Forward Thinking™ Gentle Reminder E-Columns

Have you ever wondered how to manage your thoughts in specific situations?

Forward Thinking Reminders show you how.

Several times a year, Mary emails to you gentle reminders and advice on how to manage your thoughts in everyday circumstances and how to deal with the challenges you face in practicing self-awareness, and being on purpose. The e-column topics are chosen from questions raised by readers and workshop participants.

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  • It's been over 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.

    When I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech had and is of such significant influence. His "I Have a Dream Speech" serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and others to effect profound change and be our highest vision of ourselves as individuals and as organizations.

    He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn't want.

  • Do you remember when you learned of the news of the shootings and deaths of innocent children in Connecticut? Do you remember your thoughts and emotions?

    We found ourselves filled with all kinds of emotions.

    Anger, outrage, criticism, judgment, blame, revenge, hopelessness, powerlessness, sadness, despair, shock, and disbelief, are all fight, flight, and freeze thoughts.

  • We are moving into that time of year that we call cold and flu season. We speak of it with such certainty. And that’s the problem. We think of the cold and flu season with certainty—as if it’s reality—and it is not reality. It is the reality we have created for ourselves, individually and collectively. This Forward Thinking Reminder offers guidance on how to use self-awareness and Managing Thought® to put an end to the cold and flu season, take back control of our health, and boost our immunity.

  • I will be more balanced.

    Does that sound familiar? It may be the most popular goal or resolution among those who are busy at work and in life. Many resolve “I will be more balanced” year after year and some of us have gotten to the point where we don't even bother.

  • In the workshops I do, whether we are discussing a life well-lived, a job well-done, a great relationship, a corporate culture, or a well-executed strategy, when we ask what is the essence of what we truly want, the answer is always happiness. Corporate leaders, blue collar workers, moms and dads, sixth graders, teens, seniors, spiritual advisors all want to be happy. “The pursuit of happiness,” is listed in the United States Declaration of Independence among the unalienable and sovereign rights of man. The Dalai Lama teaches that the purpose of life is happiness.

  • With holiday plays and parties to attend, cards to mail, gifts to buy, baking to do, guests to prepare for, and a slashed budget to boot, you may find yourself tied up in ribbons. This Forward Thinking Reminder offers guidance on how to focus on the essence of what you want—one of the most powerful ways of thinking to reduce stress and bring about peace and happiness during the holidays.

  • I often hear, I try thinking happy, positive thoughts, and it’s just not working. Many folks say, Positive affirmations don’t work. Remember the Stuart Smalley character on Saturday Night Live who made positive affirmations in the mirror? I do NOT want to be THAT guy! Then there are those who say that positive thinking does work and swear by the use of positive affirmations. Guess what – everyone’s right! A positive thought may or may not work. Powerful thoughts, on the other hand, do work. This Forward Thinking Gentle Reminder discusses the difference between a positive thought and a powerful thought, how to know if a thought is powerful, and some powerful thoughts we can choose to think.

  • You may have heard it said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” The results we achieve – bad, good, or significant – depend on what we focus on in each moment.  Focusing our time, energy or money on the wrong things in these challenging times is something we can’t afford to do. Do you know what you are focused on in each moment? Are you focused on what you want? Or on what you don’t want? Do you even know what you want?

  • If you’re facing a lay-off or cost reduction, you are well aware of the pain. No doubt you are struggling with thoughts of fear, failure, self-doubt, hopelessness, and indecision. Most of us can’t imagine that we can dramatically improve our organization’s chance for survival and long-lasting success by changing the way we think. Yet we can—by powerfully thinking through and planning the process. This Forward Thinking™ Gentle Reminder – Business Edition offers some practical guidance on how to do an effective lay-off or cost reduction, move forward powerfully, and achieve long-lasting success.

  • The news of yet another economic slowdown has many business leaders worrying about the fate of product launches, growth plans, even the survival of their companies. CEO’s and managers ask me, “If I worry, or focus too much on what could go wrong, is that the reality I create?”

    What’s wrong with worrying?

  • As we experience challenging times, it may feel like a tough time to be thankful. Yet practicing thankfulness is one of the most powerful ways of thinking to bring about a change in our circumstances. This Gentle Reminder offers guidance on how to turn thoughts of fear, worry and hopelessness to thoughts of thankfulness.

  • I have received a number of questions on how to resolve a conflict between positive thinking and thinking about what could go wrong. As one president of a company put it, “On the one hand, I want to be a visionary leader and talk about abundance and accomplishment. On the other hand, during difficult economic times, I feel it is my responsibility to worry about what can go wrong and make sure we take protective measures. So, I see this part of what I do as a necessary evil, and it concerns me for two reasons.

  • Watch the video version of this reminder

    Mark Twain said, "Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."

    Often, it seems no matter how motivated we are by our resolutions, we go back to the way we were. For many of us, this happens year after year and some of us have gotten to the point where we don't even bother to make resolutions. We say life happens, we don’t have will power, or we lack discipline. Thankfully, these are NOT the reasons our resolutions don’t work. They don’t work because they are not inspired. This gentle reminder offers some guidance to help you reformulate your resolutions in order to keep them and achieve long-lasting success.

  • As many of you may know, my husband died suddenly. This gentle reminder is dedicated to Gregg Simmons, the man of my infinite dreams.

    The night of his death I was unable to get warm. I kept saying over and over to myself, “I can’t believe it.” In hindsight, I realize I was in shock.

  • Have you noticed that as you move into the holiday season, old, familiar patterns emerge? For example, when you get together with family and friends, do you revert to a certain dynamic? Perhaps you feel sad and alone at the holidays, or maybe you often get sick or worry about money. There’s a reason that we have the same experiences over and over again, and with a little self-awareness, a little self-mastery and a little being-on-purpose, we can break those patterns.