Personal Bests: techniques for living an effective life

1 Feb

Personal Best Consulting & Dr. Leif Hokanson Smith Our February 2011 issue, Issue #87, is made up of three sections
1. How Not to be Neurotic
2. Odds and Ends
3. Word of the Month
***Reinforce my tweeting habit on Twitter: DrLeifSmith***
1.  How Not to Be Neurotic (and Chase Everyone Away at Parties)
A. Work out. Those of us (and I include myself in this group, so put away your rotten fruit) that are wired to be more anxious at the mitochondrial level need to make sure we are burning off excess energy in a healthy, physical way
B. Forget about trying to be right. Nobody wins when you win an argument, after all, since resentment follows
C. Realize that most people don’t want your opinion. If they do, they’ll ask. I promise
D. Run towards things that you fear. When you do this (and there is an article on my website explaining how to do it) the thing that you fear becomes more manageable
E. Stop blaming your mom, or your ex, or your coach, or boss, for your problems. Not only is that unbecoming, but it is also a form of denial. You are exactly where you want to be in life. Ponder on that for awhile. It’s sobering
F. Try to stop worrying about what other people think of you. Yes, we are human, but we don’t have to care what every single person we come across thinks of us. Solicit feedback from those whose opinions matter, and let all other feedback go in one ear and out the other
G. Realize that no amount of worry ever solved a problem. Only action can do that
H. People with high levels of neuroticism tend to get sick more easily than those that can let things go easier, since their immune systems become more suppressed over time
I. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, especially in the midst of stressful life events
J. A novel thought: When in conversation with others, it can be helpful to realize that not everything needs to be commented on, or debated, or analyzed, or elaborated on. I say stupid things more often than I want to, and I’m always thankful when the other person chooses to ignore them, or move on quickly. I am also happy to return the favor
K. Learn to laugh at yourself first prior to attempting to laugh at others. It ensures that you won’t take yourself too seriously, and it reduces your blood pressure

2. Odds and Ends
A. Don’t languish in your problems, and don’t give them unnecessary attention beyond what is needed to solve them. You only have so much energy, after all
B. I watched the movie Rob Roy this past month, and though it was no Braveheart, one line of dialogue stuck out in my mind, particularly when the main character, played by Liam Neeson, stated that “honor is a gift you give yourself.” Here here, I say C. One idea acted upon is better than ten ideas that are not
D. There’s a fine line between being competitive and being obsessive, and that line is drawn at the point at which you lose perspective on life
E. Don’t go to a grocery store with me, ever. Whichever line I choose turns out to be the one that takes the most coupons has the newest checkout clerk, or is the one in which the clerk has to manually enter each product’s UPC code. I think I should win something for having this talent

3. January Word of the Month Convivial (adj): friendly and fun-loving; cheerful—————————————————————————————————— Copyright (2011) Leif H. Smith, Psy.D. All rights reserved—————————————————————————————————— Subscribe to this newsletter by visiting or by sending an email to


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