarifies and opens, the heart will also clarify and opens. Mindfulness also releases the happy chemicals in the brain, and also relaxes the tension that is around pain, improves digestion and reduces blood pressure. Mindfulness is so easy to practice and its effects are very amazing. It is not really bad when all that is required of us is to just pay attention, which is what we should all be doing but tend to forget. Each time, we pay attention; change becomes so easy to affect. Meditation and mindfulness can just be referred to as the mirror-like reflections of each other. Meditation expands and nurtures mindfulness while mindfulness enriches and supports meditation. While meditation is always practiced for a given amount of time, mindfulness can be used in any situation all across the day. My family and personal medical histories were hardly encouraging. My father died of myocardial in-farction aged 47. My mother and my only sister had also died relatively young, after long and painful declines caused by dementia. For myself, I've been living with only one kidney since 1999, when the other one was removed due to cancer. In addition, like others in my family, I suffer from chronic high blood pressure. The odds of a long life are definitely stacked against me. While most people can expect to live for a further ten years after retirement, it seemed unlikely that I could count myself among them.

Naturally, I was extremely concerned at this prospect, and doubtful whether there was anything I could do about it. Thus motivated, I set out to analyze my chances of a longer lifespan and try to figure out a way to change what seemed like my fate. While the prospects for enhancing my functional age seemed dire, the other dimensions of my make-up were much more positive. Remember that your mind can rationalize and justify any action as important. But all you're doing is just lying to yourself. Once again, your integrity is key, including the way you must police yourself to make sure you stay on track and not try to get out of your action plan. When in doubt, always ask yourself this question - Does taking this action get me closer to defeating the obstacle? If the answer is Yes, take the action. If the answer is No, realize that you are just procrastinating and trying to get out of doing the necessary work. When this happens, refer to your why. If you have a strong enough why, it should kick you in the butt and motivate you to take meaningful action and help you get closer to toppling the obstacle. By confronting your fears, addressing your three cowardly traits, making courage a habit and becoming resilient, your life will drastically change for the better. Your whole world will start to shift. I'll probably never completely shake it. But never is something Polly is saying less often these days. With every walk she makes from the wings to the light--and she's recently gone in front of audiences from Los Angeles to New York--she gets closer to shedding her fear of being less than perfect. This is who I am, says Polly. The light is where I belong. The knowledge of that will always carry me through, no matter how fearful I get in the wings. She reflects a moment--the kind of pause that makes her audience hear the lyrics in a whole new way.

For thirty-five years, I let fear get in the way of me being me. I'm not going to let it rob me of one more day. Resilience is a function of resisting the inclination to bog down in anger and remorse. Maybe I should get two pairs? Why do this more often than I had to? I got two. Next I hit a British department store for the bras. I methodically destroyed the size 36 display rack, amassing a great pile of plastic hangers and cardboard packaging in the fitting room beside me. When I located the winning bra, I bought four in a range of useful, boring colors. Buoyed by this success, I waltzed into a shop for chic casualwear and tried on some jeans so awful in cut and fit I laughed out loud. I was feeling good. I was feeling strong. It was nearing noon when I spotted a crowded store known for reasonably priced designer copies. Mindfulness can be described as the awareness of certain things, whereas meditation is the awareness of nothing. There are several forms of meditation. Some of the forms are aimed at creating a focused and clear mind, referred to as Clear Mind meditation. Others are also aimed at developing some altruistic states that include forgiveness, compassion, and loving-kindness. They are also referred to as the open-heart kind of meditation. Other forms of meditation also use the body as a way of developing awareness, such as walking and yoga; others also use sound, as in intoning sacred words and chanting.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Starting ask people what self-development articles they read

Venting, as it is often referred to, can make you feel much better, almost like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. When that weight is gone, your head feels much clearer and changing your emotions then becomes easier. Friends or family members who know you well enough might be able to provide some form of insight too and even give you their feedback which could prove to be useful advice. Your emotions can do one of two things. If you are treating the piece of writing as a personal conversation with me, my efforts have been justified. I would like to think that it resonates with you, triggering thoughts and ideas and perhaps written comments of your own. Entering the wisdom years transforms the meanings of our relationships with our spouses, family, friends -- and piece of writings. The process also leads us to re-evaluate the importance of community to our personal development and well-being. Michel Follen, a Belgian demographer, has mapped the places in the world where people live substantially longer than elsewhere, marking these places in blue. Dan Buettner, journalist, researcher and author, has taken Follen's findings one step further. In 2004, he headed a National Geographic expedition tasked with investigating some of these `blue' areas more closely, visiting Okinawa in southern Japan, the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica and a Seventh Day Adventist community in the suburb of Loma Linda in Los Angeles. Buettner published his findings in his piece of writing The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People who've Lived the Longest. 6 Buettner corroborated the well-attested evidence that work, physical activity, sound nutrition, belief, optimism and a sense of meaning, as well as family and friends, all contribute to longevity. Here are some sample willingness questions that I use after experiencing a severe setback. Play around with them and adjust them to your own personal needs. These are just some sample willingness questions to engage with your fears that I use to help drive me back into an obstacle instead of running away from it. Experiment with these questions or come up with your own. The more you get in touch with your capacity to accept your upcoming experience, the better your chance of defeating the challenge. By accepting the future events of battling the adversity, every action I took brought me closer to becoming the man I wanted to be and living the life I dreamed about.

You can do the same. Only by working with your fears can you ever free yourself from the scared prison in which you have become locked. Now, let's go back to my most recent challenge: Taking care and getting my dog, Neville, healthy again. In the journey to heal Neville, Diane and I went through some major ups and downs and twist and turns from this story of resilience. As her name and dive were announced, the crowd hushed. But as she assumed her position, Michelle heard stomping feet and then random claps and then a thousand teacups tinkling against stairs and railings and seats. At first I thought a fight had broken out in the audience, she says, but then I realized they were trying to distract me. I thought, The nerve! So I said a few expletives, raised my arms, and said to myself, I'm gonna show them. Michelle nailed the dive--she knew it when she hit the water. The scoreboard would read all nines. But what she didn't expect, when she came out of the water, was total silence. She had hushed the entire audience. They had thought I'd crumble, Michelle says. He was surprised by my comment, but quiet about it, and seemed to understand that the joy for me, in this outfit, was looking the way he needed me to. It was a weird party. During the cocktail hour, while young beauties in their Truly Elegant frocks flitted about taking pictures of each other, I stayed wrapped up in a shawl against the polar ventilation system. I quizzed one of John's colleagues about Malaysian sociopolitics and spent a long time at the bar picking out an expensive scotch. At dinner, I swapped mothering war stories with the wives of two partners (warm, approachable, and living lives just like mine) and purposefully faded into the conversational background so I could listen to John talk shop. What I heard surprised me.

John was not in over his head at work--as he so often worried to me; he was, if anything, over other people's heads. He was not struggling to earn a smidgen of respect; he was in fine shape. They can either help you grow and become a better version of yourself, or it can hold you back and destroy your reputation. The former open doors to new and greater opportunities, while the latter will leave you with a reputation that you're someone others should stay away from when you're unstable and emotional. To achieve the former, you need to begin cultivating a positive environment for yourself, one that is going to make it easier to nurture these positive emotions and help you grow. Here's the twist - it's not all about you. That's right, growing your emotions is not going to be an exercise that is entirely focused on you. This time, you're going to be focused on making others around you feel good, which in turn helps you feel good. Humans are social creatures by nature, and doesn't it always feel much better when you know you've done something that makes a positive difference in someone else's life other than yourself? That's how you use your emotions to grow as a person. There is nothing that demotivates you and other people around you quicker than a lack of appreciation. Showing a little gratitude and appreciation every now and then can go a long way towards turning your emotions around. However, he also found that beyond these factors, community has a major impact on longevity. His studies showed that people who enjoy a long life are highly involved in in their communities. Human beings have an inherent need to be part of a community, which if realized contributes to their well-being. However, communities like those described in Buettner's piece of writing are very rare. Most of us do not live in `blue zones'. Nevertheless -- and, indeed, because of this -- we need to give some thought to the relationships we have with the various communities we are involved in, and to their importance for our well-being.

Among other things, the individuation process encourages us to move beyond our individual resources and look for purpose and meaning in the wider society. During the twentieth century, many of us turned our backs on traditional communities as places to live. We sought partial substitutes in communities based around professional and hobby interests and the internet. It seems that this trend is now slowly receding. The key for me was not to let the frustrations and setbacks discourage my goal of getting my dog well again. There were many moments of great heartache and tears. If I would have felt overwhelmed with despair during the experiences, I might have put my dog down. But I was always able to bounce back from every barrier and hurdle that came in our direction with the mindset of learning something valuable that I can apply to my life and heal his. For example, we decided to have Neville's leg amputated as cancer had completely destroyed his left femur. After having his leg removed, Neville struggled big time to stand up and move. Seeing him confused and falling repeatedly was beyond heartbreaking. But through it all, he adapted to his new life as a three-pawed dog. The lessons I gained during his new life without his left leg was improvising, adapting and overcoming. Watching him grow and adapt to his new world was awe-inspiring. They didn't know I loved that kind of pressure. The Chinese officials were highly apologetic. They were embarrassed by the behavior of the audience; their apology to Michelle and their warning to future audiences were carried in all the newspapers, so that 2 billion people knew what Michelle had been up against. But that only made her victory sweeter. It was the neatest thing, to be in Communist China and hear our national anthem played while I stood at the top of the award platform, notes Michelle.

That was the highlight of my career, really--not the Olympics. The satisfaction of standing up against my competitor and that audience--and succeeding--was huge. Michelle coaches diving now; she's now Michelle Mitchell-Rocha, the head diving coach at the University of Arizona. He was kicking ass. It took me by happy surprise between the salad and main course to feel so proud of my own husband. After all, I did love him. I wanted him to do well in things that were important to him. It felt odd and not entirely comfortable to be the supportive wallflower. But for the first time since arriving in Hong Kong, it felt like something I wanted to do. John did his socializing and nice-making, and then we drifted out to see the sparkling view of Kowloon from the convention center's lobby. I took out my camera. It's been a year, I said. Almost. When you're feeling terrible after a long day, just remembering that there's a lot in your life to be grateful for despite all that is enough to put a smile on your face. Simple phrases like thank you or nice job, maybe even a we couldn't have done it without you can make a real difference in your moral and that of others you spend your time with. No matter whom you interact with, be engaging and go the extra mile to make a connection with them. A genuine human connection is what we all long for deep down inside, and there's no one who is ever going to tell you that they enjoy being lonely. No matter who you're engaging with, build a connection that is meaningful. With family, friends, and colleagues, out to them on a regular basis, congratulate them on little victories accomplished, and remember special moments like their birthdays and anniversaries.

Mentally thank the other person for teaching you this

The best way to do that is to do something that makes you happy. When you find yourself in an emotional situation and you're struggling to get a hold of yourself, walk away and choose instead to do something that makes you happy. Each time you actively try to engage in an activity which brings you joy you'll find your negative emotions ebbing away quicker with each effort you make. Harness the all-consuming power of happiness, because it's a good kind of emotion which will benefit you and everyone else around you. Considering all these potential benefits, I was not surprised by the results of a series of studies on `social expertise' conducted by the psychologist Thomas Hess. Hess found that social expertise reaches a peak in later life. 5 Sadly, it seems that few older people make use of these abilities. Many tend to shut themselves indoors. They avoid getting out in the evenings, claiming tiredness as an excuse. Avoidance gradually becomes a habit. Many elderly folk simply sink into their armchairs, giving up anything which requires moving out of their comfort zone. The individuation process can help us to break the habit of social avoidance -- just as we can break the habit of avoiding physical exercise. Breaking out of our physical activity and social comfort zones will do much to improve our physical and social health. All of these typical tips on how to become resilient works and I highly endorse these methods. Yet before these conventional resilience strategies work, you must first be willing to learn. I am not saying that by being willing will miraculously make your suffering go away. Willingness will not do that. But when you accept the discomfort you are feeling, your suffering probably won't get worse. The problem with these negative emotions is that they feel so damn awful.

When they come up, you struggle to get rid of them. But the more you put up a fight, the worse your disappointment feels. Being willing neutralizes these painful emotions by helping them remain at a stable level of discomfort. And on its own time, it will lessen. Then he was to focus the rest of the energy on making the putt. If he was still pissed after walking off the green, he was to try and pulverize the ball all over again. I'll give you a hundred bucks if you break it, I joked. Jeff got the idea. He saw the humor in it, which was part of his therapy, but more important, he found his anger working for him instead of against him. Later that year he won his first college tournament by beating future PGA star Phil Mickelson in a play-off. Anger has gotten a very bad rap in our culture. We no longer differentiate anger from violence, cause from effect. With gun slaying on the rise in our schools, we're on a national campaign to eliminate not just the violence but any outward show of anger. It's quite politically incorrect to suggest that anger be tapped and utilized when government leaders, school administrators, parents, and teachers everywhere are scared to death of it and want it eliminated altogether. I had learned (or should have learned) many things. One of the most useful was that the definition of beauty depended not only on who was looking but also on what they were looking for. I could change my own focus if I needed to or, if others were looking, pull a sleight of hand. I'd done that very thing recently, when I'd gone to a friend's dressy party wearing a fresh rose behind my ear instead of makeup and jewelry. Picking the rose out with Hattie had been the highlight of my day. It did fall out on the dance floor, but it gave me the boost of appearance self-confidence that the red dress hadn't the year before.

In the days leading up to the firm's party, I began to suspect that the real problem had not been with the red dress or how I looked in it, but with my attitude toward the party itself. I'd been swept up by my own vision of myself, dazzling in a dazzling metier, as red-hot as the font on the invitations in my new dress. And when the whole thing--the party, my outfit, my dazzlement--fell short of my largely self-manufactured hype, the disillusionment was severe. The antidote, then, was to be free of illusions. A happier state of mind also makes it much easier for you to think with clarity, and in doing so, gives you a much better handle at controlling your emotions. Focus on the solution, not the problem. The force of the emotions that we feel can still manage to get the better of us, even when we're trying hard to reel them in. It is especially difficult because you're now trying to change the pattern of behavior that you have been used to for so long. The more you focus on the problem, the harder it is going to be to control your emotions, which is why you need to do the opposite. Instead of focusing on the problems, turn your attention to the solution instead. When emotions are running high, it is easy for someone else's anger, frustration or any other emotion they may be experiencing to rub off on you (emotions are contagious, remember? ), and this will disrupt your own attempts at trying to master your emotions. It helps to focus on the situation at hand to help you find a solution to the problem. The challenge here would be trying not to lose sight of the real issue that you should be focusing on. As we saw in piece of writing 12, it is important to start with physical activity. It will help you cope better with the tiredness and lack of motivation which cause you to fall asleep in front of the TV at 8 pm. Another common reason for leaving our new social abilities on the shelf is the belief that older bodies are ugly, and that now we are retired we've ceased to be attractive. The media disseminates the insidious stereotype that beauty and attractiveness belong only to youth. The anti-aging industries work very hard to convince us that we must follow their prescriptions in order to maintain our `youth'. One of the benefits of the individuation process is that it enables us to refute these stereotypes and let them go.

If we allow our personalities to shine by being interesting, surprising, and even cool and naughty, we turn out to be much more fun to be with than when we were young. Attractiveness during the wisdom years is a different quality than that encountered in adulthood. It doesn't matter how many wrinkles we have, whether we have fatter arms as women or skinnier arms as men, and whether our hair has turned grey -- or white. Our calling card to the outer world should now be featuring our inner vitality and wisdom in large font. In the meantime, you can learn from the experience and gain strength from it. This does not mean that being willing is a passive act. Being passive does not mean you bend over and let the adversity shove large objects up your ass and do nothing about it. On the contrary, being willing frees you to fight back. Being willing is only half of the equation; taking courageous action is the second half. When you stop struggling with trying to eliminate your negative feelings, you also stop wasting precious time and effort too. By accepting the discomfort, you can put all your attention and energy on finding a solution for what's emotionally killing you. Stop fighting, start accepting and begin acting. When you are willing to have an open mind about your pain, you will take action to discover insights to help you defeat the obstacle. But I maintain that anger is not something you can eliminate. Press it down, deny it exists, insist it exists for the wrong reasons, and it will only bubble up in some unanticipated and perhaps even violent way. We stand a much better chance of controlling violence if we find ways to harness the anger behind it. So much good can come from applying this enormous natural resource if only we acknowledge its value and learn how to channel its power. My experience in the military made me utterly committed to finding nonviolent solutions to conflict. And yet the military also taught me that anger is often what keeps us from succumbing to adversity.

Without it we accept setbacks we should fight to overcome. Without it we are victims. And victims don't shape their future or make their dreams happen. Upon entering West Point, I was probably the last person you'd describe as a fighter. Maybe the truth was that at my husband's work function, there was really no room for my own red-hotness or true elegance except as an extension of John's status and competence. Why don't you pick out my outfit this year? I suggested to John. It's your work thing, so maybe I should look the way you want me to look. I hereby divest myself of any emotional investment in this party. He sighed. Maybe you should give me some options, he said as he stared at his own travel-mangled suits hanging in the closet. A friend had pressed one of her unneeded cocktail dresses upon me when we were in the States. It was simple and black, so I laid it on the bedspread. Out came the shiny black-patent pumps from last year and a different pair of low black heels I'd bought for a funeral. When faced with an emotional situation or person, remind yourself that there must be a reason for it, and you need to find out what that reason is before you can attempt to find a solution for it. Instead of thinking I'm so angry or I am furious, think about What can I do to resolve this instead. There's always a reason and a trigger for every emotional outburst and getting to the root cause of it is how to try to resolve the problem. When everyone else is feeling emotionally charged up, it's not going to help matters in any way if you join the crowd and add fuel to the fire. Instead, try an alternative solution where you are the one who continues to remain calm instead. Allow yourself to be the one who keeps a cool head on their shoulders and take on the role of problem solver instead.

What would you do differently if you had to live through the same experience again?

Not even the negative inner monologue. You're doing a wonderful job so far. You've already made a difference by making the decision to learn to master your emotions, understanding what they are, how they affect your lifestyle and what you can do to make a change for the better. The next strategy is going to focus on how you can sidestep your emotional triggers by changing your emotions and using them to help you grow instead. School undermines their innocent preformal thinking and imaginative engagement with things, seeking to replace it with formal thinking. Doctors and psychologists stress the benefits of maintaining friendships and relationships as we age. These enhance our well-being and longevity, while preventing loneliness. The individuation process enables you to be more selective in this area. You can let go of superficial friendships while investing only in those which are important to you. It is often said that older people are less capable of maintaining friendships than the young, and even less adept at initiating new relationships. However, research shows that this belief is ill-founded. Apparently, our emotional-social intelligence (ESI) improves as we age. 3 Emotional competency tends to decrease between young adulthood and middle adulthood, but increases again in later life. 4 In the past you hadn't been able to decipher the cryptic message written for you. This is why being resilient is an uncanny craft; you have to develop the capacity to make sense of the mayhem and find reason in the chaos. Even if you can learn the tiniest bit of new knowledge on your weakest days, you will become more resilient. Once you are able to do this, you will develop the attitude that your defeats happen for you and not to you. When you truly believe that the mental toughness gods are working for your benefit and instead of against you, you'll never feel completely discouraged when your plan to conquer adversity fails.

It is through the pain that fate tries to communicate with you. Your job is to gather up the pieces, put the information back together and find the lesson that was created for you. By finding the good in the bad, it will not only give the pain meaning but it'll push you to go on. Having this ability to reframe any disappointment into a positive learning experience is how you can bounce back from any setback or major struggle. Beginning with the first petty annoyance, imagine it so that you experience it all over again, and then capture this annoyance in your fist. Stow it in your center. Leave it there to fester and ferment. When you're ready, unleash it. Use it to its fullest. Bleed the storage tank dry. Leave nothing behind. Expel it totally. If you see positive effects, work through that list and start in on the legitimate angers. Each can be a very effective fuel source when you need a big rebound. Just enjoy it, said John, slurping noodles noisily from a bowl. It won't last. * He made a good point. Our foreign tour was due to end in a few months, and we would be going somewhere else--possibly back to the States. Although it might be a relief to be back on familiar turf, I didn't want to look back on our time in Hong Kong and remember nothing but fighting: with motherhood, with the expatriate bubble, with my own work, and with the man I loved who just wanted me to be happy.

Hey, I said to the top of John's head, I'm really glad I'm here with you. He looked up from his bowl. Me, too, he said, gazing at me with the warm, guileless brown eyes I fell in love with. Don't you want anything? Change is something that rarely ever comes easy. When you're trying to change what is part of your personality, the very thing that makes you human, and something that has been part of your life for so long, it's going to be even more of a challenge. That's okay, because the best things in life are the things which are worth fighting and struggling for, and in this case, learning how to master your emotions is something you're going to fight for because it promises you a much better life. A happier life, not just for you, but for the people you love. Emotional triggers will always be there because you don't exist in this world alone. You constantly have to interact with people, and even find yourself in situations that are less than ideal. It is bound to happen every now and then. These factors are sometimes beyond your control, but there is something that you can control. You can control how you decide to respond. You can make a conscious effort to change your emotions, although it will take a lot of willpower to resist the urge to rise to the occasion and succumb to the temptation to react to what's provoking you. ESI is a holistic combination of wisdom, emotion and social skills. When we go through the individuation process, we become more aware of what we are looking for in friendships. In addition, we become more sensitive to the feelings and needs of our friends. The new cognitive competence we gain as we age increases our social skills. We become more generous, considerate and forgiving, and more able to let go of anger. These skills can help us renew friendships which had been cut short because of past hurts.

Our new sensitivity to social situations enables us to reconsider the personal significance of these friendships, allowing us to realize that we truly miss our former friends. We also gain the ability to assess whether a new acquaintance can become a friend, and then initiate such friendships. We now possess the social tools to befriend people across different age brackets. Such friendships will enrich us as we come to share part of their world, widening the scope of our interests, horizons and involvement in society. Once you hone this skill of finding the lessons in your losses, you won't feel like you're running into a brick wall as much. They'll just feel like minor inconvenience instead. By converting hurtful setbacks into temporary stumbling blocks, you'll be able to gather up your steam and jump headfirst back into the challenge to annihilate the fuck out of it. Now, mind you, striking back once may or not topple the adversity. Most likely, it won't. Expect this pattern of making gains, running into more barriers, recovering and then feeling like you are losing to repeat itself over and over again. But staying in the fight and enduring the struggle is a sign that you are still very much alive in the game of the last one standing wins. It just takes a never-say-die attitude and tons of action to eventually take down the once ever mighty adversity. This ability to stay with the ups and downs of chasing down an obstacle is the heart of what resilience is. All those mental toughness gurus will tell you that after feeling defeated from an obstacle, you need to come up with a viable plan, break down your actions and take smaller steps toward the challenge. This strategy isn't for everyone. If you can't effectively place your anger in your center, or if anger makes you tense key muscle groups, try the approach I used with Jeff Lee. He was a senior at the University of Oklahoma who hadn't won a college golf tournament since he was on the national championship team as a freshman. Jeff was a kid with a lot of talent. He couldn't put it into play, his coach told me, because he was perpetually one stroke away from exploding. I saw this for myself when I observed him anonymously in tournament play;

I also saw why: When Jeff crouched down to line up his putt, there on the other side of the flag, in his line of sight, stood his father, arms folded, eyes locked on his son. When Jeff missed the putt, his father threw a tantrum--and so did Jeff. I tried to perform a fatherectomy. But since there was no way to do that expeditiously, I coached Jeff on the recovery strategy, with one deviation: Every time he marked his ball on the green and picked it up for the putt, I wanted him to channel some anger into the ball--squeeze it as hard as he could, first with his left hand, then with his right, shaking out each hand as he finished. he asked plaintively. I totally do, I admitted, letting myself sink back into the pillowed lounge chair. When you go back for thirds, get me one of those tiny little cheeses, please. And a big glass of wine. He smiled, satisfied. As a philosophy of life, John's wasn't so bad: everyone should fully maximize the complimentary buffet. True Elegance was the theme, and the font was thin and looping. No flames this year, but it would again be hundreds of staffers, photo backdrops, and the occasional floor-length gown. Same deal. I, however, was (or should be) a new woman after eleven months of my experiment. It's going to be hard because you're going to have to go against your first instinctive response, to mindfully force yourself to react in a different way. A better way. Those who struggle with their emotions are often unhappier than most, which makes it very hard to hold onto any kind of happiness. When you're in a constant state of unhappiness, learning how to control anything becomes a challenge, let alone learning how to control something as powerful as your emotions. Learning to master your emotions is not just about getting it under control; it is about reconnecting with yourself too and finding your happiness once more.

How did you allow yourself to be so hurt by this situation?

The Trust Mindset - Trust in yourself. You need to believe in your capabilities because no one else can do it for you. If you don't trust that you have it in you to do what it takes to succeed, then nothing is ever going to change. That trust in yourself needs to be so strong that it can overcome the negative inner monologue that wants to be in control. Don't expect your family members to take the initiative. How you act when faced with challenging situations is how you will pave the way ahead. Along the route, you may find yourself becoming the one who handles conflict and solves problems. The second principle, involvement without meddling, is just as important for redefining your relationships. Involvement is an expression of interest, care and consideration about what is happening in the lives of others. It lets your significant others know just how much they mean to you, that they are not alone in facing the issues life throws up, and that you care. Meddling on the other hand is perhaps best defined as interfering with other people's business. If nothing else, your awareness of your changed position within the family circle should dissuade you from intruding in your children's lives. Letting go will enable you to deal with family tensions and disputes in a non-judgmental manner, while still being fully involved in family affairs. Disputes and disagreements are commonplace in extended families, each side convinced that their solution is the correct one. Instead, you get stuck in the self-defeating mindset that will continue to hold you back. This is why it is essential to immediately put the 4-step courage cycle in motion as soon as your negative emotions rise after an obstacle has struck back. The faster you get to step 1 or the willingness stage, the better you be able to handle the heartbreak you are feeling and learn and become stronger because of it. This is imperative because in most letdowns there is priceless information to be learned that can help prevent you from making the same mistakes again, and also to see relevant insights aiding you to get past the hump of the setback. The cure for your pain is in the pain. However, it is very difficult to see opportunities for growth from your problems while you are still suffering from disappointment.

When you are willing to experience the unpleasant feelings and thoughts, you will stop being so resistant to learning. Only then will you see the whole picture and discover the valuable lessons, wisdom and even solutions that you missed because your pain has staggered you. The key is shifting your focus on what you have lost to what you can learn from the experience. This sounds difficult to do, but it really isn't. Anger is probably not something you want to tap forever, but it helped me have success when every day I felt like I was teetering on failure. Like nerves, anger is an energy source. And like nervous energy, it can be harnessed to fuel the concentration, commitment, and physical endurance that performance always requires. Nerves, as I've shown, can power great performances. Anger, I can demonstrate, can be the leverage you use to vault yourself back into action. When I first came to New York, I worked with an opera singer who simply could not get to first base. He'd lost audition after audition, and with each setback, his anger and frustration mounted, until by the time I met him, he was ready to explode. I didn't question the source of his anger; I put it to use. Instead of telling him to park it, I had him focus on it. Her delight was a private, meticulous, and silent thing, but her quick, dark flares of dislike were loud. She wasn't sold on eating the cone and wouldn't be pushed. At twenty months old, she was already a person with her own perspective and store of knowledge. One day, I challenged it. No one had tried the rope swing yet, but it looked good to me. The seat was level, and the drop below the branch sufficient.

It reminded me of the swings I'd loved as a teen in Vermont when we jumped from a high bank and twirled way out over the freezing Connecticut River. I took hold of the swing, ran toward open air, and flung myself on. Hattie, in John's arms, screamed. The Mama she knew in Hong Kong was extremely cautious. Never give up on yourself; you have more to give than you think you do. The Patience Mindset - There's a very fine line that separates standing still and moving forward in life. Being patient doesn't mean you remain stagnant. It means you wait until the most opportune moment to make your move when the time is right. The Courage Mindset - Dealing with anxiety means you spend most of your time being afraid. Fear may be part of being human, but so is courage. After all, the fight in the fight or flight response implies that it takes courage to stand up and face your fears. You've got both these response possibilities within you, which means you're just as capable of both. It's now a matter of developing that courageous mindset, so that is the one that wins at the end of the day. Once you've let go of meddling, you are well placed to become an arbiter who comes up with a creative, third solution that no one had considered. With your life experience and accumulated wisdom, you are in a good position to maintain empathy for all family members equally, always with their best interests at heart. Interacting with your grandchildren has many benefits. The most obvious one is your contribution of time: you free up their parents' time, and the grandkids enjoy the release of being (temporarily) free of parental discipline. Another obvious benefit is the mutual enjoyment experienced by grandparents and grandchildren who get to spend time with each other. However, interaction with grandchildren has a further benefit for people undergoing the individuation process of the wisdom years.

Engaging with your grandchildren through playing and talking will reveal new ways of enriching the process which you are undergoing. As you observe closely how they think, play and do things, you will learn from the evidence of their thought processes -- their natural use of emotional, preformal thinking to grasp the essence of anything new they encounter, as well as the way they project non-trivial associations to build and enrich their internal world. 2 Do it soon, before they grow up! When you approach the setback with the attitude of a learner, your subconscious will pick up information that you normally would have passed over. Much of the knowledge will be more like clues and just bits of broken information. At first, none of it will be obvious. Most of it will feel disjointed, but once you start connecting the dots, you will see it is a blessing in disguise. When you make connections between previously unrelated thoughts and accumulate more knowledge, the pieces of the puzzle will fit together allowing you to decipher the message in your suffering. No pain comes without a purpose and you must believe there is always value in the setback no matter how painful it is. In fact, the more it hurts you, the more it will teach you; the more you suffer; the stronger you will become. The writing is always on the wall during a misfortune. I taught him to center; the process cue he chose, which I supported, was fuck you. He imagined himself saying this to the audition panel as he introduced himself, and again right before he started to sing. He blew them away with his power. And he got the job. Since then, I've come to help others utilize their anger and tap its power.

The trick is to plant it in your center like a battery--as though you were the Energizer Bunny. Write down a list of petty annoyances and legitimate angers. (Steer clear of inventorying out-and-out rage. ) So who was this other woman with the grin, throwing her body around in the air? Hattie cried to see her, and in a moment I stopped. But not before I'd felt that other woman surging back into my body, flooding it with joy. John's frequent work travel did have one advantage: he had become an airport rock star with points galore. We waited for our return flight in the Qantas business-class lounge. Why did that vacation feel more like real life than my real life does? I asked aloud, not really of John. Hattie was standing behind me on my chair, watching takeoffs through a window. I guess it's just when you've been away from it for a while, I went on, this whole thing . I waved my hand around at the leather seats and three-foot flower arrangements, the men in blazers talking into cell phones, the women in pretty blouses tending children with matching suitcases, it feels weird. Like the muscles in your body, courage is something that needs to be exercised to grow stronger, and it is one of the reasons they encourage those struggling to overcome their anxieties to face their fears instead of running from them. The Learner's Mindset - Almost every experience in life is a lesson, even the defeats that you go through. Remember that the Growth Mindset always views circumstances and situations as a lesson to be learned from. In every setback, there is a lesson waiting to be learned. If you can cultivate the learner's mindset, that's when real growth can begin to happen. If you're willing and determined to keep learning, nothing can stand in your way.