Why Do You Complain?
March 23rd, 2008 Did you know that complaining is severely damaging to your health, financial success and your entire life?
Studies have shown people who complain frequently tend to have poor health, less satisfying and enduring relationships, and don’t tend to do as well in their jobs or make as much money.
The key to getting what you want in life is focusing your energy and attention on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. By complaining, the focus is always on what’s wrong, what’s going badly.
So why do people continue to do it?
Well first of all, it’s a habit.
Most people have been doing it their entire lives.
In fact, the majority don’t even realize they’re doing it half the time.
Most people complain much more frequently than they think they do.
Don’t believe me? For the next 24 hours, pay attention to how many people begin a conversation with you by whining about something that didn’t go the way they wanted it to.
The most common reasons why people complain (and why it can be so difficult to stop) is:
- It’s a good conversation starter.
It’s much easier to begin a conversation with someone and find a common ground by complaining. (Can you believe it’s going to rain AGAIN today?…).
To get over this particular hurdle, rather than use a complaint to start talking to someone - complement them. It’s a much more positive way to start a conversation.
- Complaining keeps people from taking action.
This is the #1 reason most people complain. That way they can procrastinate and have plenty of excuses why they aren’t reaching their goals. There’s always a reason why it’s not possible to do what needs to be done. It’s much easier to complain about it than it is to find a solution.
Not only that, but for some crazy reason, we’ve been taught that it’s okay to talk negatively about yourself, but it’s not okay to “brag” about what’s going well!
- Preexcuses failure
Another very common reason people complain is to pre excuse failure. For instance, walking to a meeting late while complaining about how bad the traffic was, how there was a huge line at the dry cleaner, etc.
It takes all the responsibility off of that person, they no longer have to own up to the fact that they should have left earlier or been more prepared.
The first step to stop complaining is to become aware of it, then replace that complaint about what you don’t like, with what you do want.
The goal is not to act like everything is great and pretend you are no longer bothered by anything, but instead to seek out solutions.
Instead of playing the victim and simply stating that the situation is not what you want - figure out what you DO want, and seek to create that.
What can you do about the situation? Don’t look for problems, look for solutions.
Posted in Personal Growth
Friday, January 01, 2010
Why Do You Complain?
Posted by John Locke at 11:19 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Compare Your Position
If You Can..
If you can start the day without caffeine;
If you can get going without pep pills;
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains;
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles;
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it;
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time;
If you can forgive a friend's lack of consideration;
If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when,
through no fault of your own, something goes wrong;
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment;
If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him;
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend;
If you can face the world without lies and deceit;
If you can conquer tension without medical help;
If you can relax without liquor;
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs;
If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice
against creed or color, religion or politics; then, my friend, you are
almost as good as your dog.
Posted by John Locke at 9:10 AM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers
Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.
Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.
Always Say Less than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.
So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.
Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.
Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.
Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards.
Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.
Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.
Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.
Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.
When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,
Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.
Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.
Crush your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.
Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.
Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.
Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.
Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs’ clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person.
Do Not Commit to Anyone
It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you.
Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark
No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.
Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.
Concentrate Your Forces
Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.
Play the Perfect Courtier
The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.
Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.
Keep Your Hands Clean
You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.
Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.
Enter Action with Boldness
If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
Plan All the Way to the End
The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.
Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.
Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.
Play to People’s Fantasies
The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.
Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.
Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one
The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.
Master the Art of Timing
Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.
Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.
Create Compelling Spectacles
Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.
Think as you like but Behave like others
If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.
Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.
Despise the Free Lunch
What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.
Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes
What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.
Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.
Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.
Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect.
Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.
Never appear too Perfect
Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.
By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.
Posted by John Locke at 3:53 PM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Business, school or life the list below works.
16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in SchoolPublished by Henrik Edberg April 2nd, 2008 in Productivity, Relaxation, Personal Development, People Skills, Career & Work and Success.
I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days.
But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.
Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.
Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.
But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.
So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).
1. The 80/20 rule.
This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.
So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.
You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.
And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.
2. Parkinson’s Law.
You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.
So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.
The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.
Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less “start-up time” compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.
A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.
4. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.
This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.
If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.
5. Be proactive. Not reactive.
This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.
A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.
6. Mistakes and failures are good.
When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from - for example - school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.
This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?
Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don’t care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.
And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.
When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way - instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do – you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.
7. Don’t beat yourself up.
Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it’s a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It’s best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.
8. Assume rapport.
Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.
The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.
This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.
9. Use your reticular activation system to your advantage.
I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that’s a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.
So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And keep that focus steady.
Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminders such as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like “Give value” or “Assume rapport”. And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.
10. Your attitude changes your reality.
We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that “you need to change your attitude!”. That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.
But the thing that I’ve discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself “why haven’t I thought about things this way before?”.
When you change you attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.
This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you “right” a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.
If you try changing your attitude for real – instead of analysing such a concept in your mind - you’ll be surprised.
You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!
11. Gratitude is a simple way to make yourself feel happy.
Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.
12. Don’t compare yourself to others.
The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself (“I’ve got a new bike!”). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you (“Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!”). And so you don’t feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.
A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.
13. 80-90% of what you fear will happen never really come into reality.
This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.
This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.
14. Don’t take things too seriously.
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.
Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.
15. Write everything down.
If your memory is anything like mine then it’s like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don’t make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.
16. There are opportunities in just about every experience.
In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.
Whenever you have a “negative experience” ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can – with time – help you create many very positive experiences.
What do you wish someone had told you in school or you had just learned earlier in life?
Posted by John Locke at 1:18 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
In other words, the tried and true may have worked well up until now, but is it the best way to continue?
Engaging change is now an item on every company's "to do" list, and employers need these changes to work right away. Earlier this year I penned a column entitled It's time to rethink the way you think," in which I outlined why most change efforts fail.
In that column I cited findings from research psychologist Jeffrey Schwartz and executive coach David Rock, listing three things a company should do to give their change efforts the very best chance of succeeding. Those three things were Focus (on the big picture), Expectation (of an "a-ha" moment of insight), and Attention Density (the amount of attention devoted to a subject over time).
Because the recent events on Wall Street are having an impact on Main Street, the need for Focus, Expectation, and Attention Density are greater than ever. There's no denying that change is on the horizon. But there's even more we can do to help things flow smoothly.
How we engage change personally can make a huge difference – and I'm convinced we can have greater success on a individual level if we follow a few simple practices, such as:
Aside from an internal attitude of staying involved, we can also join a committee or a project team. Our purpose should be to stay plugged into the projects occurring throughout our organization.
We must also keep an eye on changes in our individual industries. To could involve staying active in professional associations, reading industry journals, attending conferences, and even surfing the Internet for industry news.
Also, our company's long-term goals (including Vision and Mission statements) should directly influence how we interpret what we see happening around us.
Not only can we can learn from others in our work area, but also from people in other parts of the company—or even from outside the company. Ask people their perspective of how recent changes are affecting their work and how they're dealing with the obstacles.
Think of it this way: It's one thing to identify a problem, it's something else to solve it.
Most leadership development programs have self-awareness as a foundational starting point. That practice is equally valid in the face of change. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses gives us a better idea of how to adapt as needed.
For example: Conduct a personal SWOT Analysis. Compare your strengths and weaknesses with the opportunities and threats that accompany any change. Then decide how to capitalize on your strengths and what needs to be shored up on your weaknesses to take advantage of opportunities and also minimize any threats.
Naturally, we need to maintain efficiency and effectiveness, but flexibility allows us to roll with the changes instead of slam up against them. We can be flexible in our attitude and our responsibilities. One person I know put it like this: "Be keen on finding efficient ways for adapting to new realities."
From a purely pragmatic standpoint, we should gather details about change so we can determine how it affects us.
Bottom line: How we approach change affects its impact on us. We can work to accommodate it, or we might get flattened as it rolls over us. As always, what we do is a choice.
Posted by John Locke at 8:17 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Experience Say's No
Not that simple.
We would all like to do what we want, but it is not that simple. To say we can have what we want is patiently not true, no matter how hard we try. On the other hand we can have goals we are aiming for and reach some of those goals. In the real world there are pressures and responsibilities.
This is from: Think Simple Now.
Lessons from Following My Passion
Here is a summary of lessons I’ve learned through this experience:
Anything is possible if you want it bad enough
When you follow your heart, not only will you contribute more to your organization, you will utilize less energy and you will feel happier.
We are all naturally gifted at certain disciplines. You’ll know when you find it, because you can quickly grasp new concepts, you find it enjoyable, and doing it comes easy to you; almost like breathing.
Doing something that is not natural to our abilities and interests is like swimming against the current. You’ll eventually get to the shore, but it will take you longer and will excerpt extra energy.
Doing things that come natural to us and align with our interests feels like swimming along with the current. You’ll get to the shore smoothly and with little effort.
When you are clear about wanting something, take action towards its attainment, and persist until you reach it, the universe will conspire to make it a reality. Your energy and determination will move people, and they will find ways to help you.
Insecurities and negative self-talk derived from fear achieves nothing, except to convince us that we are failures and losers. These are lies that only appear real in our imagination.
The roadblocks you encounter on the way to reaching your destination are actually gifts. Treat them as challenges that you were meant to experience and learn from. They are like small tests that the universe presents us with, as if asking: “How bad do you really want this? Have you given up yet?”
When you listen to your heart, follow your passion, and do what you love to do, it’s hard not to be outstanding. You’re almost guaranteed to succeed.
Posted by John Locke at 8:21 AM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Americans don’t take orders very well, but we will take direction. From Bunker Hill to the beaches of Normandy, we have had leaders who have provided this function. George Washington, although not comfortable with public speaking, gave voice to the people by his actions. He suffered the same privations as his troops. And he acted audaciously - like his crossing of the frozen Delaware in the dead of night - when it was necessary.
During the financial panic of 1907, millionaire JP Morgan walked calmly onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and bought bank shares, restoring confidence in the markets.
There were the fireside chats of Franklin Roosevelt that reminded us of what we would have to do to defeat tyranny during World War II. Ronald Reagan, facing an economic malaise featuring mortgage rates as high as 17.5%, reminded us that we were Americans and we could do anything. He restored confidence and optimism in us and we worked our way out of the financial abyss.
What we don’t have right now is a leader who can give voice to the people, and remind us about our positive characteristics and abilities.
Today’s so-called leaders are too busy blamescaping. Now, there is plenty of blame to go around, but it goes back decades. So, as we discussed here recently - there is no need dredging it up right now. We need audacious leaders willing to direct our actions. Who will those leaders be? I’m guessing they won’t be elected officials. I’m also guessing that there will be a lot of local leaders ranging from the world of business to the church who mobilize us and remind us that we - as Americans - can do anything.
I’m sure some will criticize me for my positive outlook. It’s trendy to be negative and to complain about everything, not to trumpet American exceptionalism. But I believe what I’ve written and won’t apologize for it.
Marketers and communicators have the tools and the training, but do they have the audacity, do they have the fortitude to communicate from a positive position? Are you willing to lead? Let’s talk about how we can help our fellows weather this maelstrom.
Posted by John Locke at 9:02 AM