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“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” – Anthony D’Angelo

Did you ever notice that emotions can be contagious? If your co-worker, teacher, partner or parent is in a terrible mood, a proverbial dark cloud can envelop the whole room and affect everyone negatively. Conversely, if someone is in a great mood, it can lighten the spirits of everyone they encounter. While you can’t expect to be in a wonderful mood 100% of the time, it is important to realize that your moods can also affect others.

Do you surrender to negativity OR bring positive energy wherever you go?

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“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” – Edwin Hubbell Chapin

The world is full of problems and challenges– wars, drought, terrorism, famine, slavery, trafficking, climate change, political divisiveness — to start the list. With seven billion people inhabiting the earth today, it isn’t hard to feel inconsequential and powerless. The truth is that there is power in one. One vote, one voice, one good deed. One knock on the door of a neighbor in need. One donation to a local charity. One gift of your time to tutor a child. Your positive actions can not only help others, but can help inspire others to do good too.

Do you succumb to feeling overwhelmed OR do you think global, act local?

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“The real enemy of high performance is not stress…the problem is the absence of disciplined, intermittent recovery.” – Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Running on empty. Spent. Exhausted. We all know the feeling of giving all that we’ve got until there is nothing left to give. Whether at work or at home, we need to take time to replenish our reserves after we make great effort in any area. We simply cannot perform at our best if we are running on fumes. Athletes are especially good at appreciating the value of recovery; they are aware that they run the risk of injury if they don’t allow the natural exert/regenerate cycle to occur.

What is your habit – to run on empty OR to fill up?

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“The more you extend kindness to yourself, the more it will become your automatic response to others.” – Wayne Dyer

Do you remember making your first friend? How have you cultivated friendships since? Making friends can be like tending a garden, tuning in with sensitivity to another’s needs and treating their feelings with respect and care. But when do we learn to make friends with ourselves? Sometimes, we can be our harshest critics and our worst enemies – treating ourselves in unforgiving ways that we could never imagine treating a friend.

Do you tend to be unforgiving and harsh toward yourself OR do you treat yourself with kindness and generosity?

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“Mindfulness means seeing things as they are, without trying to change them. The point is to dissolve our reactions to disturbing emotions, being careful not to reject the emotion itself.” – Tara Bennett-Goleman

Difficult experiences are a part of life – including those that elicit strong emotions like rage, grief, jealously, anxiety. While in the midst of these challenging times, we may habitually respond by launching into the fray like a soldier going to battle. But we have another choice altogether. Instead of reacting emotionally, we can attempt to replicate the experience of mindfulness meditation, where we observe our thoughts and emotions, like clouds in the sky, and let them go — instead of focusing, fixating and engaging them.

Do you normally fight the storm OR are you more likely to observe the storm?