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Conquer Your Fear of Failure

Here’s a question for you: “What trait or mindset do you think makes people truly self-confident and have a positive self-worth?” The answer is: “These people have overcome their fear of failure.”

Truly confident people—from business leaders to politicians, from teachers to lawyers—do not let the possibility of failure intimidate them. Of course, they do fail at times. But they don’t alter their actions because of this possibility.

Unfortunately, many people today don’t try to win; rather, they try not to lose. They don’t try to succeed; they try desperately not to fail. That is a sure route to nowhere. Personally, I’d rather be going somewhere, even if I fail to get there, than assuredly going nowhere. Remember the old … >>>

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Here’s How to Promote Responsibility in Your Child

If you want to promote responsibility in your children, here is one important thing to keep in mind: Never do something for your child that they can do for themselves.

When you want the young person to do something and he or she does not, oftentimes stress is the result—for the adult. The youngster is aware of your emotions and (nonconsciously) derives a sense of power from it. What he or she is doing—or not doing—is seen as directing your emotions.

Let’s assume the youngster has a number of things to do and is lackadaisical about doing them. You remind the youngster, to no avail. Time passes. You give another reminder with the same result.

Rather than become increasingly stressed, … >>>

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The Best Way to Help Students Succeed

All teachers and parents want to help students succeed. The question is: How? Research shows that one of the most important factors that determine students’ success (in terms of what is important to students) is their feeling or belief that someone in school cares about them.

Knowing this, I’ve long proposed that the best way to help students succeed is to ask them questions. Why? Because a significant factor in asking a question is that there is an assumption that you care about the person with whom you are conversing.

Therefore, when communicating with others, especially students, instead of thinking of the right thing to say, think of a question to ask. The sooner you adopt the mode of asking … >>>

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Focus on the Positive to Change Your Life

Maintaining a positive attitude, speaking positive words, and thinking positive thoughts is essential to a happy, stress-free, and productive life. I learned to focus on the positive early in life. Like many, I was brought up on a principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say something nice about a person, then do not say anything at all.” I took that to mean that we should not only refrain from negativity, but that we should also focus on the positive.

My mother’s advice eventually became the bedrock of my first principle to reduce stress: POSITIVITY. I now think of it whenever something negative pops into my head or if I am about to say something that can be … >>>

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Positive Communications Build Positive Relationships

We all know that positive communications are vital to maintaining positive relationships. Most of us, though, are not conscious of the power of our communications. As a result, we say things that seem innocuous to us but that may make the other party feel bad.

The fact is that the words and phrases we use in our daily interactions have three major influences:

(1) They influence how we think and experience the world.

(2) They shape the way others see us.

(3) They determine how much cooperation and success we have with other people.

Remember that when words come out of our mouths, they don’t just go to the listeners’ ears. We hear our own words too. So our words … >>>

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Focus on Strengths to Enhance Learning

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 … >>>

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The Secret to Good Communication

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 … >>>

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Change Your Life by Focusing on Internal Motivation

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 … >>>

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A Time for Reflection and Moving Forward

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. … >>>

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My Top 3 Relationship Tips

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 … >>>

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Relationship Advice: Seek to Understand

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?” … >>>

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The Secret Way to Change Your Life for the Better

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 … >>>

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Want Better Relationships? Do Less

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 criticizes you?
  • How do you feel when someone blames you?
  • 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?

Yes, criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, … >>>

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Don’t Let Anger Ruin a Relationship

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, … >>>

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Why We Should All Lead by Example

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 … >>>

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Ask Questions to Solve Problems

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” … >>>

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The Truth About Instilling Responsibility in Others

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 … >>>

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Want to Reduce Your Stress? Stop Controlling People

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 … >>>

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