This Small Change Can Have a Huge Impact

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you just feel bad? You can’t even put your finger on it, but for some reason, you’re just not as happy as you typically are. There’s nothing really wrong, but somehow life just doesn’t feel right. Have you ever been there? I have and I suppose most of us can have those moments.

Recently I was having a conversation with someone who was experiencing something similar. As we were chatting about nothing in particular, he eventually admitted to me, “I just feel out of sorts.” He couldn’t explain it, he just knew something wasn’t right.

We drilled down a little bit more trying to pinpoint what the reason could be for his disposition. As we continued to talk one thing became clear…the news around him was discouraging him. And the more we talked, the more I learned that this individual watched the news…a lot of news.

Stop Watching The News

I have fond memories of staying up with my parents, with a pot of coffee to watch the 11pm news. It was something we did almost nightly. (Back then I could still go right to sleep even after coffee).

But you want to know something? I think it’s a bad habit to get into. And here’s why…IT’S DEPRESSING!

Do you ever felt better after watching the news? Do you ever feel inspired or motivated after watching the news? I doubt it. In fact a Huffington Post study shows that just 3 minutes of negative news (is there any other kind?) in the morning increases our chances of having a bad day by 27%. (Another reason to protect your morning routine for things that will set you up for success.)

5 Reasons To Stop Watching The News

1) It makes you feel worse not better

I just mentioned this above but it’s worth mentioning again. Consistent exposure to news can have a negative impact on our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. If you don’t believe me, take a few minutes after your next news show to evaluate how you actually feel.

2) News is a money-making business

Money, (ie advertising) is what keeps news on the air. The focus will always be on what’s in their best interests, not yours. Sure businesses want customers but who do you think these news sources are really answering to?

3) We don’t get news we get a version of the news

It seems to me that there has been a huge shift from sharing news to crafting the news. Many news outlets have a political bent so we will hear things that typically support that political camp but will not hear things that might potentially oppose that view. We rarely will be getting the whole story…only their version of the story. So people will will gravitate to a particular station based on their own worldview and political opinions.

I just read a new phrase relating to news… it’s called ‘media-splain’. Which basically means that news sources work extra hard to spin stories toward their political, philosophical position.

Media-splain.

Thats’ what we get now. Not the story but their take on it and what they want us to hear/ and not hear about it.

News agencies simply are not objective. They don’t tell stories, they (re)write them.

4) The news could be fake

Maybe fake news has always been a problem, but it seems to be a real problem today. It’s hard for me to imagine the effort and motivation it takes to actually intentionally report false statements and outright lies but this takes news reporting to a whole new level. Perhaps our social media channels are most guilty of this but much of what we read or see today needs to be back-checked now.

5) Negative news leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless

Have you ever asked yourself why you watch the news? Most of what we see is negative…negative stories…and to what end? Is there a call to action? Maybe. But most often, it’s just information. Information that doesn’t do anything productive…it may entertain, it may even inform…but once the TV is off, what good will it produce?

I just took a 5-minute break to check out the latest news in my area. Here’s what I saw…

  1.  Truck fire started by homemade bomb
  2. Mother charged with felony-murder after of leaving baby in car while getting hair done
  3. Two people stabbed during assault
  4. Motorcyclist suffers broken arm making a u-turn
  5. Puppy found in garbage can; rescued and receiving treatment
  6. Woman found dead. Son charged with murder.

In 5 minutes!!!

Lets see…fires, bombs, death, accidents, murder…oh yeah and a rescued puppy. What do you think the long-lasting impact is of taking this stuff in, day after day after day? What toll is this taking on our mental and emotional health?

These situations are very sad and tragic, but does it help for me to hear about them?

This emphasis on negative news is only punctuated by the common strategy of ending a news segment with a feel-good story. It’s almost like, the station knows that the viewer have probably had all they can take of sad, disturbing images and stories, so they insert a piece about a lost dog being found or a stolen purse being returned to it’s owner or police officers playing ball with neighbourhood kids.

We all love a good story like these, sure; but weighed against the litany of negative stories we have to wade through first, I’d say they hardly balance out.

What Can You Do Instead

If you think that your viewing habits are having a negative impact, here are two suggestions that may help.

Clear Your Mind

Take News Detox

Detoxing our bodies can be a great way to improve our physical health; detoxing our minds can be just as helpful to our emotional health. Take a day or better a week off from watching news. Monitor how you’re feeling. I just know that you will eventually feel better emotionally, you’re demeanour will improve and you might just minimize those moments where you “just don’t feel right.”

Feed Your Mind 

Instead of news, real or fake, why not read a book or blog (sorry if that seems self-serving) that not only informs you but inspires and encourages you. The Bible says, “Be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” For me that begins with reading the Bible each morning.

Maybe that’s not your style. But if you want to change your life, change what you feed your mind.

Just one small change can have a huge impact on your well-being.

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Your life not where you want it to be? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 45-minute discovery call. Let’s talk.

What Will Your Legacy Be?

Last week I attended another funeral. Between attending and officiating I’ve been to my share, and then some, maybe you have too. This one was a close friend’s dad. I knew him too and I’m grateful that I was able to spend time with him earlier this year. Sometimes the most precious memories are the simplest ones.

The service was a celebration of his life and having spoken at my own dad’s funeral, I empathized with my friend who was given the responsibility of representing the siblings, capturing who his dad was and why he meant so much to so many. He did a great job and I laughed and cried.

Perhaps like no other situation, a funeral gives us reason to pause and think about our own lives. Not just our mortality but to me something that is equally important…that is, how we want to be remembered.

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Like I said, at a funeral it’s easy to think about these things because we are naturally confronted with big, life questions.

  • Why am I here?
  • Does my life have meaning?
  • Am I making the most of my life?

The problem is, it’s just as easy to dismiss these topics as soon as we hit the refreshment table (and those sandwiches with the crust cut off). Also, these types of questions can seem more philosophical in nature than practical, but I think they are significant.

How we are remembered is really the legacy we leave behind.

Webster’s Dictionary defines legacy as, “a gift by will especially of money or other personal property: bequest…She left us a legacy of a million dollars.”

But a legacy is so much more than money…

  • It’s what people believe about us
  • It’s how we made them feel
  • It’s what we taught them
  • It’s the impact we had on their lives
  • It’s the values we lived by

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Legacy is what we talk about at funerals but it’s worth considering long before the end of our lives. And legacy is more than putting in time, it’s about making the most of the time we have for the sake of others.

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Here are 3 easy steps you can take to get clarity about who you are, who you want to be and the legacy you want to leave.

Step 1

Consider the various roles you live out now

  • Parent
  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Co-worker
  • Boss
  • Friend
  • Teammate
  • Other

Step 2

Start with the end in mind. 

Write a brief paragraph detailing what you hope others will say about you for each of your roles. (Imagine you are sitting and listening in at your own funeral…it’s not as morbid as it may sound…honest.) What are people saying about you?

Step 3

Create a plan to get you there. 

Q. What kind of person do you have to be, to leave the legacy you want to leave?

Q. What things will you need to stop doing?

Q. What things will you need to begin to do, that you’re not doing now?

Q. What difference will these changes make for you and others in your life?

Q. What is hindering you from making the changes you want to make?

 

It’s been said, that our future is determined by our daily choices. Deciding ahead of time how you want to be remembered will determine the choices you make today.

Q. How do you want to be remembered and what are you doing to ensure you will be?

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Your life not where you want it to be? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 45-minute discovery call. Let’s talk.

 

Halftime…So Much More Than Orange Slices

Growing up I played a lot of soccer and I really enjoyed the game. I had some great coaches too, some who went above and beyond to ensure I grew as a player and a person. But one thing I didn’t really like at all was halftime.

To me halftime was simply an interruption from doing what I loved to do…run…pass…and score goals. I dreaded when the referee blew his whistle after 45 minutes…it was such a let down.

To make matters worse (life was so hard being 10) invariably, one of the parents was scheduled for the snack. The infamous orange slices. I didn’t like orange slices…but there they were, every game, ruining my beloved activity.

The reason?

They made my fingers sticky. Yup, that’s it. I didn’t like playing the second half with sticky fingers. (I was also the kid who would come inside from playing, to wash my hands, only to go out again to play). Apparently I didn’t mind getting dirty but I liked being clean even more.

Because of that, I usually passed on the orange slices…they just weren’t worth it.

The Benefits of Halftime

While I didn’t appreciate the value of halftime as a kid, today I do.

Here in Canada we just celebrated our 150th birthday as a country, July 1. (And Happy 4th of July to my American friends) So basically, we are half way through the year. A great time to pause, not only to celebrate this wonderful country we have the privilege of living in, but to to take advantage of a halftime break.

In sports, halftime is about so much more than just eating orange slices…it’s about

  • Resting
  • Reviewing the game plan
  • Revelling in what is working
  • Recognizing what isn’t working
  • Revising a game plan for the second half

So as we begin the second half of the year, we can do the same, on a personal level.

5 Keys To Make the Most of the Second Half

REST

How did you celebrate the long weekend? Maybe BBQ is your thing or a boat cruise on the lake. Whatever it is, I hope you had time to rest from your typical routine. But beyond that, are you taking care of yourself in a way that sets you up for success moving forward. Half way through the year are you exhausted or energized?

How are you managing your time and your energy?

What do you need to do to get back in the game?

REVIEW

What did you set out to do when the year began? Are you closer to your goals or farther away? What progress have you made this year? How is your life different than it was back in January or a year ago? What have you accomplished in this year? Consider your career, your personal development, your marriage, your family.

Are your relationships stronger… than they were 6 months ago?

Are your finances in better shape than they were 6 months ago?

Are you in better shape than you were 6 months ago?

Are you making progress in your career from 6 months ago?

REVEL

Celebrate the progress you have made…in your marriage, your family, your career and your personal growth. Take the time to express your gratitude to God and to those closest to you. And hey, it’s halftime…have some orange slices (if you’re into that kind of thing).

What are you grateful for?

Who are you grateful for?

Who are you grateful to?

RECOGNIZE

Not every game plan works or goes according to plan. Where have things come up short? What didn’t work out like you hoped it would? Why do you think that is?

What hasn’t worked?

What can you learn?

REVISE

When you look ahead to December 31, what do you hope to accomplish between now and then? What problem do you hope to resolve? What project do you want to complete?

What are the steps you will need to take to get there? Who do you need in your corner to help you finish the year strong?

See, halftime is so much more than orange slices and sticky fingers. It’s about resting, reviewing, revelling, recognizing and revising.

Take advantage of this year’s halftime…then get back in the game and play hard.

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Your life not where you want it to be? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 45-minute discovery call. Let’s talk.