Articles — Self Improvement

My Responsibility

Dr. Linda Hancock New Articles Self Improvement

My Responsibility

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could control everything?  Well, maybe not!  I can remember when, in my youth, I would think that I had some amazing ideas and if God would just appoint me to his Board of Directors, I could enact them.  How naïve!  In time I realized that it was good that I didn’t have that role as I would have messed up an awful lot of things! Now that I am older and hopefully much more “mature” I realize that I have both rights and responsibilities to enact at a personal level.  Everyone seems to focus...

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Growing Strong and Beautiful

Dr. Linda Hancock New Articles Self Improvement

Growing Strong and Beautiful

Every year I put a few pots of annuals on my condo’s deck. The other day I was disappointed to see that a storm had blown off all the blossoms from my trailing petunias. They were lying on the deck and needed to be swept away. A couple of days later, however, it shocked me to realize that there were even more blossoms on the plants that before the storm! All this got me to thinking about how our lives can be very much like container gardening. Each of us is a plant that needs the following; 1. Vessel or...

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Who Can You Trust and Why?

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Who Can You Trust and Why?

I always find it interesting to watch politicians who attack their opponents and then, when they drop out of the race because of lack of support, back the person who they have been trashing. It is easy to attack others and make promises when you are hoping that others will vote for you! But the process doesn't always seem to be honourable. It is easy to listen to a charming individual who seems to have a good line but keep in mind the old expression that states: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". To trust...

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Stand Against Fear

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Stand Against Fear

Journalists know that "what leads - bleeds". People read newspapers and listen to news when there are exciting - not boring - things happening. Twenty-four-hour internet and television broadcasts can throw you into a world of crisis very easily so you need to be careful. Recently, we have been hearing about the presence and pandemic possibilities of the corona virus. Now I am not ignoring the fact that we are facing a problem but, at the same time, I have lived through eras of measle outbreaks, tuberculosis and polio so I tend to believe in the expression my grandmother used...

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Believe What Others Do

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Believe What Others Do

Often individuals are disappointed or resentful after a person who they trust lets them down. Anyone can make promises or say things that they don't mean, and problems occurs if we believe they will follow through. It is especially foolish of us if we know that the person has a pattern of saying things without linking them to congruent actions. So why do you think that people say things they don't mean? There are several reasons:   Unrealistic hopes - There is an old expression that states: "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride". Just because you want something...

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Professional Silos

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Professional Silos

I was raised in a small town in southern Saskatchewan. We had a couple of doctors and a small hospital but seldom had any contact with "specialists" and if required, needed to drive almost an hour to the nearest city for assessment and treatment. The doctors made house calls back then and took care of all our physical and mental illnesses with only the aid of instruments carried in a black bag. Things are VERY different today. It is unusual to think that a doctor might make a house call and those in the medical profession have a narrow scope...

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Hard Work and Courage

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Hard Work and Courage

When my granddaughter Janaya graduated from high school in Saskatoon the school gave her a one-thousand-dollar scholarship for university. She is intelligent but also has an amazing work ethic and invests a lot of time into her studies. Intelligence plus hard work are a good formula for doing well. Even though she played the piano beautifully and was a good artist, she decided that she wanted to study engineering. Not everyone encouraged her in this choice as there is an occupational gender bias in the field. In fact, statistics indicate that less than ten percent of registered engineers in Saskatchewan...

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Slow Down: One Step At A Time

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Slow Down: One Step At A Time

A few years ago, I telephoned a mentor and said "I don't know if I want to live in British Columbia". She was surprised and asked for more information. I told her that I had found an advertisement for what seemed to be an interesting job opportunity in BC. Now mentors are individuals who set a good example for us and offer wise advice. This is exactly what my mentor, Elsie offered me. She said "First you decide if you want to apply for the job. Then you wait to see if they invite you to an interview. If they...

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Valentine: Love Is Not Enough

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Valentine: Love Is Not Enough

I recently spoke at the wedding of a dear friend. My message to the couple who had made vows that day might have surprised some of those who were listening. You see, I told them that love is not enough. Over the years I have been very disappointed to hear individuals state "But I love him" or "I really love her" followed by a description of all the horrible things that they have said and done to each other. There is an expression that states: "Love covers a lot of sins" but who on earth wants to just go through...

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Think Young

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Think Young

I usually smile when I am around young children but there isn't a bigger grin that when I am with my three-year old granddaughter, Nariya. We spent some time together this weekend and she reminded me of so many things in life that adults often forget:   Be curious - Talk about questions! "Grandma, how did you get here?" "Where did you get those cards?" "Do you have Paw Patrol?" Each answer was quickly followed with another one of her questions. She loves to learn and knows that asking questions is a great way to get information. No assumptions on...

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Establishing Routine

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Establishing Routine

I remember when I had my first child. We lived in a basement suite in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. Our landlady told me that the secret to having healthy and happy babies is to keep their stomachs full and their bottoms dry. That sounds simple but there was a lot of wisdom in that advice. Babies don't care if they are dressed in designer fashions. They can sleep through a great deal of noise and usually handle being passed around from one admiring person to the other. The problem is when they start growing. If they don't have a routine or reasonable...

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Your Children Are Now Adults

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Your Children Are Now Adults

I believe that our job as parents is to work ourselves out of a job. This means that it is wise to teach our children how to be independent. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that they are responsible for the choices and behaviours of their offspring long after they have reached legal age. They let them live at home without jobs, schooling or purpose. They pay for not only the basic such as extra electricity, water and food but also finance luxuries. The parents go to work every day to earn money for the bills while the adult child...

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Facing Consequences

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Facing Consequences

Sir Isaac Newton was a scientist who studied motion. His third law states: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". Simply put, this means that in every interaction there are two forces at play. The size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. Big action, big results. Now that might seem complex but all it really means is that we will face consequences - positive or negative - depending on our actions. For example, debt and payment of debt interact. When you make a payment on your...

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Good Enough?

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Good Enough?

Whitney Houston co-starred with Kevin Costner in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard". The film was a worldwide hit grossing $411 million. It was Whitney's acting debut and the soundtrack was amazing. One song, "I Will Always Love You" sold 20 million units. Kevin Costner was a speaker at Whitney's funeral. He told about how despite her singing excellence she would come to him after filming each day and ask, "Was I good enough?" This surprised him and he would assure her that she had done a good job. At the funeral he again said "Whitney, you were good enough". This...

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What Is Confidence and How Do We Get It?

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

What Is Confidence and How Do We Get It?

There are different definitions of the word "confidence" and different ways of viewing the concept.   Keeping a secret - When you have a close friend or co-worker who will take the information you give them and keep it quiet; you are blessed. Not everyone will respect or honour you enough to keep your words private. When someone asks you to keep a confidence, however, you will need to discern whether it is appropriate to do so. Situations including things like abuse or illegal activities do not make good secrets. Belief in something or someone - It is easy to...

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The Times They Are a Changing But Some Things Stay the Same

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

The Times They Are a Changing But Some Things Stay the Same

When I grew up Boxing Day sales were a big thing. Now the trend is to make purchases on Black Friday. Many retailers are concerned about the fact that online shopping has grown significantly, harming their "bricks and mortar" operations. Extended customer service needs and distance have changed the traditional holiday gatherings of the past when everyone would get together for December 25th. Often there are family members missing from the dinner table due to work or living conditions. Yes, a lot of things have changed over the years. We used to smoke in the house and put the cat...

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Mentors - Having and Being One

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Mentors - Having and Being One

Dr. Ben Carson rose from humble beginnings as the son of a single parent to become a trailblazing brain surgeon. Many of us remember the time when he separated congenital twins who were not expected to live or have watched his life story in the movie "Gifted Hands". His cutting-edge methods and strong commitment that involved over 15,000 surgeries were recognized with numerous awards as well as respect and gratitude from those who crossed his path. Dr. Carson's whole life was not only dedicated to developing expertise in his field of practice but also to serve others. After retiring from...

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Faith and Politics

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Faith and Politics

Often, I have heard individuals say that the most controversial topics in life involve religion and politics. What they don't probably think about is the fact that most people have faith in something, but it might not fit into a traditional definition - God, a group, freedom, their career or even a pet. And politics is not just the formal system that we recognize through voting and governance. In fact, politics is part of absolutely everything that we do! The two, faith and politics in fact, are very much tied together. We tend to think that the political party that...

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Expectations and Disappointments

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Expectations and Disappointments

A few years ago I met Kate Hammett Vaughan, a wonderful soloist who was nominated for a Juno Award. We arranged for me to travel to her home in Vancouver for some private voice lessons. During our first session, we didn't sing a note. We just sat and talked! I had a little notebook and was diligently writing down everything she said. I will never forget one of the "lessons" that I learned that day. She said, "We are never disappointed unless we have expectations". As a psychologist, I am often working with individuals who are disappointed in their careers,...

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Celebrate Life Regularly

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Celebrate Life Regularly

This past weekend I was at a wedding reception! What a wonderful event! The bride and groom who live in different countries have each travelled extensively. She speaks seven languages! He is a pilot and owns a plane for recreation! They were introduced by a mutual friend and built their romantic foundation through long hours of internet conversations. On Saturday, wedding guests arrived from across Canada, Norway, Holland, Russia and the United States, each brining his/her own language, culture and stories. Everyone was dressed in their finest accessorized by big smiles. Even tiny nieces had lace gloves and nephews wore...

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Making Emotional Choices

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Making Emotional Choices

Have you ever watched those television shows where individuals give up their lives to move to another country to be with a person they met online? They do all this in the name of love. I have been thinking about some of the story lines and the common themes that lead them into bad situations. Many of the choices they make are ones that cause problems even for those who never leave their home country but end up in trouble:   Thinking that the unknown will make all their dreams come true. If you haven't done good research, you really...

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Are You Content or Happy?

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Are You Content or Happy?

Often, I have people tell me that they just want to be happy and think that I can give them a formula! My first response is that first you have to decide to be happy! Sitting and worrying about what you don't have or the problems in your life will not resolve anything. In fact, they will just work you up until you might think that you have a brain tornado going on. There are several things that you can do if you want to improve your lot in life as follows:   Consider your motivation - Are you a person...

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Superman - The Real Christopher Reeves

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Superman - The Real Christopher Reeves

Christopher Reeve was born into a wealthy family in 1952. Reeve excelled academically, athletically, and onstage. His good looks and determination combined with an excellent education led to his 1978 starring role in the big budget film Superman for which he was best known. Besides his many acting roles, his involvement in sports and philanthropy helped him to build relationships with people from many walks of life along the way. In 1985, despite his allergy to horses, he learned how to ride for the film Anna Karenina. Four years later he was involved in eventing activities and subsequently purchased a...

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A Purpose and a Plan

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

A Purpose and a Plan

My friend's husband, who is a Christian believed that his purpose was to use his gift of giving in order to donated one million dollars to charity. His purpose was to give, and his plan was to give a little bit regularly over time. Now this man did not have a lot of money or a high income because he was in a blue-collar job, He had a family of three children and a wife who had some sporadic part-time jobs but no consistent career. I watched this man who would sit at the table with a little book and...

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Movie Ideas That Make Sense

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement

Movie Ideas That Make Sense

Last week we talked about movie quotes that are not realistic. Following are some that might make more sense: 1. I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore (The Wizard of Oz 1939) - Dorothy had been safe living with her aunt and uncle but being in Oz changed everything for her. There are times in life when we need to face the reality of new adventures and develop character to navigate them successfully. 2. What we've got here is a failure to communicate (Cool Hand Luke 1967) - Almost every one of the 8,000 clients I have seen...

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