Conflict

How Important Is Hope?

I have been nicknamed a Pollyanna my whole life.   According to Webster, a Pollyanna is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. It defines me to a tee.

For many like myself, it is used to describe a person who finds only the good in people and the good in all circumstances.

My friend of almost 20 years was telling me about a situation where someone she knew did some pretty insane things. I listened and then said one thing positive in her friend’s defense. My friend looked at me and said, “Man, you can find a flower in a field of weeds.” Okay, so I took creative liberties here. She probably said that I could find a flower in a pile of shit.

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I have to admit that she made me laugh and she made me think. Thinking and overthinking is what I do best. Reflection to me is the key to understanding ourselves and therefore making the changes needed to make better choices.

In trying to understand why I tend to give people and situations the benefit of the doubt, the word hope keeps popping into my head. I hope that people will be kinder. I hope that people will do the right thing. I hope that our children and their children will do better and be better.

A world without hope is a very sad place. Some may consider me naive. Others may consider me a sucker or gullible. The truth is that I would rather be scammed and taken advantage of by a person or two than to be guarded and suspicious of everyone I meet.

Perhaps by living in my world, those people will learn a little something from me then go on to find the good in others. At least this is what I hope.

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I not only hope you find value in it, I know you will!

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What Does Your Inner Voice Say?

When I watched my latest video for the first time, my critical self yelled the following:

  • You Look Too Stiff
  • Your voice doesn’t have enough emotion
  • You don’t look your best
  • This video sucks!

I called the marketing guy who shot my video and told him how I felt. His response was, “Roni, you are waaaaaay too critical”. He went on to say that people will be looking at my sincerity and hearing my message. They wouldn’t be judging my hands, my hairstyle, or whether I smiled enough.

It took me a couple of weeks before I watched this video again. I did feel good about my message even though I still don’t like how I look and sound.

Although originally I decided not to post the video, my inner voice screamed, “Adjusted your expectations!”. My decision was to not be my own worst critic (as most of us are). I suggest you do that with all your decisions. Consider that your first choice might not be your best choice. Keep an open-mind, take a step back, and weigh all the positives and negatives before you choose your course of action.

Respect your inner voice; it is there for a reason.

Why Would I Buy A Book About Me?

Life is a gift. It is fragile and it is short. Take the time to know yourself. We spend much of our early life in school learning to read, conquer math and study history.

We then learn a job, how to maintain our car, operate our electronic devices and various other tasks required to get along in our world.

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How much time do you take to really get to know yourself? To understand how you ‘tick’? Along with knowing yourself, how much time do you take to really understand others and learn how they ‘tick’? Perhaps if you make this an integral part of your life, you will learn from both your successes and your failures. You will become more aware, and understand why you repeat your mistakes without taking responsibility for some of your choices.

I have found that if you take time to really get to know yourself and the world in which you live, your life will be more fulfilling and give you the happiness and peace that you truly want and deserve.

For a small investment, my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, could be just what you need to start the journey towards making decisions that you can feel good about.

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Isn’t it time you invested in yourself?

Click this link to get your copy of the book that could have been named, Finally There Is A Book About Me!

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Is There Really A Cosmic Plan?

I love this quote from Michael Josephson who is an inspirational speaker among his many other accomplishments. He borrowed the quote from Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”.

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It is really difficult to smile and be happy when a relationship ends, a family pet dies or close friends move away. It is, however, easy to feel only sadness, disappointment and loss.

I firmly believe that people come into our lives for a reason. And not all of these relationships are meant to be with us forever. This doesn’t mean that the time together should be looked at as a failure. A good introspective question would be, “Am I better off having had this experience?” Or, “Even if things ended badly, did good things happen from the time together?”

I try to be pragmatic when faced with breakups, displacement, and change. Some may say, “I am not emotional enough” or “it’s easy for me to just walk away”. I, however, don’t see it quite that way. I believe that I feel deeply. I mourn, I cry and I question. What I don’t do is hold on. Yes, that’s right, I move on. After all if we didn’t experience and accept change, we would all be living in the house we where we born.

President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” People say that life is a journey, yet too many are afraid of actually making the necessary changes to really live a full life.

Are you one of the many who are afraid to make a career change? Do you stay in a toxic relationship because you are afraid of being alone? When your family pet passes are you so afraid of having another broken heart that you don’t want to love another pet?”

Year-after-year if you find your life is not where you want it to be; if you wake up each morning and wonder why you are where you are; if you are more unhappy than happy on a balance scale, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?????

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Whether you believe there is a cosmic plan or a random plan, don’t sit around wishing for a different life. Figure out what you need to do to make changes. We are on this earth for a limited amount of time.

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Isn’t it time for you to take more control over your own destiny? Need to get a jump-start? Want to understand why you stay stuck? Need a little help in learning more about yourself and your decision making? Then you need my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick which is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Simply click on the link below to order your copy. Give yourself a gift. I guarantee it will be the best $8.95 you have spent in a long time!

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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.

Now take on the day!

Do You Have Passion In Your Life?

Six years ago I lived in a house, was in a relationship, had a job I liked and co-parented two adorable dogs. I enjoyed many activities and was blessed with good friends and a close-knit family.

And yet with all of the above I felt emptiness and a lack of real purpose. On one of my daily walks I found myself wondering why I wasn’t happier. As a side note, in general I am a “glass half full” kind of gal.

I let my mind wander trying to understand what was missing. The word passion kept coming to mind. Although I enjoyed my life, I didn’t feel passionate about it.

After about a month of walks during which my mind drifting in and out of the ‘lack of passion’ idea, I decided to change how I looked at the world.

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I started visualizing more, clearing my mind more and opening myself up to new and different ideas. I enrolled in a meditation class and talked with more people who were creative, not just concrete, as I tended to be.

To make a long story short (although it is a bit late for that), I now live in a one-bedroom apartment; I am single; I am retired from my day job, and I have NEVER been happier. Oh, and I still co-parent my dogs.

Why am I happier? Because I found my passion. Now, this did not happen overnight. It did however start with a single thought. It went something like this, “Roni, you need to open your mind and your heart to new ideas.” How did I do this? I committed to the universe that I wouldn’t say no or close doors to new directions that my life might take.

I began journaling my thoughts. This led to blogging, then to creating videos. I wrote inspirational stories, offered motivational exercises and shared thought-provoking situations.

After several months, I was encouraged by several friends to consider actually authoring a book, as I pen this blog, my first book has just been published!

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We are on this earth for a short period of time. Although one doesn’t need to quit jobs, divorce spouses or move to far-away places in order to find his or her passion, the truth is that passion and purpose gives our lives more meaning and pleasure.

If you are living a life presently devoid of passion, think about what you can do to incorporate passion into your life. And then reap the benefits.

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Do You Spend Too Much Time Worrying?

Perhaps it is where I am in life. It’s possible that because I am presently trying to have less drama and less stress around me, I am REALLY noticing these signs in others.

So many people I know are stressing over the unknown and getting worked up over what hasn’t happened and actually may never happen.

I was the type of parent who worried about everything from miscarriage, crib death, child molestation, kidnapping, car accidents and anything else in the news. Maybe it was because I had only one child. Perhaps it was because I was a single parent. Or more likely, my personality and personal fears were the reasons.

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It is no surprise that headaches, anxiety and sleepless nights were a large part of my lifestyle. There was one particularly horrible night when my 17-year-old son was out with friends. It was pouring rain and he was a relatively new driver. From the moment he left my home, I pictured every horrific scenario imaginable.

About a half-hour before he returned home that night I made a pact with myself. I started by acknowledging that I had, up until this point, spent his entire life over worrying about him. I now reasoned that the chances were pretty good that he would grow up and live a very long life. I was also pretty sure that if I didn’t change my thinking and emotions, I was going to die of a stress-related illness. Or at best, I would spend decades concerned about things that would probably never happen and therefore age early.

Seriously, African Bees, Lyme disease, mosquito-related illness… there are so many things that could get us.

I also realized I wouldn’t have the necessary strength or the ability to handle a crisis if I wore myself down agonizing for decades about things that may never materialize.

Back to my pact. I made the decision that I would wait until I was actually faced with a situation that needed my all. I would reserve my energy and therefore be in a better position to handle a crisis.

It amazed me that as soon as I articulated the above, I felt a calm come over me and on that very stormy night I fell asleep a full half-hour before my son arrived home. A first!

sleep-baby

It is very hard not to worry about our loved ones. It takes much awareness to not over-think life.

So to those of you who work yourself up and create tension by thinking of all the things that may happen, I advise you to try to neutralize it. Begin by waiting until you are faced with a situation that requires an action. I am pretty sure that if you can accomplish this, many of the crises that you had anticipated will never actually happen.

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A close friend of mine has said on more than one occasion, “If I knew how well my son was going to turn out I would have slept better.” Like my son, these boys are 43-year-old fathers with children of their own.

I hope they do a better job of enjoying the journey while their kids are young.

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.

Look for my book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, available through Amazon.com on E-book April 8th.

Do You Make Mountains Out Of Molehills?

For those who aren’t familiar with the expression, “Making a mountain out of molehill,” let me fill you in. While there are lengthy articles written about the origin of this phrase which goes back to 1484, the bottom line refers to someone who overreacts to a minor issue.

brother and sister fighitng

We had planned this family visit for a couple of months. My brother and his wife live out-of-state so our time together is always special. Well perhaps not always. “Why?” you ask. Let me tell you about our last visit. I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t due to my long wait at L.A.X when I went to pick them up. It wasn’t due to their long day of working then flying across the country. It wasn’t due to our lack of sleep. It wasn’t due to the 300 mile road trip(we spent the day going from one family member to the next). And lastly, it wasn’t due to my driving back alone the next day while my brother and his wife stayed an extra few days to visit with another brother and our mother.

So, you ask, “What was the discord?” As I said, this is rather embarrassing as we are both in our 6th decade. My brother and I argued, fought, and did much rolling of the eyes because he felt his golf clubs and luggage would not fit in the trunk of our brothers car, and I stood my ground and said it would.

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If there is ever a Guinness Record for the stupidest reason to fight, I believe we are a shoo-in! Now if this argument lasted the short time it deserved, there wouldn’t have been a problem. NO, this ridiculous fight actually defined the entire 36 hours I spent with them.

When saying “goodbye” I was well aware that our time together had been compromised, and neither of us was happy with the outcome of our visit.   My brother and I talk weekly so when I realized that several weeks had passed since we had last spoke, I decided to give him a call. I am the middle child and therefore the peacemaker by birth order. He is the youngest and I won’t address what therapists say about the baby of the family (after all this blog is meant to mend not inflame).

The first words out of my mouth were, “Are we okay?” My brother who doesn’t mince words simply said, “You are a pain in my ass, but I love you anyway”. After I acknowledged the same about him we were then on good terms.

The take-away: don’t let silly, stupid arguments become bigger than they are. Being right (and I was) isn’t always what’s important. And in case if my brother reads this and is now rolling his eyes, I say, “Let him write a blog and tell his side of the story”.

If there is someone in your life important to you and both of you are off-track, make the call, send a text, and/or write a note.   Do what it takes to make things right. Life is way too short to make a “mountain out of molehill”.

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

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

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 Do Adult Children Cut Ties With Their Parents?

During a recent search on the Internet I discovered an abundance of adult children who have severed ties with their parents. There are many articles written as to why. Common themes are:

  • The children were raised in a child-centered home.
  • Parents did too much for their kids.
  • Parents concerned themselves more with their children’s self-esteem rather than teaching children self-control
  • Parents made decisions based on their guilt instead of using good parental choices.
  • The child is narcissistic.

So the list goes. The great majority of research that I have read puts the blame squarely on parents, not their offspring. I agree. My generation happens to be guilty of two things. First, they were and are way too involved in the lives of their kids. Second, they are afraid their children won’t like them.

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When did this happen? When I was growing up (wouldn’t you like a dollar every time someone said that to you?), my parents didn’t give a flying hoot if I liked them or was angry with them. They made parental decisions with the mantra “This will make more sense to you when you are a parent”. And, that was pretty much the end of it.

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My brothers and I were tormented by sleepless nights if we thought we were out of favor with our parents, not the other way around.

If your grown children are out of the house and the damage is done, do you feel there’s nothing you can do? Do you fear that you will never see them again or get to watch your grandchildren grow?   Do you feel you have no choice but to bend to their every demand? NO! NO! NO!

I say it is NEVER too late to start over. While my son was growing up I had conversations with him regarding mutual respect and expectations. I constantly redefined our relationship while maintaining my parental status. I a have strong opinion that your child should NEVER be your friend. That doesn’t mean you don’t hang with your kids. It doesn’t mean you don’t like your kids. It just means you don’t burden them with your finances, love life, or personal issues; these should be reserved for a close friend. I believe that when the lines of parent/child and parent/friend cross, the result can be unwanted advice, lack of respect and confusion.

My parents used to say, “You can talk to your friends like that, NOT your parents.” When you change the game by making your child your friend, the line becomes blurred. I believe the parent-child relationship stands on its own. We can have many friends, however, we have only one mom and one dad. Why isn’t this good enough?

Take a look at your relationship with your adult children. Is it working for you? Are you pleased with the way things are? If you answer YES pat yourself on the back, you did something right. However if you feel boundaries have been crossed and you and your children are off-track, then take action.

Make a plan to sit down and communicate with your children… not by email or text; not with your child and his or her spouse present; one on one. Talk about how much you love them. Talk about some of the mistakes you have made. Then arrive at a common ground where you can redefine your relationship and forge a new bond.

Don’t miss another holiday or family event without your adult children present. Make the effort. Do not blame. Do not yell. Open up your heart and listen.family dinner

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.

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Improving one’s interpersonal skills can turn around many unhealthy relationships. If you are interested in saving your marriage or saving your relationship with friends and/or co-workers, my free manual is an excellent guide to help you learn how to communicate more effectively. Good communication skills are the main ingredient to achieving a healthy relationship.

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When you find yourself becoming impatient with a loved one and you feel like yelling at them, take a minute to stop and work on your anger management techniques. In my manual, I give step-by-step anger management tips that are sure to help any relationship. I talk about taking time out to gather your thoughts. I list various ways to talk through your issues. I give many examples that will help you turn a bad experience into a positive one.

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