Saturday, January 12, 2019

One Hundred

I mentioned in Housekeeping (11-10-18) that the blog had reached 97 different countries. Yesterday it hit 100. (Equatorial Guinea 12-7-18, Mongolia 1-1-19, Puerto Rico 1-11-19) I was surprised it happened as quickly as it did. I took some satisfaction in the accomplishment, albeit tempered, when I researched how many countries do exist. The number is 196. (Taiwan is a matter of some debate, but since it is on my list, I have included it) There are other lists that have the number at 256, but include "countries" like Bouvet Island. No one lives on Bouvet Island. Located in the South Atlantic, "the nearest human life resides thousands of miles away, making Bouvet Island the most remote on the planet." Given that, (and other similar examples) it seems reasonable to settle at 196.

What does it all mean? Not much. It is simply acknowledging a milestone. But that carries more significance than you realize. I know I "turn on" my dopamine when I achieve a goal and see my efforts rewarded. Since dopamine contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, I have given myself a gift in my acknowledgement. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter, a chemical that ferries information between neurons. It is part of the "neural network" development inherent in G-G-G that I referenced in Gift Return. (1-3-19) Last, but certainly not least, is what's known as "capitalization." (the social sharing of positive events. Langston University 1994) Conoley, Vasquez, Bello, Oromendia, and Jeske more recent study (Celebrating the Accomplishments of Others: Mutual Benefits of Capitalization 2015) has examined the positive effects available to YOU as just a listener.(in your case, reader) So, not only have I given myself a gift in "One Hundred," I have extended one to you as well. It is the intrinsic nature of G-G-G that it operate in just that way.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Picture Perfect

For the rest of January I ask you consider employing the "perfect" technique. What it involves is you thinking (or even saying out loud) "perfect" when you accomplish something. Let me provide some examples: you stumble out of bed and immediately pour yourself a cup of coffee. Perfect. (automated, preset coffee maker!) You finish brushing your teeth. Perfect. Turning the key in the ignition, your car starts. Perfect. You arrive at work without being rear ended or experiencing a fender bender. Perfect. Don't have to stop at the store on the way home? Perfect. Do have to stop? Perfect. (you remembered) Kids and spouse (pet) alive as you walk in the door? Perfect. Food to eat, TV to watch, radio to listen to, Internet to peruse, book to read? Perfect, perfect, perfect!

Let me be clear. Excellence does not require perfection. I am not suggesting you become a perfectionist. What I am recommending is you develop the capacity that allows for the possibility of perfection already being at work in your life. And let me just add I want you to be honest with yourself. If something goes sideways or heads south, be candid in your assessment; 'that was perfectly awful.'

If you can manage this until the end of the month you will establish a routine. This method then becomes a tool you can utilize in crafting more of your experience into gifts. (spiritual alchemy) Gifts trigger a natural reaction of gratitude. The habit becomes self-perpetuating.

Try it. (what have you got to lose?) If it seems preposterous you need not share it or declare it. It will be your little secret. If you forget for a day or two, no worries. Just remember that, as in all things, "practice makes perfect!"