Monthly Archives: December 2011

Making It A Worry-Free New Year

27 December 2011, by A. Cedilla

Well, we’re there. The year’s almost over, and whether you say goodbye to it with a wistful, bittersweet smile, or let go with a sigh of mixed relief and sadness, when faced with a brand new year to fill, by golly, one can’t help but feel hope at the thought.

The past three articles deal with trying to see what you want to happen in your life in the next 12 months. Committing to a year-end review gives you a solid record of events on which to base your major moves for the next year. Knowing what you want to get out of your goals fuels you for the journey you’re about to take, and examining your general world-view helps you in the problem solving and anticipating stages.

The last article of the year deals with the aftermath of all that mental activity. The major points and their supporting details are in place, now it’s time to look for the loopholes and think about how it can go awry. Think of it as planned last-minute jitters.

In Anticipation Versus Worry, we drew a thick line between the act of anticipating a problem, and worrying about it. Today will include a little exercise that only requires about 15-30 minutes at the most, then another revisit some time later. Ready?

You now have blanket permission to wring your hands, pull at an earlobe, and to execute whatever nervous tic you most feel comfortable with while worrying. Before you do so, however, kindly have some different-colored pens and some clean sheets of paper handy, as well as the results from all the questions asked in the previous articles. Review those answers first, okay?

Done? Go. Worry your little black heart out. Write all your mental mosquitoes down. Then leave the list in a safe place and sleep unencumbered with the weight of all those pestiferous black thoughts buzzing at you. Sweet dreams.

Now pretend it’s tomorrow. Continue reading Making It A Worry-Free New Year

Is It A Problem Or A Challenge?

20 December 2011, by A. Cedilla

How are things looking up for you next year? This is not a trick question.

Today it’s all about understanding perspective — your own, and that of others. The way you look at something affects how you treat it, see it and handle it. It’s quite obvious, right? You don’t handle things of no consequence — you just sweep them aside, ignore them, don’t even see them — until someone tells you these things are important, or something happens to make you see them in a new light — and you shift a little in your world-view. When it comes to a lot of things, you just won’t care until you do.

You learn perspective the more life experience you willingly expose yourself to, and the more viewpoints you entertain from other people. If you get stuck in your head for too long without real-world feedback from others, you only have your own feedback to fall back on — and it would be like being stuck with only the music from your childhood playing on a loop.

Depending on the soundtracks you grew up with, this can go either way. And since every family’s dysfunctional in its own way, more often than not you get less than stellar messages: “You’re too stupid to succeed, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you’ll never be worth anything, don’t rock the boat, play it safe, don’t trust other people. Do what it takes to get ahead, but don’t be more successful than your family, etc.” ( And you wonder why you trip you up further down the road. )

Navigating between conflicting messages, you need to find a way to keep the balance. Putting things in their proper perspective: you share this world with other people, it’s only fitting that aside from learning to get along with others and respecting their viewpoints, you learn as much as you can from what other people have to show you. Continue reading Is It A Problem Or A Challenge?

What’s Your Incentive?

13 December 2011, by A. Cedilla

Made any plans lately?

Why are you doing the important things you do? Why are you drawing up the plans you’re making?

There’s got to be something that keeps you doing them, and when you get to know what that something is, you can surprise yourself with how many ways you can get more of that something into your life.

  • Your crazy hours are running you down, leaving you open to every sniffle and cough that presents itself. When your friends and family are still sleeping, you’re up, and vice-versa. You hardly get the time to have a meaningful conversation with any of them. You want to feel healthier and more connected to the people important to you. You want to keep to a regular schedule, and you struggle to do so.
  • You’re tired of scrimping and saving and feeling poor, dammit, but when you look around everyone’s in the same boat, and you’re not the only one hurting, so you put on the boots and keep going. Things won’t stay like this forever, and you end your 30-minute pity party to seize the day and kick its ass.
  • It sticks in your throat like you’ve swallowed a whole pineapple — or a grenade — but you don’t run, and you start that very important conversation that you’ve been meaning to have with your wife/boss/co-workers/employees/friends, etc. for weeks.

Thinking about how you think about things is called metacognition — And when you examine your way of thinking, you can uncover long-held biases you, haha, never though about. You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney’s website, lists down many of the ways we fool ourselves into thinking that we make unbiased decisions and hold balanced views.

When you actively become involved in “thinking about thinking,” you become more adept at seeing things clearly, as they are, not as you think on the surface they are. You develop clarity. When you see things clearly, with little illusion or self-delusions, you can act unencumbered by false information, inflated expectations and sketchy data.

You see what you truly need to live the life you’re happy with. You know what matters, and these things that matter to you are both goals and spurs. Continue reading What’s Your Incentive?

At Year’s End: Recapping the Past, Looking To The Future

06 December 2011, by A. Cedilla

Welcome to December. Congratulations, you made another year!

It’s around this time that networks start promoting their December “Coming Soon!” program schedules, traditionally going all out at year’s-end by running special broadcasts with titles like “The Year In Review” , followed by “The Best and Worst of 20__” and “The Top Ten Lists of The Year.”

It’s not just the media doing this, though. It’s a thing we all like to do around the tail-end of the year. We take this time to re-cap, looking back on everything that happened and everything we’ve done, and then making the time to visualize what we would do differently next year, planning for these things and hoping we would get to accomplish them within the next 365 days.

And it’s almost next year, you know. Blink, and you’ll be surprised how quickly it gets here. So before this year ends, how did it go for you? What stood out? Anything new you learned about yourself this year? What are your heartfelt goals for next year? Better have some pen and paper handy, then. You have some work to do.

And here are a few bits of advice to help you along with the planning process: