The Power of Yes

Can we agree that the words “no” and “can’t” litter our lives in a negative way?

Changing “no” to “yes” can be transformative.

“No” is best useful when used to defend boundaries otherwise “yes” can be empowering when we give ourselves permission to be optimistic instead of pessimistic, happy rather than sad and confident as opposed to uncertain.

If we are willing to become more aware of when we say or hear the word “no”, change will follow.

There is a direct connection between the reducing the number of times we say or accept the word “no” every day and increased confidence.

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Smartphone Stress & Anxiety

There’s a new dental study from Israel that illustrates in another way the high price people pay for owning a smartphone.

  • 54% wake up in the middle of the night compared to 20% who use a phone without an internet connection.
  • Half feel a moderate to high degree of stress due to a cellphone and 22% without internet.
  • The fear of missing out (FOMO) drives the addiction to social media.

Here are some useful ways to take control from the Center for Humane Technology. 

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Moderna, Pfizer or J&J?

It almost seems that we’re beginning to identify ourselves by our COVID vaccines.

I’m J&J, you’re Pfizer?

You see it on social media or perhaps someone asks – which vaccine did you get?

Some people identify by political persuasion and wear it proudly.

Beyond vaccines, how do you self-identify?

Mother, business executive, friend, son, problem-solver.

All are best worn proudly.

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Confidence is like Food

Confidence is perishable.

Without food the body dies.

Without confidence dreams die and self-esteem withers away.

When things are going great, we seem to have an abundance of confidence.

But when they’re not, we become starved for it and the harder we try to get more, it eludes us.

That’s why confidence ebbs and flows and is best fed with positive thoughts of past accomplishments and future successes.

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Permission Happiness

One of Seth Godin’s best books is Permission Marketing, a term he uses as a type of advertising that allows the consumer to opt-in to receiving promotional messages.

Happiness could take a page from Godin’s concept because it is available to all of us every day and yet it requires a similar opt-in.  We can reject it, remain unhappy, discouraged, without hope or we can choose a more productive path.

Opting-in is the key.

Harold Kushner wrote a book called When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough in which he mentioned the useless pursuit of happiness.  Being docile to it – allowing it to happen – is key.  Kushner’s compared the chasing happiness to trying to catch a butterfly – the more you chase it, the more it evades you but when you allow it to land, it is yours to enjoy.

Happiness is not an entitlement.  It’s a choice.

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The Need for Approval

A new study of children found that the strongest predictors of depression and anxiety are the perceptions that their parents are dissatisfied with them.

That feeling can be extended to adults as well – we’re all looking for approval and acceptance.

Now that the “Lost Year” is over and hope is beginning to replace despair, a thought for the day is find ways to say yes, to bolster and encourage others, to accept imperfections and replace them with hope.

Then, do the same thing for yourself.

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Difficult Conversations

If you assume that people think rationally, then you are likely to end up in an argument.

For difficult conversations, there are alternatives:

  • The use of facts usually blows up in our face because humans don’t think rationally.
  • When people feel threatened (and the facts can do that), they go into protection mode where ears close and mouths open (it’s actually a scientific fact that our brains essentially overheat).
  • It’s more effective to skip trying to win the argument. Make it all about sharing information and asking (and listening) what the other person feels.
  • Ask questions, don’t make statements. Communication of all types is fostered by those who learn to be skillful at asking questions and allowing others to see your point of view in their words not yours.

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The Success Guarantee

Most people don’t realize that success always happens if they don’t give up.

It never fails.

But we all have our number so the thing that determines whether we succeed or fail is how long we are willing to keep going to get to that number not how lucky we are.

Adversity truly teaches us what we are willing to go through to eventually prevail.

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Love People, Use Things (not the other way around)

“The General Social Survey, which has been measuring social trends among Americans every one or two years since 1972, shows a long-term, gradual decline in happiness—and rise in unhappiness—from 1988 to the present.” – Atlantic author Arthur C. Brooks.

Among Brooks’ observations:

  • We don’t get happier as society gets richer because we chase the wrong things.
  • We can resist advertising’s power over our minds: “Next time you are presented with the claim that this or that product will make you happy, channel your inner monk, and say five times, out loud: “This will not bring me satisfaction.”
  • “Government cannot bring happiness, but it can eliminate the sources of unhappiness” according to former speaker of the Danish Parliament Mogens Lykketoft – Danish people are among the world’s happiest.
  • The world encourages us to love thingsand use people. But that’s backward.

Put this on your fridge and try to live by it: Love people; use things.

More here.

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Becoming a Better Communicator

When the need to be heard is greater than the need to hear, communication has hit pause.

Talking more is communicating less.

That’s why meetings are dreaded except by those doing all the talking and why few can remember a lecture of any kind in which they have not first become engaged in the conversation.

Asking questions is the secret.

Listening to the responses will prompt more questions.

Not weighing in on your reaction to what you’re hearing is a top skill level.

And how do you know if you are becoming a better communicator?

How much of what you have just heard can you accurately remember?

The bar is low as we live in a talking culture so victory easily goes to the next person who tries.

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