Jumping to Conclusions

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No matter how much I read, am educated, or grow older, I find myself continuing to do this.  How many of us jump to conclusions because something “seems” like _____________ — you fill in the blank.

“She does not like me”, “My boss picks on me”, “The store clerk did this on purpose”….. you get the idea.

Guess what. Have you ever heard this saying, “Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem” – unknown  

Yes, this is true.  The trick is for us to remind ourselves of this fact when our mind starts fabricating the “what if’s” or jumping to conclusions.

The key, I believe, is to ASK the person what they mean, their intention behind their behavior, etc. versus jumping to our own conclusions because, in my experience, I continuously find that what I think is the exact opposite of what is actually occurring.

Our homework for today – reach out.  Maybe your mom or your friend hasn’t called not because she’s mad at you but because she’s just busy. Maybe your boss gave a responsibility to someone else not because he “hates” you or is going to fire you but because there is something more important you will need to do for the organization where you work. 

Let’s look at the positive instead of the negative.  Let’s find out motives behind actions instead of jumping to conclusions.  I believe it is much healthier that way.

Just to be fair, when I was looking for who said, “sometimes things aren’t always what they seem” I did find an additional part that someone wrote.  I found it to be both encouraging and discouraging and I thought I’d include it and discuss it.  You’ve heard the saying “life isn’t always a bed of roses”, right? Sometimes we need to deal with things that happen and move on.

Here is what I had found:  “Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes people who you trust the most in the world will stab you in the back, your best friend betrays you, and the person you thought would never hurt you..will. Life is full of disappointments, but life itself isn’t a disappointment. Life is hard, and would be easier if things were just easy and nobody ever hurt us, but things don’t work that way. Life is a mountain waited to be climbed, with help…or alone. And it’s not impossible, i mean…someone climbed Everest…didn’t they?” – Unknown

So, what is this saying to us?  Sometimes things don’t go as we planned. Sometimes “sh**” happens.  The author of this definitely had a disappointment. Sometimes we each have something that does not go our way, but we need to move forward. We need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and find a way around the “obstacle” to move forward.  We recently published a book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life. (www.IfIknewThenBook.com), which talks about just that.  We all have undesirable experiences, but we have a choice of how we act / react. We either stay where we are and wallow in self-despair, or we move forward. We can use our experience to be sad and depressed and waste our days, years, and lives, or we can become stronger and move mountains.  

In the end, each minute, hour, and day, it is up to us on how we act and react. It is up to us whether we let things stand in our way or achieve.

I know it is hard to not jump to conclusions, but the trick is to stop and evaluate and then act. We are all smart. We just have to apply our smartness sometimes. Not sure if smartness is a word, but you get what I mean.

I’d love to hear from you. Email me anytime at doreen@timetoplay.com or call our office, 631-331-2675 if you have suggestions, something you want to see on Time to Play, or something you can add to www.TimetoPlay.com.  My goal? To bring resources together to help each of us learn what we need to know so we can enjoy life. Together we can do amazing things.

The Time to Play Philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work / life balance to have quality of life.  Learn what you need to know so you can enjoy life.  www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a better life.  It’s time to Enjoy YOUR Life!



Follow My Rules – Or Else!


I’d like to share an undisclosed secret about myself, but only if you promise not to tell a soul. Promise?

I used to have countless rules for other people to follow in order for me to be happy. That’s right—rules for other people to follow and obey so that I would be happy. I actually expected other people to behave in a manner that would make me happy! It was true: if someone in my life didn’t follow my rules, I wasn’t happy; and immediately, if not sooner, we had a conflict. Thank God I can reflect back and laugh at how outrageously pompous I used to be.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a male friend of mine who shared a personal story. My friend is a kind, considerate “nice guy”—a nice guy with rules. One of his rules is that when he extends a courtesy, he expects the same type of behavior in return. For example, when Mr. Nice Guy holds the door open for anyone, including a stranger, he expects his “gentlemanly” behavior to be immediately rewarded with a thank-you. If the person neglects to acknowledge his considerate actions, Mr. Nice Guy gets pissed off. He told me that, in his perspective, the absence of immediate recognition is extremely inconsiderate. He expects a thank-you when he holds the door open for anyone.

Side bar: All expectations subtract from your happiness.

In reality, Mr. Nice Guy has expectations of how other people should act. He desperately needs other people to respond to him the way he expects them to or he becomes annoyed or, worse, angry. The problem with this logic is, when you depend on anyone else to behave in a manner you think is appropriate and they disappoint you, you’re actually depending on someone else’s behavior to dictate your own happiness. As hard as you may try—and I’ve tried for decades, you will never be able to control someone else’s response or behavior—ever.

If I choose to extend a favor to someone, I cannot count on, and more importantly, depend on, receiving anything back in return. Not even a thank-you. Years ago, if I had extended a courtesy to someone and they didn’t immediately thank me, I too, would have labeled them inconsiderate. Very inconsiderate. That’s because I had an agenda: I will be nice to you, with expectations of you behaving nicely to me. Let me clarify. It’s nice to receive appreciation for my acts of kindness, however, it’s no longer necessary for someone else to dictate how I’m going to feel based on what they do or what they don’t do. I refuse to give away any of my power.

Today when I decide to extend a courtesy to anyone, I do it because I want to. I have zero expectations of what anyone else does or doesn’t do. When I made a conscious decision to eliminate expectations, agendas, and rules from my life, guess what happened? I became much happier.

Today, thank me or don’t thank me. Either way, I’m going to remain happy because now my happiness solely depends on one person…me. No longer does my happiness depend on what someone else does or doesn’t do. Yes, today my happiness depends on ME and the countless choices I make throughout the moments of my day.

Remember, a guaranteed formula for happiness has only one ingredient—you.

Guided Relaxation: Journey to a Peaceful Brain


There is too much evidence to ignore the brain health value of reducing stress.   Whether you enjoy yoga, meditation, guided relaxation, or you find peace some other way, make sure to take the time to take care of yourself today. We are working on a Mind & Spirit App that will be packed with brain re-charging exercises like this Guided Relaxation sampling. Click on the link; take a deep cleansing breath; and peacefully fire up your neural pathways and re-fill your cognitive reserve well.

Guided Relaxation Exercise Part 3

Engaging your senses more fully will add another brain boosting element to your relaxation.   Did you know that you can activate the same areas of your brain (fire them up) by thinking about stopping and smelling a rose as actually doing it?   If you can’t get out and do today, take a moment to stop and think.

Stop and smell, feel, and taste the roses!

Stop and smell, feel, and taste the roses or at least think about it!

Enjoy a peaceful moment today and re-charge.

How to Live in the Moment


Before I discuss how to live in the moment, I’d like to say that living in the moment is, in reality, our true nature. Yes, we were all born only experiencing the present moment. Interestingly enough, we continued living in the present moment until we were approximately four or five-years-old. It’s really crazy that we’ve evolved into living in the past and/or future, rather than what was naturally intended.

Have you ever spent time watching a toddler experience life? A toddler hasn’t been indoctrinated with the infinite amount of adult thinking – not yet. No, you won’t hear a three-year-old repeating any of the following statements.

  •  I’m not worthy.
  • I don’t like the way I look.
  • I don’t have enough money.
  • I’m too fat.
  • I’m too old.
  • I’m too short.
  • I’m not smart enough.
  • I’m worried.
  • I’m afraid.
  • I’m not successful.

Programmed At Birth

We’ve all been programmed and conditioned at an early age, to label, blame, judge, compare, label, blame, judge, compare, and repeat and repeat this. We’ve also been programmed and conditioned to live in the past/future, or even more unsettling, in our own heads. However, when we choose to indulge in this type of behavior, we automatically give up the gift of living in the present moment. Why? Because, when you label a circumstance, event, or person “good” or “bad”, you’re using a reference from the past. You cannot use a reference from the past and be in the present moment at the same time.

Are Our Thoughts The Enemy?

No. Our thoughts are just that – thoughts. It’s only when we pay too much attention to our thoughts, and take them seriously, that we suffer. Our thoughts about our circumstances (not the circumstance itself) are responsible for all of our suffering. Our runaway, all-consuming thoughts are not evidence of the TRUTH. Our thoughts are evidence of our conditioning.
If our true nature is to live in the present moment, how do we live in that state-of-being enjoyed by children and the animal kingdom? How do we deprogram ourselves and live in the present moment?

Tip No. 1
Have the intention to live in the present moment everyday! Repeat out loud:
“I intend to live in the moment more and more each day.”
“I’m grateful to experience living in the present moment throughout my day.”
“How would it feel to experience living in the present moment all the time?” (Ask and It Is Given by Abraham-Hicks)

Tip No. 2
Commit to a daily habit of developing and practicing your awareness. I call this living consciously in an unconscious world. Yes, for the most part, we are unconscious creatures of habit; however, habitual behavior does not produce change or growth. Make a decision to change three habitual behaviors each week. Example: Drive home using a different route each day; or if you pack a lunch, eat out; or comb your hair in a different style; or think of three different (nice) responses you can make to a rude cashier. Have fun, and come up with your own personal changes. Challenge yourself and be creative. The point is to shake it up and practice doing things differently. There is no progress without practice.

Tip No. 3
In 2011, I voluntarily took a 40-day vow of silence. Now, I’m not suggesting that you do the same; however, I am suggesting that you spend sometime throughout your day being quiet. And to be perfectly clear, I mean remaining quiet while surrounded by people. This practice will definitely heighten your awareness, tenfold. The more awareness you have, the more present moments you will experience. Another benefit of this exercise is that when you practice silence, you become a better listener. When you’re really listening to someone, you’re automatically in the present moment.

What’s so Great about Living in the Moment?
Good question. The present moment is the only real reality we have. Anything other than the present moment is, in actuality, non-existent. The past doesn’t exist unless we choose to think about it, and the future doesn’t exist, period. The present moment is the only place we are able to make choices. The present moment is the foundation of our future moments. The present moment is where we’ll find the ultimate peace and contentment. The present moment silences the mind’s chatter. In the present moment, time does not exist. The present moment is where the Universe resides.


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It was 1925, the Yankees regular first baseman, Wally Pip was in a dreadful slump, and a young 23-year-old named Lou Gehrig, replaced him in the lineup. He stayed in that lineup for over 14 years, never missing a game, and became one of the greatest baseball legends of all time. He was a shy, unassuming, individual who just went about his business. There were no grandiose or other displays that would call attention to him. He was most effective by just being Lou Gehrig. This humble, individual became the Yankee captain and was revered by both players and fans alike. He was, in every way, the quintessential leader.
Leaders lead by example. They have an innate ability to know what to say, when to say it and how to deliver the message. It could be as simple as a gesture or a resounding pontification of words that brings everyone to their feet. All leaders have an innate ability to be able to motivate themselves from within and the conviction to see the task through.
This internal motivation is within each one of us. It may be covered over by many, many layers of self imposed inadequacy but it does reside in each one of us. The leadership quality that each one of us possesses is called tenacity or persistence. We all have the ability to set a goal and minute by minute, day by day proceed along a path to its fruition. The problem is that most of us don’t allow ourselves to think like that. We are confined, in our brain, to remain just ordinary, when in fact we are all truly extraordinary. The operative phrase for this particular blog is that no one can make you do or think anything that you don’t choose-without your own permission. Each of us fails to realize the potential that we truly have. We fear to try most things that are new because of the unknown. It’s really scary out there, especially if you dare to try something that you thought you could not do. I will guarantee you, that after its accomplishment, your brain will literally explode in excitement of what you just did.
The true definition for luck is when preparedness and opportunity meet. You must prepare for your success. You must research and put in your mind the information necessary for your success. You must think about it, as if it’s already happened, on a consistent basis – try purposeful dreaming. Get comfortable and picture in your mind the accomplishment of that outcome. Involve your five senses-seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling into that scene and feel the warm fuzzies of success.
We all are leaders of ourselves. We all have the capacity for greatness. I’m curious, however, to see if you have the determination and tenacity to see your goals come to fruition. In the beginning, attempt a fairly easy goal and then work your way up.
Remember, Lou Gehrig, led from within by his conviction and his drive to succeed. Become the Lou Gehrig of your life and you to will end in your Hall of Fame.

Ask Michael

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Did you know We can create any Cosmetic /Skincare products you desire with Be Extraordinary .. If you need Skincare. Head to toe. Make-Up. From Primer to finishing powder Be Extraordinary is one Stop shopping
So Ask Michael. Michael and Doreen will have whatever you need!

It Takes a Village

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE – You know, it is really hard for one person to do everything. It sometimes takes a village. So, what am I getting at? I started www.TimetoPlay.com to bring resources for a better life to others. I read articles – a lot of them – and it has been noted that 2/3 of Americans are not happy. That’s not an acceptable statistic. It my mind it’s time for us to stick together, to work together, to make things change.

Can one person initiate change? I believe one person can “plant a seed”, but, in my mind, it takes a village. For people to decide that they no longer should be silent and that it’s time to join together to find ways to make their lives better — individually and as a whole.

I know it’s so much easier for us to just ignore what’s going on around us and go on each day the way things are. My vision? A “grass roots” movement to enjoy life. If not for us, then what about helping make things better for our children’s future? With 3 kids of my own, the youngest 18 years old, I know there’s much that they will need so they can enjoy their lives, too.

That’s truly the driving passion behind my whole project, and the book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com). To provide resources for myself and others so we can learn what we need to know so we can enjoy life and then go out there and “do it”!

Sound crazy? Maybe…. but I know it takes a village. People helping people.

Join me. Contact me. Share the website. Share the facebook page. Send me suggestions, join the team. Together we can make things change for ourselves and our children. It’s time to Enjoy Life.

Embrace the Time to Play Philosophy – you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance for quality of life.  www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a better life. It’s time to Enjoy YOUR Life!

Please share & “Like” our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TimeToPlayNews

Making Shaving Easier – Michael's Tip


This one is for the guys shaving oil will help set up even the toughest Beard
And “easy shave ” will help the stubble stand up so it’s easy to shave smooth Also a warm
Wet wash cloth applied to the beard will help soften it
And shaving with a downward stroke first will be gentler to your beard
Also try to find the growth pattern and shave with it not against it
Always rinse the razor with cool water to help close the
Use cool to cold water to rinse the face before shaving to close the pore
On the hair apply easy shave and then shave cream
For a smooth close shave. People will notice how. Extraordinary you look guys!!

Make Your Eyes "Wide" – Michael's Tip


To create a rounder more open ” Wide Eyed “
Look add a white or off white line inside the lower part of the Eye on the water line and a smudgey line just below the lashes

3 new realities of retirement


3 new realities of retirement

Think about your parents’ retirement for a minute. Their lives most likely look a whole lot different than their parents’. Your grandfather probably stopped working the very day he turned 65. He and your grandmother might have hit the links or the beach while they collected pension checks that they supplemented with high-yielding investments.

But, today’s retirees are living longer, working longer, reinventing themselves and staying active — all while trying to figure out how to pay for this great new chapter in their lives. They usually can’t rely on pensions, high interest on savings or health care benefits from former employers.

Call it revolving retirement. The term, coined by Strategic Business Insights’ Consumer Financial Decisions group, describes retirees who re-enter the workforce in one way or another either to fulfill an emotional need or make ends meet. They may find they’re bored with retirement or want to start a new career. With all this change comes confusion and sometimes some misguided assumptions.

“Frankly, a lot of myths about retirement are floating around out there,” says Thomas Rowley, director of retirement business strategy at Invesco Consulting. To help set things straight, we asked top demographic and financial experts to help bust some of those myths and offer advice on how best to prepare for a fast-changing future.


That’s how much a 65-year-old male will need to cover health care costs for the rest of his life.

Source: Employee Benefits Research Institute, 2012.

MYTH: Luckily, I won’t need to worry about health insurance. Medicare will kick in when I’m 65.

REALITY: Most experts agree Medicare will be around in its present form for some time to come. But, people often misunderstand the limitations of Medicare. It doesn’t cover everything, especially long-term care. Consider the fact that a 65-year-old male will need more than $300,000 to cover health care costs for the rest of his life, according to 2012 research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

You need a solid health care costs strategy in place to deal with several factors. For instance, have you purchased long-term care insurance, or do you think you have saved enough for those potential expenses? If your company offers a health savings account, is this a viable option for you that you could roll over into retirement? (Earnings on savings for eligible health care expenses grow tax-free.) Do you intend to retire before you will be eligible for Medicare (at age 65)? If so, how do you plan to pay for health insurance coverage? Ask your advisor about strategies that can help cover health care costs in retirement.

MYTH: My taxes will be lower in retirement.

REALITY: Conventional wisdom has long held that your tax bracket, along with your income, will decline in retirement. But, that may no longer be the case. Taxes may continue to rise as the government struggles with the ongoing debt crisis over the next 10 to 15 years, says Russell Price, Ameriprise Financial senior economist. How you withdraw your retirement savings and how much you plan to spend each year will also affect your taxes. You want to make sure you have a good mix of taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free investments.

MYTH: My traditional asset allocation will definitely give me enough income.

REALITY: With persistent low interest rates over the past several years, some retirees are finding their savings aren’t generating the income they had hoped for. Proper diversification among a wide range of asset classes is key. With the right mix, you may be in a better position to handle market volatility, generate more yield to boost income and protect your portfolio from downturns in any one specific asset class. Your advisor can help you choose the asset allocation and diversification strategy that’s right for you. (Please see the following piece on alternative investments.)

Talk to your advisor about the best strategies to help you save for a long and fulfilling retirement.


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*Ameriprise helped pioneer the financial planning process more than 30 years ago. We have more financial planning clients and more CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals than any other company in the U.S. based on data filed at adviserinfo.sec.gov and documented by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Thomas Rowley, Invesco Consulting and Strategic Business Insights are not affiliated with Ameriprise Financial.

Asset allocation and diversification do not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

Alternative investments involve substantial risks and are more volatile than traditional investments, making them more suitable for investors with an above average tolerance for risk.

Investment products, including shares of mutual funds, are not federally or FDIC-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax advice. Consult with your attorney or tax advisor regarding specific tax issues.

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.

© 2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. P1 – 8/13