Is there other evidence this works? What have past participants said?
Copyright©Wonderful Life Project, LLC (2013)
A few months ago we went on a short vacation. While in a crowded lobby of the hotel, I happened to notice an elderly gentleman who appeared lost. His hands were completely full with luggage and a take home box from the restaurant. I went over and asked if I could help him. “I can’t find the elevator” he said. “And I only have one eye”. I helped him onto the elevator and selected the floor he requested. This reminded me of a lesson we learned recently one Friday during the Wonderful Life Project on benevolence. It is an act of kindness or an inclination to be kind with no expectation of anything in return. This is just one of the many valuable lessons we have learned from Lee Elliot, our presenter.
Lee’s presentations remind me of a jeweler crafting beautiful gemstones with many facets that beautifully shine.
I was first introduced to Lee’s presentation on Conflict many years ago when I was a preceptor at the Saint Francis Medical Center. Since then he has crafted and buffed many other topics we can use in our every day life. Unlike tangible stones that are not available to everyone, the training sessions he has developed are!
Perhaps you are a young student searching for some answers. Or perhaps you are a young parent, career person, or executive. Or perhaps you are like me, recently retired and transitioning into the next phase of your life. Maybe the ballad of your life has had some sad or angry verses. Lee can help you realize there are tools that you can use to soothe those open wounds. Or perhaps you are one of the few that live a charmed life and you whistle a happy tune. Lee will show you how gratitude and benevolence can only make for a more wonderful life.
I have been blessed to be a small part of this project and have been privileged to see behind the scenes just how hard Lee works to perfect his craft so that he can share these valuable lessons with the rest of us right here in our community.
Wonderful Life Project
The Wonderful Life project is a revolutionary training program that teaches you how to handle the most difficult things in life. I view the events of the world in a different way and am a new person because of the training
For the last four years, I have been a programmer at KWMR, a community radio station, located in Point Reyes Station in West Marin County, California. Point Reyes is about 45 minutes north of San Francisco. The station is small, but mighty, and streams worldwide on the web at KWMR.org. I have a classical music program and, at times, conduct
individuals on various subjects. This summer, I have had the opportunity to do several interviews and my first choice for a guest was Lee Elliott who, about a year and a half ago, started the Wonderful Life Project in Grand Island.
Lee is the former Vice President of Human Resources and Fund Development at St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island. The Wonderful Life Project began when Lee became aware of the fact that the hospital had a high annual turnover rate with its employees. With his background in organizational psychology and his years of experience in human resources, Lee began researching the problem in areas such as depression, anxiety, happiness, trust, conflict and a myriad of topics relating to human suffering and the counteraction of it. What evolved from this work was an amazing undertaking called the Wonderful Life Project. Its main focus is people’s well-being and, as Elliott states, “The primary goal is to change people's way of thinking and to create a happier environment.” Lee, the Project Director, developed a ten step training program to reduce distress in people’s lives. The classes consist of a wide array of subjects which include high quality conflict, grudge busting, trust, resilience, hope, happiness, to name a few.
My first introduction to Lee was last spring, while working on my Master’s Degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution with Creighton University’s Distance Learning Program. One of my professors, Bryan Hanson, gave our class the assignment to view a video of a lecture given at Creighton by Lee. His topic was the Wonderful Life Project. Lee and the subject matter were both huge hits not only with me, but my fellow students as well. Here, in a world of relentless and ever increasing natural and unnatural nefarious episodes that are contributing to the symptoms of human suffering such as depression, anxiety, conflict, etc., is an individual that has created a project that encompasses, as well as motivates, all that is good and healthy not only in our society, but in any society. With the amazing material covered in the video, along with Lee’s charismatic and infectious delivery, you knew this was a winning undertaking.
Although we had initially scheduled only one half hour interview on KWMR, it soon became apparent that a half hour would only leave the listeners craving more of the stunning and substantive knowledge that Lee was delivering with such passion, genuineness, and enthusiasm. As a result, it was decided that we would conduct a series of four on air interviews with a variety of topics relating to the Wonderful Life Project’s courses.
The radio interviews with Lee have been a huge hit here in the West Marin County area, as well as the surrounding areas that can pick up KWMR on the radio. I have also heard from individuals in the mid-west and east coast who tune into the station on the web. Who knows how many more individuals these four Wonderful Life Project radio segments have affected in an inspiring way and how many the courses in Grand Island have helped? They now have the skills needed to conduct their lives more positively and with a great deal of enrichment. I have no doubt that the numbers are higher than what even Lee is aware. All I can say is if he could bottle The Wonderful Life Project, I have no doubt it would be selling off the shelves as an antidote that this world desperately needs it in these conflicted times.
Radio Programmer at KWMR
Graduated from Creighton with an MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
Are you having a Wonderful Life? Do you want a Wonderful Life? If your answers are respectively, NO and YES then please read on. You have the choice to control your thoughts and feelings. Are you feeling angry or hurt because of some conflict? You can learn how to feel happy and not be depressed or angry any more. Imagine being able to feel healthy and to have energy to do the things you enjoy. You have the opportunity to learn new skills. There are many training programs that will be
provided this year.
In the Trust Training, you will learn that all relationships exist to the extent that there is trust and that relationships will not survive if there is not trust. How do we build trust or rebuild trust when trust is gone?
Most of us think we’re resilient, but 80% of the population is not. How to build hope and how to raise resilient children is discussed in the Resilience and Hope Training.
In today’s world, we are experiencing an epidemic of stress. Stress is most certainly our leading cause of poor health. In the Stress Management Training, you will learn how to reduce the amount of stress you experience.
There are particular things in our world that can lead us to engage in extremely bad behavior—and good people can quite easily be led to engage in evil. In the Psychology of Good and Evil Training, you will learn what science is saying constitutes “good” and how many of our disagreements come from being at different levels of moral development.
What can we do to achieve a state of fulfillment? In the Fulfillment Training, we can learn from exceptional people and find our calling at work.
The Becoming Exceptional Training, we will learn how to overcome barriers. Just how do we become exceptional people? By learning how to make change in our lives that is transformational.
The last training in the Wonderful Life Series involves making a Strategic Plan for Your Life. How do we keep moving forward to have a Wonderful Life?
This last year, I attended all of the ten training sessions and gained a tremendous amount of information so that I can have a Wonderful Life. I highly recommend that you attend these sessions.
Coordinator of the Wonderful Life project
Life happens! One thing we all have in our lives is relationships. Relationships within our families, our work, at church, our social circles and our business dealings. To me, learning to deal with the complexities of relationships is one thing the “Wonderful Life Program” has taught me.
The way we think dictates how we respond to a situation in any/all of our relationships. I learned how to increase my positive emotions and decrease the negative. I also learned that I am in control of how I respond to other people. No one else can make me mad or feel bad. It’s all in how I interpret their words or actions. The whole process is very empowering and at the same time freeing. It has increased my level of happiness many times over. There are so many levels of living the Wonderful Life Program touches on. If you want to increase your happiness, peace of mind and enjoy a more meaningful and challenging life, I highly recommend your participation.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church
“Life is so complicated – The Wonderful Life Project provides tools to help develop a clear mind and tackle any challenge successfully.” -
Lori Schuppan, Human Resources Manager
THIS PROJECT IS MORE THAN I EVER EXPECTED. IT TAKES TIME TO BUILD THIS VERY POSITIVE RESPONSE. THE DREAM PROJECT IS WORKING. SO HAPPY TO PLAY A SMALL PART.
retired Cargill Executive
co-chair of the Wonderful Life project
Due to the fear of possibly having to eat “humble pie”, I don’t often endorse things publicly; however, I have made this an exception. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to participate in the Wonderful Life Project. The positive impact that Lee and the Project had on me can be seen in my work setting, within my family and friends, as well as the community.
The Wonderful Life Project is a Dream Come True!
As we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday I was reminded of the many things that I am thankful for. I have heard it said that a thankful heart cannot be depressed and if you think about that I am sure you will agree.
I would like to thank the Grand Island Independent, Don Smith and the many community leaders who have supported a project that was a dream of Lee Elliott called the Wonderful Life Project.
Don’t let the name of the project fool you … it is not about some “feel good” movie, but it is a program designed by this gem in our city after many years of research and study. Lee has developed a myriad of useful tools that anyone, willing to make the effort, can use to develop lifetime skills to live a more abundant, fulfilling life.
In my humble opinion, this program is way better than any pill on the market.
Did you know that more than 10 percent of our American population is being treated for depression costing Americans more than the war in Afghanistan? Each day, one million Americans are absent from work due to stress, which is 60 percent of absenteeism?
If you would like to know more or make changes in your life, consider becoming involved in this worthwhile project.
Real Estate agent
The Wonderful Life Project has given me an incredible perspective for my life ahead. By nature, I have always been a happy person. I now have a peace within me knowing where I am able to go in life and how to get there. This project has helped recogize skill sets that I am strong in, as well as areas I will need to focus on. Most importantly, I have been given the tools to road map my success in my career ahead. Thank you, Lee, for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, all of which are irreplaceable to me!
Saunders Medical Center
Clinic Billing Specialist
The wonderful life project that I participated in with Lee Elliot as my coach was a very thought provoking experience. The knowledge I gained from the classes was truly valuable. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in improving their mental wellbeing.
"The Wonderful Life Project has unlimited benefits to anyone wanting to understand or improve their relationships with others including co-workers or family members."
"Don't miss this opportunity to better understand human behavior and improve your own quality of life."
"Lee is really on to something that will improve your relationships that is not being taught anywhere else."
Randy's Auto Sales
The Wonderful Life Project has helped me with resiliency, communication, different ways of handling stress, and understanding my character strengths. This has helped my life both personally and in my business understand my way of thinking and how I react to situations that arise.
I’m a non-traditional graduate student (fifty-something) from Creighton University in Omaha who has been coming to Grand Island to study The Wonderful Life Project. What I have discovered is an extraordinary resource – a very well designed and thoughtful group of presentations designed to help people work through “stuck-ness” they may encounter in their personal, emotional, or vocational lives.In trying to analyze our problems
sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Often traction comes if we can simply think about an issue from a different perspective.
Lee Elliott has crafted several wonderful workshops meant to deal with the causes of “stuck-ness.”
Workshop topics include High Quality Conflict and Trust and Resilience and Grudge Busting (forgiveness). Very practical presentations are combined with case studies during which attendees can apply the material presented to their own areas of “stuck-ness”. The 16th century poet John Donne famously reminds us that “No man (or woman) is an island.” As a participant in the WLP workshops, the truth of Donne’s statement is made transparent to me as I share my “stuck-ness” with a grandmother from Aurora, or a Howard County farmer shares his “stuck-ness” with me. And a curious (though not unexpected) side effect is the friendships which blossom out of the process.
I would strongly encourage residents of Grand Island and the surrounding area to avail themselves of this extraordinary resource. The workshops will be continuing on many Fridays (check the schedule) at the Grand Island Public Library through November of 2013. I know of no other program like it in this part of the country.
I have just returned home from the most refreshing time one could experience. I spent the day attending Lee Elliott’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” class. Wake up, people of Grand Island, and take advantage of a jewel in our midst. Thank you to the sponsors of this project for making it available to everyone. These classes are not only beneficial for the corporate world or those in the industrial arena. The classes are for anyone who comes in contact with another human being on his earthly journey. That includes all of us.
The cost is minimal. Thanks to the generosity of some local citizens. I am a widow on a fixed income and have lived eight plus decades. I have been a resident of Grand Island for over 56 years. If it is worth the time and effort of a gentleman from Omaha to drive to attend the classes, then it is worth it.
What is your excuse for not attending?
Grand Island is a great place to live, but just think how we would improve life by following the guidelines of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I attended my first class out of curiosity. The rewards have been immeasurable.
Thank you, Lee Elliott, for making my remaining years more enjoyable; and in return I will attempt to help make Grand Island the place we want it to be.
What I’ve learned so far from each of the Wonderful Life training topics:
Thoughts and Feelings-I really can change and then control my thoughts and feelings. This is life changing--you can choose how much, how long, and for the most part when something is going to bother you! Tools and methods that work. Reshaped my perspective on what I thought were some very troublesome worries in my life. Ruminating--love that word--so fitting. Practically eliminated ruminating. Some habits creep back but not long before the tools kick in, so to speak.
Resiliency/hope-Resiliency is the backbone of the individual regarding how they respond to difficult and traumatic times and events in their life. Hope is the forward looking drive and how your future is framed in your eyes. Explanatory style and what it does is so critical. I have been gifted with a great deal of resiliency so my focus in this area is my daughter. The Optimistic Child gave me the tools to see the areas that we have succeeded with our daughter and the areas needing improvement with her to build more resiliency and hope. We are working to increase her resilience. The importance of positive emotion, the Losada ratio (i.e., the ratio of positive-to-negative emotions)--I keep these top of mind.
Happiness-I admit, I read this and thought, how to be happy? Aren’t we just happy or not? As with everything in this program, if you put effort into the lessons, changes will happen. The letter of gratitude I wrote and read to my Mom was monumental. An extremely emotional (positive) event for both of us. Incredibly moving. I will continue to write more of these. I focus on happiness boosters, and I have learned to cherish and nurture relationships.
Conflict-Who would have thought there was a roadmap to conflict? Avoid conflict and then when you can’t--hope for the best! This doesn’t work so well. This training has benefited me at work, at home and in general understanding others’ positions and motives in various situations. I spend less time in conflict and I have fuller resolution, improved relationships, improved communications, and improved productivity. To date, this is second only to thoughts and feeling in reducing my stress and angst.
Forgiveness--Again, an eye opener. Forgiveness is for you, not the other party. Huge! Also, it does not include absolving the others of anything. Reframing (i.e., considering other perspectives) here is the key, eliminate the unenforceable rules (i.e., demands we have for how others should behave) and realize you are causing distress to yourself by trying to control others.
Trust- This is the foundation of any relationship. Friendship, spouse, business, casual, intimate; it doesn't matter--hurt the trust and the relationship will suffer or end. I had never considered trust propensity (i.e., willingness to trust others); I consider myself very trustworthy; I can see after working the lesson the value of increasing my trust propensity.
Stress-- Who doesn't want less stress? The core of this part of the program is getting to know yourself, what stresses you, and how you react to stress, and then adjusting accordingly. I certainly cannot say I do not have any stress…..the majority of my biggest stress triggers are mistakes I make in my thoughts and feelings—I tend to make the mistake of “shoulds” and catastrophizing. I am fortunate in this area to have been gifted with an ability to ward off most stress quite effectively.
Psychology of Good & Evil-- involves moral and ethical levels of development. My takeaway from this part of the program was even with higher levels of moral reasoning and ethics, we must be watchful to recognize and then eliminate influences that can cause “good” people to behave unethically. It can happen quite easily. This is another area which I have recognized growth and teaching opportunities for my daughter.
Fulfillment—We all know the uncertainty of the world today due to the economy, the business climate, and financial pressures. People are seeking stability, comfort and meaning-- could this be defined as fulfillment or something else, maybe spirituality? The Wonderful Life program likely will not provide fulfillment or spirituality by itself; however, it does give the tools to build a roadmap to pursue it.
How to become Exceptional—Change is a necessary part of life, but deep change or transformational change is also required at times during our lives. These BIG changes are quite often avoided even when the signs they are needed are present. We avoid them for many reasons--fears, traditions, hope of what was, etc. They are uncomfortable, but they are what allow us to become exceptional. Empowerment is the key. Truly, we are all as empowered as we choose to be; yes, empowerment is our choice too.
Life Choices-- AKA life planning. With most things when we fail to plan, we are most likely planning to fail or at least not achieve the results we desired. Life planning is the culmination of all that was learned in the Wonderful Life training-using the skills learned combined with what we have all learned about ourselves as individuals in the training to build a written, realistic roadmap of our future. A part of this is developing a personal vision statement. The personal vision statement is a powerful part of the life plan which aligns your individual core values, future vision and life goals.
It seems so simple but yet not, there is so much to be gained by these skills, there is something for everyone in the program to improve their quality of life and the quality of life of those around them. Lee has put together a truly remarkable program. I am very grateful for what I have gained for myself and others. I will stress that you have to do the work but the results will come and the dividends are exponential. I have shared the program with my entire family--parents, siblings, spouse and child. At home, we talk frequently about what has happened “good” in our lives, we recognize (and count) our blessings, and we spend more true quality time together.
I take opportunities with my daughter to expose her to those things I found have helped me the most to date--thoughts and feelings and conflict--as well as building her resiliency and hope. Prior to this program, I would have not viewed many these as potential growth and teaching opportunities. Last year, when I was in the one on one coaching, my mother would read the columns, and we talk about them or where I am at in the coaching each week. This year we are attending the Library sessions together.
At work I interject components of the program in the day-to- day environment with something as simple as “have you thought about it this way” or using the conflict roadmap (listening, identifying, labeling emotions to soften them). I feel it has improved my relationships with coworkers by improving my listening, minimizing my errors in thinking, my over-thinking, and my taking things too personally.
I have noticed changes in others in the program--all positive. They include more positive discussions, quicker problem resolution, increased mutual respect, more gratitude and less commiserating. All and more than promised!
Director of Operations
Grand Island Independent
There has been quite a lot written about the Wonderful Life project over the past few months. It turns out that I had the opportunity to experience the coaching involved in the project first. I worked with Lee Elliott at the time. He was able to come up with a method of coaching that I have found very helpful.
In fact, going through the coaching program with Lee quite possibly has been the most important training I have ever experienced. This program taught me to train myself to think through stressful situations in a logical and effective manner without responding emotionally. The coaching has had a significant impact on me, not only as a leader in the medical setting, but as a mother, a wife, and a friend. It has had such a profound effect on me that I have decided to “pay it forward” by coaching my employees as well. Often the skills my employees need to work on aren’t ‘job-specific skills,’ but rather what I like to refer to as ‘personal skills’ that may prohibit the employee from operating at a level that allows them to truly enjoy their work, and ultimately their home life. On more than one occasion, I’ve had teary-eyed employees tell me that they never thought they’d feel this way about work, and/or that they’ve never had a supervisor do this for them. It is truly rewarding to be able to help enhance others’ lives and see them pass it on as well.
-Christina Nickel,MHA. MLS (ASCP)
Laboratory Technology Manager
Bryan Medical Center
Heartland Urgent Care
The one-on-one coaching has been extraordinarily helpful to me both personally and professionally. It was not easy at all. It was though provoking and really made me look deep. I cannot believe how much more self-aware I am. I feel as though my thought processes are much more strategic. What a different world this would be if this was part of our getting an "Adult Card." Everyone would benefit, but most especially, the children would benefit by watching grown-ups act like adults. It would be a much safer and happier place to live in. I highly recommend everyone take this training.
Grand Island Education Foundation
Wonderful Life - great leadership project and a great guide for life. 2013 is a big year - attend a seminar or meet one on one with Lee. He has great knowledge and a wonderful passion for encouraging positive thinking and behavior. For more information - contact me!
Everyday life presents challenges – how we overcome those challenges can only be decided by us as individuals. Lee Elliott uniquely inspires through his teachings and insight to a Wonderful Life experience. How you utilize and implement these inspirations solely depends on how happy you want to be in your life. It’s not easy, but I have grown and will continue to grow by using these tools and applying them to my own trials and tribulations. I wake up every morning just daring the world to test me. I know I will not succumb to indifference but will rise to greatness and joyfully take all those with me who desire to let go of what cannot be changed but embrace what a Wonderful Life lays ahead. -
We all want to make life wonderful; we are all seeking contentment--but we all struggle. I now appreciate my life so much more because I am living it with honesty and integrity.
Juvenile Probation Officer
I am excited to be part of the Wonderful Life program. The skills that I am learning have no doubt made an impact on my personal and professional life. I have learned that by using Cognitive Behavioral tools, which helps me understand my thought process, I am beginning to control my emotions during stressful situations and conflict. By identifying and understanding these “thought triggers” I am beginning to change the way I feel about myself and the way I react to many experiences in my life as a wife, mother, grandmother, friend and leader. I even made the one day seminars a mandatory training for my employees because when we all acquire the knowledge and skills to enhance our quality of life and increase our happiness; we achieve higher levels of fulfillment in all areas of our lives. -
Grand Island Police Department
Steve Martin President
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
(Although Mr. Martin was not a participant, we did have several discussions on the project and he strongly endorsed the project. Moreover, BCBS of Nebraska did provide substantial financial support.
*please click on the yellow button below to view his endorsement.
"We all know conflict is unavoidable so let’s seek positive resolution".
Lt. Dennis Leonard Nebraska State Patrol
“The Wonderful Life project provided me with a different perspective of how to handle day to day life occurrences. Lessons learned through these discussions have improved my family life, personal relationships, and professional career.”
Lee is very knowledgeable and caring. His vision of the Wonderful Life Program shares how to deal better with everyday struggles that all of us have. I really appreciate Lee’s work and gained useful information from each and every topic in the program.
The most meaningful topic for me was how to deal with stress. Stress is at an all time high in today’s world. It can build up, destroying families, and it causes health problems that can result in death. How we react in different situations can decrease our level of stress or can increase it greatly.
Wonderful Life is for anyone who struggles or wants to learn more about:
1. Changing your mind for the better
2. Resilience (bouncing back)
3. How to be happy
4. How to have high quality conflict
5. How to forgive and why this is so important for you
6. Building trust
7. Managing stress
8. Having strong ethics
9. Being fulfilled or being spiritual has many benefits for us
10. How to become exceptional
11. How having a life plan can help you to be more successful
Going into the program, I believed that only a handful of the topics would be useful for me. I was wrong! All topics apply and are useful for all of us. I learned a lot and plan on keeping the class material available for reference and for sharing with others I know who struggle.
Thank you Lee…
Business & Sales Support Manager
Dr. Heather Schulz and two teams of students from her marketing class at University of Nebraska at Kearney put in a herculean effort to develop two separate plans to market the Wonderful Life Project. We used ideas from both plans--which were excellent--to market the project. Our sincere thanks.
One team is Chaney Black, Alyshia Nelson, and Dongju Paick; the other is Hilke Brandon, Abby Royle, Blake Fahrenbruch, and Mohammed Al Ghamdi.
We are most grateful for all their work, their creativity, and their support.
May you all have great joy.
I believe that every day is a gift, that’s why they call it the present! However, with many of the challenges we daily, it may become hard to view each day as a gift. Ever feel that way? Daily we struggle with stress, which is this country’s most expensive health care condition. Too often we face conflict at home, in the work place, find it difficult to trust others, or have a life of positive fulfillment. So how do we become more resilient, find happiness, build trust and develop a path for an effective life?
The answer is “The Wonderful Life Project”, led by Lee Elliott. The training is ten skill-based training sessions using what science has suggested will provide the greatest increase in well-being.” Enhance your skill set to resolve conflict, find happiness, build trust, become more resilient, become more exceptional than you are and define what stress is and how to reduce it in your life. Lee and those who’ve attended the training sessions will tell you “Happiness is achieved through simple changes.” Everyone can do it. I’ve witnessed the positive changes these sessions make in a person’s life and encourage you to attend. You can become “Exceptional.” Every day really is a gift, that’s why it is called the present … the best present ever!
Platte Valley Communication
My grandma has had a magnet on her fridge since I was a kid that says “Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you react to it.” I always thought that was “quaint”– but I never really believed it or thought it might only apply in some dire situation. Then I began the Wonderful Life Project, and I began to see the wisdom in that little fridge magnet. At its core, the Wonderful Life Project teaches the same general idea: Life inevitably happens, but we are in control of how we react to others and our life situations. Almost by default, many of us learn to approach life in a pessimistic, negative and angry fashion. The Wonderful Life Project teaches you how to defuse destructive thoughts and emotions and instead choose the high road to a more positive, fulfilling life.
I sought out the Wonderful Life Project after I had an event occur in my life that really made me take a good look at myself. I was involved in a 3-car accident in 2012. Nothing major, but enough that all the vehicles involved were totaled. My first reaction after it happened was not to check on myself or the other drivers to see if everyone was o.k. - instead I jumped out of my car and yelled at one of the drivers because they had not been paying attention while talking on a cell phone. After the day went on, I felt ashamed at my reaction; however I had to admit that it was typical for me. I wanted to find some help to stop me from instantly jumping into a negative mindset when anything unfortunate would happen. The Wonderful Life Project was the answer.
The Wonderful Life Project can be a life changer. Lee Elliott has complied an unbelievable amount of information drawing on several different disciplines – psychology, philosophy, statistical studies, even neuroscience – and boiled it down to a format that is easy to understand and easy to apply to everyday life events. It’s not “counseling” in the traditional sense – Lee doesn't expect anyone to talk about their personal issues if they don’t want to – so don’t let that label scare you away. I see it more as a class where you can learn skills to enhance your state of being. Lee has really drawn from the best information out there and designed a program that can change a life. It’s certainly changed how I view the world in some pretty fundamental ways.
One area in my life that was improved by the Wonderful Life Project was my relationship with my wife. In any marriage, there will obviously be disagreements. How you handle those disagreements will define your marriage and will set the tone for the mood in your home. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to lose sight of this and instead be annoyed or let tempers flare. The Wonderful Life Project teaches you to first deconstruct negative thinking patterns and then to see these disagreements as opportunities to nurture your relationship with your spouse, to grow as a couple working through a crisis and to show love and kindness to each other.
The beauty of the Wonderful Life Project is that it provides the tools to actually implement these big ideas. Everyone, if asked, would likely say they want a more enjoyable and positive life but many of us don’t know how to get there. The WLP gives concrete, down-to-earth advice showing you how to implement what you are learning in everyday scenarios.
After I began attending Wonderful Life, my wife saw my behaviors starting to change and she too began attending sessions. One of the first sessions we attended focused on “high quality conflicts” and learned how to work through problems where we could reach a solution and nobody feels slighted in the end. I noticed my wife and I started using different language when approaching a problem (it’s something we don’t often think about, but thinking about how to say something can often determine if it’s going to be an argument or a peaceful discussion). We learned techniques to get rid of residual frustration in our lives and also learned how to help stop holding grudges (Lee aptly calls it “grudge busting”). Along those lines, there is a full session that takes an in-depth look about the importance of forgiveness that offers a fresh perspective on the topic that I had never considered before but found it to be extremely valuable in living a more peaceful life.
Another element of the WLP that helped me was how to become a better listener. Have you ever heard your spouse or significant other say, “Are you listening to me?” Most of us have – it’s natural, people want to feel validated that someone is actually hearing what they have to say. The WLP showed me how to let someone know you are really listening and using those techniques can make a big difference in a making a conversation positive and productive.
All of these things added up to a big change in my family. We communicate more openly, argue less and take the time to really enjoy each other. It feels pretty good to have a marriage without the daily drama that we had often put on ourselves.
Another part of my life that I noticed a change was at work. We spent roughly one-third of our lives at work, we should make sure it is enjoyable and rewarding, right? Oftentimes that is not the case, many of us go to work each day and feel frustrated, upset, or stressed out. Again, WLP shows you that those emotions are chosen by you, and only you. A co-worker can’t make you angry and a boss can’t stress you out, it’s a choice. When you start to view your emotional responses this way, instead of something that just happens automatically, you become empowered to choose more pleasant and productive reactions. You start to feel that you are above the drama of the situation, and that leads to clearer thinking and smarter decision making. And of course, all that leads to going through your work day with a much more satisfying state of mind.
One more component of the Wonderful Life Project that really spoke to me was the topic of stress. There is an entire session focused on stress and it’s a real eye-opener. I learned about the prevalence of stress in our society – life today is more complex than it’s ever been and many of us are not well-equipped to deal with the stress that comes with it. We all know that too much stress is unhealthy, but when I saw statistics of just how it will send a person to an early grave, it’s scary. I took some short surveys that helped me identify my stress level and areas of my life that were causing stress. Of course the Project does not stop there – it also gave me ideas and techniques to manage stress and how to keep from bringing work stress home with me. Coupling what I learned with another WLP session on resilience (staying positive in hard times), I’ve found myself navigating through life with drastically reduced stress and anxiety.
One final thing I’ll mention about the benefits of the Wonderful Life Project is that it goes beyond simply improving relationships with others, it can lead to a paradigm-shift in the way you view life in general. Have you ever heard of the Greek story of Sisyphus – the man who was compelled to push a rock up a hill, only to watch it roll back down and repeat the process day after day? When you think of that, does it ever remind you of yourself – trudging through life, repeating the same cycle, with no joy and no real vision of what the future could hold? I’ll admit, I’ve been there as well at times in my life. WLP is helpful to give you a fresh perspective on life and coaches you how to begin to view each day as a gift – an opportunity to grow as a person and share positivity with those around you; a challenge to rise to the occasion with a cool head and be an example to others. The Wonderful Life Project also assists you to recalibrate new life goals for yourself with sessions on fulfillment and life planning. In all of our lives there are times that we must push the proverbial rock up the hill like Sisyphus, but WLP can teach you to take enjoyment in your task and also help you focus on what lies ahead and how to get there.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on the Wonderful Life Project. I would encourage anyone who is even remotely interested to check it out. It’s an undertaking that can lead to some really gratifying changes which you may not have ever thought to be possible. It truly can be a wonderful life.
Assistant Hall County Attorney
I am so grateful for the Wonderful Life project and Training given by Lee Elliott. It has changed my life in so many ways. His classes teach the tools and knowledge to learn and process old habits and perceptions and actions.
It’s been wonderful to be in his classes and see people realizing the changes we can make in relationships. I personally experience less stress and more joy and gratitude for God, my family and friends in my life. The biggest gift I’ve received is Peace. This project has certainly delivered on its promises.
I truly appreciate the sponsors that have made these incredible classes available for such minimal cost to anyone who wants to take advantage of this wonderful gift to our community. Your willingness to give so generously to help others has made this possible to so many.
As always, Lee’s goal and mission is obvious in helping people a plan to find a better of Joy and contentment in our lives with this education. I encourage you to register and take these classes to build a better life and relationships.
Living in this community is a “wonderful life.”
I have been participating in the one-on-one sessions with Lee Elliot in the Wonderful Life Project through the generosity of St. Pauls Lutheran Church. I have gained so many life skills from these sessions which benefit every aspect of my life. I believe this training would be invaluable to anyone at any age. There are many more training programs being offered through this year. I encourage you to attend as I believe you will find the training will have an incredible impact in your life.
The Wonderful Life Project has been such an amazing benefit to my life. I feel so fortunate to have seen the advertisement in the Grand Island Independent when I was home visiting my parents in March. I registered for the Grudge Busting presentation the very next week. I soon found myself driving from Lincoln for the monthly presentations and the one on one coaching sessions with Lee Elliott. Several of my friends and my sister from Tucson have been able to attend at times and express such gratitude for this opportunity.
Right away I could see the positive effects the training was having on my life. I have become more focused on my thoughts and feelings in day to day events with my family, friends and at work as well. I was able to set into action a performance goal at my work. Living the Wonderful Life skills I am learning has such potential to impact so many others. Being accountable for my happiness, building trust, resolving conflict and forgiving are all avenues which are improving my relationships, communication and productivity. I have gained so much from this experience and look forward to continuing in the project.
Denice Nabity Aten RN
Lincoln Surgical Hospital
To Those Enjoying Life in G.I.
What a delightful experience it is to be learning new, positive, enlightening concepts and working at using them in my life! This is one way to describe what we are doing in "The Wonderful Life Project." It is also great to meet others in the community..who all have a common goal: To live a wonderful life. It is also very helpful to discuss topics with others and look at things from different points of view.
We are blessed to have Lee Elliott leading the Wonderful Life Project. Lee is so knowledgeable about research in the areas we are discussing and is able to answer our questions and even point us to additional books and research we may find interesting and helpful. I find the time flying by as I'm listening to his "presentations." Before I know it, we are finished and I'm ready to put new concepts to work in my life.
A wonderful life doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without some work on my part, but I am finding myself changing some old thinking patterns which helps me to change my life for the better. I've asked myself, "Why wouldn't everyone want a wonderful life?"
Please give "A Wonderful Life" a try. I don't think you'll be sorry!