Recovering From Illness

About a month ago I became ill. I don’t ever recall being as ill as I was. This illness lasted for about two weeks and I even made a visit to the emergency room at the direction of my Doctor. I have been frustrated with how slowly my energy is returning. I was told by my Doctor to have patience.

I am grateful for the return of my health. Good health is one of those things we tend to take for granted until we become ill.

I plan on returning to writing on a regular basis. Thanks to all those who follow my blog.

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Live To Be 100 Years Old

There was a study done several years ago to determine why certain people live to be over 100 years old. They looked at all factors including family history, diet, lifestyle, and geography.

There was one factor that was common to most of those studied. They had a purpose. They had a reason to wake up in the morning. I could be a job, caretaking, an interest that requires attention, or plans for the future.

Having a purpose or a goals goes a long way toward improving mood and self esteem. Find an interest and pursue it. Have a reason to get up in the morning. You may well live longer and actually want to accomplish this.

The Value of Insight and Hindsight

I am certain you have heard of insight focused therapy. I imagine you know the phrase “hindsight is 20/20”. We seek to gain insight in order to understand our past and how it has affected us. And, somehow, by gaining insight we will change. We also tend to analyze our past actions or decisions and how they relate to the outcome or our current situation. We will likely say we made a mistake or say it was dumb or even that we were dumb to have done this or that.

The only value I see with hindsight is to see where we were as compared to where we are at that moment. With hindsight we have more information than we did when making a decision or taking an action. If we had all that information at the time we would have done something else. It wasn’t the mistake we may think it was. We make a choice based on the information we had at the time. When we view those things in hindsight we tend to make ourselves wrong and put ourselves in a negative light. That is never a useful exercise. This can be damaging to self image and self esteem.

Thinking of insight as a valuable tool to help us change our thinking for behavior may not be nearly as helpful as we might think. When I was in therapy I had the belief that if I only knew why I was the way I was and what made me that way, I could change and be happy. I figured that insight would be followed by change. I was so wrong. After a long time of seeking the “truth” I had hardly changed at all. I found quite the opposite. As I began to use healthier coping skills and was changing, I gained insight. I was able to see a comparison between the past and present and was able to understand things like never before. I believe that all the insight in the world won’t change thoughts or beliefs or behaviors. I think that challenging thoughts and beliefs what are not working is the path toward changing behaviors and improving the quality of our lives.

In summary: My verdict is that hindsight and insight are not all that valuable as a way to enable our change and growth as people.

Success

It has been my experience when the thought of failure has not entered my mind, I have experienced the most success. I guess this could mean that thinking of possible failure results in thoughts that subconsciously place barriers to our success. This is another reason to focus on the steps you are taking toward a specific goal and not about the ultimate outcome. In other words, it is good to have goals but best not to focus on the goal.

You are capable of far more than you can imagine.

Goals vs Expectations

One important part of having a healthy and positive attitude about life is having goals. It is important to have goals that are realistic and attainable. Short term goals are valuable and help to keep you on track and motivated to reach your medium and long term goals. It is also important to stay focused on the present rather than concerning yourself about the “what ifs.” The only thing that is real is the here and now. The future hasn’t come yet and the past is gone. The only thing you have any influence over is what you are doing now. Focus on what is in front of you. Complete that task and then move on to the next. You have a greater chance of reaching your goals this way. Reward yourself when you have met a goal or completed a task.

Fears may inhibit you from moving forward and completing the tasks you set out to do. Fears are about the future and only increase if that is what you focus on. To decrease your fear (of failure, success, how others will judge you, etc.) it is important to focus on what is right in front of you.

Expectations are a good way to set yourself up for disappointment. We have hopes and dreams and goals for our lives. But, the outcome (where we eventually end up) is not totally in your hands. Your life is affected by many variables that are totally out of your control. These variables directly influence whether we attain our goals or not.

To review: Set realistic and attainable goals for yourself. Have short, medium, and long term goals. Focus on the task at hand and the things you can actually control. Avoid having expectations of the eventually outcome.