Archive for March, 2012

March 31, 2012

A Dose of Inspiration

Hello all,
Tomorrow I am starting my own personal habit change challenge where I will: 1) List Daily Gratitudes 2) Journal Personal Successes 3) Find time to Meditate 4) Exercise! I huge “Thank You” for those who have agreed to join this challenge; Lynie L Vinyard Currie Rose , Sue,  and Lem .

To my personal challenge list, I am adding “read personal affirmations”. Daily affirmations are a great tool to work on one’s unconscious beliefs. “Affirmation Year”  already has a challenge for focusing on affirmations for the year.

Today, I am reblogging this inspirational story about Terry Fox! I hope this story motivates you to move forward towards any perceived obstacle!

Compassion Through Thoughts!

“Hope is the physician of each misery”.       Irish Proverb

The world faces pain each day.Some give in, but there are some who bear it, for others.Terry Fox is one such man of hope, whose hope blooms everyday, in the hearts of thousands, helping them stand and fight, never give up – not untill they achieve greatness, not till they soar high above, and till they achieve solitude and escape from pain!I feel so proud to share his story of ever-living hope, because for me the name “Terry Fox” means “DREAM” and “HOPE”.

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles”.     Alex Karras

“Disease is somatic; the suffering from it, psychic”.        Martin H. Fischer

Terry Fox was born on 28th july 1958 in Canada.He lost a leg to osteosarcoma when he was 18.He woke up one day with a dull pain…

View original post 1,418 more words

March 31, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thanks and appreciation go out to momentum of joy at  http://momentumofjoy.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award. She is a very positive and uplifting blogger. Recently, she has been showered with blogging awards.

Here are seven things about me.

  1. .    Being a good father is very important to me
  2. .    I choose to thing of myself as a survivor instead of a victim of my past.
  3. .    I do my best to exercise every day.
  4. .    My eldest child just receive a report card that was a close to perfect as possible
  5. .    I love to surf every weekend I can.
  6. .    When I can’t surf, I like to mountain bike.
  7. .     I appreciate a good cup of coffee!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award (7) – Thanks to the following bloggers for their great posts.

  1. http://jaredblakedicroce.com/
  2. http://theherowithinu.com/
  3. http://bellableue.com/
  4. http://orbitalathletics.wordpress.com/
  5. http://sandyseeber.wordpress.com/
  6. http://gaia365.wordpress.com/about/
  7. http://wisdomwithinconsultancy.com/
March 30, 2012

Sunshine Award

I am very grateful to “Simply Charming” for the nomination for the “Sunshine Award”. I love how this awards was presented to me. Thank you for the fun and the appreciation.

 The Rules: *made to be broken*

  1. Include the award Logo(s) in a post or in your blog.
  2. Answer 10 question about your self.
  3. Nominate 10 to 12 other fabulous bloggers.
  4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.
  5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

The Questions: (and answers from a man of few words)

  1. .    What is your Favorite color?  Blue
  2. .    What is your favorite animal? Dog
  3. .    What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?   Coffee
  4. .    Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook, if I absolutely had to choose.
  5. .    What’s your passion?  Supporting students with special needs.
  6. .    What’s your Favourite pattern?  Mandelbrot sets
  7. .    Do you prefer giving or getting presents?  Giving
  8. .    What’s your favourite number?  Seven
  9. .    Favourite day of the week?  Saturday
  10. .    Favorite flower…
Jasmine
Now it is time to give “props” to some awesome bloggers. And the nominations for the “Sunshine Blogger Award” are.
  1. http://henriksenlearning.wordpress.com/
  2. http://saymberblondi.wordpress.com/
  3. http://orples.wordpress.com/
  4. http://akissofbliss.wordpress.com/
  5. http://momentumofjoy.wordpress.com/
  6. http://currierose.wordpress.com/
  7. http://adammaikkula.wordpress.com/
  8. Http://couragetoadventurecoaching.com
  9. http://outsideair.wordpress.com/
  10. http://thelifeofjwo.wordpress.com/

I hope that you all enjoy the fun and appreciation of the sunshine award! You have all brought me more sunlight (he said going for the most obvious of cliche’s).

March 29, 2012

Change Starts……Sunday

“Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!”

April fools will not be a joke if you decide to participate in a “21 day” habit change.

“Why 21 days?” Why not! The intent is that by all of us  monitoring our daily progress on a set of skills for 21 days that we will build momentum and achieve our target goals.

“Why are you posting this challenge?” There is more unity with a community! If a group of us move forward together, we can keep each other accountable.

“Didn’t you post about this yesterday?” Yes! But Lem from identityspecialist.net reminded me that I forgot to post the start time.

Considerations for Life Change

  1. Accept full responsibility of where you are in life. – It is very difficulty to take action moving forward if you feel it is someone else’s responsibility.
  2. Find you Passion! – It is easier to gain momentum to work forward if you are passionate about where you want to go.
  3. Set Clear Goals! – If you don’t know where you want to go, how could you get there?
  4. Reflect on your beliefs – Are your belief’s appreciative or depreciative? Are your unconscious beliefs holding you back?
  5. Habits – This is what this 21-day challenge is all about. Let’s build some daily habits that have evidence to leading to improving our perception of happiness.
  6. Action – Take positive daily action to work towards you goals!

Research Based Suggestions for Habit Change!!!!

– A fellow blogger “MyLifeIsASmorgasbord” posted a link to Shawn Actor’s Ted Talk. Shawn’s talk provides us all with the research for the proposed targeted habits for the “21 day habit change challenge”.

  • Gratitude – The more that you record what you are grateful for, the more you look for things to be grateful for and the more you will experience gratitude.
  • Journaling (blogging) – Journaling about the daily positives help you re-live these experiences in your brain and you increase your positive daily experiences. I suggested journaling your successes because it is important to acknowledge the progress that we make every day.
  • Exercise – There is a lot of research on the positive effects of exercise on mood and health.
  • Meditation –  The article linked here is the most comprehensive article I have read so far on meditative practice. I will speak from personal experience that when I practice meditation daily, I have a much better control of my emotional response.

So far, I only have one blogger accepting this challenge with me. Currie Rose, you Rock!

The 21 days will officially start Sunday. Every few days I will post a “feedback” blog where everyone can comment on his/her success.

To Success!

-Andrew Gilbert

 

 

 

March 28, 2012

Habit Change Challenge

 We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.  ~Jim Ryun

A habit is something you can do without thinking – which is why most of us have so many of them.  ~Frank A. Clark

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.  ~Somerset Maugham

I have heard so much about the notion that it takes 21 days to change a habit, that I just thought of this as fact. As I was getting ready to write this, I discovered the that notion of the 21-day habit change theory only goes back to one primary source, Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s book titled, ”Psycho-Cybernetics”. One source is hardly hard science. However, committing to 21 days of working on a habit can at the very least develop a pattern.

Alcoholics Anonymous has been working on helping people change destructive habits one day at a time. When we focus on making a commitment on a daily basis, we can focus on the moment and we reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by our goal.

Whether it is 21 days in a row or just a day at a time, I had the following suggestions of some positive habits to try on:

  • –       Meditate, pray or find some quiet time for yourself for one minute or more per day.
  • –       Exercise for at least 10 minutes per day
  • –       Create a journal with at least one item of gratitude per day
  • –       Create a journal with at least one item of Success per day.

Of course these four items could be expanded. I am all for more exercise, more meditation, more success and more gratitude. In fact, you could add more habits such as getting adequate sleep and eating right. Sometimes it is good to start with sustainable habits to get the momentum going.

Want to join me for 21 days?

March 27, 2012

Responding to Gossip

I have wanted to write something about gossip for some time. I thought it would be easy. I thought I could just write “gossip is bad, avoid it at all costs”. Unfortunately for me, this is much more of a nuanced subject. In 2006, Jennifer Bosson published a paper demonstrating disliking a third person creates a more powerful social connection than a mutual preference for somebody. This supplies us with another example that the world is not simply “Black or White”.

When reviewing the literature on gossip, there are challenges on how to define gossip. Is gossip just a conversation about a third party without the third party present? Is it gossip only when we are talking about someone we know, or is talking about a celebrity count? Is it gossip if we are “talking smack” about someone who is in earshot (like children have been observed to do)?

In Eric K. Foster’s paper “Research on Gossip: Taxonomy, Methods, and Future Directions” (Review of General Psychology, 2004, Vol. 8, No. 2, 78–99) it is stated that a common definition of gossip for research purposes is: “In a context of congeniality, gossip is the exchange of personal information (positive or negative) in an evaluative way (positive or negative) about absent third parties.

Eric K. Foster’s paper breaks down gossip into major social functions including: information, entertainment, friendship (or intimacy), influence and evolutionary utility.

Information: Gossip can be an effective tool of distributing information. Historically, before the advent of print media, radio, television and the Internet, most information was passed through an oral tradition (gossip). In smaller social groups, gossip is how group members exchange information about each other.

Entertainment: Gossiping for entertainment’s sake does not need to be malevolent in nature. In this instance the gossiper and gossipee may just exchange information about third parties without any salacious details. However, more “sensitive” or controversial information is often seen as more entertaining gossip. In this context, the enjoyment of the gossip is considered more important than the information itself.

Friendship: “The friendship or intimacy function of gossiping refers both to dyadic interchanges and to the way in which gossip brings groups together through the sharing of norms, thereby establishing boundaries to distinguish insiders from outsiders.”

The 2006, Jennifer Bosson study on gossip fits into this category. When two “strangers” meet and find they have a mutual dislike for a third party, the gossip about the third party creates a new “in group” and the “strangers” now feel that they have something in common. Gossip for the sake of friendship can be positive in the sense that gossip can enhance the social bond between select people. The downside of this type of gossip is being on the out-group, where this type of gossip may lead to one feeling like a victim of the gossip of the in-group.

Influence: Gossip has the power of significantly influencing our behavior. Many of us fear being “caught” engaging in a behavior that our “in-group” may deem odd, eccentric or a violation of a social norm, since this violation will be likely topic of gossip. If we know that rule violations are spread quickly through our social group, our behavior is greatly influenced. This type of social functioning is “positive” if gossip is used to dissuade a group member of engaging in an activity that is harmful to a group. However, the influence function of gossip is “negative” if this social mechanism targets freedom of self-expression, religion, political affiliation etc.

Evolutionary Utility: This is the type of gossip that keeps cousins from marrying Cousins and alerts community members to the health risk of interacting with “infectious” people. In the old days, the matrimonial custom of “speak now, or forever hold your piece” was essentially a query to the local community of; “Hey folks, the word has been out for a while that these two are going to get married. Does anybody know if these two are related?”  In Malawi, a country in southeast Africa, gossiping is used to alert community members as to who has HIV and who does not (see This American Life).

As we have seen, gossip does provide some social functions. However, as many of us has experienced, there is definitely a “down-side” to gossip.

Reputation – Gossip can be used as a tool to harm someone’s reputation. During every political cycle, one party brings up a tawdry piece of gossip about the other party. This type of gossip can be based on truth, or completely fabricated.

*Response: When you hear about a piece of gossip that is obviously designed to “take someone down”, remain objective. Look to a neutral third party for verification. If this piece of gossip does not affect you ignore it. Do NOT pass it on if you have any doubts to the intent or veracity of the gossip!

Productivity – Idle gossip, though “entertaining” is unproductive. Excessive gossip at work or school lowers overall productivity. If the work environment allows any gossip that maligns the character of any employee, there is a great chance of a “toxic work environment” being created where gossip wars are fought by varying in-groups.

*Response: When you hear co-workers gossip on a continual basis, resist the urge to join the chorus. Sometimes it can be valuable to change the topic to something more positive or at least something bases on facts. Whenever possible, it is best to stay out of gossip between “warring factions” at work.

Self-Esteem: Hearing gossip about oneself can be harmful to your sense of wellbeing.

*Response:

  1. Remember that you are in control of how you choose to think, feel and react. You can always ignore gossip if you have the feeling that it is innocuous and it will just go away.
  2. Be wary of the truthfulness of all gossip. Avoid being “Iago-ed”! In Othello, Iago continued to fill Othello’s ears with lies until (SPOILER ALERT) Othello killed his wife. If someone is telling us gossip that they heard someone else say, consider their motivation. Are they trying to get you in their in-group? Are they trying to socially isolate you? Are they honestly trying to be helpful?
  3. Refrain from retaliation. Once you retaliate, you are an active participant the “gossip game” and with any game, there is a great chance you may lose. Spreading gossip makes you a target for more gossip.
  4. Set the record straight.  If someone is saying something that is untrue, make sure the truth is known. If gossip is happening at work, it is best to inform your employer. However, it is your boss that is spreading gossip about you, it may be wise to consider human resources or your union representation.
  5. Share what you want shared. Sometimes it is best to keep your private life private. If you don’t want your co-workers to think that you are an “irresponsible drunk”, don’t talk about the one time that you drank too much.

It would be easy to say, “gossip is the problem”. However, gossip has historically been a positive force of social communication. The challenge comes with how we use gossip or respond to gossip. I hope that you are able to learn to be mindful of gossip to strengthen social bonds as well as being able to respond to gossip so you can maintain high self-esteem.

All comments/ feedback are appreciated. (Rumors and innuendo are discouraged).

 

 

 

March 26, 2012

GRATITUDE 4 the 7 X 7 Link Award!

First and foremost, I would like to show my appreciation to Marcy King at http://orples.wordpress.com/ for the nomination of the 7 X 7 Link award. Marcy has been very encouraging of “Influence Versus Control” and she always provides great comments. Marcy’s site includes great information about her children’s books as well as some cool photography.

And now, the rules for the 7 X 7 Link Award

  1. Give thanks and acknowledgements to the blogger who nominated you for this award
  2. List 7 of your previous links in the following categories. Most Helpful, Most Popular, Most Beautiful Piece, Most Controversial, Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated, Most Pride Worthy)
  3. List 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for this award.

Here are my SEVEN Links:

1.) Most Helpful – Setting Personal Goals

2.) Most Popular – Personal Responsibility

3.) Most Beautiful Piece – People First!

4.) Most Controversial – Identity

5.) Most Surprisingly Successful – Being Sick

6.) Most Underrated – Find Your Passion!

7) Most Pride Worthy – Scripting For Emotional Success

SEVEN things about myself (Andrew Gilbert)

  1. The most important thing to me is being a good father. I prioritize spending time with my children as much as possible.
  2. My wife, Emily Dolton, is an inspiring member of the local community and she does much as she can to address the needs of people with special needs. She is also an amazing artist/ muralist (http://www.insideemilyshead.com/)
  3. I have a child that has “special needs”. I definitely feel that his needs do not define him and are just an attribute (see People First blog). The love that I have learned from this “little guy” and overcoming his early health obstacles have been the main inspiration for changing my overall life outlook from “totally cynical” to a “recovering cynic”.
  4. As a “recovering cynic”, I admit that I am not perfect. I have not “been to the mountain top”, but I have seen postcards. I practice every day to be more positive and collect more data to reinforce a more optimistic worldview.
  5. As a school based occupational therapist, I have collaborated on two programs that utilize movement as an instructional strategy. One of these programs was demonstrated to improve vision skills, the other was demonstrated to improve handwriting / penmanship for Kindergarten students. I feel that movement is vital for all of us and that movement is a vital instructional strategy.  (http://occupationaltherapystrategies.com/)
  6. I love to surf. It helps clear my brain and it is great exercise!
  7. When the surf is blown out  or too small, I like mountain biking.

For this award, I did my best to “spread the love around”. There are some great bloggers that I follow I want to acknowledge Jay Rondo for the Versatile Blogging nomination and “a kiss of bliss” for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. Thanks again to Marcy King at http://orples.wordpress.com/ for the nomination of the 7 X 7 Link award!

The SEVEN nominated bloggers for the 7 X 7 Link Award are:

  1. http://davidkanigan.com/ – For positive words and art.
  2. http://positivecookieattitudes.wordpress.com – More than just positive baking advice. Consistent positive blogging action!
  3. http://identityspecialist.net/ – Total honest, in your face blogging action!
  4. http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/ – This blog reminds us that it is always better to give than receive.
  5. http://everythingvnothing.wordpress.com/ – This blog provides consistent inspiration.
  6. http://momentumofjoy.wordpress.com/ – The name says it all. This blog keeps the joy moving.
  7. http://currierose.wordpress.com/ – A wonderful spirit! I love the whimsy and honesty.

 

Thank you very much for stopping by “Influence Versus Control”. Please stop by and say “Hello” to the great bloggers listed in this award.

March 25, 2012

Appreciation versus Depreciation

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
Voltaire

Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.
Alan Cohen

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. – Frederick Keonig

 

When we consider our beliefs, there is a dichotomy of how we can choose to approach the world.  We can find value in everything around us, or we can devalue our world. In “The Secrets of the Power of Intention”, Dr. Wayne Dyer discussed this in terms of appreciation and depreciation. When we are appreciative, we find more value in all things around us. Wayne Dyer used the example of the Holocaust Survivor Victor Frankl  who was able to mentally survive living in a concentration camp by finding beauty in a fish head floating in his soup.

When we look at the world appreciatively, we are creating more value to ourselves. Since our experience is essentially governed by our perception of the world around us, the more value we find, the more value we perceive. When you adopt the strategy of appreciation you are more likely to turn a challenge into an opportunity.

It is important to note that most people are not solely appreciative or completely depreciative. It would be very difficult to imagine someone appreciating the passing of a loved one or devaluing winning $1,000,000. However, the more appreciative someone is in his or her habits, thoughts and feelings it would be easier for that person to accept the passing of a loved one by focusing on memories of the good time shared with that person and of all the things they have learned from that person. If someone is commonly depreciative, they may still adopt a pattern of daily complaining even after winning $1,000,000.

When evaluating your beliefs, consider if you beliefs are creating more value for you.

Depreciate beliefs include:

  • Belief that you are unworthy of love, affection, success or material goods
  • Belief that you are superior to others (since you are depreciating others)
  • Belief that you are inferior to others (since you are depreciating yourself)
  • Belief that you would only be worthy if you had a certain amount of social status or material goods.

Appreciate beliefs include:

  • Belief that you are worthy of love, affection, success or material goods
  • Belief that all people have value
  • Belief that you have value regardless or race, status or class
  • Belief that you can learn something from all situations

I hope that you are able to find value in each and every day!

Judgment as an evaluative process is “positive” since it is helpful for us to compare differing perspectives to make a decision or to evaluate information to make a wise decision to determine the best course of action. This sense of judgment infers using sound criteria as a part of the process. It also connotes an image of fairness and justice.

However, we people are labeled as “judgmental”, we imagine a person who uses judgment to devaluate. We devalue others when we engage in the practice of discrimination and prejudice. When we devalue others, we feel in some way superior to “the other”. The process of devaluing people can be extremely dangerous. In the extreme case of genocide, the side committing the atrocities devalued the group victimized by the genocide.

When we adopt the habit of devaluing others through judgment, we know subconsciously that other people may be “judging” us. If I am judging others, it only makes sense that someone else would be judging me. Therefore, the more judgmental we become, the more afraid we may become of being judged ourselves. It also follows that the more that we have experienced being devalued by another’s judgment, the more likely we are to feel justified in judging others.

The next time you find yourself judging a quality of another person, ask yourself if you are evaluating or devaluating this person.

I feel that this is one of the many life situations where the old saying of “do onto others as you wish others to do onto you” would apply.

March 24, 2012

Events + Response = Outcome

One of the most influential equations that I have learned in my life has been:
E + R = O
For this equation;

  • E = Events
  • R = Your chosen response to an Event
  • O = The overall outcome

In the model, the “Event” is neutral. It is not “good” or “bad”, it is just a life circumstance. It is our Response to an event that will shape how we label or perceive the event in our minds. How we choose to Respond to an event directly effects the overall outcome.

For example, imagine you are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You choose to respond by calling the other kid a worse name. The outcome is that the other kid hits you.

Imagine this scenario with a different response. You are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You ignore the other kid and move to the other side of the playground to be with a group of your friends. The outcome is that you have moved on with your day without conflict.

Let us look at this equation from an “Influence versus Control” perspective

  • E = Events – These are things that you typically can’t control. You may be able to influence factors leading up to events, but the event would have happened without you. Life events can be the small events such as being cut off in traffic or misplacing your house keys to major life events such as your house burning down or losing a family member.
  • R = Response – This is where you have some control. You can choose your response. When a life event happens, you can remember that there are multiple ways to respond to any situation and you can practice taking the time needed to evaluate your response. Since your response has a strong influence on the outcome, it is important to take personal responsibility for your responses to all life events.
  • O = Outcomes- This is an areas where we have influence. If we react “positively” to a situation, we are more likely to experience a “positive” outcome.

The next time “life happens”, do your best to take the time to evaluate your response and observe how the outcome unfolds.

March 23, 2012

Giving and Receiving Thanks!

Today I am very thankful for being nominated for blogging awards by my fellow bloggers.

To honor this personal “day of thanks”, I began pondering some considerations for giving and receiving thanks. I did not find much information on formal “rules” of giving thanks (with the exception of “Thank You” notes), so most of these suggestions come from my personal experience. I am very interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this matter.

Giving Thanks

  • Say “thank you” anytime someone does someone nice for you! And I do mean everyone, even the people you may not like the best. Say “thank you” to everyone that does a service for you. Frequently saying “thank you” with sincerity any is a great way to practice appreciation and gratitude!
  • When showing appreciation, say “thank you” versus “I’m sorry”. Sometimes, when I have helped someone out, they may say “I am sorry that I took too much of your time”, or “I am sorry that I put you out”. In these situations, I would have much rather have heard “thank you for your time” or “thank you very much for your assistance”. When I hear “thank you”, I feel appreciated. When I hear “I am sorry”, I am puzzled since “I am sorry” is something you say when you have done something wrong. When we say “thank you”, we can elicit a sense of gratitude. When we say, “I’m sorry”, we are inadvertently conveying a message of regret and/or shame.
  • Reserve the sarcastic “thanks” for your friends that understand the humor of your intentions. When you are joking with your friends, sarcasm can be funny when used in moderation. However, if your co-workers and friends can no longer tell if your “thanks” is dripping with sarcasm or oozing with sincerity, you may have lost a significant “rapport –building” tool.
  • Avoid over-thanking. In most cases, a simple “thank you” followed by the respondents “your welcome” is sufficient. If you continue to say thank you after your thanks has been acknowledged, you may be wandering into the “creepy” zone. I know of many people who start to feel self-conscious when they are thanked too many times. I know of other folks who become wary of “over-thankers” since they begin to doubt that person’s sincerity.

Receiving Thanks

  • Adopt social convention. Receiving thanks is like receiving a gift. It is best to accept it graciously and acknowledge that the “thanks” is appreciated with a socially appropriate response such as “your welcome”. The response “it was nothing” may also be acceptable if it is stated only once.
  • Avoid “depreciating” a “thank you”. If we are in a personal space when we do not feel worthy of thanks, we may have the tendency of “arguing our worth for the thanks”.  This is the case where someone thanks us and we spend time and energy explaining to them that we are not worthy of this “thanks”. The person trying to gives thanks may leave the exchange feeling uneasy. Since we have “rebuffed” a thank you, we have chosen not to feel appreciated.

In compiling this list, I have to admit that I am not an expert on giving or receiving thanks. In fact many of the habits described above are things that I need to practice myself.

Please tell me what you think.