Tag Archives: success

health month

for the month of october, i’ve played something called healthmonth. it is a fun, useful and well-thought-out site where you can establish health rules you’d like to follow and then keep track of how you’re doing.

from the site:

health month is all about designing your own health rules, and then trying to stick to them. we provide the points and the motivation.
here’s how it works:
before the game starts
1. choose your rules
2. make your bets and promises
3. choose how you want to play
o– games with 3 or fewer rules are free
o– games with 4 or more rules are either $5 per game, or $50 per year to become a member
o– if you can’t afford to pay, you can also seek sponsorship. every paying player can sponsor one person per month, or they can choose to pay for you
4. introduce yourself to the other players and wait for the game to start
after the game starts
1. mark off your rules every day
2. get points
3. share your progress

we all know how to be healthy. this game is about finding your limits, giving you incentives to make new habits stick, and helping you learn what works for you.

there’s much more to it, like how well your rule is aligned with your heart, how easy or hard it is to follow the rule, etc. you can choose from a variety of rules and then establish how often you’d like to follow them. many of the rules are about physical health (limit alcohol; cook dinner; eat fruit; limit soda, etc.); some are also about mental health, like

  • list grateful things
  • limit internet usage
  • meditate
  • limit television
  • write in a private journal
  • read
  • relax
  • get quality time alone
  • quality time with kids

i’ve found it very useful, mostly because it helped me be more focused around things that i already do, more or less – and now i do them more. eating greens, for example, or flossing every day.

i was introduced to this by my twitter friend sameer vasta and am part of his little group at health month in october. but i’m thinking of maybe starting my own group. anyone care to join me? we could make it just a tad about mental health …

leave me a comment here or drop me a line if you’d like to participate. if i have three or more confirmed people by october 31 (hallowe’en!), it’s a go. it does cost $5 a month. great investment.

success in 2009 – 3rd and final post

what was your biggest non-monetary success this year? i asked this question on twitter, LinkedIn and facebook. this is post #3 – the first instalment is here, and the second here. (the ones with the @ denote twitter names).

@dorylanenter: new friendships i made

joanna poppink:
transforming my front garden into a gorgeous, free chi flowing rock garden. i kept all the plants that were doing well. i covered bare spots with rivers of flowing mexican black smooth pebbles. the steep areas are now embedded with large black mexican stones. the plants grow better because the rocks hold the slope and retain moisture. the stone change color in different light and moisture conditions.

i use half the water i used before. my neighbors pause to look. children stop to look and ask questions. i get reports now of how people linger on a regular basis and feel better, even nourished and inspired by the garden.

it cost very little because i did it myself. unlike most gardens, it requires little tending. i loved doing it. and now, like most gardens, it keeps giving.

katana: i quit smoking.

airdrie miller: owning my first dog, lucy, is my biggest success of 2009. lucy is a four month old shihtzu poodle. she is my new best friend. i love her.

@patientanon becoming even closer 2 someone where the relationship had 2 already withstand unbelievable trials 2 stay together over years

sanjib: my biggest non-monetary success in 2009 was getting into plan B trying to anchor myself in canada as a new immigrant. i used to be a journalist back in my home country of india as well as in taiwan. but now I am working in both the fast-food as well as retail sectors to learn and equip myself with those extra skills necessary to be successful here in canada.

@crpitt i think just keeping it together when the mum had her leg amputated was a success, using the power of humour and doodling

corinna carlson: the renewed relationship with my parents… was time there when i thought that was it, we wouldn’t be speaking again, they almost got a divorce this year, we ‘rescued’ my mom from bali while i dealt with three embassies and foreign affairs to get her out of bali, and somehow we’ve worked it all out and are a real family again..

@blissfulgirl i beat cervical cancer. it doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

@DTSuites finally getting my composter in the garden working efficiently, taking several theta healing workshops which have pushed me more toward energy healing and awareness than before. new year’s resolutions are now all about my continuing shift in awareness, personal and lifestyle goals…back to basics

@kattlea my non monetary success – healing enough to start playing guitar (although that cost a lot of money)

hera (a recent canadian immigrant): my success – got along with the canadian working environment more and more, completed several projects including writing the reports.

karen: firstly, all my successes necessarily have to be non-monetary: i was let go of both my contract gigs, and now i’m an overworked graduate student working part-time and not pulling in rent! i’m not ready to write-off the year entirely

looking back, i think the most important success i can name is really coming to grips with how important knowing thine self enables being true to said self. acknowledging, accepting, relentlessly cataloguing, reminding, remembering… it never really dawned on me how quickly it can shift and how much i’m still thinking of myself as i was 10 years ago, until really just now. i think realizing that is a success in and of itself! everything flows from this first and foremost: what i want to do, what i’m good at, where i can provide the most value, how i go about asking to be paid for this awesome i do…and how best to communicate this to others and to ask for acceptance for who i know myself to be.

monica: i have to say speaking as one of the keynote speakers at a conference was quite a success. as usual, i was (very) concerned about doing a good job (i’m a little nutty like that), and was quite relieved that it went well. (here is the video)

craig (a piano player):   howard and i had a concert called “a nutcracker christmas” scheduled.  the day before the performance, howard came down with such a severely sore throat that he could not perform. almost all the planned repertoire was not useable without the clarinet part. with just 24 hours to go before the performance, it was not possible to find a replacement.

for a fleeting moment, my old being visited and i thought about canceling. include embarrassment, loss of income (the hall was rented) and frustration in all that.  but, i am strengthening the muscle of stepping over my fears, and i quickly (like in 5 minutes) decided the show was to go on.  the concert was just 2 seats short of being sold out. i was sticking my neck out.  45 minutes before the performance was to begin, i had all my christmas music spread out on the chapel floor and i was creating a program from scratch.  we had promised the nutcracker, so i chose three of numbers from that suite that would work as vehicles for improvising. i had not tried this before.  i chose 8 favourite carols that i could extemporize on.  i had 3 classical masterpieces i could play.  i walked into the music hall and calmly greeted all the guests as they arrived.  then i entertained them for 2 hours.  just about everyone went out of their way to say how delighted they were.

as recently as 5 years ago, i never, never improvised in public.  as recently as 3 years ago, i only improvised in situations where i was background music and know one really seemed to be listening.  i wrote down on my life rocks form when catherine wood was coaching me that i had the dream of being able to do a solo concert that was almost entirely improvised. and it happened …

@janaremy sent me something on twitter the moment i asked – and i just realized i lost her post.  i think it was this one – it’s entitled what’s your dream? and starts like this: ‘a few years ago i dreamed that someday i would start each day with paddling on the ocean. but i thought to myself how ridiculous that was given my physical limitations, the difficulty of actually getting to the beach on a daily basis, the expense of procuring a boat, etc. it seemed…impossible, implausible, impractical. undo-able.”

finally, creativity coach roger von oech sent me his personal highlights for the decade, which involves, among other things, swimming, a fascination with the greek philosopher herclitus, and putting something whacky on a communist grave in russia.

sooo … what was YOUR success?

success in 2009 – part 2

here’s part 2 of my social media friends’ nonmonetary successes in 2009: (the ones with the @ are people’s twitter accounts).   part 1 is here.

darren barefoot: i wrote half a book, which, it turns out, is a shocking amount of work.

hamish: two of my former clients (and now friends) successfully landed new jobs thanks in part to some extensive CV rewriting that i did for them – it was great to see the constructive criticism received well, taken on board and integrated into the finished product. it was then gratifying of them to keep me posted on how their job search progressed – net result, two great people in new jobs doing great things for their new employers!

vivien (@inspirationbit on twitter): my biggest success and the proudest achievement in 2009 was to teach my daughter how to read. so now, at the age of four she’s already fluently reading in english on her own, and we now started learning french with her 😉

jonathon narvey from writeimage: learning and understanding more about how organizations (business, non-profit, whatever) succeed. i’m very grateful to those who have shown me how to get it done. it seems as though some of the greatest lessons you can learn in this field come much easier when times are tough. and it’s not just important to understand these things to make a buck — it’s important to understand them so that you can truly enjoy and remain passionate about the work.

probably the most important lesson, which i had heard many times but perhaps never truly internalized until recently, was the importance of working with good people. you just can’t do it all yourself. when you’ve got good, talented people all working in an organized way towards a common goal, success is inevitable.

dan: teaching my kids things they ask about and hearing them say “c-o-o-o-l”

dave: my success really was regaining my independence. i was in a relationship for nearly 3 years, 2 of which we lived together. to escape some costs and administrative burden, i didn’t have a copy of our joint credit card and our chemistry wasn’t where it needed to be in order for me to be 50% of our relationship. i didn’t get lost in the relationship, but i got lost because of it. i didn’t realize this until a month or so after leaving – regaining my independence came out of nowhere to be my biggest success and i didn’t even see it coming.

@evanhadkins written lots of stuff, survived a new job with zero support, maintained healthy relationship despite working 6-6.5 days a week

@barkingunicorn learned to let go of money, possessions, home, people, worry.

@mollena i was awarded the title @mssfleather2009. i performed in the most difficult and wonderful show i’ve ever done. i’m still sober.

brenda blackburn: my biggest non-monetary success of 2009 was the live meeting startup and growth of the DVT support group of the lower mainland (held in burnaby, bc). “deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that usually occurs in the leg, most often on one side, although it can happen in other parts of the body. if the blood clot dislodges, it can travel to the lungs and cause a blockage known as a pulmonary embolism (PE) or lung clot. lung clots affect over 530,000 people a year and 300,000, or almost 1 out of 3, are fatal.” “national alliance for thrombosis & thrombophilia (NATT), USA. in this group of “survivors” and supporters we support, educate and advocate. as the first known live support DVT group in canada, (with no other provincial or national DVT patient organization existing to date), we are striving to make a difference at a grassroots level. we hold affiliations with vancouver general hospital, burnaby hospital, the north american thrombosis forum, peernetbc, and more.

want to tell us what your success was?

in defense of “trying”

yodathe word “trying” has a bad rap. why?

yoda said, “do, or do not. there is no try“. there is the idea that “trying” is associated with excuses, that trying comes just before failing, that trying implies no commitment, etc.

fair enough.

here are my points:

what does try mean?

let’s start by looking at some definitions of “try”:

  • to examine or investigate judicially
  • to put to test
  • to make an attempt

trying and commitment

when i google the word “trying”, the first site after the definition is trying to conceive. that’s interesting. all the women i know who are or have been “trying to conceive” are very, very committed to the process. one person i know spent eight years until she found what was working for her and her husband – and lots of blood, sweat and tears, not to mention dollars. i don’t think that there is a lack of commitment, or that “trying” stands for making lame excuses.

try and persistence

the last request in the extended version of the serenity prayer says

… and the strength to get up and try again, one day at a time.

trying, honest, earnest trying, requires strength. “trying” may make some people think of excuses – it often makes me think of persistence. “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again” and again, and again, and again.

trying as a process – example: quitting smoking

in addition to parents who try to conceive, another “trying” comes to mind: research shows that most people who successfully quit smoking have tried a number of times before they succeed. that was certainly true for me. interestingly enough, my first attempt or two were not overly committed. but the desire to quit grew over time. i honestly don’t know what the outcome would have been had someone said to me that trying isn’t good enough.

so what about yoda?

now i don’t want to diss yoda. i have a soft spot for him (you can even find him on my bathroom altar) so i want to take him seriously. in the snippet in question, luke says to yoda, with a dejected eeyore type of voice, “ok, i’ll try.” when yoda says, “do. or do not” i think the point is more about confidence than about dismissing the idea of trying wholeheartedly.

suffering from a lack of confidence (which, often enough, is truly a form of suffering) or simple being half-assed is something that you can do without invoking the concept of trying. i know enough people who say, “i’ll commit myself to … (losing weight, exercising, writing that letter, etc.)” and still don’t do it.

so leave the word “try” alone already.

(or go another route – try [!] the concept of “allowing“).

image by orange_beard

dr. capista on: studying sacred text, together

a study circlethis is day 2 of my participation in the virtual book tour of dr. joe capista’s book what can a dentist teach you about business, life and success? i’m interested in what dr. capista has to say about spirituality. yesterday we looked at his experience with retreats. today he talks about his experience with a bible study group.

if you’re not christian, please don’t run away! nobody is going to try to convert you to anything here.

listen:

i have also deepened my spiritual practices by participating in a gospel reflection group that meets every friday morning. i have attended sessions for the last few years with a group of very successful business owners, mostly high-powered men who have a diverse mix of backgrounds, experiences and religions. we connect by way of a gospel reading, which we then relate to daily life and the things we should or could be doing better.

this gospel group has been very revealing. to hear other men, who i admire and respect for what they have accomplished, share their insights is incredible. they know the importance spirituality plays in their life. their commitment to balance is remarkable. they are a group of men that hold fast to what they know. one of the sayings we have there is, “once you know, you cannot not know.”

this simply means once a truth has been revealed to you, it is difficult to act on an old behavior that is no longer in your best interest or serves your highest good. for example, in our group we have discussions about honesty in business, fidelity in our marriage, and living a life of integrity. although any one of us could act on a behavior or a moment’s temptation, we will likely choose not to. not because we couldn’t get away with something and hide something from others, it is because in our heart we would know we went against the core values we live by.

this is very rich material. for me, living my spirituality day by day, moment by moment, is something that i aspire to with all my heart. (hm, isn’t that interesting? “aspiring” is so much stronger than “trying”). it so happens that christianity is just one part of my spirituality – i’m one of those crazy christian-pagan buddhists – but i know how deeply enriching the communal study of sacred text can be. there is an additional layer of depth when this is done with people with whom you’re not “supposed” to talk about spirituality. your business partners. your golf buddy. your co-workers.

what’s it like when you risk talking about things that deeply matter to you? can you do it? if yes, what works for you? if it’s too risky, what would help you do it?

(image by flitzy phoebe)

dr. joe capista on: going to retreats

once again i’m involved in a virtual book tour, this time for dr. joe capista’s book, what can a dentist teach you aboutrivendell retreat on bowen island business, life and success? for the next three days, i will discuss sections in this book where he talks about his experience with spirituality.

if you want to learn more about dr. capista, please go here.

today, i want to present to you what dr. capista says about retreats:

malvern is a christian retreat that happens to be catholic. you don’t have to be catholic to participate. it’s a semi structured weekend with religious services, quiet time, reflection time, meditation and prayer. they have a retreat master who gives various talks throughout the weekend based on a specific theme.

malvern was so amazing i vowed to attend every year without ever allowing any excuses. my first retreat at malvern so moved me that when i came home from the weekend i told charlie, “if i ever tell you i can’t go to malvern, tell me i’m a liar. there will never be a reason why i can’t go.”

the time i invested at malvern made me realize i needed a period at least once a year to have quiet time; to look back over the previous year and reflect. until i really participated in quiet time, i didn’t realize how much i craved it.

what intrigued me about this was his 100% commitment to go to the retreat. i know the intense restorative and mobilizing power of spiritual retreats and try to go to one a year. while this “trying” has mostly been successful, a) trying sounds a little weak and b) i’d actually like to go to more than one a year.

as i was reflecting on this, i thought about things i don’t just “try”. i don’t “try” to love my children. i don’t “try” to be committed to compassion. i don’t “try” to be creative. i just do it.

so what’s the difference?

i don’t know but it’s sure something to think about.

has that happened to you? “trying” to do something that you really yearn for? what would it take to turn this into something that you just do, no questions asked?

(this post was included in the just write carnival at the incurable disease of writing, as well as in the happiness carnival)

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(the image of rivendell, one of my favourite retreat places, is by fellow vancouver blogger boris mann)