Blog

5 Tips for Better Relationships

We all want better relationships with those we care about. Whether it’s a relationship with your partner, kids, friends, or co-workers, you have to work at strengthening the relationship every day. The good news is that when you strive for better relationships with others, you also improve your own mindset and self-esteem. Following are 5 tips for improving relationships with others as well as with yourself.

  1. Give affirmations. A simple acknowledgment can have dramatic results. This is especially important with young people. They want to assert their independence and autonomy. Just acknowledging that you have heard their point of view, regardless of agreement, can have a profound effect on how your growing young one feels about the relationship.
  2. Use quality
>>> READ MORE >>>

Two Words That Will Change Your Life

I’d like to share with you two simple words that will change your life. Some may even say this is the greatest two-word tip of all time.

These two words are the single, best advice for improving your effectiveness in any endeavor.

I encourage you to write these two words down and perhaps tape them to your bathroom mirror so you will look at them every morning as you begin your day. These two words can enhance your career and bring more satisfaction and joy to your life. If you are a classroom teacher, use the two words with your students. Likewise, if you are in an educational or leadership position, use these two words to prompt improvement in others. … >>>

READ MORE >>>

Tell the Truth to Build Strong Relationships

We all know it’s important to tell the truth, but we don’t always do it. Why? Because telling the truth can be uncomfortable. It may not make you look your best. However, telling the truth even when it’s difficult is a sure way to build good relationships.

I like the way one wealthy individual told the truth. He was asked how he had amassed a huge fortune. He said, “It was really quite simple. I bought an apple for five cents, spent the evening polishing it and sold it the next day for ten cents. With this, I bought two apples, spent the evening polishing them, and sold them for twenty cents. And so it went until I had amassed … >>>

READ MORE >>>

Cultivate a Problem-Solving Mindset

The questions you ask yourself determine both your mindset and your perception of the world around you. In fact, your internal questions influence every decision you make—good or bad.

Here’s a simple example of how your questions influence your thinking. Let’s say you’ve decided to buy a new four-wheel-drive vehicle. You probably ask yourself, “Which one should I get?” Now that your mind is focused on four-wheel-drive vehicles, you can be sure that the next time you are on the road, you will notice Jeeps, Explorers, and Range Rovers in record numbers. You will also start to see articles and advertisements featuring these types of vehicles, and you may even discover that some of your friends and acquaintances own one.… >>>

READ MORE >>>

Focus on the Future for Better Relationships

If you want less stress and better relationships, then focus on the future. Unfortunately, many people live in the past. They replay conversations and events in their head repeatedly, analyzing what happened and what each party said. While it is good to understand the past so we learn and grow, living in the past often results in negative emotions. That’s why it’s important we all focus on the future.

This advice is especially important today. As we all start engaging with family and friends in face-to-face settings again, focusing on the future will promote healthy relationships. So here’s my best advice: When you interact with family, loved ones, close friends, and other valued people, don’t begin a new conversation with … >>>

READ MORE >>>

You Can’t Change People, but You Can Influence Them

Many of us try, unsuccessfully, to change people. Whether we want our partner to be more loving or our kids to be more responsible, we waste precious time trying to force the other person to change. The fact is that, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot change another person.

Does this mean that people will never change? That the way someone is now is how they’ll be for the rest of their life? Of course not. But change does not happen by you forcing it. Rather, people often change based on your expectations for them. So in a sense, the way you change people is to influence them to want to make a change on their own.… >>>

READ MORE >>>

Reframe Your Problems to Reduce Stress

One of the best ways to reduce your stress is to simply reframe your problems. Realize that everyone has problems of some sort. Some people have relationship problems, others financial, some career, others health, some social, others business. No one is immune to problems in life. As the late Norman Vincent Peale once said, “There is only one group of people who do not have problems, and they are all dead. Problems are a sign of life, so the more problems you have, the more alive you are.” Although a tongue-in-cheek philosophy of life, there is some truth to this pronouncement.

So, knowing this, I propose that it’s not the problem itself that is causing you stress. Rather, it’s your … >>>

READ MORE >>>

Why Caring for Others Matters More Than You Think

Caring for others is one of the foundations for a successful relationship because it makes people feel valued. And when people feel valued, they are happier and experience less stress. Whether you’re interacting with youth or adults—whether they are family, friends, or co-workers—the more you prove that you care about the other person, the better the other person will feel and the stronger the relationship will be.

There’s much anecdotal evidence that proves this theory—that caring for others increases the other person’s self-worth and is a foundation for any successful relationship. But did you know there’s also scientific backing of this too?

The Science Behind Caring for Others

The idea that communicating a caring interest to others is vital for … >>>

READ MORE >>>

6 Tips for Better Life Balance

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges most of us face is knowing how to live a balanced life, within a 24-hour day. Between our work, family, personal development time, inundation by the media, the attraction of the Internet, so many good books to read, wanting to get enough sleep, maintaining social relationships, and the list goes on and on—how do we do it? It is no wonder that seminars on time management, books on life balance, and even garage and closet organizers for all the “stuff” accumulated are selling so well.

One way to become more effective is to evaluate how you use—or don’t use—some of your time. Following are some tips that may assist in increasing your effectiveness and … >>>

READ MORE >>>

Focus on Self-Acceptance

Many people are searching for acceptance outside of themselves when they haven’t yet learned to accept themselves. Self-acceptance means being okay with WHO you are and WHERE you are. It means being kind to yourself even when you make mistakes, fail, or do really stupid things. Self-acceptance is a close relative to self-esteem. It is difficult to have one without the other, and, if you have one, you will tend to have the other.

There are many reasons why people have low self-acceptance, but most fall into one or more the following areas:

  • A perceived desire to be perfect
  • A focus on imperfections rather than on blessings
  • The desire for approval and to be liked
  • A strong desire to please
>>> READ MORE >>>

The Secret to Better Communication Skills

If you want to have better communication skills, listen up! In fact, listening is the single most crucial factor of all communication skills. It is more important than stirring oratory, more important than a powerful voice, more important than the ability to speak multiple languages, and more important than a flair for the written word.

Good listening is truly where effective communications and relationships begin. It’s surprising how few people listen well. Those who do are the ones who have learned the SKILL of listening.

The fact is that people love being listened to. It’s true in the business world and at home. Actually, it’s true of just about everyone we meet in life.

Dale Carnegie wrote that the secret … >>>

READ MORE >>>

How to Create Truly Happy Relationships

Do you know how to foster happy relationships? Happiness always starts from within, so let’s start there. If you look around at your family and friends, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others. They don’t try to control anyone but themselves. And more likely than not, they experience many happy relationships in their life.

You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have a lot of power, the constant resistance they feel from those they are trying to control deprives them, and their relationships, of happiness.

If you try to control a friend, … >>>

READ MORE >>>

How Your Mindset Affects Relationships

Do you think the world is out to get you? Or do you think the world is filled with opportunities? The difference depends on your mindset. How you view the world affects every aspect of your life. Most important, your mindset affects relationships. We can see evidence of this every day.

For example, look around and you can often see two people engaged in similar tasks but providing different responses in how they help others.

One clerk at the counter invites the next customer up by saying, “Hello, how can I help you?” Another simply says, “Next!”

One bank teller, working in a bank adjacent to a senior retirement community, sees an older person approaching and says to the visiting … >>>

READ MORE >>>

The Most Empowering Mindset

Your mindset is a choice. You can choose to be a victim and feel disempowered and negative. Or you can choose to be a victor and feel empowered and positive. Which do you choose?

I urge everyone to avoid the victimization mentality. It is toxically disempowering and limits you in so many ways. Empowerment is so much more effective. And even if it were not, you would still be happier in an empowerment mode rather than in a victimhood mode.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many teachers who needed to change their mindset in order to leave the victimhood realm. These teachers believed that when students come from unstructured homes, from poverty, or have some other situation that cannot be … >>>

READ MORE >>>

What Happiness Really Means

When you hear the word “happiness,” what comes to mind? Many people think happiness is about belly laughter, euphoric thrills, and feelings of joy mixed with boundless energy. While these things certainly contribute to happiness, they’re not what people should be focusing on for long-term fulfillment.

What is important is how frequently, not how intensely, you are happy. For example, winning the jackpot in Las Vegas, the thrill of the quadruple loop roller coaster, or belly laughing at the Saturday night comedy club show are wonderful moments. But they are not the hallmarks of sustainable long-term happiness.

In truth, real happiness comes from being content most of the time. This occurs when you have thoughts and feelings of well-being and … >>>

READ MORE >>>

Use Attentive Listening for Better Relationships

Attentive listening is the most valuable tool we have for enriching the quality of relationships. Yet, many people neglect it.

Attentive listening means listening without distraction. I have met very few people who have practiced this approach to the point of making it a skill. My financial planner was one such person. Cory had the knack of conveying the feeling that, when you were with her, you had her undivided attention. I don’t know if she learned the skill or if it was just natural with her. But I remember the charismatic impression it made on me.

Unfortunately, all too often, we experience the opposite of attentive listening. As the chair of an accreditation team representing the Western Association … >>>

READ MORE >>>

The Best Way to Help People Succeed

We all want the best for those we love. Whether it’s by giving advice, providing necessities, or gifting our time, our goal is often to help people succeed. Unfortunately, sometimes our best-efforts backfire, especially when giving others verbal instructions, warnings, or assistance.

Before I continue, it’s important to point out that the human brain thinks in pictures, not words. Think back to the last sleeping dream you remember. Are you visualizing the dream you had in words—as you are reading now—or are you visualizing it in pictures (images)? If you’re like the majority of people, you will conclude that you dreamt in visuals. (Remember that in human history reading is a relevantly recent development. Only in very recent times has … >>>

READ MORE >>>

5 Tips to Maintain Healthy Relationships

Maintaining healthy relationships is one of the foundations for living a happy life. Whether you are interacting with your spouse, child, friend, parent, co-worker, or neighbor, you have the power to strengthen the relationship or to weaken it. The fact is that your words, actions, beliefs, and mindset shape every relationship you have—for better or for worse.

The good news is that no matter how stressed your relationships currently are, you can take positive steps now to change them. Following are 5 tips to help you develop and maintain healthy relationships with others.

1. Communicate using positive, rather than negative, messages.

Instead of telling others what you don’t want or don’t like, explain what you do want and do like. … >>>

READ MORE >>>