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But on an occasional basis, an Extreme Productivity Day (okay, I've already given up hoping the folks from Monster Energy will call) is the perfect cure for the I am never going to get this done flu. Let's say you have a major task that will take you eleven or twelve hours to complete. Evidence can often be used to support either side of an argument. Here's an example. I do a lot of consulting work with call centers. I worked with a call center for a medical office. These men and women spend all day, every day, talking to sick patients. It's a hard job. The patients are often in pain, impatient, even angry. The call center employees have to maintain their cool and, in the best cases, their empathy. They have to listen for not just the words but their tone and meaning. It's exhausting, and often thankless, work. She also talked about how to love myself, something I had never considered. I took her message seriously, and I did the recommended affirmations regularly. Every day I would look in the mirror and say, James, I love and approve of you exactly as you are. My entire world began to change. I found a non-surgical alternative to facilitate healing in my body, and I was able to create a fantastic life for myself in Missouri. I went from saying affirmations to believing them, which changed everything. I was learning to swim. I thought this newfound liberation would last forever.

Then my father died. My husband and I moved back to Michigan to help my mother. I had to change schools in grade eleven, and that's when I lost my best friend. Though it was a relief of some sort because she was so judgmental and always wanted things done her way, I was really hurt when we couldn't be friends anymore, because I really loved her. I tried making new friends at the new school, and it seemed to be working at first, until they also started commenting on how I look. When all my relationships weren't working out, the worst just happened. I almost got raped in my house by a person who was like a brother to me. And when I told my family about it, they didn't want to do anything about it. Everything that was happening just proved to me that nobody really cared. Now twenty, Gatholo has made some important adjustments in her life that have helped her, but she still feels deeply scarred by all of the awful and hurtful things people have done to her--and she's carrying that around with her. I know at some point I'm going to have to forgive and completely let go. The truth is, forgiving someone who is not sorry is hard. Here are the steps to get everything done in one day. Step 1: Let everyone know you won't be available. Interruptions are productivity killers, so letting people know you're doing something special and will be out of reach for a day is an absolute must. At a minimum, tell coworkers and family, but don't forget to tell important clients or other people who normally expect you to respond to them. Send an e-mail a couple days before your EPD. Explain that you will be tied up on that day and you'll respond to their calls, e-mails, etc first thing the following morning. Some people will contact you before your EPD; Either way, it's all good.

And you get an additional benefit from telling certain people what you plan to do that day. The people whose opinion you value will know what you intend to accomplish . This group certainly felt that way. In our discussions, time and time again I'd hear, The doctors don't care about what we do and They don't understand. I asked what I always ask: Where's your evidence? They had none for the first thought, The doctors don't care about what we do. PROVE IT, I challenged. They couldn't. However, their proof for the second thought, They don't understand, was clear. The doctors didn't know the process by which calls were handled. They didn't know the level of emotion on the calls, or the frustration that patients would share. And the evidence for that thought also gave us understanding into the first thought. These familiar surroundings brought up all kinds of unresolved emotions, particularly the isolation and fear I felt when I came out as a gay teenager. I had a lot of support in Missouri, but in small-town Michigan, I began to relive the challenges I faced as a young person, once again, experiencing the isolation as a gay teenager, as well as the trauma and self-loathing that developed through conversion therapy programs. I became isolated and agoraphobic. I couldn't even work. By this time, coaching was my full-time job, but in this frame of mind, it felt disingenuous. A few months into this darkness, I watched a video that reminded me that I could change my life if I was willing to change my thinking patterns. I didn't know what to do next, but I knew that if I focused on love, a solution would appear. So, I started with the affirmation, I am willing to change.

I also decided that I was not going to isolate myself any longer. I picked up a deck of affirmation cards and took them everywhere I went. All these people don't know the damage they've caused. It still hurts thinking about what they've done and how they are all carrying on with life while I have to deal with all these demons. I'd be lying if I said I had forgiven them. I want to, but I don't know how to go about it. While Gatholo has faced more challenges in her life than many of us, we all have some version of her story in our lives. We all have someone who has done us so much wrong that we just can't let go of the anger and resentment we feel. Hey, I've probably made your list of such people even longer with this article and its encouragement to look deep into your life and burn bridges and dig up bad seeds. Sorry about that. But you know why I did it, and it's really important that I did. Identifying this stuff, however, is very different from moving on from it--and moving on can be a real challenge, even though it's critical that you do. Peer pressure--when applied to accomplishing a short-term task and not a huge, Appalachian Trail-worthy goal--can be a great motivator. Quick note about peer pressure: The influence others have on you doesn't have to manifest in the form of pressure. Katheryn Winnick is the star of the TV series Vikings. She plays fan favorite Queen Lagertha, and she's also the queen of making plans. I strongly believe in life plans, she told me. I've been working on a life plan since I was fourteen. I set goals and keep them on my desktop so whenever I open it they're right in front of me. Some of the things I've dreamed about have come true.

I'm an actress. I've been able to help women; Maybe the call center agents would feel that doctors cared more if doctors took the time to learn what they did every day. We had to PROVE IT. We talked to the doctors about the call center employees' roles. The call center agents themselves told the doctors, during relaxed happy hours we held for them to spend time together. Some doctors even came over to the call center to watch what the agents did. The result was that the doctors understood what the agents did. And, perhaps more importantly, the agents had evidence that the doctors cared about what they did. Everyone won. You can use evidence to prove, or disprove, your thoughts. Whether you're talking to yourself or others, you'll find that evidence is the quickest route to success. Anytime I felt anxious, I would hand out a card and had people read them back to me. In this way, every person became my teacher. Many started crying or expressed shock because they would pick a card that was relevant to their situation. Eventually, when I went to the grocery store, I would hear people yelling across the aisles, Hey card guy! They would then proceed to tell me a story about how the card impacted their life. I realized that I swam home to teach my inner child about the ocean and others along the way. Psalm 139 says, If I go up to the heavens, you are there.