10 More Ways To Be Miserable and How To Avoid Them

In a previous post I shared my insights and thoughts about the first 10 strategies in the book, How to Be Miserable.

I wanted to continue to share my thoughts from the book as this book has really pushed my thinking and forcing me to self reflect on my decisions and actions.. In part two of this book the author discusses How to Think Like an Unhappy Person.

If you have not already listened to the podcast in which I had a chance to interview the author, then I highly suggest giving that a listen as it is loaded with so many amazing insights: 048: Living On The Edge of Chaos – How To Be Miserable with Randy Paterson 

Probably one of my favorite concepts in this whole book is when he discusses that we spend our entire life viewing an inner cinema. We have three screens to choose from.

  1. Historical dramas of the past
  2. Fiction about our imaginary future
  3. Documentary of the present moment
  4. A screen that sensationalized and fictionalizes all the feeds

What I love best about this concept is the only screen that is non-fiction is the present one. This really stood out to me and I have read this passage time and time again as I try to remind myself not to dabble too much in the past or stress too much about the future.

Strategy 11: Rehearse the Regrettable Past

This is one we probably all struggle with from time to time. The issue where we focus on the negative opast despite the fact we can’t do anything about them. What we end up doing is focusing on all the things we are not good at or times we made mistakes instead of focusing on the positive and what we are actually capable of doing. I instantly thought of my own children and students in the classroom. How do we help them with this struggle? I don’t believe anyone doubts that this is an issue, but how do we encourage and promote a growth mindset in students and kids?

Strategy 12: Blame Inward, Give Credit Outward

Pretty straightforward. We don’t give ourselves enough credit when it is due while blaming ourselves for all the bad. Stop doing that!

Strategy 13: Practice the “Three Bad Things” Exercise

As ridiculous as this sounds, I bet that everyone reading has used this strategy. Lay in bed before sleeping and think of all the bad things that have happened. Beat yourself up. And then find yourself stressing, not being able to sleep and then stressing that you are not stressing. Even better is when you wake up mad that you did not sleep good.

Or you can do the opposite and simply change your attitude and focus on the good. Try that instead!

Strategy 14: Construct Future Hells

When we have something happening in the future don’t spend all your time focusing on everything that can go wrong. We all do it. We have a big speech and we stress over all that go wrong. Why do we spend all this time focusing on future hells and zero effort about things turning out fine? Once again, stop doing this!

Strategy 15: Value Hope Over Action

“…hope and fear come from a focus on the imaginary future rather than the singular moment of present reality.” Stop using hope as a substitute for action and go make things happen. Trust me you will get more done and won’t be wasting all your mental energy.

Strategy 16: Become a Toxic Optimist

This one I struggled with a bit. We must be positive, but not to the point we don’t actually listen to the haters. This strategy suggests this very thing and reminds me of the book Hug Your Haters. The part I question is where he suggests that we should focus all our attention on the course we desire. I think there are times when we must do this to avoid being busily bored and distracted by excuses of moving into action.

Strategy 17: Filter for the Negative

I just love this sentence, “Your emotions are governed not by the circumstances of your life, but by the circumstances to which you pay attention.”

Strategy 18: Cultivate Your Presence – Elsewhere

Just kept on reading on this one

Strategy 19: Insist on Perfection

“Much of our misery results from the way we view ourselves – particularly in the way we compare our performance against attainable standards.”

We cannot be perfect and must let go of the notion that others expect us to be perfect. Be you. Be awesome.

“Remember that your emotions are based on your beliefs about reality, not reality itself.”

Strategy 20: Work Endlessly on Your Self-Esteem

Listen to the podcast on this one. It was discussed at length. Do you think self esteem exists? Interesting element to really think about. This is by far the most talked about strategy of them all and I have found myself traveling the rabbit holes of research to learn more.

 

I wanted to continue to share my thoughts from the book as this book has really pushed my thinking and forcing me to self reflect on my decisions and actions.

How To Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already 

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Book Discussion: Leaders of Their Own Learning – Celebrations of Learning

Here at Bettendorf Middle School we were lucky enough to bring some of our teachers to a three day training conducted by Expeditionary Learning. It was an amazing three days of learning, relearning, and examining how and what we teach.

Part of the training we used and read the book Leaders of Their Own Learning by Ron Berger. Since that training we have been trying to figure out how to keep the momentum going by not losing the powerful conversations and breakdown of how we teach.

We have decided to launch a book club on this book. For now we are going to focus on one chapter: Celebrations of Learning. We are a project based learning school and in April we will host our second exhibition night. We feel that by reading this chapter now and thinking through what makes for a powerful learning event we can develop a very powerful exhibition event for both students and the community.

As I worked with my other colleagues to prepare for this book club I thought it would be important to open up the dialogue to educators outside of our building.

Here is how it will work

1. Grab a copy of the book so you can read along with us.

2. Download the Voxer App and create an account.

3. Email or reach out to me via social media with your Voxer ID so I can add you to our book club group.

4. Between now and February 25th we will be discussing this chapter on Voxer. We will host specific questions, but more importantly this will be our chance to share out our ideas about the material. I will share out the Question Guide soon so we have some common threads to focus on.

5. At some point between now and then I will host a Google Hangout so we can talk live and in person.

6. On February 25th we will announce the next chapter for the book club.

I hope you will consider joining us. We look forward to hearing from you and your thoughts as well as sharing what our thoughts and ideas are and how we try to make sense of all this being a public middle school of 1100 students.

 

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Book Club Meeting Another Success

Tonight we met at the public library to discuss our second book in our little book club. When I say “we” I am referring to some wonderful teachers and staff at the middle school where I teach(or attempt to anyway).

I started the club to have a chance to talk about books and see some people that I don’t always get a chance to talk to during the routine of my school day.

The first time we met we read and discussed True Grit and there was only three of us.

Tonight we expanded to five members as we talked about Winter’s Bone.

It was another success. It is important for us to have time away from students and the YA world. We spend so much time reading YA novels(rightfully so as they are really good). However, it is important to take a step away and just have some adult talk about adult novels. These two novels have lead to some great discussion as they both take on the journey idea of a young female in pursuit of find their father. This was not intended, but it worked out that way.

We have decided to read one more book before the school year ends. Time is of the essence as we have only about a month left until we are done for the year.

For our third book club we are going to read Heaven is for Real.

Have you read this book? Feel free to leave some insight, ideas, questions, etc.

Do you have any other book club suggestions. We found it humorous how out of touch we were with the non YA world and are in need of some suggestions.

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Book Club: Next Book Selection

Here it is….

Our next book selection in our book club. We are keeping to the idea of books turned into movies so we can read, watch, and compare.

The book club last night was quite enjoyable. We had a great time meeting in person to discuss the book in a very laid back manner.

I have kept up on some notes and ideas from our first book, True Grit, over on the wiki http://coffeechugbookclub.wikispaces.com/

Feel free to check it out. I will be adding a Winter’s Bone page later today and getting ready for that discussion. Feel free to join the wiki and throw in your two cents worth on the books.

I have the movie on hold at the library and intend on reading the book first and then watching the movie.

Book Club is open to all. Look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Friday

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Online Book Club: True Grit – PLEASE JOIN AND ADD THOUGHTS, IDEAS, QUESTIONS, LINKS, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

I am reading True Grit again to prepare for a book club that I am running. I have also made the book club available online for anyone who is interested.

I will be having a meeting with some friends and teachers this Thursday to discuss the book in person and will share our ideas afterwards, but for now I have the wiki up and running.

As I am reading the novel for the second time I am realizing how much I love this book.

I want/need more input as I like to hear from all the great minds out there.

So here is the link to the wiki http://coffeechugbookclub.wikispaces.com/

Check it out. Join the wiki and post your thoughts ideas, links, and other tidbits about the book or movie.

I look forward to making this wiki very interactive with more books to be read and shared in the future. There is a page to suggest books to be read next and on Thursday another book will be decided.

Get involved and share your insights. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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Books Turned Movie Book Club

Check out my new online wiki page. I will not go into great detail here on the blog, but feel free to check out the online book club site and if you wish to join, then be my guest.

http://coffeechugbookclub.wikispaces.com/

Sunday night as I was watching the Oscars I had an idea. The first thought was that I had not viewed a single movie that was nominated and therefore need to upgrade my movie watching from Tangled and Gnomeo and Juliet. Second, it was a big year for novels turned into movies. I was reading an article this morning that suggested that 2011 will be an even bigger year for books turned into movies. My gears started turning and I decided to go and read the books of the movies nominated this year and do the same with the movies coming out. Then, I thought that it would be fun to have others to discuss the books and movies in terms of what we liked, did not like, themes, etc.

So, here I am the next day creating yet another wiki for me to use. I hope you sign up and join us on our reading voyages.

All you have to do is join the wiki. I will accept you and away you go with adding your thoughts and ideas.

I will keep important dates and meetings posted under the “Calendar” page.

This is still in the early stages so as I have time to develop this wiki I will try to make it look better and better.

If you join, feel free to spice things up a little.

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That is us!

We had an awesome chat Tuesday night with the author Jennifer Brown and her novel Hate List. I am currently making a video about the experience, but I could not pass up the opportunity to share that she blogged about us and in particular our one and only brave student who was not afraid to voice her opinion. You go girl and here is the post on Jennifer Brown’s blog.

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