The Friday Dose #109

This is fantastic. Fantastic! The world keeps getting better but the press keeps getting worse. We must not mistake what we see in the media as what’s going on. That’s what they showed us or told us about, but that will always be the most extreme thing they can find because that’s more compelling to watch. So at every event they’ll always be on the lookout for the strangest thing they can find.

913 FD Relax and Succeed - Read this slowlyThis echo chamber of emotional tone leads to newscasts and newsfeed stories that tilt heavily toward the bleak. Bleak sells security systems, insurance, weapons, diets, pills, etc. We sit, secure, inside our own protected homes, trapped watching stories about how scary the world is. Count the comedies versus the movies where a city gets half-destroyed. We definitely have a media tilt toward the worst aspects of humanity and life on Earth.

None of that means that there aren’t amazing things happening in this world every day. Everyone acts like major breakthroughs in science or food or communication or human relations happened on the day the public found out about them–not at all! These projects took years. We see a new one come out every few days.

Doing the math, if we say these really amazing projects average about two years in the making, that’s 104 weeks. Say we see three of these in a week. That’s 312 incredible inventions like this one that are all in the works as you read this! At least. How can we not be excited about this? If you think the world is getting worse it’s your view that’s bleak, not the world. Get out of the loop of negative thinking and spend some time looking at what’s really going on in the world. Because in the right frame of mind, it really is an amazing place to be.

Check out how Thomas Pryor and Navid Azodi chose to change the world before they even left school:

Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Appreciate your loved ones.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Senior Isolation

I had a horrifying realization the other day. It’s one of those things that you should spot right away because it’s right in front of you, but somehow even with all those clues I was maintaining an old and dangerous idea.

778 Relax and Succeed - It's the oldest story in the worldIf you were to ask me how my essentially never-unhappy father could possibly be depressed, I would answer that the only thing I could imagine doing that would be prolonged isolation. He just loves people too much. He loves to talk, he’s a great joker and he’s just a generally super-helpful person. And then it struck me.

There had been a bit of a pattern forming around Dad. I can always feel when one of those realizations is coming–it’s quite distinctive. A few times while I was over doing my daily visit I noticed that Dad wasn’t participating like he usually does. He hadn’t added many jokes lately. Just something was… off.  At first I attributed it to his stroke and then I realized that he looked sad for the first time in my life.

Sadness was so odd–so strange, so baffling–that it really stood out. And then I realized that through body language he’s told us what’s happening. He used to try to participate, but with his hearing aids that’s hard. We can use our brains and ears to hone in on individual speakers in a busy room but people with hearing aids generally can’t.

778 Relax and Succeed - The quietest roomThey aid delivers a different sound pattern to their brain than their ear did, and so they can’t do the filtering with their old wiring. And so my Dad–and I’m sure many others–eventually gave up. So now that he’s not making the effort we didn’t know we needed to change what we were doing. We have left him essentially alone in every room even if he’s with people. And I said, the only thing I can ever imagine making my Dad sad is if he can’t engage with the human beings he’s always loved so much.

The moment I realized that I was driving to my parents to play cards with my Dad. It’s one on one, he can hear me no problem, and he loves beating me at crib–which he often does. Two deals in and there’s my smiling Dad back, making jokes, teasing me, teasing my Mom and seeming younger and less like a stroke victim every hand. My only regret was that I couldn’t plan for it and I only had time for one game. But I’ll be playing against him again tomorrow.

I now know at family gatherings, my Dad hasn’t lost interest. It’s just too difficult. So from now on I’m his crowd-Sherpa. I’m going to lead him through those events so that he knows what’s going on. Even if it’s mostly just him and I–at least we can still have the same fun we always had.

778 Relax and Succeed - Remember that everyone you meetI don’t think older people would decline anywhere near as much if they were engaged with often. Too many institutional seniors homes look like warehouses and not enough like activity centers. We should stick playschools and kennels in the same facility as seniors and get all the love-sharers and fun-havers in one place.

When you see older people on the street remember: there is a lifetime of wisdom there. They’ve felt all the highs you’ve felt and all the lows too. As we age I think we like to think that things get easier but life is pretty consistently steep throughout all ages. A great attitude helps, but you might still have to carry your urine–or your lungs–in a container with you. Getting old is not for the weak. It’s some heavy lifting.

I’ve always been sensitive to seniors, but this situation with my Dad has really raised my awareness. So from this point forward I hope you will join me in trying to acknowledge and engage with more people who are not only younger than me, but older than me too.

We all have a lot to offer each day just by being ourselves. We should take more opportunities to do that. And we should make sure that wheelchairs, distorted voices or even hearing aids never get in the way of us being connected, generous and caring.

Have a wonderful day connected with everyone around you today.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

The Friday Dose #58

635 Relax and Succeed - Because when you stop and look around

You’d better be ready for this. Because this is substantial. This is meaningful. This is life-changing. Three different things that encourage you to look past the weak, insecure, uncertain thought-you and instead look deeply into your brave, capable and beautiful soul. Let’s share this baby around and get people feeling good about themselves!

Because these are so good I’m not going to get in the way much today. Here’s a good example of something you’re very likely to take entirely for granted—and yet as these people prove, you have a beautiful, precious gift that the universe has given you and you take virtually no joy from it. These people understand how lucky we are every single day. Maybe we should too:

 

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Some people will be angry with this. But that’s okay. When we’re ready to see it we see it. And everyone who saw it made these same arguments about other people not understanding. But of course they were human and they did understand. And they were offering us the most beautiful spiritual embrace that later it seems silly that we tried to argue with them. May you realize clearly that this not disrespectful, it’s inspiring. And as it says, the difference is in how you look at it:

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And let’s finish off by letting you listen to someone that realized that the difference between being a success and enjoying life, or feeling sad and lost. Those who read me regularly will find all of this very familiar—except she’s way cuter. (Watch the video, it sometimes starts 20 seconds in for some reason.) For those who are ready, here’s someone who’s inviting you through the doorway, with love. Come and shine your light. We’re waiting for you:

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Hopefully that has you at minimum questioning your thoughts about your limitations and maybe it even inspired you to the point where you feel awesome. But I can assure you that it is absolutely possible for you to revel on a regular basis in your own good fortune. When I teach people I don’t do anything for them. I just show them an ability they’ve misunderstood. And once they learn to really live with an attitude of genuine gratitude, then their lives transform and that’s when our days become magical. I look forward to when I can share that feeling with all of you. Until then,

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy.