Thursday, February 01, 2007

Words of Wisdom Slogans Can Be Excellent Channel Markers for Healthy Living

As most of us know, there are some very helpful words of wisdom slogans that indeed can help us live a healthy, meaningful and happy life. For example, it is not uncommon to hear a person in recovery say, “One day at a time.” In my pop psych book, Living Life, Anyway, I identify and expound on many such kinds of words of wisdom. The impact and outcome effects of such verbalizations can be very powerful. In my graduate course, Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy, for example, I lecture on the work of the well-known cognitive psychologist, Dr. Donald Meichenbaum, who delineates and demonstrates the power of internalized cognitive statements.

In my recently published pop psych book, Mom and Dad’s Pearls of Wisdom… You Gotta Love ’Em, I share a conversation I had with my dad just before going to graduate school to begin my doctoral program at the University of Georgia. After he said to me, "All I want is for you to be happy," I said to him, “Hey, with a Ph.D., who wouldn’t be happy.” Wryly my dad responded,
Success is getting what you want,
happiness is wanting what you’ve got.

Question: Are there any special words of wisdom slogans that you find especially helpful to you?



DH said...

My own personal slogan..."It's not about what I want from the world. It's about what the world wants from me." When I realized this, I no longer felt the need to search aimlessly for the answers about living my life. I just needed to sit back and let the answers find me! I will close with another one of my favorites, "an attitude of grattitude". DH

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi DH,
Thanks for sharing two that work well for you. And, interestingly, I have said those on occasion myself.
If there is any common philosophy underlying your personal slogans (especially the first one) it is that the world is bigger than you (or me... we're not the center of the universe... we're part of it). Very spiritual too... cool!

Bailey Stewart said...

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger. I've had to remind myself of this many times.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. This is my way of reminding myself that what we fear we often make real.

I'm in a Nietzsche mood today.

Then there's my personal favorite:
Murder is a felony.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Bailey,
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your Nietzsche-isms. Cool. And, interestingly, when I lecture on phenomenological approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, I also throw in a Nietzsche-ism: "There are no facts, only interpretations."
Thanks again... and have a great "Nietzsche Day,"

insideout said...

Wow, seems like I've wandered in to a ph.d conference!! I feel so out of place I'll need to bone up with my big word dictionary then come back to comment.. Only thing that has served me well is never get into a situation where I dont have a back door. Basically always have a backup. Of course there was always moms favorite: I'm not burger dont get it your way HAHA..I/O

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello I/O,
Thanks for your openness and candor, but remember: "Unhappiness" is an equal opportunity offender; please don't ever think that people with Ph.D.s are necessarily any wiser or happier than those without. As I say in my book, "Mom and Dad's Pearls of Wisdom," my father was very intelligent and very wise (in spite of being thrown out of school in the 10th grade for fighting). As I say, "He was exceptionally bright, but equally uneducated." Nonetheless, I could have easily nominated him for a Ph.D. degree in "life wisdom."
Thanks for the "back door" consideration, and I know I'll be using your Mom's favorite the next time my children visit!

Anonymous said...

The one that's most accurate in my house is "If Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy." I know it's used so often that it may sound cliche' but it is true. Man, if my wife is in a bad mood, the kids and I just try to go outside and ride out the storm. Luckily it doesn't happen too often.
I'm also going to remember I/O's Burger King slogan next time my dad visits and wants a sandwich made a certain way!

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello again, Maconole,
Thanks for your wise slogan -- it sure seems wise for you, especially when you're at home. Now regarding your father...
Firstly, I wonder if he had the same slogan imprinted in his head when you were a child? And, secondly, I have to believe that if when he's visiting you your wife's in a good mood he won't care what kind of sandwich it is or how it's made.
Thanks again,

Misa said...

Mine's more a philospohy of life. I try to enjoy the journey, rather than getting hung up on getting to the destination. So the expression would be to stop and smell the roses. And to always be aware that we go through seasons and that nothing stays the way it is forever.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Misa,
Thanks for the wonderful reminders… stop and smell the roses and that we go through seasons. I also love your last pearl of wisdom… on numerous occasions I have reminded myself that “Sometimes in life the only things constant is change.”

Anonymous said...

I have a few:

Happiness is a choice.
There are no mistakes, only learning.
There is no reality, only perception.


Dr. Bill Emener said...

Welcome Angela,

Thanks for your thought-provoking words of wisdom slogans. Here’s an indication of the thoughts you provoked for me:

“Happiness is a choice.” – love it (‘cause I agree with “Choice Theory” in that if it’s a choice than you have some responsibility in making it happen…

“There are no mistakes, only learning” – and if you’re an open person and not self-abasing, then you can learn from poor decisions and errors (in my life, I sometimes think I learned more form my errors and poor decisions than I did the successes and good decisions)…

“There is no reality, only perception” – love it, and in my new pop psych book, Mom and Dad’s Pearls of Wisdom, I have a terrific Vince Lombardi like quote: “Perception isn’t everything… it’s the only thing.” (Gotta love phenomenology!)

I would tell you that I live in St. Pete Beach Florida and tomorrow it’s only hitting a high of 70 degrees, but that might annoy you and I would like for you to come back,


Mostly Happy Thoughts said...

I love Florida and have been to St. Pete's twice. I am jealous of your sunny and gorgeous weather.

I live my life by those slogans.

My life is one giant psych study ;)


Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hey again, MHT,
Next time you're in the area, let me know.
My life tends to be quite similar; however, one of my favorite expressions also is, "Sometimes life's problems are too complicated for bumper-sticker solutions." (And I know you know that.)
'til next time,