When undertaking a year of ISG (International Sommelier Guild) classes that will culminate in earning their Sommelier Diploma designation, at an age when most of my friends and peers are retiring, my biggest concern was remembering the tremendous amount of information necessary to earn this diploma… So I started doing two things, in addition to studying harder than I have studied for any course EVER, one was to take the Lumosity brain training exercises everyday and one was to start a gratitude journal. The Gratitude Journal was something I toyed with a bit but not as consistently as desired. In both cases, I’ve reaped unimaginable benefits, which has made this journey more exciting than anticipated, and I am remembering and learning more than I ever thought possible.
When I first read One Thousand Gifts, I thought “this makes TOTAL sense” as the way to lead to happiness. I LOVE the book, and the way radically it changed Ann Voskamp’s life is incredible. Her joy has led to so many changed lives as a result of her writing this beautiful book; not just because they read the book… But her joy, which set her free, also freed her to help others find joy they could not dream for themselves. But that kind of success was for someone young and I was stuck in feeling “old & boring.” So even though I saw more sunshine as I wrote, I didn’t stick to her simple prescription of finding 3 things each day for which I am grateful and writing them down.
With the Lumosity program, when I started out, my overall score was slightly above average for someone 60 – 64 years old. This I DID stick with because I could see an improvement in my memory from day one, and my biggest fear was not remembering vital information taught in the ISG courses. As the daily progress showed in the scores, the really exciting validation came tableside at Sontes or in Saturday tastings at NW Liquors where these classes were building a solid foundation of understanding about regions, varietals, history, viticulture and vinification. When a face lit-up because the answer to their question made sense to them and their wine paired well with their dinner… well, that was better than any score on a computerized memory test! But just to be sure I wasn’t deluding myself on my progress, this morning’s score was in the 95th percentile. Whew!
A few days ago, a friend who has a company called Begin Again Coaching sent out a link to her blog which included a link to Shawn Achor’s TED presentation on changing our way of looking at life in the light of “when I’m successful, I’ll be happy” and flipping our perspective to, “when I’m happy, I’ll be successful” and then offered a simple formula to achieve this. The TED presentation is a MUST watch. Should you be the oldest sibling of a large family who might or might not have been “overly exuberant” you will understand this clearly. Needless to say, I forwarded the link to each of my sibs and sibs-in-law… it was my first encouraging email a day.
Two of Shawn’s simple five step program are mentioned in today’s post, for the other three, please give yourself the gift of the 12-minutes to watch the podcast. If nothing else you will learn all 5 of his steps and laugh more times in 12 minutes than you have in the last month at least. Tomorrow? Lots of things, probably some you have forgotten you see everyday, will make you smile and laugh! Who knows? You might turn someone into a magical unicorn! And if a life coach who understands the effectiveness of Shawn’s program would also be a help, please visit Freda’s website too! http://www.beginagaincoaching.com/.
Right now, I’m off to start an incredible week beginning with Palate to Palette benefit tonight with regulars, now friends, from Sontes, hosting a wine tasting tomorrow, followed by pouring wines at Sontes, then studying for class on Monday. The next class is on South Africa, Australia and New Zealand wines, with a little follow-up practice pairing desserts with Brandies, Cocktails and/or Liqueurs. The next few days will be a meeting about a benefit wine tasting, “Pinot Camp” wine class, ending the week with a bourbon & whisky/whiskey tasting birthday gift for a family friend. I’ve got so many things to be thankful for right now, it will be a snap to stay on top of writing out gratitude lists daily! Ciao!