Archive for the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ Category
I was officially introduced to goal setting for the first time in my life when I was 18. I was doing a course at university, and goal setting was a very small component in it. I never realized how significantly it would impact the rest of my life.
Research published in Psychological Science says that setting goals, at any age, can add years to your life. I like to think of it in the opposite way as well: goals add life to your years. The study followed 6,000 people aged 20 to 75 for 14 years. The researchers where looking at three components:
1. If participants were goal oriented
2. If participants had more positive or negative relationships
3. If participants had more positive or negative feelings
Throughout the study, 569 participants died (about 9%). The researchers found that those who still lived had more goals and better relationships than those who died. The most surprising thing about the study was that it found that this was true for young participants as much as the elderly. Having goals led to better outcomes. Goals were an advantage for people who worked as well as for those who were retired. So goals get added to the formula for long life.
Being in a marriage or a close relationship is the secret to a long life. But it requires effort. If you want to save your marriage, it helps to learn about communication.
On our wedding days and during our honeymoon periods, we tend to be very accepting and flexible. Communication flows, even if we say nothing at all. It is the life that begins later, which tests the strength of our relationship. Slowly, day after day, the conversations, experiences together, arguments and stress create holes in our communication.
This can lead to the destruction of the relationship. In a happy relationship, time is a healer. In an unhappy relationship, time is a prison.
Some researchers claim they can listen to a married couple’s conversation and predict the success of their relationship about 90% of the time. 90%! That is a lot! With the couples that come to do my relationship coaching program, I can often tell from the way they talk to each other or about each other if their relationship is still as sweet as honey or whether they are feeling the bitter taste of separation.
Life is a series of seconds that lead us in different directions. A slightly different choice can lead us towards a totally different life. One second is all it takes to make a change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. This one second will never come by again. If we let it pass by, it will be lost forever.
If you want to know the power one second can have on life, think of the second the sperm connected with the egg that created you. One second earlier or one second later, could allow a different sperm to win the lottery of life and be the difference between you and another child.
If you are a parent, you know that every child of yours is a unique creation. The one and only option out of millions of possible kids.
Trust is a very important ingredient in relationships and when it is broken, it is hard to mend. In all the years I have been coaching couples, the most challenging were those whose trust had been broken.
My mom used to tell me, “it takes a long time to milk a cow but seconds to spill the milk in the bucket”. Trust is just the same. It takes a long time to build and seconds to destroy. My first suggestion for all you couple is to guard their trust at all costs because it is one of the hardest things to fix.
Trust is built on honesty and telling the truth. In every marriage, there is an agreement to be truthful. As soon as one person lies, even once, it is like forming a tiny crack in the milk buckets which slowly lets out all the milk.
Your ability to talk with your partner determines the level of the connection you have with each other. To save your marriage, you should be able to have a civilized dialogue.
When Gal and I were a young couple, we said we knew we would grow old together because we could talk for hours. We could talk about anything or nothing for hours and we loved every minute of it.
If you have been with the same partner for many years, you might think you know everything about them, but you probably don’t.
Why? Because people change. We change our thoughts and behaviors, and as hard as it is to believe, we even change the way we perceive our past.
Here are some rules that can strengthen and deepen your relationship and save your marriage…
It is a fact that we cannot see ourselves the same way others can see us. Firstly because we usually see ourselves in the mirror which is not the same position others see us in. Secondly, because we see ourselves from the inside and the inside is cluttered by thoughts and feelings we have towards ourselves.
The beauty inside is developed by what others, who are very close or important to us, say about us. I have met many grownups who carry negative beliefs from childhood. For example, people who are critical of a facial feature like a long nose or big eyes that mom or dad mocked at the age of 6. They simply cannot shake this feeling in adulthood. I myself grew up in a culture that thought straight hair was an advantage and curly hair was not. As kids, we spent year looking for ways to straighten our hair. It was only when I grew up and met others who spent a fortune on curling their hair that I learned to appreciate what I have. This is a natural process.
There are some things I wish I knew when I was younger. For example, that life is short and we had better make the best of it. Luckily for me, I realized this when I was 16. It was painful and scary at first but eventually very liberating. Life is what we have. There are no rehearsals, no practice tests, no rewinds or regrets. We can work with it but not against. And time is our most precious gift. It is the only real currency that exists. Some people make a good use of it and others spend it or waste it.
Since that time of realization, I have been searching for ways to get this message across others: life is short, live it!
I have been in business ever since I graduated university. I was 24 at the time. Luckily, my husband Gal worked a job and supported my business adventures. When I asked him about having his own business back then, he said he liked the way things were. Over 24 years ago, he did not think having his own business was an option. Not to mention working from home and/or working with me.
About 10 years ago, we started working together, from home. We soon discovered that we are very different people who enjoy doing very different things. Each of us slowly drifted towards the things that meant more to us. I veered towards life coaching and education and he went towards systems and consulting in one way or another.
The last 10 years have been challenging and rewarding in many ways. This has gotten us asking questions about working together and working together from home. Many of my clients ask me about this.
The tip for today is a very simple way to feel good, instantly – smiling.
The good thing about smiling is that it a two way street – smiling creates a happy feeling, and feeling happy makes you smile. It does not matter where you start – the feeling or the smile. When we experience joy, the muscles in our brain contract and start a positive loop of feeling even more joy. This is not a new science. As early as the 1870s, Charles Darwin first suggested that facial expressions did not just express emotions, but could actually induce them.
Smiling has been studied for years. In 1989, psychologist Robert Zajonc compared the mood of participants asked to make the long “eee” sound (which involves the same muscles as smiling) and those who were asked to make a long “ooo” sound (which involves the same muscles as frowning). Zajonc found that the people who made the “eee” sound felt much better.
My dad always said that the process of anything in life depends highly on how your start it. A good start will set us up for a nice and easy process, while challenging starts will set the tone for struggle. I think happiness is a lifelong quest. I chose to adopt my dad’s philosophy and tried to instill this belief in my children.
Here are my A to Z rules for having good starts and continuing the happiness journey. I hope you will find them successful and encouraging.
Act on your goals rather than waiting for things to happen to you. If you want to start feeling happy, make it happen. Act on it. Waiting for that “one day” when your life will be they way you want it to be will only reinforce the fact that you are far away from it. Moving slowly, by taking action, towards your goal, will make you feel like you are just that tiny bit closer.