Friday, January 29, 2021

From the archives: How to stay positive, stay engaged & expand your comfort zone.

If you're finding it hard to maintain a positive attitude following month after month of pandemic isolation, an exhausting election year and now the cold and darkness of winter, you're not alone! But when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I like to remind myself of this colorful wake up call from that legendary pep-talk king, Dale Carnegie:

"Spit on your hands and get busy. Your blood will start circulating; your mind will start ticking – and pretty soon this whole positive upsurge of life in your body will drive worry from your mind. Get busy. Keep busy.”  

And he's right! It's hard to feel gloomy while you're busy doing something.  (For more on this, see "Overwhelmed by Angst? 'Spit on Your Hands & Get Busy!' (Including a Quick Start Guide to Banishing Angst)."

In this article, I've pulled together some "get busy, stay busy" stuff from my WORTH SHARING archives. It's a collection of odds and ends that can help you banish angst by nudging you to learn something new and maybe get you out of your comfort zone. Enjoy!

Challenge Yourself with Some New Skills 

Everybody knows the web is loaded with "how to" guides of all sorts. Over the years I've reviewed many of them at this website. Here are a few of my favorites. 

How to Be a Gardener or Urban Farmer: Three Excellent (and Free) Resources 

Food for the body, enrichment for the soul... even a potential income source! Gardening can give you all of these, depending on how much time and energy you decide to invest.  In this article I share three great resources to help you get started with planning and managing your window box, your home garden, your urban farm or your "all-in" urban agriculture business. (Go to article.)

Exercise Your Right Brain & Improve Your Life with Art Lessons from [Video Tour Included]  

Behavioral psychologists have long identified these benefits of painting and drawing: Improved creativity, memory, communication skills, problem solving skills, stress relief, more positive emotions, release of hidden emotions, increase of emotional intelligence, better mobility, better observational skills. (Go to article.)

Searching for a Picture: How a Camera in Your Hands Can Improve Your Vision  

There’s something about that device in my pocket, with all its lens settings and editing tools and pixel-power, that keeps nagging at me. It keeps asking, “Now what do you see? What’s out there that’s amazing? … that’s beautiful?” (Go to article.)

A Dozen Free Google Apps to Keep Your Family or Team Organized [Part 1 of 2]

Does your family or team have documents, photos, plans & maps scattered all over the place? Google’s free apps help you consolidate, share & get organized! And they're especially valuable while we're all staying separated "safer at home." (Go to article.)

6 Podcasts to Help You Become an Amateur Tech Geek  

One of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in tech stuff is to subscribe to a few tech podcasts and replace some of your time spent scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or Twitter with time spent listening to (and learning from!) tech experts. (Go to article.)

Got downtime? Teach yourself project management with these free videos and tools! 

Are you isolating due to the raging pandemic? If you have downtime, why not teach yourself something valuable so that when you emerge from your cave... and you will eventually emerge!... you will have some "added value" in the workplace?  And project management (PM) is one skill set that provides lots of value in almost any industry! (Go to article.)

Re-Introducing My YouTube Channel (A 10-Video Sampler)

Over the years I've collected quite a lovely pile of videos in my YouTube Channel.  In fact, as of this writing, there are well over 100 videos organized into five different playlists(And there are absolutely no annoying ads! ☺👍) You're sure to find something here that will inspire you to stay positive and engaged!  (Go to article.)

Bored passively consuming content? Feeling anxious? Maybe it's time to create something!  

Here are some specific creative challenges, along with a couple of pep talks, that could get you started. (Go to article.)

Explore Some Unusual Content Sources

If none of the suggestions above appeals to you, and you'd rather just kick back and consume content, how about nudging yourself gently outside your viewing/listening comfort zone? After all, not everything is on Netflix and YouTube!  Check out these content roads less traveled:

Acorn TV: Netflix for Grownups!  

"... some of the best British, Australian, Canadian and Irish TV series and stand-alone films!" (Go to article.)

Get award-winning movies & TV shows, audio books, graphic novels, & ebooks FREE (no ads!) from your local library. 

Here's how it works: Libby, Kanopy and Hoopla are services that have set up relationships with most libraries to stream content to their library card holders. Since we are already supporting our local public libraries with our taxes or our college and university libraries with our fees, we can get all this content for free and with no ads or commercials! (Go to article.) 

My Inspired Project Teams Podcast (downloadable audio) Collection

Some sample topics: 

  • 10 Specific Actions That Can Help You Become Happier
  • Consciously Choose Your Attitude
  • Accept What Is
  • Train Yourself to be Happier
  • Get High on Kindness
  • Take Charge, Stop Playing the Victim ... and 25 more!
(Go to collection.)

Travel Back in Time, Through the Mountains of France & Around the World with Robert Louis Stevenson 

From the article: "What do you get when one of the best writers of all time sets out on a personal odyssey with a donkey and documents his travels?  You get delicious prose like the paragraph below, describing a night under the stars in the CĂ©vennes mountains in France, circa 1859..."  (Go to article.)

Bonus: Check out Project Gutenberg

I got all those rare Robert Louis Stevenson travel books named in the article above absolutely free from Project Gutenberg. You can explore (and download, listen or read for free) the works of Stevenson and most other great authors from around the world at Project Gutenberg.  They currently claim to have over 60,000 free ebooks just waiting for you to download! I haven't yet published a review of this incredible website, but it's definitely worth checking out! 

How to Get Comfortable Doing Nothing: 3 Simple Strategies

If none of the preceding inspires you to stay positive and engaged, maybe you should consider simply getting comfortable doing nothing! Yep. I've got some strategies to help you do that.  (Go to article.)