Staying Rational in an Irrational World

Staying Rational in an Irrational World: (Half-Day)
Introduction:  We are living in stressful times. Most families have two working adults and yet still struggle with weighty debt and insufficient savings; salaries for 95% of us have not kept up with inflation over the past 40 years; and competition is intense in our schools, the job market, and in life generally. No wonder that in the US and Canada the rates of opioid and drug addiction have risen dramatically; alcoholism has increased steadily year over year; suicides and gun deaths are way up; and stress-related illnesses are now the most common seen by family physicians. The challenge today, perhaps more than ever before, is to manage our responses and our stress so that we don’t just ‘survive’ but can actually ‘thrive’, in our careers and in our personal lives.

Program Description:  This thought-provoking three hour session includes ideas from such best-selling authors as Stephen Covey, Dr. Phil, Wayne Dyer, Neil Pasricha, and Martin Seligman. The theme is on how to manage one’s emotions; stay positive; appreciate the good; the career/life importance of a good attitude; being clear about life/work fit and priorities; and habits that lead to health and happiness. The session begins with reflection on the number of days and hours we actually have in our lifetime, and of that, how much of it we spend at work. The session then provides a brief overview of the latest statistics on ‘deaths of despair’ (e.g. opioid, alcohol, suicide) and related research on why so many in our society are suffering from significant stress. The session then presents in some depth five key ideas to help us ‘stay rational in an irrational world’: 1) “It is more your attitude than your aptitude that determines your altitude”; 2) “The only serenity anyone has will be a function of their attitude and skill in dealing with change”; 3)”The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”; 4) “It is not having what you want, it is wanting what you have”; and 5) AQ and EQ are more important than IQ. Each of these ideas is presented using partner exercises, YouTube clips, brief inventories and opportunities for reflection and sharing. A few of the more memorable notions from the session include: there is a difference between ‘resume values’ and ‘eulogy values’; how can we live to be a “centenarian”; how can we increase our “adversity quotient” (AQ) and resilience; what is the Dutch practice of “niksen” and how does it improve our health; and what can research capuchin monkeys teach us about happiness. Many participants in this program have stated that it was the most life-useful training session they had ever attended.

Learning Outcomes:

    1. Reflect on how they use their time and therefore their life
    2. Learn about the effects of stress in US and Canadian society
    3. Learn five key philosophies and related ideas to help us deal with stress and stay rational, balanced, happy and mentally healthy