Conflict

Our Inner Dialog: What Does It Really Say?

This morning I shared one of my recent inner dialogs with someone whom I really respect. It went something like this, “Geez Roni, what an idiot you were to have trusted that person. What were you thinking?”

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My friend said, “Would you have said the same thing to your son or grandson had they confided in you that they made a similar mistake?” It didn’t take me long to say, “Of course not, although I may have added that was a bonehead thing to do.”

My friend then said if you were walking with a friend and she stubbed her toe, would you comfort her?” I replied, “Of course I would.” She continued, “If you stubbed your own toe, would you berate yourself for being careless or not wearing better shoes?” Sounded just about right to me.

Okay, so I am sure you get the analogy. I know I did. Our inner dialog lets us know how we are dealing with our lives and our decisions. Harsh words and negative thoughts ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS!

This journey we call life is comprised of choices. Some will be good, some not so good, and some will in fact be bonehead decisions. It is what we learn from each circumstance that will ultimately guide our future decisions. Will we be repeat offenders or wiser people?

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On a very long walk later in the day, I changed the dialog in my head to sound like this, “Okay, Roni, you can’t change the past. You can however give yourself a break by acknowledging that this wasn’t your finest moment. Know you have the ability to devise a back-up plan, comfort yourself with a “there-there”, then move forward.”

There are no magic pills that can guide us through all of life’s challenges. There are no magic words that can erase bad choices and decisions. Fortunately though, there is a new start everyday when we awaken. We have the ability to make a decision to walk in a direction that is more positive and that will ultimately help us feel better about ourselves.

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When you change your thoughts from negative to positive, you improve your attitude and energy. So if you find yourself in a storm without an umbrella and rain gear, find a warm place to wait it out. Take a hot bath when you get home. And make a plan to keep the necessary equipment in your car to be better prepared the next time.

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And for God sakes, give yourself a break!

There is a chapter in my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, titled Honor Yourself. Like all of the chapters I give examples and exercises to help my readers understand themselves better. I plan on reviewing it for myself.

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.

Bullies

There is a great deal of focus on kids who bully at school. There are many shows dedicated to educating parents and children about cyber bullying. Children are subjected to bullies on a regular basis. As adults and educators, we must be super sensitive to this, as young people often don’t know how to handle the situation when faced with a bully. What happens though when the bully is an adult? Unfortunately, people who feel entitled to boss and push their way through life come in both genders and all ages.

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I have been with people who have exhibited short fuses when it comes to talking with sales or service people. I have listened to friends tell me they have been yelled at by other adults at friendly card games. I have experienced rage at places where I play sports. I see adult children talking to their parents in a manner that lacks respect.

What do all these people have in common? It is my opinion that volatile people really don’t know how to communicate their impatience, disappointment, expectations or anger. Consequently, they often resort to screaming and name calling as a means to make their point. Bullies of all ages tend to choose targets that are either smaller, younger, more passive or in a position where they are unable to defend themselves.

I personally find this behavior despicable. Harsh word? Yes. However adult bullying is even more unacceptable than kids on the playground since we have the capacity to weigh our words and temper our impulses…or at least we should by the time we have matured.

If you are bullied, ask yourself why you allow this to happen. If you are the bully, ask yourself why you feel entitled to push other people around with your words or actions. The expression, “Your right to swing your arm ends at my nose” applies to words as well. No one should use another person as a target for his or her personal lack of control when it comes to self-expression. Don’t give anyone permission to treat you with ire and unkindness. It doesn’t matter if the person is your boss, your friend, your children or your parents.

Men boxing. Two men boxing on the boxing ring

If you recognize yourself in either of the above scenarios, hold up a mirror and ask yourself why this is your method of expressing displeasure. If you are the recipient of someone using their anger to insult or rant at you, ask yourself why you don’t speak up for yourself.

Woman looking in to the mirror

In my book, “12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick”, I address Standing Up For Yourself. As in all of the chapters I provide you with relatable, practical exercises and stories. I guide my readers to first recognize their own behaviors, and then take the necessary steps to fine tune these behaviors thus becoming more empowered.

Whether you have watched your parents bully other people or you have experienced bullying, you are not destined to repeat these behaviors. I firmly believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Take control of your life by taking control of your mouth and your actions.

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Make 2017 the year to make positive changes by becoming someone that you respect and would choose for a friend!

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy of my book. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? You have much to gain and little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.  #self-respect, #kindness, #communication, #bullies, #interpersonalrelationships.

Why Is It So Hard?

We all have pet peeves. My biggest one is when I hear someone say they aren’t doing something that they really want to, because it is too hard. Why is hard the criteria for finishing school, changing careers, leaving a bad marriage, losing weight, exercising more and so on?

When my son was in the third grade and whined to me that math was too hard, I am pretty sure I encouraged him to study more. I know for a fact I didn’t say, “Hey no problem, just quit.” When my grandson first started playing basketball and found it difficult to run and dribble the ball at the same time, instead of quitting he made the choice to practice until he mastered it. Why? Because it was really important to him to play.

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Personally, if I used ‘this is too hard” as a gauge, I would be writing this blog by pen. It was NOT easy to learn how to use an IBM typewriter (look it up) in high school. I would also still be using a rotary phone, or at least a flip phone. Also, I know for a fact that I would still be adjusting the rabbit ears (Google it) on my TV instead of mastering several remote controls to navigate my DVR and stream channels.

The reality: Life is hard. We must work for most of the things we truly value. I am sure the first time you learned to ski; play tennis; bowl; ride a bike or drive, it was hard. Did that really stop you from moving forward?

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Perhaps we need to utilize a different criteria when deciding how to live our lives. Take the word “hard” out of the equation. Try saying, “This isn’t what I want.” Or, “This isn’t worth my time.” Or, “This isn’t something I value.” Chances are these sentiments do not define your feelings. We really do want to achieve the task. We just believe it to be too hard. Perhaps if we said, “Even though this is hard, I want it so I will work for it.” Or, “Even though this is hard, it is worth my time.” Or, “Even though this is hard, because I value it, I will work and study.”

Those who realize their dreams and goals are willing to put in the time. My sister-in-law spent a year working on a yoga pose called Crow or Wheel. She did the pose in class for the first time when I was visiting her. I was so happy to be there to see her smile as the entire class applauded her achievement. There is NO question, it was hard. Another friend made a choice to live a healthier lifestyle. She changed her diet and joined a gym. Easy? I doubt it. Worth it? You should see how great she looks and how good she feels.

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Don’t see things that are hard as deal breakers. See seem as a challenge that you can overcome. Sometimes you will be successful, sometimes you won’t. Truly, how will you know if you don’t even try? After all, isn’t that what we tell our children?

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. 

How Important Is It To Face Our Fears?

This past weekend, at a tournament, I was given the opportunity to talk in front of 50 women about my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick.

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One of the chapters in my book is entitled Don’t Make Decisions Based on Fear. One of my top fears is public speaking. Knowing that I would be nervous, have cottonmouth and sweaty palms, I spent a week writing and rewriting what I would say. I started with a large pad of paper and then worked my way down to 36 3X5 cards.

Throughout the week I chopped away at my 36 cards until I had the main points I wanted to make down to 19 cards. A friend encouraged me to reduce it further to 8 cards and just put a few words on each to help me stay on point. When all was said and done I had 12 cards in my hand.

I practiced in the mirror. I practiced by talking into my phone and listening to my voice. I practiced in front of my two dogs. They didn’t exactly look impressed with what I had to say.

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The night before the event, several friends gave me advice: Take water so your mouth isn’t dry. Don’t read from your notes, speak from your heart. Find a friendly face in the crowd. My personal favorite, relax and be yourself. The reason this is my favorite is because I am not a relaxed person, and in these kinds of situations I tend to look for the exit sign.

About 15 minutes before I was to be introduced to these lovely ladies, Sally (one of the women I was assisting at the tournament) bought my book. She told me that throughout the morning she had found me easy to talk with and confidant, so she was therefore interested in reading my book. I thanked her and confided to her that I was nervous. She simply said, “You will be fine.”

With two minutes left before I was to speak, Sally asked me how many books I wanted to sell. I told her I thought 10% of the total amount of people there would be a reasonable expectation.

I started my talk by admitting that one of the chapters in my book was facing fears.   I then went on to say that one of my fears was talking in front of a large group. I looked around the room as I said; “I am choosing to push past it by talking to you today about my book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick.” 

I saw many in the audience with encouraging smiles. The next few minutes flew by as I relaxed my body, and spoke from the heart.

I am grateful to everyone who gave me the encouragement to face this fear.   I am a firm believer that there are many kind and unselfish people in this world. I am most grateful to Sally, who had been a virtual stranger only hours before, for once again confirming this to me. And yes, she got me a little over 10% in book sales that day.

Although I will be nervous next week when I speak in front of a group at a Yoga Studio, I know I will be fine. I had proven to myself that this is something I can do even with sweaty palms and cottonmouth.

Women practicing yoga in a class

Women practicing yoga in a class

What about you? Do you allow your fears to prevent you from doing something you truly want to do? If so, check out my book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick. Through awareness of how and why we react the way we do you will make healthier changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve interpersonal relationships. There is much to gain and little to lose.

You can buy the printed or e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

 

Is The Third Chapter Of My Life As Important As The First Two?

A good friend of mine has been telling me for months to watch a movie that was released in 1996. It is called Mother starring Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds. I finally got around to watching it on Netflix yesterday.

For those of you who weren’t born yet, or are too old to remember, the premise of the movie is this:

Two grown sons have a rather unhealthy relationship with their mother.  The older son (Brooks) is an author of several books who has unhealthy relationships with women in general. He blames his mother for this and, consequently, is at odds with her. Determined to learn why he and ‘mom’ are always fighting, he moves back home, recreates his teenage bedroom and spends all of his time with her to get to know his mother better.

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More than halfway through the movie he finds several boxes of short stories that his mother had written in her youth. He sits on his bed and begins to read them. When she comes home and sees him reading her personal works, she becomes very angry with him. He can’t understand why she is so upset, and she can’t understand why he is even interested in reading something from so long ago.

It is when he says, “Mother, I never knew you liked to write. I never knew you had this creative side”, that the movie becomes really interesting to me. This is mostly because I spend so much time thinking about what makes us ‘tick’. In other words, why do we act the way we do and make the choices we do. The biggest impact on me was when the mother said to her son, “I had a life before you; I had dreams of what I wanted to be.” This prompted me to think about the goals and dreams many of us put aside to raise a family and handle all of life’s demands.

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The son begins to realize that his mother has built up resentments toward him because he lived his dream and she didn’t live hers. In a very emotional and heartwarming way, he holds her hand and expresses his discovery to her. She then gives him a loving look and says, “You are right, dear.” Big Hug for them; lots of tissues for me.

Mother and Son Hugging

In the last scene:

He packs up his belongings and goes back to his life feeling satisfied that he has a better understanding of his mother, their relationship and himself. We see him get into his car, and we see the mother sit down at the word processor (remember this was 1996), with a smile on her face as she once again begins to write.

The take-away: The third chapter of your life is as important as the first two. Don’t just walk through it. You were someone before you became a parent, and you are someone after your children have leave the nest. Live each day with purpose, passion and joy! No matter what your age, you have much to live, experience and learn!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do. This in turn helps us make healthier changes that will ultimately give us the perspective needed to improve interpersonal relationships. There is much to gain and little to lose.

You can buy the printed or e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

What Kind Of Person Do You Want To Be?

Do these words ever come out of your mouth? “He made me do that”? Or, “She made me feel guilty”? Or, “I was forced to say what I said because of someone else?”

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If you answered yes to any of the above questions, do you ever feel that another person is the reason that you react the way you do? Do you excuse your own behavior by placing the blame on anyone and anything except yourself?

I believe most of us have the ability to control two things with regard to our own behavior. What goes in and what comes out of our mouths.

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For the past several years I have been in a situation where I have needed to deal with someone who does not share many of my values nor my way of handling challenges and commitments. Because of this I have, on more occasions than I would care to admit, found myself saying things that I normally just wouldn’t say.

It doesn’t matter the circumstances. It doesn’t matter what my frustrations and disappointments are. What does matter is that I allowed another person to affect who I am. And that is NOT okay with me.

I want to share my thought processes as to how I have chosen to work through what has become a battle that I would never have entered into previously. The first thing I did was play many different scenarios in my head. I then wrote a potential blog that I did not filter. I read and reread it many times. I then shared it with a couple of close friends.

My writing was emotional. My writing was angry. My writing wasn’t who I am, although it was how I was feeling. After I finished reading my words several times, I shredded the page. What did I gained from this exercise…I can now look at this situation with more clarity and less emotion.

Do not change who you are to accommodate others. Don’t allow a bad experience to alter how you handle sticky situations.

This bears repeating: Do not give your power to someone else. At the end of the day, we all need to look in the mirror and feel good about who we are, how we handle our behavior and who we strive to be.

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My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

What Can I Say That Will Help a Friend Deal With Loss?

I just received a heart-wrenching email from a friend of several decades. She asked me to give her any words of wisdom that could help her cope with the impending death of her beloved husband of 35 years.

I have had the privilege of watching the two of them work through challenges, raise children, and build a wonderful life together. After they retired, they traveled and they basked in the love of several beautiful grandchildren. They accomplished these things as a couple.   My friend has shared a bed and a home with this man for more than three quarters of her life. And now it is unimaginable for her that he will no longer be here and that she will be alone.

Lonely Lady

Words of wisdom? There aren’t any. I do however feel somewhat guilty that I am envious of her. She is suffering and she is scared. What could I possibly be envious of, you ask?

To have this level of loss means that she has experienced a level of love that most of us can only dream about. To experience a great love is a gift. Most of us can only hope that we find the one person who will laugh at the same silly things, cry together when facing sadness, and have each other’s back when the world seems like a scary place. Not for a day. Not for a week. But for a lifetime.

There are no words of wisdom. No one can say anything magical to lessen the pain. No one can do anything to make the loneliness go away. All we can do for each other is be a loving, supportive, soft place to land.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

During our lifetime, if we are truly blessed and extremely lucky, we will find that one special person who is the love of our life.

My dear friend has found this. And now she must find a way to say goodbye. She needs to find the strength to live her life without Larry. And she will. Life will be much sadder for a while. Life will be much lonelier for a while. The truth is, she will never totally heal from the pain she is now feeling.

Hopefully within time her children her grandchildren her friends and the memories that she and her husband have shared will bring her joy and comfort.

I am sure if you were to ask both of my friends what they would advise other people to do, it would be to laugh and play more. Let go of the small stuff. Keep an open heart. In other words be happy.

Cheerful senior couple blowing bubbles in park

We are given a very short time on this earth. Make the most of it while you can. Let go of grudges. Be less angry. Be kinder. It doesn’t matter what the next guy does. Hold yourself up to a higher standard.

We don’t get to choose how and when we die. We do however get to choose how we live and how we love!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

Why Is It Important to Take Inventory Of Our Lives?

There probably isn’t one person walking the face of the earth that hasn’t experienced sadness, disappointment or hardship. It comes with the territory of living. Conversely, I am confident these same people have experienced great joy and blessings.

A few months ago my son and daughter-in-law received a text from their 12 years-old that no parent ever wants to get. It read, “My school is on lock-down, we are on the floor with the lights off. I am so scared. I love you.” Thank God this ended well as the threat to the school was a prank.

A very close friend lost a nephew due to a drug over-dose. Another has a brother who is in and out of the hospital with one emergency or another. And if that isn’t enough, another close friend experienced a fall that is causing her much distress and discomfort.

My purpose isn’t to be depressing. It is to illustrate that we all have people in our lives that are going through trying times.

On the upside, my family and friends recently joined together to celebrate my grandson’s Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13. This summer I will be attending several weddings and meeting a close friend’s granddaughter for the first time. I am also in the process of achieving several goals that I set for myself several years ago.

Why is it important to take inventory of the good, the bad and the ugly? To get perspective. There are many sayings and poems that attest to this. A few that come to mind are “You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain”, “Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” and “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”.

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It is very easy to let life bring us down, but it isn’t always easy to find the courage and fortitude to keep going when bad things happen to us our family and friends.

I handle life’s struggles this way: When I hear that someone has died, I wish him or her a safe journey. I then think about the birth of a baby. This helps me cope with the cycles of life.

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Next time life throws bad things your way; remember that life also provides stunning sunsets, awesome mountains, children laughing and beautiful moments.

sunsets

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

 

How Can I Get Others To Treat Me Better?

I have been talking with several friends lately regarding this topic:

My grandson was barely 5 years old when he was introduced to another 5 year old who lived in his complex. This boy started calling my grandson names while they played ball. My grandson told him many times to stop. When this kid called my daughter-in-law “fat” (which she isn’t), with total frustration, Travis said, “You have lost the privilege of being my friend.”

After a few days the mothers sat the boys down and they talked about sharing, getting along and being nice to each other. It was all very civilized and a great lesson on working through problems.

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Whether dating, working, being a part of a group or spending time with close friends and family, we all teach each other what we will and will not accept by speaking up or staying quiet.

You can appreciate the following examples: One friend said with regard to first and second dates that it is up to each of us to set a bar of behavior with the men and the women that we encounter. A co-worker, thirty years ago, heard that her new boss was a screamer. Before he had an opportunity to go off on her she had a conversation with him. On the first day of employment she went into his office and closed the door. In a very polite and calm voice she said, “If you ever start yelling at me, I will quit my job”. He never once raised his voice to Patty.

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I hear children talking to their parents with such contempt and distain. I hear husbands and wives talk to each other like they were enemies, not lovers.

Life is short. Choose to spend time with people who elevate others. Do the best you can to eliminate the negative people that come across your path. I try to be aware of my own behavior talking with others. I take responsibility when I am not my best self by admitting my mistakes and trying to be more understanding and objective with others.

If there are people in your life who bring you down, if there are people in your life who make you feel small, if there are people in your life who cause you to question yourself ask yourself why you allow this. Then make a plan to change the situation.

You are worthy of being surrounded by kind, caring and respectful people. If you don’t agree with this, ask yourself why.

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My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr or get a printed copy mid summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

Have you ever asked yourself What Comes Next?

When a marriage fails. When a job doesn’t work out. When a friendship ends how do you cope with the loss and disappointment? Is a box of See’s candy and a carton of milk your go to? (Ok, so that would be mine).

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In these situations, we tend to react with uncertainty and fear. I believe many of us spend too much energy over-thinking the possible reasons why things didn’t go right. We focus on trying to figure out whose fault it was, or we beat ourselves up for not succeeding.

Perhaps we should look at the above scenarios and asked ourselves, What Comes Next? This will change our focus from loss and failure to a more positive state of mind. It steers us away from someone or something we can no longer change or affect and enables us to begin the seed-planting process of considering a new course of action.

Humans feel. We get frustrated. We cry. We also dust ourselves off and get back in the game. Most of us are survivors.

So the very next time you are faced with a roadblock or a changeable situation, ask yourself, “What’s next for me?” Then develop a plan. Sleep on your dilemma; talk it over with a family member, a close friend, or your spouse. There is no need to act in a rash manner. I strongly believe that when one door closes, another door opens. Instead of passively waiting for that to happen, set new goals and go knock on the right doors.

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It feels good to actually have a say in the direction that your life is going. Don’t you agree?

My book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes you Tick is currently available in e-book form on Amazon.com. Just click on the click to upload. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Roni Kugler_final

I am excited to share that the printed version will be available at the beginning of the summer. Details to follow!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.