Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Self-Responsibility Starts with An "I"

“Take your life into your own hands and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”
—Erica Jong

In the following three scenarios what do the people have in common?

Josie is a woman in her twenties. She still lives at home with her mother who makes all Josie’s important decisions: how to spend her money, who to go out with, even what clothes to wear. Josie is anxious and depressed.

Matt ordered a new printer for his office. When it arrived he discovered it wasn’t compatible with his computer. "Those idiots," he ranted, "why didn’t they tell me this was the wrong printer."       

Sally and Jerry had a big fight. Now Sally’s tossing and turning in the bedroom while Jerry beds down on the sofa. Neither one is getting any sleep and both think the other should make the first move to apologize.

If your answer was “Hey, no one is taking any personal responsibility here,” you’ve got a good eye for human behavior.

Because what Josie and Matt and Sally and Jerry all have in common is a lack of self-responsibility that leaves them dependent, impotent and victimized. They’re caught up in blaming others for their problems and waiting for somebody else to come along and make their life right. Unfortunately, they’re going to have a long wait and be disappointed again, again, and again ... 

Some people tell us this version of good news: Your life is in your hands. You get to make the choices, elect the options and take the actions that come with self-responsibility. It’s through the door of self-responsibility that personal power and independence enter, often hand-in-hand, bearing gifts of confidence and self-esteem.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

10 Behaviors that Block Happiness

"If the purpose of marriage was simply to enjoy an infatuation and make me 'happy,' then I'd have to get a 'new' marriage every two or three years."

That's a quote from Christian author Gary Thomas in his book, Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?

But wanting to be happy is human nature! I was so disillusioned when James and I shared one tube of toothpaste after our wedding. I (and he) couldn't believe we would told each other we were wrong.

"Why are you squeezing in the middle? You are destroying my toothpaste."

"It's too slow to squeeze from the bottom! That's so dumb!"

Each of us were dumbfounded (because we never argued once in our three months of dating). To solve the problem, James quickly bought another toothpaste so that each of us can squeeze our own way. But I was still hurt.

Fast forward. Toothpaste is not an issue as we freely share one (while travel) or two tubes. At home, every time when mine is almost out, I would swap mine with his. When he finishes up his tube, I start a new one and give my crumbled up tube to him. It works. I feel loved.
Couples in counseling always tell me they argue about the littlest of things, and they don't like it. What they may not know is ...

10 Behaviors that Block Happiness
We all seek that elusive quality of “happiness.” Here are some things you can place your awareness on and STOP so you can be happier.
1. Impressing. What you have —your possessions, your accomplishments—don’t result in real relationship or lasting happiness.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Knowing Self, Knowing Others - The Secret to Win-Win Relationships

I will be giving three workshops (in Cantonese, Mandarin, English) in February on topics of communication and relationship. Here is the poster for the Mandarin workshop in Fremont.