Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Simply saying "Cheer Up" simply doesn't work. However taking action sometimes does work. Here are 10 tips from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 10 Mar 2009 05:07 PM PDTWe've all been upset. Sadness is a totally natural emotional response to certain environmental stimuli. Most of us have support, or systems in place to overcome sadness, reach balance, and go on to be happy as quickly as possible.
There are two groups of people that have prolonged sadness, or depression. One group consists of those that have a severe chemical imbalance, which requires a doctor, and possibly medication to treat. This article is not geared for that group. Rather, this is directed to the people in a funk or seem stuck in a rut, those that lack the tools, know-how, and support systems to bounce them back.
In my opinion, and I'm no doctor (BA, Psychology; MS, Biomedical Science), the latter group of people are wise to seek natural treatments instead of simply medicating the symptoms. That's why we're going to look at 10 ways to overcome sadness, without the happy pills.
- Set Goals
Something special happens the moment the paper meets the pen and we write down our goals. Our brain chemistry changes, neurons fire, hormones are deployed, and we start thinking about how we can achieve those goals.
Getting the right amount of sleep is healthy for our body and mind. Some argue that sleep deprivation treats depression, but I don't buy it. I think it's a cheap distraction that catches up to you within days. Get enough rest.
If you're physically capable, try one hour of cardio (or as much as you can). If you're tee-shirt is soaking wet, you're standing in a puddle of your own sweat, and you can feel the endorphins pumping through your body, you did it right. Shower up and try not being happy, I dare you.
Many times we're making ourselves sad for no good reason at all. People have been known to keep grudges for lifetimes (most religions and nationalities keep them for generations). When you forgive, you remove this weight off your shoulders and put yourself in a position to be happier.
Many times when we complain we can cause ourselves to be sad. Complaining is just a factor of not taking into account what we're grateful for. Sit down and make a list of 100 things you're grateful for right now (and I dare you not to feel better).
Certain people have a disorder, in which, due to a lack of sunlight, they experience seasonal sadness. I'm somewhat affected by this in the winter when the days are shorter. That's why it pays to grab your iPod (or your friend) and go for 30 minute walks each day and embrace the sunlight.
This has always been my downfall; I don't drink enough and chances are you don't either. Some days I drink only 1 cup of water, and I feel horrible. When I remember, and drink 2-3 liters, I'm happy as a kitten on cat-nip, and productive as a bat out of hell.
Your life force, support system, and everything that matters. It's not hard to make friends if you put the time in. Everyone wants to be heard, appreciated, and loved. Start off by listening, appreciating and loving, and it will come back your way.
Take a temporary leave from reality and bury yourself in one of your favorite books. A lot of wise people have been through what you're going through and they made it through to the other side to tell about it.
This could be an escape but it doesn't have to be. You can write about fiction, and transport yourself to another world, or you can write about what's going on, and let your thoughts carry you through to a solution. Many great books were written by people who were, at least at the time, going through a period of pain and suffering.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Horrible Crash Ever Seen - video powered by Metacafe
This week my wife and I did something a little crazy. We tried to put a harness on one of our cats.
Because this cat is sort of snarly, we practiced on the other cat, who didn't like it but he puts up with a lot.
By the way, Napoleon is the name of the snarly cat. Puddy is the other cat. Puddy limps, so we call him Pimp Kitty sometimes. He also is very dog-like in that he wants to be around you all the time and will put up with nearly anything. He is also a "fraidy cat".
Napoleon is the opposite. Classic cat behavior. Thinks he is boss. Pretends like anything you want him to do is ridiculous. Even being fed. And he has a snarly attitude at times. Right now the snarly cat wants to be outside. Problem is he knows no boundaries. Last summer he would travel across a busy road and end up about 6 blocks away. This guy has no claws too.
So, we'd been talking about how to let snarly cat outdoors and yet keep him around. Thus a cat harness.
After getting it on the critter along with a leash, we took the snarly one outside. That part he liked. Coming inside he didn't.
So do you drag the cat? or pick him up while he tries to bite and maim you?
I picked him up since I am bigger than him and can control him, unlike my wife who is afraid of him.
What about you? Are you more doglike or catlike? Do you get snarly? What's the best way to handle you when you are? (Drag or pick up)?
I'll try the harness thing again this weekend when I'm doing yard work and report back.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
From Harvey recently:
Sparking employee spirit is every manager's job
I recently saw the movie "New In Town," which really drove home the point of employee spirit and morale. The timing of the release of this film is pretty interesting, given the current events in American businesses.
Lucy Hill, played by Renee Zellweger, is an ambitious, up-and-coming executive living in Miami. She is offered a temporary assignment to restructure a manufacturing plant in Minnesota, and in the heart of winter. Lucy has a life-changing experience when she gets to know many of the hard-working people, including the union representative, played by Harry Connick Jr.
When her corporate bosses order her to shut down the factory, Lucy is torn between her boss's request and the feelings she has developed for the employees. She takes matters into her own hands and asks employees to take a gamble to re-engineer the plant and start producing a new, more popular product. It will mean long days and no overtime pay, but the employees get behind her. And their hard work and spirit is rewarded in the end.
Happy endings are not always guaranteed in business situations. News everyday proves that. Many companies are facing uncertain times, and workers can tell you how that affects morale, and eventually, results.
March is Employee Spirit Month, a time to inspire the most vital asset of any organization: its employees. It's more important than ever in these hard economic times to boost employee morale and spirit.
Supervisors and managers should do everything in their power to try and improve employee morale and spirit. But it really starts with the individual. Each and every one of us should also make sure that our attitudes are positive. After all, attitudes are often as important as aptitudes.
Our performance depends on our attitude. It's just common sense that when people are not happy doing what they do, they don't do it as well. On the other hand, employee performance is unlimited when they truly like what they are doing and feel appreciated.
We all meet grumpy people that complain about everything. Don't let them get to you. Their behavior should never dictate your actions. Attitudes can be caught and taught. Remain positive. Looking on the bright side never causes eyestrain. It may not be your fault for being down, but it definitely is your fault for not getting up.
Harvard psychologist William James said: "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind."
My feeling is that this practice can extend to companies. A positive company culture should start at the top. It's always best for management to be honest and upfront with its workforce. And it makes sense to solicit their suggestions and input. Including employees in problem-solving also helps promote cooperation, which leads to better spirit. Why wouldn't a manager listen to the people who have such a vested interest in fixing things?
Victor Frankl, a prisoner during the Holocaust, made a lasting impression on me. I heard him speak many years ago. In his book, "Man's Search for Meaning," he talks about enduring many hardships. However, Dr. Frankl chose to exist in a world he created in his mind. His positive attitude in those painful years sustained him because he believed that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent of how we respond to it.
Author Glenn Van Ekeren tells the story of two young women working in a community hospital who decided to quit their jobs. They were tired of dealing with ungrateful, complaining patients, back-biting between employees and an apathetic administration. Just before quitting, though, these two women decided to try an experiment. They resolved, just for the fun of it, to bend over backwards for everyone they encountered on their last day of work.
No matter how someone looked at them, talked to them or treated them, they overwhelmed people with encouragement, courtesy and appreciation. Before long, an amazing transformation took place. Patients didn't seem so miserable, staff even smiled at each other and the administration seemed surprisingly interested in their affairs.
Results like this are possible at any company. I give plenty of credit to these employees for making changes on their own, but I'd really like to know that their supervisors set the standard for their actions and inspired their employees to shine on the cloudiest days.
Mackay's Moral: A positive employee spirit can keep your company from becoming a ghost town.
Miss a column? The last three weeks of Harvey's columns are always archived online.
More information and learning tools can be found online at harveymackay.com.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Yesterday I explained my Irishness. Today, the subject on this St. Patricks Day is Irish food.
As my wife and I were comparing notes, we discovered that I ate more corned beef growing up than she did. At least a couple times a month, my parents would make corned beef and cabbage along with potatoes and carrots in a pressure cooker and we would eat it with brown mustard. It was also a holiday meal around Christmas time.
Kathy and I also discovered that one of the best places in Indiana for a corned beef sandwich is in downtown Indianapolis at a deli called Shapiro's. 10 bucks for a sandwich big enough for two!
But there are other Irish fares that we will be tempted to consume tonight as we not only celebrate St. Pat's, but also our 8th wedding anversary.
- Irish Soda Bread. Kathy likes it, I can live without it.
- Bangers & Mash. Sausage & mashed potatoes with a brown gravy. I may have this tonight.
- Irish Stew. Plenty of Beef, Potatoes, and Veggies prepared Irish style.
- Green Beer. I'll pass on the food coloring. However I may try a...
- Guiness Beer. A small glass as I'm not a beer drinker. Or I may have an...
- Irish Coffee. A little Bailys for the effects of alcohol, mixed with caffiene from the coffee to keep me awake.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Tomorrow is St. Pattys Day. Really didn't think that much about it until 9 years ago. See, I'm not particularly Irish that I'm aware of.
My mom's side of the family was easy to trace, as her parents are from Europe, Austria to be specific and came to the United States about 110 years ago.
My dad's family has been on this side of the Atlantic since the 1700's.
So who cares about the Irish? My wife of 8 years. Both sides of her family tree have their roots in Ireland. When we were picking a wedding day, my Kathleen wanted March 17th so when her dear mother passed away, she would have a pleasant memory associated with Saint Patrick's Day.
Traditionally the past couple of years, we have been in some out of town location on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate our anniversary. Indy's Cladaugh was where we had a sip of Guinness in 2007 & 2008. This year, we will be at Fort Wayne's J.K. O'Donnell's.
I'm an adopted Irishman and I've got a Cladaugh as a wedding ring to prove it.
Tomorrow, I'll continue this topic on the subject of Food.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
When I started this particular spot on the internet, it was designed to be:
- Non-work related.
#'s 3 and 4 are subjective and if I wanted to add a 5 and 6 they would be:
6.Fort Wayne Oriented
But one thing I've shied away from is #2 on my list.
Partially because once you post something online, it's there forever, somewhere thanks to Google and other search engines. And a few years ago, I scolded one of my kids for posting things online (dirty laundry), that she should have simply kept private, or talked in person to me about. A lot of conflicts are simply misunderstandings (especially between Teen & Parent) and I have learned over the years to listen for the core bit of truth in anyones point of view, which helps to untangle the conflicts.
When you reveal things about yourself that go a little deeper than the surface, you open yourself up which can create vulnerabilty and/or intimacy. And in the wrong hands, that can create problems.
I have a common name: Scott Howard.
Do a Google Search on my name and you'll come up with 141,000 results. The connection to me is currently #34, a link to this blog.
The most famous Scott Howard is the character Michael J Fox played in Teen Wolf.
So I created a name, ScLoHo and a Google Search resulted in 3640 results, the first 30 are directly related to me, along with most of the other results.
I purposely put myself out there with this and other blogs I write and edit. I am involved in the community through my work in radio, my involvement in the advertising community, my volunteer activities, and my connecting through local networking groups.
I also have used LinkedIn.com, Twitter, and to a lesser extent Facebook. However I registered my name with over 40 social networking type of sites and have connections accross the globe.
I have reached out and developed friendships in the local business community, the local advertising agency world, the arts community and other "communities". For all of these reasons, I have been careful to guard certain areas of my personal life and the lives of my family.
However, as I move forward, I promise to reveal more. Not that there is anything that is hiding in my life, but perhaps by sharing some of the thoughts and details, it will open new and stronger connections.