I have now recommended this book to clients in recovery coaching and to coaching clients who may be dealing with a friend or family member that struggles with addiction. It is certainly worth a read. I hope many people do read the book and that it helps bring about a much needed change in perception and treatment of people that struggle with addiction.
I read the article, and watched the TedTalk, and have yet to read the book (currently on request at the library). The article is about the causes of addiction and quotes a study called Rat Park conducted in the 1970s by Bruce Alexander PhD. (See the full study here). With out reproducing the whole article, essentially Dr. Alexander found out that rats addicted to cocaine or heroin living in a bare cage that were then transported to a cage with lots of activities, exercise, other rats to socialize with, good rat chow, basically a “Rat Park,” abandoned their addiction. Fundamentally, “he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.” Read More >
Okay so this time I was beset upon by a roving gang of monkeys that staunchly forbid me to update my blog, why? Honestly, I have no idea because I don’t speak monkey. Grin.
Alright, alright, I have no excuses. After my last post, my motivation went *poof* (again) and I kept saying I would get back to it and kept prioritizing everything else. Or I would have a great idea as I drifted off to sleep, not make a note of it, and fail to recall the idea in the morning, giving myself one more reason to say “I’ll get to it later.”
So here I am posting on motivation and keeping myself accountable (again) and making a sincere effort to not let so much time accumulate between posts.
What helped me this time, supportive friends (again), and reminding myself that if I don’t make time for this, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. I am the only one that is going to maintain my website, which cannot occur if I never give it time. So I sat down again at my computer gave myself permission to stare at an empty page willing inspiration to appear. I limited other distractions, no web surfing, no emailing, no looking at cat videos. I prioritized this blog, this aspect of my life, and when I did, well these words came out. They may not be the best words ever posted, yet they don’t have to be, for today it is enough that I sat down and did what I had been putting off for way too long.
And with that I am slowly getting motivation and determination back in alignment and am realizing that sometimes “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
The funny thing is, the post was about motivation and I was 80 percent done writing it and my motivation fizzled, *poof* it was gone. Or maybe I could say it was transmogrified; every time I would go to finish the post, something else would capture my attention and suddenly organizing my sock drawer became crucial. Okay, so maybe I didn’t organize my sock drawer; however I did manage to strip all the paint off my wooden staircase which is a task I have been avoiding for 4 years. So yeah, my motivation shifted and boy was I motivated to avoid finishing my post. Luckily I have a good friend who reads this and kept asking me where my next post was. Turns out I was motivated to come up with vague answers to evade the question. This made me think about all the energy I was expending avoiding my post, so I figured it was a good time to explore this issue, as I know I am not the only one who experiences the capriciousness of motivation.
So I wonder if it comes down to an alignment of determination and motivation. Certainly one won’t work with out the other. So what throws them out of alignment? For me with my last post, something felt off and I couldn’t figure out what. Stopping and focusing on something else often provides me with the inspiration to continue. This time, no dice, my motivation and determination fell out of alignment and the only thing I was determined to do was anything else. Read More >
Follow-through is defined as either the part of the stroke following the strike of the ball or the act or instance of following-through. I would argue that following-through is often many strung together acts of following-through, most of us don’t follow-through just once on a project and say “ah that’s done.” Usually isn’t that simple and it is a compilation of follow-throughs that ultimately help us reach our goals. Just as in a football, or er soccer game, the game doesn’t stop when one goal is made. There are many kicks and plays leading to many follow-throughs which may not result in a goal, however it does result in an over all game and a type of accomplishment. Sometimes it is just hard to see the big picture. Pardon me for the sporting analogy, which admittedly is not an area of expertise. However I am moved for two reasons, one the World Cup starts tomorrow (Woo Hoo) and two because I have been experiencing some lessons around follow-through. These lessons highlighted for me both how important follow-through can be, as well as the difficulties around “follow-through.”
I am a big fan of Project Runway and more recently of Under the Gunn; which just finished its first season. The attraction to these shows is multifaceted, partly because the level of creativity is so high, partly as I see some of the challenges as a metaphor for daily life (but that’s another blog), and in large part due to Tim Gunn. He serves as a mentor and displays many admirable traits, including direct honest communication that is compassionate, and an unwavering belief in people’s abilities. Perhaps what I love most of all is his catch phrase “Make it work,” on the shows the phrase is referring to the outfits the designers are creating. However I started thinking about this lovely phrase and realized it really can pertain to our day to day lives. As a coach I observe that people don’t give themselves the space to “make it work,” they tell themselves things like “make it perfect” or “do it right the first time.” If more often we just encouraged ourselves and others to simply “make it work” no matter what or how that looks, we might be more willing to try things. I think “make it work” is about being okay with the possibility of making a mistake, of creating something not “perfect.” Overall “make it work” is about showing up, being seen and putting oneself out there. It is so simple, compassionate, elegant, and yes hard. Read More >
People come to coaching to create a better life for themselves. However sometimes the “better life” isn’t their idea of a better life, but some one else’s idea of a better life. Often the work starts with exploring who we are and what we really want. So why do so many folks not know what they truly want? Consider all the messages we get from society, media, parents, peers etc. about what and how our lives should look like or be like. Many of these messages have been with us our entire lives yet we don’t question them. That is why I am excited to share these videos with you today. These two teasers are for documentaries that shine light on this subject and how harmful it is to us individually and as a society. I hope you find them intriguing and thought provoking. Enjoy
This is a time of year when lots of people are thinking of goals, resolutions and making changes. It is a positive thing to think about turning over a “new leaf” with the New Year and doing something positive for yourself; whether that be ending an old negative habit, incorporating a new positive habit or working towards some larger life goal. The difficult thing about this time of the year is that making changes has been built-up and hyped and maybe we even feel we “should” make changes. As a result we often make resolutions to change a bunch of things and think we have to start them all and make huge progress right away. I recently read an article that summed up this idea, suggesting that if we resolve to eat no cookies for the entire month of January we will be eating a bag of cookies by two pm. Okay that might be an exaggeration however that is often what ends up happening. The things we resolve to do are either so big or so extreme that we set ourselves up for inevitable failure, and we don’t make an allowance for mistakes or set backs in our resolutions. When we hit that inevitable set back or mistake we feel as though we have “failed.” When we feel we have failed we often label our efforts or worse ourselves as “failures” which ends up being self defeating causing us to abandon our goals all together. Well that doesn’t work! Read More >
On a recent run I was listening to one of my electronic dance music playlists…(it is my thing when I run) when Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” started playing, sounds really deep and profound right? Well it was, maybe because I was in the flow and really able to think about some of the lyrics, two verses stood out for me starting with this one:
Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning
It got me to thinking, things, actually everything does end with beginnings and begin with endings, that cycle of beginnings and endings is the force that keeps us “spinning” it is life. Our lives began when our parents’ lives as they knew it ended. Our mornings begin when our sleep ends, our evening begins when our day ends. Read More >
Happy post-Thanksgiving and mid-Hanukkah to all those who celebrate either or both! It is wonderful that we have a day set aside in our calendar for giving thanks. Think about how you feel on Thanksgiving, maybe you are grateful you are with family, maybe you are grateful you are not with family, that you got to travel or you didn’t have to, grateful there are yams at the table, grateful there aren’t yams. You get the idea, there really isn’t a wrong or a right thing to be grateful about, just think of how life seems when you are in that grateful place. Does life seem easier, harder, or the same? My point is that when we practice gratitude things do usually seem better. Most of us want to experience ourselves and our lives as “better,” and we can do that by cultivating gratitude, the more gratitude we cultivate the better life seems. As Brené Brown says “Gratitude is the path to joy.” I encourage you to join me on that path and start a practice of gratitude. Start simply and with small things, it truly all adds up. I am grateful for all of you and wish you the warmest beginning to the Holiday season!