Articles — The Fourteenth Year(46)

Merry Christmas - Not Necessarily a Good Greeting!

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Fourteenth Year

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word "merry" as full of gaiety and high spirits. Unfortunately, that does not describe everyone's experience on any day of the year, let alone at Christmas. There are many during the holiday season who are lonely, sad, or sick. Some face circumstances that involve abuse, addiction or poverty. Many think about unfulfilled wishes or broken promises both given and received. Merry does not describe their situation. The word Christmas usually is referred to as a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Christ and is honoured as a legal holiday. Not everyone, however, is...

Read more →


A New Year With New Goals

Dr. Linda Hancock Holidays Home and Family New Years The Fourteenth Year

January is usually a time for setting goals and unfortunately by February many people find that some of them have been abandoned. The gyms are not as full. The musical instrument may not be practiced as much as planned and the cute little Christmas puppy may not seem as cute when there are puddles on the floor to clean up! There are ways to accomplish the goals though:   Make sure that you really want to accomplish it. Your own passion will drive you whereas another person's idea likely won't have the same effect. Keep it manageable - You will...

Read more →


What Is Confidence and How Do We Get It?

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


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

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


The Month of October

Dr. Linda Hancock Holidays Home and Family Other Holidays The Fourteenth Year

Have you ever wondered about the origin of certain words? This weekend I was thinking about the word "October" and decided to look it up. The Roman calendar only had ten months as January and February were not included at that time. Winter had cycles that were divided into eight-day weeks but not into months until later. At that time, the last four months of the year all ended in "ember" which doesn't seem to have a significant meaning. The prefix for the last four months of September, October, November and December, however, were derived from the Old French words...

Read more →


Giving Back Because of Thanks

Dr. Linda Hancock Holidays Home and Family Thanksgiving The Fourteenth Year

When my mom died I "inherited" boxes and boxes of black and white photos. Many of them showed soldiers in uniform with their arms around her. I really don't know who these men were but remember the powerful stories that she told about how many of her friends went off to war and never returned. They were committed to serving our country and seeing other lands but, at the same time, like most youth were naïve about the price they would pay. In fact, many small Saskatchewan towns lost great numbers and cenotaphs with their engraved names were erected in...

Read more →


Mentors - Having and Being One

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


Faith and Politics

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


Expectations and Disappointments

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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,...

Read more →


Celebrate Life Regularly

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


Are You Content or Happy?

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


Superman - The Real Christopher Reeves

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


A Purpose and a Plan

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


Movie Ideas That Make Sense

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

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...

Read more →


Movie Ideas Lacking Realism

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

Movies can have a powerful influence and I frequently hear individuals who quote favourite lines from them. Unfortunately, however, not all of the things that we see or hear in the movies apply in everyday life. Following are some of the messages from decades ago that we have heard, memorized and continue to quote:   If you built it, he will come (Field of Dreams 1989) - Many businesses expand, renovate and expect that their efforts are going to not only attract customers but also increase profits. Unfortunately, they haven't studied the competition, made a good business plan and built...

Read more →


Beliefs Drive Our Actions

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

Sometimes people tell me how much they dislike Medicine Hat. They criticize the way the streets ae laid out and find them confusing. They describe the river as "muddy" and the people as unfriendly. Others sing praises about our city. They like the unique layout, the fact that we have a river running through the middle of the community and describe the people as being kind and welcoming. Perceptions form beliefs and beliefs drive our actions. Recently I have been making another attempt at fluency in the French language. I took classes in high school and again a few years...

Read more →


Our Heritage

Dr. Linda Hancock Heritage Day Holidays Home and Family The Fourteenth Year

Even though there are a variety of names in Canada for the first Monday of August, most areas of the country observe it as a public holiday. In Alberta we call it "Heritage Day". There are different ways that people celebrate as well as different ideas about what heritage even means. I like to think of heritage as the investments or gains that we have received because of our past including the following:   Roots - Today I went for blood work and referred to Saskatchewan as "the old country". The lab tech, who is an immigrant, was surprised and...

Read more →


We Are All Babies!

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

When we don't sleep and don't eat, we become just like babies - we cry! We all know this and yet we are living in a world where both sleeping and eating are neglected. A 2011 article published by CBC news entitled "Lack of sleep called global epidemic" stated that a majority of Canadians are sleep deprived. But Canadians aren't the only ones suffering. In fact, 45% of the world's population have sleep problems including insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. Even though this report is almost a decade old, there isn't any evidence to suggest that the...

Read more →


Making Excuses - Not Helpful!

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

Sometimes people think that their behaviours are justified. Many believe that they shouldn't have to "fess up" unless they are "caught" doing something that they know deep down is not a good choice. Well, nothing surprises me anymore as I have seen over 8,000 clients and have heard probably every scenario possible as well as dozens of excuses for each. Alcohol and marijuana are now both legal. This has caused some confusion in society especially for those who are in safety sensitive positions. They signed "zero tolerance" contracts with their employers and know the consequences that they will face if...

Read more →


Your Reputation

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

Have you ever wondered what another person did to earn the respect of others? Building a good reputation is one thing but keeping it is another. I once heard a lawyer state "You can spend a whole lifetime building a reputation and then lose it in one minute". Following are some of the habits that will reward you over time:   Tell the truth - Liars cannot be trusted. They spin tales that they think will serve them but, it doesn't take long until they are "found out". Telling the truth is not only easier than lying because you don't...

Read more →


Conservation - Protecting Our World

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

I read an article the other day that surprised me. Apparently, Meagan Markle has been annoyed by the fact that her husband Prince Harry keeps turning lights off in their royal residence. His father, Prince Charles, apparently raised is two sons to do this as well as to pick up litter. I remember when growing up that there were several things we were taught to do in order to protect our world. Unfortunately, many don't understand the importance of or ignore these simple practices:   Trees - Because the Canadian prairies didn't have windbreaks to prevent topsoil drift and wind...

Read more →


Who Are You? Your Identity Is Unique

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word "identity" as: "the fact of being who or what a person or thing is". Now that's a little confusing! I have been thinking about identity and exactly what the word really means. You see, identity is complex and can change over time and circumstances. For example, someone with Alzheimer's disease loses their identity. Here are some thoughts about some of the contributors to identity:   Physical - Our gender, size, colouring and features usually allow others to recognize us at first glance. What is not immediately evident, however, is our DNA or fingerprints,...

Read more →


Where Is Your Home?

Dr. Linda Hancock Home and Family Other Home and Family The Fourteenth Year

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has several different definitions for the word "home". One states that it is a place of residence. Another defines it as a familiar or usual setting or congenial environment and a third states that it is a place of origin. The dictionary goes on to define the term "at home" which includes being relaxed and comfortable, in harmony with the surroundings and on familiar ground. I think we all recognize the fact that a home is more than just a building, but individuals may conger up very different meanings when they hear or use the term "home"....

Read more →


Stand On Guard

Dr. Linda Hancock Canada Day Holidays Home and Family The Fourteenth Year

When I was a child, we were taught about patriotism. Every morning at school we would stand erect facing the flag at the front of the room while singing O Canada and God Save the Queen, followed by recitation of the Lord's Prayer. Arms were to be at our sides and posture correct as the lyrics included the line "We stand on guard for Thee". Whenever there was a community event, we would all proudly sing O Canada together. Over the years I have noticed that our national anthem is not used as often as in the past. Frequently, a...

Read more →


Fitting In

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Fourteenth Year

Near the beginning of the popular movie "Sound of Music" there is a song that begins "How do you solve a problem like Maria?". The tune is about a novice nun who has great difficulty following the rules of the convent. Even though she is eager to please God and take her final vows, she often becomes lost in nature and late for her commitments. The nuns obviously love her but are frustrated by the fact that she is always in trouble and doesn't fit in to their way of life. Then Maria is sent to work for Captain Von...

Read more →