Make Something Beautiful

Posted by Dianne on Mar 10, 2014 in Blog, Social Audiences | | Comments Off on Make Something Beautiful

It doesn’t matter if you enjoy flower arranging, woodworking, painting, or origami; making something beautiful feeds the soul.

Making something beautiful pays tremendous dividends for me. I don’t make crafts regularly, just when I’m on vacation or I need a lift. When I make a piece of jewelry or a floral arrangement, I enjoy the process as well as the product. I feel creative and satisfied. And I enjoy those feelings all over again whenever I look at my creation.
 
Keep in mind that making something beautiful is a very individual thing. When I shared this technique with Denise, a busy lawyer, she said, “Making a craft would feel like more pressure to me! When I want to unwind I would rather cook or bake something.”
 I am impressed to pieces that Denise bakes pies from scratch. I have never done that in my life and would be completely overwhelmed to try it.
When my daughter was growing up, she would sit down at the piano at stressful times and play for half an hour. That’s a talent she did not inherit from me, so trying to play piano would not relieve stress for me.
 So remember, making something beautiful is not only in the eye of the beholder; it could be in the nose, fingers, ears and taste buds!

Learn to Say No

Posted by Dianne on Mar 9, 2014 in Blog | Tags:, , | Comments Off on Learn to Say No

You can do some good and you can avoid some evil. You cannot
do all the good that needs to be done in the world and
you cannot avoid all the evil that will befall you.
~ Rev. Henry Beck

 Here is a tip that I learned from a two-year-old: Learn to say “No.” One of the first words most people learn, “No” can do for you now what it did for you when you were two—give you some control. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the demands on our time, talents, and resources both at work and in your personal life. You can also be influenced to do things that are not in your best interest when people appeal to your sense of duty.

A very bright young college student, majoring in engineering, excelled in her studies but was very unhappy. She finally revealed she didn’t want to be an engineer. She admitted being persuaded to major in engineering by the many messages she had heard from well-meaning advisors.

“People told me, ‘We need more Americans in engineering, we are falling behind other countries.’ They said, ‘We need more women in engineering. It shouldn’t be a male-only field.’ So I thought that if I ‘could’ do it, I ‘should’ do it.”

She changed her major to music, using another talent with which she was blessed. She still worked hard and excelled in her studies but enjoyed college much more. Choosing a major is only one area where you can get pressured into doing things you ought to refuse. There are many sources of unreasonable pressure.

Consider the high expectations that often accompany the responsibilities and commitments on our plates. Volunteering is a good thing. But, as beneficial as volunteering is, it is easy to overdo. Some people who volunteer get sucked into volunteering for everything. Mothers seem to be especially vulnerable. Many children’s activities depend on volunteers, from school to sports teams, to religion or Sunday school classes, to scouting. If your child participates, you will be asked to volunteer.

It’s OK to say “No” to some of those volunteer requests. If you have more than one child and each child has several activities, you understand how demands on your time can get out of hand. You not only are required to transport your children to all those activities, but you will be asked to help with many of them. You could spend so many hours volunteering that your happiness would be beaten down by exhaustion.

A very wise man, Rev. John Catoir, presented the keynote address to a volunteer organization to which I belonged. He shared the quotation by Rev. Henry Beck that began this article. The words “You cannot do all the good that needs to be done in the world” have stayed with me ever since. He went on to explain that generous people who are eager to help others sometimes begin to do more than their share because they see so many worthy causes. Keep in mind that as worthy as any cause is, you can’t personally fix everything.

Catoir recommended doing only those good deeds that you can do joyfully. Permission to skip some of the worthy volunteer activities takes a lot of pressure and guilt off one’s shoulders. Similarly, when considering your response to a new career opportunity, you need to be realistic about the work-life balance that allows you to be happy and effective at work. Accepting greater responsibilities won’t further you career if you find yourself unable to deliver on expectations.

How do you go about saying “No?” Take a page from my Uncle Pat’s book. He was a man of many talents and always willing to help in the community. But even Pat had his limits. Being pressured to serve as an election judge, he explained that he had no vacation days left and couldn’t take the day off work.

“But we need you!” the caller protested. “There’s no one else who can take your place!”

Pat was unconvinced. “I could step out in front of a bus tomorrow and be long gone before the election. What would you do then?” he asked.

“Well, in that case, I guess we would have to get somebody else,” the caller reluctantly admitted.

“That’s the answer!” Pat was triumphant. “Get the guy you’d get if I died!”

The next time you find yourself with a full plate and someone asks you to do one more thing, think of Uncle Pat. Then say, “I’m so sorry – you’ll have to get the guy you’d get if I died.”

[Caution: Don’t try this line on a boss with no sense of humor.]

 

Two New Chances to Make Your Life Better

Posted by Dianne on Mar 9, 2014 in Blog, Happiness | Tags:, , | Comments Off on Two New Chances to Make Your Life Better

I am so happy to share the news that I have new programs to present for you. I really should say one brand new —  “Happiness is Contagious – Become a Carrier”and a major update to “Ice the Burnout.” They are described below. Please contact me to book a date. I love sharing my happiness message!

Happiness is Contagious – Become a Carrier

No matter how happy you are today, science has proven that you can improve your happiness level. Dianne Morr presents a program teaching habits that can be cultivated to make you happier on a daily basis. “Happiness is Contagious” is based on Dianne’s book Choose Happy, 25 Happiness Habits to Transform Your Life. This program is appropriate for businesses, associations, and community and social organizations. Depending on the interests and needs of the audience, Dianne teaches specific easy practices you can incorporate into your life. She has personally tested dozens of techniques for increasing happiness and speaks from experience.

People in all walks of life face overwhelming stresses and financial pressures that tend to decrease their sense of well being. This program presents an antidote in the form of a fun interactive experience that also delivers solid learning about free enjoyable activities that scientific studies have proven to make people happier and less stressed. Once you have shored up your own happiness, you will find it almost effortless to spread that good feeling with those around you.

This presentation is illustrated with slides of colorful photos and whimsical line drawings. Audience interaction and spontaneous humor provides laughter and an upbeat atmosphere.

 

Ice the Burnout

If you are alive and awake, you have stress. If you deal with the public, you are meeting with stressed out people every day. Have you noticed they get cranky? Dianne Morr’s “Ice the Burnout” program takes a look at the situations and conflicting demands that bring stress into everyone’s daily lives.

  • Rocky economic climate? Check!
  • Increased demands to be more productive at work? Check!
  • Loved ones you want to nurture and support? Check!
  • Time for yourself? What?!
  • Stress? You bet!

Dianne has faced them all. With warmth, understanding, and gentle humor, she can show you the way to subtract some stress and add some happiness to achieve more balance in your life. Sharing her own stories she teaches healthy, practical steps to start enjoying life in the now. Dianne’s “Ice the Burnout” program provides a new twist on combating stress before it turns into burnout.

Based on techniques scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase happiness, this presentation includes easy practices you will want to add to your daily life. Her interactive program reinforces your resiliency, helps identify your most effective stress busters, and emphasizes the importance of self-care to increase satisfaction in your work and your life. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to claim the happiness you deserve and share it with the important people in your life.

Celebrate You!

Posted by Dianne on Feb 28, 2014 in Blog, Social Audiences | Tags:, , | Comments Off on Celebrate You!

If you are like most people you were taught to be humble. Everybody’s mom seems to have delivered the same message: “Don’t brag. Don’t call attention to yourself.”  So most of us find it easier to notice the people around us and celebrate their talents, accomplishments, and victories. Here is some good news for those who can’t unlearn those early lessons. (Hi Mom. Sorry Kids.) It is possible to celebrate your own gifts and achievements without turning into an obnoxious braggart.

Ta-Da. Start with creating a Ta-Da list every day that you want to, (I would say every day, but I know that adding another “Should” to every day does more harm than good.) Check out this blog for details on a Ta-Da list.

Buddy up. I’ll bet you know at least one person—your best friend, spouse, parent, child, coach—who is thrilled to hear about and celebrate your victories. If you have any doubt about how welcome your news would be on an ongoing basis, just ask. You might arrange an agreement to be mutual celebrators for each other’s good news.

Give Yourself Credit. A lot of us overvalue things that other people seem to do effortlessly and undervalue things that come naturally to us. If you are like most people you may think that your are no big deal because what you do is easy. Surely those things are just easy for everyone, right? Wrong!

We all have unique and wonderful gifts that ought to be appreciated. While you are admiring your neighbor’s beautiful roses, she may be wishing she had your financial savvy. Gee, we might even be able to use our natural talents to help each other.

Be grateful. It’s extremely rare that your accomplishments occur without assistance from anyone else. Do you owe a debt of gratitude for inspiration, assistance, encouragement, instruction, connection, introduction. Acknowledge and express gratitude for your God-given talent and for any assistance that lead to your victories. Be sure to write them in your gratitude journal and express them directly to the people who encourage and support you.

Tell me. I will be happy to celebrate your successes with you! Enter your good news in the comments section and we will all give you a Woo Hoo!

Cherish Your Relationships

Posted by Dianne on Feb 13, 2014 in Blog, Love | Tags:, , | Comments Off on Cherish Your Relationships

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When asked to name the treasured elements in their lives, most people name family or friends, and with good reason. A good friend or steadfast loved one stays with you in life’s bleakest moments. If you lose your fortune, your looks, your status, or your health, the people in your life can comfort and encourage you and help you enjoy your life in spite of your misfortune.

One of the things that I appreciate most about my friends is that they love me in spite of my flaws. They often hold me in higher esteem than I think I deserve. I also feel a little awed by my friends because they are so interesting, smart, funny, and cool. I am honored to have them as friends because I find it hard to believe such extraordinary people want to be friends with ordinary me. I have to control myself to keep from giving Sally Field’s famous Oscar speech—“You like me! You really like me!”

Friends are there to laugh with you, cry with you, help you face fears or problems, and figure out how to solve them. They support you and may even join you when you try to do new things.

If you are lucky, you may even have family members who are also friends. Those are the people who may take care of you when you are sick and support you when you lose a parent, a partner, or other close loved one.

What do you do in return? You cherish those people. You let them know how much they mean to you. You make yourself available to them when they need support. You celebrate with them when they are happy. You comfort them when they are discouraged, heartbroken, or bereaved.

You check in with them to make sure they are OK. You keep them company when they might be lonely. And you regularly write their names on your gratitude list.

If you are feeling low, you may question whether you have loving friends in your life. Don’t believe those doubts. You don’t need an army of cheerleaders around to make you happy. If you reach out to just one or two friends with an email or phone call, your day will be brighter. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them and you will brighten their day, too.