Dove with Branch
September 17, 2012 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,
 
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, Before my mother passed away she put in her will that she be cremated and told me as I was her Personal Representative. She asked me not to tell anyone until after her death because she was afraid they would be upset and try to talk her out of it. When she passed away and I informed everyone; to no surprise they were upset. They were not only upset with her, but were upset with me for not informing them. One sister will no longer speak to me. Do you think respecting her wishes was proper in this circumstance? - Sylvia in CA

Dear Sylvia, Yes I think you did the right thing! Your mother has the right to choose in these things and it is appropriate for you to respect her wishes. The reason your relatives are upset is because of their own personal problems of not being able to accept your mother's wishes. Stay loving, do not let this upset you and go on with your life knowing you did exactly what your mother wanted and that is what mattered. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I work the day shift which starts at 7:00 AM. I found that I have become accustomed to late hours during my school years and now have trouble sleeping. I would like to work a later shift so that I would be more effective on the job but am afraid to ask. What do you suggest? - Hal in AL

Dear Hal, I suggest you first consider your options and choose the one that you believe will be the most effective in the long run. Unless you can change your habit to get enough sleep then asking to work a later shift seems like an attractive option. Since that is available at your present workplace, it would seem that asking to change is an option that would most likely be attractive to both you and your employer. They would benefit from a more energetic worker on the job and would most likely accommodate you. Just be sure that you ask in a positive way so that they will see value both in you and your request. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

One of the problems I see is that we continually buy into our own solutions to problems. We see a problem - run it through our belief system - collect the facts we think we need to make a decision and then go with it. The problem is that once we have made the decision we tend to accept it in our minds as the only "right answer." We put all of our efforts into implementing it, and into defending it whenever it is questioned by others. We often make ineffective decisions simply because we haven't considered all the facts; or because things don't work the way we think they will.

What if we made the solutions we decide on only tentative? What if the final test was always, "how is this working?" When we give up the emotional attachment to our belief that we know what the right answer is we focus on finding the best answer. Let's trade the need for the feeling that we are doing the right thing for the need to find the best solution.

This will produce better results for us and others around us. It will greatly reduce the emotional conflict in our life. It can also produce a great sense of satisfaction to know that we are always open to finding the best answer, and that we have always given it our best. A sense of knowing we have the "right" answer often leads to stress because of the perceived need to defend our answer. A sense of knowing we are searching for the best answer leads to reduction of stress because are no longer resisting alternatives.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If you don't want to be angry at the world and what is happening in the world, then you need to make your world one of preferences. You can think: "This is the way I would like the world to be." And, "I will work to make the world the way I want it to be." And, "I enjoy doing this, this is my bliss, this is my way to change the world."

On the other hand, you could choose to carry a heavy negative charge on your emotions by thinking, "If the world isn't the way I want it to be, it is wrong." One of the keys to erasing anger from your life is, to delete the "musts" in your picture of the world. Be ready to accept the world for what it is. You can work to change the world when you are in disagreement with it, but accept it as it is for now.

Think of it as a world that you have a chance to improve, because you have a wonderful vision about how it could and should be. If you choose as your bliss working to make the world a better place, you will be better equipped to succeed by having a greater understanding of both yourself and the world.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about why other people in the world they think differently than I do. I try to put myself in their shoes.

Tuesday: I accept the idea that it is okay for others to have different values than I do.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things in the world that I would like to be different.

Thursday: Today I think about which of the things in the world that I want to become involved in changing.

Friday: Today I select the things in the world that I am going to work to change.

Saturday: Today I think about what I must learn in order help create meaningful change.

Sunday: Today I become involved in creating meaningful change in my world.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

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I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

 

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