We all have strengths and weaknesses. Which is better to focus on for learning and success? Should we strive to improve our weaknesses no matter what? Or should we accept our shortcomings and simply focus on our strengths to achieve success and happiness?
In our society, we are trained in a deficit model—to fix what is wrong. And, in a very real sense, our attention is geared at fixing others. This is true both in school and in the workplace. So many performance reviews at work gloss over the employee’s strengths and instead focus on “areas for improvement.”
We see this in education as well. For example, after a meeting with teachers, the student said to his mother, “Why didn’t … >>>
How you communicate with someone has a direct impact on how stressful the relationship is. But it’s not just about the words you use or the tone of your voice. Most people know that using kind words and not yelling is important for good communication. However, what many people fail to take into account is how the other person is perceiving your message, even if you deliver it with a smile.
For example, how many times do you politely tell others what to do? Maybe you tell your child to clean their room, tell your spouse to take out the trash, or tell your employees how to write a proposal. These are all normal, everyday things. But let’s flip it … >>>
For many people, the start of a new year is a time for change and fresh beginnings. But before making any life change, you need to be aware of your motivation for the change. Are you trying something new because others are pressuring you to do so (external motivation)? Or are you making a life change because it’s something that will bring you great satisfaction (internal motivation)?
Internal motivation really is the key to lifelong change. When you focus on what brings you joy and satisfaction—on what makes you feel good—you’re more apt to continue the behavior. To prove my point, consider the five questions below. They prove Aristotle’s conclusion that an emotional outcome like happiness is the appropriate end … >>>
It seems amazing that this most tumultuous and disruptive year is finally coming to a close. As we all reflect on 2020 and the lessons it has taught us, it’s important to keep both balance and perspective as we focus on moving forward.
Personally, this past year I have tried to keep my responsibilities in line, despite the many challenges this year brought the world. The five foundational categories I have focused on are:
Family – immediate and far-reaching
Finance – and contributory fulfillment
Fitness – physical and psychological
Faith – religious, and optimism in resolving failings
Friends – to feed and find anew
Of course, I’ve had to adapt and find new ways to keep my priorities in order. … >>>
People often ask me for relationship tips. Of all the things that cause stress in people’s lives, relationships rank high on the list. Whether it’s between adults, family, friends, or children, relationship challenges are inevitable.
But what if there were some simple ways to make relationships easier? What if you could be proactive to ensure your relationships no longer stress you out? Would you take a chance and try something new in order to reduce stress in this area of your life?
To help you have more peaceful relationships and less stress, here are my top 3 relationship tips that will transform your life. While these tips may seem simple at first glance, they are truly powerful tools that we … >>>
Here’s a simple piece of relationship advice. Most relationships fail, suffer, or break down because of one key thing: the people involved simply don’t understand each other. In other words, when disagreements occur (which they will in every relationship) both parties try to force their viewpoint on the other person.
A better approach—and one that will significantly improve relationships—is to focus on understanding the other person. In fact, you will find that you can achieve agreement much more quickly by using this approach.
Rather than assuming you know the reasoning behind another person’s viewpoint, ask for an explanation. Ask questions. Engage in discussion. Have a conversation. Try phrases like, “Can you elaborate on that more?” “What makes you say that?” … >>>
Do you want to change your life for the better? Of course you do! Whether you want to improve your health, your financial situation, your relationships, your career, or anything else, we all strive to better ourselves in some way. The challenge is taking the necessary steps for improvement. What should you do? Where do you start? What if it seems too hard? Is it worth the effort? There are many questions. No wonder most people give up before they take the first step.
If you want to change your life, here’s the secret: Progress comes from making small improvements. “SMALL” is the key word. Just take one step at a time when trying to take on something new. The … >>>
We all want better relationships, whether it’s with a spouse/partner, parent, friend, child, or co-worker. In an attempt to make the relationship better, many people mistakenly do more of the wrong things.
If you’re not sure what the “wrong things” are, answer these questions:
How do you feel when someone criticizesyou?
How do you feel when someone blamesyou?
How do you feel when someone complains to you?
How do you feel when someone nags you?
How do you feel when someone threatens to do something to you?
How do you feel when someone punishes you?
How do you feel when someone offers you a bribe to do something?
Anger is a natural human emotion. We all get angry from time to time, and we all have the right to express our emotions appropriately. Unfortunately, anger is often the emotion that ruins relationships. That’s because anger can sting—it can come across as irrational, aggressive, mean-spirited, or even manipulative. It’s an emotion that can quickly push others away.
Therefore, the key is to control your anger rather than have it control you. When you do that, you can express your emotions in a healthy way and not destroy relationships in the process. One of the best ways to take control of your emotions is to focus on some reflective questions. When you take a moment and engage in reflective questioning, … >>>
We’ve all heard the phrase “lead by example.” Basically, it means that if we want someone to do something, we need to be willing to model that activity, mindset, or behavior. This concept is especially important when it comes to promoting responsibility in youth.
When you lead by example, you are using a powerful tool to encourage, nurture, empower, and establish expectations. For example, see how modeling promotes integrity, as illustrated in the following:
The owner of a grocery store hired a teenager to watch the store on Saturday mornings. One Saturday, the owner returned unexpectedly and took some carrots to feed the rabbits outside of the store. Before leaving with the carrots, the owner placed money for the carrots … >>>
One of the easiest ways to solve problems is to ask questions. Unfortunately, many people get so mired in the problem that they end up blaming others or trying to control the situation instead. This typically leads to more stress.
Think about your own life for a moment. How often do you blame others for your own negative experiences or challenges? How often do you try to use authority or force to solve problems? We all do it from time to time. While in some cases these tactics may appear to work (at least temporarily), more often than not you have the ability to positively influence the situation by simply asking questions.
Notice I said “influence” the situation, not “change” … >>>
At the heart of the word responsibility lies the concept of the ability to respond: RESPONS-ABILITY.
Although we think we give responsibility, it is really only effective when it is taken. Therefore, by its very nature responsibility between people is mutual—as are all successful attachments.
Responsibility has a counterpart of accountability. One reason that people resist imposed accountability is that the people in superior positions tell others what they are accountable for but not what they, themselves, are accountable for.
If you expect someone to be responsible and would like optimal performance, then share how you will be accountable.
As long as you are positioning yourself to influence others, you are in a leadership role. An effective approach is to … >>>
During times of stress, it’s natural to focus on controlling people—what they do and how they act. After all, stress makes you feel like you’ve lost control, so it’s human nature to try to regain that sense of control in some way. Many people accomplish this by controlling others, including their partners, children, and co-workers. But did you know that the more you focus on controlling people, the more stress you’ll ultimately experience?
How do you know if you’re being too controlling? If you experience much stress when interacting with others, chances are that you are aiming to control them. The fact is that people being controlled have low motivation to carry out decisions IMPOSED upon them. As scores of … >>>
During times of increased stress, a little kindness goes a long way. It’s during these times that we often see people talking about doing “random acts of kindness” as a way to show strangers you care.
Random acts of kindness are certainly a great idea. Buying a cup of coffee for a stranger … leaving a tip greater than the total tab for a server … giving up your seat on the bus for another … these are all kind gestures that brighten people’s day and make their world a little better.
However, when it comes to your long-term relationships, such as your life partner, immediate family, friends, co-workers, and even neighbors, you need to focus on regular acts of … >>>
Whether meeting someone for the first time in person or via a video meeting, making a positive first impression will help you become more effective. We’ve all heard the old phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That advice is still true today. But many people reveal that in today’s era of virtual meetings, it’s more difficult to make a positive first impression.
Here are some techniques to help you make a positive first impression.
Use a leading question to get the person to talk about something personal, such as a hobby, a recent vacation, their job, or even the city they are from. Most people enjoy talking about themselves or one of their
Have you ever heard someone say, “If only I had put in more effort,” “If only I had more time,” “If only I could go back … yada, yada, yada”? Or, have you said these kinds of statements to yourself? We’ve all done it from time to time. Having these thoughts occasionally is perfectly normal and expected. The problem is when “if only” thinking becomes a habit.
“If only” is simply wishing that things were different. Wise and capable adults act with strength and the realization of what exists so they can positively influence outcomes. Growing is what life is all about. “If only” is the seed of a negative attitude that makes it less likely to overcome life’s challenges.… >>>
Between politics, a pandemic, and the responsibilities of everyday life, most people are looking for ways to reduce stress. They are feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, and as if they are on an emotional roller coaster. Rather than turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, smoking, or overeating junk food, you can reduce stress by making some simple lifestyle changes.
Below is a list of 10 ways to start lessening the stress you feel. Before you read the list, realize that the goal is NOT to do all 10 things at once starting tomorrow. That would be unrealistic and would stress anyone out, myself included. Instead, pick one thing you could start weaving into your life right away. Once that … >>>
Too many adults have a fear of failure. Unfortunately, they pass this fear onto their children. But what many people don’t realize is that failure and mistakes are a vital part of learning. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that no great success ever occurred without failure.
We’ve all heard about Edison’s 10,000 attempts to create the light bulb. He wasn’t alone! It took James Dyson 5,126 attempts to invent a bagless vacuum cleaner. And did you know that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos failed at many things? Ever hear of Amazon Destinations, Amazon Auctions, or the Fire Phone? Probably not, because they were all epic failures.
Whether we like it or not, failure is necessary to learn, … >>>
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