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1. Quote of the Month

2. Stress Management Video

"Stress and a Counseling Session"

How did Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist who survived Nazi death camps, manage stress? Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, explained managing his stress while in a Nazi death camp in “Man’s Search for Meaning”—one of the most influential books of all time. In it he emphasized the importance of making meaning for one’s life. Here is an example from a classic tale about having meaning in your life, which has a direct effect on managing stress.

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3. Parenting Without Stress

Develop your skill of asking reflective questions—those that foster self-evaluation.
You will empower your children when you help them to develop this skill. The dynamic behind asking reflective questions is that it encourages ownership because people don't argue with their own viewpoints.

Here are some suggestions for asking reflective questions:

  ✔ Focus on the present or future—as opposed to the past.

  ✔ Frame them to fit the situation and clarify—rather than aim to convince.

  ✔ Start with “What?” or “How?”

  ✔ Make them open-ended requiring more than a “yes” or “no” answer—unless they lead to self-inquiry or self-evaluation, such as

  • Is what you are doing working?
  • Is what you are choosing to do helping you get what you want?
  • Are you willing to do something different if it will help you?
  • Are you taking the responsible course?
  • If you could do better, should you?

4. Discipline Without Stress

An email was sent to me describing the effectiveness of the Hierarchy of Social Development of the Raise Responsibility System. A librarian who uses the Hierarchy of Social Development sent out overdue library notices on three different colors:

  • The first color was a notice that the book was overdue.
  • The second color notice announced that the book was really late and the next notice would be a detention.
  • The third was a notice that the book was three weeks overdue and that the student had a detention.

The process had turned into a bit of a joke with students who learned that the first two notices didn't really count. The librarian was sending out 200+ notices each week.

This year, she wrote in the announcements, "What would a responsible student do today to renew or return a book before overdue notices tomorrow?"

The only problem was that she was overwhelmed with students returning or renewing their books that day! She had to send no late notices.

5. Living Without Stress Tip

The following is an excerpt from the popular self-help book
Live Without Stress: How To Enjoy The Journey

Chapter 3

External vs. Internal Motivation

"Motivation is the art of getting people to do
what YOU want them to do
because THEY want to do it."
 —Dwight David Eisenhower

We learned in the first chapter that our assumptions sway our thinking. In Chapter Two, we gained an understanding of how our thinking impacts our feelings and our stress levels. We now address the third critical understanding for stress reduction: how we are motivated.


The term “motivation” has many definitions. The most commonly used are external/extrinsic and internal/intrinsic.

In a technical sense, however, all motivation emanates from within a person. In practice though people are often influenced or inspired by someone or something outside of themselves. In these cases, people are stimulated. However, we do not usually refer to humans as “stimulators.” We refer to people as motivators, as in, “She is a terrific motivational speaker”—rather than, “She is a terrific stimulator, influencer, or inspirer.”

External and extrinsic refer to motivation that originates from some stimulus outside of us. The stimulus persuades, induces, inspires, encourages, cajoles, spurs, triggers, provokes, rewards, or punishes. External motivation includes societal influences for a desire to cooperate and the powerful pressure of peers.

Internal or intrinsic motivation applies when people act for some inner reason—prompted by interest, curiosity, desire, or by some necessity such as eating and sleeping. This type of motivation is innate; it engages the natural propensity to engage in an activity not influenced from anything outside the person.

In this book, the terms external motivation and internal motivation are used to contrast influences emanating from outside vs. inside a person. An awareness of the difference between the two is the first step in understanding and deciding when to accept or act on something external vs. when to resist its influence. Understanding the source of motivation empowers us to reduce stress that can impact us in negative ways.

 People operate from both external and internal motivation. For example, your mate knows you went to the grocery store. When you return, you asked for assistance to take in your purchase and the person helped you. Compare this to where your mate helped take in the groceries without being asked. Notice that the behavior was identical. In the first example, external motivation was used because the motivation came from you, whereas in the latter case, the motivation was internal in that there was no outside influence. The critical point to understand is that—although the actions were identical in that the groceries were taken in—the motivations were different.

6. Improving Relationships

If you ask yourself how you know someone cares for you, one of your responses is likely to be that you know because the person listens to you.

Ask a husband about a good wife, and he is likely to say that he knows his wife cares for him because she listens to what he has to say. Ask a wife about a good husband, and she’ll respond that he listens to her.

When the parent says, “It’s about time you started listening to me,” the youngster may be thinking, “It’s about time you started listening to me.”

Even if we are saying something that is not really worth listening to, we still want someone to listen to us.

Ask a person in a poor relationship why the person feels that way, and the person will say that the other person “doesn’t care about me.” Ask, ”How do you know?” and more often than not the response will be, “He doesn’t listen to me.”

Caring and listening are prime sources of good relationships. They are so intertwined that if you experience one, you also experience the other.

How would you rate your listening skills?

7. Increasing Effectiveness

As I clearly explain in the first chapter of Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey, assumptions are the most significant factor leading to more problems than anything else. This applies to any relationships—including teachers and their students. Assuming young people know what adults want without explanation and practice produces ineffectiveness and problems. In simple terms, if you want to be effective with anyone, refrain from making assumptions.

8. Promoting Responsibility

Are you familiar with how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? It's amazing to see how nature changes a caterpillar to a butterfly. Stick with me on this. It will be worth your time. The life cycle of a butterfly not only fascinates but it can serve as an analogy to the Hierarchy of Social of Development. Once young people understand the basics of building a hierarchy, then their physical growth can be compared to a butterfly's life cycle. With this understanding, they become empowered to act more responsibly and reduce their stress and the stress of others with whom young people interact. The four stages of the life cycle of a butterfly can be related to the four physical states of human development and the Hierarchy of Social Development.

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9. Promoting Learning

Mistakes are learning experiences. In a school setting, mistakes often prompt both shame and fear in young people. To combat this reaction, young people need to be taught that mistakes are not a sign of stupidity but rather an important part of learning and growing. They need to be reassured that no one is perfect, and making mistakes is an integral part of the human experience. Once people realize they are not alone in making mistakes, they can begin the process of talking themselves through their fear of being wrong. Everyone needs to learn that life is about process, not only or merely about results.

10. Resources

Learn that you ALWAYS stay in authority WITHOUT using bribes to control, threats, imposing punishments, or any other coercive or EXTERNAL motivational approach at

11. What People Say

"I attended your training on discipline last spring in Billings, Montana. I have found it truly beneficial—the best change I’ve ever made to my teaching. Your program is very consistent with my core beliefs and showed me how to apply them to the classroom. I am so grateful. Thank you."

—Patrick D’Alessandro, Kindergarten Teacher - Powell, Wyoming

Speaking and Presenting

If you are interested in hiring a speaker to reduce stress in living, parenting, or teaching, visit

Personal Coaching or Staff Development

For personal COACHING or STAFF DEVELOPMENT, send email to with "Info" in the subject line. If you want a group Internet session at no charge, just let me know your date and time preference using Pacific time zone.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall

PO Box 11
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Phone: 1.714.220.1882


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