(2) Expect Kinder Retirement Possibilities

      Comments Off on (2) Expect Kinder Retirement Possibilities

Inner kindness is a majestic force that lifts us beyond barriers into happiness and helps us see life as it might appear with wonderful opportunities at any moment. When kind to ourselves  we set a magnificent mental and emotional stage to laugh more and celebrate life fully in every current moment. Inner calm and kindness hold space for anyone’s  happiness as Aristotle said, “Happiness depends on ourselves.” Yet some seniors seem to barely survive toxic turmoil in their daily lives and so tend to disagree. What say you?

A kinder inner disposition may use parts of our brain never before used yet we can also accomplish things never before accomplished by coming at life through a growth mindset gateway. Sometimes we simply have to travel into the innermost depths of ourselves to find our version of the best life possible. When this happens blessings and opportunities that often appear to come from outside sources actually emerge from deep within our innermost being.

In this growth mindset pathway to deep inner delight, perhaps our greatest building tool  against slipping back into stress is our ability to choose one thought over another in any situation. Then when we make a commitment for kindness to ourselves, we also make a contribution to others’ happiness and life begins in exciting new directions. Firstly, we can stop looking for happiness, because contentment will literally come to meet us more than not.

Nothing is more dangerous than a fixed idea or concept when it’s the only one we’re open to. A fixed mindset is a bit like lining up for a marvelous banquet without a plate, glass or utensils.

We may want others to bring happiness to our lives, but growth sometimes calls instead for us to make space for inner ambiguity in ways that allow personal treasures to  illuminate our way. Personal gems may follow a risk we take, or a false belief we abandon in favor of going after a genuine possibility instead. Jane Fonda, for example, had to let go of and move beyond debilitating fears she held about female role models after her 24 year old mother committed suicide.

Each time we exchange inner fears or barriers such as blaming others for our unhappiness, we actually grow a stronger emotional intelligence to enjoy a calmer and kinder inner life.

We lean into emotional or intrapersonal IQ to tackle toxins with an added ability to remain calm when those around us may turn to stress. A growth mindset allows us to grow increasingly aware of our emotional strengths. We also learn to sidestep disruptions that create conflict in ourselves and in our relationships.

With serotonin, the brain’s aha chemical, we grow more calm and flexible to learn from others who differ and avoid the stagnation by looking at problems with possibilities in mind. We grow grit and resilience by using our curiosity to empower change in how we think with confidence, act with capability, and convert mistakes into stepping stones forward.

EQ or Intrapersonal IQ are to brain compatibility what power tools are to home building. With healthy levels we enjoy kinder and less critical  outcomes. For instance we become aware of our strengths and we welcome the growth that comes to improve on weaker areas.

We find motivation to keep growing and we replace resistance and fear with resilience and resolve to bounce back from tough breaks and take on new adventures with grace, grit and goodwill.

Imagine living an awesome life without harsh judgments and devoid of harmful criticism! That delightful freedom can happen when mindset matters more than patterns from past flaws or failures! How so?

Call it a boost for our brain. To practice emotionally healthy reactions is to allow ourselves to make mistakes. When slipups happen, we choose to avoid judging ourselves and instead create opportunities to grow and change. Sounds simple and obvious, right? Well, it’s really all about doing it more, so we can do it easier.

As we practice living a healthy emotional life, we’ll discover ways to reshape restrictive beliefs and we’ll become aware of flexible alternatives for growth. Emotionally healthy actions observed and experienced will give us tools to boost skills of the soul and tackle problems with renewed confidence. Awareness grows! With daily practice, we’ll gradually begin to set goals that lay stronger foundations upon which to build lifelong dreams.

EQ & Intrapersonal IQ for an Emotional Boost

Now that we know that IQ is fluid not fixed, we can also improve our emotional IQ and strengthen our heartfelt capabilities. It’s a bit like hitching our wagon to a dream for living daily with joy and curiosity. Do not get distracted by HTML links in the following sections. Ignore them! Hit only those links that trigger curiosity to know more about linked topics.

A healthy emotional IQ keeps us in open-minded thinking. It’s available to all who take time to practice it. Most anyone can do it. When we choose emotionally strong approaches, we choose an art and science of creative reactions. We learn to recognize emotional cues, diffuse disappointments, and access a healthier, more agile brain. We reinforce an ability to deal with common frustrations and filter out irrelevant reactions.

Call it a boost for our brain. To practice emotionally healthy reactions is to allow ourselves to make mistakes. When slip-ups occur, we can avoid judging ourselves and instead focus our awareness to create opportunities to grow and change. Sounds simple and obvious, right? Well, it’s really all about doing it more, so we can do it easier.

As we practice living a healthy emotional life, we’ll discover kinder ways to reshape restrictive beliefs and we’ll become aware of flexible alternatives for growth. Emotionally healthy actions observed and experienced will give us tools to boost skills of the soul and tackle problems with renewed confidence. Awareness grows! With daily practice, we’ll gradually begin to set goals that lay stronger foundations upon which to build lifelong dreams.

WHAT IS A LOW EMOTIONAL IQ?

Low EQ has us believe that our emotional failures as well as capabilities are hardwired and fixed traits. We believe our friends are fulfilled as athletes or leaders, while we are born without communication, or athletic skills we may crave, but cannot seem to attain.

We feel we’re born with hardwired emotional inabilities and are stuck in a rut with personal limitations. No wonder we give up rather than try new approaches or take risks. We likely look at elderly friends who do well and conclude we can’t enjoy a similar emotional or mental skills because it’s too late now.

A healthy emotional IQ keeps us in open-minded thinking. It’s available to all who take time to practice it. Most anyone can do it. When we choose emotionally strong approaches, we choose an art and science of creative reactions. We learn to recognize emotional cues, diffuse disappointments, and access a healthier, more agile brain. We reinforce an ability to deal with common frustrations and filter out irrelevant reactions.

Call it a boost for our brain. To practice emotionally healthy reactions is to allow ourselves to make mistakes. When slip-ups occur, we can avoid judging ourselves and instead focus our awareness to create opportunities to grow and change. Sounds simple and obvious, right? Well, it’s really all about doing it more, so we can do it easier.

As we practice living a healthy emotional life, we’ll discover ways to reshape restrictive beliefs and we’ll become aware of flexible alternatives for growth. Emotionally healthy actions observed and experienced will give us tools to boost skills of the soul and tackle problems with renewed confidence. Awareness grows! With daily practice, we’ll gradually begin to set goals that lay stronger foundations upon which to build lifelong dreams.

OUR BRAINS COME EQUIPPED TO BUILD EQ

The six brain parts below help to build and measure our emotional wellbeing

Basal Ganglia is our brain’s warehouse. Let’s say we tend to act on a short fuse. Those angry actions, over time, store as toxic habits. Anger, for instance can hold our healthy emotions prisoner. If we avoid change, and default to old habits we stockpile these habits in our basal ganglia and find ourselves in constant ruts. See more details on the wonders and woes of our basal ganglia.

Serotonin is the brain’s wellbeing hormone. When used to facilitate healthy emotions it replaces toxins and opens healthy emotions along with AHA opportunities. That’s why we trust more, expect less from others, smile faster, hold on more, grow grit, encourage others to hang in, and enjoy life. See more details on serotonin as a power tool for higher EQ.

Plasticity is the brain’s ability to change itself. Each time we choose to act on either a health or toxic emotion, that chosen action lays down a new neural pathway for more of the same. For example, let’s say we encounter a problem. If we smile and propose a solution, we change our brain for more of the same reactions to problems. Similarly, if we complain and sulk. Both a smirk and a smile lays down pathways into more of the same emotional reactions that change our brains. See more details on plasticity as a driver to creativity.

Working Memory is the brain’s thimble sized temporary memory. Working memory holds bits of data while we use it to solve problems, and then replaces that data when new facts fly in. Let’s say we read that mellow music upgrades a bad mood. That new idea goes into our working memory. Then, let’s say we play ambient music to help us relax. Use of that fact from our working memory moves it into a longer memory bank, the basal ganglia. See more details on working memory as a support to learning.

What is Lasting Inner Happiness and Where is it Found Most?

With depression and sorrow at all time highs we are led to ask, “ Does inner healing and happiness go hand in hand?” Consider how joy fills the center of some seniors and acts as evidence of wonder which is fully in play. How though, might we too help to restore this union of healing and happiness back to the millions who appear to have lost any sense of personal wellbeing, much less miss life’s sometimes silly play.

A thankful heart offers us one remedy against depression and sorrow, Sure, we may have to alter expectations a bit, because rigid expectations can destroy any hopes for happiness. Would you agree that if we access highways into happiness with its laughter, we’ll also open a crossroad into even more genuine gratitude opportunities?

Unreasonable expectations can dash any hope of happiness. Years ago, the Clark family expected to board a ship in Scotland to travel to the US. Their lifetime dream got cruelly crushed when their son became ill and the family required 14 days of quarantine at the same time they were to have boarded the ship.  Nothing could console the Clark family, until a breaking news report informed the world that their ship, The Titanic, shockingly sank and many lives were lost. Hearing this terrible fate, the family thanked God for an intervention that seemed a tragedy at first, but that transformed into blessings for this family in the end, since they were spared.

Happiness is sometimes seen as a utopian state most seniors crave, and yet few realize.  Ask happy elders where their joy and laughter comes from and they tell us happiness comes with awareness, is the work of grace and often resides in those who cultivate a free spirit.

It’s true that nobody who lives in this chaotic and crazy world, feels happy 24/7. Nevertheless, joy and delight are available much more than most of us unwrap or experience this  life-changing gift. Also true is that  we live in the past, at happiness’ peril, especially if we wallow in missteps or miseries.

One surefire way into happiness is to remain open-minded, and to learn new approaches or possibilities regardless of age or education.  We step beyond our old ways and allow others to teach new ways through their eyes, and their understanding. We garner happiness for all when we listen more, and create incredible new perspectives side by side with those around us. We consider @oxherdboy’s question to the Ox:

     “Will you teach me everything you know?” the boy asked.

     “I don’t think so,” replied the Ox.

     “It would be better to relearn life with you than teach you my old ways.”

Imagine how we seniors regain happiness by relearning with our grandchildren. What if seniors could lead the way to reinstate happiness into lives of all ages, and personalities. Could it work?

A growth or fixed mindset define our senior years and determine whether we burn strong or burn out after retirement. In any day we experience both tamed emotions for growth, and untamed or fixed emotions. Emotional responses to challenges such as loneliness or isolation during a pandemic, will determine our mindset and leave us emotionally well or moody and emotionally impaired.

Research shows we generate 60K to 80K thoughts daily. About 80% of these are typically negative (or fixed mindset thoughts). We cannot improve 80K thoughts. But what if we improve the first thought of our day in a way that looks at a problem and seeks a possibility?

You may remember MYG as a fantasy character that represents our amygdala or seat of our emotions. Emotional reactions stored in our amygdala can either help us seek to understand an opposing view (a growth mindset reaction), or push us to demand we are right (a fixed mindset response).

Growth mindset doesn’t mean we agree with everything we engage. It means we suspend our beliefs temporarily while we hold up new possibilities empathetically to consider through a different filter and to learn from another’s point of view. Empathy enables us to see possibilities through a similar filter as a person who differs, for instance. We might ask an open-minded question such as …

How many growth mindset emotions will you awaken today?

How many fixed mindset emotions will you default into today?

Transforming fixed emotions into growth mindset advances

As we observe our thoughts and grow aware of emotional reactions, we cultivate richer mental real estate required to remap emotional reactions and to thrive in daily challenges. We begin the practice of taming our amygdala to step beyond fixed or broken reactions, and we increase growth mindset opportunities by examining and improving our emotional choices.

For instance, we may refrain from snapping back to a personal criticism, in favor of considering a measured response that shows respect for the critic.

A tamed amygdala, with growth mindset spaces, for instance:

  • Drops expectations that assume others can make us happy.
  • Navigates stressors by making small daily changes.
  • Lives each moment as valued life in mindful focus.
  • Enjoys freedoms that come from living our authentic self.
  • Recognize that we are good enough and we possess all we need to grow.
  • Grow resilient through healing that takes hard work and hanging in.
  • Transforms blame from ourselves or others into tools to thrive.
  • Laugh at the little things!

Tools to live on the other side of anxiety and stress:

  1. Increase awareness of triggers and our emotional responses
  2. Practice growth mindset emotional reactions (see blue chart above).
  3. Accept that we are social beings and can build better emotional reactions
  4. Choose to be around people who energize your growth mindset.
  5. Avoid physiological imbalances by eating, exercising and sleeping well
  6. Breathe deeply as a daily practice, while walking or sitting still
  7. Develop intentional gratitude to shift emotional energy into abundance.
  8. Observe self and chart changes by journalling growth mindset progress.
  9. Deliberately choose serotonin in its many ways to access!
  10. Avoid the dangerous toxin, cortisol by letting go of false beliefs that lead to failure.

Our observation of life in each moment will become our thermostat to ensure enough warmth and self-acceptance needed to grow new neuron pathways. Branches we build by choices made to set out better directions that sustain ongoing emotional health.

Why Seniors Avoid a Fixed Mindset?

Fixed mindsets believe capabilities are hardwired traits. Our fixed mindset leads us to believe our friends may be natural athletes or leaders, while we insist we are born without athletic skills, or leadership acumen. We feel we’re born with certain inabilities and stuck with these. No wonder we give up rather than try new approaches or take risks. We likely admire older friends who do well and yet conclude we can’t learn a skill because it’s too late.

A fixed mindset holds back seniors who believe things about ourselves such as “I’m not organized”; “I’ll never be good at sports”; “Family ties are too hard”; “I can’t create”; “I’m always late”; “I can’t make friends”; “I’ll never be able to _________.” Fill in the blank. These inner fears keep us sticking to what we know, or fixed in our belief that failure is hardwired in.

Sure, no risk seems reasonable when our potential seems stuck. We feel powerless. A fixed mindset inhibits our potential for growth and robs us of joy. Have you experienced this or observed others with fixed beliefs? It doesn’t have to be this way.

Rather than fall into the trap of a fixed mindset where failure seems final, we can become aware that effort and hard work inevitably ends in thriving and flourishing. We inevitably reshape our limiting mindset to believe instead that, Hard work and practice over time helps us immensely in learning, in sports and in endless mental and emotional skills.

Knowing that emotional health germinates and grows with one small change at a time, what fixed mindset will you alter as you seed healing greatness today?

Imagine the delight of building growth mindset strategies and skills with our youth, who often get left behind to struggle alone in these difficult times!

When Can We Expect Kinder Possibilities as Seniors?

Start any morning with a kind anticipation for the day and we are more likely to live more retirement rewards held in trust for those with matching expectations. The happiness of our lives depends on the quality of our thoughts according to Marcus Aurelius. It makes sense if you think about it.

For instance, if we reflect on specific expectations for living well, we are more likely to meet these and live well. No question, we may have to pivot and adjust our steps along the way. Yet when we set a clear target we trigger a lighthouse flash … pause … flash … pause  cadence of certainty along the way.

That’s the brain’s way to step us along a course that aligns with our purpose and passion for reaching retirement expectations. Today’s the oldest we’ve ever been and the youngest we’ll ever be again. What if we could make more of our age today by acting on a few retirement possibilities to be the kindest senior ever/ What if we started by being especially kind to ourselves today? .

Some people fully expect to fizzle out when they retire and many do just that. Others expect to burn strong, and with research on their side, they seem to hit their finest stride in senior years. What do you expect? Will you fizzle out or burn strong, like Colin Thackery, an amazing 88 year old who entered and won a talent contest just to sing Wind Beneath My Wings, to his late wife. Or light up life much like Monica at 84 earned the golden buzzer for her rendition of The Cloud.

Let’s Say We Expect Outrageous Agility with Age?

Here are 10 sizzling brain boosters crafted for people like us, who expect and live outrageous agility with age. Suggestions below are simply triggers –  intended to help us to develop and use your unique intelligences too keep our brains alive and well.  

1. Question possibilities that will lead our day in a new direction. For instance, ask ourselves how to increase mental activity, and we’ll soon want to look into dynamic new research that suggests how it can be done. Neurogenesis will show us how brain cells can be coaxed into regenerating or growing with use, and yet only curious seniors will benefit from that fact.

2. Target a new project that draws on what we like to do most and then ask a friend to do it with us this week.

3. Expect quality time with family, finances and friends. Then take the first step to make a new adventure happen.

4. Move each of our multiple intelligences into action weekly. It’s quite simple. Do these ten tasks and we’ll have drawn on all eight intelligences. These intelligences are described further in the following section.

5. Reflect daily with the question, Where to from here? Ask ourselves how we can improve on one specific aspect of our day, and then plan a new project to improve on the following day. Be specific for best results.

6. Laugh rather than vent, and especially laugh at ourselves. Get others laughing too, because laughter opens the brain to new learning and can raise your immune system. Stress that comes from venting literally shrinks the brain, and creates new neuron pathways for more venting.

7. Play with new ideas, new hobbies, new challenges, and in ways that inspire others to do the same.

8. Change one normal routine into a fresh start with a new approach. For instance, drive along a new route to a familiar place. Read the newspaper from back to front. Invite a person from another culture out for lunch, and learn as much as we can about that person’s experiences and background.

9. Register for a musical evening, or a class about music. Or perhaps we’d rather plan an evening of new sounds at home. The key is to listen to cadences we already enjoy, along with a few new tunes tossed into the mix.

10. Hike through a park, visit a stream, stroll along a trail, or sit beside a brook – at least once a week. Ask ourselves a question about what we can expect to go well in our day. Ask what new challenge and adventure could shape the day, and what response we could make to have it go in our favor?

Most importantly, we can enjoy each day as if it held our most vital legacy, because it very well could. Unexpected melodies come far faster to those who expect more from an otherwise ordinary day. Furthermore, those who  expect, will be more apt to go after that next winning adventure with zest. It’s how the brain works when fueled with expectation. Have you seen it happen?

Senior Session 2 – Calmer and Kinder

Two – Footed Questions to Address Mita Growth Mindset Senior Sessions

1). What does our brain teach us about upgrading inner unrest to enjoy inner  kindness?

2). How does emotional IQ and inner kindness work together for contentment?

3). What part does the brain play when we access and trigger serotonin?

4). Is happiness more often a result of fate, luck or choice? How so?

5). What are a few easy ways to cultivate a growth mindset?

6). Which emotions will mostly lead to a growth mindset and how can they be engaged?

7). Which emotions will mostly lead to a fixed mindset and how they can be avoided?

8). What daily targets help seniors most to retain happiness in spite of challenges?

9). Were some seniors just born with more  serotonin for inner calm and kindness?

10). Is it possible to alter one another’s inner joy and kindness?

11). Is it possible to rarely feel anxious or act cranky? If so how so?

FINAL Question:  What’s one activity we can do to remove a fixed mindset and add a growth mindset for this topic of sustaining inner kindness and calm? Choose any one of the nine tips to sustain serotonin (the brain’s aha chemical) from the chart titled “Serotonin is our Well-being Chemical,” above and do that serotonin booster today. Choose something fun to uptick your inner kindness.  Tell a trusted friend your results or let us know in the next session how it turned out, and what feelings it evoked so far.

Dr Ellen Weber‘s Growth Mindset Materials and Publications Below:

Grace Mindset Book – audio

Grace Mindset Book – paperback

The Teen’s Growth Mindset Workbook – paperback

Growth Mindset Interactive Materials at TPT

Mita (Growth Mindset) Strategies in Class and Beyond

Student Assessment that Works – a Practical Approach