Tag Archives: choice

The REAL Behind Reality Therapy

By Mona Dunkin

It is mind boggling to think that neurological science asserts that one’s brain cannot tell the difference in reality and imagination. Suppose you open a drawer and a tarantula jumps out.   You scream, run or faint, etc., only to later discover that someone played a prank with a rubber spider.

In the same vein, the brain cannot tell the difference from past hurts and current thoughts about those past offenses. Continual musing over hurts of the past is as if one is reliving them now. Today. In real time.

Since all of our body works as an integrated whole, the emotions stay stirred up in mentally and physically unhealthy and unhappy ways.

And that affects our body. And here we go ‘round the mulberry bush – only it’s not fun.

Old school is mental health is for clients to get in touch with childhood traumas and other past hurts and work through them.  What are the results? The results may or may not drag yesterday into today. The results may or may not lead to little to no change.  The results may or may not give spurts of relief with long term staying stuck.

New school for mental health and happiness via Reality Therapy is to live today today. Don’t wallow in the past. Live in the NOW.

Delve into your creative system for the real you just waiting to be unleashed. You know the one. The one without all that baggage.

choiceEngage your free-will and choose.  You may or may not experience a deep sigh of relief.  You may or may not be able to move past the past.  You may or may not have an epiphany that ushers in mental health and happiness.

But here’s the amazing thing. You get to choose.  So be good to you.

Self-evaluate your results. Continue when effective. Regroup and re-plan when not so effective.  Live. Laugh. Love. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Or at least it is new school for those of us who have been blessed to learn about Dr. William Glasser and his amazingly simple strategies for blowing the (often referred to and seldom effective) common sense out of the tub and replacing it with personal responsibility.

“Telling it like it is…???”

by Dr. Ken Larsen

I was talking with a friend recently.  He was telling me about his holiday experience with his ex-wife.  He was describing how difficult it was for him to get along with her.  He finally “unloaded” on her, telling her that as long as he was with her, he could not be civil.

That word “unloaded” struck me.  I’ve thought about it over the past few days.  What is being “unloaded”?  I can only speculate that it was his emotional load of anger and anxiety that was being dumped on his ex.

honesty-compassion

In a way I believe this is a “normal” reflexive reaction.  When we are hurt, our first reaction is often retaliation.  We express that reactive retaliation by what we consider “honesty”.  In our culture there is a certain value placed on “telling it like it is”.  But aren’t we all tired of the bad feelings and turmoil and conflict that results from reactively retaliating to a real or perceived hurt?

The tragedy is compounded when we realize the instinctive retaliatory reflex exercised by nation states as a primary weapon in our foreign policy arsenal.   Most of our international conflicts are the result of a commitment to “if you hurt me, I’m going to hurt you right back.  Only more.  And harder.”

If this is an instinctive reaction, what can we do about it?  One thing that we can do is to use our “metacognition.”  To think about how we are thinking.  To ask ourselves “is retaliation the best way to respond?”  There is an old cliché’, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”  We may not be able to change the direction of conflicting foreign policy, but we can change the way that we respond and relate to one another.

One of the foundational bits of wisdom Dr. Glasser gave us is the question:  “Is what I am doing (or going to do) bringing us closer together or driving us further apart.”  He challenged us to realize that we have a choice.  Do we want to fight or do we want to seek understanding?  Perhaps in this coming election we can look for those candidates who are willing to explore alternatives to retaliation as policy.

Mental health and happiness cannot co-exist with hostility.  We need to be thoughtful in how we relate to one another, especially when confronted with conflicting emotions.  Are we just reflexive reactors or do we have the power within ourselves to choose a better response to one another?  Not easy, to be sure, but is it doable?  I think it is, especially if we accept that we can make progress even though perfection is a bit elusive.

I can choose to see clearly…

by Dr. Ken Larsen

focus1I can choose to see clearly.  I do this by how I focus my attention.  To focus is to see clearly.  When you look at these pictures you can see that the only thing that changes is how the picture is focused. 

All the pieces are there in each picture.  The pieces might represent our experience of life and our memories and perceptions.  They are all there.  It is important to recognize that we can choose which of those perceptions or memories we bring into the focus of our attention.

This shift in focus is a very important component of maintaining our mental health and happiness.

focus2We carry fearful images of what has happened or what we fear might happen.  Those images become part of our present perceived world which tells us how to interpret what is presently happening.  Here again it is a matter of focus.  We can focus on the fear driven images and produce more fear.  Or we can focus on what is actually going on and choose to respond to what is real rather than what is feared.

In my dental practice I would use this insight to help patients deal with their anticipated fears.  If I could get the patient to focus on what was really happening and report to me what they were experiencing, this shift in focus could override the anxiety producing anticipation of an experience that didn’t happen.

The first time I saw this shift in focus at work was when my young wife was in labor with our firstborn.   She gripped my hand and looked at me.  “What’s going to happen is going to happen.  The only choice I have is how I deal with it.”  That lovingly courageous insight deeply impressed me.

One bad habit that I continually am working to change is how I “pre-interpret” a present experience or an upcoming event.  It is easy for me to “awfulize” and anticipate a not so good outcome.  What I’ve learned to do is to shift my focus, realizing that there are no future facts, and “be here now” with curiosity and attention to my present experience of life, which in reality is all I have.  I can’t live in the past or the future.  All any of us have is the present fleeting moment. 

 

To understand or to be understood?

By Dr. Ken Larsen

Years ago I was in a workshop on relationships.  The speaker had us all stand up and pair off in twos, facing each other.  He then had us put out our hands in front of us so we could touch the hands of the person facing us.  He then told one of each pair to push against the hands of the other.  It didn’t take long for us to get the point he was making.  When you push, people tend to push back.

Then he told one of the two to stop pushing and to step back.  The other one fell forward almost into the lap of the one who stopped pushing.

Kind of a dramatic illustration of what might happen if we stop pushing in a relationship.

Sometimes it’s better to work on understanding the other rather than being busy trying to push to get the other to understand your position.

I think people do better when they are understood than when they understand.

sexinheavenDr. Glasser’s opening question, “What do you want?”  Is a strong move toward helping the other feel understood.

For those of you familiar with Christian scripture, do you think the woman caught in adultery felt understood?   The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, did she feel understood?

Many of you will recognize the prayer of St. Francis:

“…O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”

We have an opportunity with every encounter with another person to think about understanding or being understood.  It is a choice.  The choice we make will have an impact on our own mental health and happiness and on the mental health and happiness of the other.   Choose well.

 

 

 

 

Creativity & Madness

By Michael Rice, LISAC, CTRTC

The 1960 movie, “The Magnificent Seven” was a box office hit staring Yul Brynner, playing the role of Chris Adams, and Steve McQueen, playing the role of Vin Tanner.  In one of the scenes, actor Eli Wallach, playing the role of Calvera, a Mexican bandit who was terrorizing a Mexican town’s inhabitants, asked Steve McQueen:

Calvera: What I don’t understand is why a man like you took the job (freeing the town) in the first place, hmm? Why, huh?
Chris: I wonder myself.
Calvera: No, come on, come on, tell me why.
Vin: It’s like a fellow I once knew in El Paso. One day, he just took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him that same question, “Why?”
Calvera: And?
Vin: He said, “It seemed to be a good idea at the time.”

How many times have you found yourself having done something that afterwards you asked yourself, “Why the hell did I do that?”  Looking back on it, you are amazed that you would have chosen to have done such a thing.  Your thoughts might be:  “Boy, was THAT ever stupid,” or “I can’t believe I did that.”

I recall a time many years ago when I dove head first into a water fountain in the town’s roundabout while wearing a 3 piece suit.  I wasn’t in conflict or frustrated at the time.  I was merely under the influence.  Alcohol can make one really stupid. After landing on my head and sitting in a lot of water with blood running down my face, I never once thought it was a good idea at the time.  I just always wanted to do that after years of driving around that fountain for years.  However, I do recall thinking to myself after I did it, “What a (blanking) dumb thing to do.”But that’s not the kind of dumb choices I wish to describe.

I’m referring to the times when you were under extreme duress and felt like you had no place to turn.  A few examples might be:  Going through a divorce or breakup; losing a job with no prospects for work due to your age; the death of a child or some other loved one; feeling you can’t please someone who is putting demands or expectations on you; someone who is behaving in a way in which you disapprove; someone dear to you who is nagging, complaining, blaming, criticizing, threatening, punishing, or even bribing you to get you to do something they wanted you to do that you didn’t want to do or didn’t know how to do it.

The reason why you may have ever done something “crazy” was because, at the time, it seemed like a good idea.  When faced with a particular situation in which you have no prior experience, and after all your efforts to resolve it with all of the tools you have learned to use in the past have failed, you get creative. . .  you devise new ways to resolve your unhappiness that you have never used before.  Your unhappiness may be so frustrating that any new idea that you devise, regardless of how insensible it may be, seemed like a good idea at the time.  Everything you had tried, so far, was unsuccessful in making your perceived unhappy situation match the happy image of what you wanted in your Quality World.

When we run out of choices, we create new choices.  

Many times, we look back on those choices and say, “That was a really dumb thing to do.”  But at the time, in your frustration, it made perfectly good sense.  You had to try it.  You never thought of it before.   Maybe, just maybe, it would work.  Then to make it even worse when it failed, someone says to you, “Just what the hell were you thinking?” canstockphoto0527001

Being too embarrassed to admit to our perceived stupidity, we reply, “Sheesh.  I don’t know.  I must have been out of my mind,” to which the other person is more than happy to agree.  But now, we have an excuse.  We were temporarily out of our right mind and not stupid.

I am often asked, “what about those people who keep doing crazy things over and over, like Obsessive Compulsive behaviors, anxiety, depression, schizophrenic behaviors of hearing and seeing things that aren’t there?”  People do what works to ease their unhappiness, in some way or another, or they wouldn’t do them.  You just don’t see the how or the why of it.

These behaviors serve to ease their frustrations, even just a little bit, because they have learned that if they didn’t do them, their unhappiness and frustration would be much more intense than it is. Their seemingly crazy behaviors are the result of their creativity to find something that works.  All they know is that when they do them, they feel better than when they don’t do them.  Whatever their unhappiness or frustration is, it is something that is occurring right now, in this present time.  And if it has been a long term pattern of behavior, it will be found to have roots in an unsatisfying relationship with someone important to them.  Very few situations arise in our lives that lead to depression or anger that don’t involve conflict with someone important in our lives (including conflict with ourselves).

Remember your state of mind when you chose to do something that seemed like a good idea at the time that now, in retrospect, was totally out of character for you to have done?  More than likely, your frustration at that time didn’t last for any long term of several months or more and you got your senses back.  But think about the person whose frustration has been an ongoing for many months or perhaps years.  The behaviors that you see as mental illness in others are no different than the behavior you exhibited during your own frustration.  The only difference is that you may have found a more socially acceptable way to deal with it than they have.  While you may not hear voices, hallucinate, or shoot people, you may be depressing, anxieting, obsessing, bipolarizing, and/or resorting to drugs, alcohol, indiscriminant sex, gambling, or excessive spending.

Regardless of the behavior, it is still the result of a person’s creativity to deal with unhappiness and frustration of trying to control things that are beyond their control.  It will mostly be the result of an unsatisfying relationship with an important person in their life. When someone fails time after time to get their happiness needs met, they discover or create the first behavior that affords them some modicum of relief.

Once a person comes to the reality that there is nothing they can do to change another person and they eventually accept their situation as “it is what it is,” and by no longer trying to get what they can’t make happen; by no longer wanting what it is that they have been striving to make happen will they no longer have a need to rely on the behaviors they have developed to ease their frustration and unhappiness.

Who was/is the person with whom you were/are not having the relationship that you wanted to have when you jumped into the cactus patch?  You weren’t (aren’t) mentally ill.  You were/are not as mentally healthy as you could be. You were emotionally upset and seeking relief or resolution.  Since there is no medical, bio-pathological cause of what is being labeled as “mental illness,” there is no pharmaceutical cure for unhappiness.    Change what you want or change how you behave when you don’t get what you want.  There are no other successful or effective ways.

 

Why can’t I play the piano?

Dr. Ken Larsen

The simplest answer to this question is “I never learned how.” 

Our mental health and happiness depend to a great degree on our learned ability

  • to establish and maintain loving relationships
  • to regulate our emotional states.

There are many lonely people who have difficulty connecting to others in relationships.  I’ve come to believe that this may be because they never learned how.

There are many anxious, depressed people who seem unable to manage the difficult emotions that arise in ordinary life.  In many cases this is because they didn’t learn how.

playpiano

Attachment Theory, the study of early childhood formation, explains that children need a relationship with a caregiver, usually the mother, that is responsive to their needs and that is supportive in getting those needs met.  If this is working right, the child will grow with a basic trust in people and a certain level of security in our challenging world.  They will have learned what they need to know to form relationships and to deal with difficult emotional states.

If the early attachment patterns are difficult, non-responsive or erratic, the child will often grow up not having learned the skills needed to connect intimately or to manage emotional challenges.

For me, learning about the impact of early attachment patterns helped me understand my own behavior much better.  I gained insight into some of the challenges I face as an adult with relationships and emotional regulation.

Dr. Glasser tells us that our past has a strong influence on who we are today.  He also tells us there is nothing we can do about the past.  All we have is the ever moving “now” and the choices we can make to get what we want.

If we are troubled by our past what can we do in the “now” to get a better handle on life?

In a certain way, it’s kinda like recognizing that if I want to play the piano, I need to learn how.

There is no “one size fits all” formula to find mental health and happiness.

One insight that has come from studying adults with childhood attachment issues is the importance of simply making sense of their experience and how it is affecting their life.  It has been seen that if a person can formulate a coherent narrative of early life experiences that makes sense without assigning blame, progress can be made.  The person sees that new skills can be learned to overcome the maladaptive patterns from early childhood.

I’m sure you recognize that this is a vastly simplified overview of some dynamics of human development.  Fortunately there are many excellent sources of information for further study available in print and on YouTube.  One book that is particularly insightful and helpful is Dr. Dan Siegel’s “Parenting from the Inside Out.”

Now that we know why we can’t play the piano, let’s start learning what we need to know and do to get what we want in mental health and happiness.

 

 

 

You Made Me Do It

By Mike Rice, LISAC, CTRTC

If it rains, will the rain have an emotional effect on you?

Some of you may say, “Yes” and others may say, “No.”

Some may show emotions of anger, depression, disappointment, or even anxiety.  Others may welcome the rain and be happy, smile, or even be joyful over it.

Why the two different reactions?  It’s the same rain in the same city.

The difference lies with your perception of how the rain affects your plans or needs.  Personally, I love when it rains.  We get so little of it here in Arizona and it turns many things green and smells nice afterwards.

If your phone rings and you answer it, did the ringing make you say, “Hello?”  Have you ever not answered a phone when it rang?

When driving and you come to a stop sign or a red traffic light, did that sign or light make you stop?  Have you ever purposely run a red light or stop sign?

If you said “no” the phone didn’t make me answer it  and the stop sign/light didn’t make me stop, then you might be inclined to say that you were not controlled by those outside stimuli because you chose not to answer or stop . . . because you didn’t want to and you were aware of the possible consequences if you didn’t.  Your decision was a choice.

So why is it that when someone says something or does something that you DON’T agree with or like that you blame them for “making” you feel angry, disappointed, sad, or even fearful?  Conversely, why is it that when someone says or does something that you DO like you may react with laughter, happiness, or pleasure?  It all comes from within yourself based upon how you perceive the situation.  Is it meeting your wants and needs . . . or not?  If not, then you want to do something that will make the situation meet your wants or needs.  You take measures to control and change someone to do or believe what you want done or believe.  The other person didn’t “MAKE” you to try to control or change them.  You chose to do so.

How do you usually react when someone tries to blame, change, or control you?  Do you like it when that happens?  No?  Then what makes you think others will like it when you do it to them?

choice

When we get outside stimuli that matches what we want, need, or believe, we choose to react in a positive and cheerful manner.  I use the word “choose” because what some people may react to with positive cheerful behaviors may find others choosing negative and unhappy behaviors even though the outside stimuli is the same for both.  The only difference is the perception each person has about the outside information they received.  People can choose how they will respond.  If they want to feel miserable and unhappy and/or want you to know just how miserable and unhappy they are, they will show you with their behavior just as the happy and pleasant people would do with their different perception.

You, and only you, are the master of your emotions.  If you believe that others can control your emotions by the things they may say or do, you are actually giving up your own emotional control to someone else and giving them your power to control your emotions and behavior.

If you don’t want to feel angry or tense, or any other negative emotion, why would you choose to do so?  Choosing to remain happy or content is as easy as refusing to accept one’s offer for another cup of coffee when you don’t want any more.  It’s a choice.  No one is forcing you to have another cup just as no one is ever making you react in an unhappy manner except you.

We live in a world of criticism and judgment as well as those who will coerce us to do things we may not like or want to do.  They do so because they know we will give them our control.  If we don’t relinquish it, then they go away.  As the saying goes:  No one can walk over you if you don’t lie down.  You can’t control them and they cannot control you.  Allow others who think and behave differently than you to do and think as they please.  It is not your responsibility to change and control others to your way of thinking and doing nor is it the responsibility of others to, blame, change, or control you to their way of thinking and doing.

None of us can be all things to all people.  We cannot please everyone because we all have different wants and needs.  When someone blames, criticizes, or judges you without really knowing you, or if they don’t have all of the facts, their words and behavior are based on no more than their short-sighted perception and/or lack of information.  You will always have a choice on how to react to them.

Several years ago, when I was a married man, I had moved our family to AZ.  We purchased a home and bought a luxury car.  My wife wanted to drive the new car to the store so she asked me if there was anything that I wanted as long as she was out and about.  I requested that she get a jug of muriatic acid for the pool.  When she returned, I helped bring the groceries in and noticed the absence of the acid.  When I asked about it, she informed me that she had placed it  on the floorboard, behind the driver’s seat.

I shuddered to think what could have happened.  As I opened the back door of the car, my fears were confirmed.  The bottle of acid had fallen over and acid leaked out and had dissolved the carpet down to the bare metal of the floorboard.  When I asked her why she would place a bottle of acid in such a position as to ruin the carpet, she replied, “It’s your fault, not mine.”  Astonished, I repeated, “My fault?  How is it MY fault?”  She answered, “If you hadn’t asked me to get it, it wouldn’t have happened.”

In my dumbfounded expression to her response, I had a split moment to process what she had said.  It became clear to me, in that moment, that she was indeed correct.  Silly me for expecting her to have known better.

Before reacting to others, you may choose to give them more information and if this doesn’t work, you can always  (reframe your perception) decide that arguing or getting upset over the other person’s behavior or words are just not worth the effort or unhappiness and walk away or change the subject.  When discussing differences, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say or do going to bring me closer to agreement with this person or will it drive us further apart?”  One doesn’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to come up with the correct answer that will result in the least resistance and unhappiness.

If someone were to call you a horse’s ass . . . that is merely their opinion.  However, if three or more people call you a horse’s ass, you may want to start shopping around for a saddle.  If this offends you, I hope you didn’t hurt your feelings.

 

 

Choose Happiness

By Dr. Nancy Buck

Believing that happiness is a choice feels like something only happy people would say or believe. It’s easy to feel like you can choose to be happy when everything in your world is going well:

  • You are successful in school
  • You work at a job you love
  • You have family and friends who respect and love you
  • You have enough money in the bank to avoid an emotional worry spin when an unexpected bill comes due
  • You wake up feeling healthy and vital, looking forward to taking on life’s challenges

Oh, there are a million more examples.

When life is moving forward as you expected and planned, it is easy to believe that happiness is a choice.

canstockphoto22485059

But what about those times the person you love tells you they don’t love you anymore?

Or those times when you get laid off from your job, not because you weren’t good at it, but your employer says he is “down-sizing.” You may have been the best and most productive at work, but you still lost your job. And with this economy it doesn’t look like another job is coming your way for a very long time.

Or one of your kids gets sick and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

There are a million more examples of life’s curve balls. How can anyone believe that happiness is a choice when the unexpected happens, the things that are totally out of your own control? How can anyone choose happiness then?

Here are some answers that take you a step in the right direction:

  • Today, only eat the foods you love. Obviously if your circumstances don’t provide you with many or any choices, choose to eat food rather than starve. But if you are lucky enough to have plenty of food choices, only eat what you love.
  • Start looking for all of the things, circumstance, people and relationships in your life for which you are grateful. Is the sun shining today and you’re a person who likes sunny days? Be grateful. Did your children kiss you goodbye this morning before they left for school? Be grateful. Did you find your missing matching sock in the dryer? Be grateful. In fact you could make a list of all the things you’re grateful for today. See what the smallest thing is. What’s the biggest?
  • Spend some time in nature. If you live in the city where there are more buildings, cars and people than nature, find the city park and spend some time here.
  • Watch a sunrise or a sunset.
  • Search for the first start in the night sky or the last star in the morning sky. Make a wish.
  • Remember a time or a person or an event when you were happy. Ruminate on this thought for 10 minutes a day. Increase the time by 5 minutes every few days.

How will this help you with your big worries and woes? It won’t. But when you start small, choosing to eat only what you love, choosing to think more of the thoughts that nurture and emotionally feed you, you will eliminate some moments when you are stuck in your misery and unhappiness. When you start to make small choices you become increasingly aware that you can make choices. The more you do this AND learn to handle and deal with the big miseries of life, the more you are moving in a happier, mentally healthier direction.

You are making the choice to be happy.

 

 

 

The Pure expression of presence is love

Dr. Ken Larsen

I heard Tara Brach tell this story on one of her current podcasts.  I was so moved by the loving tenderness that I wept.  I’d like to share it with you.  Giving and receiving love is an essential part of our mental health and happiness.  We can choose, as this young man did, to set aside our reactions and make a choice to share life in the love we can give.

  “I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be thus from now on. The surgeon had followed with religious kissingfervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve. Her young husband is in the room. He stand on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? The young woman speaks, “Will my mouth always be like this?” she asks. “Yes,” I say, “it will. It is because the nerve was cut.” She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. “I like it,” he says, “It is kind of cute.” “All at once I know who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.”
― Richard SelzerMortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery

 

You make me so miserable!!!

Dr. Ken Larsen

miserable_kenDr. Glasser told us that we choose our own misery.  That’s just what a miserable person wants to hear, right?  WRONG!  When I ‘m miserable I want someone to blame.  I want to feel helpless and a victim of the fickle finger of adverse circumstances.  Something, someone OUT THERE is causing my misery and suffering.

The problem is whose behavior can I control?  If my suffering is caused by someone or something outside of myself, I am condemned to a prolonged period of suffering.  I am a victim.  No one understands me.  Poor me.

Please forgive my mocking tone as I make this point.  The hopeful message that Dr. Glasser was bringing us is that if we are choosing our own misery, we can choose something else.  If we stop criticizing, blaming and complaining about external causes, we can take responsibility for our life and our total behavior.   A good way to recapture the mental health and happiness that has slipped away is to look at what we can change, our behavior.

total-behaviorDr. Glasser talks about total behavior as the four wheels on a car.  The front wheels are what steer the car.  They are how we choose to act and to think.  The back wheels are often the result of what we are doing with the front wheels.  Our actions and our thoughts have an impact on our emotions and our physiology.  The evidence for this is conclusive.

The hard part is turning away from the misery that shelters us from responsibility.  It takes courage and determination.  To change our miserable feelings, we need to move away from the back wheels and work on what we are doing and thinking.  This can be as simple as taking a walk, and reading an inspirational account of someone who has overcome their misery.

I have had bouts of depression and melancholy many times throughout my life.  I have learned to pay attention to what I’m telling you here.  It’s hard to stay miserable and depressed when physically active.  I’ve learned to take a walk, ride a bike, go the club for a workout, call a friend.  Anything to shift the focus of my attention from the navel gazing “poor, poor, pitiful me” to something that refreshes my appreciation for the life that I have.

For many of us, this message is a review of fundamental insights from Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory.  It is good to review fundamentals from time to time to refresh the wisdom we have learned.