Many times in life, we have all had the experience of interacting with a person who is not being kind; they’re not smiling – in fact, you might even say they’re “grumbling.” At that moment you’re not even sure they’re capable of smiling. This person is angry, impatient and disagreeable and these are their most obvious qualities. (“Well, their only qualities” you might think). This person seems unhappy with life and the simple fact that you’re their next encounter makes you, by default, their next target, too.
And … the last thing they are expecting is a friendly smile, kind words and someone who cares. It is also likely the last thing you feel like offering.
But that is exactly what I’m challenging you to offer this week.
Release the temptation to walk away mumbling about how unfriendly this person was acting. Refuse to call your close friend just to tell them about this person. Don’t get back in the car and tell your spouse or friend about this person’s nastiness. Don’t continue to talk about it two hours, four hours, or twenty-four hours later. And definitely don’t let this person and situation raise your own level of stress.
Instead, make it your intention to change the situation and intentionally create a new story.
Here’s a few things to try:
Smile and say “hi” first
Start a conversation
Ask them something about them and their day
Choose to see their perspective and understand what they might be feeling
Soften your voice and choose your words thoughtfully
When they are spewing negativity, take what they’re saying and offer a positive twist – purposefully change the tone of the conversation
Consider what else you can do to take a potentially stressful event and turn it around for everyone’s best…yours and theirs.
Be the person you want everyone else to be
Visit Lisa’s website at www.fuelyourinnerfire.com
Thank You Gail Rosenblum and Nancy Mramor power ball fever gone – got my vaccination early!
It’s fun to play the “what if?” game, to imagine a cloud-free existence of happiness, freedom and philanthropy. But why do we assume we can’t play that game unless Powerball swoops in?
I didn’t win the Powerball.
So goodbye, island with personal chef. Goodbye, voyage around the world.
Hello, children’s lingering student loans and a 30-year mortgage.
And hello, Monday morning.
I knew you’d be back.
Powerball does get us dreaming, doesn’t it?
That’s why I put money into the biggest lottery ever. The practical me knew I might as well unroll my window and throw a $20 bill into the icy 10-below air. But my friends were in a frenzy, willing to stand in line to buy me tickets. My workmates were selling dreams at their desk. People were kinder in traffic, too, or maybe I’m just making that up.
I get that it’s fun to play the “what if?” game, to imagine a cloud-free existence of happiness, freedom and philanthropy. What I don’t get is why we assume we can’t play that game unless Powerball swoops in to get the party started.
Robyn Green sees this inertia all the time. She calls it “when/then, if/then” thinking. As in, when I win the lottery, my life will start.
“They think, ‘When this happens, I will be happy.’ ‘When I get married, I will feel worthy.’ ‘If I hadn’t been laid off, I wouldn’t be depressed,’ ” said Green, a Minneapolis-based life coach. “People are outsourcing their happiness.
on external factors (Powerball, an ex, a job) and more on internal personal awareness. Her first exercise with new clients is to ask them to tell her their story.
How they tell the story of who they are, and who they once were, typically reveals limits they’ve placed on themselves and assumptions they’ve made that are keeping them stuck.
“Everyone’s talking about Powerball, but the odds are not in our favor,” Green said. “So what is?”
She worked with one man who took early retirement, then felt at a loss about what to do with himself. He thought Green would give him job coaching, including career aptitude tests he could take to help him figure out what to do next.
Instead, she helped him see that he wasn’t happy because he’d always done what others, his father in particular, thought he should do. He went on to a second career volunteering, filled to the brim with a sense of purpose and value.
‘It’s just a game’
Nancy Mramor, a psychologist with the University of Pittsburgh, sees similar roadblocks in her work.
“A lot of the thinking is related to things people can’t do because they don’t have that kind of money,” said Mramor, who specializes in media coverage of big events.
“With the Powerball, they’d pay off their kids’ mortgages, travel to exotic places, pay off their own student loans. They think, ‘It would just make my life so much easier.’ ”
Like Green, she works with clients to reframe the question:
“What would you do to be happy and to feel fulfilled if you didn’t win the lottery? What do you want to be remembered for? Then pursue those goals.
“Not everybody is going to win the lottery,” she added.
Besides, there are lots of downsides to being that rich. Your island likely doesn’t have Wi-Fi, or a Chipotle.
And as hard as it is to buy this, the majority of big winners will tell you that the windfall was the biggest disaster of their lives. They became rudderless. They were hounded by former friends and strangers wanting a piece of them. Most lost it all.
Even lottery officials urge caution.
“Players should never spend more than they can afford on any lottery ticket,” they said last week. “Please remember, it’s just a game.”
Little moments of happiness, easily accessible, are the real ticket, Mramor said.
My Grandmother Can’t Leave Her House
I had a call recently from a nice young woman and this is what she said “My grandmother can’t leave her house. I want to bring her signed document to you to be notarized.” I had to tell her no. This article explains why.
The first duty of a notary public is to verify the identity of the person who is signing the document. If the document is being sworn to or affirmed, the signer has to sign it in front of the notary and take the oath or affirmation that the notary administers. If the document is not being sworn to, just acknowledged, the signer can sign it at any time and bring it to the notary to be notarized. If the notary offers mobile services, the notary can come to the signer at a location…
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This is worth the watch for anyone who has ever dealt with the elder or those with dementia
Great Advice from Julian Gray and Frank Petrich certified Elder Law Attorneys. TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR PLANNING! Please don’t wait until an unforeseen situation occurs and you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself.
As full time mobile notaries, we can make it easy to have these documents notarized if you are unable to travel to a notary’s office. We travel throughout Allegheny and surrounding counties. For more information, please visit our website at www.notaryneighbor.com.
Well, Christmas is over, but you still have almost a week before the start of the New Year to get things in order for the coming year.
Many families with which we deal come to us in a crisis mode because of unforeseen and unplanned-for events. Have you made any goals/resolutions for the New Year to help prepare for these events? Did you make any for this year? If you did, have you achieved them? If not, do you know why not?
So, in addition to the more mundane (?) resolutions/goals (more exercise, less food and alcohol intake, etc.), we’re going to more specifically concentrate on some pretty good long-term care planning and financially related resolutions. These are issues which have often been the source of emotional and family difficulties.
In making these resolutions, don’t just think about them: write them down and be smart about them. Make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related.
Get thy financial house in order. These resolutions should be fairly easy to achieve. Determine what you have in the way of assets (ban life insurance, etc. and income sources, such as Social Security, pensions, wages, investments). Do you know how much you are spending each year and where the money is going? You need to know this to plan for how you’re going to spend your money in the coming year. This is especially true if you are retired or considering retirement. “You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been” (olde Slovenian proverb).
Take a very hard look at how these assets are owned (titled). For non-beneficiary designated assets, are they in your name alone? You and your spouse? In the joint names of all of your children or maybe just one of the three of them? A sibling to whom you no longer speak? Do you want your daughter-in-law to actually partake of a joint account held between you and your son if you are the first to die?
As to beneficiary designated assets such as IRAs, 401(k)s and life insurance, do you even know who the beneficiaries are? If you do, do you still want them to get their hands on these assets after you die. The review of these beneficiary designations should be at least an annual occurrence and also after some life changing event (death of spouse, divorce, etc.).
Get thy estate planning documents in order. The financial review is also important if you have a minor child or a disabled beneficiary who may more appropriately benefit by the creation of a trust or a special needs trust (for example, if they are receiving or may become eligible for public benefits such as SSI and Medicaid).
Where there’s a will, there are heirs! Do you even have a will? When was the last time you reviewed it? Has anything changed? Should the will be changed? Who’s going to handle your affairs after you die, your no-good brother-in-law?
Do you have a power of attorney authorizing someone to handle your financial affairs for you if you’re unable or unwilling to do so? And, the most important document for some us is the advance directive for health care (health care power of attorney and “living will”). Let people know in advance what you want done when you can no longer make that decision. Give yourself a New Year’s present of Atul Gawande M.D.’s book “Being Mortal” as a way of provoking thought on end-of-life issues.
Finally, put all of this stuff together in one easily retrievable document which one of us calls his “little red book” a/k/a the “death/disability book” (actually, a red three-ring binder). This will allow someone you trust to easily retrieve all relevant information and documents in a quick and efficient manner when needed. To help you get started in that direction, take a look at the home page of our website (shown below), go to “questionnaires” on the right hand side and pick the one that fits your situation.
And, on that concluding sentence, have a happy and healthy new year.
Julian Gray and Frank Petrich are both certified elder law attorneys who practice in the Pittsburgh area at Gray Elder Law. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.grayelderlaw.com.