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Positive Attitudes, Winner or Loser

not who you are 344Why are we so afraid to create positive expectations of future situations?  We are afraid that if we do this we will be badly disappointed when it doesn’t work out.

Have you ever played pretend and created exactly what you wanted in every detail?  You probably did so as a child when you were only limited by your imagination.  I used to think that the president and his or her family had access to every thing a person could want and many things that ordinary people, even rich people, didn’t have yet.  They had color TVs in my child’s mind before they were even invented.

For example, my best friend and I created beautiful ballgowns in our heads that we could really see.  Daydreaming, you say just daydreaming….  Did the candy taste just as sweet if only in our imaginations and everything starts with an idea before it becomes a reality.

Your frame of mind can influence your outcome.  How do you act if you know you will get something?  How do you act if you are sure you won’t get something as things are unfair and no matter how good you are you don’t have a chance!

 

 

Feeling Beat Down And Worn Out?

Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke.  Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions  and/or wishes of those being put down.  The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.

Anger Is Often Used To Control

Anger Controls People

Nagging can result from such interactions.  If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument.  Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.

Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope.  Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.

Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is.  Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer.  Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are.  Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You

For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types.  Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences.  For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”).  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.

It often boils down to a whole issue of control.  If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like.  In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.

Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship.  The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”.  This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.

 

 

Neglected Gratitude

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium Helping Someone

Think of all the people who have helped you. For a moment, don’t count the times that they didn’t. Be appreciative of what you did get even if you can’t rely on them now. It is unusual to look back and not find at least one person who has helped you. Even people who have did you great harm might have done something that benefited you once. It is also easier to notice the things that have gone wrong than to count your blessings.
So often we do not remember or note in any way things that people who treat you right have done and value more what someone who has neglected us has done. Be truly grateful. Why is a favor done by someone who usually rejects us mean more than one by someone who consistently supports you. “Ah, you say when this happens, “It doesn’t count.”
chinese-grandparents-sitting-grandchildren-26098101There was a mother who had a lot of children. Two of them took care of her and even at one point had her live with each of them. Who did she get excited about when they came to see her or when she had a chance to go see them, the ones who usually did nothing for her and usually weren’t around very much. Seems shallow, doesn’t it.
You may feel the same way about family. If they are not the ones doing something for you, then it doesn’t count. Yet hasn’t God sent other people into your life to help you at times maybe when your family wasn’t there. People aren’t all or always bad.
rp_7297340494_bbd50a8706_m.jpgNo one’s family life is perfect and I spent some time when I was younger talking about what my parents had done wrong in raising me and did not talk about the good things (Oh, yes, there were some). For example, my parents put me through undergraduate school at a private four year college. Also holidays and family get togethers were important to them.
I don’t want to underestimate anything that went wrong in your upbringing; but many times there are more than one thing to consider if you are looking at how you were raised. Yes, the bad things might have outweighed the good ones; but the good ones still existed.

Competition Is Not A Threat. It Is An Inspiration.

Food for thought.  Some of us have always wanted to be on top of the mountain while everybody is down below.  Is this through a desire to be like God so far removed from everybody, nobody can touch them.    Like we think like God thinks.  One step ahead of everybody else and knowing it all.  (Is this possible?  No!)  This a protective mechanism because we want nobody to get ahead of us so that we can control our own fate and often theirs too because it is advantageous for us..

Solve Your Own ProblemsCan you handle being God.  I knew one four year old child that couldn’t and down underneath he knew it but he didn’t want his parents to know he really thought because he had ascended to the point where he and his family controlled everything that went on in that family like bedtime, their diet, and how they felt.  Was that a good idea.  Don’t bit off more than you can chew.  It is easier if you get by with a little help from your friends like in the Beatles’ song.

You can’t know everything in this computer age and when you find it that way you still have to make sense out of the information.  Being in a tower no matter how elevated is a lonely position.  Remember  Rapunzel who got stuck in a tower in the fairy tale and had to use her long hair to bring the prince to her rescue.

Alas so we always can’t solve our own problems and maybe the competition can.  Do you give up and see this unresolved issue as a threat in stead of an opportunity to do what you do that is even better?  Competition is not a threat it is an inspiration.  You wouldn’t have an competition if it wasn’t a good idea in the first place.  Also problems are also opportunities to fix something right now that might have acted up seriously in the future.

Do you really think you can do it?  A good CEO knows when he doesn’t know something, he finds someone who does and also  that new better selling ideas from the competition can inspire him to make some needed changes in his company.   Competition is inevitable and you should expect it.  What inspired you in the first place?   It was somebody else’s success and you became competitive as you wanted to do something somebody else did only better!

 

Should You Judge A Book By Its Cover? What Do You Think Is More Important? Looks? Or Personality??

Drp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifo you realize we learn to like certain skin colors, hair types, body shapes, heights, and to discriminate between them.  To me, my mommy was beautiful and my grandmas were a “sight for my sore eyes,”  although they were older and heavier than my mother.  My BFF, who I met in first grade, was not judged by me on the basis of her physical size but on how much fun we had when we were together.  I had a cousin the same age as I was and I often got hand me downs from her as she (although my age) was “bigger” than me.  We have to be taught to see these differences as significant.  The standards of beauty and handsomeness can vary quite strikingly from culture to culture and have you looked at wedding pictures and seen that there is a man for every woman and a woman for every man.

I was having a discussion with my daughter-in-law and discovered that an actress that I considered to be no beauty was considered very attractive by my daughter-in-law.  Also men and women focus on different parts of the anatomy when they try to decide if a woman is beautiful and/or and a man is a potential  “chick magnet.”  Haven’t you ever heard a discussion about what physically attracts a man to a woman: her boobs, her butt, her legs, her hair color, or whatever.

Remember the saying, “Men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.”  Doesn’t seem to face-partsmatter now.  It used to be what attracted a woman to a man was his profession or his ability to be able to support her in the style she was or would like to become accustomed to.   At mid-life or latter some men look for a younger woman sometimes even young enough to be their daughter.  Then there women who are “cougars” and seek younger men.  Ever hear the terms, “sugar daddy”or “trophy wife”?

There is one particular cable news channel that is often on at my house and one of the recurring “experts” I became acquainted with was so ugly, I didn’t like to look at him; however he was very knowledgeable and had a very credible life history to support his road to being this “expert.”  All of a sudden one day as I was listening to him, I realized he no longer was bad looking to me.  His looks didn’t change but my attitude toward them had.

rp_5798468679_59ea50286a_m.jpgI came to realize that I had been selling other people short when I concentrated on their looks instead of their personality, knowledge, and abilities.  I also I noticed I was selling myself short too when I dressed to impress and probably could not afford it instead of wearing something flattering and comfortable so I could be comfortable being me.  I don’t mean that looks don’t count.  You can go too far in this direction to the point of being offensive.

I had planned to post on the fact that the cable news channel had only impossibly beautiful women in at least distracting (if not very conservative) clothes, dangerously high heels, high maintenance hairstyles, and glamorous makeup that required that these women show up early for work in order to attain this look.  Also of course, the men who had the same jobs were often not necessarily tall, athletic, and youthful and wore more comfortable, less revealing, clothes.  I then realized I was judging these women on how they looked but in a negative way.  They didn’t deserve that either.  They invested a lot of time and money into looking the way they did and should not be judged for trying so hard.

Conversation Stopper: People Are Rude Because Other People Are Too Polite To Call Them On It

Arp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifre some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite?  Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves?  Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it.  They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.

What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it.  It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t.  Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGeverybody looked to see who was coming in.  The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?”  It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked.  It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group.  This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply.  I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.

rp_7510823738_6616ac3a63_m.jpgSometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return.  Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience.  People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.

Rediscovering Yourself

meditation stonesI went to Sedona to rediscover myself.

Rediscovering your self is a process that you go through many times in your life.  You may think that you already know who you are and then you discover what you really are is really someone else.  Have you become society”s conception of what you ought to be.  Make your own plan, forge ahead blindly not knowing where you are going but knowing you have the freedom to do so.

Meet your soul, the person you were meant to be, not letting other people or other things determine who you are.  Do you not know what you want.  although you may know what you do not want.  Unfortunately the unconscious only understands positive statements and we waste a lot of time having negative thoughts and not converting these negative thoughts into positive ones.  We don’t want to be disappointed so we warn ourselves that we must protect ourselves against losing things that have come to mean a lot to us.

rp_300px-ThinkingMan_Rodin.jpgMost of us were warned against having a “big head” as a child or even as an adult and this prevents  us from promoting ourselves.  Fortunately or unfortunately men more than women are encouraged and reinforced for creating a name for themselves and for getting respect from others.  Think of the accomplishments a man can line up: school board president, kindly old physician, preacher, evangelist, solid businessman.  Someone whose opinions and comments count.

Some of us have been encouraged to step back and let others have the limelight.  “Pride goeth before a fall.” A male “expert” often gets more recognition than a female “expert”. We think for  “the chosen” to have powers, others must shirk or shrink from the limelight.

Our self-confidence is often  so fragile that we can become depressed and procrastinate and feel  doomed to fail.  We think that there is no room in the inn for us and we must settle for the stable.    We spin our wheels and get nowhere.

Everyone is important just as every child is precious.  Do you not think that your grandchild or son or daughter is or was precious.  Their eyes, their nose, their mouth were perfect.  Every saying they made or thing that they did or created was or is  precious.  Something to be cherished and remembered.  What happened to you?  When did you stop being a cute little kid?  God’s or nature’s perfect gift.

rp_303404356_6ff7a23b4b_m.jpgSelf confidence and courage do a lot to keep a person from having cold feet about what they want to accomplish.  Most of us suffer from the that we can’t debilitating have or do what we want so we stop wishing and visualizing the perfect future for us.

Sometimes we focus on one objective  that was chosen by ourselves as an acceptable one or by others for us to the exception of all else.  Remember when we free to explore all outlets of life back when your artwork or other creations were considered to be significant and not a waste of time.  Yet you began to work harder and harder to meet the one goal that you thought was achieveable whether you liked it or not.

The opportunities are endless if you believe in their existence.  Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others limit you.  Are you the friend everybody likes because compared to you they are successful in life?  “Oh, woe is me”, can be an endless litany and those who listen to it can become tried of it eventually.  When should you start discovering your real self?  THE TIME IS NOW!

 

 

Should You Celebrate Yourself Before You Celebrate Others?

PsychosisVonnegutCoverIs this an either or question?  Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side.  Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance.  It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy.  How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please.  Too much candy and then none of it tastes good.  You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy.  Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them.  Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.

Savoring is enjoying what you do have.  Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company.   Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self.  Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day?  It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow.  Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day?  Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate?  I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it.  Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read.  Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.

“Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think,” was a title of a song.  Did the writer know what he or she was writing about?  On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else?  Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting.  You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.

me,me,mejpgAre you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row.  Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you?  Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute.  You!  You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations.  You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.

Is “wallflower” your middle name?  Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones?  Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you.  In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.

There needs to be a nice balance here.  You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are.  Giving and receiving are both part of the equation.  Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later.  Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.

kindness,acts ofGiving is important.  Gratitude is important.  Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks.  You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have.  It is the daisy chain of gratitude.  I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard.  Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc.  Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?

Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off?  Was that a really good idea to begin with?  Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking”  in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.

 

Celebrate Yourself?

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpg

Do you keep a low profile.  Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do?  Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it.  I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go.  I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back  as when I finished I was no longer on campus.

Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses.  I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town.  Is it bad to blow your own horn?  I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)).  Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation.  But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.

If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will.  If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will?  Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself.  I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right!  But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends.  Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority.  But I’m not going to back down for their sake.

I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it.  Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing?  I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess.  Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself.  I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there.  I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends.  Keep your mouth shut.   Ever hear of that?

Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high.  Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you.  Is there a happy medium?  Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?

Happy, Happy, Happy!

My happy face anyway!.

My happy face anyway!.

Taking a Rocket Risk  ala  Mary Mcellehattan’s book,.  Going where my heart’s desire is.  Fuflilling my bucket list.  It may be my last hurrah; but I am going.  Learned a lesson.  Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.

Create your own happiness.  Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.  It’s your decision.  It’s your life.  You don’t need somebody else’s permission even if you would like to have it.  Don’t lose the moment.  I am not going to let anybody else’s opinion spoil your day or days spent where you only dreamed of being before.  Being yourself is not necessarily bad and is actually mostly or all good.  Most of us have been raised to seek somebody else’s approval (and sometime it’s even the world’s!) before doing something.

Don’t cloud a life time experience by being scared, afraid, or unhappy because somebody else doesn’t want you to do what you want to do.  Unhappy emotions are for the most part useless unless they are part of the grieving process.  Yes, I may be scared when I announce my intentions.  Just as people have different tastes in movies and music, they have different tastes when it comes to choosing a lifetime experience.  Do you have a certain food that you dislike and you can’t even stand to see it on somebody else’s plate.?  Liver (and onions) is something I enjoy, but I don’t have much company.   Are you always eating where someone else wants to eat as you don’t want to make waves and it’s not that big of a deal. anyway.  Move over Rover, there is a new dog in town.

Experiment!  Campaign for your choices when you are with someone or a group.  How often have you listened to yourself when deciding on something to eat.  Do you wait to see what others are

"Make my day!

“Make my day!

going to order first?   Have you ever thought, “My, wouldn’t that taste good.”  I even eat snails and of course all kinds of mushrooms including those we pick ourselves during mushroom season.  I have to agitate someone to get them on my pizza!

Planning a life experience like I am.  Go ahead fantasize the best trip ever including every thing you want even if you are not sure how you are going to get it.   It doesn’t hurt to be prepared if someone asks you what you want.  It’s your trip, it’s your budget.  What do you like best about visiting some other place?  I like to get to know the people and taste the food.  I like for my trips to be multipurpose and accomplish more than one of my goals.  I want to be met by a local and showed around by a local.  I want them or someone knowledgeable to set my itinerary.  I want to really experience the place while I am there.

Do you want to go through life saying , “I wish I could have done something.”  That negativity can last for a lifetime.  Who is being negative about this.  You oar someone else?  Is it,”If I feel bad about what you are going to do, you should feel bad too and have a miserable time planning your trip, taking your trip, and talking about it after.”  Secretly they may want to ruin your whole life by being this way about things you want to do.  Does someone in your family have this power over you?  To whose benefit is it?  There was a cartoon character  that always had a rain cloud over his head.  This could be you if you let this happen.

“If I am not happy, nobody else is going to be happy!”  Have you heard that before?  Does it have to be true?  How about having a good time anyway.  Happiness is a choice and it’s yours. Don’t listen to this sort of thing.  Don’t let this happen!   Some people are self-sacrificing and if they don’t let themselves do or have something, they don’t want you to either!