My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
purchase it at B & N, Amazon or (click on image of cover)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It Is All About Choices

As you know if you have been stopping by here the past couple weeks, I have focused my blog on questions I have had people ask about my new book, “Living More Than OK”. This week I want to discuss how can people begin to live more than ok? When posed with that question the first relevant word that came to mind was “Choices”. The movement towards “Living More Than OK” starts with a choice. I would even say the opposite is true that staying stuck in boring okness begins with a choice as well. All aspects of our life journey revolves around our choices.

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Dr. Shad Helmstetter in his book, “Choices”, states that, “you may think that in life a lot of things happen to you along the way. The truth is, in life you happen to a lot of things along the way.” In our times of being stuck in the rut of existence we blame the circumstances and the stuff of life that is happening to us. What Dr. Helmstetter is bringing to light is that yes a lot happens to us, but we have a choice in how we react to what happens. We can choose to do nothing and stay stuck in a passive acceptance to our circumstances. This choice just keeps up with the routines of life and living in an ok survival mode existence. Often, in that case we do not stay on the same plane of existence, and we then spiral down to lower levels of negativity.

The Upward Spiral:

The other choice is with the “Living More Than OK” mindset which does not settle for boring stuck-ness or living a downward spiral. It moves in an upward spiral to continued personal growth. The movement is towards living the best life possible.

This brings me to another quote by Dr. Helmstetter, “It is your programming that has created your choices in the past. It is the choices you make today that are creating the programs of your future.”
This means that the choices in our past created circumstances that have affected our present situations. If we want to improve our futures we need to improve the future programming by making positive choices in the present, which will result in more positive future circumstances. These positive choices help create the upward spiral to better living.

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Positive Choices = Positive Living

So the positives and the negatives in our lives for the most part go back to the quality of choices we are making in our decision process. That is why I feel my essay on critical thinking in my book , is of such critical importance! We need to keep improving the quality of our thought processes to build up our positive programming from the choices we make. Input into our mental programming negative and passive choices we find that the output will be negative circumstances. Input positive wise choices and the result will be positive circumstance in our life. It is the simple programming concept of garbage in, garbage out.

I believe no one wants negative results in their lives. No one enjoys boredom, but they succumb to it by reacting passively to the stuff of life around them. The lack of critical thinking makes people believe there can never be any good things that come their way. They believe, Lady Luck never shines on them not understanding that one needs to be active in creating their luck by choosing to grow, or choosing to try something different.

Another relevant thought by Dr. Helstetter is, “Those who choose to succeed always do better than those who never choose at all.”

Of course the way I look at it, not choosing is a choice as well to passively stay stuck.

Photo credit: Ɓukasz Strachanowski / / CC BY-NC

So if you are unhappy feeling stuck in a negative spiral and you truly desire a positive change, order a copy of my book, “Living More Than OK … Spiraling Up To Abundant Living”. That can be a positive choice to move your life into a positive upward spiral.

What is the quality of your choices? Do you think choices through with critical thinking or simply passively respond to what life throws at you? Visualize what a more positive life would be like for you. Now go for it by making wise positive choices!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Four Tips for Living a More Than OK Life

I have been asked many times what is “Living More Than OK” about? What am I trying to get across to people? When I think those questions, the first thought that comes to my mind is a thought from Dr. Martin Seligman’s book, “Flourishing”, ‘happiness, flow, meaning, love, gratitude, accomplishment, growth, better relationships – constitute human flourishing. Learning you can have more of these things in life is life changing.” That is the basis of Dr. Seligman’s book considering the importance of positive psychology principles for daily living. His Dr. Seligman’s thoughts relate well with the message I am trying to have people think about in their own lives.

1. Wake Up and Live

I am trying to wake up people from their reality TV slumber and remind them that we all are created for more than simply existing. That we can move beyond boring ok-ness to living more than ok... spiraling up to abundant living. Abundant living is similar to Seligman’s thoughts on flourishing living. Throughout my years of observing life. I have observed too many live in a passive survival mode. That is what TV tries to capitalize on. As people come home from working a hard day they become hooked staring at a large screen in the living room giving them entertainment. In reading time management articles over the past couple of years, I have noticed the trend being stated that more people waste time on the Internet that watching TV. Still both use the same passive watching of a screen. It is just that with computers and iPads the screens have become smaller.

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2. Fighting Okness

What I am encouraging is a move from passivity to a continual growth process in the individual life journey. It is the plateaus of ok-ness that bring on boredom. This stagnates our life, and sad to say a person can become comfortably bored living years of existence in the cycle of work, TV and beer until retirement, then it narrows down to TV and beer. Then looking back with a life of regret over what they wish they would have done in life. Again I am hard on TV, as over the years I have seen the dedication to what is called reality TV, which is not really reality. The whole concept comes across to me sad in seeing millions of people voyeuristically, wasting time observing other people living their lives rather than actively living their own lives.

Photo credit: Mark Kidsley / / CC BY-NC-ND

3. How to Think Versus Daydream

In my book I look at various aspects of positive psychology such as happiness, thankfulness, personal growth, meaning and resilience. I cover these by discussing the foundation of these with critical and creative thinking. I promote taking time to think over personal dreams and life purpose instead of daydreaming. I emphasize, being more active in life is important by considering adding natural high activities and taking risks on new activities in one’s life. There is no effort in my book to prioritize the various topics, as I believe we are each uniquely created with various personal interests and strengths. As I state in the forward of my book I am trying to wet the appetites of the readers to grow deeper in the topics they find more relevant to their life journey.

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4. Read

Other than the theme of continual individual growth there is a unique theme I emphasize in the book. That is my essay on being a bookhead. Granted, I am an avid reader, so I promote reading from a personal interest standpoint. But more so as I do research on reading, I believe that reading is important in helping the individual move from being passive to active in their living. Reading might be construed as a passive activity, but it is reading that actively engages the mind creatively and analytically to make choices for personal growth. I am presently continuing practical research on reading and that will be the main topic of the next “Living More Than OK” book I do.

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So if you feel like you are tired of being stuck on a boring plateau of ok-ness order a copy of my book and start actively “Living More Than OK”.
You can order it online at these merchants:

Barnes and Noble


You can also order it through your local bookseller as well.
Keep spiraling upwards in your life!

Reflection: Do you feel stuck in a boring plateau in your life? Brainstorm ways you can break out of the rut to be more active.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reflections On The Past Of Living More Than OK

This week I am doing personal reflections on the beginning inspirations of my blog, which turned into my book. My hope is that it will give you a deeper feeling for where I am coming from in emphasizing continual self-improvement which that I call, “Living More Than OK”.

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How It Started

When I think back to the year 2009, I am still thankful for having the privilege to take the course on Positive Psychology with lectures by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. That opened my mind in a deep manner about the wellness model within psychology. His encouragement at the end of the course was to seek ways to promote positive psychology concepts. It was after that when I began to think about starting my blog. Of course negative self-talk filled my mind with -- who would bother to read anything I wrote. Still by reframing my thoughts, I settled on if doing it, even if it helps only a few people live a better life. Writing the blog I felt was worth the effort.

The Role of Boredom

At first thought in 2009, the word boredom came to my mind as I thought through how I viewed how many people live their lives. Then discussions with my College students about how boredom negatively affected their studies and personal lives further intrigued my thinking for the need to encourage positive psychology principles. All of this moved me to read research articles on the subject. It made sense that a life of boredom increases negative effects in daily life. A tragic example of this was seen in the Summer of 2013 in Oklahoma as three teens murdered a college age baseball player as he was jogging. Reports stated the teens were bored and simply killed him for some excitement.

Of course that is an extreme case for most people, the boredom of life means wasting their life away. Too many live below their potential, which I have observed in many college students by their own admission in discussions. I have seen the same in work settings over the years. That is why I stated back in 2009, just OK living is going through the motions with no purpose or meaning. I don’t see it as a way the best way of living.

We were created for a better life than just surviving.

The words of Jesus that inspired my study came from “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10). This is more the way I think we should be living life. Abundant living is living life to the full.

Photo credit: Just Mary Designs / / CC BY-NC-ND

What is the goal of life?

Boredom steals from our living and destroys and in some cases sadly, even kills. Abundant living and practical ways to live to our full God given potential is what I have always tried to explore ins this blog and hope to continue to do in the future.

The first questions I posed back in 2009 still hold true for me today: How can we continually move beyond boredom to living a joyful and abundant life? A continual growth mindset of “Living More Than OK” realizes that as we grow beyond what is ok in our life we plateau to a new level of ok-ness. So, the goal of abundant living is to not settle on the plateaus, but to keep growing to new levels of “Living More Than OK”. That is what I have been trying to get across in this blog over the years.

How does boredom in life negatively affect you? What are ways you have learned to keep your life moving to new levels of living more than ok?

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Friday, January 3, 2014

No Luck With Resolutions…Try Goals

On New Year’s Eve while watching the festivities in New York on Fox News there was much talk of New Year’s resolutions. Many on the station were stating their resolutions for 2014. Just from my past experience in work settings I have not observed many who kept their resolutions. This is one reason I stopped doing them. That made me curious about how many actually keep their resolutions. With an online search I found an article in Forbes magazine’s website from 2013 that stated research from the University of Scranton on the subject. They stated that about 40% of us make resolutions. The surprising or not surprising point was that only 8% keep their resolutions.

So if you have already broken your resolution for 2014 don’t feel too bad as you are in the 92% majority. That low number made me think of how can more people stay steadfast on the changes they want to make. The word goal came into my mind. First just looking at the word resolution Merriam Webster online defines it this way -- something that is resolved (to make a definite serious decision to do something). Now the definition for the word goal -- is something that you are trying to do or achieve. Both words seem very similar.

Let’s go back to the low success rate with resolutions. Even though the definitions are similar if you think about it how much thought goes into most New Year’s Resolutions? Generally they are done off the cuff at parties. So there is a quickly stated emotional aspect to them. Also in many cases they are stated after the person has had a few alcoholic drinks so he definitely has not thought through the resolution. So this could be reasons that resolutions go by the wayside so quickly.

What about goals? In the book A Life Worth Living edited by Mihaly & Isabella Csikszentmihalyi there is an essay, "What Works Makes You Happy: The Role of Personal Goals in Life-Span Development". The authors state that goals help in satisfying motivational needs. They show in the article from research how goals aid people in having a satisfying life. Here is what some of the research shows on the effectiveness of goals:

Those with goals related to their needs report well-being.
• Those who have a disciplined commitment to their goals have higher life satisfaction.
• Those who see progress in reaching their goals have less stress and higher life satisfaction.
• Those who create realistic and feasible goals have more life satisfaction. (p186)

These are just a few of the positive aspects of creating and following goals. So maybe it is better to think through goals for the year instead of spouting off a quick resolution at a party.

Usually at the end of each year I take some time to think through and formulate new goals for the new year. One point that is seen in the statements from the research is make the goals realistic and feasible. You want to go for big things in life but if they are too undoable that just brings discouragement. So along with goal statements you need to think through a few panning steps of commitment to reach your goal. I believe it helps to write your goal and the planning steps down as well. This helps to solidify in your mind what you want to achieve. Also if it is written down you can you can post it somewhere as a reminder to help keep your commitment level high. That is another aspect to failed resolutions they are just spoken at the party and forgotten quickly. Often they are remembered only after noticing you gained 10 pounds instead of losing the 10 pounds.

So if you have already failed your New Year’s resolution don’t worry over it. Instead take some time and write out a clear concise concrete goal to accomplish. Jot down a few action steps to be committed to in helping you reach the goal. Then post it somewhere where you will regularly notice your goal to keep it in remembrance.

Reflection: What do you want to accomplish in your life in 2014 to keep Living More Than OK? Write down a goal for the year along with relevant action steps. Then place it where it will be noticed as a reminder.