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Monthly Archives: June 2004

Why do people volunteer?

Have you ever volunteered for anything? Run a program or service that uses volunteers? If so, read this great article on the underlying motivations for people who volunteer. Obviously, it isn’t for the money. Oh yeah, watch out for motivation #6.

Read more here: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/members/journal_issues/cd/cd8507.

“Aristotles Challenge”

“Aristotles Challenge”

Anger Thought: The famous philospher Aristotle once said: “Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.” Sounds like an impossible task doesn’t it? To some degree, it is. Perfection is not the goal in meeting Aristotles Challenge. The goal is one of process, doing small successful steps over time. While it won’t be easy, it is possible!

Anger Action Plan: Break down Aristotles Challenge into five parts: Right Person, Right Degree, Right Time, Right Purpose, and Right Way. Choose one area to work on per week. What is one thing you can do to manage your anger in this area over the next seven days? Are you expressing your anger to someone who can do something about the problem you are dealing with? Is it possible to be less angry with something or someone rather than more angry? Is there a more appropriate time to express your anger than other times? Are you expressing your angry for the right reason and is the amount of anger justified by the situation or person? Is it possible to be angry in a way that the other person can receive it constructively or with less defensiveness? Take on each smaller challenge for one week over the next five weeks and evaluate what worked for you on the sixth. Start over again using your personal evaluation to guide you for the next five weeks and so on…

Anger Tools: Get a free ecourse at http://angertoolbox.com/ecourse.html

“Bodily Clues” Your Angry!

“Bodily Clues”

Anger Thought: Where do you feel anger in your body? Have you ever noticed what kinds of sensations anger causes in your body? Do you suffer physically as a result of getting angry? Many people experience visceral sensations of heat, cold, numbness, tingling, and even pain as a result of being angry. When someone gets angry, people will comment: “His blood was boiling”, “Her face turned beat red!”, or “He nearly split a gut.” Anger has a physical and emotional component to it. Becoming aware of how anger affects us physically may provide us with clues to the source of our anger.

Anger Action Plan: List the areas of your body that have a physical manifestation of anger. If you have difficulty identifying any areas, ask those closest to you for feedback. What might these areas symbolize to you about the nature of your anger? For example, the head is the seat of thoughts and plans. The shoulders can carry the weight of the world. Your legs are designed to run from danger or leap into action. Your arms and hands reach out to embrace or cling. Your back or spine keeps you steady. Your feet keep you grounded. Play with various bodily metaphors and see if it provides any insight into your anger.

What do you do with the anger you feel? Get help with our 7 day ecourse…send a blank email to angertoolbox@getresponse.com

Children’s Book request by author

I am forwarding info from a writer who is looking for stories by children for children. He was referred to me by a friend so I believe him to be legit and not some wierdo:

We are publishing a book of stories written by young people for young
people. It’s about the challenges young people deal with: friends,
popularity, family problems, social pressures, and trauma including
divorce, abuse, and family loss.
Kids can help other kids by sharing their stories. All stories will
anonymous. For more information go to http://michaelkaye.fastmail.fm/
and click on Flyer for kids.doc. Submit your story or questions by
e-mail to michaelkaye@fastmail.fm or by calling 559-455-7007.

Ron Huxley


Anger Thought:

Research has demonstrated that chronically angry people over emphasize winning. It doesn’t matter if the subject matter is a game, work activity, or a relational issue – they want, even need, to win. One explanation for this is placing personal value on the outcome of the game or task. Following this course of thought, chronically angry people tend to see others as competitors. They also tend to perceive others people as more “hostile” than they really are. As a result, angry people can be unsympathetic to the losses of others, may want to take charge of every detail, have difficulty staying focused on “irrelevant” information, and want revenge or, at least, a rematch, when they lose. Probably the biggest reason that angry people over emphasize winning is that they get a lot of reward for winning despite any aggressive means toward that end. These results create an internal sense of power that makes letting go of anger difficult.

Anger Action Plan:

What have been the costs of winning in life for you? Was it worth the sacrifices and hurts you endured or caused for others? While you can’t go back and rewrite history, you can make a commitment to changing the rest of your life. Make a personal inventory of your work and relationships. How are you trying to win in them? Take a closer inspection at others “hostile behaviors.” Are they really trying to win and is there a win/win solution possible for both of you? What do you really gain or lose by winning against them?

Anger Toolbox: Get more tools to manage anger and aggression here!

Anger Management Myth: “Let it out!”

Anger Thought: “Let it out!”

There is a common myth in American society that states: “If you let it out, it goes away.” Fortunately this is not reality! Letting it all out or venting can cause more damage in your life. Hitting the wall, screaming our frustration, or even always speaking your mind just results in hurting our bodies and our relatoinships even more. There is the “softer side of venting”: exercise, counting to ten, or journaling While these softer approaches can be an effective way to calm our emotion flooded minds and allow us to think more rationally but it does not “manage” anger. That is because venting, in either form, doesn’t focus on the problem that started the anger in the first place. That requires a change of behavior on our parts.

How have you used venting to cope with anger? Have you helped or hurt yourself/others? What needs changing, in your life, that anger is trying to help you identify?

Anger Action:

Take a moment to identify an anger-producing situation in your life. Take an even harder look at what YOU need to change regardless of what others are doing to you. What one thing can you do today to redirect your life and manage anger? If necessary, consult with a professional to help you take this first step.

Anger Tools:

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Archimedes: The lever and the fulcrum

Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

Wow, what a powerful statement. This is a person with an extreme sense of his own abilities and the desire to execute them. I doubt failure or the fear thereof was a problem for old Archimedes!

What about you? Do you have this type of vision and strength of will? As I work with people on developing their creativity I find that very few do. They are burdened by perfectionism and the fear of failure. They downgrade their own abilities and if something creative does happen in their work or life, they blow it off as happenstance or accident.

Archimedes was mathemetician and scientist. He saw the world in a mechanical way and looked for solutions that were based on scientific and mechanical principles. This is why he used the “lever” and the “fulcrum” as metaphors. Take some time to deliberate on how you see the world. What metaphors do you use to describe problems and their solutions? Do you look at challenges from a mechanical view, like Archimedes? Do you see the world in terms of organic growth, much like a gardener? Do you look at life from an artist viewpoint, in terms of color, shape, or movement?

Regardless of your world view, Archimedes idea of the lever is an interesting one. According to Dictionary.com a lever is a “simple machine consisting of a rigid bar pivoted on a fixed point and used to transmit force, as in raising or moving a weight at one end by pushing down on the other.” Extend this metaphor do your circumstances. What weight do you need moved? How can you find leverage on which to pivot your attitude or behaviors and transmit force? Do you need to “raise” or “push down” on this lever to get movement in your life?

The definition of a fulcrum is also interesting. The same reference defines it as the “point or support on which a lever pivots.” What I find curious is the use of the word “support” here. Support systems are an important part of our life. The more support we have, the better we solve problems and/or endure them? I remember working with an adolescent chemical dependence group. We explored their support systems and found that very few had positive people to rely on or turn to in times of trouble. Most of their support people were addicts as well and only helped to destroy their recovery. Who would you consider to be your support? Are they people whom you can leverage success and happiness? If not, find some!