Posts Tagged ‘change’
In my work with parents and teachers I hear lots of complaints about the “new generation”. Adults seem to think that “children these days are selfish, materialistic, impulsive and have no respect”. This makes me really worried. Not because kids today are like that but because the older generation, my generation, holds on to these thoughts. In life, we get what we focus on.
The rules of the self fulfilling prophecy claim that whenever you treat someone in a certain way, you will eventually make them behave like that. So, if the new generation is treated like they are disrespectful, selfish, materialist and impulsive, they will eventually be like that. In other word, you see the world through the lenses you put on. If you want to change what you see, change your lenses.
Welcome to the third installment of “Know Your Partner”. In this series war are talking about questions you and your partner should discuss before you move in together, get married or have kids. These questions will help you find your partner’s “musts”. To read more about “musts”, check out Know Your Partner: Musts. In the last post in the series, we listed questions about relationships, every day life, family background and friends. This post covers questions about appearance, work, money and health.
Last week, we talked about how every person has “musts”, things they absolutely cannot live without. It is important for each person in a couple to know their partner’s “musts” before they decide to move in together, to get married or to have kids. This week, I thought I would give you a list of questions to help you along your journey. This list includes questions about relationships, everyday life, family background and friends.
This list is very important to use in different relationship situations:
Before moving in with someone.
Before deciding to have kids.
On anniversaries – in order to update each other about the ways we have changed.
When experiencing relationship conflict.
Before making the decision to break up a partnership.
There are a few rules to remember when asking these questions. This will make the question and answer process more effective and successful:
I learnt about Down Syndrome first hand during my first year of university. I was working with a child with Down Syndrome during my work experience. At first, it was scary and I felt devastated. After getting to know the kid, I learned that he was no different than any other child with intellectual difficulties. To my greatest surprise, he improved quickly and learned a lot. It made me wonder how far we could go. I had my doubts when he did not get things the first time around, but he taught me that as long as I continued to teach him, he would continue to learn.
This experience, coupled with my work on a project about creative thinking (where we tried to teach physics to grade 1 students), taught me that too often we limit kids by our expectations. If we allow them to move forward at their own pace, they will exceed our highest expectations.
Any relationship is a form of agreement between two or more people. The deeper the relationship, the more things you will need to agree on for your relationship to stay positive. Some relationships, like marriage and having children together, are more important than others. They have a huge impact on our lives and our futures. I call them love agreements.
Love agreements will change over time. Just how they change will depend on the circumstances. Each person changes within themselves and their agreements with each other change accordingly. For couples, it is very important for each side to make sure they are “sailing in the same direction”. While each of them may change in different ways, together, they want to be going the same way. If one wants to sail north and the other’s greatest desire is to sail south, then their relationship will suffer. One or both of them will have to compromise.
When we talk about relationships, the word compromise pops up as a desired outcome. I think compromise is important, but I also believe that some compromises cannot last for very long. They are often the source of conflict and can cause much heartache.
In my last few posts on human needs, we talked about how people have needs for certainty, variety, significance, love & connection and growth. The last need left for us to discuss is contribution. If we think of our needs in pairs, growth and contribution go together. These two needs usually appear last, after we have found ways of attaining the other four needs.
Unlike some of the other needs, growth and contribution are not in conflict with each other. They do not need to be in balance. Rather, the more we have of one, the more we have of the other one.
In the last chapter, I gave some examples to increase personal growth. In this chapter, I will cover examples to improve contribution.
Contribution is any act or intention to act that improves the position of others. It can be a physical improvement or even an emotional improvement. If the interaction has made the other person feel better, even in a small way, you have contributed to someone else’s life.
Our brains are full of neurons – synaptic connections that link our life experiences to our emotions. Think of them as wires. Some are conscious and some are subconscious. The Be Happy in LIFE program takes people though the process of noticing their wires, evaluating them, choosing good wires and changing wires on the way to happiness.
Every client who takes a journey with us reaches their happiness goal. We bring the knowledge and all it takes is a bit of courage. I will share the knowledge with you here and all you need to do is gather some courage to make lasting changes.
So, how do we change our wires?
The key is to choose what you want to think.
The first 4 needs we discussed (variety and certainty, significance and love and connection) may interfere with each other and are in constant strive for balance. The last two needs that people have are the need for growth and for contribution. Unlike the first 4 needs, these needs help and support each other in order to achieve a higher level of fulfillment.
It is estimated that we need to have our first four needs met before we are able to grow and contribute. For example, it is very hard for people to give when they do not have certainty. Think about it. How easy is it for someone to give their time when they are working 14 hours each day to provide for their family? How easy is it for you to invest in growing, learning, developing, when you are busy trying to fit in with others who think learning and developing are not socially favorable? Not very easy, right?
Last time we talked about the snake brain. Even though our brain has 3 parts, each with different functions, the primitive snake brain is far superior when we are stressed. It has two main functions: (1) food (yummy, yummy!) and (2) protecting us from danger with a fight or flight response. Meanwhile, the puppy brain stores information as emotions and uses them to navigate us. For example, on a conscious level, we would label all kinds of anger with the same five letters: a.n.g.e.r. The puppy brain is able to distinguish between “I was slightly angry”, “I was angry”, “I was very angry” and “I was soooooooo angry”. In the brain, the feeling is stored along with its intensity.
Whenever something happens to us, the puppy brain searches our emotion bank for similar feelings we experienced in the past. This helps it decide how to translate the new information.
Even though our company slogan is that happiness is a choice, a lot of people tell me they have things in their lives that make them unhappy and they did not choose them. This is true! I have things like that too. While we might not always be able to choose to have things that make us happy, we all have the choice to decide what to do with the things we have.
I think the question of choice is very sensitive. Mainly because lots of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs are formed in the subconscious mind, the part of the brain that is hidden from us and seems like a complete mystery. Our minds are like an iceberg. The conscious mind is just the tiny tip sticking out of the water, while the subconscious is the massive body underneath that is in charge of 90% of our actions. How can we choose to control something we have no access to?
All we need to do is change our perception of our subconscious. It is actually within our control to change. We have a lot of access to our brains. In fact, we access our subconscious every second but we do it so fast and naturally that we do not even notice. Slowing down and noticing what is happening to us, can help greatly make good and happy choices.