• Motivation,  Personal growth

    Complainers versus problem-solvers

    “When you consistently maintain a positive frame of mind, you’ll become known as a problem-solver rather than a complainer. Mentally healthy people avoid complainers. They seek out problem-solvers.” ~ Joseph Sommerville, PhD, The Five Keys to Interpersonal Success Are you a complainer or a problem-solver? According to behavioral research, if you spend a significant amount of time with complainers and doomsayers, you’re probably sporting a negative attitude, too. When complaining becomes the norm — at home, in the workplace, or in social circles — it’s hard to break the pattern. Negativity is as contagious as it is demoralizing. As renowned psychologist Susan Albers puts it, complaining is like a virus. It…

  • Civility and manners,  Kindness quotes,  Politics

    The challenge

    “A part of kindness consists in loving some people more than they deserve.” —Joseph Joubert It’s so easy to be nice to like-minded friends and others who are kind to us. Yet the real test of our character is how we treat the folks who aren’t members of our fan club — especially those who hurt us or disagree with our viewpoints. I purchased the lawn sign in this photo because the message seemed like a breath of fresh air in our country’s contemptuous political climate. And I’m sorry to admit that, in the privacy of my home, I’ve said some nasty, judgmental things about others whose opinions differ from…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  social skills

    Deep listening

    “How often do you offer your undivided attention to others? Do you inquire into how they’re doing, what’s happening in their world, or what they need to feel safe and happy? Or are you quick to talk about yourself and see how others might serve you?” ~John Amodeo, PhD One of the hallmarks of a great conversationalist is the ability to listen. Ideally, when someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, you hope they’ll pay attention to your answer and ask follow-up questions. Too often lately, most people seem eager to shut you up, derail your topic, and reroute the conversation back to themselves. How often have you walked…

  • Anne Lamott,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    How will you spend today?

    “Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are.” ~Anne Lamott Psychologists and researchers keep sounding the alarm: Social media abuse can inhibit our creativity, foster unhealthy competition, make us overly self-conscious, stir feelings of inadequacy, and fuel aggression — just for starters. According to these experts, we make some dubious trade-offs when our time is consumed by social…

  • Personal growth,  Photo stories

    Expectations

    It’s never a bad idea to hold ourselves and others to higher standards. Striving for “the best” is a worthy goal. But extremely high (or unrealistic) expectations are sometimes followed by disappointment. One small example: How many times have you dined at a trendy new restaurant, only to end up disappointed when your meals fell short of the rave reviews you’d read? At the same time, if you expect more from other folks than they’re able to give, you’re bound to feel letdown at some point. Or, as Anne Lamott put it, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” Sometimes what we want isn’t directly in line with what is available…