Try this experiment. Imagine something you fear, even dread happening to you. Something really bad. Go ahead… I’ll wait.
Now, imagine those worst fears actually happen this coming week. What would your life be like 6 months from now? A year later?
Now, it’s time for our experiment to go to your happy place. Imagine one of your “dreams come true” happening this coming week. What would your life be like 6 months from now? A year later?
Now, take both of those imagined futures, good and bad, and throw them out the window. They are dead wrong.
Here’s the problem: research has revealed that you and I have a mental distortion in our perception of the future.
It confirms we humans have a huge problem accurately predicting how certain events, good or bad, will impact us… especially how we will feel in the future because of them.
It gets worse. Your inability to accurately forecast your future quality of life based on the impact current events have on you is undermining the quality of your decisions and your life TODAY. Read on to learn what you can do about it.
Consistently making good decisions is not easy.
As a student of decision making, I have discovered LOTS of reasons you and I make lousy, or shall we say “less than optimum” decisions. I have undoubtedly experienced all of them many times over. You have, too.
There is one reason we need to talk about that is extremely frustrating to deal with… especially when others around you do it. So much so, that you are tempted to utter an F word.
This cause of poor decision making is also a 4-letter F word… FEAR.
If not addressed, fear will not only affect your decisions today but will also reduce your ability to improve your decision-making abilities in the future. Not good.
“Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle
“A good laugh and a long sleep are two
of the best cures for anything.” -Unknown
Most everyone loves a good laugh. Well, except certain grumpy, uptight people who never smile… you know who you are 🙁
But did you know that laughter has many, many health benefits, too? This includes dealing with stress.
Over 350 studies have established a ton of benefits that come to us when we laugh. There are just 4 benefits in particular that might surprise you.
1. Laughter releases potent endorphins. A good laugh releases a dose of endorphins, our feel-good hormone. Here’s why that is great news: endorphins help counteract the negative emotions and stress we experience in daily life. The effects of these endorphins are heightened… when we laugh with others.
Hmm… do you think that’s why we instinctively make a joke to lighten the mood in certain situations, to experience some relief?
Have you seen a dumb decision being made by someone?
Isn’t your first thought: What were you thinking?
But, I also have a second thought: How can I avoid a bad decision? …so others don’t think the first thought about me. 🙂
Here are 5 really funny, but dumb decisions that prompt the first question.
… then I want to show you 2 ways to avoid bad decisions in the future. (more…)
Nate was wrestling with God again.
He wanted to choose the path God had for him. He wanted to exercise good decision making in God’s will.
The problem was he didn’t know what God wanted him to do.
Oh sure, he knew God didn’t want him murdering someone or stealing their stuff. But, the situation he faced was not so clear cut.
How could Nate be sure the decision he was making would be pleasing to God and turn out well? (more…)
Have 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…)
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!
Have 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…)
Trying 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.
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.
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).