“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
- Better fed
… 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).
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.
A positive outlook toward your future and your life has many well documented benefits:
- Lower stress and depression levels.
- Greater resilience to hardships.
- Better health, longer life, and more energy.
- Better relationships.
- An overall higher sense of well-being.
But a positive attitude isn’t all sunshine and unicorns.
Having a positive outlook also has a rarely mentioned dark side. In certain situations, positivity can lead to unnecessary hardships, misery and frustrations.
The good news is that not only can you negate this potential downside, you can actually leverage this negative dimension to experience greater success in what you are doing.
Sometimes “little hinges swing big doors” in your life. They can have a disproportionately beneficial impact, considering how inconsequential they seem.
One scientifically verified example is found in the regular use of two simple words: Thank You.
As author Max Lucado reminds us–
Two essential words deserve special attention– “Thank you”
Gratitude is a mindful awareness of the benefits of life. It is the greatest of virtues.
Studies link it with a variety of positive effects. Grateful people tend to be– (more…)
“I always have trouble remembering three things: faces, names, and uh –I can’t remember what the third thing is” – Fred Allen
“I have always had a bad memory… as far back as I can remember.” -Lewis Thomas
Let’s be honest… everyone wishes they had a better memory, especially when trying to recall an important item.
You know how that works: You know the information is in your brain… somewhere. You just can’t locate it when you really need it.
Here’s the question: Is there a way to quickly improve your long-term memory… especially before you need it?
Research has uncovered a surprising way to boost your long-term memory by up to 20%. Better still, it only takes a few minutes to improve your results. (more…)