Tag Archives: Inspiration


When a dream dies, the heart aches.  The bigger the dream, the greater the pain; the greater the pain, the harder moving ahead becomes, the greater the dangers.

A better quote: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.
A WISER QUOTE: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit.
There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.    W.C. Fields

 A wise psychiatrist Charles Brenner listed what he called the Four Calamities of Childhood.  He used Freudian names which turned me off.  So I transformed them into the following.

  1. Loss of an object – think of Linus sitting by the drying waiting to have his precious blanket returned to him.
  2. Loss of power – think of Linus again having to give up his blanket to a stronger power.
  3. Loss of self-respect – follows naturally from a loss of power.
  4. Loss of love – love for the person taking away your blanket, your power, and your self-respect; loss of self-love because you feel less loved  when power and self-respect are weakened.

REALITY CHECK  These losses are Calamities of Adulthood and invade all the days of our lives.

SECOND REALITY CHECK  The Calamities of Adulthood join with past Calamities of  Childhood and both are strengthened and become more and more capable of locking us into despair or anger.


Losses must be mourned. The pain felt and the feelings endured until life goes on, differently, but hopefully you emerge from a loss stronger and have learned some important lessons.

It helps to know what to expect and to let yourself mourn.   Any loss starts the mourning process.  That process as applied to loss dreams:

  1. Denial – Continuing to pursuing dreams that have zero chance of coming true. Told never to sing outside of the shower, not allowed to sing in a church choir, but still showing up for American Idle auditions? Big denial.
  2. Breakdown of denial – Truth dawns, usually slowly, but sometimes with the power of tornado, the erupting force of a exploding volcano,  or the ripping apart of an earthquake.  And sometimes you just stand “dead in the water of regret.”
  3. Stage of strong feelings – Shame, despair, anger are the big three. You rage, you moan, you weep, you blame others, you blame yourself.  Regret and fear join in.
  4. Resolution - Accepting what is without the drama of the strong feeling stage and going on. The pain and strong feelings are remembered, but not felt in their original form.  Nor do they keep you from being immobilized. Hopefully, this leads to finding a new dream more realistic dream.

The process is not straight forward, but a back and forth affair. You face reality, then deny again; you hurt then suck it up; you are angry, then shamed; you stand dead in the water; you march forward head high.

Trouble brews when letting go of a loss gets stuck before resolution is reached.

Examples: The loss of the dream of finding a perfect love keeps you from loving again. Fear of hurt taking over. The loss of being a big star keeps you from doing all you can with all you have been given.  Anger holding off the possibility of making it to a new and more realistic dream.

The Mourning Loss Game plan: As with every emotional fitness game plan: Being aware of what you are feeling; naming the feeling of the moment accurately; measuring the strength of the feeling of the moment so you can keep it from bossing you;  self-soothing so you express what you feel wisely; then in time, going on by letting go of the pain, forgiving life, others, yourself,  and honoring your strength.  Not  an easy process, which is why this is a lengthy course.


You cannot keep your child from dreaming big and then falling hard.  I know, I tried my hardest when my youngest son dreamed of being the next Keith Hernandez – the Mets first  baseman when Dan was in Little League. Keith  won eleven consecutive Gold Gloves at first base, the most by … times with the New York Yankees for the second-highest total among first basemen at the time.  Dan had no baseball talent. He spent the most time of any of his team mates on the bench.  We tried to discourage him; we even considered not letting him play Little League, but could not bear to do so as he loved Little League and as with most children he believed with all his heart the dream would come true if only he kept trying.

Reality set in when puberty set it.  That often happens and announces a major step forward in the ability to think more deeply about things.  One year, Daniel announced, he was still going to pursue his dream, but he was realizing it was going to be very hard and mean lots of sacrifice.  He practiced more for awhile. Then came spring and he announced he was not going to try out for Little League.

“There are only 750 major league ball players and millions of kids like me. I’m not going to make it to the majors.”

Denial breakdown and lead to anger at us, “Why did you encourage me, when you knew I wasn’t good enough?”

A parent’s lot.

Sadder was that for a time he refused to even watch baseball games on televison, a previously happy pursuit.  He moved onto other things, and now enjoys baseball watching once again, but it took years for him to reach that stage.

Ironically, Keith Hernandez was never allowed into the Baseball’s Hall of Fame, probably a lost dream of his. He should have been but those in charge of the doorway there barred him for reasons of their own.

First Tip: Encourage dreams, but label each as a hopeful future plan. 

Second Tip: Encourage doing things for the satisfaction of doing, not rewards.

Third tip:  When the teen years are approaching have a family meeting to talk about dreams, hopes, trying your best, and reality. My book How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting will help with implementing this tip.

DAILY PROMPT   and relatedness to this post.   Cue the Violins: If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?

I would want Marching tunes most of the time as they invigorate, but when one of my dreamz dies, I would want some moody blues to help me weep my way toward a new dream.


All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.



Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.




Asking another to change is asking to win the lottery. Here are some ways to increase the odds in your favor. 

#feelingmanagement #parenting tips #emotionalintelligence

Think this is a long and complicated process?  It is.  How easily do you change a habit or the way you do things.  Change is difficult for most people. This might be a good time to learn and remember the revised Serenity Prayer.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.

When you are asking another for change and it becomes clear that person either cannot or will not change (often different sides of the same coin), you then need to think about your choices in terms of the relationship.  Change may not be possible, can you live with things the way they are?

parenting tips

Because children’s survival depends on pleasing parents a child often changes as parents want.  Not always, however as the terrible twos and terrifying threes show.   Still parents are charged with civilizing children: four rules matters and cover most things.

  1. Keeping everyone safe.
  2. Respecting others – manners matter.
  3. Respecting property.
  4. Respecting reasonable laws.

The first needs enforcing when the child starts crawling and walk. The second and third are best taught from three to six.  Reasonable laws are best taught along with safety. “The law says stop when the light is red, that keeps everyone safe.”

When the teens are entered,  the time has arrived to discuss what is a reasonable law and reasonable ways to go about seeking change.   And here is another revised Serenity Prayer, for parents of some teens.

God, grant me the serenity to accept that the only difference between teens and psychopaths is that most teens eventually change. The courage to smile around gritted teeth and ground the offender. And the wisdom not to smother anyone in their sleep no matter how tempting.


I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT - Golden Key: You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?

An endless money box.  Not because I put money above everything else. But because for the most part I have everything else.  Does not related to today’s post.   Live goes on.


All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.



Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.


How To Forgive Others and Yourself – Five tips

As a Jew this is the time of year to examine your behavior, seek forgiveness when you have failed go follow the right path, forgive others, and move forward.

Forgiveness quote

Emotional fitness thoughts

A guilty conscience is the first line of punishment. Forgiving others begins with realizing your need for forgiveness and examining your guilty conscience.  Why? Doing so connects you to what Judaism calls your  “Evil Inclinations.”

We all “Evil Inclinations”  These are the  selfish parts of each human that seeks personal needs without regard to others. Knowing our capacity for evil builds empathy, not just for yourself, but for those who do evil.

The second of the ten commandments prohibits  Idolatry.   The simplest way to think of the sin of Idolatry is to see it as “I Idolize I.”  I put my needs and wants above all others and do not care how others are hurt when I am seeking to meet my wants and desires.

Judaism’s  central premise of ethical  behavior is not to hurt others in ways you do not want to be hurt. The central mission of Judaism is the practice of Tikkun Olam, repairing the universe – trying to bring about a just and kind world.

Sins are not just personal faults or mis-doings according to Judaism.  On Yom Kippur all observant Jews will gather to confess not only their personal sins but all sins.  I have not murdered, but I will confess to murder; I will confess all sins whether I have personally sinned or not.

Why must I confess other people’s sins? Because when a member of the community sins, all in the community have failed, and therefore, all have sinned.

Emotional fitness tips

 Tip one: Make practicing forgiveness a daily exercise.  Here’s one of my Poster Coaches laying out an easy forgiveness exercise. It starts with forgiving yourself.

forgiveness exercise

 Tip two:  Find a community to support justice and mercy. We need justice in the world because evil takes over individuals and then evil individuals come together to overrule justice and kindness. We need a community because we need support in our efforts to practice justice and kindeness.

Tip three: Stay safe and keep other’s safe.  Forgiveness does not mean allowing yourself to be endangered or physically assaulted.

This is why I want  karate Peace Dojo’s to part of every educational facility. The world would be better if  all  students were taught what Peace Dojo’s teach.

Tip four: Grow both your self-awareness and your understanding of why others behave as they do. As one sage said, “To understand all is to forgive all.”

Tip five: Do not be swayed by evil beliefs dressed in fancy clothes. Here are five examples:

  1. Your parents, friends,  teachers, preachers, celebrities, journalists, politicians,  world leaders all speak the truth and nothing but the truth. Truth is in the eye of the beholder at least when spilled forth from a human mouth or pen or brain. You need to read oppositional points of view and even then your biases will often lead you to simple but not complete views of the truth.
  2. Things will make you happy: Despite all that the admen want you to believe, things cannot make you happy. Nor can winning the lottery, becoming a media star, being prettier, or having more money in the bank.
  3. You can have it all:  Just not possible. You can have lots, but no one has it all.
  4. You can just do it: Oprah says if she became a star anyone can. She lies. She demeans her talents and drive. She also sets a side luck meaning she had people who believed in her and she was in the right place at the right time. Imagine if she had been born before Lincoln freed the slaves.
  5. Follow your heart, your gut or your intuition.  Love is blind, murderers follow their guy, intuition only works some of the time. Marrying thought and heart, gut, intuition works best.

Stay STrong

At the moment of our death,  some say, our  lives flash before our eyes. Getting stuck in the viewing the evil we have done is my personal idea of hell.   We know deep in our hearts all we have done wrong.  Not just the stuff of our personal consciences which are dictated by our culture, our families, and our personal experiences, but the stuff  viewed by the eyes of the Creator, the Higher Power, or what most of us call our God.

One of the thoughts about Yom Kippur, is that is the day God judges humankind, but then leaves the throne of justice and sits on the throne of mercy.  From that throne forgiveness is given all who see they have sinned and seek to sin no more.

Knowing what matters and knowing that is being kind, makes forgiving all th more possible. My Mission and Goals E-book elaborates on that concept.

If you like this post share it with another.  That is practicing deliberate kindness which is another easy Emotional Fitness Exercise and the sublect of today’s Free Poster Coach.

As always, thank you for your support.




Word Press’s Post of the Day:   Howl at the Moon - “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

Yes, I howl at the moon, but I try to remember what matters and to behave accordingly.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.


How To Tell Fact From Fiction – Five Tips

Thinking about personal ideas of “what is” versus reality  improves self-awareness, a key #emotionalintelligence skill that  grows as you grow.

Life's hard, grow up

Growing up means seeing what is, not what we hope is. Many of us fail to make that leap.

Emotional Fitness thoughts

Once survival is assured, most human behavior gets driven by  the quest for pleasure. We follow our heart and its desires.   What does that mean in terms of our thinking?

The pleasures found in  certainty and control often distort our ability to code reality accurately.  Every human being wants  a predictable world that allows individual control. The more control, the more peace of mind, the more pleasure.

However, the real world is not predictable. Some people win the lottery, others die suddenly in accidents;  disease ravages, lightning strikes, and people betray. Moreover, as much as we like to think our prayers or thoughts or actions control such things, we control little.  We don’t direct lightning strikes.  We can do everything right in a relationship and be betrayed.  Disease comes unbidden. We all age and die.

These are brute facts and cause mega doses of uncertainty and pain.  The creative source that made our world wisely introduces us slowly to the uncertainties and hardships of life.  Why?

Life is a marathon, a long trip down roads of pleasure and pain.  We need to develop lots of  emotional strength before we can bear seeing what is instead of what we hope is. .

Our brains develop slowly in the ability  to see reality. Children eagerly believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Ghost and Goblins. Then  about the age of seven or eight, their brains change; they better code reality and some wonder why adults lied to them.

Another big shift awaits some, but not all.  That shift expands  thinking based on  personal experience and what is in the world around you. How?

By allowing you to come back to the magic of childhood, but in a different way. The child who believes in fairies, ghosts, or goblins thinks these are real.

One such child, told his parents “A little man lives in the traffic lights and turns them on and off.”

Once the child gives up magical thinking, he or she gets stuck in thinking only about what is. Such a child cannot think about what might me.  The child who moves to next big brain shift knows such things are not real, but also that some could be.   The  world of the invisible or mysterious or seemingly impossible becomes possible. Why many teens become fascinated with the occult. This final stage is called abstract thought.

If you are a parent, when your loving pre-teen suddenly turns against you, particularly when in public or their friends are around, abstract thought plays a part. How?  You are now being compared against imaginary parents that are perfect. In time, hopefully, the child will realize no parents are perfect and theirs were probably good enough or better.

Back to tips for coding reality.

EMOTIonal Fitness Tips

Tip one: If it is too good to be true, it isn’t.

Tip two: If it feels good, it might not be.

Tip three:  If it is a sound bite, it is selling you a bill of goods. Always follow the money and see who is trying to sell you what.

Tip four:  You can never know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Tip five:  The more views of something, the more truth might emerge. As one pundit said, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” meaning know them better.  The more you read of opposing views about your beliefs, the more you might get a glimpse of the truth.


When it comes to acting on beliefs, two things matter. Those things? Safety and kindness.

With all the talk of believing  the best in others and yourself, bullying gets ignored.  So always stay safe, which is why I think the best things school could to to fight bullying is to hire Peace DoJos as physical education and health teachers and why I am for reasonable gun carry laws.

Harness safety with kindness; brain with  heart, and intuition with thought; that is the path to properly coding what is.

Finally, the kinder you are the more you learn about another and yourself. Never think you know all about another person, for you do not even know all about yourself.

Thank you for all you do. Please share this if you found it helpful. You will be practicing kindness for you, me, and  hopefully some others.




Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.


Word Press’s Post of the Day: The Great Divide When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

As noted above I think all we read is fiction at one level or another. I do read what I call get away novels most mysteries, but I also like to read historical novels that bring me to another world and add to my understanding of all worlds.

 Image found on rabbipaul.blogspot.com