The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

Number 155

This issue:

Accessing Your Strengths


When you need to get something done, remind yourself of the strengths you have already shown.


I saw a woman who told me she grew up in an alcoholic family and became an alcoholic herself. Eventually she did something “beneath her dignity” and was so disgusted she quit drinking the next day.

A decade later, she was a three-pack-a-day smoker despite emphysema. One day she was smoking and fell asleep. The cigarette fell on her oxygen tube and her house burned down. She quit smoking the next day.

Now her health problems are complicating her recovering from a fall. It was clear to both of us that to have a quality of lifestyle that would let her walk easily, she needed to lose at least fifty pounds. “But I tried all my life to lose weight and have never been successful,” she lamented. She was feeling very hopeless.

Alcoholism, particularly when there is a strong family history, is a tough addiction to beat. In my opinion, smoking is even harder to beat than heroin or alcoholism. Hollywood glamorized smoking. Until recently you could smoke almost anywhere and smoking became associated with everything–to start the day, while working, to take a break, to socialize, after a meal, with coffee, with alcohol, after sex, etc. For heavy smokers few activities or events didn’t include a cigarette. Only recently has smoking been limited in the workplace and public accommodations.

So I talked with her about how she has already singled-handedly, beaten two of the most difficult additions. You could see a physical shift. “I have never thought of it that way. No one has ever put it that way,” she said. Instantly she was empowered and feeling hopeful. We then talked about the nitty gritty of what weight loss strategies would work for her.

The formula is 1-2-3:

  1. Think of two or three of your biggest accomplishments in life. Think about how if you can do that you can do anything.
  2. Think of why you must make this change (leverage). Post the reasons where you will see them everyday.
  3. Plan the details of how you will achieve the goal.

What are you wanting to do that seems impossible (or just doesn't seem to happen)? Whether the challenge is a small one like getting yourself to exercise today, or a big one like losing fifty pounds, accessing your strengths gets you in a can-do state of mind.


Continuous effort–not strength or intelligence–is the key to unlocking our potential.

~Winston Churchill

What's past is prologue.

~William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, scene 2

The inscription "What is Past is Prologue" is also on the National Archives Building. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was riding in a Washington cab once, pondering out loud what the quote meant. The cabbie chimed in, "It means you ain't seen nothin' yet."


The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. Thus only left handed people are in their right mind.

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"Dr. Michael Brickey, The Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include:  Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs). Visit for a free report on anti-aging secrets and a free newsletter with practical anti-aging tips."

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