Tag Archive: goals

Academic Burnout Solutions

study life goals advice

Dear Dr. Joy: How can I study for 10+ hours a day without getting depressed and how can I make myself get used to it?

How can I study for 10+ hours a day without getting depressed and how can I make myself get used to it?

Q: I must study continually for 10 months non-stop, then I have exams in 7 subjects (only one exam for each in those 10 months) and the results will determine my future. I’m supposed to study +10 hours a day and I’m not used to such hours.

Alright, yes, I’ll admit it. I’d love to have an advice column. I’m receiving requests on Quora to answer more questions than I have time to answer. I’ve decided to start publishing my answers here. 

Dr. Joy’s advice:

If you find a way to relate to what you are studying and see it as an opportunity for rapid personal growth instead of a test that determines who you will become, it will be interesting.

Over the past six years, I’ve spent many months where I studied far more than 10 hours a day doing research for my books but I connected the reading/studying I was doing to my ultimate goal of helping people thrive more which gave it meaning that energized me to do more. Poke at the way you’re thinking about this and try to find different ways to look at the situation.

Find thoughts that feel better and then reinforce those thoughts so they become your main way of perceiving this situation. 

10 Hours is not as long as it sounds

Also, 10 hours sounds like a lot but it isn’t. Most workers have a commute to the job, work 8 hours and then have a commute home. After they do all of that many of them still find time to raise a family, fall in love, volunteer in their community, read for pleasure, and more. #1 is giving up the television and you’ll be amazed at how much time you have. Also, do take breaks to stand up, stretch, breathe deeply. The refreshment of that will more than make-up for the time it takes.

In good weather take the time to study outside.

Also, lessen the “determine your future” bit of this. It may determine your immediate opportunities but YOU determine your future. You aren’t creating a finished product through your studying efforts. You will never be a finished product. Humans continually evolve and grow. Some humans who became wildly successful didn’t even begin the activity that made them household names until they were past the age when most people retire. So let go of the “will determine my future” belief and make this a time of developing you into someone who knows more than you know today.

I wish you all the best.


How can I know what I want from life or why am I alive?

Advice about life and goals

I’m 23 yo guy. I just graduated with a major I don’t like (architecture), I got refused in an interview yesterday for a teaching job. even my love for my family is fading, they’re great, I am just not capable of loving. I have no life goal, I don’t know what I love in life. I feel like a dead man!

Dr. Joy’s Advice:

 

Please consult your doctor to check for depression.

Most people don’t have a life goal, especially not at 23. If they do, it usually changes many times over the course of their life. You’re holding yourself to a high standard and no one else is doing that (unless you have a parent who likes to find problems with you and fix them). If that is the problem being found, you’ve got a lot more going right than many 23-year-olds.

You’ve got a degree under your best. Okay, so you’ve decided you don’t like what you studied but the thing is many jobs require a degree but not a specific one.

What don’t you like about what you studied? You know what to avoid when you’re looking for jobs.

Were you really refused for a job, or was another candidate simply viewed as a better choice for that particular job? Some jobs have hundreds of applicants and to feel refused because they selected another candidate is being very harsh on yourself. Try seeing it as one step closer to getting a job. Also, even if you did crash and burn during the interview, you got some experience and you now know that you need to practice. Ask a family member or friend to give you mock interviews so you can practice and ask them to be hard on you so you’re ready for anything that comes up.

Many people don’t interview well and the cure is practice to gain confidence and seeing an interview as one out of many opportunities and trusting that the right opportunity will feel easy, not terribly difficult.

Many young adults your age are pulling further away from their birth family. It is not an unusual feeling. Non-human animals often leave their parents upon maturity and never return. I’m not saying you should do that, just that pulling away isn’t all that unusual.

Everyone, even you, is capable of loving. Your early life experience may have taught you to suppress emotions so they may be buried, but you are capable of love. Pay attention to how you feel. Tell yourself that you will notice your emotions. Emotions are not your enemy. They are actually designed to guide us toward self-actualization by feeling good when we’re moving in that direction and tell us we’re heading the wrong way with negative emotion.

Your post was brief but in many ways, it had elements that sound like catastrophizing or awfulizing, which is making a single incident (job interview) into a permanent and pervasive problem. Learning to see things as temporary situations will help you feel good. Nothing in life is permanent.

The “feeling like a dead man” comment makes me think that you’ve either been taught to suppress your emotions so you can’t feel their guidance (this is reversible) or that you’re depressed. In either case, I do encourage you to seek help. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to feel better.

I wish you all the best.


You Shouldn’t BE Happy

In Alison Beard‘s article, The Happiness Backlash, in the July-August 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review, it is clear to me that she makes herself more unhappy by believing she should be happy when she isn’t. You shouldn’t be happy, you can be, but it’s not a should.

I wanted to share my comment on her article with you because I think what she is doing is common and it increases misery.

This is a modified version of what I wrote to Alison. Quotes are excerpts from her article:

Your premise that you should be happy is false, “The huge and growing body of happiness literature promises to lift me out of these feelings. But the effect is more like kicking me when I’m down. I know I should be happy.”

“Social scientists tell us that even the simplest of tricks—counting our blessings, meditating for 10 minutes a day, forcing smiles—can push us into a happier state of mind.” The reason their simple tricks are not effective at increasing long-term happiness is that they address symptoms of unpleasant feeling moods, not the root cause.

Your emotional state is not dependent upon your life circumstances and is especially not dependent upon a comparison of your life and those of others–if you have developed psychological flexibility.

Your emotional state is the function of two major things and some less important things that affect it.  The first is whether you’re moving toward your unique personal goals. It does not matter what those goals are. They could be to become the richest person on the planet or to become a stay-at-home Mom who has time for bubble baths each or simply someone who has time to get enough sleep or the ability to get enough food for one day, or any other goals that are meaningful to you. If you’re moving in the direction of your goals, you feel much better than if you’re moving away from them. If you’re staying equal distance (not toward or away) your emotion varies by how long you’ve been there and how far you are and whether you believe you’ll ever get there. That brings us to the second major factor–mindset.

Mindset is, to me, the habitual pattern of thoughts that an individual usually uses. Because they are habits, they are the default mode of that individual. Like all habits, they can be changed, but not by simple tricks in a few minutes. Habits of thought include many things, but one that is important to this topic is whether a person tends to react to situations with appreciation, irritation, frustration, anger, envy, despair, etc.  Our chronic emotional state is the product of our habits of thought. Two people can have the exact same meal with the exact same waiter at the same table and one can thoroughly enjoy it while the other is frustrated because he finds it lacking in many ways. Both are right, from their personal perspective. We can choose the perspective from which we view any situation. It’s a function of psychological flexibility and a key element of resilience, both of which strongly support good mental health (even following trauma), good relationships, and greater success in all areas of life. In fact, research shows that being resilient before experiencing a trauma (and even learning resilience afterwards) can lead to posttraumatic growth instead of PTSD. It’s not just our veterans that experience PTSD. It can be the result of accidents, crime, and even giving birth.

Other factors come into play. The level of your personal resources such as adequate sleep, nutrition, hydration and whether your body is in pain or ill will affect your emotional state and your behavior.

There are no shoulds in happiness. You are where you are. Should-ing yourself will usually make you feel worse. You can choose what to do from where you are and if being happier is not important to you, leave it to those who want to be happy. It’s not difficult to be happy while pursuing goals that are important to us personally if our habits of thought aren’t sabotaging us.

New research, published in Global Advanced in Health and Medicine informs us that emotions are sensory feedback from a sensory system that even one-celled organisms have, which guide us away from danger and toward self-actualization (Peil, 2014).

Don’t worry if what you’re doing is not the same as what others are doing. They may not want what you want. We are all beautifully unique and life is more fun when we don’t think we have to embrace things others are embracing that don’t appeal to us.

Best wishes to you on having the life you want.

Jeanine Joy teaches, speaks and writes about human thriving. She is an expert in teaching people how to adjust their mindsets in any way they deem helpful in reaching their dreams and goals.

If this helped you, please share so that others may be helped. Thank you.
For more of my articles on LinkedIn and at Happiness 1st Institute.


Stressed Employees and Business Owners

Stressed employees and business ownersStressed employees and business owners

Helping Stressed Employees and Business Owners

Most stress reduction techniques taught provide temporary improvements and are dose dependent (you have to repeatedly do them to get the benefit), much like medicines that treat symptoms instead of curing the problem.

Our program teaches skills that create mindsets that are more adaptable and that actually experience less stress than untrained minds in the same circumstances.

The changes become permanent and life is less stressful thereafter.

Lower stress means more engaged and productive employees. This is a competitive edge that keeps increasing.

Because we address stress relief from the root cause, the benefits spread throughout the system (physical, mental, behavioral).

 


What Do Lack of Employee Engagement, Altruism, Volunteerism have in Common?

What Do Lack of Employee Engagement, Altruism, Volunteerism have in Common?

They are all symptoms of the same root cause.

Our behavior is closely connected to our emotional state. Almost every beneficial behavior increases when an individual feels good emotionally and worsens when the individual feels less than positive emotions.

Our chronic emotional state, which is our dominant emotional state, affects how we perceive the world around us. Below our conscious level of awareness, the inputs from our senses are sorted and only some of the information is passed to our conscious mind. Our senses receive so much information the filtering process is necessary. Much of the information is irrelevant. If you continuously felt every place your clothes touch you skin, it would make it difficult to think about other things.

These filters make a lot of decisions before we are even aware the information is available–deciding what to send to the conscious mind and what not to send. One filter is based on how we feel emotionally. There is more than one filter that uses emotion. Your current mood is the basis of one filter. Have you ever noticed that when you’re angry you suddenly remember other things you were angry about in the past that are like the thing you are currently angry about–things you haven’t thought about in a while.

Another filter is based on your chronic emotional state. Your chronic emotional state is simply the emotional state you’re often in. Some people might even consider it their personality–it isn’t, but it can seem that way because our chronic state is based on habits of thought that most people do not change throughout life. We even have archetypes, such as the Drama Queen that represent a chronic emotional state characterized by frustration, irritation, impatience, being overwhelmed and frequent disappointments.

Because of the filtering process, someone who is frequently frustrated will focus on areas of life that are frustrating while ignoring areas that would be easy to appreciate. Likewise, someone who is frequently angry will focus on things that make her angry–even when there is much to appreciate in her environment. Someone who is frequently in a state of appreciation will focus on things he appreciates and be less aware of things that would make him frustrated or angry.

Engagement

Being engaged at work requires interest in and a desire to do the work with a positive attitude. Someone whose filters are continually highlighting less than positive aspects about their job, their performance, their boss, their co-workers, and the company they work for will find it difficult to be engaged at work. Even when the company makes an effort to make sure they provide a good work environment, the employee’s filters continue to primarily highlight the negative more than the positive.

The recent economic downturn shifted a lot of people who were more fearful than usual during the downturn, to a lower chronic emotional state. At that same time, many companies had to ask employees to do more with less. It is not surprising that Gallup is reporting low employee engagement numbers worldwide. In Gallup’s most recent report only 30% of American workers were engaged, 20% were actively disengaged and 50% were not engaged. The annual cost estimated by Gallup for the actively disengaged workers lack of engagement was 450-550 billion dollars.

Better Managers

Gallup’s recommendation include improving management but even a wonderful manager will not be perceived as wonderful by an employee whose filtering system is highlighting the worse–or interpreting the manager’s words and actions in a negative way.

Praise of an employee’s work is easily received by an individual who is in a state of appreciation. Praise the work of an employee who is chronically frustrated and the employee may misinterpret it to mean you’re getting ready to ask for things that are frustration (buttering up instead of honest praise). The manager cannot control this. The emotionally intelligent manager may be more aware of what is happening and able to get through the filters for some frustrated employees some of the time–but it is the hard way of going about it.

Also, managers have the same sorts of brains with their own filtering system. Many of them were affected by the economic downturn.

It is not just the people who were directly affected whose chronic emotional state slid lower. The level of fear rose in many people who never experienced negative economic impacts from the downturn.

Altruism and Volunteerism

Countries with low employee engagement also report low rates of altruism and volunteerism. Researchers have already linked good corporate citizenship, altruistic behavior, volunteerism, and kindness to strangers to positive mood. Researchers have found that when people feel good, they do good. Being kind can also promote a sense of community, which is known to increase engagement.

When someone does something nice for someone else, more kind behavior is inspired by feelings of gratitude.

There is some evidence linking guilt to positive behavior and some charities attempt to guilt donors into giving but this is not recommended because guilt causes stress that is associated with negative health outcomes. Guilt is more about restoring a perceived imbalance -1 + 1 = 0, a zero sum game. Whereas pure altruism adds value to the world.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is one of the reasons employee engagement is so beneficial to employers. Positive mood is associated with greater intrinsic motivation.

The Effect of Resilience

We all know that one person can remain engaged even under the most trying of circumstances while others engagement rapidly declines when stressors are present. Resilience is a critical trait in the workforce. Without resilience employees will not function well when something makes them lose their mental-emotional balance. No one can control what happens to them during their life, marriages fail, loved ones die, people become ill and require care or perseverance to get through difficult treatments, business struggle and sometimes our fears about safety, for ourselves, our family and even our country seem eminent. The ability to bounce back and function in the aftermath of such events is crucial.

Every business continuity plan requires employees to be able to act. If the employees are not resilient, some of them will not meet the challenges. Resilience is a skill that can be built in advance–a skill that increases when positivity is increased.

Employee Wellness

Another area that Gallup links to increased engagement is higher levels of employee wellness. That is no surprise to me because wellness goals are far more likely to be achieved in the positively focused individual.

I’ve already outlined the link between chronic stress, positivity, and wellness program outcomes in The Key Ingredient Your Corporate Wellness Program is Missing and a few other articles (links below) so I won’t elaborate on them here. Increasing positivity improves the root cause of wellness. For a full discussion, see my book TRUE Prevention–Optimum Health: Remember Galileo.

The Root Cause

The root cause of engagement, altruism, volunteerism, intrinsic motivation and resilience can be traced directly to chronic emotional stance. With the right skills and tools, improving chronic emotional state is easy. It is a new approach to engagement and wellness. Prepare for results that exceed expectations.

Twenty years of cross disciplinary research has gone into developing and fine tuning our methods. The early adopters will achieve significant advantages over their slower competitors. There is nothing to lose and much to gain. We offer a free consultation to businesses and for individuals, our premier programs come with a money back guarantee. Call today for a better tomorrow.

***

Jeanine Joy is an author, speaker, and CEO focused on improving human thriving. For techniques on defusing stressful thoughts so you can relax and enjoy life more, try one of my books or programs. Also watch for a book focused on optional aspects of aging and not taking those options. It may be late 2015 or 2016 before that one is out but it will address this issue in more detail.

Please consider sharing this information with your network. If you found it valuable, they may also find value in what I have written.

I wish for you many blissings. (Blissings = blissful blessings)

About : Jeanine Joy Jeanine Joy is an inspiring and life-changing author, speaker, and scholar. The purpose of her life is to seek out knowledge that increases human thriving, create explanations and processes that provide practical ways for individuals adopt strategies that enhance their lives. Her programs, books, and speeches empower people to fulfill their dreams and enjoy more loving, happy, and successful lives. Her ultimate goal is to help create a better world for everyone on Earth.

Available Now

Coming in 2015

 


The Best Employee Engagement Solution

Employee engagement

The Best Solution for HR’s Biggest Problem: Employee Engagement

Or, more specifically, how to increase employee engagement and retention.

Low engagement can act like a virus, spreading discontent throughout your organization, reducing productivity and increasing undesired turnover. The success of an organization can be tied directly to the level of employee engagement–it affects every area of the business.

The number of employees who would like to leave their current employer was more than 1 in 5 according to a Career Builder survey earlier this year. With turnover costs for lower level employees over $5,000 and many times that for higher level employees, retention is of tremendous importance to the ability of an organization to succeed.

What leads to engagement?

Workers who are dissatisfied with their jobs. Let’s chat about that for a moment. Presumably, at one point the employee was satisfied unless they were desperate for a job, any job, when they accepted the one they have. What changed? Often the employee became dissatisfied with one or more aspects of the role or the company and focused on the negative aspects until the perception of the job matched the perspective about a few undesired areas.

In many cases, this is changeable. It’s a matter of tipping the scale back in your favor and we know how to do that.

Dissatisfaction with advancement opportunities is another reason good talent leaves. It depends on the business model, but this is something that increased creativity can sometimes solve. The techniques we teach facilitate changes that increase creativity. That’s worth talking about.

Being highly stressed is another reason employees look for greener pastures. The skills we teach address the root cause of stress, easing that burden without requiring a change in circumstances. That’s powerful.

54% of the employees who have no intention of leaving their current employer cite liking the people they work with as the number one reason they won’t leave. That’s huge.

What makes co-workers enjoyable to work with? Kindness, collaboration, inclusion are a few of the words that come to mind and our techniques increase everyone of them. Research shows that happier, less stressed people are kinder to one another–even to strangers. They also demonstrate better corporate citizenship. The techniques we teach hit interpersonal conflict head-on and create employees who are able to get along with a wide variety of people and enjoy one another more. That’s gold.

Because our strategy addresses the root cause of so many problems, it improves the entire system.

Talk to us. We can help.

 


Decisions have Power: What are you Deciding?

Ideas that support your decisions come to you

Decisions Matter

What decisions have you made about life?
What decisions have you made about who you are?
What decisions have you made about who you could become?
Did you make those decisions after careful deliberation or did you just sort of fall into them–never realizing the impact they would have on the outcome of your life? 

What you decide matters. On the quantum level, they matter as much as anything else, if not more. They certainly matter more than actions on that level. If you’ve decided your destiny is a low one, things change on the quantum level until you are unable to perceive possibilities that would be better than what you’ve decided will be.

But…if you decide your life can be better, more of what you dream of it becoming, the way things change on the quantum level will surprise and delight you at every turn.

We do not have to fully understand the mechanisms behind this power in order to incorporate it into our lives and make it work for us. If you are not conscious about making decisions that support your highest good, these forces tend to work against you.

The greatest philosophers throughout history have understood the relationship between decisions and outcome. It is at the root of all the conversations in business about goals and planning.

Our students learn how to use this knowledge to their advantage in our Premier Programs. You can be one of the ones who thrives.

What would it be possible for you to do if you were thriving more? Who could you help? What could you accomplish? What are your dreams?

The German philosopher Johann von Goethe wrote:

 “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back; always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come his way”

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Will you leave your dreams to chance? Will your efforts be in vain? Or will you learn to align yourself fully with success?

See our programs or read our founders books.

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Wisdom

What decisions would benefit you?

There is nothing as powerful as a made up mind. Do not give yourself another excuse to put off making up your mind. You know in your heart of hearts that once you do that you have got to act. You owe it to the world, your family, and most importantly, to yourself to live a life of no regrets. Stop worrying about what other people will think, say, or do. You only have one life to live…LIVE IT now! You deserve!  – Les Brown
Golden Compass
“A mind that is programmed to highlight flaws typically has a lot less fun and a more difficult time. The programming makes relationships of all types more difficult, it makes the world a less beautiful place, it makes problems bigger than they are and hides beneficial things. Science says a lot of our programming is done by age 6. It is not hard to
re-program ones own mind and make your own decisions about what to focus upon.” ~  Jeanine Joy
Decisions have power. If you have not made deliberate decisions your life is running based on default settings established by circumstances you’ve lived.
If your life is awesome, do nothing but appreciate your awesome life.
 If your life is less than awesome, you may wish to consider some reprogramming.
 
My fiction will provide techniques that will help. My novels demonstrate scientifically proven techniques that help us thrive without the boredom of a textbook. The story is the creation that keeps it interesting but it also helps us see how the processes work in real situations.
The nonfiction books provide a more direct route to the information that will help you thrive more in any area of your life you wish to improve.
If classes are more helpful to you, Happiness 1st Institute may have some that will help you achieve your dreams. http://www.Happiness1st.com

Attaining Success

Where you have been

Even where you are

Does not matter

You can get to where you want to be from where you are

Sometimes, what we believe in the midst of seeming tradgedy is the worst possible thing that can happen in our life turns out to be, upon later reflection, the best thing that ever happened to us.

Turning points are often like that.

Change can be tough.

It does not matter what you are, or are suffering, someone who was once there has found a silver lining (or a ‘gift in the wound’) of a situation much like yours.

It is always there and we never get more than we can handle.

Learning to truly believe that things work out for the best and to begin looking for the silver lining as soon as you can is the key to resilience, it is the key to thriving instead of surviving, the key to benefiting from post adversarial/post traumatic growth instead of suffering from PTSD.

We have classes where we provide tools to help you through this process. It does not matter if the event is happening now or if it happened many years ago, you can thrive into your future. All you need is an open mind, some knowledge and skills and you’ll be on your way.