Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!


At the stroke of midnight, New Year's Eve, this song is played all over the world. In the film "When Harry Met Sally", after he declares his love for her at a party, Harry says to Sally, "I never really understood what the song meant. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot?' Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?"

I am with you Harry! What does that song really mean? You know what, it doesn't really matter!

What does matter is that we take all we have experienced and learned in the year passing and use it to help us make the new year even better, the best one yet!

One way to achieve this is to learn and practice 'Positive Adaptation'. We can all strive, learn and become 'better'; better to ourselves, our spouses and children, friends and family, our careers and better with all others with whom we interact.

Let us make our New Year's Resolution, (and keep it!), this year to practicing Positive Adaptation. May we all 'Think, Feel and Do' our best and thus enjoy life to the fullest in 2010!

Let the Good Times Roll and remember Happy Days Are Here! (music to both on the right side of text)

May this be the best year yet for us all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Believe what in what your heart is saying.
Believe in what you feel inside and
Give your dreams the wings to fly!

You have everything you need if you just believe!

Happy Holidays!

Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

Friday, December 11, 2009

Be inspired: "Make my day."

"The main thing is not how long you're
on the planet, but the quality you have while
you are here. That is the only thing
that really matters." ~ Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood: another person is my series of actual people who personify Positive Adaptation in action. At every age, he states he has challenged himself to learn, grow and be the best he can be.

Eastwood, who almost 40 years ago, in the classic film "Dirty Harry" said: "Go ahead, make my day." is still making the very most of every one of his days.

Now, almost 80 years young, Eastwood lives his own words of wisdom: "Follow what you think. You want to do something? Then just do it the best you can." He believes that living ones' best life is about "expanding, constantly pushing yourself."

Clint Eastwood's career, from 'Spagetti Western" actor to multi-academy award winning actor and director, is proof of his dedication to self and professional growth. "He challenges his audiences by challenging himself and inspires us all in the process."

Today, let us follow his example. Let us be inspired to be the best we can be, live and enjoy life to the fullest.

Go ahead.... make your day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

See Clearly Now So You May Grow

There is an American Indian tale about a mouse who hears a roaring noise in his ear. The mouse sets out to discover what the noise is. He encounters many animals who help him along his journey. The mouse also has the opportunity to offer help to others. He gives his eyes away to help two other animals.

Now, without his sight, he feels defenseless and decides there is nothing to do but just sit and wait "for the end". Then, suddenly, the mouse hears the sound that eagles make as they dive for their prey. The next thing he knows....he is flying and can see all the splendors around him.

The mouse hears a voice say: "You have a new name. You are now Eagle".

This tale reminds me that sometimes we have to give up our old eyes to see ourselves, others and life in general, in a new and different way. When we do this, we are rewarded with a new kind of vision - one which allows us to experience all life has to offer.

If we want to continue to become the best we can be and enjoy life to the fullest, there are times we must change the way we 'Think, Feel Do' and See. This is Positive Adaptation.

We too can become eagles and soar.

(Thank you, Renee)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Life Is What We Make It!

"Life is what we make it,
always has been,
always will be."

~ Grandma Moses
aka: Anna Mary Robertson Moses

"Grandma Moses" did not begin to paint until she was 75 years old! She chose to paint when, due to arthritis, she became unable to do her needlework any longer. She may not have been able to hold a needle any longer, however, she found she was capable of holding a paint brush. In her last 27 years of life she created over 1,600 paintings. Now that is what I call Positive Adaptation.

Anna Mary (Robertson) Moses did not always have an easy life. She bore 10 children, of which only 5 survived. She lost her husband in 1927 and never remarried.

Consider this: She was born before Abraham Lincoln was president, survived The Civil War, WW I, The Great Depression, World WW II, The Korean War and lived to see herself and the entire world around her change, several times over.

Grandma Moses is also famous for saying: "Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be."

It has been said that Grandma Moses remained, (until her death at 101 years young), one fiesty, strong willed, charming, warm, loving, and optimistic woman.

Grandma Moses was a personification of what I call Positive Adaptation. I can only assume that this remarkable woman did 'Think, Feel and Do' her best and certainly appeared to enjoy life to the fullest!

Anna never gave up. She positively adapted to whatever occurred and was said to have always truly loved life! We can learn so much from her attitude and how she lived her life.

If she could, we can we too.

* Please, feel free to look up the remarkable work and life story of Anna Mary Robertson Moses, aka: "Grandma Moses".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We Can Learn Much From Others

I chose to share this today as a valuable reminder to us all. We need not agree with nor follow all of the Ms. Regina Brett's lessons listed below to be and feel better about ourselves and our lives.

FYI: contrary to popular belief, Ms. Brett was not 90 years old when she wrote and published this. In fact, as of this date, she is only 54 years old. Regardless of age, she expresses great wisdom. It certainly appears to me she subscribes to some version of ‘Positive Adaptation’. What do you think?

"Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on"

Published May 28, 2006 in "The Plain Dealer"

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

And two of my personal favorites: “Age is a matter if the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter." and "Be happy while your are alive. You are dead for a lot longer."

Consider practicing at least some of Ms. Brett's, (and your own), life lessons today and just see how much better you 'Think, Feel and Do'!


P.S. Please, let me know how it goes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Take a Break - Relax to the Sounds and Sight of the Surf

"Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When was the last time you spent a few quiet moments doing nothing but giving your body and mind a chance to rest?

We all need breaks from the action of daily living. We must learn to allow ourselves time to rejuvenate.

It takes positive energy to be the best we can be, live and enjoy life to the fullest.

After some much needed rest, we will be ready and able to move forward again and utilizing the three principles of Positive Adaptation: Think, Feel and Do, we will do just that.

So for now, make some time for yourself to just relax and be still. Even if it is only for a few short minutes a day, I believe you will Feel better for having done so.

Enjoy your quiet time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting To Know Me...

Now and Then....

As I end my summer 'blogcation' I share with you an interview I did with Phil Bolsta, author of the book "Sixty Seconds".

Enjoy your day and I will see you back here soon with the first of new posts: "Positive Healthy Boundaries" soon!


"Dahlia, Now and Then"
Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

Friday, July 24, 2009

Believe In Yourself

"The Liger"

Graphic Design by: Jordan Baum Crawford

What we teach our children, by word and deed, are their first examples in life! I taught mine to believe; especially in yourself.

What a joy this was to see. By George, I think he's got it!

What do you want to teach your children or learn yourself?
With Positive Adaptation as a guide, all is possible.
Believe you can and mostly likely, you will.

Believe in yourself and you will have a great day.

(One proud mama)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Joy Works From The Inside Out

"Joy works from
the inside out."

~ V. Baum

Authentic joy is independent of external factors or circumstances. Joy originates from the core within us. We may not be capable of choosing all external factors which effect our lives, however, we can choose how we respond to them. Let us choose to be joyful.

Nothing outside of us can make us feel joyful. We will not find joy if sought from such things as the amount of money we make, the material items we collect or being around the 'right' people. To achieve genuine 'success' we must first choose to live a life of joyfulness. "The closer you come to your core, the greater is your joy." ~Torkom Saraydarian

I appreciate how Oprah Winfrey states what joy means: "I define joy as a sustained sense of well being and internal peace - a connection to what matters."

But what really matters to us? The answer to this question requires that we dig deep within ourselves to discover our core truth. We must reevaluate and learn, (through Positive Adaptation), who we really are now, who and what matters most to us and who we want to become.

As we age and experience life's transitions it is natural to experience changes in our priorities as well. When we discover a healthy balance; one where our thoughts, feelings and actions are in harmony, it is only then we find the kind of joy that is reflected in our new priorities. Becoming our best selves offers us the opportunity to gain the wisdom of what really matters to us and therefore, be joyful.

A significant part of obtaining and sustaining a life filled with joy comes from learning to live in the present moment. Joy is found in this day; as yesterday is over and tomorrow has yet to arrive. Living in the day insures us we will not miss a minute of joy available to us.

No real success exists without joy. If you want a true measure of your success in any particular area of your life, you can easily assess it by measuring the amount of joy you are feeling as result of what you are doing, have, etc. . Keep in mind... joy works from the inside out.

A joyful life can be yours! 'Think, Feel and Do' it. You already have everything you need. Joy is inside of you just waiting to be felt, experienced and shared.

May you be joyful today.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Living in Harmony

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~ Mahatma Gandi

Positive Adaptation is about achieving harmony, obtaining and sustaining a healthy balance, in all areas of life. Living a life in harmony clears the path to our being our best and enjoy life to the fullest.

We must learn to 'say what we mean, mean what we say and do as we say we will'. We cannot expect to feel harmonious if we are being dishonest with ourselves, nor can we expect much more from others than we are willing to do ourselves. We only have the power to achieve this harmony in our own lives, although when we do so, we are much more likely attract others who tend to live in the same manner.

With honesty comes a certain type of peace, as we do not have to use as much of our energy up trying to keep the stories we tell straight in our minds, hanging on to the feelings in our hearts which we are not sharing or regretting actions we may or may not have taken.

I am not suggesting that we behave like children, who have yet to fully develop appropriate 'filters'. We cannot say or do whatever we feel like, whenever we feel like, without regard for how it may effect others. We must learn to process all thoughts, feelings and actions in an effort to develop maintain the healthiest filters. This process allows harmony and peace to flow in and remain in our daily lives.

Life is all about relationships; with ourselves and others. Whether it be a personal or professional one, maintaining a high level of integrity between or thoughts, feelings and actions assists us in having the healthiest relationships possible. I find it takes much more effort to 'keep all the balls in the air' when deception of any form is involved.

We have a lot going on in our lives; family, work, school and social interactions. It can be difficult to maintain a sense of healthy balance in all areas, especially if we did not have the best of examples to learn from. I can tell you from personal and professional experience the goal of living in harmony and balance is most certainly an obtainable one. If I could learn how, you can too.

We cannot change what we do not know or understand, therefore, we must first discover who we really are in order to learn what aspects ourselves we need to change. Great strides in achieving an acceptance of how we came to be who we are can be gained through examining and reflecting upon the older patterns in our life, (see previous posts on Patterns).

However, the goal of Positive Adaptation is not to live in the past, rather it is to understand it to the best of our ability. When we do so, true change happens. We become capable of really experiencing all life has to offer and we live richer, fuller, happier lives in the present.

Positive Adaptation's goal is to learn to 'Think, Feel and Do' our best and become our best selves, the one we can and are meant to be. We are able to lay our heads down at the end of the day and fall to sleep peacefully when we know that our thoughts, feelings and actions were indeed in harmony throughout the day.

'Think, Feel and Do' in harmony today and may you feel the happiness which comes from doing so.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank You and I Love You

Thank you
I love you too!

My father, a man who said it was best to have "Smiling eyes and laughing lips", also taught me "It’s the little things in life that really matter." Bernard, (aka: Bernie, Dad, Professor, Opa and The General), a man who did indeed have 'smiling eyes and laughing lips', was also known to say when speaking of his life, (especially of his four children), “I am blessed!”

On this, my first real Father’s Day without him, (as last year it was just days after his death and too early to even begin to process), I say, “Dad, I was blessed to have had you.”

This post is not intended to be sad, in fact, quite the opposite. For all, who like me, have lost their beloved Dad’s, let us remember today all the love, support and pride they so freely showed us, the knowledge they imparted upon us and the wonderful example they set for us. Today, let us all say “Thank you and I love you.”

Last week, I spoke with a group of CEOs, many of whom stated that their fathers were always working and were rarely there, were alcoholics, suffered from other mental health issues or were just not in their lives at all. They asked me how they could learn to reconcile themselves to the past and create balance to obtain and sustain, a successful business and family life, in the future.

I explained to the group that Positive Adaptation is a way of life; including these three principles: 'Think, Feel and Do’ better, become the best you, you can possibly be and therefore, you will enjoy life to the fullest.

In response to their specific question, my answer was and is, "Be the example you wished you had had. First, you must identify what it is you felt you needed and wanted, however did not get, change this pattern in your own life, now and freely share all this positivity and wisdom with your own children."

For all of you who grieve for the father you never had, let today be a day of celebration for the person you are now becoming and the Dad you can or have become, (the one you wanted and needed yourself). And please, do not forget to hug your children and tell them you love them, often. I guarantee you and your children will feel and be better for having done so.

To all who have become Dad’s to children who have different 'biological' fathers, I salute you! You are a blessing to both the kids and their mothers. You are a great source of love, pride and worldly knowledge that otherwise might not be present in their lives. You give and share so much. Know you are greatly needed and are appreciated.

As Father’s Day is a special day to honor our Fathers/Dads, I believe the best gift I could ever give my father was a big hug and the knowledge that I am, indeed, happy, healthy, being the best I can be and enjoying life to the fullest. Well, Dad, I am proud to tell you, (and the world), I am today and I am teaching my son to Be and Do the same. Thank you for teaching me that even 'late bloomers', can and do eventually blossom and that no matter what, one should never give up on themselves. I know you never lost faith in me and you helped me to have faith in myself too.

Through Positive Adaptation, we can all learn to ‘Think, Feel and Do’ better and enjoy life to the fullest.

Today and everyday, I say “Thank you, Dad. I love you too!"

To learn more about my own father, please read: This waltz is for you now and always....

Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

(Thank you for capturing the moments!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Enjoy Facing Challenges

"I live in solutions, not problems.  I enjoy the challenge." 
~ Victoria Baum

The first sentence of the book "The Road Less Travelled" is "Life is difficult". How difficult depends upon our willingness to adopt a better attitude and use a different set life problem solving skills. Life is not nearly as difficult when we choose to view all problems, (hence forth referred to as situations), as a challenge; an opportunity for positive growth. Facing the challenge of doing so offers us the ability to be the best we can be and live life to the fullest.

There is no mountain too high to climb, whether it be personal or professional. Ergo, there is no situation, however dire it may appear or feel at the time, that we cannot find at least one viable solution to. Utilizing the three principles of Positive Adaptation: 'Think, Feel and Do', will assist you. In fact, rather than shy away from them, you will find yourself enjoying facing challenges. ("You can get it if you really want" -click play button above to listen to the song.)

The first step is to Think of whatever challenge faces you as a puzzle that can and will be solved, rather than an insurmountable problem. Admittedly this step sounds obvious and simplistic, but not so easily done. How we think coming into a situation may very well determine its outcome. Think and believe, "Yes, I can, if I really want to."

When we Feel and believe there will be a positive outcome it is much more likely to occur. When problem solving or facing any challenge, fear is not our ally. Courage, (from the French word for heart, coeur) is required, therefore, we must feel we have it to act with it. One definition of courage I am known to use often, I borrowed from Susan Jeffers: "Courage is being willing to feel the fear and do it anyway". 

The third principle of Positive Adaptation, 'Do', is vital as no solution can be found if the challenge of finding one is not met. No matter how much faith we may have, "Faith without works is dead." Merely thinking about and feeling you can climb the mountain does not get you where you want to go, the top! Remember: self esteem grows every time we take positive action. 

The principles of Positive Adaptation work for any situation, (formally referred to as 'problem'), whether they be emotional, physical or situational, in nature. 

I know this to be true, as I use Positive Adaptation to face my own challenges. Why do I make the decision to live in the solution, because it really is easier and I enjoy the challenge!  

Hoping you will learn to as well...


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Teach Your Children Well

"Teach your children well. They are on the road and must have a code to live by, and so become yourself....and know I love you." 
~ Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young 

I have chosen to teach my own  child: Think, Feel and Do your best and know, no matter what, I love you.

Positive Adaptation is a way of life and the 'code' by which I now live. We learn by example, modeling the attitudes and behaviors of others. This process begins at birth, with ones parents, (then teachers and friends), and continues throughout the life span. 

We all want the best for our kids, therefore, "If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves."  ~C.G. Jung 

To be the best example or role model, it is imperative that we believe in and take good care of ourselves, first. We must act with kindness and respect towards others and maintain a positive attitude and outlook on life. This is the best way I have found to teach my child to be and do the same. 

I understand these are high goals to strive for and sound simple in theory. Of course, it is not easy to achieve nor maintain these highest of standards all the time. We are human. The truth is it is impossible to be a 'perfect' anything, let alone the 'perfect' parent, all we can do is our very best.

Here are a few of my own favorite lines, (some I borrowed from my parents), which I now have shared with my son: 

- "Accidents happen, but less when you're careful, so try to be more careful next time"

- "Humans, (including me), by definition, are not perfect, that honor is left for the divine, so just we do the very best we can."

- "Mistakes happen, hopefully it will turn out to be a learning experience and therefore, you wont make the same one again" 

- "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" 

- "Can you honestly say you have done your best? Then your best has to be good enough."

- "Be grateful for all that you are and all that you have and always, always say thank you for both."

Positive Adaptation works in all areas of life. The principles of PA are applicable to all situations, interactions and relationships; including those related to health, (emotional and physical), academics, athletics, work and finances. Balance is key! 

You don't have to merely imagine feeling and doing better and enjoying life more; you can become the catalyst of the positive changes necessary to help create this realty for yourselves and your children. The time to begin is now.

Take a little time to read the posts discussing the 3 core principles, (Think, Feel and Do your best), of Positive Adaptation. These 'how and why" posts may be found archived in February and March, 2009. (Positive Adaptation is wonderful for parenting, however, in no way exclusively intended for.)

After reading, I think you will agree, it is never too early, nor too late, to become the best you, you can be and hence, live and enjoy all that richness life has to offer to the fullest! 

Positive Adaptation is a win/win way of life, one which serves both ourselves and our children well in their development, now and in the future. "There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings." ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

I have always told my son, "You are the best" and "The world is your oyster, go, find the pearls". I have said for years, when speaking of him, "I want to grow up to be just like him". I  am working on it and getting closer all the time.

"I just want my kids to love who they are, have happy lives and find something they want to do and make peace with that. Your job as a parent is to give your kids not only the instincts and talents to survive, but help them enjoy their lives." ~Susan Sarandon  

To being and doing the best we can, for ourselves, our children and everyone else in our lives.

Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

Friday, May 29, 2009

"A Rich, Full, Colorful Life"

My father always said, "I have lived a rich, full, colorful life" and he most certainly did.

This is by far the most difficult post I have written to date. My father was my inspiration. His entire life, Dad lived Positive Adaptation and by example taught me; I merely named it.

I lost my father one year ago, however, this is not a sad post, in fact, quite the opposite. His incredible spirit, joie de vie, (love for life) and what he taught me, (now I hope you), will live on forever.

My father's life was the personification of Positive Adaptation; how we can all Think, Feel and Do 'better', be and do our best and 'enjoy life to the fullest' when we incorporate it as a way of life. "As long as you are breathing, it is never too late", (just one of many 'Dad-isms' I live by, now).

Dad was born in Germany, (1926), just before Adolf Hitler came to power. He was a very happy, rambunctious kid, with many friends and loved his family.  One day, after reading Hitler's "Mein Kampf" my grandfather decided it was time to go, leave Germany and go to America.  Later, when asked why he was choosing to leave, my grandfather simply stated, "because I have three sons".

My father took a long boat ride and one morning, upon awaking, he saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time. Thus began my father's life long love affair with The United States of America.  

At the age of 7, it was decided at Ellis Island, he would no longer be called by his name, Helmut. He had the difficult task of accepting the name Bernard as his own, (an Americanized version of his middle name, Bernhardt). This was just one of many changes which would occur in his life. Dad's positive attitude and uncanny ability to adapt to change served him well then and throughout his entire life of 82 years.

I could never, especially in a venue like this, speak of all of my father's trials and tribulations, more importantly, his successes and joys. Let me just say that the same boy who came to America only nine years earlier became an Eagle Scout at the age of 16.  He said that that process truly 'Americanized' him, once and for all. One year later, at 17, Dad enlisted in the U.S Army to go back to Germany to fight to defeat Hitler and may years later, he would retired as a Brig. General from the Army Reserves.  As Dad used to say, "Only in America".

'Bernie', as he would later be called was the kind of man that would literally give you the shirt or tie, off his back. I know of several occasions someone would compliment him on a let's say a tie he was wearing. He would respond, "Here, if you would enjoy it, take it" and he would take the tie off and give it to them.

He loved his family, his work as a Professor, being of assistance to others in his community,  (the world) and lived each day with "Verstandt", German for a 'great understanding and appreciation of' how fortunate he was. My father was not a saint or perfect.  He only tried to do and be his best and because of this, he succeeded much more than he failed. Last, but not least, my father was often heard saying, "I am blessed". All those who knew him felt the same way about having him in their lives.

Although it took me a long time, (I was a late bloomer), I finally got it! Even when it did not look like it, Dad always had faith in me that I would. I have learned to Think, Feel and Do my way into becoming the best I can be, do the best I can do, try to help others, love a lot and enjoy life to the fullest!

I offer this way of living to you, a gift from 'Bernie' and me. Remember, as long as you are breathing, it is not too late. I know he would want you to have this too.

Thanks, Dad. You still are and always will be, the best!
Your loving daughter and student of life,

More about Dad and me, coming for Father's Day! (Pics too)

Photo by: Renee Rendler-Kaplan, (Dad loved you too!)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Needs versus Wants-(Basic)

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Food and water 
are needs.

Pre-bottled sparkling 
mineral water and caviar
are wants.

In my last post, 'Keep Your Balance - How and Why, I stated:
'When our lives are in balance we feel better, our self esteem and sense of worth is higher, our relationships are at their best and it is here we find our greatest joy and true happiness. This is what living life to the fullest is all about! Positive Adaptation can assist you to: 'Think, Feel and Do'. We can begin by prioritizing, placing in a healthy order, our needs and wants; they are not the same.'

Please, take a look at this chart and Think and Feel each one. Now, I ask you, which are your highest priorities?

I am a clinical counselor and have studied many theories of personality, behavior and life span development. Maslow's theory of a Hierarchy of Needs attempts to prioritize what is basic to survival and what can be achieved well beyond, once they are met. The optimal goal, according to Maslow, is 'Self Actualization', meaning we achieve our best selves, the highest level of personal happiness and fulfillment possible. 

I feel sometimes we forget how truly fortunate we are. Think about the fact that there are almost 6.8 billion people living on earth today. Of those, at least 1 billion are at the bottom and likely another 1-2 billion are lucky to achieve Maslow's second level. There are people all over the globe just trying to stay alive. Most of us do not have to worry about our basic, (food, water and shelter), needs, therefore we are free to discover and conquer the rest on up! We ought not to forget how fortunate we are.

With this freedom comes the opportunity and yes, I dare say, responsibility to be the best you can be, help others do the same, find the greatest joy out of life humanly possible and shoot for the top!

Now, off my soap box to offer a few "how to's": We can start out our days Thinking: 'What would I do if I knew I could not fail?'. Feel and believe we cannot and at night, review our days to see what and how we have DOne! If we can honestly say we have done our best, we shall be pleased and rest peacefully.

If we begin each day with our goal to Think, Feel and Do our best, we are sure to find the greatest amount of joy and fulfillment Maslow is describing in his chart, (see image above), and feel grateful for it.

Sometimes bread and water are just fine. Can we not dare to want more? Let us all decide to give it our best to become our best.  Positive Adaptation will help lead you there!

To obtaining both our needs and our wants and being grateful when either or both are met!