Tag Archives: challenges

Want to change your world?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN


 We are going to change the world,” Bill Glasser told us. And the way we are going to change the world is to change how people think.                              

handholdingworld from Barnes Boffey’s keynote speech
WGI-US Conference- Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2015.

December 2012 the second major shooting massacre in US public schools occurred. I took this as my personal call to action to bring the ideas of mental health as a public health issue through Glasser’s Choice Theory psychology. This was the source to start Mental Health & Happiness. 

On November 5, 2014 we (WGI-US) launched this site and have posted a new blog every other day since then. (More than 600 blogs have been posted to date.) In January 2014 we started offering 21-day challenges where people are sent a new challenge 21 days of a 30-day month. These challenges teach people the ideas and principles of Choice Theory psychology including how to incorporate these strategies for improved Mental Health & Happiness.*

It is rewarding to hear all of the personal stories from so many people who are sharing their gratitude  and testaments of thanks. I am amazed and delighted to hear so many people who are working in prisons share how they are offering these challenges to prison inmates to improve their lives. People in private practice and counseling are also giving this website and these challenges as addendum sources to support and help clients in therapy. All of this has been extremely gratifying and rewarding. Dr. Glasser told us we could change the world by changing how people think. This website and the challenges are proving that this statement true.

Today, more than 20 months since the beginning of taking on this project an amazing thing has happened for me personally. What has amazed and surprised me is my own personal benefits. I am happier and mentally healthier today than I was before taking on this project!

Not only am I thinking about Mental Health & Happiness regularly as I contemplate a new blog to write, or a new challenge to offer, I’m also reading the blogs and embracing the challenges. Just as I fasten my seat belt every time I’m in a car, brush my teeth twice a day, make food and exercise choices that support my physical health every day I’m also making Mental Health & Happiness choices and exercises every day to develop, improve and maintain my Mental Health & Happiness!

I love it when a plan results in success.  The result of my daily choices changed and improved my life and my world! I hope you are experiencing the same kinds of result.

*You can now purchase these challenges as an ebook. Go to


My Ambition

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN 

The bear went over the mountain and what do you think she saw? She saw another mountain and what do you think she did? The bear went over the mountain. . .

rockyroadEver since December 14, 2012 I have been the bear going over the mountain to change how Mental Health & Happiness is understood and dealt with in this country and beyond. My ambition is to change the way we see, understand and deal with Mental Health & Happiness in ourselves and in others.

With the help of some dedicated and inspired colleagues and friends, we have been able to climb a mountain only to discover more mountains. We are not weary of the journey, nor are we slowing down even a little bit. There is much work we have done and there is even more work to do.

I want to remember, however, to stop along the way and take in the vista at the top of this mountain.

One year after launching this Mental Health & Happiness site this is what we have accomplished:

* A new blog is posted every other day, covering a wide range of topics on Mental Health & Happiness

* Since January 2014, people are signing up for Mental Health & Happiness challenges with a new challenge delivered every day (for twenty one days, then there is a seven day rest period followed by new challenges delivered).

* October 10, 2014, on World Mental Health Day we participated by offering a free virtual Mental Health & Happiness Summit that included twenty-four interviews with twenty-four experts around the globe. Over 1200 people participated.

* All of these interviews are available free online. Audio downloads of the interview are available for purchase.

We have people reading our blogs and participating in the challenges from all over the world. Our numbers continue to grow as friends and family share this helpful site with one another. There are others who simply stumble upon Mental Health & Happiness and like what they read. We also have folks who work in prisons sharing the blogs and challenges with prisoners, teachers sharing with their students from elementary level through college, and therapists and counselors sharing with clients. And these are the ones we know about.

As we start our next year dedicating our time, energy, work and passion into Mental Health & Happiness, this is what we hope to accomplish in the next year:

* Posting new blogs every other day will continue.

* New challenges will be delivered to those who are interested until we reach 365 total challenges written.

* Challenges will continue to be delivered to those who sign up.

* We will offer the 365 challenges for sale as book, an ebook to begin, for those who are interested in purchasing for themselves or as a gift.

* We will launch a monthly YouTube show including interviews with featured guests as well as panel discussions on Mental Health & Happiness to begin early in 2015.

*October 10, 2015 will be our second annual Mental Health & Happiness Summit

Want to be part of the team that is making Mental Health & Happiness a public health issue? Here are some things you can do:

* Tell everyone you know, love, and work with to go to www.mentalhealthandhappiness.com and sign up. Feel free to tell people that you don’t know, don’t love or don’t work with too.

* Contribute a blog. Need help? Contact me at parentdr@gmail.com

* Contribute a challenge. Need help? contact Kim Olver at kim@wglasser.com

* Give us names of people you would like to hear from on our YouTube show.

* Make a financial contribution, if you can.

* Keep reading the blogs, doing the challenges and sending us your feedback. We love hearing from you and knowing that what we are doing is facilitating a positive difference for you.

* Tell us how you want to help and what you want to do. We don’t want to restrict possibilities. If we are going to change how Mental Health & Happiness is understood on the planet we need everyone’s ideas and help.

Thank you for all for what you have done in making Mental Health & Happiness the success it is. Let’s not stop! There are plenty more mountains we need to climb. We believe It’s more fun and inspiring to do it together.

How is that working for you?

By  Dr. Ken Larsen

I was first exposed to Dr. Glasser’s thinking in the late 60s.  Someone had given me a cassette tape (remember those?) of him talking.  I can’t remember exactly his topic, but one major “take away” for me was the way he encouraged people to self evaluate.  He pointed out that it was OK to realize that some of what I was doing was not working and that it was OK for me to recognize that and make some changes.

We all face challenges and frustrations.  What Dr. Glasser helped me learn is that I had a choice in how I faced and dealt with those difficulties.

I came to realize that some of the ways I had learned to cope with life were not working.

And I came to see what was meant by “not working.”

We all have basic needs.

  • The need to love, be loved and to belong
  • To enjoy freedom to explore life’s possibilities.
  • To be free to have fun throughout life’s journey.
  • To have a sense that I can do worthwhile things.
  • To survive to live another day.

As I saw the ways that I was able to meet those needs, I could see that what I was doing was “working.”

As I saw the ways that I was not able to meet those needs, I had to recognize that what I was doing was “not working.”

quote3The first temptation was to find someone to criticize, blame and complain about how they were making me angry, frustrated, depressed or whatever unpleasantness I was experiencing as the result of not meeting my needs.

Then I had to learn that blaming and trying to change others wasn’t working to help me get my own needs met.

As I applied the process of self evaluation that Dr. Glasser recommended to achieving those needs, I came to some new insights into myself.  I had to recognize that I had to grapple within myself with old tapes and habits and dogmas that were no longer helping me move forward in life.

I realized that I had to learn some new ways that were more effective, that “worked” for me in helping me get what I wanted in life.

I also came to see that while learning new ways of thinking and acting, I had to let go of some old ways.

Just like playing draw Poker.  You have to discard the cards you don’t want before you draw new ones.





If you don’t know where you are going, you may already be there!

Dr. Ken Larsen

Life is an educational voyage from birth to greater life.  On this journey, navigation is critical.  If we don’t know where we are going, any road will do.

We have excellent navigational tools for our physical world.  From the basic compass, to maps and GPS, if you know where you want to go, it is easy to find the way to get there.

gpsI have found navigation in the realm of the mind and spirit to be a bit more difficult.

I’m going to share with you five open ended questions we can ask ourselves.  Answers to these questions can be one helpful resource for guidance on our journey.

The questions:

  • To whom do we owe what?
  • How much is enough?
  • Who owns the problem?
  • Compared to what?
  • Why or why not?

These questions take us to a cornerstone of living the mentally healthy and happy life.  That cornerstone is that the course of our journey that shapes our destiny is driven by our choices.   Our instinctive response to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” is to look outside ourselves.  The knee jerk reflex of criticizing, blaming and complaining is often our first response to life’s challenges.   We are learning that the direction we need is found within us.  These questions can be one way to access that internal power.  They can lead us to make the choices that are essential to mental health and happiness.

I am going to address each of these questions in a separate blog over the next couple of weeks.

As we go along  I’d like to hear from any of you with your thoughts on this process.  You can tell the rest of us about some of the navigational aids you use to help keep you on the path of  mental health and happiness.

Gifts & Challenges

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

I’m single by choice . . . just not my choice (Best line ever from a movie — thank you Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) Because of my single life there are many choices, challenges and obstacles that I face ALONE.

For instance, recently I moved from the east coast to Denver, the biggest leap I had ever taken since leaving home at age 18 and going to college. When I left home at age 18 however,  I entered a community of my peers. There were many other college students facing the very same challenge that I was. Now, many years later I was plopped into Denver where people already had established their life with their peeps, tribe, gang, or what ever you choose to call it.

If I had a mate, I figured to myself, it would be easier for me to go places, engage in activities, and hike in the glorious Rocky Mountains. Even if I never connected with another person, at least I would have my mate as my companion. Because I’m single I am reluctant to dive into these activities fearlessly. And because I have yet to establish my gang, I don’t have anyone I can ask to join me. I’m faced with doing things alone or not doing them at all.

These are the challenges I presently face in my life. What are yours?

Several years ago I learned something very helpful from a Montessori teacher. Her wise lesson keeps me from falling into a deep hole of self-pity or singing the blues longer than necessary. Let me share in the hope it may help you.

All people experience gifts & challenges in life. No one has a life filled with only challenges, one difficulty or hardship after another. Nor does anyone have a life filled with only gifts. Despite how it may appear on Facebook, no person is able, capable or living a life without bumps and disruptions with sad times and difficulties along the way.

Living a solo life as a woman “of a certain age”is a challenge. At the same time, this is also a gift. I get to do or not do what I want when I want. No one talks with me about money and the worry of money. At the same time, there is no one with whom to share my money plans and worries. Do you see how this may be both a challenge and a gift?

What are your challenges? What are your gifts? What are the areas in your life that represent both challenges and gifts?

Today is the perfect day for you to start counting these gifts and challenges to improve your Mental Health & Happiness. With your lists a perfect plan for improvement may emerge.