Appreciating Our Caretakers And Their Qualities (That We Also Find in Ourselves)

Appreciating Our Caretakers And Their Qualities (That We Also Find in Ourselves)

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"Argh! I did it again! I’m like my mom again, feeling like a victim, feeling powerless...

Since I began on the self development journey with high ambitions, I’ve had many times when somehow I managed to fail at what I had set out to do.

More action didn’t mean more results, many times it just meant more frustration.

BE DO HAVE

You know about BE DO HAVE? Well, reading a lot of self development books and attending courses and workshops, I found out that the underlying problem was with the first part of the BE DO HAVE formula.

So, I began to get work on that, using different techniques. Many have been really helpful, but others didn’t have the impact that I was going for.

Some of the techniques meant digging deep into my subconscious and emotions, so that I can uncover what was blocking my “success”.

Most of the problems that I was experiencing were related with the relationships I had with my parents, my grandmother and my brother, as they were my caretakers when I was growing up.

Again, some of them, thankfully, got solved, but others kept coming back, but this time, I was more conscious of their source, which was great. Ok, maybe I wasn’t conscious about it when the emotions were high in intensity, but when they cooled down, I was able to make sense of how I got to feel that way.

​And then, it backfired...

All good until now. A situation that backfired is that I began to focus on the issues too much, making it a sense of “spiritual pride” that I was able to identify where that came from. What I didn’t realise was happening, is that I began corelating my family with those childhood traumas, rather than appreciating them.

I was inspired to write this article after the interview that I did with Aryeh Weinstein, a brilliant Rabbi from Philadephia. He said that he’s grateful for his parents for he sees many of their qualities in him as well.

It hit me at that moment. I’ve been focusing so much on healing my past and on overcoming my limitations from my childhood, that I didn’t even think about the beautiful qualities that my caretakers have and I didn’t take any time to admire them and appreciate them.

What a fool I was. There’s this quote from T. Harv Eker:

Where attention goes, energy flows and results show. - T. Harv Eker

Click to Tweet

I think it’s a wonderful quote, and I think about it often. In my trying to solve my issues, to become a better human being, I’ve given too much attention to the problems, not that it’s good to ignore them, no way, but it stole my attention from appreciating them and bringing gratitude in my heart as a form of healing.

What to do? Ask yourself...

What are the qualities that I appreciate about my mother? 


What gestures that impressed me do I remember when I think about her? 

How did her example inspire me to be who I am today?

What about my father, what do I appreciate about him that I also see in myself? 


Sure, our folks are imperfect, so are we, they have flaws, many of which we have learned as well. It’s not that we should ignore working on them completely, but what would happen if I’d appreciate, rather than criticise?

Make sure you do this with all of your caretakers as you grew up. I have an older brother and my granny, which has passed on, but for which I have a great love and admiration.


Experiment

Do this experiment with me, I’m really curious what would happen, both on the outside, but especially on the inside.

Take 10 minutes right now and write down the answers to the questions above.

Write down 7 things, but focus on them as much as possible along the day. Be aware of how you feel about them as you do this, be aware of how you feel about yourself as you do this.

Please share with me your experience in the comments below, I will also let you know in a future article how the experiment went for me as well.

Thank you for reading until the end and I hope this is going to have a powerful positive impact in your life.

2017 Greatness is Built Upon 2016 Gratitude

2017 Greatness is Built Upon 2016 Gratitude

Another year has passed and what I would like to recommend is to take time not just to make New Year Resolutions, but to think about the blessings of 2016.

From my own experience and from what I learned from my guests, I realise more and more that if we want to build a better future for ourselves and for our loved ones, we must build upon gratitude and upon seeing the blessings we were already gifted with.

So, here are 3 ideas that I want to share with you that are going to give you an amazing start of the year.

The first gratitude idea:

Think about the people that have helped you in 2016 and for whom you are grateful, get further into details of why you are grateful and how they helped you. Write it down. Or, if you are like my father, give them a call to wish them Happy Holidays and to say THANK YOU!

The second idea

Is to take some time for yourself and to write down the simple things that you are grateful for, even those things that we usually take for granted.

Like the fact that we can see the beautiful holiday lights, that we can smell beautiful fragrances, for the warmth of a hot cup of tea after a being in the shivering cold for way too long, the touch of our loved ones, having money in the bank, for having a steady income that helps you enjoy a warm house, connection with information and people from all around the world, enough food and beautiful people around. These are just to sparkle your imagination, you can come up with many more, I’m sure! But don’t forget to write them down. I did.

The 3rd idea on building 2017 with the gratitude of 2016

and last idea is to find one memory in each month in 2016 that was a pretty cool thing that happened in your life that you felt like a blessing, that you were, or can be grateful about.

So here we go, what awesome thing happened in:
January?
What about February?
March?
April?
June?
July?
August?
September?
October?
November?
What about this month?
 
I’m sure you can find at least one for each month.

Again, write them down and make it fun. Use your creativity and let me know how it went.

I wish for you that 2017 will be the best year of your life, and that at the end of 2017 you will have ten times as many reasons to feel grateful about in each month! 🙂

You Must Say Thank You!!! – Exercise on Being Truly Grateful

You Must Say Thank You!!! – Exercise on Being Truly Grateful

 
Mom: – [to 5 years old me] What do you say to the nice lady, Georgian?
 
Me: – [shying away] Thank You!
 
Mom: – There you go. I taught you well, YOU MUST say thank you when you receive something.
 
 
Did this ever happen to you?
 
 
What do you think is missing from this?
 
 
Well, in my opinion, the most important thing, actual gratitude. When we feel obliged to say or do something, it’s hard to force the feeling of gratitude, some do manage to feel it, but most don’t.
 
 

Don’t get me wrong…

 
I appreciate the education my grandmother, brother and parents gave me. It’s great to say thank you, it’s essential in building relationships of every kind. We all desire to be appreciated by other people, it’s in our nature and saying thank you makes the other person feel appreciated for his words or actions, and that’s great.
 
 
What I want to go more into, is what happens on the inside.
 
 
We say thank you more often than we think (except for the rebels that hated being obliged to say thank you when they children).
 
 
When we pay for a product or service, when we receive some help, hopefully when we receive our pay check and while working with our colleagues or clients. It’s a good habit, but it can be a gratitude building habit with just a bit of an effort.
 
 

Most of the time, we’re on autopilot.

 
We say thank you because it’s polite. But we’re the masters of our minds and we can choose to feel gratitude when we say it.
 
 
All we need to do is to take a second, become aware of the situation, and really appreciate it.
 
 
Lets take an example.
 
 
You’re coming back with the groceries and someone helps you with the door.
 
 
You say Thank you, but you remember this article and take a second to be thankful for the fact that another human being, a neighbour, or even a stranger, saw that it was hard for you to open the door with all the groceries in your hands, and took the time to help you with no expectations.
 
 
This one is easy, I know. Of course you’re going to be grateful when someone helps you like this.
 
 

Ok, lets take another example

 
When was the last time you received your pay check? How did you feel when you receive it?
 
 
Did you feel grateful for the fact that you received the money? Did you say thank you to the person from which you we’re receiving it? Or if you didn’t have who to thank personally, did you think about the people that made this possible?
 
 
Sure, you worked for that, you earned it and you deserve it, but it’s an awesome feeling to be thankful for it, even though it might not be enough for your needs, the result can only grow where attention goes.
 
 
If you quickly switch to thinking about or the bills and the loans you have to pay, you’ll feel miserable, and the brain will think that you actually don’t want the money, but this is another story I’ll go into in future articles.
 
 
I admire my mom for doing something in this regard. She doesn’t earn much and she gets her salary from the ATM, but she is very grateful for the GM of the company and for the things he did for the people working there. She felt secure about her pay check because she knew he was hard working and fought for the company to thrive even though after the fall of the Communist regime most of the industry in my hometown went bankrupt.
 
 
Most people didn’t see the bigger picture, they just knew that they had to do their job and get payed, but she was grateful for this and even thanked him personally when she had the opportunity.
 
 
So getting back to our having to say Thank you. I want you to do something for me. Below, you have a challenge. Do it and let me know how it worked out for you, what was different and how it made you feel.
 
 

Quick Thank You challenge

 
What I want you to do for the next 3 days is to make a conscious effort to be grateful when you catch yourself saying Thank you.
Relationship Gratitude & Trying To Understand Women

Relationship Gratitude & Trying To Understand Women

So there she was, standing on the couch hands crossed and sighing in disgust...

I'm thinking... “I just don’t get her, why is she upset over something so insignificant?”

It was a Sunday evening. We put off the day just for the two of us. Everything was going great, we really needed to freshen up our connection, until I did something that bothered her.

Of course for me it was something really small, but for her, it was a big deal. If you’re a man, you know what I’m talking about.

After that, all the day and night was ruined, she was angry and unhappy (even when I tried all day to do things that make her happy).

I was going crazy!!!

I couldn’t understand why she was reacting like this, I mean, it was just a small mistake, after a whole day of happiness and meaningful time spent together. I was feeling like one of these guys below:

men trying to understand women

So, what did I do? I searched on the internet, rather with the intention of finding something funny about relationships that would make her laugh and bring the tension to a lower threshold.

I was searching for images on how to understand a woman. I kept showing her funny images regarding the subject, and then I found that hit home.

It said: “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood” - Oscar Wilde

Click to Tweet

What do you think I did afterwards?

I changed my focus from trying to understand, to appreciating her qualities and to loving her.

To my amazement, from the grumpy, closed off woman she changed her state by 180 degrees. She felt loved, playful, happy, and we ended up having a beautiful, meaningful evening together.

I couldn’t believe it. Could it all be so simple? Was that all that I needed to do? To love and appreciate her, even when I think she isn’t right and her reactions are hard to understand for me.

I’m not saying that now I understand women completely, but this has taught me a valuable lesson, both in relationships and in life.

I don’t need to understand life, even though I spent a lot of time trying to do that, I just need to love, and appreciate it, this is my purpose. And like in a relationship, life responds with happiness and joy.

I have had the best results and the happiest periods of my life while I was living gratefulness, but I’ve had challenges being grateful in my relationship, now I understand that all I really need to do is to be grateful, in spite of the strong need of my mind to understand everything.

How to Feel Grateful With Your Life | 3 Quick & Actionable Steps

How to Feel Grateful With Your Life | 3 Quick & Actionable Steps

The story

Recently I had a short interaction with a high school classmate.

I made a spelling mistake on Facebook and he was quick to correct it, even if we didn’t talk for years. That kept bothering me for a while. It made me remember how it was in high school.

It got me thinking how we all competed with each other and how hard it was to keep up with the rich classmates. Even though I was middle class, I would have loved being at the same level as they were, even if it was impossible at that time.

I’m from a small town in Romania, most of our parents are Industrial Age workers of some kind, with modest salaries and living within their means. When at age 18 (you can drive in Romania from this age on) they were already driving BMWs I was jealous, I felt small and even more poor. Of course I wasn’t conscious of the impression this made upon me, I just reacted, trying to be better at other things, to compete with them.

Predictably Irrational?

I read this book Predictably Irrational by Dan Arieli and one of the main ideas that it discussed was the idea of contrast. He made lots of scientific experiments on human behaviour and behavioural economics. One of his conclusions was that we only value something in contrast to something else. I was undervaluing myself in contrast to what my classmates owned.

That had two major effects upon me. One was making me really ambitious and indepdendent. If my folks weren’t able to provide that for me, I was going to do it by myself and the other a stupid bet, to make me feel okay with the difference.

I just joined a MLM company that sold me great dreams. I was sure I would be a director and have lots of money. I had a dream car (on my vision board), Nissan Murano and was quick to make a bet that I’m going to buy the car when I was 18. Of course, I lost the bet, but for a while I didn’t feel that small and unsignificant.

The thing is this, the idea that you should stop comparing to others is BS, we do this unconsciously and it’s how we position ourselves in society. What we can change, is our focus, what we compare and how we feel about our current situation, in spite of the contrast.

This is where gratitude kicks in. Focusing on the things we are grateful for and appreciating them makes us feel great about ourselves and much much happier than many of the achievements that we think will bring us happiness. Trust me. I’m talking from my own experience.

Want to do something fun in the next couple of minutes?

Here are the 3 quick action steps:

1

Think about how much you’re earning at this moment, you’re salary or business profit.

2

Think about the moment you were earning much less and were dreaming of earning the sum of money you’re now earning.

Remember how enthusiastic you were about earning this much money, how you knew your life would change after making more.

3

Take a moment to see all the experiences you can now afford, all the things you can buy, the kind of lifestyle that you live.

How does that make you feel? How do you relate to what you have right now?

It’s still a contrast exercise, but you’re using your ability for your own good, and you’re directing your focus on the amazing things that you may now take for granted.

Do this for your relationship also. Remember how it was when you were alone and you were dreaming about being with someone that loves and appreciates you, think about all the amazing experiences that you had together, even if they weren’t perfect, you had someone to share your joy and your sorrow.

Feel free to use this exercise for any part of your life. Use it for health for example. I always think about how awesome it feels to be healthy when I’m sick, and I think you might do that also. What if we would appreciate feeling healthy more often, being grateful for our health and vitality?

We appreciate things in contrast, so, thank you for being a little more grateful about your life after reading this article than you were before, it means I have reached my goal. 🙂

15 Years of Teaching, And One Effort in Gratitude

15 Years of Teaching, And One Effort in Gratitude

I have just received an email from my brother.

 

It said: I anonymised the name of the person, the message is authentic, please don’t share it with anyone.

 
I was even more curious.
 
 
What could it be? He doesn’t send this kind of emails. It must be something important.
 

To my amazement…

 
It was a forwarded email from one of his students. My brother is a university professor and a pretty strict one, to be sincere. He teaches programming and has high expectations of his students, so the lazy ones don’t like him too much.
 
 
I quickly read the email and couldn’t stop smiling. It was a letter of gratitude. She was appreciating my brother for what she had learned from him, how it was the toughest class in the beginning and how it got to be the one she loved the most, how he was a great mentor for her and lots and lots of kind words.
 
 
I was happy for him and immediately sent him a congratulation message thinking that this is just one of the multitude of emails that he gets at the end of the year from his students and that he’s sending it to me knowing that I’m working on this gratitude project.
 
 
In 15 years he had many many students and if they learn what he teaches, they get to have the highest payed salaries in Romania (that are not management related), so it made sense for people to be grateful for his work.
 
 
Another two weeks had passed and our folks came to Cluj to meet with us and to have lunch together. After some discussions, we got to the subject of the gratitude email that he received.
 

I was shocked!

I just couldn’t believe it. He told our parents that this is the first gratitude email that he received in his 15 years of teaching at the university.
 
 
Thousands of students have learned from him something that will help them live a better life than most of the people in my country and only one wrote a letter to thank him.
 
 
I told you this story because these things happen, and it’s sad. He really puts his mind and heart to teaching his students, I’ve seen him do it, and he really wants them to succeed in their work.
 
 
Like him, there are many people, maybe even you, reading this. I put your heart and best effort into your work and no one seems to appreciate it, or too few people.
 

This is why I’m doing this work 

We as humans are much more motivated by appreciation than by money alone. We want to feel that our work has meaning for other people and people expressing their gratitude for what we’re doing makes us go forward with a big smile on our face.
 
 
Every time you appreciate something, say it. If you go to a restaurant and he waiter is particularly kind, thank him for that. He might have been doing his best all day long and no one told him that this is appreciated, it might actually make his day. 🙂
 
 
Me and my girlfriend like to to this, even if for some people it might seem strange, they don’t know how to react, the effect it has, it’s beautiful.