This quote has had a profoundly positive impact on me. In many ways, it changed my life.
“If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it.”
– Maya Angelou
I used to whine about EVERYTHING I didn’t like. Like a malignant Johnny Appleseed, I spread my complaints far and wide to all who would listen.
No wonder people didn’t want to be around me… except for fellow whiners.
Ironically, but not surprisingly, I didn’t always want to be around my fellow whiners. Somehow, I didn’t see the connection.
Here’s how all that changed…
Have you ever had a friend recommend something
that they thought was “awesome” or even report that they experienced a breakthrough?
It was something you were eager to try out… yet when
you did, you were underwhelmed?
Then, just about the time you are ready to assign “yah, right…” to then next “this was ah-mazing” claim, you are shocked because, well, it actually was.
Here’s the question: Why is it that, sometimes “great” promised claims turn out to be a bust, and other times they are, to use the word of the old Tony the Tiger commercial… GREAT!
And perhaps more importantly, how do you avoid two equally fatal mistakes:
- Falling for every grandiose claim, OR
- Turning into a cynical, skeptical critic (who misses out on some great things because you doubt everything).
Have you ever looked back on a conversation you had and thought, yeah, I definitely should have handled that better? Yep… me too.
A friend of mine told me of her recent regretful
“I called my daughter’s dad to set up a trip
for her to visit him. And he made a couple
of comments about the cost of the flight and
the dates not working for him.
I was instantly mad.
To my credit, I knew what was happening at the time. But like a car whose brakes go out, I couldn’t stop the wreck. I started shouting my “extremely valid” points and making snarky remarks.
With neither of us wanting to deal with each other at that point—we hung up. It was an epic fail.”
Have you ever been in a situation like this? You were able to identify that you were feeling emotional… but felt helpless to stop it?
The great news is that when you learn (yes, it is a process) how to better manage your emotions by raising your “emotional intelligence,” things turn out MUCH better.
Read on to discover 4 compelling benefits from increasing your emotional intelligence (EQ).
“EQ has twice the power of IQ to predict performance [success]. EQ is also a better predictor than employee skill, knowledge, or expertise.” – Gerald Mount
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!
A 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).
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 your 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.
“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.
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…)