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resources - good directions to be your best

Critical Incident Stress
Coping through crisis
Good Directions to be your best
Dealing with holiday stress
After the Storm
Helping children grieve
Job Loss Stress
Understanding Grief

Whether hiking through the woods, driving on vacation, or delivering a load to a client you want to have good directions. And good directions really help in finding the right life partner, raising kids, making a major financial decision, or doing your job. As far as life is concerned a lot of people just “wing it” and hope things turn out okay. We hope GOOD DIRECTIONS will provide thought provoking material to help you be your best whether you are starting your career, midway through, or nearing retirement.


Have you wondered what it might have been like if you’d had a roadmap for life when you first started your journey … and actually followed it? How might life have been different? Some people look back with regrets. Others look back with satisfaction. Some look forward with dread while others look forward with excitement.

What makes the difference in our outlook? We know we cannot change the past and sometimes we believe we cannot change where we are headed. Whether we are young, at midlife, or growing toward retirement we should understand that we have the same starting line for life and that starting line is called TODAY.

So let’s start with an assessment regarding where you are today. Do you have “reasonable mastery” in your life? According to Dr. Raymond B. Flannery, “reasonable mastery refers to our abilities to shape the world in socially acceptable ways to meet our needs.”

 Simply put, it means that we need to master the ability to live in a way that is both acceptable to society and to us. Our mastery skills affect the way we function at home, at work, and how we relate to the world around us. Adverse circumstances at home or in our community can impair our mastery skills at work. And pressures in the workplace can affect our relationships at home and in the community. The question is how can we build or rebuild these mastery skills?

It’s all about you. That’s not arrogance. It is simply a fact. It’s too easy to blame someone else, although someone else may be a big part of your problem. It all comes down to a personal decision; the decision to improve, or continue to stew.

I’m not saying everything will miraculously change the moment you decide to make changes in your life. But you might be surprised at how life at work, at home and life in general can improve as you work toward personal improvement.

Here are some questions to ask at the “starting line” each day. Am I master over the things that are most significant in my life? (List what is most significant to you) Are my mastery skills their best at work or are there ways I can improve? If problems at home affect my work performance, can I file those problems away while I am at work? And if problems at work affect my relationships off the job, can I leave those problems at work and pick up the challenge tomorrow, my new starting line? Am I master over my emotions? Am I master over my body – what I put in it, how I take care of it? (Exercise and proper diet are fuel for a good attitude and sense of well being) Am I working toward a greater mastery in my work performance, in my home relationships, and in my social relationships?

Why not set some goals in areas where you want to improve? If a daily “starting line” seems too distant, set another “starting line” at lunch break and perhaps another “starting line” when you get off work. Every moment presents an opportunity to start again to improve our work ethic, our thought life, our outlook from negative to positive, our relationships, and more. These are areas of our life where we can really take charge – be in control. Take the attitude of Anthony Robbins who said, I am no longer willing to drive into the future using my rearview mirror as my tool of navigation. Your future starts with your next breath. Make the most of it.

© 2001, Ron Richardson 



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