Reality Check: The Blue Zones

If you were making a list of what you want most of all, you might include “a long, healthy life” on that list. You wouldn’t be alone. Considering that attempts to find the “fountain of youth” date back centuries, we know that the wish for longevity isn’t new.
With our near-instant world-wide communications, stories of illness and death can become overwhelming. And whether because of age or circumstance, you may find difficulties within the circle of people close to you as well. It can seem like everything is getting worse, never better. Continue reading

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Reality Check: The Power of Presence

We have so many options in how we can communicate. There’s phone, text, video chat, email, interactions on social media sites.…We could even write a letter! One could easily get the impression that we run the risk of too much communication. We’re always in touch (or at least, potentially in touch.) We can hardly get away from each other. Continue reading

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Reality Check: The Love Knot

In skilled hands, two pieces of rope can be manipulated in such a way that they resemble a pair of intertwined hearts. This is known as a love knot. Romantic, isn’t it?
A story told by E. Annie Proulx in “The Shipping News” adds another dimension to the story of the love knot. It goes like this: A sailor would tie a loose love knot and send it to his beloved. The love knot is essentially a question, asked in the language of rope. Continue reading

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Reality Check: Have You Had a Laugh Today?

There are times when laughter may be the furthest thing from our minds. We are, after all, mature responsible adults. We need to be sensible, serious, and handle things. We may not see much room or opportunity for the frivolity of laughter.
However, according to Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory, one of our basic needs is the need for fun. Continue reading

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Reality Check: The Obstacle Course

There’s always something, isn’t there? Just when you think you’ve gotten more or less on top of things, some unexpected nuisance, or worse, pops up to demand attention. Like an incessant drum beat—one thing after another—adding to the pile of what must be handled. When we take a look at the road ahead, it can appear to be filled with obstacles.
Yet, we know that different people respond differently to their individual obstacle courses. Continue reading

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Reality Check: One Suggestion

Do you look forward to each day with optimism? Or do you anticipate it with dread? Maybe you’re thinking, “There’s no point in either worrying or anticipating; it will be what it will be.”
Here’s a bigger question: Does your mindset have any influence over events? I mean, if how we think has no effect on what actually happens, that puts a bit of a damper on the positive thinking hype, doesn’t it?
On the other hand, if how we think about people, events, possibilities, consequences, and opportunities does make a difference, then wouldn’t it be nice to have some control over it? Continue reading

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Reality Check: The Many Ways to Serve

Knowing that one has found their purpose in life is important for many people, including, or perhaps especially, for young people. Many of those who wish to live a life of purpose focus on service.
If you look at service in terms of Dr. Glasser’s basic needs, you might find that acts of service to others are a positive, productive way to satisfy our basic need for power and recognition. For some people, this basic need is a big motivator and attempts to satisfy it can take many forms.
Sadly, we sometimes see efforts to satisfy the power need play out in destructive ways. There are those who will try to satisfy their need for power by attempting to exert power over others. In the process, they add misery to the lives of the people they touch, and may even have a negative effect on their own lives.
But there are also good, helpful ways to satisfy that power/recognition need. Continue reading

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Reality Check: She Said “Thank You”!

On a recent shopping trip, I witnessed something so remarkable that it’s stuck with me for days. “What could that be?” you might ask.
The line-up to the young cashier’s till wasn’t very long, so it was easy to see what was going on. I noticed that the cashier said to her customer, “Thank you for leaving those heavy bottles in your cart.” It was a sensible acknowledgement of a sensible decision, and I didn’t think much about it.
The next customer came to the till. Continue reading

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Reality Check: Colouring Our Outlook

Do you ever feel that many situations in your life are random, where you can’t pin down a reason for why they happen? Even if the events are good, when we can’t find causes, life can seem out of control.
When we’re trying to figure out causes and effects, it’s helpful if we can detect patterns. If there’s a pattern, maybe there is a cause! If you’ve ever said, “It’s a rainy day. My knees are going to hurt” then you know what I’m talking about. You may not be able to stop the rain, but at least there’s a reason for the pain.
Detecting a pattern doesn’t make the pain go away, but it gives us information. Continue reading

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Reality Check: I Never Looked at “No” That Way

If we make a habit of seeking out information, we may occasionally find something that prompts us to think, “Huh! I never looked at it that way.” This came to my mind recently when I read an article by James Clear on the topic of saying “No.”
Clear’s statement about making yes/no decisions that attracted my attention was, “When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option.”
A yes is not just a yes. It’s also a “no” to everything else. Continue reading

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