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September is National Self Improvement Month

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

It is a myth that practice makes perfect. IT DOESN'T. What you practice makes you better at what you practice. There is no perfect. In Dr. Harry D. Cohen's book, Be the Sun, Not the Salt, he shares the Native American parable, The Story Of The Two Wolves, which illustrates this idea.



Whether or not it's your first time hearing this story, it serves as an important reminder of the power we have over our experiences and emotions. One evening, a wise old man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said; "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil—it is anger, envy, jealousy, greed and arrogance. The other is Good—it is peace, love, hope, humility, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about this for a while and then asked his grandfather, "which wolf wins?" the old man replied, "The one you feed." People who are wise already know this. What the old man didn't tell his grandson is that the battle rages daily, moment-to-moment. If you practice irritation, judgement and anger, those qualities get stronger as sure as the night follows day.

Good and evil, kindness and cruelty, wisdom and ignorance. We all have a good wolf and a bad wolf. Choose sides. And get in the game.


GET IN THE HELIOTROPIC GAME, BE KIND!

Kindness is one characteristic of being Heliotropic. There are numerous studies that have been done that show how being kind to yourself and to others helps you be a better, healthier person.

HERE ARE SIX SCIENCE-BACKED REASONS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH THROUGH KINDNESS.

1. Kindness releases feel-good hormones
2. Kindness eases anxiety
3. Kindness is good for your heart
4. It can help you live longer
5. It reduces stress
6. Kindness prevents illness

BEING KIND TO YOURSELF IS IMPORTANT TOO

1. Self-kindness nourishes your sense of self
2. Self-kindness fuels your motivation
3. Self-kindness helps you achieve your goals


HOW TO CREATE YOUR BEST SELF? OBSERVE YOURSELF AT YOUR BEST, AND DO MORE OF THAT.

Self-observation is an essential life skill, and may well be the most important. It seems so obvious and so simple and yet we are extremely unskilled and unpracticed at paying attention to our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. We tend to operate on "automatic pilot," as if we have no control. The reality is that unless we know what we are doing, we have little chance of changing it—and often the simple act of becoming aware causes us to do something differently.

The good news is that internal self-awareness can be learned. Pause, reflect, and consider your responses to these questions when you find yourself in challenging or emotionally-charged scenarios.

• What emotions am I experiencing?
• What am I assuming about another person or the situation?
• What are the facts vs. my interpretations?
• What are my core values, and how might they be impacting my reactions?

If you take the time to consider your responses and resist the impulse to rush to an answer, you can learn a great deal about yourself.

"You get a chance to try again every moment of every day, of every year of your life."
- Dr. Harry Cohen









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