Oct 272015
 

learning to play catch

For better or worse, everything we do begins in our mind.  Or, more specifically, in the mind’s eye.

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Adults spend thousands of dollars every year on books and seminars and coaching to learn to do something that most kids do pretty naturally.  Visualize.  Picture.  Imagine.  “Fire up your goals with a vivid picture, complete with the emotions you’ll feel when you reach your goal.”  Sound familiar?

[Tweet “Visualize. Picture. Imagine.”]

I wonder what would happen if we took steps to reinforce the ability to visualize during childhood while it’s still easy and natural?  And why would you want to?

1) It works. The first thing that springs to mind is that favorite old W. Clement Stone quote, “What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”  Being able to preview the end result is an important step in motivation and action.

Visualization is the skill that motivates some of us to get on the treadmill or to help our kids with their math homework.  Let’s face it, sometimes it’s the picture of fitting into  favorite jeans (or “seeing” her get into veterinary school) is what it takes to motivate us to actually show up and complete a less desirable task at hand.

2) Constructive imagination can enhance emotional intelligence and help build empathy.  And, it is fairly easy to practice emotional intelligence skills with our children. (This sort of practice can lead to some great conversations.)  In the course of a day, what do you and your children notice together?  Sports scores?  News? People bumping into one another?  Helping someone out? Protesting? Volunteering?

Just about any situation that you observe with your kids can provide a natural opening, one that allows you to ask: “I wonder how that person feels right now?”  Practice prepares your child for situations they haven’t personally encountered, perhaps even how to respond should they feel an urge to bully someone.

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3) It could save you money.  The best way to learn something is to teach it.  Practicing visualization skills with your kids could help improve the mental rehearsal skills needed to reach important goals in your own life.  And what better teacher for your chid than a parent who is walking the talk?

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Jun 112014
 

walk of fame

Everything we accomplish begins in our mind’s eye.  Don’t believe me?  Look at the thousands of dollars adults spend each year on books, seminars and coaching simply to learn how to use this important tool.  How many times have you heard a speaker or seminar leader advise you to attach a “vivid, emotional picture” to your goals in order to speed up the process?  It’s pretty common — and common sense — advice.

[Tweet “Visualize. Picture. Imagine. Pretend. Fake it ’til you make it.”]

What do these things have in common?  They come pretty naturally to kids.  I wonder what would happen if we took steps to reinforce  those abilities  in childhood   — while it’s still easy and natural?  And why do we want to preserve constructive imagination in our kids?

When did you first hear that old favorite W. Clement Stone quote, ‘What the mind can conceive it and believe it can achieve’?  As adults we learn that being able to picture the end result is an important step in creating motivation to act on our ‘wants.’  We picture ourselves fitting easily and effortlessly into a favorite outfit or skinny jeans to keep our feet moving on the way to the gym.  As kids we lie in bed and ‘watch the mental movie’ of the game-winning catch or being at the center of the big awards ceremony…. over and over and over.

Practicing “imagination plus emotion” also helps build emotional intelligence and strengthen empathy.  That’s pretty easy to practice with your kids.  After all, as you move through the day together you encounter dozens of situations that allow you to ask “how do you think that person is feeling right now?”  This can lead to some great conversations about news stories, neighborhood relations, manners, sports score…  It’s a way to take almost any conversation with your kids beyond the “headline level.”

[Tweet “Besides, the best way to learn something is to teach it.”]

Besides, the best way to learn something is to teach it.  Practicing visualization skills with your kids could save you a lot of time at seminars and move you closer to your personal goals.

 

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Having trouble keeping that inner voice positive?  Watch this space for a new book about taming your Inner Critic!

Apr 302014
 

 

"enthusiasm"

“enthusiasm” (Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³)

 

“There is a real magic in enthusiasm.  It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale  

 

Have you ever noticed that enthusiastic people seem to enjoy life more than those who h0ld back?  It’s as if this trait makes colors brighter and experiences richer.  Maybe it really is the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

I suppose that makes sense; an early definition includes the phrase “having a god within.” Other definitions include words and phrases such as “a lively interest” or describes something that “absorbs or possesses the mind.”

Enthusiasm and passion seem to be natural in young children: running, jumping, yelling, laughing. In time that can change.  As we learn about “grown up behavior” we may skip a little less and sing a bit more quietly.  And when was the last time you didn’t want to fall asleep because you just didn’t want the day to end?

So if we learn to do a bit less running and jumping… and a good time doesn’t always result in grass-stains in the laundry, what does enthusiasm look like in grown-ups?  It may be quieter, but it may resemble habitual gratitude and chronic appreciation. Applause at the end of a performance?  Social media “likes” and “+”s?

How do you share enthusiasm with those around you?

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Apr 302014
 

 

"enthusiasm"

“enthusiasm” (Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³)

 

“There is a real magic in enthusiasm.  It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale  

Have you ever noticed that enthusiastic people seem to enjoy life more than those who h0ld back?  It’s as if this trait makes colors brighter and experiences richer.  Maybe it really is the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

I suppose that makes sense; an early definition includes the phrase “having a god within.” Other definitions include words and phrases such as “a lively interest” or describes something that “absorbs or possesses the mind.”

Enthusiasm and passion seem to be natural in young children: running, jumping, yelling, laughing. In time that can change.  As we learn about “grown up behavior” we may skip a little less and sing a bit more quietly.  And when was the last time you didn’t want to fall asleep because you just didn’t want the day to end?

[Tweet “Ever want to stay awake because you don’t want the day to end?”]

So if we learn to do a bit less running and jumping… and a good time doesn’t always result in grass-stains in the laundry, what does enthusiasm look like in grown-ups?  It may be quieter, but it may resemble habitual gratitude and chronic appreciation. Applause at the end of a performance?  Social media “likes” and “+”s?

[Tweet “Enthusiasm for grown-ups may look like habitual gratitude.”]

How do you share enthusiasm with those around you?

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