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The official blog of familyWORKZ™

August 25, 2009

The Value of Time

Filed under: Couples,Families,parenting — Tags: — admin @ 11:21 pm

Values are beliefs that influence people’s behavior and decision-making tendencies. That which is important in our lives, directly and silently guides our actions.

At one level, on the surface, we know what is important. It is likely our children, our family, our spouse, or our pets come to mind. Yet, at a much deeper level, when we are pressured or stressed, that which is most important is not readily reflected in our actions or behaviors. Under stress, our kindness toward those we most value interestingly diminishes. This conflict illustrates one of our uniquely human frailties – selfishness. That is, while “others” are highly valued most of the time, when things get tough our minds rapidly retreat back to our “self.”

Don’t beat yourself up if this is happening to you. Instead, take a breath, examine your values, and then ask yourself,” What am I willing to do about this situation?”

If you experiencing a conflict between your stated values and your actions, then reflect on The Value of Your Time. This is done by becoming more conscious about how your values and time collide. Here is an exercise to rebalance yourself.

Exercise: Over the next week, consider your values (e.g., work, important relationships, leisure time activities, community, family, spirituality) and ask where you are willing to DEVOTE MORE TIME, DEVOTE LESS TIME, and DEVOTE THE SAME TIME. By doing so, it is likely you will be more “in-control” of your values, rather than being “controlled” by time.

August 4, 2009

Tough Times, Tough People & Tough Issues

Filed under: General psychology — Tags: — admin @ 3:24 pm

Being tough on issues and tender on people is tricky stuff. Learning how to have a difficult conversation with an otherwise reasonable person or having an otherwise reasonable conversation with a difficult person requires the willingness to “get out of our minds” and begin thinking about the situation in a way not previously considered.

If we stay in our usual minds, the problem doesn’t go away. In fact, more often than not, things get worse. Why? Because our default way of dealing with problems, likely emboldened by evolutionary thrust, is to make the other person the problem rather than making the problem the problem.

If you needed to think twice about this last thought, then you likely had a moment when you were out of your mind. This is not bad place to be. In fact, it is where we do most of our best learning. Unfortunately, when our minds already have made up their minds, then they close down, no longer being interested in learning anything new. Who knew?

When you strike tough times with a tough person involving a tough issue, dare yourself to have a second thought instead of remaining hyper-focused on the first thought that came to your mind.

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