Monthly Archive: September 2019

The Siren Song of the Shortcut

 

Today I had to get to the car dealers. A major street was blocked off for repairs, so I took the main alternative route, which, as it turned out, many others also took. It is a truism in Toronto that traffic is a horror story at the best of times. When there are special issues like this one, it’s an over-the-top hair-pulling story.

So, like so many before me in the huge lineup, I thought I’d take a shortcut, only to discover that every side street eventually led back to the street I was on. By the time I did find a 3rd alternative, I was more than 30 minutes late.

Here’s another shortcut story you may have tried: fasting. You tell everyone it’s a cleanse, but secretly it’s a way to lose some unwanted pounds. The problem (other than the lie)? It doesn’t work! In fact, mostly, anyone who tries fasting to lose weight actually gains weight!

The idea of a shortcut seems so appealing and alluring, like the sirens singing to the sailors in Odysseus. Almost always, the shortcut leads to delays and disappointment.

The reason a shortcut seldom works is because it isn’t the norm. If it were the norm it wouldn’t be a shortcut. Therefore, it’s unfamiliar; and therefore, it’s harder to see the potholes and roadblocks – like all those streets that led nowhere new today for me, or the fact that my starving body went into starvation mode and needed fewer calories to survive (storing the rest as fat).

Next time you’re tempted by the idea of taking a shortcut, try remembering the last time you took one. That memory may help you save time and grief.

Why we make bad decisions (like choosing a shortcut)

 

Quote of the Week 

Short cuts make long delays.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

The Siren Song of the Shortcut

 

Today I had to get to the car dealers. A major street was blocked off for repairs, so I took the main alternative route, which, as it turned out, many others also took. It is a truism in Toronto that traffic is a horror story at the best of times. When there are special issues like this one, it’s an over-the-top hair-pulling story.

So, like so many before me in the huge lineup, I thought I’d take a shortcut, only to discover that every side street eventually led back to the street I was on. By the time I did find a 3rd alternative, I was more than 30 minutes late.

Here’s another shortcut story you may have tried: fasting. You tell everyone it’s a cleanse, but secretly it’s a way to lose some unwanted pounds. The problem (other than the lie)? It doesn’t work! In fact, mostly, anyone who tries fasting to lose weight actually gains weight!

The idea of a shortcut seems so appealing and alluring, like the sirens singing to the sailors in Odysseus. Almost always, the shortcut leads to delays and disappointment.

The reason a shortcut seldom works is because it isn’t the norm. If it were the norm it wouldn’t be a shortcut. Therefore, it’s unfamiliar; and therefore, it’s harder to see the potholes and roadblocks – like all those streets that led nowhere new today for me, or the fact that my starving body went into starvation mode and needed fewer calories to survive (storing the rest as fat).

Next time you’re tempted by the idea of taking a shortcut, try remembering the last time you took one. That memory may help you save time and grief.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters . It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here. If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

 

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

 

Self Worth

 

I was blasted with judgment this week – other people’s judgments of me. They don’t really know me. Their judgments were based on their own fears and prejudices, projected onto me.

It’s bound to happen to any of us who become visible, who have a differing opinion, who have chosen to go a different route than the one chosen by the one judging.

At times, the judgment is valid. Often – even if it is valid – it’s colored by the judge’s personal lenses, coming out distorted. Like a mirror in the House of Mirrors.

No matter what’s happening inside the judger, what’s important is how you work with this bullet that’s come your way.

First, get to a calm place. Try not to be so offended or hurt that you aren’t able to do anything. Yes, you probably will be hurt, so let it flow through you as fast as possible, so that you can have an opportunity to look at the judgment with impartial eyes. This might mean going for a walk in Nature, or smudging to clear yourself. Breathing deeply for a few minutes; reminding yourself that you and they are human and fallible.

Then, once you’re in a better heart-space and calm, see if there is anything to it – in other words, ignore the distortions and look for the gem.  Whatever is there for you to learn and grow by is a gem.  People who we have difficulties with often feed us such gems – but if we’re defensive, we can miss them.

Finally, verify what you know to be true about you, no matter the judgment.  Most of us try to be the best we can be. All of us have qualities that are worth having and sharing.  These are the qualities that are worth focusing on, and nurturing.

 

Doing these 3 things – get calm, find the gem and learn, verify your own truth – are the foundation of having a strong sense of self worth.

There will never be a time when everyone agrees with you and likes you.  None of that matters very much, as long as you like yourself.

 

Self -Worth Theory


Quote of the Week

If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

 

Self Worth

 

I was blasted with judgment this week – other people’s judgments of me. They don’t really know me. Their judgments were based on their own fears and prejudices, projected onto me.

It’s bound to happen to any of us who become visible, who have a differing opinion, who have chosen to go a different route than the one chosen by the one judging.

At times, the judgment is valid. Often – even if it is valid – it’s colored by the judge’s personal lenses, coming out distorted. Like a mirror in the House of Mirrors.

No matter what’s happening inside the judge, what’s important is how you work with this bullet that’s come your way.

First, get to a calm place. Try not to be so offended or hurt that you aren’t able to do anything. Yes, you probably will be hurt, so let it flow through you as fast as possible, so that you can have an opportunity to look at the judgment with impartial eyes. This might mean going for a walk in Nature, or smudging to clear yourself. Breathing deeply for a few minutes; reminding yourself that you and they are human and fallible.

Then, once you’re in a better heart-space and calm, see if there is anything to it – in other words, ignore the distortions and look for the gem.  Whatever is there for you to learn and grow by is a gem.  People who we have difficulties with often feed us such gems – but if we’re defensive, we can miss them.

Finally, verify what you know to be true about you, no matter the judgment.  Most of us try to be the best we can be. All of us have qualities that are worth having and sharing.  These are the qualities that are worth focusing on, and nurturing.

Doing these 3 things – get calm, find the gem and learn, verify your own truth – are the foundation of having a strong sense of self worth.

There will never be a time when everyone agrees with you and likes you.  None of that matters very much, as long as you like yourself.

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters . It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here. If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

 

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

 

Winning the Lottery

 

My partner and I have an ongoing joke that goes something like this: “When and if we get the funds, we should do X, Y, or Z”. It might be painting the house, or getting a desired medical elective treatment, or going on a long trip.  It could be anything we want to do and can’t at the moment, because we don’t have the funds to do it, just yet.

One of us almost always adds: “When you win the lottery …”. Always the other person. Always implying that we might never get those desired funds without what amounts to Divine Intervention.

Yes, someone does indeed eventually win the lottery. But given there are millions of others playing with you, and that there are millions of combinations of numbers to choose, it’s so unlikely that you’ll win that it gets close to amounting to Divine Intervention.

And yet, there is a tiny voice inside me that says: “I have as much chance as anybody. It has to be my turn now!”

As if there are ‘turns’, and that there is a universal ‘fairness’ that lets everyone win at least once. Even so, practically all of us (well, millions of us) automatically focus on the possibility of winning instead of the probability of losing, forgetting that it is a remote possibility against an almost certain probability.

It seems we are all optimists – and that is a really good thing. But what I’m also advocating is the injection of a certain amount of down-to-earthiness: if I even unconsciously count on getting a large amount of money to solve my financial woes, then I might spend as if that is imminently true. However, if I count only on what I know to be true – like, what I’m actually earning right now – then I’ll be a lot more frugal … and stand a bigger chance of having what I really need when I really need it.

Winning the lottery very likely won’t happen for us; winning in life can be almost certainly probable if we learn to care for ourselves emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically – including financially.

This blog is as much a reminder to myself as it is for anyone else. I hope it helps.

Would winning the lottery make you happier?

 

Quote of the Week

Life is a lottery that we’ve already won. But most people have not cashed in their tickets.”
― Louise L. Hay

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

 

Winning the Lottery

My partner and I have an ongoing joke that goes something like this: “When and if we get the funds, we should do X, Y, or Z”. It might be painting the house, or getting a desired medical elective treatment, or going on a long trip.  It could be anything we want to do and can’t at the moment, because we don’t have the funds to do it, just yet.

One of us almost always adds: “When you win the lottery …”. Always the other person. Always implying that we might never get those desired funds without what amounts to Divine Intervention.

Yes, someone does indeed eventually win the lottery. But given there are millions of others playing with you, and that there are millions of combinations of numbers to choose, it’s so unlikely that you’ll win that it gets close to amounting to Divine Intervention.

And yet, there is a tiny voice inside me that says: “I have as much chance as anybody. It has to be my turn now!”

As if there are ‘turns’, and that there is a universal ‘fairness’ that lets everyone win at least once. Even so, practically all of us (well, millions of us) automatically focus on the possibility of winning instead of the probability of losing, forgetting that it is a remote possibility against an almost certain probability.

It seems we are all optimists – and that is a really good thing. But what I’m also advocating is the injection of a certain amount of down-to-earthiness: if I even unconsciously count on getting a large amount of money to solve my financial woes, then I might spend as if that is imminently true. However, if I count only on what I know to be true – like, what I’m actually earning right now – then I’ll be a lot more frugal … and stand a bigger chance of having what I really need when I really need it.

Winning the lottery very likely won’t happen for us; winning in life can be almost certainly probable if we learn to care for ourselves emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically – including financially.

This blog is as much a reminder to myself as it is for anyone else. I hope it helps.

 

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters . It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here  .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

Living in abundance

 

This is a spin-off from Seth Godin’s blog Living in surplus. He compares living in deficit to living in surplus.  Another term for deficit is scarcity; and another term for surplus is abundance. I think in terms of scarcity and abundance.

Lots of us live in scarcity. Hording what you have in case you run out and can’t get more. Jamming too much into the day so that you’re running from one thing to the next. Focusing on being better than your neighbor for a position that seems rare to you.

Whether you really can’t get more of something if you run out, or believe that everything must be done today, or that that position you covet is as rare as you think, the attitude of scarcity keeps you in stress.

What if you tried to believe the opposite – that there is plenty of whatever you need; that only a few things really need doing immediately, and that whatever position you desire is there – in a form made just for you – whenever you’re ready to grab it.

More or less real than scarcity?  If more real, then the stress you’re putting yourself through every day is wasted.  If as real, then switching to an attitude of abundance won’t change things either way, but will make you less stressed – so that you can handle the day better. And for that reason, if less real, choosing the attitude of abundance just might even the odds.

Worth trying? I think so!

Abundance is our future

 

Quote of the Week
“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.”
― Steve Maraboli

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

 

Living in abundance

 

This is a spin-off from Seth Godin’s blog Living in surplus. He compares living in deficit to living in surplus.  Another term for deficit is scarcity; and another term for surplus is abundance. I think in terms of scarcity and abundance.

Lots of us live in scarcity. Hording what you have in case you run out and can’t get more. Jamming too much into the day so that you’re running from one thing to the next. Focusing on being better than your neighbor for a position that seems rare to you.

Whether you really can’t get more of something if you run out, or believe that everything must be done today, or that that position you covet is as rare as you think, the attitude of scarcity keeps you in stress.

What if you tried to believe the opposite – that there is plenty of whatever you need; that only a few things really need doing immediately, and that whatever position you desire is there – in a form made just for you – whenever you’re ready to grab it.

More or less real than scarcity?  If more real, then the stress you’re putting yourself through every day is wasted.  If as real, then switching to an attitude of abundance won’t change things either way, but will make you less stressed – so that you can handle the day better. And for that reason, if less real, choosing the attitude of abundance just might even the odds.

Worth trying? I think so!

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for a sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

 

 

Plan for the worst, expect the best

I often come up with ideas to write about in batches. Those ideas sustain my ability to write a blog a week for sometimes several months.  The idea for this blog came to me after an especially difficult set of events where I was completing a series of tests, each of which carried a long list of requirements. It was really challenging, especially that last one; and it was the above mantra that saw me through: Plan for the worst, expect the best.

That mantra helped me because when things get especially difficult, I often find myself thinking the opposite: Plan for the best, expect the worst. I would buoy myself up by fantasies that everything was fine and then, just as often, things wouldn’t go well, ending my day with the thought “How did this happen again!”. I actually expected the worst, even though I’d planned for the best.

That kind of thinking is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The saying in therapy is, for something to change, do something – anything – different.  I began to put my imagination to better use than staying in fantasy: I began to imagine what winning would look like; and that led me to the realization that in order to win, I had to be prepared for anything.

Now I expect to win, which means I come prepared for anything.

The surprising science of happiness

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for a sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .