Thursday, July 20, 2006

goodbye blogger

well, people, i finally did it. i've moved my blog and now it is at

if you are currently subscribed to this blog, please go to and subscribe via the subscription options you find in the right hand column. if you can't figure out how to do that, please call me (my number is on my web site at or email me at moritherapy at shaw dot ca.

see you at the new site!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

goal setting - part 2

continuing on from yesterday's blog, here is the rest of steve pavlina's (edited) words on goal setting

goal setting is an activity

setting clear goals is not a passive act. you must take direct conscious action. everything counts, and nothing is neutral. you are either moving towards your goals, or away from them.

if you do nothing or if you act without clarity, then you are almost certainly a victim of "being outgoaled" - you are spending your time working on other people's goals without even knowing it. you are happily working to enrich your landlord, other businesses, advertisers, stockholders, etc.

waiting for something to inspire you and hoping that the perfect outcome will just fall into your lap is nothing but a fantasy. clear decision making doesn't happen passively; you actually have to physically put in the time to make it happen.

clear goals sharpen present-moment decisions

your reality will not match your vision exactly. that's not the point. the point is for your vision to allow you to make clear daily decisions that keep you moving in the direction of your goals.

when a commercial airliner flies from one city to another, it is off course over 90% of the time, but it keeps measuring its progress and adjusting its heading again and again. goal setting works the same way.

maintain a clear list of goals not because that's actually where you'll end up but because it will give with tremendous certainty in deciding what you need to do today.

you'll see a measurable difference in your life the very first day you establish clear, committed goals, even if your first few attempts aren't perfect. you'll be able to make decisions much more rapidly because you'll see how they'll either move you towards or away from your goals.

on the eve of his death, walt disney had a reporter crawl into bed with him so he could share his vision for disney world, six years before its completion. when disney world finally opened, another reporter commented to walt's brother, roy, "it's too bad walt did not live to see this." roy replied, "walt saw it before we did.”
isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

Monday, July 17, 2006

goal setting

lately, i've been following steve pavlina's blog. he's got some pretty strong things to say about personal development. below is a somewhat shortened and edited excerpt of what he says about goal setting and decision making.

bunker hunt, a man who rose from a bankrupt cotton farmer in the 1930s to a multi-billionaire when he died in the 1970s, was once asked during a tv interview what advice he could give to others who wanted to be financially successful.

he responded by saying that it's not terribly difficult to be successful and that only two things are required.

first, you must decide exactly what it is you want to accomplish.

secondly, you must determine what price you'll have to pay to get it, and then resolve to pay that price.

clear goals are essential

study after study has shown how essential clear goals and objectives are to success. if you don't take the time to get really clear about exactly what it is you're trying to accomplish, then you're forever doomed to spend your life achieving the goals of those who do.

if setting goals is so critically important, then why is it that so few people take the time to define exactly where they want to go?

part of the reason is a lack of knowledge about how to set clear goals. but those who truly know what they want often outperform everyone else by an enormous degree.

a frequent deterrent to goal setting is the fear of making a mistake. teddy roosevelt once said, "in any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

setting virtually any goal at all is better than drifting aimlessly with no clear direction. the best way i know to guarantee failure is to avoid making clear, committed decisions.

you're probably spending most of your time working to achieve other people's goals. the local fast food restaurant, tv advertisers, and the stockholders of the businesses you patronize are all very happy for that.

many people assume that because they have a direction, they must therefore have goals, but this merely creates the illusion of progress.

an example of the difference between a direction and a goal is the difference between the compass direction of northeast and the top of the eiffel tower in france. one is merely a direction; the other is a definite location.

define goals in binary terms

one critical aspect of goals is that they must be defined in binary terms. at any point in time, if i were to ask you if you had achieved your goal yet, you must be able to give me a definitive "yes" or "no" answer. “maybe” or “kind of” is not an answer.

be detailed

be as detailed as possible when setting goals. give specific numbers, dates, and times. make sure that each of your goals is measurable.

either you achieved it, or you didn't. define your goals as if you already know what's going to happen. it's been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it.

commit goals to writing

goals must be in writing in the form of positive, present-tense, personal affirmations. don’t say “by the end of the year, i don’t want to feel alone anymore.”

rather, say “on december 31, 2006, i look back with satisfaction on a time full of romance and friendship.”

if you phrase your goals in future terms, you are sending a message to your subconscious mind to forever keep that outcome in the future, just beyond your grasp.

avoid wishy-washy words like "probably," "should," "could," "would," "might," or "may" when forming your goals.

and finally, make your goals personal. you cannot set goals for other people, such as, "a publisher will hire me by the end of the year." better say: "by december 1, 2006, i have started working in an interesting, enjoyable position with a north american publishing company, earning $55,000 a year."

objectify subjective goals

what if you need to set subjective goals, such as improving your own level of self-discipline? how do you phrase such goals in binary terms? to solve this problem, i use a rating scale of 1 to 10.

for instance, if you want to improve your self-discipline, ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your current level of self-discipline? then set a goal to achieve a certain specific rating by a certain date. this allows you to measure your progress and know with a high degree of certainty whether or not you've actually achieved your goal.


tomorrow we'll go to part 2, where steve talks about the actual activity of goal setting and how goal setting helps in making everyday decisions.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

Sunday, July 16, 2006

getting support - part 2

when we feel we don’t have enough support, of course there’s many ways we can “go out and get more”. however, often, when we have a problem like this, it’s not because we lack the know-how – it’s that there is something blocking us from reaching for what we need.

when we don’t get the support we long for, it’s often because there are some voices in our heads saying things like, “they don’t have time”, “they’re not interested”, “they already have too much on their plates”, or “if they find out i need help with this, they’ll think i’m a loser.”

when this happens, we can help ourselves by talking this over with someone who has already “proven” that they enjoy supporting others.

here are some ideas on how you might increase your support network:

  • your existing friends and family
  • assertiveness classes or self help books like how full is your bucket? by grandfather-grandson team tom rath and donald o. clifton
  • counselling
  • making a point of initiating and sustaining conversations with people who you don’t ordinarily talk with
  • getting involved in volunteering, support groups, community events
  • if you’re religious/spiritual, praying for more support
  • taking classes on anything you’re interested in
  • giving to others
  • becoming a regular somewhere – at a pub, a coffee house, an interesting online group
  • keeping in touch with people through phone calls, letters, emails
important: as i said in a previous post, there might be moments when you’re tempted to read such a list and roll your eyes, saying “that’s not much help, that’s all pretty obvious!” if that's the case, please stop and think for a moment. if you’re unhappy with the extent or quality of your social support and you haven’t done one of these things in the last three months, maybe it’s time to go back and try them – try the obvious!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

Saturday, July 15, 2006

getting support

today i thought i'd share with you a handout from a workshop i gave a little while ago on social support:

this is part 1 - part 2 is tomorrow.

social support

there’s the quality of supportive relationships – what type of relationships are they and how satisfied are we with them?

then there’s the quantity – how many people “have our back”?

research has found that social support can
· increase immunity (resistance to disease)
· help our emotional health
· reduce stress and illnesses associated with stress
· recovery from illness

what’s your your current social support like?

quality of social support

how satisfied are you in your relationships with family and friends? in the majority of these relationships do you feel that you are:
  • understood
  • loved, or at least appreciated
  • heard
  • informed
  • useful
  • able to talk about your deepest problems (with at least some of your support people)
  • that you have a definite role or place
  • able to be yourself

quantity of relationships

how many close and/or dependable relationships do you have? consider relationships with:
  • family
  • friends
  • neighbours
  • coworkers
  • others
  • spend time with someone who doesn’t live with you?
  • talk to friends or relatives on the phone?
  • go to meetings, social clubs or other groups?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

mental illness in the workplace: good news!

last month i reported on yves magloe, a tenured professor at pasadena city college, who was let go because of a mental illness. as many of you know, it is extremely rare of a tenured professor to let go - tenure usually means lifetime employment.

well, good news. hugo schwyzer reports that professor magloe was reinstated.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

another video: about depression

and here we have another video, where you can hear me talk a little bit about depression and disconnectedness. this time it's on youtube. thanks, carol, for doing this video!

yogurt and self-righteousness

plain yogurt – after you’ve opened the container, do you stir it or do you carefully take off what you need and leave the rest alone?

that, my friend, is the big question.

it’s a question that plagued me, so i complained, err, i mean, talked to a few people about it – with such passion, apparently, that i was challenged to write a blog entry about it.

and it is, clearly, a question of seinfeldian proportions.

here’s what happened: we were having dinner, eating perogies, and concerned with health as i am, i served plain organic yogurt instead of sour cream with it.

one of my table mates apprehended the yogurt container, stuck the spoon in it and proceeded to (what seemed to me) violently stir, nay, disturb the yogurt that lay peacefully in that container.

i flinched. and i spoke up. “what are you doing to that poor yogurt??!!” i shrieked.

“ah – i’m stirring it?”

“what has that yogurt done to you?”

“ah – i’m just stirring it …”

i’m sure i rolled my eyes. what a barbaric thing to do! yogurt is a living thing (i think), all these little yogurt bacteria sitting together in well-organized molecules, kind of like in their little yogurt house, and in comes this barbaric giant with his spoon and creates a soupy chaos!

until that point, while my poor yogurt bacteria were bathed in chaos, i was safely ensconced in a comfy cocoon of yogurty self-righteousness. surely, walking into that yogurt like a horde of raping and pillaging warlords can't be right!

and then my curiosity got the better of me. just like the barbaric yogurt giant, i couldn’t leave the story alone, i had to stir it up. i asked my friends haedy, MJ and timmie about their opinion.

to my despair, they didn’t immediately take my side! worse, it was hard to get them excited about this important topic.

so i tucked my tail between my legs and, on the occasion of blueberries and yogurt for dessert last night, brought the sorry results of my survey back to the barbaric yogurt giant. and he just laughed! he just laughed, and challenged me to write about it in my blog.

i’m still of the opinion that yogurt should be left alone but – well, it appears that the yogurt giant is entitled to his opinion, too.

what’s the morale?

instead of speaking up about the rights of yogurt bacteria, i could have gritted my teeth, causing dental problems and constipation.

instead of defending his stance, the barbaric yogurt giant could have played nicey-nice, cowering to my self-righteousness, which could have been the beginning of a horrible depression.

instead of exploring the world for the wide array of yogurt opinions, i could have stayed marinated in my self righteousness, which eventually would have resulted in calcification of my brain cells.

instead of letting me freely partake of their opinion (and slight lack of interest) on the topic at hand, my friends could have let me believe, by simply and absent-mindedly nodding to my dairy diary, that they agreed with me. the beginning of the end of our friendship?

instead of taking my friends’ feedback back to the barbaric yogurt giant, i could have hid the truth from him, or could have even lied to him, saying that my friends agreed with me! this would slowly have poisoned me from the inside …

what a horrible story this could have turned into!

but we all talked freely with each other.

and now, instead of dental problems, constipation, depression, calcified brain cells, dead friendships and slow poisoning – it’s just a blog.