FUN-AND-GAMES THERAPY

Suffering from depression or just the blahs of life? We all have moments when life appears to let us down, taking all hope away.

Breakups, divorces, deaths and more tragedy occurs. I have recently lost my mother and father. Despite initial dejection and some mourning, I found a way to bounce back stronger than ever from life’s letdowns. And today I have become happier, healthier and more content with life. 

How? I have tried many methods to contentment and bliss with some success, possibly because I was a happy, fun kid. But the deep-down, soulful happiness that everyone sees because it pours out of you was more difficult to obtain. Still I knew friends like this, and I had the choice to conclude they were either; A-Fake; or B-A source of inspiration.

While analytical at times, I rode my faith and chose option B, which proved to be a good first step toward toward positivity. I discovered over time that positive self-talk — that is, the discussions we have with ourselves — in good times and bad is a primary strategy to overcome any hurdle in life. 

Acclaimed therapist Marisa Peer is renowned for solving major issues for people after their doctors have determined they to be long-term patients whose issue cannot be resolved without years of additional appointments. Having met Marisa in Spain in June, I can confirm that is an amazingly intelligent and one of the world’s best therapists. Additionally Britain’s top therapist is well known as a trendsetter among therapists because she can often resolve long-treated issues within 60 minutes and has helped women become pregnant after their doctors told them they could never have a child.

Marisa ranks as one who does not mince words. When speaking one-on-one in Barcelona, she focused completely on each person in front of her and helped them promptly when asked. Instead of asking you to talk about your childhood, family and troubles for months as a standard therapist or counselor might, Marisa assesses and then solves situations with astounding efficiency.

She has inspired my progress in life, and I place her on a special list I categorize as “angels” to many of us who have met her, watched her mind-blowing video “The Biggest Disease Affecting Humanity: I Am Not Enough” on YouTube or read any of Marisa’s practical books. 

Beyond focusing on finding a positive attribute to everything in my life (a rain day helps plants, trees grow tall, for example), I resolved to become content where I am at the moment. Not an easy task, but I know it’s important not to envy everyone else’s life and hate your own environment. 

Now these two key elements are not and never will be easy as you start. I struggled with stating what I wanted in my life and with smiling at my own situation, despite my background in psychology. I believe all of us have a test to take every week that is part of earning a Master’s in Maturity. Fail the test in front of you today, and the same test will arrive on your plate again next week.

That outlook helped me enormously to review my mistakes, personal weaknesses and to tackle those weaknesses as a priority. Step three in solving problems in this life is to take a self inventory and know yourself in every detail.

Know your strengths, weaknesses and what ruins your day, as well as what makes you angry. With that information, you can begin to avoid moments that you lose control. For me a knee injury gave me the focus I needed to direct my focus on making my biggest weaknesses into my greatest strengths. After four years of self-directed physical therapy, I have strengthened my knees to a point I can now walk, jog and even run a 5K race and still have energy left.

Start with these proactive steps, and you will begin to see that everyone can improve their outlook and their life in general. As you will see, you and I often determine our own destination in life by how we think subconsciously and therefore consciously. Improve one area, and you will improve all areas of life.

More steps on the way in future blogs here at 3FORADIME.WORDPRESS.COM 

 

TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPAIN

On UDPhotos.com’s first trip to Spain, we came home salivating from the cuisine, as well as the adrenaline rush of this special week that included amazing tourist adventures, rare meetings with world changers and world-class service. Many thanks to Mind Valley for hosting this event and to Marisa Peer for being the first to invite us to join this historic annual journey.


Here are UDPhotos.com’s TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPAIN (and unedited images for effect):

See additional images and blogs here, at UDPhotos.com.

10. Meeting 26-time world-record holder and endurance/pain specialist Wim Hof. This man has lived a life of challenging the limitations of human capacity. He currently baffles science and laughs about it. So refreshing to here is honesty on stage. If he visits your area, take the time to meet Wim. He is a special combination between a Guiness World Record live demonstration and a visit to the Improv!

9. The varied architecture, historic buildings and castles around Barcelona are too numerous to count. But adventure hunters are invited to chase them all down, including the Gaudi masterpieces. Feel free to start and finish The Magic Fountain in Montjüic where the nightly water fountain show borders on surreal. It was created for the 1929 International Exposition by famed engineer Carles Buigas.

8. Checking out the 3-story, marble Apple Store in Barcelona was a kick. Apple architects are always sharpening their store appearances. In this rendition, the glass/marble look (maybe its plexiglass and PVC, but it looked great) keeps visitors engaged.


7. The sculptures and water fountains in Barcelona are among the best the UDPhotos team has ever witnessed. Dancing waves that change color in perfect sequence often attracts crowds in the thousands. When you visit, don’t miss these highlights.

6. The beaches of Barcelona bring to mind the mellow atmosphere and physically-fit nature of a Southern California beach. Volleyball, biking, roller blading, running and fit bodies of all ages were plentiful. The water was clear although as loaded with Atlantic Ocean saltwater. The beach sand was a little coarse, but easy to enjoy. Also the beach we visited was clothing optional. 

5. Meal to Live For: The cuisine in Spain is flavorful and diverse. We stayed at a Crown Plaza Hotel, which hosted the event and included two restaurants: A bar and a full restaurant we could not seem to coordinate schedules with. On our final night, we enjoyed a 5-star dinner highlighted by beef tenderloined cooked in salt.

4. Main Meal to Live For: We joined about 25 other people at a dinner at a special location on Saturday night after listening to Marisa Peer talk. At the restaurant, we were exposed to a variety of Spanish delicacies like baby octupus, but the main course of beef was so flavorful and tender, it left most of us speechless. And that is a rare quality for a roomful of ambitious leaders! Best food we found in Barcelona, and we logged numerous Top 20 dining experiences this time.;

3. After watching dozens of Vishen Lakhiani videos on YouTube.com, I was searching for an opportunity to see him in person, and this trip brought three of my favorite speakers together at one time. Vishen founded Mind Valley (MindValley.com) several years ago and has partnered with numerous of the world’s elite personal improvement speakers. His book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, is an eye-opener to the way most of us were taught when we were younger. On stage as in his book, Vishen cites research and facts while challenging everyone to test the rules they live by daily, which may be holding them back.


2. Famous hyponotherapist Marisa Peer (MarisaPeer.com) made me an offer I simply could not refuse. Having seriously considered flying to England to train with her in recent months, her invitation email regarding the Barcelona MindValley.com event arrived at a key moment. And we enjoyed the opportunity to eat a meal and ask for personal advice from Marisa. Marisa has been a counseling sensation for years for her Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) method, which she has used on television programs to solve serious problems in rapid fire for celebrities. Marisa is a trendsetter in her industry and the author of numerous books, including the best seller Ultimate Confidence. She holds the key to happiness for millions of us.

1. The spontaneous conversation my wife and I had in March as this trip originated with the announcement of a rare live convergence of authors and speakers at the very top of my must-see list. Marisa Peer’s signup email arrived, announcing a 3-day event only in Barcelona, Spain in June. I called Suzie and asked if she wanted to go to Europe for the first time for an early anniversary trip. Fortunately she said yes.

LIVE WITH VISION; DO NOT DIE WITHOUT HAVING LIVED

By Terry Carter, Editor

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die — and then dies having never really lived.” 

— James J. Lachard, on what is most surprising about humanity

The summary above describes the average day, year and life of the average person who is working hard and getting ahead in the 21th century. Some work to make money. Some to fill time. And others don’t work at all. They seem to play for 8-12 hours each day, enjoying each challenge, each event, each interaction they have while pursuing their life’s work.


That person, if you study the details carefully, is not unusual, nor a rebel. He is hard working, perhaps so busy he does not make time for family dinners, teaching his children to play ball or drive the car. He may have stayed at the office late to make financial ends meet, to afford a family vacation or to consider retiring late in life. It’s easy to justify the actions because nearly all of us have ignored what is actually more essential — in hindsight — to pay attention to the task at hand.

The fictional character described in the first paragraph dies having missed the reason and the joy of why he lived. He was so driven by societal means goals to “work hard to get ahead” and “promotions come to those with seniority” that he worked beyond the patience of his friends and family, who wanted him to have fun. At the end of his life, he will be well remembered for his work, but the end goals of joy, love, amazement and surprise were planned out of this type of life. 

Nearly everyone grew up pursuing means goals, including “get a college degree,” “work for one company during your career” and “marry once for life.” Of the 350 high school graduates from my high school, I suspect perhaps 30-40 percent did not receive a college degree, 95 percent did not work for just one company in the past 30 years, and perhaps 70 percent have exceeded the once social norm of one spouse per lifetime.

In the 1980s, no one mentioned end goals, such as climbing the tallest mountains on each continent or being surrounded by love daily, as they are primarily emotion-based that will make us happy or satisfied. End goals are about “following your heart,” Vishen Lakhiani writes in his book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. 

Means goals typically take us another step toward a place that our elders or society suggests will make us happy, But there are stipulations and complications. See how this sounds:  You should get a college degree…so you can get a good career… so you can retire. Then you will be happy. As many of us know, the college degree put us in debt and 4-8 years older. The career allowed us to pay off the debt and afford a family and some lifestyle. The retirement, however, is not as likely as we imagined as teenagers.


Stop during your work week and look at your career as you walk or hurry through the day and the deadlines. Do you feel energized to go to work today? Did you spring out of bed this morning because of how great today will be? If not, why not? For each day is only as special as we make it.

We need to dig and change our software and hardware to bring computers to the market. And we need to do the same with ourselves. Ask yourself a few questions to see if your means goals are in line with your end goals. If they are, then your path may have been perfect for you. I have had to re-adjust my path several times due to changes in the economy (new hardware), new information I have uncovered (new software) and unpredictable events. These questions are taken from Lakhiani’s book, regarding all areas of our lives including relationships, spiritual, healthy and intellectual growth, careers, family and communities:

  1. What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime? The in-depth question is: If time and money were of no object and I did not have to seek anyone’s approval, what kinds of experiences would my soul crave?
  2. How do you want to grow? The in-depth question here is: In order o have the experiences above, how do I have to grow? What sort of person do I need to become?
  3. How do you want to contribute? The follow-up question is: If I have the experiences above and have grown in these remarkable ways, how can I give back to the world?


Answer me this, and your frustration with day-to-day work will vanish because we will begin to unlock your vision. A person who works to accomplish their vision never works as we know work. He or she enjoys every moment, brings light to dark rooms, shares and helps everyone who wishes to grow. 

Perhaps you are happy with your work and your life. But studies reveal that 80 percent of us are dissatisfied and just putting in time deposit the check. And the check simply vanishes to the bills that are due. 

This, my friends, is not why we are here on Earth. We are here to do so much more than pay bills, complain in the break room and break rules when no one is looking. 

Are you ready to grow, change and stretch those wings to fly? Be one with the wave and grow forever. Walk the narrow bridge on the highest mountain, and let us discover the thrill of victory at the summit.

FROM RULES TO LIMITLESS

By Terry Carter, Editor

I once heard a story of a newly married couple, and the husband was helping his wife cook dinner in the kitchen of their new home. She had purchased a roast, seasoned it, cut off the ends and put it in a large pan. 

While the oven was preheating, the husband asked his new “Why do you cut off the ends of the roast? It seems like a waste of good meat.” She gave him a defensive look and explained, “My mother has always done it this way – and so did her mother.” Several months later, the newlyweds met the whole family for a big holiday meal. The husband promptly asked the bride’s mother why she cut off the ends of the roast before cooking it. She said her mom had always done it that way, and it was tradition.

After some family talk on the subject, the husband asked the grandmother why she had cooked roast that way. Being an honest woman, she went right to the point and revealed a revalation. “I cut off the ends of the roast because my oven at the time was too small to fit the whole roast.” 

She had sacrificed out of the necessity and passed on this cooking tradition to her daughter and granddaughter. And no one realized the reason or that ovens today are big enough for even the largest roast. It was simply a rule of the day because ovens in the 1940s were small.

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Much of our lives today is run by rules we learned young and still follow, even though those rules may have reached their expiration date or are simply not benefiting us. Look around analytically, and you will see that many rules we expect to be universal laws are not always accurate, such as we must have a college education to succeed. I know many men and women who have not college experience, yet they are successful, in my view.

I grew up absorbing the wisdom of my parents, and my father worked for large corporation, averaging 40-50 hours a week on a Monday-Friday schedule. I only recall him working for perhaps three companies in my life, so the mantra of the day seemed confirmed: Get a good education, work 40-50 years for 1-3 major companies and then you can retire early.

Upon earning my bachelor’s degree, I encountered a changing world that destroyed that ideal career scenario. I was laid off three times in five years in my chosen field. As a result of my desire to control my destiny, I have started or co-founded six companies so far while still staying in touch with the consulting or employee side of my life. 

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Most of us live a life of lies because we firmly grasp these rules growing up. Work hard, for example. Reality is: We all work hard, but only a small percentage work smart and employ the creative genius thereby leveraging their time, talents to get ahead. Fewer still actively create a framework that allows them to pocket millions of dollars while traveling the world in opulence.

I have means and end goals currently, but means goals are more common for nearly everyone because of the rules we heard when young. And you have means goals about career earnings, raising a family, retirement, purchasing a special home and working for a great company.

But end goals are probably where we as humans want to go because as we begin achieving the means goals set by society and our culture, many of us wind up NOT happy at all when we are in our 30s, 40s and 50s. We may have a high-paying career, but we are actually stuck in boring, stagnant positions running from home to work, home to work and home to work.

We have less time with our families than we truly want. And because of that, we often find our relationships at home suffering to the point our spouses ignore us, our children don’t want us around and our pet growls or hisses at us. For millions of Americans, it is the literal rat race, and we are the rat being chased, pressured and squeezed by deadlines, bills, work, home, retirement (if we can afford to consider it) and more.

This is a real-world case. Even with a Master’s Degree as a 1-percent earner and at the top of his or her field, the achievers today are not truly happy. Sure, they look good on camera. But many are struggling to get through each day, wondering why they are not happy with their vaults of money, garages of fine vehicles, multiple homes. And somehow, we sit in our 10-year-old Honda, driving to work from an apartment to a deadend job and believe we have all the answers about happiness. 

The truth is less than one percent of us would be content if our income fell 50-70 percent today because it is way beyond our comfort zone. But layoffs happen, and that is often a 100 percent pay cut. Retirement happens too, and many retirees settle for less than half of their full-time career income.

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So how do we get from “living within the cultural rules” to having limitless options for improvement?

We pay attention to movers like Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and numerous other major companies. We learn from Richard Branson and Vishen Lakhiani and Michael Beckwith and Marisa Peer. These people are changing the potential for extraordinary achievement by ordinary folks like you and I. They are telling us how to do what millionaires Musk, Branson and Lakhiani have already done.

Lakhiani founded Mindvalley and transformed the company into a industry-leading personal development mastermind organization that is setting the world of achievers on fire currently. I am re-reading his book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, for the second time in seven days. The hardback version has been highlighted beyond belief because it reveals startling, new information. Since I read 40-60 books annually of business, personalities and improvement, I think I can safely say this book is probably the best book I have read in decades. 

Jack Canfield, co-author of the best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul, said it bluntly about Lakhiani’s book. And Canfield is an expert on this type of writing: “Vishen Lakhiana’s knowledge base and his ability to present it clearly and to actually put it into practice is above anyone I have ever seen in this field.”

Lakhiani has many unconventional suggestions. But when it comes to finding the end goals that lead you to your desired destination in life, he mentions these:

  1. What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime?
  2. How do you want to grow?
  3. How do you want to contribute?

(More on this topic soon)

TELL FORD TO GO FUR PLEASE

By Terry Carter, Editor

The copy editor in my soul despises some actions of today’s highly paid advertising, marketing professionals. Take the beautiful ads by Ford that direct people to “Go further.”

My reply? You cannot. However for the English majors who still type complete sentences on their iPhones, you can go farther if you choose.

Pardon my editing background, but if I run or start a journey, my grammatical mind does not permit me to run further. It simply is not a distance or measurement. I must, therefore, run farther.

In the 1980s and 1990s, common sense dictated that further and farther were not synonyms. Further was never used to indicate distance. Yet even the alleged ultimate authority on the English language, dictionary editors, admit useless words annually to stay current with society’s grammatically challenged society. On rare occasions, those same editors 

Today’s grammarians consider the words virtually identical. And people who should know better, including news broadcasters and highly-educated persons, have bought in this fallacy. And they are fools.

If these words both met the definition for distance, only one would be necessary — plain and simple. Even the dictionaries show them as interchangeable. And those alleged authorities are also the fools who have forgotten the lessons of history…

When in doubt, use base words. Can you run fur or far? Case closed.

“A long time ago in a galaxy fur, fur away…” is not a classic movie introduction you with ever hear. Trust me on this.

GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND GOOGLE

Since the 1990s essentially, generations have transitioned an PC and mobile world. In that time, your generations have arrived on the scene and taken the lead in implementing technology throughout their lives.

The technology natives — those in their teens-40s — among you will text, tweet, snapchat and post before the office veterans arrive and make their first phone call. It’s not that texting or tweeting are more valuable. Simply an observation that some of us openly learn and use the computer and mobile technologies that seem to arrive by the minute. Other generations — often the older, wiser people among us — shun technology.

Tech natives grew up using computers and Yahoo, Google to find solutions — not chalkboards, encyclopedias and old-world references. My parents must have cried when their leather, hard back, 26-volume Encyclopedia Brittanica was completely ignored by three ravenous children anxious to learn. And that happened in the 1970s as Pong, Commodore and the first consumer calculators became popular.

The non-technies — aka several of those older than 55, perhaps — prefer to mail a letter via the post office instead of sending a text or conducting a video conference on a smartphone, a tablet or laptop. A man some 30 years my elder retired early rather than embrace the introduction of PCs in his office. He was satisfied with his secretary’s electric typewriter and the marvels of the fax machine.

In the early 1970s, my dad spent more than $100 for the first calculator we had ever seen. It had 1 line of digits. The numbers 2 and 5 looked oddly similar, and you could add, subtract, multiply or divide — maybe more. I was pretty young at the time.

So today most everyone has a cell phone — and probably a smartphone with a free calculator, calendar, alarm clock and hundreds of other functions. And a smartphone costs about the same as… you guessed it, a 1970s calculator.

So why do people call information from their desk or smartphone to get another phone number? It’s a wasted charge of several dollars when they could have obtained the same result for free from Google or a similar website.

If you enjoy the old days, let’s cut some fire wood with the ax. If not, let’s be infuriated by Angry Birds. Regardless of which technology you choose, it will be outdated soon enough. It’s your ability to learn the next technology that keeps you relevant in the workplace, as a teacher. You can also entertain young children pretty well with the newest toys.

A Tale of Dogs, Cats

Watching people at the park is educational at times. But even more telling is watching people with dogs and/or cats in any environment.
As a dog lover, I have had many dogs in my life, both large and small. These days, our family has two fat, lazy cats. It's an interesting contrast as well.
Dogs are usually loyal, loving and playful. Cats are typically aloof, regal and slightly more demanding when it comes to food and water.
But even those descriptions are subjective as any cat lover will explain emphatically.
I have had the best of dogs (thanks to my parents), the best trained of dogs (thanks to my elder daughter) and a Chihuahua that acted a bit like a dictator on steroids — thanks to Pancho for leaving my toes intact.
The best of dogs was a greyhound mongrel named Tex. He was supremely athletic and ran circles around all of the neighborhood kids in Michigan. The 6-foot, chain-linked, metal fence could not hold him when he decided to take a day trip.
He sailed over the fence with one bound and would usually return within 36 hours with dirt on his white fur and a dead animal in his mouth. Tex didn't dig holes in the ground by his fence. He simply jumped over the fence again and curled up for a nap.
For all of his strength and speed, Texas very gentle around young children. However he may be the real reason why postal delivery people still have his picture posted on their Most Wanted wall.

Pancho, the chihuahua, weighed a scant three pounds. Even living in snow-covered Michigan didn't calm his nerves. He easily qualified as the next of kin to any mass murderer in history,
Pancho, to be polite, was a short male determined to overachieve and rule the world. He began growling and biting toes at a young age.
When he was two years old, the under-sized Rambo made two enormous leaps to reach the dinner table and grabbed my steak dinner. Pancho then ran off with a steak that weighed nearly half his body weight. From then on, Pancho only increased his dangerous ways.

While the canines are hilarious to watch, many people treat their dogs and cats as if they are human children.
It's difficult to give a dog or cat convincing human characteristics. However we humans often prefer trying to win a cat's love and affection — good luck — over the more complex challenges of human interaction.
I know some great people who have no children, but their cat or dog has all the privileges of a spoiled child. Special treats, special sweaters, gourmet food and posh appointments at the doggie/kitty day spa (aka veterinarian).
Some will tell you that every animal deserves to be treated like royalty instead of left under a bridge to fight with other animals.
The same line of thinking says spay/neuter all animals to minimize overpopulation.
While I am an animal lover, I see animals for what they are: animals, not humans. Certainly taking care of an animal is a legitimate concern. But the level of spoiling that dogs, cats see today is amazing.
It's too much for a healthy family to endure.

Those who enable their pet to run their lives need to look closely at why their home is partially run by a 4-legged animal with a limited vocabulary. By “run,” I mean the animal wakes you up at 4 or 5 a.m. on Sunday because it’s the time they know your predictable schedule — or worse, because they are hungry and their patience is running low with the human species.

3FORADIME ADVICE: Train your animals at a young age to listen and obey you. Discipline on your part is what makes a pet’s best qualities shine. If you are inconsistent with children or pets, they will take advantage of that. And some, given a chance, will become the dog or cat in charge in a home you provide. Don’t let that happen with offspring, nor domesticated pets.