Life coach Omaha

How to Write a Happy Story Every Day

It can be a seemingly daunting request to write a happy story in just four words. But a recent Twitter hashtag prompted many around the world to take a stab at it. What resulted was an inspiring list of posts that included:

Had courage to change.

Passionately living my dream.

Love makes a family.

No one’s truly alone.

Sometimes even a creative hashtag can become a gentle reminder of how we should be mindfully living on a daily basis. When the sun rises each morning, we all face an important choice whether to write a happy story or a negative one.

Contemplating how to write our own happy story forces us to look inward and find gratitude for love, kindness, or friendship—not things—and also to embrace awareness for our purpose in life. Asking introspective questions of ourselves is a wonderful way to grow personally while making a positive contribution to the world.

Tomorrow, before your feet hit the floor, close your eyes and think about how you want your story to be written. Tap into your emotions and then recognize all you are feeling. Then think about how you want to conduct yourself despite your challenges. How do you want people to remember their interactions with you? What do you want to accomplish that will make you happy?

Keep a journal next to your bed. After you have identified your story for the day, write it down. Some examples might be:

Today I am going to:

Make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Show confidence in all I do.

Treat myself like I would a friend.

Practice positive self-talk.

Believe in myself and my abilities.

Take one step toward making my dreams come true.

Tell my children I love them no matter what.

Remember, you are the only one who can tell your story. Although you may not have the power over unforeseen events or hurdles that may occur along the way, you do have the power over your attitude and how you choose to impact those around you.

Writing your own happy story every day allows you to live in the moment and create the life you deserve. With every sunrise comes a new beginning. Get busy writing.

Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at crossthebridgecoaching.com.

 

Living Her Passion - Renee Loftus

Renee Loftus enjoys a teaching moment with her students.

Renee Loftus enjoys a teaching moment with her students.

Mr. Sam was a fourth grade teacher who had more impact on one young student than he ever realized at the time. “He believed in me and made me feel like I could do anything,” says Renee Loftus, now a passionate and devoted teacher herself. Because Renee’s father passed away when she was three, Mr. Sam made sure to include her in all his family events that included picking out a Christmas tree, making homemade pizzas, and going to a haunted house. Most importantly, when she struggled in school, Mr. Sam patiently worked with her until she understood each challenge.

There were other influencers in her life that included her mother who always supported her and provided unconditional love, and a dance teacher who Renee says could look her in the eye and make her feel like she was the only one who mattered. “Micki Pospisil had a huge impact on my life. She believed in me as well,” adds Renee, “and asked me to be her studio helper when I was in seventh grade.”

Renee’s journey led her from Catholic grade school and high school to majoring in Elementary Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. While in college, she embraced all her experiences—both good and bad—that led her to realize that every day offers a lesson and a purpose.

During her first year of teaching second grade, Renee discovered that teaching was not just a job, but her passion. After a student lost his father to a heart attack, Renee knew God put her there to guide him and be with him through his grief. Renee states, “When he struggled, we struggled through it together.” She says she forever thinks about this student, and is so grateful that today, he is married and happy.

With a big smile and contagious positive attitude that light up her classroom, Renee has continued on her mission to reach every child in her classroom in every way for the past eighteen years. She delights in filling them with love, and is just as happy as her students when the light bulb of understanding turns on. A typical day begins with a greeting and highlight. “We have a fill your bucket kind of moment,” Renee says. Throughout days packed with differentiated instruction, Renee provides immediate feedback and then steps back to watch her students bloom. She ends each day with a hug, handshake, or a high five for each of her students.

To this day, Renee is still in contact with Mr. Sam. He was one of the first ones she told when she landed her first teaching job and, ironically, she is now teaching in the classroom next-door to the room that meant so much to her as a fourth grader. Additionally, she still takes dance lessons from Micki Pospisil. Life has truly brought her full circle so she can build her students up just as Mr. Sam and Micki Pospisil did for her.

Her best advice for someone wanting to pursue their passion in life is to stay humble. “No one knows it all,” she says. “Learn, grow, build each other up, communicate, and stay positive even when others want to bring you down. Smile and be you!”

As William Arthur Ward once said, “The great teacher inspires.” Every morning that Renee Loftus walks into her classroom, she does just that with the understanding that one day, her example may prompt another young student to look up to her and realize that teaching is their passion too.

Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Transitions Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at crossthebridgecoaching.com.

How to Avoid Catching Negativity

A cold is contagious. The flu is contagious. But the one thing that is more contagious than anything is negativity. Thankfully, all of us have a choice every day whether to be a carrier of the kind of attitude that spreads faster than anything else in life.

Think about what happens when you encounter someone in the hallway at work. You smile and innocently ask, “How’s your day going?”

When their response is something like, “Oh, it could be better,” or “God awful,” or “I’ll be glad when it’s over!”, our natural instinct is to sympathize and then ask, “Why, what happened?” Before we know it, suddenly our need to relate prompts us to nod our heads in agreement and subsequently grumble about things that we may have brushed off as insignificant only moments earlier. And so the cycle begins.

Now as we part ways with that person, we have sadly become a carrier of the same infectious pessimistic attitude. Even worse yet, our smile may have disappeared, our heart rate may have increased, and we may not have the same spring in our step. Luckily, all hope for staying positive, even when those around you aren’t, is not lost. By following these five simple steps, it is possible to be sympathetic to someone who is suffering while still managing to avoid catching a negative attitude:

Believe that you have control over everything, including your mindset. No one forces you to take on a negative view of anything in life. We are all on this earth to love and learn. When looking at each experience in life as a lesson, it becomes possible to transform negativity into positive energy. Silently repeat to yourself throughout every day, “I am in control.”

Find a way to gracefully move away from negativity to a place of peace. While conversing with someone who is drowning in pessimism, remember to breathe while discovering a balance between feeling empathy and not transforming into a sponge. Smile and nod, pat their hand, and show them that you care. But ending it there and not carrying the attitude with you throughout the rest of the day empowers you to stop the cycle.

Focus on the positive aspects of every day. No matter what happens, there is always good in every day. Perhaps a stranger opened the door for you or your dog greeted you at the end of a long day with a slobbery kiss. Maybe a friend called unexpectedly and invited you to dinner. When feeling yourself caught up in a negative cycle, train your mind to concentrate on the good in the world. If you are somehow not able to find the good in others, perform a random act of kindness yourself.

Practice gratitude for the simplest of gifts. Many of us take the simplest things for granted. Not everyone in the world has clean water and a warm bed. Others do not have good medical care or a house without a leaky roof. When those surrounding you attempt to pull you into their darkness, focus on what you have, not on what you do not have.

Surround yourself with friends and family who share your attitude that life will always get better. While sometimes it is not possible to avoid negative people, it is possible to create a squad of supporters who believe in you, encourage you to follow your dreams, and love you unconditionally. If you are not receiving what you need from anyone in your life, it is perfectly okay to give yourself permission to move on.

When you wake up tomorrow and begin preparing for a new day, remember this: No matter what you are wearing on the outside, it is the attitude you are wearing on the inside that people remember more. Now go tackle the world.

Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at crossthebridgecoaching.com.