Do you ever draw a complete blank when preparing a speech or working on a writing project? Are you ever at a loss for words or just don’t know what to write about? If so, try this exercise that will not only provide you with wisdom (hopefully) but also get you moving past writer’s block as well.
Start off by Googling quotes and chose a quotation that you like or one that aligns with your assigned topic. Then jot down as many ideas as you can about relative topics you could get from using this quote. Don’t filter the ideas with thoughts of, “This won’t work.” Go for quantity not quality.
For example, I found the following quotation from Bil Keane. He was an American cartoonist whose comic, The Family Circus, became syndicated in many newspapers beginning in 1960. You’ll get a kick out of his play on words.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ~ Bil Keane
You could expound or philosophize on:
Yesterdays in your life
Events from history
History and what we learn from it
Your favorite time in history
Your hopes and dreams for tomorrow
The illusiveness of tomorrow
No guarantees for tomorrow
Today and living for the here and now
Gifts in general
God – an infinitely broad topic
Why today might be God’s gift
Present (here and now)
Presents you’ve received …
Keep the list going at least long enough to get your thoughts going in an appropriate direction or until you go crazy. At any rate, the exercise should get your juices flowing in a direction that will move you off of dead center and having you wave farewell to writer’s block.
Let’s face it. Choosing a hospital is likely not the highest priority on your list of things to do today – or any day for that matter. Yet when your health requires specialized care beyond the confines of your doctor’s office, you’d like to know you’re in good hands. Obviously, you may not always have a choice, but if you need some things to consider, check out this article from US News and World Report on How to find the best hospital near you.
Although the quality of medical care you receive should hold the highest priority, value can come from another side of the equation that excellence in medical science cannot address. That side of patient satisfaction arises from treating patients as people. What a novel idea – combining the best in modern technology and scientific approaches with old fashioned compassion and personalized care. It’s a type of pay it forward concept.
It would appear that some hospitals are getting the picture and the Internet has enhanced their efforts. Now you can not only go online at a hospital’s website to find a doctor for your specific health need but you can also send a greeting to a patient, “Like” them on Facebook or watch a video about their efforts in-house and in the community. If you like what you see, you can make a donation or pay your bill – all from the comfort of home. You’ll notice if you’re on their premises, they have stepped up their efforts to train their staff in professionalism and patient safety yet they don’t neglect customer service and plain, but always appreciated, common courtesy. They also instruct their staff to smile more – as is appropriate, of course.
Hospitals are also employers, and they’re getting the picture in that arena too as they strive to engage their employees to set the example. Morris Hospital outside of Chicago, IL decided to encourage their staff, volunteers and visitors to get some exercise and take the stairs instead of the elevator with a special campaign. They enlisted local students to paint outdoor scenes in the stairwells to encourage people to take that route. It’s an interesting concept. Click here to see a video of what they did.
With the exception of the maternity ward, no one enjoys going to the hospital. Hospital executives, however, seem to be grasping the connection between quicker healing and better health with their proactive efforts. It makes good business sense, too. Though most patients hope they don’t have an occasion to return themselves, they understand the need for these facilities is a fact of life. Hospitals understand this too. A satisfied patient will spread the word.
I think the only people who really enjoy change are those impacted purely by the results of it.
For example, think about all of the effort that goes into preparing for a new addition to the family. Before Junior even arrives, you’ve made a huge financial investment. Excluding any medical considerations, a new baby requires a massive amount of equipment, bedding and clothes. We’re not even talking diapers yet. In addition, adjustments need to be made for meals, sleeping (or the lack thereof) and yes, now we’re talking diapers. At this point however, the new arrival could care less. He arrives on the scene and waits for his needs to be met. He’s not the least concerned about the changes made on his behalf. He’s only interested in the results.
If we’re honest, we understand that change is not only good, but also necessary. If Junior remained in diapers until age 21, well you get my drift. The problem with change is that it makes demands on your life and moves you out of your comfort zone. For instance:
The weight I want to lose will not come off without serious attention to diet and exercise.
The skills I need to move forward won’t come without time applied to reading, practice and some self-reinvention.
The entrepreneurial ideas I’d like to see succeed will not materialize without some risk and a lot of hard work.
I may not always enjoy the process of change, yet perseverance will, more often than not, obtain the results I desire. Does this also mean the sooner I start, the closer I am to enjoying the final product and hence, learning to like change?
If you sit in front of a computer most of the day, work in a high stress environment, and battle high blood pressure, throw your head back and laugh. Seriously, scientists are exploring the positive effects of laughter on these and other conditions impacting our health and wellbeing. Good hearted hilarity provokes the body to shake and gesture especially in the area of the abdomen. (I wonder if this is what they mean by belly laugh.) The resulting endorphins will melt away the pounds. Obviously you have to do it for 20 minutes or more, but this is my kind of exercise.
In addition, consistent chuckling increases the production of cortisol, a hormone to help the body defend itself against stress. Some studies have found that laughter actually improves your immune system and helps you fight disease.
You can even overcome fear by countering it with an enthusiastic case of the giggles. If you have any doubts, check out how this baby does it.