Donna Strickland Blog

May is Mental Health Month: Why Resiliency Matters

Why Resiliency Matters:  Getting through the long dark nights of the soul.

Mental health is a key component to a person’s overall health.  Mental Health is Health.  They can’t be separated out from one another.   Although we have spent a great deal of time and energy in this country trying to split ourselves into “parts and pieces”, overall health absolutely includes one’s mental health, and one’s relationship to alcohol and/or drugs.  May marks Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.  It’s a time when we reflect on just how much our mental health matters, and what we are doing that actually works to help people stay mentally healthy.

One thing you can do is strengthen your resiliency.  It emerges as one of the key factors that strengthens our mental health.  It’s like strengthening a muscle.  It takes time, dedication, and focus.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Behavioral Health, Free Resources, Resiliency.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

The Most Potent Factor in the Success Equation

Star performers can be differentiated from average ones by emotional intelligence. For jobs of all kinds, emotional intelligence is twice as important as a person’s intelligence quotient and technical skills combined. Excellent performance by top-level managers adds directly to a company’s “hard” results, such as increased profitability, lower costs, and improved customer retention. Those with high emotional intelligence enhance “softer” results by contributing to increased morale and motivation, greater cooperation, and lower turnover. The author discusses the five components of emotional intelligence, its role in facilitating organizational change, and ways to increase an organization’s emotional intelligence.

Although rapid-fire change in health care continues to wreak havoc in organizations, it is now considered ordinary. In fact, the chaotic milieu in which health care organizations find themselves is no longer considered noteworthy.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Articles, Emotional Intellligence, Free Resources.

Energy Drains

In order to shift your energy from activities that drain you, to self-nurturing activities that energize you and reflect your priorities as a leader…you first need to understand where your time goes. Every action you take uses energy, and every action you don’t take use energy. Identifying energy drains means seeing both where you do things that do not serve you and where you do not do the things that you most need to do.

Which of these are you “caught” in?

Running on Adrenaline:

  • Rushing from one task to another
  • Living with the constant hum of anxiety–the chronic feeling that there is something you should be doing
  • Constantly checking voice mail or email
  • Having a special “Pet Peeve” or “Soap Box” that occupies a lot of your mental space 
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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

What Kills You

After hearing Donna ask us the top 10 languages and then talk about health and wellness and humor, I thought she might want to share this with the class.

For those of you who watch what you eat…

Here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources, Just for Fun.

Tips for Times of Turmoil

What are your strategies for living well? 

  • Know your Adversity Quotient: Are you a Quitter?  Camper?  Climber?
  • Beef up your Resilience.  Give Extreme Self-Care the highest priority.
  • Change your language   (Overwhelmed, Pitiful, I can’t take it, Not enough time)
  • Be purposeful in Conversations: Choose the message you want to convey.
  • When in doubt, LEAN IN
  • Create opportunities for people to identify what they care most about in the situation at hand, to take some time to name what the most important issue or principle is at stake, and finally to identify what their complaint shows them that they are most committed to.
  • Change from the Language of Blame to the Language of Personal Responsibility, from the Language of Complaint to the Language of Commitment
  • Understand fully the “Impact Vs Intent” Model
  • Get clear about who is coachable
  • Emails cannot be your main method of communication…The important messages need to be done face to face
  • Find the Time
  • Relationships ARE Messy.  Get over it.
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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

Getting Free: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

Optimists.  You know, those endlessly, unbearably sunny Pollyanna’s going through life in a perky mood. Optimism is much more than a reckless chirping through life.   It can actually change your life… help you cope, and shift the way you think about setbacks and victories.  It’s a psychological righting reflex.  Every soul years to be free.  You CAN retrain your brain to see life differently.  This lift-your-spirits Keynote reminds us all to lift our life to its highest calling and living our lives fully from a sense of possibility and the expectation of positive results.    Optimism is the high-voltage power tool in the life-skills toolbox that can help you get promoted, fight off the cold that’s been going around, and attract people to you.  Pessimistic people are two to eight times more at risk of depression and are difficult to appreciate.   Using humor, inspirational stories, and time-tested tips for dealing with life’s trials and tribulations.  We are reminded that the right to choose our own path is a sacred privilege. 

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

Practical Strategies for Letting Go, Lightening Up, & Creating Resiliency

Sitting on the edge of chair, sit bones anchored: “ Being anchored and on the edge”

Change your Cortisol, Change Your Life:  See if you are in one of these 2 groups:

  • Wake Up.  Terrorize yourself.  Go to work.  Awfulize.  Isn’t it awful here?
  • Twitch and Bitch or “Appropriate Clubs

Change Your Heart, Change Your Life:

Optimism is only one of two dozen strengths that bring about greater well-being.  George Valliant, Harvard professor:  Mature Defenses:  altruism, the ability to postpone gratification, future-mindedness (optimism), and humor. Optimists have 19% more longevity than pessimists.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

Great Ideas for Lightening up the Work Place

SECRET PAL…Have everyone in the office/organization/division/etc. write his/her name, address, phone number, birth date (actual date of birth for those with nothing to hide!), and a short list of things they like (such as flowers, sports, chocolate, funny hats, exotic postcards, music, etc.) Fold and put slips in a hat. Then each person picks a slip—making sure that no one has picked their own name (if so, all slips go back in and try again). Once all slips are distributed and everyone has someone else’s name, the fun begins!

You are the Secret Pal to the person whose name you’ve picked. Over the course of the Secret Pal experience (we recommend at least three months), your “mission” is to do creative, spontaneous, fun and enlivening things for your partner…all anonymously, of course.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

Getting Well and Staying Well Care Plan

Physical health is only one aspect of wellness.  Wellness goes far beyond blood cholesterol levels and bone density.  Wellness includes mental acuity, a zest for learning, and a tolerance for different ideas.  Wellness brings with it empathy, compassion, and a sense of cohesiveness with the rest of humanity.  Wellness encompasses a fighting spirit, an optimistic outlook, and an attitude of hope.

1.  Identify the present state by gaining clarity regarding the source of your stress and/or weakened areas of resiliency.  Identify only 1 or 2 areas that you wish to focus on for the next 21 days that will have the highest yield for you.

Select the particular area of your life where you want to be better by clearly determining, in explicit, specific terms, what you desire the outcome to be.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

Excuse Notes Written by Parents to Teachers

These are excuse notes from parents (with their original spelling) collected by schools from all over the country:

  1. My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.
  2. Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.
  3.  Dear School: Please exscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29,30, 31, 32, and also 33.
  4.  Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.
  5.  Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.
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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.