This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Differences between Leaders and Wannabes

When facing a problem the leader says, “Let’s find out,” while the wannabe says, “Nobody knows.”

Leaders communicate commitment while wannabes make promises.

Leaders have the capacity to listen while wannabes can’t wait for their turn to talk.

Leaders say “there is a better way to do this”, while wannabes say “this is the way we have always done things around here”.

Leaders say “I’m a good leader, but could do better” while the wannabe says “I’m better than a lot of people”.

Leaders take accountability for their mistakes while the wannabes point fingers and say “it’s your fault”.

– Originally published in June 2012

Advertisements

Jump and the Net will Appear

Essentially, what most of us are doing is waiting – waiting for permission, waiting for fate, waiting for the right moment. In fact, everyone has something they want and are just waiting to have happen, but haven’t made it happen yet.

Admit it, haven’t you sat at a bar or at a social event and seen someone you thought was interesting, and haven’t you found yourself sitting there waiting for something to happen?

You don’t really hear words in your head telling you to not walk over, start talking to people and showing them that you are interesting, but you sit there battling a silent fear inside you that tells you that there is only pain ahead.

You have to jump first, and then your net will appear. You have to take a leap of faith, and understand that your cushion or safety – your net – is not going to be visible to you at this second, especially when facing a challenge. Your net is invisible at this point, and it will not appear until you act.

90% of what we worry about never happens. 90% of what happens to us; we never had a chance to worry about.

– Originally published in May 2012

7 Brain Exercises to Stay Positive

positive

1. Daily Gratitude
Despite challenges, there is always something you can thankful for.

2. Eat Well, Drink Well and Sleep Well
Research suggests the quality of our food, water and sleep always affect our mood.

3. Physical Activities
Movement tells your brain to release endorphins which reduce stress, improve sleep and boosts self esteem.

4. Follow Your Passions
If you are not happy, find out what makes you happy and do more of that. Create your life around it.

5. Center Yourself
Resetting exercises like meditation, yoga, deep breathing and walking in nature can release negativity.

6. Inner Work
Exercises like Tapping, NLP, Mirror Work, and Affirmations can release past trauma to give you the ability to heal.

7. Help Others
Helping others feel more positive naturally creates a ripple effect back to you.

Evil Is More Striking Than Good

good_evil

On a scale of 1 to 10, how good do you feel today? Now consider what would bring you up to a perfect 10. A vacation, a promotion, or a pay rise? Now what would make you drop down by the same number of points? Sickness, depression, war, financial ruin, damage to your reputation, losing your best friend, death? The long list of possibilities makes us realize just how many obstacles to our happiness exist; in short, there are more bad things than good – and they are far more consequential.

We fear loss more than we value gain. Losing $100 costs you a greater amount of happiness than the delight you would feel if I gave you $100. In fact, it has been proven that, emotionally, a loss “weighs” about twice that of a similar gain. Social scientists call this loss aversion. So if you want to convince someone about something, don’t focus on the advantages; instead highlight how it helps them dodge the disadvantages.

For example, to promote breast self-examination (BSE), the pamphlet emphasizes that women who do not do BSE will have a decreased chance of finding a tumor in the early stage. The fear of losing something motivates people more than the prospect of gaining something of equal value. The most effective way of encouraging customers to purchase a home insulation product is to tell them how much money they are losing without insulation – as opposed to how much money they would save with it, even though the amount is exactly the same.

A multimillionaire was upset because he had lost a $100 bill, even the value of his portfolio fluctuated by at least $100 every second. We can’t fight it: Evil is more powerful and more plentiful than good. We are more sensitive to negative than to positive things. On the street, scary faces stand out more than smiling ones. We remember bad behavior longer than good – except, of course, when it comes to ourselves.

5 Behaviors of Mentally Strong People

mentally_strong

1. They don’t complain much.

Mentally strong people try not to complain about their situation. Instead, they assess the problems and focus on solutions. They know that dwelling on problems will not make their situation any better; in fact, it usually magnifies the problems until they’re blown way out of proportion. Mentally tough people know that the only constant in life is change, so they embrace that. Even if the changes are not necessarily positive ones, they go with the flow and don’t resist what life throws at them. Basically, they change what they can and forget about what they can’t. Complaining about what they can’t change only creates chaos, and they steer clear of that type of thinking.

2. They take control of their lives.

Mentally tough people don’t blame others for their misfortunes or expect someone else to come and save them. While they might have a support system when things get really tough, they don’t just sit around and wait for someone else to fix their life. They take charge and make the necessary changes so that their life feels good from the inside out. They don’t procrastinate on what needs to get done in order for them to find fulfillment in their lives. They take responsibility for themselves and their lives and take action to create the life they desire.

3. They learn to dance in the rain.

Mentally strong people know that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual; they have to write it themselves. With that said, creating a life you love doesn’t come easily. You’ll face many obstacles, but in doing so, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for your life when you overcome them. They learn to take the good with the bad and don’t let life rain on their parade. Where others see a roadblock, they see a detour.

4. They let go of bad habits.

Anything that doesn’t enhance their life must go. Mentally strong people know that creating your best self and your ideal life can only happen when you let go of things that no longer serve your best interests. Whether those bad habits are toxic relationships, drugs or alcohol, eating the wrong foods, or something else, mentally tough people have learned to distance themselves from these temptations. They might indulge every once in a while, but they get right back on track and follow habits that add value to their lives.

5. They stand their ground.

This means saying “no” when something doesn’t feel right to them. They exert boundaries so that they maintain integrity and don’t let others walk all over them. If they can’t fit something into their schedule, they have no problem letting someone know that. They have respect for themselves and don’t allow others to treat them like a doormat. Mentally strong people also don’t mind standing alone in life if it means standing up for what they believe in.

Inductive Thinking

geese

A farmer feeds a goose. At first, the goose is hesitant, wondering what is going on. Why is he feeding me? This continues for a few more weeks until, eventually, the goose’s skepticism gives way. After a few months, the goose is sure that the farmer has its best interests at heart. Each additional day’s feeding confirms this. Fully convinced of the man’s benevolence, the goose is amazed when he takes it out of its enclosure on Christmas Day … and then the farmer slaughters it. The Christmas goose fell victim to inductive thinking – the inclination to draw universal certainties from individual observations.

However, it’s not just geese that are susceptible to it. An investor buys shares in stock X. The share price rockets, and at first he is wary. “Probably a bubble,” he suspects. As the stock continues to rise, even after months, his apprehension turns into excitement. “This stock may never come down,” especially since every day this is the case. After half a year, he invests his life savings in it, turning a blind eye to the huge cluster risk this poses. Later, the man will pay for his foolish investment. He has fallen hook, line, and sinker for induction.

Inductive thinking can have devastating results. Yet we cannot do without it. We trust that, when we board a plane, aerodynamic laws will still be valid. We imagine that we will not be randomly beaten up on the street. We expect that our hearts will still be beating tomorrow. These are confidences without which we cannot live, but we must remember that certainties are always provisional. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

Induction seduces us and leads us to conclusions such as: “Mankind has always survived, so we will be able to tackle any future challenges too.” Sounds good in theory, but what we fail to realize is that such a statement can only come from a species that has lasted until now. To assume that our existence to date is an indication of our future survival is a serious flaw in reasoning. Probably the most serious of all.

The Flow

flow

Be water, my friend.
– Bruce Lee

Imagine a professional skier is skiing down one of his favorite slopes. Powdery snow flies up on both sides like white sand. Conditions are perfect. He is entirely focused on skiing as well as he can. He knows exactly how to move at each moment. There is no future, no past – only the present. He feels the snow, his skis, his body, and his consciousness united as a single entity. He is completely immersed in the experience, not thinking about or distracted by anything else. His ego dissolves, and he becomes part of what he is doing.

We’ve all felt our sense of time vanish when we lose ourselves in an activity we enjoy. We start cooking and before we know it, several hours have passed. We spend an afternoon with a book and forget about the world going by until we notice the sunset and realize we haven’t eaten dinner. We go running and don’t realize how long we have spent on the road until the next day, when our muscles ache.

The opposite can also happen. When we have to complete a task we don’t want to do, every minute feels like a lifetime and we can’t stop looking at our watch. As the quip attributed to Einstein goes, “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That is relativity.”

Psychologists called this experience of being completely immersed in what we are doing as the “flow”. One key ingredient for finding happiness is the ability to reach this state of flow. In order to achieve this optimal experience, we have to focus on increasing the time we spend on activities that bring us to it. When we flow, we are focused on a concrete task without any distractions. Our mind is “in order”. The opposite occurs when we try to do something while our mind is on other things.

According to research, there are 7 conditions for achieving flow:

  1. Knowing what to do
  2. Knowing how to do it
  3. Knowing how well you are doing
  4. Knowing where to go (where navigation is involved)
  5. Perceiving significant challenges
  6. Perceiving significant skills
  7. Being free from distractions

Focus on enjoying your daily rituals, using them as tools to enter a state of flow. Don’t worry about the outcome – it will come naturally. Happiness is in the doing, not in the result. As a rule of thumb, remind yourself: “Rituals over goals”. Flow is like a muscle – the more you train it, the more you will flow. The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most; they are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
– Aristotle