How to Make Good Decisions Despite Hidden Forces

Research reveals why some decisions turn out badly and how to prevent it

Making good decisionsHave you ever thought you were making good decisions that promised to make life better… and instead things got worse?

Things go off the road… and you are now a passenger in the unfolding of events?

Then a friend of yours, trying to be encouraging, says “it will get better! The disaster is actually a blessing! It’ll eventually turn out good…”

After shooting them and disposing of their body, you want to scream, “Why did this happen? It seemed like I made a good decision at the time!”

What you may not know is there was something influencing your decision that you couldn’t see.   (more…)

Mirroring Others: A Quick Technique to Boost Connection

Increase Your Likeability & Influence with Others

Stop and think for a minute.
Are there people in your world
with whom you’d like to experience a better connection?
Maybe even have them see you in a more favorable light?

  • A friend or acquaintance with whom you’d like a stronger, deeper bond
  • Someone who hasn’t been responsive to your
    interactions with them
  • A strained relationship you want to improve

One highly effective method to increase your connection and influence with people around you is to use the misunderstood relational superpower called empathy. (For more on this effective approach, see the article entitled, Empathy: an “Attractive” Quality That Boosts Your Influence)

A second method, called the mirror technique, can also help you increase connection. By mirroring others, the technique taps into a quirk in our brain (called mirror neurons), discovered by neuroscientists.

What’s great about the mirror technique is that anyone can do it, and its effects are quickly seen.

Do you want to make more and better friends wherever you go? Then read on!

(more…)

How To Make A Difficult Decision: Surprising Research Can Help

You Can Avoid Making A Decision You'll Regret

How to make a difficult decisionHave you wrestled over how to make a difficult decision?

What makes that decision all the more difficult is when you remember previous decisions that blew up in your face.

You think, “God, I don’t want that to happen again.”

So, how do you choose wisely… and prevent an outcome you regret? (more…)

Better Decision Making: 600% Better Results With This Trick

Research reveals a simple method to improve your decision making

Make better decisions with this simple processTrying to make better decisions today can be soooooo frustrating.

Even when you really, really want to make the best decision, and you take time to think it through, it often turns out less than you hoped.

What gives?

Here’s the problem — we typically make decisions based on a faulty process. No matter how deliberate you are, if the way you make decisions is screwed up… you will get screwed up decisions.

But, there is a simple approach you can use that will significantly increase the odds of a good outcome.

(more…)

Empathy: an “Attractive” Quality That Boosts Your Influence

Here are 5 Ways Improve This Relationship Enhancing Skill

Empathy attracts peopleA secret desire for virtually every human being on this planet is to be seen as attractive by others. I’m not just talking about physical appearance, either.

Attractive [uh-trak-tiv]: A pleasing quality that draws people toward it.

We’d all love for others to be drawn to us like a magnet, to seek us out, to want to be with us, to hang on our words, laugh at our jokes… at least by the people we want to be with.

Can you relate?

We go to great lengths in a number of ways to accomplish this:

  • Outer bodies: Botox, implants, makeup, personal grooming, working out, dieting, getting our hair/clothes just right, etc.
  • Achievement: Leading to status, fame, or wealth (which attracts people)
  • Personalities: People pleasing, being what we think others want us to be (chameleon syndrome) so they like us more.

What is usually overlooked are attractive qualities that radiate from the inside out. These character qualities can draw people toward us… or repel them from us.

Empathy is a powerful inner quality that can help you be a magnet that draws people toward you… and increases their desire to be in your orbit.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own. ” – Henry Ford

Thankfully, this undervalued people skill can be increased in your life… opening many new doors to a meaningful life with tremendous impact.

Read on to learn 5 ways to improve your empathy skills… and 5 things NOT to do that you might think are helpful (trust me, they aren’t).

(more…)

Self-Awareness, Blind Spots & the Johari Window

5 Ways to Better Understand Yourself, and Grow

If you were an executive coach who interacted with
thousands of clients over 30 years…                                                        

… you would probably see certain characteristics
emerging over and over that were “make or break”
qualities
in one’s success.

Dave Yarnes is just such a coach.

One of the qualities he noticed in countless individuals
that seriously limited (or accelerated) their ability
to succeed:

Self-Awareness – Understanding and addressing who you really are, and how you come across to others (but you can’t see)… yet everyone else can see.

In fact, this quality of “self-awareness” is so crucial that researcher Dr. Tasha Eurich called it, “The Most Important Skill of the 21st Century.”

You know people like this, right? People who are oblivious or self-deceived on how they come across.

  • They think they are funny, while others cringe at their insensitive comments.
  • They think they are dispensing wisdom to everyone they meet, but in reality they don’t listen well or frequently interrupt others to give their opinion.
  • They think they are admired for “telling it like it is” but others avoid them because they have zero empathy or caring.

Sure, everyone knows other people who have this issue… but here’s the real problem:

Everyone (yes, that means you and me, too) are blind to certain dimensions of who we really are.

“You can fool yourself, you know. You’d think it’s impossible, but it turns out it’s the easiest thing of all.” ― Jodi Picoult

Here is what executive coach Dave Yarnes repeatedly saw: Until you address your blind spot, you will continue to limit your ability to influence others and succeed at the level you desire.

I’m going to show you an effective method to overcome this blindness… so you can become a more influential, well respected and successful person (at home, at work/school, in life). (more…)

Easier Goal Attainment: Try This Peak-End Technique

Tap Into This Little Known Quirk in Your Perceptions

Imagine you are a caveman, and you are
working really hard dragging a sled of
supplies uphill to your cave. You look over at your neighbor and he too is working to get supplies uphill to his cave.

… but he has wheels on his cart.

Sometimes, there is an easier way to accomplish you goals. The surprising news from research is that due to a quirk in human perception, you can “put wheels” on your efforts to make real progress toward your goals.

Using the technique I am about to share with you, one person said, “I found it surprising that I could do [what I struggled to do previously, but this time] without a tremendous amount of effort or commitment.”

In their fascinating book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, Chip and Dan Health show us (among many other things) how we can alter and then leverage our experiences to see greater progress toward our goals.

(more…)

Perception vs. Reality: The Paradox in Modern Times

Why Things Can Seem One Way… Despite the Facts

Negative perception of reality “You must become more aware of how you see,
not just what you see.”
– Michael Kimmelman

“What you perceive depends a good deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
– C.S. Lewis

Reality, and your perceptions of reality are often two different things.

You are wise to recognize that sometimes your perceptions can’t be trusted, and must be examined… even challenged.

This was pointed out recently by Professor Steven Pinker in an article for Time Magazine. He noted that according to actual measurable statistics about life in the 21st century, people overall are…

  • Living longer
  • Healthier
  • Better fed
  • Richer
  • Safer

… than ever before.

Those are the undeniable facts.

Yet, the average person’s opinion of the state of the world is much more pessimistic and worried.

What’s going on here? Why are people drawing conclusions that are the exact opposite of the facts?

I’m glad you asked. There is a phenomenon going on that you must understand and address in your life if you are going to experience a better, more hopeful life (that is rooted in reality).

(more…)

Optimum Decision Making: The Best, Worst Times to Decide

Plus - 3 things you can do today to optimize your abilities

A close up of a clock Description generated with high confidence“I want to make the best, most
optimum decisions because better
decisions will lead to a better life.”

I applaud that desire. It is a core message of this website.

Unfortunately, optimum decision making in a given situation depends on a number of factors… all of which can derail your best intentions.

Fortunately, there is one small factor that can quickly and easily be leveraged to improve your decision making.

“Small hinges can swing big doors.”

If you take this factor into consideration in your daily decision making, you WILL see better outcomes. If you don’t, well… all your good intentions will not be enough to overcome the results.

(more…)

Intellectual Humility: a Rare Yet Powerful Trait to Have

Research reveals how cultivating this trait can unlock greater success

Do you desire/aspire to become a person that others are attracted to?

Do you want people to admire and respect you more (especially by the people that really matter)?

Then, you need an influential character trait that is in short supply these days. In fact, its disappearance in many societies is creating all sorts of problems… and is getting worse.

  • Hindering personal growth
  • Ruining interpersonal relationships
  • Reducing innovation/progress
  • Limiting our ability to solve major problems

What’s ironic is that the lack of this trait allows a poison cloud to develop that no one likes experiencing… but everyone still uses when it serves them.

The trait is called intellectual humility… and very few have it these days.

BTW- if you already think you know what it is (and are tempted to skip reading further), that is evidence you don’t possess it.

Here’s what I can promise you… If you can grow in this trait, you can accelerate your personal growth/success. Plus, you will dramatically improve both your relationships and your influence in this world.

(more…)