It’s Romance Season: Surprise Your Valentine With A Personalized Vacation

, , ,

It’s Valentine’s Day this Saturday, and many people will be giving and getting the same old boring gifts, like roses, candy, or a piece of jewelry that most often winds up in a drawer long forgotten.

 

Korte Travel/Cruise Planners/American Express TravelAs Valentine’s Day also kicks off the “Season of Romance,” why not jump out of the box with something that will surprise and delight your special someone?   This year create beautiful, lasting memories with the gift of a personalized vacation.

 

Give Korte Travel , a Cruise Planners, American Express Representative, a call at (631) 893-4232 and we will design the personal vacation or cruise that will thrill your sweetheart. We could make arrangements to mail a gift bag with a gift certificate and exciting brochures that will detail your romantic adventure.

 

Since time is short for Valentine’s Day, we can an even create a “virtual” gift and email the gift certificate to your heart-throb via e-mail.

 

This “thinking out-of-the-box” idea isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. Imagine how excited your significant other will be when they receive a vacation gift bag for an upcoming anniversary or birthday. You can even include the whole family if you like!
Give us a call today and Chris or Sheila will design a custom vacation that will knock your Valentine’s socks off!

See Korte Travel Blog– where vacation memories are made

CHRIS & SHEILA KORTE, ACC
skorte@cruiseplanners.com
Winners of Best of Long Island Travel Agency 2014

www.kortetravel.com

Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702

When You Look In the Mirror, What Do You See

, , ,

People often ask what value I derive from being a career development coach. There is not enough money in the world to replace the look of joy that washes over someones face as they come to that moment in their lives when they discover their true calling. It’s when the transformation begins. They look in the mirror and ask “Who’s that? Ahhhhh, it’s me!!!” They clap their hands, and do a rough imitation of the happy dance. I’ve even seen a tear or two well up in their eyes. They have, as one person told me, “Come Home.”

We’ve all had that experience – that rush of adrenaline that first keeps us going and then helps us level off when we reach the inevitable valleys of doubt. We peer in the mirror and we gaze at that wonderful creature staring back at us so full of life, potential and creative ideas. The transformation is ongoing. Like a car driving around a racetrack, we take a checkered flag, hold it high and begin another lap in our journey toward creating a long and lasting life. Our careers, our lives and, yes, even our destinies are all held in three things: We deserve to be successful, we are worth all the effort we invest in ourselves and finally, we are who we hang around with. I see the transformation as I help people navigate their own mine fields when they grapple with and conquer the uncomfortable notion of their own success. That’s what I’d like to share with you…the cornerstone of leading a successful and balanced life.

  “If You Can See It, You Can Be It.”

I was asked to coach a group of managers to help develop their leadership skills. In one of the exercises, I asked them to create the perfect company. In the center of each table I placed an 18” x 24” sheet of poster board. On top of each was a box of colored pencils. I was more than a bit nervous about this exercise. The participants were operations managers who gauged success based on the thickness of the calluses on their hands and how much grease and oil were on their clothes. As one of them told me before class, “I hope this isn’t one of those touchy-feely classes!”

Having them sit in captivity for close to an hour and color…well my heart kept moving between my throat and my stomach. I couldn’t stay in the room.  When we returned from a short break I asked them to share their drawings. I had planned on devoting a  forty minutes to the exercise but I couldn’t get the group to stop talking. While there weren’t any artists in the room the colors were vivid, and they drew clear and definite pictures of how they could create success in their company. There were no “touchy-feely” suggestions. Each idea related directly to a business measurable and its positive outcome. A few months later I was asked to conduct the same leadership seminar for union leaders from this company. It amazed me how aligned the visions were between two groups of people who traditionally looked at each other as adversaries.

 Your success is defined by you and you alone. Quit Letting Other Peoples Thoughts, Values and Ideas Live In Your Head Rent Free

 A few weeks later I received a phone call from one of the managers who’d been in my class. He wanted to know if I would be his personal coach. “That vision drawing you did with us…I want to do that for myself.”

It’s one of the first exercises I assign a new client. “Don’t tell me,” I challenge them, “Show me!”  I ask them what success looks like. The minds job is to create — that is its sole function. Our minds process what our five senses experience, mix it all together and come up with an outcome we can live with based on past experiences. We all walk around with a vision of success.  Our palette of success has unique colors and flavorings that articulate who we are and what we were meant to do. Our notions and opinions about our success are personal and run deep.

There’s a story I heard once about twin brothers who woke up one Christmas morning to find a large pile of horse manure adjacent to the family tree.  The first brother slumped into a chair and cried. “This is all I get for Christmas, — horse manure?” He began to weep and moan. The second brother studied the pile of manure for a moment. Thoughtfully, he walked around it a few times, looking at it from top to bottom. He plunged in and started digging, flinging the manure everywhere. Startled, his parents asked what he was doing. He stopped, looked over his shoulder and cried out, “There has to be a pony under here somewhere!”

We rarely look at ourselves in terms of visions or pictures. When we do, we can lead our minds in the direction we want to travel. Close your eyes for a moment and think of a time in your life that has special meaning for you. You see the scenery, the smells, the colors and the feeling of triumph or peace and calm. All of these are pictures. You don’t see words in 24 point font scrolling across a dark background. You experience your success over and over as a vision.

In her song, A Morning Prayer, Susannah Clifford Blachly, sings, “May you find the gifts in your mistakes.”  Nate no longer saw his past failings; he began to see the opportunities they gave him. His inner eye opened, albeit a bit slowly, as it does for all of us but his vision started to clear. That’s when real progress happens.

 Nothing Happens Until the Pain of Remaining the Same Outweighs the Pain of Change

It begins when you state the intention, the moment you look into the mirror and admit your secret: You deserve success and happiness. You not only deserve it, you crave it, and just like with the cream-filled doughnut you denounce three or four times each week, no one but you is the wiser.

You don’t deserve success any more than the next person, but you don’t deserve it any less. No one does. Oh, I know, you can play the humility card if you’d like. You’ll receive your rewards in the next life for all your sacrifices and that is good enough for you. But why can’t you have both? The Philosopher Henry David Thoreau nailed it when he said “Most people lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Most of us spend a portion of our days with our noses pressed against the glass, watching the drama that is someone else’s life. We rationalize how we wouldn’t want their problems and issues anyway, and then swallow our daily dose of stress and go on our merry way. We just can’t “see” ourselves doing what they do. So we don’t.

We rarely view success as our impact on the portion of the universe we’ve been asked to tend. We’re always carrying around some imaginary yardstick that measures ourselves against all of creation, and when we come up short, we simply remind ourselves of some huge mistake we made that keeps us from living a successful life.

Successful people don’t feel at all uncomfortable with what they’ve accumulated in life. They feel they deserve it and won’t ever apologize for it. It’s the rest of us who spin a tale for falling short of our dreams and aspirations. Do you believe you deserve to be successful and happy?  If you don’t, why should anyone else?

You Have the Ability to Write Powerful New Scenarios for Yourself.

 You have been walking a path toward success since the moment you were born.  Do you believe in your ability to succeed? Do you deserve success? Is it your birthright? Can you muster the courage to look beyond the next hurdle and see yourself doing the things you have always seen yourself doing and dreamed of doing?

Based on your life experiences your mind continually creates scenarios for you to justify where you are at this exact point in time. Right now, as you read this, it may be encouraging you to read more, to experience more, to learn to embrace the universe. On the other hand, that nagging little voice deep inside of you may be saying “This is a bunch of…” or “That’s good for them but not for me.”  Who controls your mind? You do, of course. No matter what has come before you or what sort of gobbledygook your mind conjures for the future, at any given moment, you can literally stop the nonsense that lives inside you, rent- free. If your vision isn’t getting you where you want to go, maybe it’s time to change visions. The necessary tools are all in that precious space between your ears.

 “You Deserve To Be Successful.”

 What if we could capture that thought, and no matter what else we are told to the contrary, it stayed in our minds forever? Imagine it was not only our first thought, but also our last and every thought in between. That we lived our lives convinced we deserved success. Imagine how we would live if we knew no matter what twists and turns our lives took, we deserved success. Failures would become learning experiences, bad decisions would be foundations to build on and, to top it all off, we’d be grateful for what we now call” negative experiences.”  Success wouldn’t be reserved for the lovely, the educated and the lucky. It would be OUR BIRTHRIGHT.”

I am proud to have guided so many amazing people toward finding their paths in this world and celebrating along with them the sweet successes they can call their own. “If you can see it, then you can be it.”

How about you? Are you ready to see yourself as the amazing person the rest of us do?

John Jurkiewicz can be reached at Jurkiewiczconsulting.com or at his web site www.jurkiewiczconsulting.com

Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community

, , , , , ,

enjoy life for websiteThis is a really amazing day.  A day that something exciting is taking place… a PROACTIVE, solution-based event.

Today we are installing a visual reminder to enjoy life… our Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community sign in Port Jefferson Station — the FIRST Enjoy Life Community ever.

The concept behind the Enjoy Life Community Project is simple.  It’s a bridge between organizations within a community and a truly positive momentum for us to work together to enjoy life.

Here is a link to the Port Jefferson Station / Terryville community page.  This is a place where the resources and contacts will be available to all:  Enjoy Life Community Port Jefferson Station / Terryville

Below is the press release we sent out for the Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Commuinity sign installation — the sign installation is in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service — as this is a first step in awareness and a positive reminder that it is most important for us to remember to enjoy life.

Please email doreen@timetoplay.com or call 631-331-2675 with any questions or for the full protocol on the steps to implement an Enjoy Life Community in your city or town.

###

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Doreen Guma 631-331-2675 | doreen@djamesmarketing.com

Date:  Thursday, January 22, 2015

Time:  2:30 PM – 2:40 PM

Location:  Corner of Route 347 and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, NY

What:  In recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright will join the Enjoy Life Community™ Committee and members of Port Jefferson Station as the FIRST EVER Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community™ sign is installed.  The sign is a marker for positive things to come, bridging the communication throughout the community, and the work that will be done together by those who live in the Port Jefferson Station / Terryville community.

The Enjoy Life Community™ project is sponsored by the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.

“The main goal of the Enjoy Life Community™ program is to bring ALL community organizations, groups and businesses together to focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not the problems; to encourage everyone to get involved; to spread the new of the good works community groups and people are currently doing; to eliminate the hopelessness that people feel; to eliminate the thinking that they are powerless and encourage them to believe that, as a community, we can achieve anything,” said Doreen Guma, Founder of the Time to Play Foundation.

“So many people are doing such great things in each and every community, but I have found that many people do not know what the are working on or the resources within the community available to them.  Many times people feel hopeless and sit around and wait for “them” to fix things.  I believe we are all people living together and it’s up to us to make things happen to benefit us all.  Each Enjoy Life Community™ will become a “micro hub” where communities can create a wish list and everyone can “pitch in” so we can ALL enjoy life and make things happen.  Nothing is impossible when we work together,” said Guma.

The “Welcome to our Enjoy Life Community™ signs that will be installed throughout the community is an important part of the program.  The goal is for signs to be installed throughout the community to remind people of the importance to enjoy life, even if they are having a bad day; to trigger a positive momentum in the lives of all who live in the community; and to provide a positive visual focus to build community pride in the residents of the community.  Additionally, goals for the program are to encourage community participation and decrease social isolation, especially in at risk members of the community’s population including youth, veterans and seniors.

“With all the negative news every day, there is no better time than the present to focus on the positive and what our community needs to enjoy our life, and to work together to make it happen,” said Doreen.

Enjoy Life Community™ © 2014 by Doreen Guma for the Time to Play Foundation, Inc.

 

Are You Ready to Change?

, , , , , ,
change

change

Something I’ve identified in my lifetime doing quality improvement and providing education to different groups of people regarding life situations (for example, I recently have been lecturing on diabetes prevention) is the concept of forever counseling.  I’ll even go so far as to call it a cycle of failure.

Although I truly hate the word failure, and I’ll discuss that concept a little bit later in this article, I felt it would be the best word to use to convey the concept I’m trying to describe here.  I believe many industries in our economy bank on our failure – the failure to successfully diet, failure to exercise, failure to have money.  Just look at companies that offer weight loss programs, or the pharmaceutical companies, or gyms.  They hope you fail so you keep coming back and spending your money.  As a matter of fact, the self help industry has grown to be an $11 billion industry.  I’m thinking success is not really the ultimate goal.

With 28 years in healthcare seeing the “sick and sad”, I decided there had to be a better way.  I developed the Time to Play Philosophy with the hope to trigger people to “take their life back”, to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.  My goal since I’ve started this project, and now through the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit with the mission to inspire everyone to enjoy life, was to “plant a seed”.  What does that mean?  I figured we could have wonderful people (the whole project is built on a “people helping people” idea) with experience in each of these areas (happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance) who could educate others with SIMPLE tips or thoughts that anyone can easily implement into their lives so they could have a better life.

I’ve learned that you can write, talk, tell people and spread all the good ideas or suggestions you want, but unless someone is ready to change, it will not matter.  I’ve seen people go to programs, counselors, courses… they are “in” for the time when they are there, and then fall back into the same routine when they leave.

People close to me even speak about hating their job, not having enough money, or being displeased with a life situation; but still they remain in the same day to day (not mentioning any names here – but, hint, hint — Gregory).

Why?  It’s easier.  Jim, my husband, and I have spoken about this numerous times and he always reminds me about the concept of the path of least resistance.  Think about that for a moment.  Everything in our world does take the path of least resistance. Even water flowing down a hill will go around an obstruction first.

That got me thinking about the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results”.  Think about that for a moment, as well.  I had written about that same concept in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” (www.ifIKnewThenBook.com) stating that history will repeat itself if we let it.

So, with that being said, I believe that, no matter what program, coach, seminar, book, class, or anything else you sign up for, nothing will change UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE.  Even in the diabetes prevention class I recently taught, I would watch the participants come.  Week after week they had excuses why their weight did not change.  They would say they had a hard week, had an event, had no time to exercise, or didn’t have time to follow the program. Week after week they would have no results and become discouraged.  Week after week they did the same thing, expecting different results, but there were no different results.

There are no different results until you decide that it’s time for that to happen – that it’s time for a change.

This article was not intended to insult anyone or to make anyone feel bad or angry, but to spark a thought to consider what we each need to do to make our lives better.  Each of us, even if we live in the same community or even in the same house or family, needs something different in our own lives to enjoy life.  We are all living our own, different, experience, and we all have different needs.

BUT, I believe it is necessary, every once in a while, for us to take a moment to STOP and evaluate what’s going on in our day-to-day lives.  I believe we are put on this earth to love life and not be a “tortured soul” (explained in chapter 2 of my book).

Let’s expand on this concept of life evaluation.  I believe that we get so wrapped up in the day to day that, every once in a while, it becomes necessary for us to take a moment and look around.  Kind of like a performance review on our own lives by the most important person in the world to us (ourselves).

  • Ask yourself – are you truly happy, healthy, have money (at least enough to pay our bills so you’re not stressed out) and/or a work life balance?
  • Take a moment to evaluate your life situation and then take a moment to write down what things could make your day a little better.
  • Next make a list of possible things you can do (change / implement) to make those things happen.

You have to decide if you could commit to implementing the items on the list.  Sometimes the options are not realistic… I get it.  BUT, I believe that, if you do just one small thing to get from here to there, it could make all the difference.  Also, keep in mind that EVERY MOMENT of EVERY DAY is an opportunity for a “do over” in most cases.  So, take those “do over” opportunities.  Although I used the word failure when I began this article, I believe that, in reality, there is no actual failure, but just learning opportunities.  A learning opportunity that allows for that “do over”.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year”….

No matter what advertisement sounds good, or no matter who tells you that “you should do ___________“ (fill in the blank), in the end, it is up to each of us to decide if we are ready.

I have learned that there are no shortcuts or magic potions.  The answer is easy and lies within ourselves.

It is our own commitment TO ourselves.

So…. are you ready to make that change?  It’s time to enjoy life.

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life. – See more at: www.TimetoPlay.com

Living With Optimism, Joy, and Brain Health

,

I am not sure why I said yes when a woman I don’t remember meeting at a talk I gave weeks ago called and asked if I could speak at a meeting of a local Optimist Club the day before Thanksgiving. But I did.

It was a relatively small group – all except a few were over 65, equal parts men and women, and very racially diverse. They meet every Wednesday at a restaurant in a hotel just off Interstate 8. The soup of the day was vegetable beef and the special was a taco plate served with re-fried beans and rice. I ordered a cup of hot tea and sat in one of the booths to arrange my materials so the workshop I planned would flow well. I was trying out a new format – no technology, no PowerPoint, no devices.

The President rang the bell and woman asked us all to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Then another member stood to lead a prayer. I was a bit uneasy and braced myself to respectfully attempt to blend in to the background. The non-denominational blessing ended on an upbeat note and I let out my breath, relieved.

The President and another member pulled out a long stick with felt rolled around it. I was standing behind them so I could not see what was written on the felt but I heard the strong confident voices reciting these words.

Slide1

OK, you have my interest and are speaking my language…

Slide2

Wow, it was getting even better. Keep going….

Slide3

As the scroll rolled out, the voices in the room got stronger.

Slide4

Can this get any better, stronger, more hopeful?

Slide5

Seriously powerful and hopeful words recited, I noticed, by heart – some with eyes closed but all with hearts wide open.

That, my friends, was a hard act to follow….

They gave me a piece of ceramic – a place to rest my coffee cup, the woman who invited me explained – with those words painted on the surface.

I am so grateful to this group for reminding me that there is hope and there is a way to get there together.  Our challenge is to share optimistic thoughts and good intentions in loud voices, and to raise the bar on our expectations. My hope is that, in the end, those efforts will shift a few who will shift a few more who shift a few more and so on.

This piece originally appeared on Cranium Crunches Brain Blog!

2015 – Whatcha Gonna Do With It?

, , , , , ,
Empowerment

Empowerment

As I sit here on New Year’s Day eating a piece of leftover coffee cake (thank you to Carmela), I reflect on the pressure we find ourselves in to set “resolutions”.

On New Year’s we feel obligated to “start over”, to reflect on what we’ve been through over the past year, etc.

This article is going to be very short and sweet.  Yes, it’s New Year’s Day.  Yes, it’s a “fresh” start that we are celebrating with thoughts of untold opportunities and limitless possibilities.  But, guess what? Don’t forget that EVERY day is a fresh start.  As a matter of fact, 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year is an opportunity for a “do over”.

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned over these past years working on the Time to Play project is that NOTHING holds us back EXCEPT ourselves. NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE TELLS YOU.  Do you want it?  Figure out the best way, at that very moment, to make steps to get it.  Do you want it?  Figure out what is your next best move…. AND DON’T GIVE UP.

Not to say there is no purpose in New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.  I believe this celebration gives us hope and is a reminder and a time to spark us to think about our dreams and hopes.

BUT, I believe, (myself included), that many of us are creatures of habit.  Many times we start out with great intentions and fall into the same old routine.  I believe that, sometimes we “forget” to pursue something because priorities push us in a different direction.  Sometimes we get caught up in the “day to day”, and our vision becomes so distant.  Companies like Weight Watchers or the local gyms bet on it.

I found statistics (see below) that list those same old resolutions, the things we promise ourselves year after year.  But, like I noted earlier, it’s definitely our thought pattern that is the difference between “making” a resolution to seeing it to fruition.

What to do?

This year – and this day — CAN be different.

How?

It is time for YOU to make your resolutions or visions happen.

I tried to simplify setting a “wish list” that can enable us to reach those dreams.  First, I’ve learned that whatever we dream can happen, and whatever we think can happen. What I’ve learned is that it is important to focus on that desire.

Although people may disagree, I believe we have to combine intentions and goals.  I believe it’s important to trust and let things happen FOR you, BUT, I also am realistic.  I will never be able to separate having faith and not being an active participant to set out a list of things that need to be accomplished, finding ways to make them happen, and crossing them off my list.  I stand by the saying “God helps those who help themselves”.

My proposal – make it easy.  For this, the first day of 2015, or ANY day you are ready to make a change, put a “Wish List” together. The most important way to start is to identify what really is important and what are those dreams that you see for yourself.  Note:  One of the most important things I’ve learned in the recent past is that, if it doesn’t feel right, that’s probably not the way you should be heading or the thing you should be doing.  It might be helpful to keep this in mind while you are making your list.

Also, when you’re making your “wish list”, don’t forget, nothing is impossible.

No worries.  No pressure.  Remember, you have 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year to “start over”.

So, write down that list.  Post it in the bathroom or on the refrigerator or someplace you are guaranteed to see it to keep it top of mind.  I understand “life” gets in the way.  Something happens and you can’t do what you had scheduled or it is hard to stay on track because there are so many distractions.

But, keep at it.

Look at that list every day.

Opportunities will “pop up” to make what seems impossible become possible.  Keep aware.  Look for opportunities to make these things on your list happen. And, make sure to update the list. Cross off what has been accomplished and add new “wishes” as you move forward.  Seeing the progress is most gratifying and encouraging.

We are creatures of habit, but it is up to us to choose the habit in which we partake.

I wish you hope and many blessings for this year of 2015.

Love,

Doreen

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a not for profit organization with the intention to encourage others to enjoy life.  Please see www.TimetoPlay.com for more information and resources.

New Years Resolution Statistics — Included here just for fun:  Let’s break the cycle!  Source:  http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics

Statistic Verification
Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology
Research Date: 1.1.2014

 

Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014
1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

 

News Years Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutlely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data
Self Improvement or education related resolutions 47%
Weight related resolutions 38%
Money related resolutions 34%
Relationship related resolutions 31%
Age Success Rates Data
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 14%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

 

 

Responsibility and Our Own Actions

, , , , , ,
Be the change you want to see in the world - Ghandi

Be the change

With the risk of making people angry at me, I felt compelled to write this article.  It’s not intended to insult anyone but to make people THINK on their own and to stop casting blame.  Guess what?  WE are part of every situation and the outcome of every situation.  The fault is not just of one person, but all of ours.  Again, my intention here is to plant a seed and to make you think.

I felt especially compelled to write this article today, the day of the funeral of fallen police officer Ramos.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

WE are powerful people.  When we are silent, things occur that may not be pleasing to us.  This is evident in EVERY area of our lives.  But, yet we don’t necessarily take responsibility for the outcomes and then we BLAME others when things don’t work out the way we prefer.  What do I mean?  Let’s look at some examples that may occur in our everyday lives.

Relationships:  This can be a love relationship, work relationship, a relative, or a friend.  Sometimes we don’t like the behavior of someone.  What do we do?  Do we sit down and have an intelligent conversation and “lay it all out on the table”?  Let’s be truthful… I would bet that, in the majority of instances, we don’t.  Instead, we complain.  Perhaps we go behind their back and do “stuff” that only exacerbates a situation to “get them”.  Just our own talking about whatever “it” is makes us more angry and frustrated.  A better way would be to talk about it TOGETHER and figure out the next step.

Maybe the person causing your issue isn’t aware of what they are doing?  Think about your boss.  They “make” you do stuff, or give you bad hours, or “take advantage”.  My own children complain about this type of situation.  The key word here is complain.  Complaining does not get you anywhere.  So, what do you do?  Perhaps your supervisor or manager is overwhelmed in their own situation or the pressures of their position.  Bringing them an awareness of what is troubling you or a hardship that is created may alleviate issues for you both.  I’m sure they would appreciate it much more than the hostility, hard feelings and antagonistic behaviors that result when these type of feelings are held inside. My oldest son recently had been completely overwhelmed with his hours at work and his workload at college.  Did he mention it to his manager?  Nope.  Would he have been better off if he had?  Absolutely.

Again, we can apply this to every situation in our lives. A relationship with a relative or a spouse would definitely benefit from sitting down and working things out.  Look at the ramifications of not doing this – the hostility, hurt, and the alienation that result when we don’t.  This is evident in situations with relatives in my own family – who doesn’t like who, who doesn’t talk to who.  And, how many people know someone going through a divorce?  It is an amicable parting or are they trying to “screw” the other?  Or, who knows people in a marriage that is “failing”?  I truly believe there is a way to work things out.  Talking about the feelings being harbored inside is definitely, in my opinion, the first step.  Human beings are not mind readers and there is no way we can assume another party knows that they are troubling us or causing a hardship.  Bullying comes to mind here, as well.  Just “food for thought”, but at what point do we stand up for what is right?  History repeats itself if we let it (I’ll explain this statement in a moment).  We know there are issues, but do we continue to be enablers?

Another important thing to consider is that we have to let the person bringing us a situation the opportunity to speak. Instead, do we get defensive?  I know I have been guilty of this myself… we justify our actions because, after all, we’re right, aren’t we?  It’s important to listen to what the person coming to you is speaking about.  Sometimes it makes sense to see what we don’t consciously see; even when something we did or said was not intended in the way it was perceived.  But, here’s the beauty of this.  We have the ability to work out whatever was the situation in a kind and amicable way.  Perhaps we can even start over with a fresh perspective to make things better for all parties.

Responsibility — In today’s society there is so much thrown at us. So much news, so many opinions, so much stuff telling us how to think and what we should think.

Unfortunately, it is evident that this way is not productive.  We can see the ramifications when people are caught up in the fervor.  It’s the “lynch mobs” of yesteryear, the riots, like the time in our society of the Salem witch hunt.  A few sentences ago I noted the statement of “history will repeat itself if we let it”.  I wrote that in our book, If I Knew then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com). Unfortunately, we continue to let it.

The Salem witch hunt, to me, was such a sad time in our nation’s history.  We can see situations in our society’s history, again and again, of how fast people just “jump on the bandwagon”.  It perplexes me how this can be.  Perhaps an excuse for the actions of our people in the 1600’s was ignorance and lack of education.  But, in the year 2014 (and almost 2015) it is hard to imagine that this can be an excuse. I believe many of us now run on political agendas and “blame”.

Maybe it’s time to stop and figure out what is the next best step to bring unity to our people.  Look at the hardship and sadness that result from how we’re currently operating.  Look at the negative feelings that are building and building in our society.  Look at the instances where our politicians have forgotten who they work for an their harmful actions that cause irreparable damage.  Again, it’s the year 2014.  When will this madness stop?  Why is it always “us” against “them”?

It’s time for each of us to take responsibility for our own actions, to sit down, to act like intelligent people and to make the best choices for the whole.

That’s really the means to a simple solution.

But, unfortunately, when we are silent – and I’m not talking about the noise being made by the angry mobs roaming the streets of our cities, as I believe these are extremely unproductive – we get nowhere.

What is the next best step?  Where do we go from here?

Anger, frustration, hate, and fear are all unproductive.

Let’s figure out what is the best way for US to proceed forward at this time.  The key word here is FORWARD, instead of progressively moving backwards.  All we have to do is look at all the options and choose the best one – TOGETHER.  Let’s take responsibility for our actions, alone and together.  The alternative is just not acceptable.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

A statement worth repeating again and again; only WE, together, can effectively create that change.

The Enjoy Life Community™ Project

, , , , , ,
Enjoy Life Community

Enjoy Life Community Announcement at Brookhaven Town Board Meeting

I was privileged this past week to have our Enjoy Life Community™ committee and members of the Time to Play Foundation’s Business Advisory Board attend the Town of Brookhaven’s Board meeting to announce the Enjoy Life Community™ Project.  The first Enjoy Life Community™ is in the process of forming in Port Jefferson Station, New York.  It is an amazing concept, and something that I know people will embrace so we can ALL have a better life and enjoy life.

I cannot describe the feeling I had presenting this to the Town Board.  This project is something I have been working toward for many years.

Thank you to our community coordinator, Christian Dideriksen and our core committee Christina Grimes, Michael Dorn, Dina Simoes, Jacki Kirsch, Charles McAteer and Jeff Kito.  Thank to to our dedicated Business Advisory Board Members of the Time to Play Foundation Dr. Joseph Rella, Nick LaMorte, Kevin McCormack, and to the Business Advisory Board Victoria Molloy whose intelligence and energy never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you to Jennifer and Councilwoman Cartwright – your support is a driving force behind us.

The following is the LONG version of what I did want to say at the Town Board Meeting, but I only had 3 actual minutes to speak, so I had to cut it down significantly.  I figured I would post it here to give readers an overview of what we’re aiming to do.

If you would like to get more information, please email me at doreen@timetoplay.com or call our office at 631-331-2675.  We have a whole protocol which we would love to share with your community – and this is applicable for anywhere in the country (or international if there is interest)!

It’s Time to Enjoy Life!

# # #

Good evening Supervisor Romaine, Town Clerk Lent and members of the Board.  My name is Doreen Guma, and I am the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.

I am here this evening to make you aware of a new community initiative called the Enjoy Life Community™ Program, the first of which is launching in Port Jefferson Station, my own home town.  I am currently in the process of introducing the concept to other communities, as it is believed that every community should be an Enjoy Life Community™ .

We acknowledge that there are many organizations in EVERY community that do wonderful things.  As a matter of fact, our current inaugural committee, our enjoy life ambassadors, are still in the process of contacting and explaining the concept of the Enjoy Life Community to the over 50 organizations in Port Jefferson Station.  Our inaugural group has met a few times, but it is the goal of the Enjoy Life community to include everyone and every organization – for example rotary clubs, civic associations, business improvement districts, volunteer fire departments, schools, PTAs, clubs, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, girl scouts, boy scouts, healthcare providers, veterans service organizations, and our elected officials… we are all in this together.

The intention of the Enjoy life community is NOT to duplicate what is already being done by a community’s groups, but to provide an opportunity, through the enjoy life community coordinator, committee and enjoy life ambassadors, to prioritize projects and programs needed, collaborate together and achieve.  The enjoy life community will not focus on problems, but the goal is to proactively embrace what our community needs to enjoy life.

The enjoy life community also creates a cohesive way to disseminate the information about what our amazing organizations are doing and to identify ways to support each other and work together to identify ways we can make things better… and, then, to make it happen!

Therefore, the goal of the Enjoy Life Community™ is to bring ALL community organizations, groups and businesses together to focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not the problems; to encourage everyone to get involved, to spread the news of the good works community groups and people are currently doing; to eliminate the hopelessness or powerlessness feeling that people feel, and encourage them to believe that, as a community, we can achieve anything.

Another feature of the enjoy life community will be the welcome to our enjoy life community signs, which we envision installed throughout the community, to remind people of the importance to enjoy life.  It is hoped that the reminder will trigger a sense of pride and a positive momentum in the lives of all who live here.

The Enjoy Life Community will become a micro hub where we can create a wish list and everyone can pitch in so we can ALL enjoy life and make things happen.  Where we can focus on the positive of what we need to enjoy life, not the problems and negative, for example neighborhood watch communities which say “we have crime here”, or anti drug task force or anti anything which absolutely emphasize the issues and problems.  How amazing would it be to replace those “neighborhood watch” signs with “We are an Enjoy Life Community” signs.  We are not disqualifying the good works being done or discounting the value of these types of committees and functions.  We acknowledge that they may be necessary and that they may be part of the enjoy life community’s objectives… but, just think of the possibilities of turning to the positive and what the concept of the Enjoy Life Community™, can do.

Nothing is impossible when we work together.

The enjoy life community will also provide a centralized location, both online and off, to inform people of all the good work and great resources that are currently in our communities.  With every organization involved, the information about what’s going on and what the Enjoy life Community’s focus is will be easily communicated.

We believe that when people know the needs, goals and objectives of the Enjoy Life community™, we believe so many more will get involved in the initiative and be an active part of the good works being done and the good works that will be done, together.  We hope that people will feel good about and proud about where they live and become enjoy life ambassadors of their community, which is what we here, before you, are today.  I, and those next to me are the first enjoy life ambassadors for Port Jefferson station.

Each enjoy life community™ will have a coordinator and a committee made up of liaisons of all of the community organizations and any interested community members not yet part of an organization.  The enjoy life community will also act as a central repository for existing resources, and, together, the committee will develop a list of priorities where the community can work together to fill in the void where there is a need.

I am pleased to be joined tonight by an amazing and dedicated group – the first enjoy life ambassadors for the Port Jefferson Station community.  The committee coordinator is Christian Dideriksen, a lifelong member of Port Jefferson Station and volunteer firefighter.  Christina Grimes, Michael Dorn, Dina Simoes, Jacki Kirsch, Charles McAteer and Jeff Kito.  Also here tonight are some of our dedicated Business Advisory Board Members of the Time to Play Foundation Dr. Joseph Rella, Nick LaMorte, Kevin McCormack, and Board Chair Victoria Molloy, who fully support this initiative.

Over the last few months I have met with my Councilwoman, Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright, to inform her about the Enjoy Life community™ project.  We are looking forward to her participation at our first event and our first full committee meeting scheduled for 11/6.  It is our hope that the Town board will be supportive of this endeavor and that we will have opportunities to collaborate and partner in the future.

The Time to Play Foundation’s mantra is collaboration = success and people helping people.  We look forward to helping Port Jefferson Station and many more communities to Enjoy Life.

Thank you for your time.

__________________________________________________________

Enjoy Life Community™ Copyright © 2014 by Doreen Guma for the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to:  Time to Play Foundation, Inc., 1075 Route 112, Lower Level, Pt. Jeff Sta.,NY 11776 | 631-331-2675 | www.TimetoPlay.com | info@timetoplay.com

The effects of inconsiderate behavior on others

, , , , ,

Impact on othersLook around.  It’s everywhere. 

I like to learn and observe.  It’s how I understand things and how I grow.  Over and over again I have become more aware of examples of behaviors that completely adversely affect others.  I truly believe, deep down, that we might not actually realize our impact on another person and the effect it might have. 

I recognize the idea of cause and effect and know that something a person may experience may cause a domino affect in their behavior.  That domino affect can cause them to act inappropriately to another.  Again, sometimes we may just get caught up in the situation we are experiencing and might not even realize what our impact on another may be.

I believe this is a very hard topic to discuss without making someone angry.  I started thinking about this topic this morning after receiving a text from my son.  He was at work, and he texted that if he could not transfer stores he was quitting his job.  He is currently having a bad experience with a coworker.  I felt so bad for him because I can feel his pain.  We’ve all most likely been there and can all agree that it’s an experience that is so unnecessary.

That got me to thinking about a news report I saw only a few days ago on TV regarding people’s dissatisfaction at their jobs and the huge statistic that had been reported as part of the story regarding bullying in the workplace.  I did Google to try to find the report and came up with an article published on Forbes.com on 9/18/14: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2014/09/18/one-in-five-workers-has-left-their-job-because-of-bullying.  The article discussed that nearly 1/3 of people have experienced bullying, a statistic that crosses over gender and racial lines; men, women, Caucasian, Asian, African-American – it doesn’t matter.  The article also discussed that people in management positions were also experiencing bullying.  In the article a woman named Rosemary Haefner was quoted in a statement that, “Bullying impacts workers of all backgrounds regardless of race, education, income, and level of authority within an organization.” 

Just imagine how the behavior of one or more in a workplace affects others.  In a work situation, the unfortunate scenario is that many people cannot just quit a job because of family obligations.  The behaviors of others can significantly impact a person where they will be so affected and frustrated and stressed that they will not be able to let the feeling go; hence the domino effect.  How do you think they will interact with others if they have to deal with a situation that is disturbing to them?  A situation they know they cannot change and that is causing significant distress in their lives?  And, how does this effect the atmosphere in the workplace as a whole and, to go further, the lives of their family and friends?

The information in the article is not new.  Just Google bullying in the workplace – there are many articles available for you to read.  I’m sure there is also a lot of information in studies available, in general, about the impact of making others feel badly about themselves.

History will repeat itself if we let it.  This is something I wrote in my book, If I Knew then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com).  I also discussed the saying “Words Cut Like a Knife” in the book.  Both of these statements are, sadly, true.

I believe it is so important to really think about the impact we have on others – what we say, what we don’t say, and our actions.

Have you promised someone you would do something and then gone back on that promise?  If it’s your child, it could be something so simple like playing ball or going for ice cream – something so simple that can have a negative impact on them for years to come.

How about a spouse?  Have you promised something and not followed through?  How about something you promised a friend, or a co-worker?  Have you kept your promise or obligations? Have you returned that call, email or text???

Our actions, or non-actions, can make impacts others that we may not even consider.  You know how our brains work and how people sometimes dwell on things.  I hate to even go there, but, I believe that sometimes what we say, do, or don’t say to another can even cause a situation so significant that it can have a life or death impact.

I believe we’re here to encourage others, to embrace the dreams of others, to make things happen.  I believe we are people that are supposed to help people. 

I personally live by the mindset of people helping people and collaboration = success.

I believe that when we respect each other and when we work together magic WILL happen.

Stop fighting.  Stop blaming.  Stop finding fault.  Stop not following through.

What have you promised?

What will your actions do to another?  Will they help them or hinder them?

Think before you speak or act . . . something that may seem so simple or not important to you might really cause someone to hurt inside very deeply and impact their lives in a truly negative manner.

# # # 

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life. – See more at: www.TimetoPlayFoundation.org 

HAPPINESS IN A NUTSHELL

,

Thousands of books have been written (and read) about happiness—what it is and how to achieve it. So, why are so many people still miserable? As a self-proclaimed Happiness Specialist, I feel compelled to answer that question.

This is a critical time in our global history. Just take a look at “reality” TV or the news, as examples, and something becomes obvious: Happiness is at an all-time low. More than ever before, the growing number of unhappy people is affecting our world in significant ways. Yes, unhappiness is the root cause of all human pain and suffering—a bold statement, I know, but nonetheless true. Is there a solution to this individual and global epidemic? I say absolutely yes – and I would like to offer evidence and solutions to the world’s happiness deficit.

When asked “Do you want to be happy?” most people reply with a resounding “Yes, of course! Who doesn’t want to be happy?” However, merely wanting to be happy is not enough. Why? Because creating more happiness in one’s life is similar to learning to play a musical instrument. It requires learning new skills, modernizing and changing old perspectives and beliefs, and, most importantly, ongoing daily practice. Warning: Creating lasting happiness is not an easy jog through the tulips.

Happiness is an emotion not fully understood by the majority of people in the world. I define happiness as an inner state of peace and contentment, regardless of what happens and regardless of what doesn’t happen.Is it possible to be happy, regardless of any circumstances? Again, I say yes. In my latest book, RealitySpirituality: The Truth About Happiness, I offer real-life examples of how to maintain happiness—yes, regardless of what happens or doesn’t. Can you imagine being happy if:

  • You’ve been disinherited?
  • You’re broke?
  • A loved one dies?

I say that an individual can still be happy experiencing each of the above scenarios, with, of course, the right perspective. And guess what? Our perspectives are our choice! Know this. It is possible to be happy regardless of what life “throws” at you.

I would like to share a few examples of everyday situations that are not often discussed in prior happiness books. There is only one reason why people get angry; argue; are negative, resentful, jealous, impatient, complain, and hold grudges; why children bully other children; why parents hurt their children; why “road rage” happens; why people murder; why people try to control, blame, and judge others—the reason is, they’re unhappy. Unhappiness breeds wars and terrorism. Happy countries do not wage wars, and happy individuals do not commit acts of terrorism. Yes, those behaviors are obvious signs of unhappiness. Now that you know that, what are you going to do to make a change in your life that will be effective and long-lasting? Your path to genuine happiness is vital to our global community, now more than ever.

I have another succinct message, and that is to communicate how important it is to prioritize happiness over all other goals; above all other achievements. In fact, happiness is the achievement—the greatest achievement of all. I say it’s time mankind chooses happiness before choosing careers, before making goals (unless happiness is the goal.), before financial status, before family, and even before health. This is a radical message; however, when a person makes happiness their number-one priority, then all aspects of life will automatically improve. I guarantee it.

We’ve all experienced occasions of happiness, and some people experience happiness more than others. Is it possible to make happiness our primary emotional experience? Again, I say yes.

I enjoy dissecting happiness down to its least-common denominator to determine which common everyday behaviors actually subtract from our happiness. Did you know the following? 

  • All expectations subtract from happiness
  • All attachments subtract from happiness
  • All judgements subtract from happiness
  • All labels subtract from happiness
  • All comparisons subtract from happiness
  • Living in the past or the future subtracts from happiness

Yes, the above mentioned behaviors literally subtract from happiness on a daily and moment-to-moment basis. Do you recognize practicing any of the above in your own life?

The Laws of the Universe and Happiness

Laws of the Universe work in conjunction with increasing and sustaining happiness. The Laws of the Universe are imperative and must be included in any conversation about the pursuit of happiness. Why? Because the Laws of the Universe are always in effect, regardless of whether we believe they are or not. Like gravity, these Laws do not require our agreement for us to experience their effects. And, the Laws of the Universe are, in fact, foundational building-blocks for obtaining lasting happiness.

One of the many reasons why I love the subject of happiness is because our circumstances do not need to change to create more happiness in our lives. You don’t have to do anything to be happier in the present moment. Why? Because, all happiness comes from within. There are 360 ways to be happy in any moment. If you are not happy in a moment, any moment, all you need to do is change your perspective. Remember, we do not have control over what happens to us, but we definitely have control over how we perceive and respond to what happens to us. And allow me empower you even further, happiness is your responsibility and no one else’s. Remember, when you raise your consciousness and self-awareness, you will also be able to raise your happiness level.

Why Is Happiness So Important?

Happiness is really all there is. Happiness is our ultimate reason for living. And as human beings, we all share the desire to be happy. The emotion of happiness, which includes a plethora of feelings such as contentment, peace, harmony, purpose, enjoyment, relaxation, love, acceptance, and the like, is really the ultimate human experience. When you think about it, the only reason we do anything while on this journey we call “life” is to maintain and enhance our happiness and the happiness of others. Can you think of a better gift to give or receive than true, lasting happiness? The significance of happiness has always been recognized for its contribution to quality of life. Scientific research now shows the happier we are the better people we become. The better people we become the better we leave our world for future generations.