How to See Beyond the Mental Fog

When fog settles in visibility lessens. Ordinary objects become distorted, perception is askew and navigation treacherous. Some souls have been lost at sea or driven over a cliff.

The same is true on the road of life when emotions cloud one’s vision. Annoyance become paramount, perception is out of kilter and course-plotting underhanded. Jobs are lost, relationships are harmed and happiness is illusive.

Where you are on the road is where you are. The meaning you give to where you are is your perception. One’s emotions depend upon the meaning attached to the event. The physical anxiety is the body’s response to the thinking and feeling attached to the event. When one makes a clear distinction between the event and the meaning given to it, one is better prepared to handle the realities of life.

Example: Driving on an unfamiliar road one thinks, “I don’t know where I am.” “I’m lost.” You feel you should have gone another way; that you should have stayed home, that this road is too dangerous. Your body is tense and anxiety sets in.

Reframe: Distinguish between event and the meaning it warrants. “I am unfamiliar with the road and the surroundings. I am a good driver and will navigate cautiously. I will slow down and arrive alive. It is okay to be a little late.” Tension abates.

Example: You are told what to do when you already know what to do! You begin to mind read; “You think I am stupid.” “You think you are so smart.” “Get off my back!” You feel judged and criticized. Your body tenses as anger rises and hard feelings compound.

Reframe: Mom/Dad/mate/boss/co-worker means well. Maybe they know something I have overlooked or have not yet learned. Either way, I will respect their input and treat them with civility. Calm restored. Relationship remains intact.

Example: Botched a performance. Meaning attached, “I am a big goof. I ruined the entire event.” “People are placating me.” Feelings attached are discouragement, despair and failure. Body’s response is tight muscles, headache and depressing.

Reframe: Make a clear distinction between event and the meaning you give it. “Even though I messed up a little I gave some salient points. I am leaning to be a presenter and will do better the next time.” Let yourself off the hook. Be able to receive compliments.

All day, every day four things are happening simultaneously: 1) the event, 2) your thought regarding the event, 3) your emotions associated with what you perceive about the event, and 4) your body responding to how you see, think and feel about the event.

Reframing helps you to see what you were not seeing when clouded by emotions. Reframing takes you to a detached position where you might be able to see what a bystander would see (about the situation as well as about you). Rethink and let the sunshine reflect a better light on success, relationships and happiness.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.


What Goals Do For (in) You

Everyone seeks identity, meaning and significance. These qualities are revealed when thought is given to one’s purpose; life becomes more fulfilling when followed by strategies for accomplishment. The mystery of goals is twofold. They work for you to align focus and strategies; they work in you to produce energy and passion. Goals are great motivators.

The Niagara River flowed over the falls for hundreds of years. It’s beauty and energy provided water and food. But it was not until that force was harnessed that electricity was provided to multitudes of home and businesses. Busy-ness does produce some results. Goals harness your energy and concentration to create phenomenal outcome. They give passion and focus.

Goals are powerful tools in making decisions. Knowing where you are going and why empowers you to say “Yes” to opportunities and “No” to distractions. Goals act as a compass to guide you toward completion. They help you settle conflicts before they arise. Goals help you to recognize opportunities and see possibilities instead of focusing on problems.

Goals free you from the past by empowering you to break from the tyranny of yesterday. Goals create a sense of purpose for your life and draws needed resources to you. Goals empower you to pay the price because you have a purpose greater than yourself.

Elements of a Goal:
Believable - know you are worthy of them
Written - put to paper so the intangible becomes tangible
Measurable - specific, no guessing or illusive thinking
Strategic - must have nuts and bolts plans for accomplishment
Personal - has to resonate with your core being
Challenging - get you out of bed and re-motivates you when HALTed
Transforming - all goals include a personality change
Inclusive - benefits self and community
Exit plan - predetermine when it is time to move on

The reality of life interacting with the human condition lends itself to halting one’s progress. The Twelve Step recovery programs states that one is prone to HALT recovery when Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. You are especially vulnerable when these elements are prevented as a stack attack.

After the “speed bumps” of life, goals get you back on track. You do not have to go back to square one. Goals get you on track, keep you on track and encourage self-motivation

“Decide before you face the conditions that will cause you to stop and drop out. You don’t want to be out there saying, ‘Well, gee, my leg hurts. I’m a little dehydrated. I’m sleepy. I’m tired. It’s cold and windy.’ and talk yourself into quitting. If you are making a decision based on how you feel at that moment, you will probably make the wrong decision.”
Ultra marathoner Dick Collins

Invite Mona to speak to your group. Whether business, organizational, civic or faith-based, you will be entertained with her humor, challenged by her gift of uncommon insights ad motivated by her thought provoking poems. mona@solutionprinciples.com www.monadunkin.com


Goal Setting and Results

Nothing worthwhile is accomplished without goals and planning. An occasionally wish may comes true and one erroneously think a goal has been set and attained. Here are strategies to move you beyond hoping and wishing to a plan with results.

Be all-inclusive. We are a composite whole and cannot separate ourselves from ourselves. Since one’s core foundation is all encompassing, focus on your whole life rather than a specific area. Include family, career, social, financial, intellectual, spiritual and recreational.

Set goals that are clear and concise. Make them specific rather than general. General “I will set aside some money each payday.” Specific: “I consistently set aside four percent of each pay check.”

State each goal in positive, present tense verbiage. Adding to the above example, “I enjoy consistently setting aside four percent of each pay check.”
Re-read often. Under gird your habit mind. Nurture your ability to dream, explore, reach and grow.

Catch yourself doing right. Pay attention to your behavior that it matches your goals. To reinforce continued success, stop and literally give yourself an “atta boy” or “atta girl”. Bask in your accomplishments. Positive feelings propel forward.
Stay the course. Set benchmarks along the way. There will always be course corrections.

Do not dwell on past successes or failures; both paralyze. Reveling in past success lends to current procrastination. Wallowing in failures lends to paranoia and being your own worst enemy. Today is a new day; make it count. Succeed again and again and again, each time in different and better ways.

Visualize. Practice what great achievers; see and feel yourself accomplishing the putt or closing the sale in your imagination. Productive daydreaming allows you to growing to meet the challenges of the goal. Get excited; words and images create energy.

Continually evaluate. Look at goals set and follow through and honestly ask, “Does my behavior match my goals?” Resolve those things you have put off and get back on track. Relish the journey and the personal growth.

Refuse to plateau by continually setting newer, more far-reaching goals. Moving forward necessitates courage and focus. There will be moments of fear and doubt, but recognize this as a natural process of growth. Hold on to your excitement and determination until the feeling sticks.

Saying “Yes” to one thing sometimes does means saying “No” to another, but that is not an absolute. Sometimes the “Yes” or the “No” advances endless possibilities.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”