Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Where’s Your Focus?

How would you describe the quality of your life right now? Is it satisfying, positive and fulfilling or painful, difficult and discouraging?

Focus

Perception is reality

No one can deny that life can serve up some pretty harsh challenges. However, your quality of life isn’t based on circumstances as much as it is on what you choose to focus on. There are many things in life that we can’t control, but the good news is that we can control what we choose to think about. You see, what you focus on becomes your reality. Every day, it is your focus that influences what you feel, see and experience.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Free Yourself From Negative Emotion

Negative EmotionIn my professional practice I encounter men and women every day who are bound up in the proverbial chains of negative emotions. They are dragging their feet through life, weighed down by feelings of fear, jealousy, self-pity, anger, sadness, anxiety and rejection.

These chronic painful emotions are what often stand in the way of a person’s personal and professional success in life. Negative emotions can deplete you of energy and motivation, take away your joy and enthusiasm and keep you from pursuing positive goals for your life. It is very difficult to do well professionally or relationally if you don’t have a positive and realistic attitude and healthy emotions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Fresh Starts and New Habits

Happy first day of Spring!

Spring is a time of year we tend to focus on fresh starts, so I want to encourage you to think about the importance of getting rid of the old routines and habits that hold you back and living your life on purpose with discipline and wisdom.

New HabitsAll of us have probably heard an older friend or relative make the comment, “If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!” Since hindsight is twenty-twenty, what would you do differently if you had it to do over again?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Happiness Formula

I talk to men and women nearly every day who possess a lack of happiness in their lives.  As I listen to them talk about what they believe is the source of their unhappiness I often discover that they lack understanding about both the cause of their unhappiness as well as the solution associated with overcoming it.

HappinessMany people believe that happiness is determined by their circumstances.  “If only I weren’t sick,” “If only I had more money,” “If only I was married – or single,” “If only I was thinner,” and the list of “if onlys” goes on and on.

Since the late 1990’s, psychologists have been taking a closer look at the topic of happiness and why it seems so elusive to many people.  In their book The How of Happiness: A new Approach to Getting the Life You Want, psychologists Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ken Sheldon, David Schkade and Martin Seligman, outline what they believe is the formula for happiness: H = S + C + V.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Too Much of A Good Thing

Too Much of a Good ThingThe other night as we were finishing a particularly great meal, I said, “I could eat that every day.” At that time, I meant it. The taste lingering in my mouth, the feeling of being full and the fun of sharing a meal with people I love had created a wonderful sense of satisfaction. But then I began thinking about what I had just said. When we step back and consider a statement like that, we realize that even good things, in excess, eventually lose their appeal.

You know the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” The reason steak or lobster is such a treat is that most of us don’t have such rich and expensive food that often. I know a family who raises their own beef so at their house, steak is “the usual.” Since they eat steak so regularly they consider it special to have macaroni and cheese or take-out chicken!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ingredients for Life

Every day I meet with men and women who express their dissatisfaction with life in one way or another.  Many are experiencing emotional pain associated with depression and anxiety as well as relationship challenges.  Others talk about a growing frustration with not feeling fulfilled – not having a sense of purpose or meaning.  Still others disclose that they are unable to get control of an unhealthy or self-defeating pattern of behavior.

These people often have one major factor in common – they are starving.  Their malnutrition may have nothing to do with food, but they are missing some of the most critical ingredients of life.  So let’s take a few moments to talk about what I have found to be the essential ingredients we all need to include in our daily “diet” in order to be healthy and feel fulfilled.  In other words, the keys to nourishing your body, mind, heart and spirit in such a way as to fully maximize your life satisfaction.

Most of the people I know are dissatisfied with life in large part because they are in the habit of living by default instead of on purpose.  Living by default typically involves doing in the moment what you “feel like” doing rather than what may be in your best interest.  It’s like chowing down several pieces of a supreme pizza before it dawns on you that you are stuffed and feeling guilty because you were going to start eating healthier.  It may have smelled tantalizing, but that doesn’t mean you had to give in and ultimately disappoint yourself.

In order to experience the most satisfying life possible you must begin with a commitment to being mindful of how you will spend every 24-hour day you are given to live.

Most of us think our day

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are You Content?

I recently read a survey that revealed over half of all Americans would choose a new line of work if they had the chance.

It’s amazing to think that every day millions of people in our country spend their most productive hours at a job they wish they could change. Is this because there are very few jobs that are truly satisfying and rewarding? This is no doubt true in some cases, but I believe many people who are unhappy with their work are also discontent with other areas of their life as well.

When a person is discontent they often look to acquire or accomplish things they believe will make them happy. Some people buy things, while others may decide to start a new relationship, move to a new city or try to secure a new job. These are not necessarily bad things to pursue in life; however, it’s important to know that they will never provide the real and lasting contentment people long for.

Real contentment and happiness is not a byproduct of material possessions or “ideal” life circumstances, but rather from what you possess on the inside. It comes from the joy of meaningful relationships with friends, family and God as well as pursuing purposeful work and utilizing your gifts, talents and abilities to serve others.

If you want to experience more contentment and happiness in your life begin the process from the inside out. When you are truly content because of what you possess on the inside, the things on the outside are of less consequence.

Live, Work and Relate Well!
Dr. Todd

“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.” Unknown
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If You’re Married, Pay Attention to This One!

Did you know that your brain has a natural bias toward negativity? The “Negativity Bias” is a psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences.

This bias actually helps us scan our environment for potential dangers so we can avoid them, but if we’re not careful this bias can backfire on us.

Scientists have discovered that the brain reacts to negative stimuli with a greater surge in electrical activity, which means that our attitudes are more likely to be influenced by negative experiences compared to positive experiences.  Due to the negativity bias, emotional balance in a relationship is not achieved by reaching a 50-50 equilibrium between positive and negative interactions.

Researchers have charted the amount of time couples spend fighting vs. interacting positively. And they have found that a very specific ratio exists between the amount of positivity and negativity required to make married life satisfying to both partners.

That magic ratio is five to one. So as long as there is five times as much positive feeling and interaction between husband and wife as there is negative, the marriage is likely to be stable over time.  In contrast, couples who experience instability and unhappiness in their marriage may be doing far too little on the positive side to compensate for the negativity they are experiencing.

So, if you want to experience more marital satisfaction and stability make the choice to engage in more positive interactions with your spouse every day.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd