Life According to the Native American Code of Ethics

Native American Elder

Through my work in diversity education over the past 7 years, I have taken part in many debates and conversations about religion, ethics, morals, values, and our role as parents and educators in instilling them in our children. Many people see conflicts between the different ethnic groups, religious groups, tribes and cultures. Personally, the more closely I look at it, the more I understand that these different groups have more commonalities than differences.

In life, you get what you focus on. If you focus on differences, you will see the conflict between cultures. If you focus on commonalities, you will see similarities and how we are all connected.

Recently, I had a chance to read the Native American Code of Ethics. This code has survived for thousands of years. This is probably one of the oldest cultural codes that still exist today. There is evidence that the indigenous American people migrated from Siberia over 11,000 years ago. Yes, 11,000 years ago! Can you imagine how long that is?!

To put it in perspective, Judaism is about 5,000 years old, Buddhism is about 2,500 years old, Christianity is about 2,000 years old, and Islam is about 1,500 years old. Meanwhile, the Native American tradition goes back 11,000 years. Fortunately, if you go deep into each of these belief systems, you will find very similar codes of ethics.

My work in personal development is in the service of all these codes of ethics. I believe that regardless of which one we follow, if each and every one of us strives to live by them, to the best of our ability, we will have a better world. Striving is the most important part. Eventually, if you keep going in the right direction, you will get there.

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Everyday Resolution: How to Rub Your Genie the Right Way

The Genie of the Lamp can grant your everyday resolutions

As a life coach , I believe in new-year resolutions and having targets for the new year. People often create resolutions on their birthday or on New Year’s Eve. The difference between that and being a life coach is that I believe every day is an opportunity to set new year’s resolutions. Every day is a new opportunity to want more, to ask more, to be more, to have more, to love more and enjoy life more, to tune ourselves for more happiness and joy. Happiness is never ending. Every day, when we get up in the morning, we can start fresh. Every day can be the start of a new year. That’s why it’s better to create “everyday resolutions”.

Many of my clients ask me how come some people’s New Year resolutions seem to fall flat, while others seem to be very successful at making their resolutions come true. This question always makes me think of the genie who grants wishes. Some people know how to rub the lamp the right way and other don’t.

Golden lamp with vapour escaping from the spoutI didn’t always know how to rub the lamp right. I remember myself on my birthday, every year, making lists of what I wanted the next year to be like. For many years, nothing happened. At the age of 16, I learned that I had been rubbing the lamp the wrong way and that my genie wanted to be rubbed differently. From that point on, I suddenly felt kind of lucky. Things seemed to flow. I felt happy, successful and protected, as if my genie would take care of me, as long as I took care of him, the right way.

Everyone has a genie that sits in their subconscious and waits for instructions. If you speak his language, he will lead you to where you want go. If not, he will steer you in the opposite direction to your dreams.

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I’m Always Late for a Very Important Date!

White rabbit and his watch

Time is a precious resource. Some say it is the only resource we have. Have you ever missed something important because you came just a bit late? This happens to a lot of people, and sometimes too many times. The outcome can be very problematic.

There are some people I know who are always late. They are rushed, don’t think clearly and are in a total state of chaos. Many kids grow up in such households and learn to be the same when they grow up. Parents who are always late raise kids who do not value their own time and miss many opportunities.

Being late from time to time is very natural. It is a good idea not to be in a total state of panic for being late by one second. It happens. We are only humans. The thing is, what you generally do becomes a habit. After three meetings that you turned up to, late or on time, gives you a label: punctual or always late!

People who are labeled as always late are not necessarily always late, but the attitude towards them is more negative. Can you think of a person you know who is always late? Your level of trust in them goes down. Things are harder for them as well! If they need to start every interaction by apologizing for being late, they are put in an inferior position right from the start.

All in all, being always late is not good for anyone. It creates negative attitudes towards you, which is not something any parent wants for their child.

Here are some tips to make sure you are not an “always late” person and you are not raising the “always late” kids.

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Teen Life Sucks (or Does it?)

Baby toes

Sometimes, when I talk to teens, they tell me that teen life sucks.

It is sad to hear them say that at a time in their lives that is supposed to be wonderful, interesting and exciting. The teenage years are when they form their identity and it is sad to hear that they came to the conclusion that teen life sucks.

It is sad because if they believe it sucks, they are more likely to feel that it sucks. If they think teen life sucks, their subconscious will create a self-fulfilling prophecy, and their life will actually “suck”. It is not the thought that makes it true, it is that subconsciously, the thought will lead to action that will make it true. Whatever you believe, this is your reality.

I love those Buddhist quotes and there is one in which the Buddha said it perfectly, “Wherever you go, there you are”

My motto is that in life, you get what you focus on. If you get up in the morning and you focus on what sucks, you will get exactly that, life that sucks!

Teen life is complicated and involves many aspects. Yes, there are components that do not work the way we want them to. Sometimes, they work to our advantage and sometimes they do not. It is still a far cry from considering teen life as sucking completely.

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How to Be Happy in Life: The Happy To Do List

Happy to do list

Happiness is a choice! This is my motto in my life and in my work. I coach many people on how to make this choice and find their own happiness.

One of the strategies in bringing happiness into our lives is to get into good habits that make us pay more attention to the good things we already have. It makes us feel happy about what we have in life and attract more of it through our focus.

Together, my clients and I come up with a simple “happy to do list” – a list of things they can do to change their happiness level within 3 weeks. This list follows the rule that it only takes 21 days to make a habit.

This Happy To Do list is written in past tense. It’s more of a list of accomplishments to tick once they are achieved. When you go over it, instead of seeing things you still need to do, your focus is on your successes.

I promise that if you do this every day, then after three weeks, you will feel happier.

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The Stress Pill: The Final 30 Causes of Stress

There are many causes of stress in our life. In the previous chapter of the stress pill series, I listed 30 causes of stress, which you may choose to avoid. Here are some more scientific evidence-based beliefs, ideas and thoughts that increase your level of stress.

1. Be dependent on others! We are not meant to be alone and it is only fair to expect others to do things for us. If you can count on someone else to do the job, then let them do it. Avoid going to new place on your own and never associate with new people. Always go to new places with a friend. If your friend is not coming to school for example, do not go to school that day because your productivity will be low anyway. Alternatively, you could recognize that you are unique. Your desires are your own. If you wait for someone else to do things for you, you may never get them done.

2. Everything that went wrong is your fault! Even if you had no direct connection to it, think that it is your fault. You could have done something to change it, so why didn’t you? Take the blame for everything. It makes you a sage! Unfortunately, it makes you tired and stressed too. Despite what you might think, not everything is related to you, and not everything is your responsibility to fix.

This post is part 4 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

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The Stress Pill: 30 More Stressors

A pile of pills

In the previous chapter of The Stress Pill, I described some ways people make themselves stressed. I call them “stress pills”. Others call them Stressors.

Here are another 30 tips on how to increase your daily dosage of stress. Of course, if you can avoid them, your stress level will go down and your happiness will go up.

This post is part 3 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

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False Identity

Who Am I

In the first session with every new client, I go over the program I have written that has helped many people around the world find happiness, strength, confidence, love, power and health. I explain to them that finding who they are is crucial to the success of this program. The more confident and courageous clients tell me that they don’t really know what identity means. I like this honesty.

A great many people find it hard to understand what “identity” means. Kids, in particular, hear a lot about “identity”, but have no idea what it means.

To me, the simple definition of identity is being yourself, but this is very complicated, because it is not easy to answer the question, “Who am I?”

If you ask people to define themselves, you will find many beliefs and concepts they have that bring them lots of grief, anger, frustration and fear.

In finding who we are, it is very important to find out who we are not. Some negative examples can helps us refine the definition. Every time we have a problem, it is because we live in a false belief about ourselves – we use a false identity.

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The Stress Pill: 10 Things that Increase Your Stress

Good Morning. Let the stress begin.

Stress is known to be the number 1 killer in the world today. More even than accidents and war (which are also attributed to being stressed). Even the disease in the world are related to stress.

In my work with my coaching clients, I explain that our feelings and thoughts are a choice. My slogan is “happiness is a choice”. With this choice, there are three main pills: the happiness pill, the chill pill and the stress pill.

The happy pill

Smiling bouncy balls falling out of a bucketOver the years, I have collected many strategies to make people happy. I have tried to share them in this blog. When I write about them, I want each of them to be a happiness pill. Ever psot contains a “pill of happiness”.

The thing is, people seem to understand happiness better when they can compare it to stress. I have written some posts about stress in the past and found this to be true. That is how the idea for this series was born. So in this chapter I will describe thoughts, beliefs and ideas in the form of a “stress pill”.

This post is part 2 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

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From the Life Coaching Deck: Learning to Want

Couple holding hands under the table

A while ago, I told the story of Magda and learning about the “wanting muscle” and choice. She learned that she was allowed to want things for herself. That she had to live by her own expectations.

Two weeks later, I saw Magda for the second time. She looked so much more alive and beautiful. Her skin was shiny and she was smiling and happy. She behaved like a giggling teen when she told me the list of her wants was getting bigger every day. Funnily enough, her daughter was the one who helped her with this homework task. Which was good news for Magda, because she had managed to teach her daughter that it was OK to want.

“I saw my mom 4 days ago and I am going again after work tomorrow. I have decided to take 4 days off in between. It is bliss. She still complains but no more than she did when I was there every day”. She was grinning from ear to ear.

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