I get this newletter from Keith Ferrazzi and it never fails to inspire good thought: Hope you enjoy and thank you Keith for the passion in pursuits.
Today Dr. Mark Goulston shares with us his new article "10 Habits of Happy Couples."
Happy Valentine's Day!
---------------------------- 10 Habits of Happy Couples by Dr. Mark Goulston ----------------------------
Happy couples know that the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is over. Unless you maintain a garden of love, it will grow weeds and its beauty will wither and die. So let's explore 10 habits of highly happy couples:
1. Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn't wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.
2. Cultivate common interests. After the passion settles down, it's common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don't minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.
3. Walk hand in hand or side by side. Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it's more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.
4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode. If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can't resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.
5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong. If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.
6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work. Our skin has a memory of "good touch" (loved), "bad touch" (abused), and "no touch" (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the "good touch," which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.
7. Say "I love you" and "Have a good day" every morning. This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.
8. Say "Good night" every night, regardless of how you feel. This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.
9. Do a "weather" check during the day. Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you're more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.
10. Be proud to be seen with your partner. Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact -- hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.
Even if these actions don't come naturally, happy couples stick with them until they do become a part of their relationship. They know that it takes 30 days for a change in behavior to become a habit, and a minimum of six months for a habit to become a way of life and love.
There is something spiritual about the morning, I am convinced of it. I wake most days at 5AM, brew a pot of coffee and read for the first hour. After that I run on the treadmill for 25 minutes or so. My head is never more clear than during this time. I feel present and awake, ready to take on the challenges of the day. This time reminds me of some Tom Peter's stuff I discovered today.
I received some clarification on Tom Peter's Excellence 4/40 power point slide I mentioned a few posts back from a wonderful lady named Cathy. While I don't know her title and not sure it matters, she was the best definition of Dramatic Difference that I have seen in awhile. Prompt and willing to help at the pen of an email. She asked Tom himself what he meant by the slide and got right back to me.
The excellence 4/40 stands for 4 major observations that Tom has made over the last 40 years about business' and the leaders that run them.
It's that 4th point that hit me this morning. It really does make a difference to start earlier than the next guy/gal! If your like me your clearest thoughts come right after the coffee and the exercise. I am under no illusion that it's a tough habit to create; that of getting out of bed early. But, it is one that I would encourage anyone to get into.
Everyone has that "little voice inside" that helps you to discern right from wrong. You've heard it described with words such as "Gut Feeling," "I have sense," "Somethings telling me," or simply "the spirit." It helps you spot danger or when you're being lied to or mislead. But what happens when your SPIRIT isn't working. What if your SPIRIT says the wrong thing and thus puts you in a bad position. Has it happened to you?
How do we get it back? That feeling of good sense and good direction. Do we need a "GUT SENSE SOMETHING SPIRIT CHECK?" [GSSSC]. How do we do that? I would tell you QUIET TIME BY YOURSELF is the best way. The world gives you everything from prayer to reading, Yoga to Meditation and so many more. It's your CHOICE, but I would tell you that you have to ACT on one to get yourself dialed in.
We've seen the Intellectual Intelligence rule for a long time, that is in the process of giving way to Emotional Intelligence. And, in my mind, that will quickly [much more quickly] give way to Spiritual Intelligence.