Category Archives: Positive Psychology

“I’d Like To Dedicate This To…” (Quix Tip)

Imagine how different your work day would be if at the beginning you dedicated your day to someone, in their honor, or for their benefit. How would that change how you move through your day? How would that change your tasks, your interactions? This spirit of giving is a link, a connection to get us out of our own shoes. Perhaps you’d like to imagine the customer that will enjoy the final product that you have a hand in creating, even if what you do seems removed from that final user experience.

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Quix Tip: Free Your Stuff

“A man there was, though some did count him mad, The more he cast away, the more he had.” – John Bunyan If you or someone you know is having a hard time getting rid of things, here are three steps to take: Fill just one box with things you haven’t used in a year. Imagine someone out there in the world happily putting to good use the objects that are dust collectors in your closet. Drop them off at Goodwill or Salvation Army (during business hours!) The next step is to keep at it, simplifying and organizing. As Katharine Fullerton Gerould said, “Simplicity is an acquired taste. Mankind, left free, instinctively complicates life.” So it’s a dance you dance throughout your life. For example, think of the paperwork out there – remember when computers arrived and we thought we were in the dawn of a paperless society? Paper consumption has gone up – it’s perhaps a little too easy to hit the ‘Print’ button. Statistics have shown that 80% of all papers filed are never looked at again and 50% of all filed material going to storage has no retention value.

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Quix Tip: 5 Excellent Reasons to Walk

 “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir 1 – Your inner health Wallace Stevens said, “Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” We all experience moments in the day that are extremely challenging. Taking a break from them and re-gathering your energy can really help to change your perspective and regain your sense of humor when faced with the foibles of the human comedy. 2 – Your Physical health Walking at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism. Walking an hour a day is also associated with reducing your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and stroke. Studies have shown that people using a pedometer walk an additional mile each day. That adds up! 3 – Your wallet If you walk more on small errands or even walk to work, you’re saving gas money, along with making a health investment for your future. As you build up your walking practice, remember what Steven Wright said, “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” 4 – Your powers of observation John Burroughs said, “To find new things, take the path you took yesterday.” If you have a daily practice of walking you’ll be amazed at the small changes you can daily and weekly see in the nature that you walk through. 5 – Your innovation Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” When you pull your nose back from the glass, you get a fresh perspective. Fresh air and sunlight are both food for the brain. Remember, Velcro was invented because someone went for a walk.

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Quix Tip: Give Gratitude

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  – Thornton Wilder 1. Tell someone five things you’re grateful for that happened this day/week/month/year. 2. Ask them to tell you five things they’re grateful for. 3. Tell someone (in person if possible) why you’re grateful for them specifically – tell them the positive effect they’ve had in your life. 4. Notice how you feel after giving your gratitude.

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Quix Tip: Soundtrack

Think of a project that you’re going to work on today or this week that you’d like to energize. Picture yourself in action, completing the hard work as if you were in a movie. What kind of music would you like to hear playing if you were the director? What songs best fit this dramatic, exciting scene? Play that song list, album or radio station that will help you perform at your best.

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Quix Tip: At Your Best – Back to the Future

Think about your life in the future.  Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could.  You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals.  Think of this as the realization of all your life dreams.  Now, write about what you imagined.” (From the work of psychologist Laura King, this positive view of your goals has been shown to improve goal clarification, give a sense of control and boost psychological well-being.) Set aside 20 minutes for this.  If you’d like, repeat the following day.

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Quix Tip: Connect With Another Generation

1. Pick someone you know that’s from a different generation. 2. Have a conversation with them about their generation and find out what’s important for them and their peers. What are their passions, cares, fears and dreams? You may find the Generations Guide helpful as a conversation starter. 3. Tell them about your generation and where you uniquely live within that generational ‘neighborhood’. The sincere attempt to connect and better understand another person trumps the actual knowledge gained. Devote most of your energy to strengthening the connection you have with the other person. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Generations Give – Teams adopt elders in need and create customized care packages for them.

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Quix Tip: Get Connected With Nature

The more we know about something or experience something, the more we care about it. Poignancy increases when you have a direct relationship with someone or something experiencing a tragedy or triumph. Getting connected with nature will help you immensely as you go green and deepen your level of caring and responsibility for the environment. Go for a walk today. Take a moment on the walk to slow down your busy mind, relax into the deeper rhythm of the nature around you. Even if you’re in suburbia or an office park, there is life everywhere. And this is a wonderful month to notice large and small changes. Let that quieter rhythm inform the rest of your day. Ask a friend to come with you on a walk tomorrow. Next Step – Two Wheels! As the weather permits, try getting out on your bicycle and enjoy the free, playful feeling you remember having as a kid. “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”  ~H.G. Wells

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Quix Tip: Grow What’s Essential

1. Notice how nature around you is orienting toward what is most essential. 2. Let the mind come up with a laundry list of To Do items that are important for your life success. 3. Tuck those cares and worries away for another day and re-orient toward your true essence. 4. Look for the seed in you that is most you, waiting in darkness. 5. Gently tend this essential seed of you at your best for 40 days. 6. Patiently watch what grows and will spread its branches against a future sky.

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Where Does this Gift of Inspiration Come From?

In our day, bright moments often occur – when we’re suddenly inspired, when an idea or a solution to a problem comes to us out of thin air, a mysterious gift. Here’s how Lewis Hyde explains that process: “The gift leaves all boundary and circles into mystery. The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not a solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible.” We may respond by getting a new perspective on a challenge we’re facing, or summoning the energy or inspiration to create our own unique work of art after interacting with someone else’s gift. Lewis Hyde says of this stage, “Through it we can give more than we were given, say more than we had to say.”

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