Think about the times you’ve read a good book, seen a wonderful movie, or attended a motivational class or keynote. You may have found yourself uplifted, inspired and driven to apply some concepts or practices.
Remember when you were in school growing up? Regardless of your enjoyment or lack thereof, you probably didn’t put all the teachings to use. You may not be able to remember all the history you learned, but you may recall some key points and be able to appreciate the past. How might previous schooling have impacted your perspective, choices and behaviors now?
The application of philosophies, notions, and beliefs is not easily assimilated wholly. Sometimes, people are frustrated because they can’t remember all of what was conveyed, even though they may have enjoyed learning the material.
Photographic memory is a rare thing, so there’s no need to put undue pressure on yourself. In fact, it is estimated that only 2%-10% of children have eidetic memory and virtually no adults! Placing high expectations on yourself to digest, remember and then execute the entirety of what you’ve learned in an educational experience is a disservice to yourself. It is nearly impossible.
Instead, consider the idea of takeaways. From any single experience, you can focus on what you are taking away for immediate or future use. Let’s say you have participated in an inspirational event. Think about one or two nuggets of wisdom or information you’d like to apply to up level your life. It could be as simple as centering your mind in a positive direction each day or initiating one form of exercise daily.
If you try to apply too many concepts or institute an excessive number of physical changes all at once, your mind and body will likely rebel. It slams on the emergency brake. On the other hand, if you can apply one takeaway consistently, you may reap pleasant results.
What types of games did you enjoy playing as a child? Were you involved in sports? Did you enjoy playing solo or with others? How did you respond to winning and losing? What does competition bring up for you? What did you see others modeling? How do you think these games may have shaped you into the person you are today?
Games you played earlier in life undoubtedly impacted your developing persona. From hide n’ seek to spin the bottle, your game experiences affected you. Reflect back on your favorite times with games and consider why they were so meaningful to you. Who was involved? What were the dynamics? What was required? What was the objective?
Do you still play games now as an adult? Many people enjoy the camaraderie of game nights. From trivia to bingo, you have a lot of choices. Having the opportunity to join others in innocent games can help reduce loneliness, improve cognitive acuity and boost mental health. Adding laughter to the event releases feel-good hormones. If the games you enjoy are more physical like pickleball, tennis or paint ball, you also receive the benefits of exercise.
Many games are all in good fun, aren’t they? They provide a way to engage others and enjoy fellowship. Some adult games, however, are not so fun. Psychological games that some people play can have a detrimental impact on those around them. There are many types of unhealthy dynamics in this category. A few include gaslighting, stonewalling, devaluing, gossiping, criticizing and triangulating. Each of these types of games are perpetrated on others because the initiator doesn’t want to be authentic or honest. It’s aggressive or passive-aggressive manipulation. When encountering these types of difficult relationships, it’s important to set clear boundaries and speak up for yourself.
Seek out people who enjoy games that uplift and elevate others. Remove yourself from those who cause harm.
Protecting yourself is an essential part of what it is to be human. The response of shielding yourself from harm or death is an instinctive one.
Preserving your life is a natural desire. This instinct may be demonstrated in a variety of ways such as removing your hand from a hot stove, avoiding a dangerous place, or locking your doors.
Self-preservation is clearly triggered by pain. In fact, without some degree of pain or fear, you may not survive. Pain and fear draw your attention to people, places, and things that threaten you in some way. If, for example, you were in an accident or suffered some type of trauma, you would naturally avoid those situations that brought you the suffering associated with it.
Self-preservation becomes more complex and nuanced when it comes to personal connections. Let’s say you are in a relationship with someone who repeatedly treats you poorly. Your life may not be at stake, but you realize that your joy is regularly stolen from you. Out of a sense of self-preservation, you may have to exit that relationship. It gets quite complicated when you love someone but realize you can no longer tolerate the toxic environment.
Sometimes self-preservation can get a bad rap. In certain situations, it can clearly be out-of-balance. For instance, in an organization where layoffs are being considered, leaders and others can find themselves in a “me first” mentality instead of fairly considering the needs of everyone. If you have an “it’s me or them” mindset, your objectivity is lost, and it places others’ self-preservation in jeopardy. Where is the line?
If you give and give until you give out, all of the plates you are spinning will fall. Ultimately, self-preservation is essential for you in fulfilling your purpose and destiny. By preserving yourself in balance with the needs of others, you grow to become the best person you can be.
Have you ever been drawn into a conversation you didn’t want to be in? Have you ever told someone you preferred not to talk about something but ended up in an uncomfortable dialogue anyway? This happens often because you were baited. These conversations can revolve around any topic from politics to religion to family dynamics. Insults are another form of baiting.
Some people enjoy the challenge of pushing boundaries and having difficult conversations. Unfortunately, some personalities delight in seeing you become baffled, disturbed and uncomfortable. This gives them a strange sense of power. They have the experience of gratification, dominance and control over you. It’s an unhealthy dynamic but one that occurs frequently. Narcissists are notorious for this type of behavior, but other people engage in it too. It happens to the best of us, but you can be more prepared in the future if you find yourself in this situation.
Here are a few strategies you might find helpful:
First, be clear within yourself about what your boundaries are about certain topics.
Then, communicate those boundaries to others. You may even need to reiterate them right before you see or talk to them.
If they still move forward toward discussing tough topics or putting forth jabs or barbs toward you, don’t retaliate. Be assertive and let them know you will not proceed any further. Retaliation often only serves to excite the baiting perpetrator. Your reaction is often their reward.
If they continue, you may need to walk away from the conversation.
Know that people often will lash out toward you in anger if you have a boundary and refuse to be baited. The relationship can take a turn for the worse. At this point, you will need to decide if you need more distance from this person for your own well-being. Let your own sense of peace and joy serve as your north star. Reach out to us today!
Have you ever been walking with someone soon to discover you were in lock and step? Perhaps you were engaging in the same stride, even though your style of walking differs. People who drum in groups often notice this same phenomenon. Although each player may have started with different beats and syncopations, they soon find themselves all playing the same tempo and tune. This is often called entrainment.
It’s easy to become hypnotized by what’s happening around us, even the subtleties. People often tell us when they visit a new culture, they find themselves speaking similarly to those originally from the area even if they’ve never used that dialect or language previously. Sometimes they don’t notice it themselves. Someone else points it out to them.
It’s easy to drift into harmonic resonance with the environment that surrounds you. Understanding this principle can work to your betterment. If you currently find yourself more often in environments that are displeasing, you can intentionally begin to change that. You acclimate to the environment you’re in.
Begin considering your purpose and vision for life. What do you desire for yourself? Who do you want to become? How would you like to show up and move through the world? What groups of people are already doing that? What environments are they in? What activities do they engage in? Once you identify these, you can begin to put yourself there. You can put yourself there in your imagination and in person. The brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined
We encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and begin exploring the above. Be intentional and focused as you proceed. Being consistent in following through with your desires moves your forward. Before you know it, you will find yourself in harmonic rhythm with people, activities and environments that bring you joy and fulfillment.