Relationships

Are You Enjoying The Ride You Are On?

When my son was barely four, I took him to a local carnival at the park. There were about ten rides for children his age. We waited in line for the first ride. His hands were up and moving in excitement and he had a big grin on his face in anticipation. As soon as the gate opened he ran to one of the small cars and climbed in. Just as this ride was beginning my kid pointed to a different ride. It was as if he couldn’t wait for the ride to end so he could go on another one. This went on for several rides. While on the train ride a bit later he was yelling that he wanted to go on the boat ride next. Without even thinking, I yelled, “Ryan, enjoy the ride you are on!”

When the train ride finished we took a break to get a drink and some fries. Although he was just a small kid, he was beginning to understand some concepts of reasoning. I wanted to make this a teachable moment. Actually, I wanted him to vividly remember the day.

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I asked him about the first ride he went on: Did he like it? What was the color of his car? Did it go straight or did it go up and down? He really couldn’t answer any of my questions. I assured him that he was going to go on all the rides before we left the park. I then asked just one thing from him: “Whatever ride you are on pay close attention to what you are doing.” I told him that at the end of the day I wanted him to tell me how one ride differed from another and why he liked one more than another.

I continued to remind him each time he came around the turns to have fun. His body slowed down to the point where he was beginning to live in the moment and enjoy the ride he was on.

I am guilty of having wished away a work week to get to the weekend. I have, on more than one occasion, counted the days until vacation. As a kid I would mark off my calendar in anticipation of summer vacation. My mother told me that I was wishing away my life by doing this. I realize now that I had spent too many years thinking of future events, not the life event I was experiencing at the time.

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I remind myself often to enjoy the ride I am on. After all, life is comprised of little incidents, big occasions, forgettable moments and memorable times.

Sick days happen. Bad stuff happens. Disappointments happen. Life has its ups and downs. REALLY enjoying the good times will help balance the not-so-good times.

Life goes by so quickly. If you aren’t taking time to “smell the roses”, try doing it. Make each moment last. Don’t just walk through your life. Laugh harder. Smile bigger. Be silly. Have fun…not just from time to time, but each and every day that you can.

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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 teach you how to enjoy YOUR ride and 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.

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.

Roni Kugler_final

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!

http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

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!

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.

Now take on the day!

How Can I Motivate Myself?

Another year has begun and just a few weeks into it I wonder how many people have made resolutions. I also wonder how many resolutions have been broken.

 

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Why is it so difficult to make a plan and then stick to it? Some reasons could be the plan could be unrealistic. Or although a person feels they should make changes, in reality they really don’t want to. Or perhaps they simply don’t want to do the work needed to make the necessary changes.

Whatever the reasons, history has pretty much shown that real change comes from slowly altering behavior. It is crucial to then reinforce it until the new behavior becomes the norm and NOT the exception.

My sister-in-law Nancy just got a fit bit (This is a device worn on the wrist that tracks a person’s steps throughout the day.) I have worn one for several months. I am a bit shy of the goals I have set for myself, and I tend to have problems motivating myself to do more. With the challenge from Nancy, I now find myself walking those extra steps and taking the time to work out. The reason: I know she can look at my progress and I can see hers. Yes, I accepted the challenge.

Recently I mentioned to a friend that I was starting to walk the treadmill. After we talked, she became motivated and has started working out. We go to the gym together and we go alone. We have given each other that much needed extra boost.

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Peer pressure has often been looked upon as negative: drinking, smoking bad behavior is demonstrated when following the wrong people. Peer pressure can be beneficial when we observe those around us doing healthy and positive things for themselves. Hopefully it motivates us be our best selves.

So whether you want to drop a few pounds, clean out your closets, go back to school or change your career, determine what motivates you. Consider joining a class with a friend. Ask a family member to help jump-start you regarding a chore. Offer to donate time to help someone you know who could use the support.

My dad used to say, “Misery loves company”, so get a buddy involved. Don’t wait for a magical date or day to make improvements in your life. Call a friend and make a plan. Chances are, if you agree to meet with someone you will actually show up.

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As far as my sister-in-law who takes more steps before I get out of bed is concerned, I don’t plan on competing with her. What I plan on doing is giving each day my best effort. This way I don’t set myself up for failure.

My parting thoughts: Be realistic about your goals; don’t let a bad day define your objectives, and remember these are things you have decided are important to you. Think about that.

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.

My book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick will be available to buy on Amazon.com April 8th. With easy to use exercises and examples everyday challenges can be met with success.

Do Your Friends Support You? Are You a Supportive Friend?

We all have an inner voice that is similar to a running dialog. I want to address the dialogs regarding positive and negatives messages. And more importantly, where do these messages originate from?

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When you think about your circle of friends, list out the ones that encourage and support your decisions and efforts. Then make a list of those friends who give you messages that are subtle or not so subtle filled with negativity that may cause you to doubt yourself. After you do this exercise, think about how much weight the positive people have on you and then the negative people. In other words, do you give up on a dream because of naysayers? Or do you forge ahead, putting their opinions on the back burner?

Many successful people have been recipients of attitudes similar to “You are not good enough” or “The odds are so overwhelming that you will succeed”. And on the list goes. A compelling reason for the success of these people is that they simply don’t buy into it.

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I’m not saying that good friends shouldn’t be the voice of reason. I am saying that it is not their job to rain on your parade. If there is someone in your life who is pursuing a passion or is trying something new, why would you want to be the person to bring him or her down? Why would you want to be the friend who causes them to question themselves?

Not everyone will be successful in his or her endeavors. Not everyone will get the results they desire. Take a hard look at yourself. What kind of message do you give the people in your life? Are you always pointing out the pitfalls? Do you tend play the “Devil’s Advocate” thinking that you are doing them a service? If you identify with this look in the mirror and ask yourself why.

My advice: try to be supportive and encouraging even if you disagree with what him or her. This doesn’t mean that you put aside good judgment. It just means you simply aren’t judgmental. After all, who is to say that success is measured by only one standard? Perhaps for some accomplishing an overwhelming task is the real reward.

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The takeaway…the next time you plan to spew negativity, weigh whether it is your job to point out all the reasons why your friend should give up. If you honestly feel that your friend is making a terrible mistake be compassionate while offering encouragement and support. Choose your words wisely, and wish them good luck.

Dog comforting cat

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.

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.

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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.