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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

6 Human Needs by Anthony Robbins

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So what are the 6 Human Needs according to Anthony Robbins?  Often, after I read a book or listen to an inspiring talk, where I desperately feel that the information is life-changing, I create a visual for myself to print and post up on the wall for easy reference.  For me, both creating the visual, synthesizing the information down to a one-pager, and having it up on the wall, instead of written down as notes out of sight, helps me not only learn it better but live it better.

I realized some people might have interest in my visuals, especially if you have not had the chance to read these books or listen to these talks.  Even though they just graze the iceberg, they might still inspire and motivate, or even pique your interest enough to make you want to dive deeper on your own and listen to or read the original work.

I was looking at this one last night and felt it was particularly meaningful and relevant for the new year.  I do not know about you but I often think about how I can better my personal relationships with those around me and those I have yet to meet.  I also am always intrigued with the science or studies done around fulfillment and happiness.  As a facts and figures girl, I like to toy with the idea that there is a set formula for happiness.  I believe this one gets close.

According to Anthony Robbins, here are the 6 Human Needs:

  1. Certainty - The need for security, comfort, and consistency
  2. Uncertainty - The need for variety and challenges
  3. Significance - The need to feel important, needed, wanted, and worthy of love
  4. Love and Connection - The need for feeling connected with and loved by other human beings
  5. Growth - The need for constant development emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually
  6. Contribution - Giving beyond ourselves and giving to others
To me it is even more fascinating that two of them are in direct conflict with one another, or can be.  For me, identifying that I have both a need for certainty and uncertainty helps me design my life better.  I hope that makes sense.  It helps me re-frame my life.  For example, if I am feeling lost or out of control, I look for the certainty in my life.  It might be as basic as I know every time I work out and sweat, I feel better afterwards.  I have control over that.  Identify whatever gives you comfort.  Watch how identifying what is certain and consistent in your life makes you feel better or vice versa if you feel like your life is too monotonous.  Pick out the variety.  It might be as small as not ordering the same thing on the menu or wearing a different color underwear.  Lol.  Try it for a second.  How does it make you feel?  Kind of cool, right?

I love these 6 Human Needs, and I love pondering all that they mean.  They have so many applications.  Not only can you consider them as a map for yourself and your fulfillment, but you can use it as a template for leadership and what your employees, your family, your friends, your customers, or even the stranger you have not met yet needs.

For example, ask yourself as a manager, am I providing certainty for my direct reports?  Do they know what is expected of them and is it consistent?  Do they have variety in their work?  Are they being challenged?  For parents, are you making your kids feel important and wanted?  For people in relationships, are you feeling connected or making your significant other feel loved?  Are you contributing to society and making a difference?  Are you growing?  Are you helping others grow and develop?

Great questions for a new year.  For me, they start the conversation for the types of goals I would like to set.  The possibilities are endless.  What are your thoughts?  Do these resonate with you?  Do they make you think about what you could do for others?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Word and Color Theme for 2015 Goals and Dreams

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I came across a blogger who mentioned she chooses a word and color for each year, kind of like a driving theme or north star to guide yourself by.  I thought about this, mulled it over in my mind for about 2 minutes, and instantly fell in love with the idea.  She talked about how to choose your word and color, and before she even got two words out, I instantly knew my word was going to be Brave.  When I closed my eyes, all I could see were oranges and reds like the sunset.  Ironically, as I came to this conclusion, she mentioned her colors were going to be the same exact ones.  I had only skimmed her blog post before and laughed to myself when I went back and read it in more detail.  Her word last year after thoughtful reflection was Brave as well though she never formally picked one.  After reading that, I knew it was just meant to be.

So what then do you do with a word and color?  I take it as a driving theme for myself, a filter and a question through which I will run all my plans and actions.  It does not have to be formal, but I have posted my word above my work space as a fun reminder about the Brave new things I want to do in 2015.  I want to make sure I consciously stretch myself and go out into the world with bold ambition.  If I find myself feeling timid or shy or questioning whether I should take such and such risk, I will remember my word.  Brave.  I will close my eyes, focus my energy on that word.  Repeat it to myself.  Feel the colors, the warmth radiate as I imagine the soft oranges and reds swirling around in my mind's eye.  I will use that energy to inspire and fuel my efforts.

I am so excited to see what 2015 will bring.  What do you think?  Will you be choosing a theme word for your 2015 Goals and Dreams?  Please share below.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Have Narcolepsy - What Does That Mean?

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Do you suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness?

I hate how that question sounds like the beginning of a pharmaceutical ad or commercial.  Doesn't it?  Well, here is my story.  I am sharing it in the off-chance it might help you.  It scares me because it makes me feel vulnerable, but I think it is important to share.  I know during this journey, I often felt like I was the only one, so if I make even one person feel not so alone, it will be worth it.

Here is what I know:
  • I cannot drive more than 15 minutes without feeling drowsy.  My husband has to drive if we are going anywhere long distance. Just on my commute to work, I usually have to listen to an audio book or call a family member to keep me engaged. 
  • I cannot sit in a meeting or even a seminar without my eyes starting to flutter. I literally have no control over it.
  • If I am just sitting on the couch with my daughter, I cannot control falling asleep. She has actually come up and slapped me in the face and held my head in her hands staring at me. Even though she's only one (almost 2), I think she understands the gravity of it.  It might not sound that bad but with the birth of my daughter it has become pronounced.
Before You Ask....because I have heard these already:

1.  Do you drink caffeine or consume alcohol?
I don't drink coffee or tea.  I may have a diet coke or a glass of wine once a week.

2.  Do you get enough sleep?
Yes, I usually get anywhere from 8-10 hours of sleep every night.

3.  Have you considered your diet or exercise?
I exercise 5-6 times a week, and I eat fairly clean.

And For Driving...

4.  Have you tried turning up the music, rolling down the windows, or blasting the air?
Yes I have and none of it has worked.  Even, I hate to admit this, slapping myself really hard across the face does nothing.

5.  Are you safe to drive?
Yes, I am a really good driver at short distances and have never been in an accident.  I have managed it really well by listening to audio books or calling family members via bluetooth, and my husband drives most weekends or on road trips.

Have You Gone to the Doctor?

I had before with no results, BUT it had come to a point that I was worried I would fall asleep watching my daughter and she would get hurt.  Before, when it was only me, it was not as big a deal if I took little cat naps here and there. I mean I literally could fall asleep anywhere. People were enviable that on a flight to Europe, I could sleep for 90% of it. They called it my super power. Not so fun anymore.

Could it be Depression?

Initially the doctor's assessment was that "Sometimes there are no answers."  She was skeptical I had anything wrong with me because my symptoms did not perfectly fit into any diagnosis she could immediately think of.  When I burst into tears from frustration that she could not help me, she said, "Well you know, it could be depression. I could prescribe you some anti-depressants."  Eventually we ruled that out too.

In the end, at least, she deferred to sending me for some more tests.
  • Blood Work to see if I was anemic or had a thyroid issue
  • A Sleep Study to see if I had sleep apnea.
  • Referral to Neurology to see if I had narcolepsy
She assured me I had none of them but that we might as well rule them out.

Well the test results are in, and I Have Narcolepsy...without cataplexy (loss of muscle control).

Which means, I do not lose muscle control, collapse, and fall over while walking or talking to you, which is why I think I never considered I might have narcolepsy.  Cataplexy is probably the most prominent symptom people associate with narcolepsy.  In doing more research, I learned that Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that impacts 1 in approximately 2,000 people in the United States.  Incidence of Narcolepsy can vary by ethnic group as well. The highest occurrence is found among the Japanese at one in about 600.  And I am half Japanese.  Need I say more?

It's like a light bulb has gone off for me.  All the dots are beginning to connect.  I am still educating myself, but overall I just feel a sense of relief.  The neurologist I saw was amazing. He talked with me for a full 45 minutes and really listened to what I had to say. At the end, he shared that he actually has narcolepsy too and chooses just to manage it instead of medicate.

It might not seem like much but he recommended eating sunflower seeds while driving. I tried it and IT WORKS. For me that is literally life changing.  I currently have anxiety about meeting up with friends that live in another city because I know the drive will be too hard for me. How sad is that?

The Other Symptoms I have but never thought were related are as follows:
  • REM Sleep within 5 Minutes of Falling Asleep - versus the 80-100 minutes it usually takes others.  (I never thought having 5+ dreams a night was weird).
  • Sleep paralysis – A limpness in the body associated with REM sleep resulting in temporary paralysis when the individual is falling asleep, or awakening. Episodes can last from a brief moment to several minutes.
  • Hypnogogic hallucinations – Events of vivid audio and visual events that a person with narcolepsy experiences while falling asleep, or while awakening.  
  • Disrupted Nighttime Sleep (DNS) – The inability to maintain sleep for more than a few hours at a time.  (I assumed I just had an active bladder).
It is still a fairly recent development for me in the last couple weeks.  I am not even sure I should share it for fear of what people will think of me.  My doctor even said I should ask my manager about working in naps during the day (would have a doctor's note and everything) but that just feels like too much right now.

I do not want people to look at or treat me differently.  I am determined though to manage this and not use it as a crutch. I honestly just feel relieved to know that I was not making stuff up. I really do have a condition and the validation of that was really all I needed.  Do you have any friends or family that this sounds like?  How about yourself?

Let me know.  This is all new to me but I would love to connect!

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