Failure & Defeat Are Mindsets

Failure and defeat are mindsets.  Mindsets that only become a part of you if you believe them and accept them into your life.  You are not a failure, you have never been defeated.  No test, job, person, or relationship can qualify you as either.  You are a work in progress, like everyone else.  And as long as you keep trying and living a life with growth, you will never be a failure or be defeated.



10 Ways To Get Your Brain Into A New Groove

  1. Listen to an upbeat song and sing all the words really loudly.
  2. Pet or talk to an animal.  Have a full on conversation with said animal also helpful, cuddling or petting them while you do.
  3. Do 3 Yoga poses for a total of 6 minutes. Hold each pose for 2 minutes before moving onto the next one.
  4. Go for a walk or a hike with a planned mission. For instance, on my 10 min walk I will collect 1 red leaf, 2 green leaves, 3 rocks and 4 pieces of trash. That way you start with a goal and accomplish it! If you choose to add picking up trash to your mission, you can feel better about yourself because you helped make the world a better place to live in.   Also, you can ask someone else to create a mission for you to spice it up and be more adventurous.
  5. Drink a glass of water. As a special treat, I like to cut up a cucumber and throw it in a pitcher of water to make cucumber infused water. It’s so pleasant to drink. I like drinking a big enough glass so I have to go pee. After I drink the water and go pee usually I feel differently about the world. I find both drinking water and peeing very satisfying.
  6. Donate your time to an organization, school or just someone in need. It could be that your Aunt Shelly is struggling to figure out how to work Facebook and you can donate an hour of your time to teach her all about it. That one-hour of help is something she will be grateful for for a long time.
  7. Write a letter of gratitude or of grievance. A lot of times there is so much clutter in our minds, weighing us down we just need to let some of it out. The letter can be about someone or something and it’s up to you what you want to do with it. I like keeping it for a week in a safe place and then deciding either to give it to someone or throw it in the trash.
  8. Surprise someone by making or buying them a meal or a special drink.   Doing things for others gives your brain a hit in the reward centers of your brain. There’s nothing like making another person feel special to boost your own mood.
  9. Listen to an inspiring podcast or TED talk. There are few things that can fill my heart with hope and joy like an uplifting podcast or TED Talk. Some of podcasts go tos are RadioLab, Stuff You Should Know, StoryCorps, Freakonomics and On Being. The TED Radio Hour is also fantastic.
  10. Create something artistic. It can be anything. A piece of writing, a painting or drawing, sculpture, acting or improv. Tapping into the creative side of the brain will switch up your and open you up to exploring and concentrating on new things. 

Connected Communication: Tips and Takeaways

Communication Tips


Feeling Vocabulary

  • You can help find out what someone needs in a situation by becoming more familiar with a FEELINGS vocabulary


Feelings When Needs Are Met

Feelings When Needs Are Not Met
























  • Using empathy can lead to a meaningful connection supported by mutual understanding


  • Two basic needs all humans have are to be heard and understood


  • Some ways you can use empathy are:


I can see why you would be feeling this way

-Are you feeling this … because of this …? (an empathy guess)


* Empathy is about the other person feeling heard and understood.  A person cannot be completely there for another person, if they are telling their own story.   You have moved out of empathy and into sympathy when you relate to someone with phrases like,

– “That happened to me, I know how that feels”



Observations vs. Criticism


  • When you relay factual observations and don’t attach evaluations or criticisms, you will be more likely to establish a connection that will be helpful to the situation.


-Avoid words like right, wrong, good, bad, slow or fast

-Use phrases like, I agree or I disagree, instead of that’s right or that’s wrong

-It’s also dangerous to use praise as a reward for example, “Good job, you are so smart” instead you might use,

“ Wow, you used your brain in cool way to figure that out”


Defining NEEDS In Two Parts


  • Try to have both parities use a two part sentence structure for Feelings and Needs


I’m feeling this … because I am needing this…


Clarifying Questions Or Statements


  • These can help boil down situations to specifics like:


-What do you need from me right now? (Try to get them to be as specific as possible)


-Speak to your own needs, “My need right now is… because of …”


-If possible, combine the two, “Is there a way you can you think of to meet both of our needs?


Checking For Understanding


  • This is a request for someone to repeat back to you what they heard you say


-“Can you repeat back to me what you heard me say to you?”


  • Their interpretation of what you said can often be different then what you meant


  • If it’s not correct, repeat yourself again, you can add more clarifying words or try to simplify it more if you want. Then ask them what they heard you say again


  • Repeat this until you are satisfied that they understood your message


  • It is also helpful to repeat back to them, what you heard them say to you, to see if you have completely understood their message


For more information on this type of communication check out:

The Center for Nonviolent Communication