Month: May 2016

It’s a choice – Part 2

In “It’s a choice” I discussed the need to make a conscious choice each day. The choice you must make is to choose a positive outlook over potentially negative behavior that is in response to the stimuli around you. Seems pretty simple, but as mentioned in the previous post it isn’t. You need to set the stage for choosing a positive response to life and the challenges you will face on a daily basis. I mentioned that you will need to nourish your mind and your body to prepare yourself for this transformation; failing to do so will leave you susceptible to reacting instead of controlling your behavior. I’m going to make a few suggestions on how you can prepare yourself to begin making those positive choices:

Yoga – practicing yoga can calm your body and your mind. It is more than a form of exercise, and can lead you to discover many things about yourself that few activities can offer. Yoga is also a great prelude to meditation, which I will discuss next.

exercise yoga class

Meditation –  I would recommend that you meditate for at least 10 minutes in the morning, preferably after you have done some form of exercise and before you start your work day. Meditation can help you control your mind by actually quieting it. Over time you will have the ability to center your mind on the present and turn off some of the noise that goes on in your head.

Old zen saying

Affirmations – I was not a big fan on using affirmations until recently. I think they are most effective when they follow your meditation session. You need to come up with a list of 3 to 6 statements that reinforce what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t just read them, say them out loud. Here are the ones I say each day when I’m finished meditating:

  • I am grateful for the opportunity to make today a great day.
  • I am confident in my abilities, and will work with purpose and joy.
  • I will lead by example, being positive, showing appreciation and compassion.
  • I will stay focused on the present, and enjoy each moment.


This is what I have found effective, but you might find that running is a good substitute for yoga, or taking the dog for a walk, riding a bike, or doing Pilates. The key isn’t so much what you do as long as it is a physical activity that can be a precursor to meditation.

I know you are busy, and don’t have time for a yoga practice and 10 – 20 minutes of meditation, but what if you could make a 30 – 40 minute investment every morning. Maybe you would have to get up a little earlier to fit these things into your day. Remember you are investing in yourself, in your piece of mind.

I’m guessing that in your heart, you know you are worth it.

In “It’s a choice Part 3” I will write about why it is important to understand how your diet influences your ability to make positive choices in your life.




It’s a choice

Every day you wake up and are presented with a choice. You can crawl out of bed, trip over some stuff on the floor, say a few choice words, blame someone for leaving it there, and your day is now off to a decidedly negative start. An alternative scenario would be to get out of bed trip over the crap on the floor, smile over your lack of agility, and go make some coffee or tea without the expletives. The really interesting thing about this choice is that it will present itself every day, and often a number of times during the day or night. You might think of the choice as choosing a positive outlook over a negative one, whatever you choose it will directly effect what happens to you. It is this choice that sets the stage for everything that follows.


I am a project manager by trade and often spend time teaching people how to work on projects using the Scrum agile framework and while there are only a half a dozen ceremonies that need to be mastered, it is often very difficult for the team to do them correctly. These ceremonies appear to be very simple but at the same time difficult to master because they require that you change your mindset and buy-in to a new paradigm. The reason I mentioned this is that making the choice to have a great day by being positive even when facing adversity seems like a simple choice, but just like mastering Scrum ceremonies, it can be more difficult than it appears on the surface.

Yet when it is all said and done, you make that choice each day, and it really is a fundamentally simple choice. Not an easy choice but once you begin to master it your whole life begins to change.You will be happier, you will feel better both physically and mentally, other people will notice your positive attitude and be drawn to you, and opportunities will seem to be everywhere. The choice is yours, there is not a half ass way of doing it. As Yoda said you either “Do or DO NOT, There is no try”.


If you have lived your life without trying to make a conscious choice about your behavior and instead act or react based on how you feel at the time, then this will be a radically different approach for you. Making the choice to be positive on a daily basis will take time, and probably require some training of your mind and body. You will need to nourish your mind with positive words and images, you will need to nourish your body with a good diet and exercise. If you work on these things you begin to establish the foundation of making the right choice every day.

In my next post I will write about how we can build that foundation by getting specific about what you can do nourish your mind and body


7 Brain Boosting Foods to Eat More Often

Some great dietary advice that supports brain function

Our Better Health

Patricia Jurek, RD, MBA     May 3, 2016

For decades, scientists have viewed food as fuel, but the latest research suggests what you eat impacts your brain, too. In fact, study after study suggests adding certain foods to your plate can sharpen your mind, build new brain cells and may even help you remember where you left your keys.

With that in mind (pun intended), researchers at Rush University in Chicago developed the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which is basically a combination of the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet. The main difference: MIND stresses the importance of brain-boosting power foods, including nuts, berries and fatty fish. And research shows it’s remarkably effective.

According to the study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, seniors who closely followed the MIND diet slashed their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by a whopping 53 percent. Even those who only did a…

View original post 427 more words