Seven Spheres of Life: Relationships

At the restaurant yesterday, I asked for a Mango drink. Mango nectar and water. It was delicious.

As I sipped it, I began thinking about some of my favorite people. They qualify as delicious also. Without them my life would be less.

Naturally, I also thought briefly of some other relationships I have had. Bitter. Distasteful. Spit-it-out bad.

Relationships.

We have many kinds of realtionships.
Co-workers
Family
Recreation team members
Church friends
Drinking buddies
Club members

And there are acquaintances – people you know casually, but don’t spend social time with.

How can I look at a relationship to determine if it is Mango delicious, or Spit-it-out harmful?

Do you remember anyone teaching you how to make friends? I don’t. Mr Rogers may have for lots of people. I grew up without TV.

I did learn the Biblical injunction: if you want friends you must be friendly.

In my mid-twenties I got divorced. Suddenly the social group that I had considered ‘friends’ were unfriendly. I don’t remember getting unfriendly. But, I was no longer included in the invites.

I worked for the church, I socialized with church members. It would be pretty accurate to say that I had no close friends outside of work and church.

No, don’t feel sad for me.

I learned a lot. I matured a lot.

Looking back at the experiences surrounding the divorce, I began to recognize some clues that should have warned me about the unhealthy relationships that wove around in my life.

Let’s focus on the positive qualities of a healthy relationship. By understanding healthy relationships, unhealthy ones will become obvious.

Maslow wrote about human needs and developed what is known as “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” an ordered list of five things that humans must have. Click here to study this topic.

Relationships occupy the middle position, right after Physical needs and Safety needs.

Good Relationships are the anchor points that enable us to feel good about ourselves and achieve our full potential.

Friends help us move into the Fifth Level of Maslow’s Hierarchy, where we are empowered to reach our full potential.

But it’s an obvious point that some relationships make us have negative feelings about ourselves and drag us away from “self-actualization” or, reaching for the stars.

How do I go about measuring a relationship to see if it is diminishing me or elevating me?

A real evaluation will involve writing.

Just thinking about it probably won’t accomplish the goal.

Start by making a list of your friends and acquaintances – a written list.

Then look at and think about each individual and your relationship with him or her. Take notes.

There are some simple, straight-forward ways to get a true picture of a relationship.

How do I feel about myself and my goals for myself after spending time with _____? (Fill in the blank with a name.) Be honest with yourself. Just get the feeling.

Feelings can be more accurate than logic.

A person may be connected to many parts of your work or personal life. But the relationship may be bad for you.

Don’t look at family connections right now. If you are in a committed relationship, and you are questioning whether it is healthy, evaluate your contribution to the relationship and determine what You can do to make it better.

Some times an unhealthy friendship can be turned around when you work on being the friend the other person needs.

It’s okay to change.

It’s okay to inspire others to change.

Friendships involve Giving and Taking. Both parties need to do both – Give and Take.

A person who only takes from you will drain you, and leave little for you to give yourself.

Evaluate your role. Are you balanced? Giver and Taker?

There are quizzes online that you can take to evaluate relationships. Most of them have to do with romantic relationships.

A good relationship has certain qualities:
Respect – mutual, both directions
Trust
Honesty
Acceptance – of individuality, of differences
Communication – open, as equals
Self-control – emotional and physical
Value places value on your personal goals

Think about a friend. Take one of the ingredients from the list of qualities and assign a value between Negative 5 and Positive 5 for how that person demonstrates Respect for you.

Then take the next quality and evaluate. (I have a form in the Worksheet to help with this.)

Relationship Sphere Worksheet

The hard part might be what you need to do when you realize that a relationship is damaging you.

You can try to communicate with the person and ask him or her to change. But my experiences have caused me to believe that there are people who are takers, and they don’t see a need to change.

Sometimes there really is only one choice: end the relationship. Move that person to the Acquaintance List.

I’d love to hear your comments on this post. Positive or negative. How could I make the post better?

Thank you for reading.

Questioning

For the first time in 18 months I find myself on Tuesday with no finished article written for my blog. I will recover.

I’m questioning my message. My passion stated early in the process was “to share my Elder Wisdom”. I became convinced that the niche was too broad to really be a niche and attract followers/readers.

I changed my focus to Reaching One’s Goals in Life.

I began working on the idea of Goals within the Seven Spheres of Life.

This week was for the Relationships Sphere.

The message and worksheet are not ready for publication.


There was still no rush to join my group of readers.

In addition, I’ve had a number of technical problems recently that have perplexed me and sapped my energies:

my RSS feed disappeared;
my Mailchimp account quit working with the Sign-Up pop-up/link;
several hundred readers visited my site with no new subscribers enrolled;
my attempts to engage an expert in WordPress and podcast have so far been unproductive.

Made me question my message.

Covered me in discouragement.

I shall return.

Seven Spheres of Life: Health

You can have all the riches and success in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” – Steven Adler

When was the last time you thought seriously about your health?

The last time you were sick, right?

We tend to take our health for granted, until there’s a problem.

Too often working for a healthy self isn’t a top priority, until illness whacks us and we can’t live our normal lives.

We need a plan for living that keeps us from getting whacked. Sound good?

Let’s work out a plan for ‘Healthy You’ that increases your enjoyment of life now and that reduces risks of health issues for the rest of your life.

My Story

My father volunteered me to be the 24-hour-per-day care-giver/nurse for a quadraplegic who wanted to go to college. The only care-giver.

I had never learned to say no to my father. So Jim moved into the dorm. And I with him.

The room was normally a guest room with a half-bath – sink and toilet, hospital bed and my cot, a chair and desk.

My life stopped. Everything I did was centered around and for Jim.

By the 4th quarter of the term, I was emotionally drained. Physically exhausted.

I didn’t realize at the time that I had slipped into an unhealthy funk.

My grades suffered, my social life was a disaster, and time for spiritual considerations was nonexistent.

But I didn’t realize it at the time.

That’s common when emotional health is at the root of being unhealthy.

After college I somehow secured a job at a Christian camp working to build a walkway through a swamp. The instructions given me were – here are the supplies and equipement – build it.

It was hard, physical work and that turned out to be just what I needed. The exercise and sweat were medicine for my body, my thinking, and my emotions.

I learned that ‘Health’ is a blanket that covers the physical, the mental, and the emotional self.

The good news is that focus and effort in one part of your self, benefits your other selves also.

Reasons to Get Healthy

How does improving your health improve your life?

Regular, consistent exercise rewards you in many ways.

  • Prevents chronic illnesses (cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases)
  • Improves attention, concentration, and other functions of the brain
  • Maintains healthy thinking
  • Improves sleep
  • Lowers stress
  • Reduces dependence on unhealthy habits
  • Reduces physical illnesses

It’s Your Move That Counts

Take that first step into creating a healthier You – #BestYou

Increase the amount of daily physical activity you do.

You don’t have to buy a Gym Membership. You don’t have to buy Home Gym Equipment.

If you believe that you are too busy to start ‘going to the gym’ for exercise, here’s a short list of practical modify-what-you’re-already-doing ways to get it done.

If it’s raining, snowing, or too hot, head to the local mall for a walk as you windowshop.

Exercise at home. Push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, lunges, and stretching are good for you and are free of expensive equipment.

Take the stairs as often as possible. You might start by taking the elevator from a different floor than the one on which you work.

Drink plenty of water.

Sip water throughout the day. Drink enough and you have a guilt-free excuse to go for a walk to the washroom and back!

Staying well hydrated may also reduce feelings of hunger, and can often reduce chronic back pain.

Go for a family walk after dinner.

Guard Your Emotional Self with Intent

Nurturing your mind is as important as nurturing your body, and it will make you better able to deal with the stresses of your life routines. Be brave and consult with a mental health professional if your friends or spouse tell you that you need to.

Start Here

Work on Positive Thinking about Yourself.

Remind yourself of your personal value.

Read Zig Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale, Og Mandino, James Allen. What these authors wrote are in ‘old books’ but they contain timeless wisdom.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford

Your thinking will either give you permission and power or hold you trapped and timid.

Everything you put into your mind shapes your life. The books you read, the music you listen to, the movies and TV shows you watch. Your reality and expectations from life grow from how you spend your time.

Changing your input, changes your output. The old computer programming comment was: GIGO (Garbage In : Garbage Out)

What you feed your mind will be reflected in your thoughts and choices.

Just as what you feed your stomach is reflected in your body.

Create a healthier mind and it will show up in your physical health.

Download a Health Sphere Worksheet to help you create plans for a Healthier You.

I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and ideas with me.

Use the online Comment option, or email me : eldon@eldonroberts.com

Increase Your Stamina

As we continue to work toward achieving your goals, let’s look at some physical and mental abilities that work for you to reach your goal.

 

PDF of this post: Increase Your Stamina

Audio:

The Connected Skill: Organization with its skills and habits moves you to your goal faster.

Disorganization is evident when you spend more than a few minutes looking for your materials and tools.

The good news is that you can get more organized.

I’d recommend that you identify a friend who is admired for being organized and enlist his or her help. Be open to change. Don’t get your feelings hurt when you discover that you have to make some changes to your habits.

The Connected Skill: Consistent Effort is a must to move you toward your goal.

Create a schedule on paper. Digital schedules and calendars are great, but a paper hanging on the wall will be seen more often and stick better in your memory. Plus others around you need to know, and can be useful to support and encourage you.

The Connected Skill: Persistent Effort is also critical in achieving your goal.

Doing the work once on a schedule will achieve only the weekly goal. Your long-term goal will require repeated effort over time – perhaps years.

The Connected Skill: Stamina refers to how much pain can you tolerate and still keep pushing toward your goal.

A lack of stamina is often the enemy that prevents people from reaching their goals.

The story is told of an old prospector who had been working his claim for years without finding gold. Finally he gave up. He traded his claim for 6 sticks of dynamite, went into the mine and blew himself up. The man with whom he had traded went into the blast area and discovered what turned out to be the richest gold strike in history.

We need Skills in:
Organization
Consistency
Persistence
Stamina

The lack of these connected skills will hinder you, perhaps even prevent you – from achieving your dreams.

How much stamina we will need is hidden from our view at the beginning of a mission. I have been writing and publishing my blog for over a year now. I don’t have hundreds of subscribers, nor am I banking any profits from the work.

A Previous post (Stamina Achieves Your Goals) encouraged you to create a goal over which you have control. My personal goals are 1) Publish a post each week, and 2) that my ideas and efforts will help someone. I know it has helped me.

It is my opinion that stamina is the most important from the list above.

The Wall Street Journal published an article about research done to better understand the relationship between performance and physical stamina.

Mental stamina is where physical stamina originates. So the information from the research is useful for those of us who are athletes of the mind.

The feeling of discouragement in continuing an effort, whether mental or physical, is really just a feeling. The good news is that feelings are under your control, and can be changed.

In practical terms, by changing our belief about how difficult the task is, we can change the results of our efforts.

Research has also shown that what we look at influences our achievement. Cyclists who were shown photos of smiling faces achieved a performance boost over when they were shown photos of frowning faces.

Perhaps the most powerful and widely applicable technique for changing how your brain interprets incoming signals is to train yourself with motivational self-talk.

Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you have an internal monologue running through your head during difficult tasks, and it has a measurable impact on how effortful you perceive those tasks to be.”

WSJ Appeared in the February 3, 2018, print edition as ‘Head Games The Mental Tricks Of Athletic Endurance.’

How could this be applied to mental stamina?

I propose a 5-Step Plan that will implement findings from the research.

 

Suggested Plan

1. Establish a written schedule, a day or days that you will work toward your goal

List each day

Schedule all of your events for each day

Lock in a time that you know will be available to work toward the chosen goal

You might begin with 1-day of work per week if you need to fit this into a regular work schedule.

2. Use Circuit Workouts; break the work time into a Work – Rest pattern.

Decide on a length of time per session

break the length into 12-15 minute bursts of undistracted work

followed by 3-5 minutes of rest

then back to the next workout.

3. Plan Recovery time in your schedule. This is different from the Circuit Cycle rest time.

For some, a good night’s sleep is all the recovery time they need.

For others it might be a day or two between episodes of work.

I recommend building a Sabbath into your weekly routine. Take the entire day off.

Maybe go to church; maybe do a family outing.

God time and Family time are both important.

4. Feed your mind with performance abilities advertisements

Read the writings of Self-Help and Self-Improvement gurus.

Carnegie, Hill, Ziglar…

5. Push your perceived abilities boundaries

Your mind has a Limit setting. An “I can’t do any more” switch.

Push to do more when you reach that limit.

 

Think about areas about which you regularly say, “I’m not good at that.” Write a list. Begin working on one or more of the listed skills. Get a teacher to help you.

Pushing into the skills you’re not good at or comfortable in will create growth in all areas.

Other factors that contribute to a life focused on achieving your goals:

Diet, what media you use to feed your brain, how much time you spend with screen media, the types and quantities of liquid intake, physical exercise, your overall health.

Reach out to me with comments or suggestions.

Thank you for reading.

Stamina Achieves Your Goals

If you have been reading or listening to the email and webinar messages in your Facebook feed and Inbox, you are likely convinced that success can be defined in specific numbers.

PDF of this post: Stamina Achieves Your Goals

Audio of this post:

Dozens of people, perhaps hundreds, preach the Gospel of Success with promises of your achievement in return for paying them to access their courses.

You are dazzled by the exorbitant “values” of the Bonuses offered for a short time. The threat of a limited time to act increases the thrill of ordering. Are these courses really the keys to success?

If you Join and pattern your online presence according to their formula, will you experience a sudden popularity, and have email addresses pouring in to your aggregator?

But, No guarantee.

From my perspective of 70-plus years, success is not specifically defined by large numbers.

Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint Water explains, “My definition of success is knowing that what you are doing is helping you and others lead a better, happier, healthier life.”

Success seldom results from an unexpected encounter with magic. I am not intending to cast any doubt on the value and validity of the “get 1000 email addresses and start making money” programs offered in webinars. I have friends who have achieved monthly income from pursuing a writing niche.

Let’s get started with putting some ideas about achieving goals to work.

Write your definition of ‘success.’

Be careful with this step. The definition you choose will be used to measure your achievement. If you decide that 1,000 email addresses will define Success, then 800 will be a failure.

Quantity that you cannot control probably shouldn’t be used to define your achievement.

Work to come up with a measurement that you can control.

Example…

I write this blog. I can control whether or not I write and publish something each week.

Apply quantity to that and I might define my success this way: Write and publish a meaningful blog post each week for one year.

Or I might limit the time more closely to achieve a reward in a shorter time: I will write and publish each week this month.

Soon that achievement will become a habit that doesn’t need as much approval to be continued. Then I can go for a full year of posts.

I had to hire a yard service to take care of mowing my yard while I was going through cancer treatment and recovery. At the beginning of the mowing season this Spring I decided to tackle the task myself. I wanted to build up my strength and endurance.

I enlisted the help of my 9-year old grandson. On the day of mowing I’d arrange for him to come to the house about 30 minutes after the time I knew I’d start mowing.

I would mow as long as I could, then turn the job over to him to finish. He did great!

For three months we followed that plan. Each week I tried to mow for a longer time.

Finally, I decided to tackle the whole yard, about a one-hour endeavor. (It had taken about 45 minutes when my grandson helped.)

For the past month I have done the job without help. It now takes about 30 minutes for me to recover after the exertion.

My definition of Achieve Success has been reached. I celebrate and reward myself after each workout.

Include a service component to your definition of success. Reach out to someone and help that person in a meaningful way. Contribute to that person achieving a personal need.

In my grass-cutting example, I paid my grandson each time he helped. He used the money to buy books that he wanted to read, and otherr things that his family budget couldn’t provide.

He also was rewarded with the knowledge that he had helped me, and that he was big enough to learn to handle the mower on his own.

Each of these parts of the definition of Success involve stamina. They are not one-off events.

Developing endurance is in itself ‘success’

Stamina achieves goals.

If one person is helped as a result of your efforts, consider yourself to have achieved success.

The worthy goal of providing information, counsel, guidance, encouragement to another person may be adequate to motivate you to continue in your work.

Truth be told, the goal of ‘one person helped’ is impossible. The one person you touch will reach out to another, who will continue the ripple effect.

The real purpose of reducing the goal to ‘one’ is to make it obvious that achieving success is possible, maybe even ridiculously simple.

Once you have reached your goal of ‘one’ and have attained success, the natural thing is to reach out to another. And the ripple spreads, ripples criss-cross each other; waves reach shores that you have never walked on.

In the beginning of an effort to reach your goal you will encounter distractions, detractors, and discouragements that will threaten to break your dream, to stop you from achieving.

From the very beginning of your interest in setting and achieving a specific goal, you will need stamina, endurance.

The dictionary defines ‘stamina’ as:

The ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort, resistance to hardship.

The ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.

Synonyms are: endurance, staying power, tirelessness, fortitude, energy, toughness, determination, tenacity, perseverance, grit.

Worthy goals are seldom easy to reach.

Effort is demanded.

Consistent, persistent effort aimed at your goal takes stamina. Stamina reaches goals.

Reaching out to another person, whether it is in writing, speaking, teaching, witnessing, encouraging…

Continuing the effort when you cannot see the desired results –

That’s endurance, stamina.

I think it is safe to say that we each need more stamina, no matter where we are on the road to achieving success.

Share with me your thoughts and experiences with effort, stamina, and achievement.

If you are a writer, consider a guest post on my site.

My Theme is Achieving Success through Finding the Gold in Life’s Experiences.