Why being grateful creates happiness and more good

'Twas the worst of times. My husband died suddenly of a heart attack. I stopped working from the shock, my family was preoccupied and on another continent, and friends stayed away because they didn’t know how to deal with death so early in our lives. I was alone, no work, no income, and no place I wanted to be. Getting up in the morning seemed like an exercise in futility. Why bother? There was no one there, nothing to do, no place to go, and money was dwindling away.

Giving thanks saved me. In the depths of my depression and listlessness, I turned inward. I prayed. I prayed for clarity, the reason for being, for what’s next. Somehow in that place of despair I heard an inner voice say to me, “Give Thanks”. Give thanks? For what? Yet the voice persisted. Give thanks. It was more a command than a suggestion.


How to manage and thrive during stressful times

Looking outside for the meaning of life is futile. Look inside. Why were you born? What makes you happy?

What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What am I striving for? During these challenging times, such questions come up in many people’s minds. If we knew our life purpose and the meaning of life, the stress of our day to day trials would be easier to understand and endure. The heavy pressure, physical, emotional and financial strain we are feeling under the current health crisis, travel restrictions and political uncertainty could be converted into motivation if we can see the bigger picture.

My dear friend, Glenn, is an emergency room physician and medical director. In the 30 years he’s been practicing medicine, he has seen many near-death situations and many people die. It has given him an interesting perspective on our culture’s attitude toward life and death. …


Steps to equilibrium, happiness and productivity during challenging times

When the stress, anxiety and depression hit you, they are no longer concepts. You have to deal with them to survive and thrive.

“It’s different when it’s your house that’s on fire” K.B., Fire Department Captain

Life as we knew it pre-Covid-19 is no more. The changes and disruptions have wrecked many people’s mental and emotional stability along with their finances and careers. There are steps you can take manage your stress, anxiety, emotional and physical balance to give you the grounding to move forward gracefully.

A longtime friend of mine is in the eye of the storm. She is the community outreach nurse manager in the area’s largest hospital group, dealing daily with general hospital issues, constant adjustments due to the fluctuating caseloads of Covid-19 patients and the increasing demands from the community at large. One of her siblings died suddenly and another one was misdiagnosed with the Virus. In addition, her husband had a freak accident which resulted in second and third degree burns to over 10% of his body. Then she fell ill with a severe sore throat which triggered Virus alarms; fortunately, she recovered with a clean bill of health. …


Plant-based eating — easy ways to eat for peak performance, health and happiness

Plant-based eating. Nutritious, delicious and a tool to improved work performance and life! All pictured vegetables came from the author’s garden and used in the recipe below.

Food for thought. What you eat can fuel your mental capacity, energize your body and balance your emotions. Food is fundamental to survival and now there’s substantiation that it’s also pivotal to peak performance.

People have been searching for the competitive edge in work performance long before people even started working in offices. In the past few decades, the quest to excel in business has led people to learn about emotional intelligence, meditation and exercise in addition to the prior credentials-based pursuit. Each new soft skill area has helped to expand the less tangible advantages that were previously overlooked.

Plant-based food is the latest business success tool.

I realized that plant-based nutrition is a competitive advantage early in my career. I credit my ability to fly 12, 15 hours, land, go straight to leading business meetings and adjust to the new time zone easily, to my plant-based diet. The punishing schedule and stress of being a global business executive has led many of my colleagues and associates to excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, prescription and otherwise, sugar, and other crutches that oftentimes sabotaged the very things they were looking for — clarity, equanimity, and stamina. And yes, the ability to sleep too. …


How you can foster diversity, inclusion and understanding to build collaboration, creativity and productivity.

“Frankly we don’t hire women for positions other than tellers and receptionists at our bank”, the recruiter of the prominent Oregonian bank said to me after my on-campus interview. It was sobering to hear that from a recruiter since I was armed with a master’s degree in Economics and Business and have excellent summer and school year work experience and recommendations. Then he added, “besides, you originally came from another country, so we definitely won’t hire you”.

The situation has somewhat improved now a few decades later, but truly not anywhere near enough. Not when according to Stanford University research, racially diverse executives hold only 16 percent of total C-suite positions and only 16 out of 500 companies are being led by a non-white CEO. In 26 of the Fortune 100, there is no ethnic diversity at the C+1 level [direct reports]. Women, at 50% of the population, hold 25 percent of the C-suite positions. Only 7 of the companies have a female CEO. Even more disturbing, women hold only 13 percent of positions with high potential for CEO promotion and board recruitment (CEO, CFO, and P&L leaders). So even in the cases where there is a woman in the C-suites, she is generally slotted into positions with lower potential for advancement (general counsel, human resources, chief risk officer, etc. …


Tips and tools to ensure a successful and productive integration of diversity and inclusion in your organization.

Diversity and inclusion, good for business and good for everyone.

The current protests and consequent disruptions we are experiencing are painful reminders that we are nowhere close to having meaningful and equitable diversity and inclusion in the business world. This disparity has caused deep seated resentment and underutilization of valuable resources at a pivotal time in the world.

Diversity and Inclusion have been discussed and nominally adopted by businesses and other organizations for years. The actual integration of minorities into the management and decision-making factors of organizations have severely lagged the organizational lip service. There are bright spots created by dedicated and visionary leaders who understand the power of using the full array of human resources to accomplish their goals; it’s wise, strategic and ethical.

Let’s look at some of the facts of why Diversity & Inclusion is good for business.

1. The US population as well as the world population is increasingly diverse and nonwhite.

2. A business will suffer increasing deficit of vital human capital if portions of the overall population are not hired and promoted to their full potential. …


How a thoughtful analysis of your trials and lessons may boost your wellbeing.

Mother, in her glory, beautiful and willful.

My mother was a gift wrapped in sandpaper — cutting and abrasive upon contact, but when carefully examined and thoughtfully experienced, she became my most powerful and inspiring teacher.

She passed away some years ago, between Thanksgiving and the year-end holidays of light and gift giving — an auspicious time of giving thanks and celebration of life. …


Easy plant-based eating for health, energy and business success

Mike working and happy that he is fit, agile and has great stamina from his plant-based diet to do his job.

What happens when already healthy and strong firefighters change their eating habits to a plant-based one? They get even stronger, healthier and perform better! My friend, Mike, a veteran firefighter, is not the most likely person to embark on a plant-based diet . He majored in Animal Science in the University and grew up around chickens, pigs and cows and the slaughter house. Like many firefighters, Mike is very aware how his physical wellbeing impacts his work. …


How to grow herbs, vegetables and fruits in the space you have available

Kumquats, easy to grow in a pot or in the ground. Juicy, sweet and tart, great for snacks or for cooking.

Home grown produce. Doesn’t that sound tasty, nutritious and satisfying? During this social isolation and lockdown, many people are planting gardens for the first time. Even if it is a couple of small containers on your windowsill, there’s joy and reward in harvesting say, fast growing herbs to put on your salad and other dishes. Besides, home grown produce are fresh, nutritious and fun!

My first taste of a home-grown tomato made me a gardener. At five years old, I bit into a red, ripe tomato right off the vine in the garden. Flavors and aromas of the sun burst in my mouth and sweet juice ran down my chin onto my tee shirt. I wanted more of this. I wanted to learn how to garden. …


Portobello mushroom and Cauliflower Soup with Sweet potato oven fries, yummy!

How to eat to gain vitality, a stronger immune system and equanimity

Many years ago, I lost my father and then my husband within a short period of time. …

About

Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam, global speaker, best selling author (The Happiness Choice), business leader and humanitarian. Formerly the CEO of Aveda, President Reebok, VP Nike

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