Is Over Commitment Your Middle Name?

Is over commitment your middle name? Do you hate to turn anyone down? Do you say yes before thinking? If overcommitment is making you run behind schedule, here are ten ways to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

  • “I’d love to, but this isn’t a good time for me to make  that kind of commitment.”
  • “My plate’s pretty full at the moment; I’m going to have to say no.”
  • “Not this time.”
  • “I’m going to have to pass.”
  • “I can’t be involved at this time. But I can suggest someone who might be willing to help. Have you considered asking——?”
  • “I wish I could say yes, but my schedule at the moment is filled ot the brim.”
  • “It would be a mistake for me to take on the project now because I don’t have the time available to do the best job.”
  • “Thanks, but no thanks.”
  • “I can not, in good conscience, make another commitment now.”
  • “No”

Boundaries and the word “no” are your friends however there are some people who see a structured system of principles and boundaries too confining. Not enough freedom, Some folks say this is about religion. Some even say it is about marriage. And yet, the truth is that boundaries don’t eclipse freedom; they enable freedom.

Seriously, it’s true. Boundaries and knowing when to say no are the very foundation upon which freedom and zestful, joyous living are built. Seems paradoxical, doesn’t it? 

And yet when people ignore healthy, commonsense boundaries today, they are very often narrowing their options for tomorrow. Learning when to say thanks but no thanks and setting healthy boundaries reduces stress.

Happy Endings Like The Kiss At The End Of A Fairy Tale

We all want happy endings like the kiss at the end of the fairy tale, we’re all waiting for it. 

 Rick and Liz are a couple who have experienced a fairy tale ending. When they first met their eyes were filled with only each other and they hung on every word said totally captivated by the sound each others her voices.

On their first date he was too nervous to eat, but Liz helped  him to loosen up a bit by asking ,”So how was your day?” He kind of looked at her, a bit surprised, and said, “What do you mean?” She said, ‘I mean how was your day?”

To Liz, that was a more caring way to find out about a person’s life rather than just up and asking them what they do for a living. So Rick shared with her about a problem he’d had at work that day. Then he said, “you’re a business owner, what would you have done? She said, “Hmm. I would have handled it completely differently.” And then she gave him her opinion. He started laughing and said, “Uh, why don’t you tell me how you really feel?” She said, “If you want a different answer, ask a different girl.”

Rick said, Oh I apologize if I sounded condescending your answer has given me a lot to think about and maybe in the further you and I can explore other business options that I haven’t considered. Liz smiled and said she would like that. During their first date Liz noticed that Rick took her seriously, and she liked that.

On the way home they talked about current music, books, movies, obscure artists. They shook hands at the end of the night, which was totally typical for Liz. The next weekend Rick and Liz went out on their second date she wore a summer halter dress with funny green butterflies in her hair thinking if she was dressed like a carefree woman it would help to loosen up her type A control-freak personality.

When they got into Ricks bright red Mazda Miata ( which Liz liked even more than she liked Rick) she leaned forward and to tell Rick what route to take to the restaurant. Rick remained quiet while she gave him her instructions, and then he said two words to her that shifted the whole dynamic. Those two words were: “Nice Perfume.” Liz didn’t know exactly what happened in that moment, but it was certainly chemical. There was no other way to explain it. She turned around and looked out the window and thought, Oh my, I love him. 

They went to a romantic bistro down by the sea-shore, and sat in the outdoor garden. Liz looked across the table at him, and she was thinking, How did this happen, could I already be in love with him? All of her senses were firing. She knew that something was going on here and she had recognized something familiar in Rick.

Liz said, “What’s the story with you, what’s the issue? There’s something a little broken in you, she could feel it. She figured it takes one shattered spirit to know another, and in the middle of dinner he opened up to her about his complicated family relationships, old wounds that were magnified by the fact that he worked with his father and uncle in the family business. He told her that he wanted to leave and make his own success, but he felt a tremendous obligation to carry on what his grandfather had started, and he was pretty resentful of it all. Liz listened and then said, why don’t you come work for me? Rick smiled.

They talked until 4:00 about everything and nothing. At nine the next morning Liz’s door bell rang, she opened it and there were two dozen red roses. After that they started competing for who could out            romance the other, and it was intoxicating and explosive and yet at the end of each date they always shook hands. Rick and Liz were finally ready to embrace love with a grateful, open heart and had chosen the right person to throw their arms around for the rest of their lives.

 Many couples forge into marriage with a mindset of “What’s in it for me?” What am I going to get out of this?” They consciously or unconsciously seek to get instead of give. Rick and Liz learned a more loving and humble approach would be to ask. “What can I bring to this marriage?” and “What can I learn from my spouse?” Have you ever thought about the purpose marriage? 

The number one reason people get married is love,” They want to spend the rest of their life with the person” and the second reason is “To have kids.” Rick and Liz wanted to do both. Rick learned from Liz a better way to operate a business and Liz learned to let go of the need to be controlling they both leaned a better way to love. What’s the purpose of your marriage?


Ways To Tame The Frenzy

Organize your mind organize your life and train your brain to get more done in less time. Does this sound to good to be true? Have you ever lost your keys, missed an appointment, or been distracted by a frivolous email?

 The key to a less hectic, less stressful life is not in simply organizing your desk, but organizing your mind. The latest neuroscience research studies at Harvard Medical School shows that our brain’s have an extraordinary built-in system of organization that translates the science into solutions.

 You can learn how to use the innate organizational power of your brain to make your life less stressful, more productive and rewarding. According to their findings you can regain control of your frenzy, embrace effective uni-tasking, fluidly shift from one task to another and use your creativity to connect the dots.

How organized are you? 

  A. Very organized. My desk is neat, I never miss an appointment or a deadline, my friends are amazed, my co-workers are jealous and boss loves me.

B. Moderately organized. I manage to stay on top of things pretty well, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed, not sure wha to do first, and I must admit that I’m a little jealous of my colleagues and my boss who seem more organized.

C. Completely disorganized. In fact, I’ll be lucky if I can remember where I parked my car. That’s assuming I  don’t get a text or a phone call in the next two minutes, which will completely throw me off and … what was the question again?

If you answered A, B or C, you will glade to know that there are amazing new insights gleaned about the way our brain works to organize our thoughts, actions, and emotions, through high-tech brain scans, or neuroimaging, we can now “see” the response of the brain to various situations. Affiliates of Havard Medical School have helped tens of thousands of clients through important and positive changes in their health, work and personal lives.

  Subjects in the Harvard study were shown a series of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures while they were attempting the difficult task of keeping in check their emotional reactions. Through the use of high-tech imaging or neuroimageing, researches were able to observe the “thinking” regions of the subjects’ brains(including areas called the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex) managing the “emotion“generating parts of the brain.

It’s an intriguing new study that sheds light into the brain’s own built-in system of organization and regulation-one  that strives for order, one that can “tamp down”(suppress) our emotions when necessary. Here’s the most exciting part the features in the brain’s magnificent self-regulation system come  “preloaded” in every functioning human mind; these features can be accessed, initialized and used to allow you to become better organized and to feel more on top of things. You just have to know how to do it.

Six Tips For Organizing Your Brain and Taming The Frenzy

1. Tame the Frenzy: Organized, efficient people who are able to acknowledge and manage their emotions. Unlike many who let their emotions get the better of them, these folks have the ability to put the frustrations and anger aside, almost literally, and get down to focused work. The sooner the emotional frenzy welling within you is tamed, the sooner the work is done and the better you feel.

2. Sustain Attention: Sustained focus or attention is a fundamental building block of organization, You need to be able to maintain your focus and successfully ignore the many distractions around you, in order to plan and coördinate behaviors, to be organized and to accomplish something.

3. Apply the Brakes: The organized brain must be able to inhibit or stop an action or a thought, just as surely as a good pair of brakes brings your car to a halt at a stoplight or when someone cuts suddenly into your lane. people who don’t do this well will continue to act or think in a certain way despite information to the contrary.

4. Mold information: Your brain has the remarkable ability to hold information it has focused upon, analyze it, process it and use it to guide a future behavior, even after the information is completely out of visual sight. It is capitalizing on working memory, a kind of mental workspace.

5. Shift Sets: The organized brain is ever ready for the news flash; the timely opportunity or last-minute change in plans. You need to be focused but also able to process and with the relative importance of competing stimuli and to be flexible, nimble and ready to move from one task to another, form one thought to another. This cognitive flexibility and adaptability is known as set shifting.

6. Connect the Dots: The organized and efficient individual pulls together the things we’ve already talked about; the ability to quiet the inner frenzy, to develop consistent and sustained focus, to develop cognitive control, to flexibly adapt to new stimuli and to mold information. The organized and efficient individual synthesizes these qualities-much as the various part of the brain are brought together to perform task or help solve problems and brings these abilities to bear on the problem or opportunity at hand.

When you organize your mind you organize your Life making it possible to stay mindful of your self-care priorities while navigating the challenging stresses of everyday life this can be helpful to any one who wants to tame their frenzy.

A Relationship Isn’t Like Grandma’s Silver

A relationship isn’t like Grandma’s silver that you can take out of its box once a year to polish. It’s something that needs constant spiffying up.

How you and your partner cope with these statements: I had a hard day or I have bad news to tell you can set the stage for how the two of you spend the rest of your evening together. Depending on how and when the two of you talk about the hard day you had or the bad news it can rob you of your joy. Learning relationship skills can help you and your partner return to joy faster and that is better than remaining angry and up set for the rest of the evening isn’t it?

Your home is your castle but sometimes coming home after a hard day at the office or a hard day traveling or it’s just a hard commute. The kids may have acted up, the washing machine may have broken down or the loneliness was too much.

Up or down, down or up, what ever the cause, sometimes opening the front door, the tensions can be cut with a knife. Coming home should be a time of relief. A man or woman’s home is his or her castle. When that front door close behind you, there’s an expectation of calm and getting off the rat’s treadmill for a little while.

So when that open door presents you with an out-of- control maelström of anger, crying or tension, you’re left with no place to go and the bell sounds “round one” the moment one partner enters the house, then no one should be surprised if he or she comes in swinging with words.

There’s no question that the problems at home must be dealt with, but there needs to be a moment or two of transition before they are handed over on a red-hot cookie sheet. So let the person coming home take a deep breath, change out of their work clothes, and maybe have a snack. Then give him or her the bad news or whatever else it is and they will be better equipped to help deal with it.

Here is a suggestion while you may want to give partners coming home a few minutes to gather themselves, you also might want to let them know there’s’ a storm on the horizon. Set up some sort of signal it can be a verbal or a little sign such as an actual red flag so that they’ll know to expect something. Remember a relationship isn’t like Grandma’s silver that you take out of its box once a year to polish it’s something that needs constant spiffying up with red flags and snacks.

Find A Mentor

A mentor is a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person. Some professions have “mentoring programs” in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people, who advise them and serve as examples as they advance.

Schools sometimes offer mentoring programs to new students having difficulties. Today’s mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks. In many different arenas people have benefited from being part of a mentoring relationship, including: Athletes Eddy Merckx (five-time Tour de France winner) mentored Lance Armstrong (seven-time Tour de France winner). Bobby Chariton mentored David Beckman.

Mentorship refers to a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The person in receipt of mentorship may be referred to as a protegé’ (male), a  protegée (female), an apprentice or, in recent years, a mentee. “Mentoring” is a process that always involves communication and is relationship based, but its precise definition is elusive.

Think about the things you have learned over the course of your life. Many of those skills and bits of wisdom have stuck with you because of how you felt about the person you learned them from. When a coworker, friend, parent or even a casual acquaintance asks you if you can help them succeed.

 If you are a parent or a grandparent you are a mentor and its an honor; however, if you are feeling a little wary, here is a good reason to cast off your fear, its to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from teaching your children, grandchildren and others in its purest form.  If you want a life that is larger than life be a mentor or find one.




A Little Boomer Humor

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”  Author George Burns. ” One of the problems about retirement is that it gives you more time to read about retirement.” This is Bob’s story about life after retirement.

Dear Friends,

It is important for men to remember that as women grow older it becomes harder for the to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did when they were younger. When men notice this, they should try not to yell. Let me relate how I handle the situation.

When I got laid off from my consulting job and took early retirement in March, it became necessary for Nadine to get a full-time job, both for the extra income and for the health benefits that we need. It was shortly after she started working that I noticed she was beginning to show her age.

I usually get home from fishing or hunting about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says that she has to rest for a half an hour or so before she starts supper. I try not to yell; instead I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she finally does get supper on the table. She use to wash and dry the dishes as soon as we finished eating. Now it is not unusual for them to sit on the table for many hours after supper. I do what I can by reminding her several times each evening that they aren’t cleaning themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to help her get them done before she goes to bed. Now that she is older, she seems to get tired much more quickly. Our washer and dryer are in the basement. Sometimes she says she just can’t make another trip down those steps. I don’t make a big issue of this, as long as she finishes the laundry the next evening I am willing to overlook it.

Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday lodge meeting, or to Wednesday’s or Sunday’ poker club, or to Tuesday’s or Thursday’s bowling, or something like that, I will tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a little more time to take care of odds and ends, like shampooing the dog, vacuuming, or dusting.

Also, if I have a really good day fishing, it allows her to gut and scale the fish at a more leisurely pace. Nadine is starting to complain a little occasionally. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. In spite of her complaining, I continue to try to offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two, or even three days. That way she wouldn’t have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch altogether now and then would hurt her any, if you know what I mean.

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. Recently she had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to embarrass her when she needs these little extra rest breaks. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. I tell her that as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me and take her break by the hammock so she can talk with me until I fall asleep.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Nadine on a daily basis. I’m saying that the ability to show this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible. No one knows better than I do how frustrating women can be as they get older. However, guys, even if you yell at your wife just a little less often because of this article, I will consider writing it worthwhile. Bob.

Bob’s funeral was Sunday, April 25th and Nadine was acquitted Monday, April 27 th. That says it all. Doesn’t it?