Category Archives: Happiness

Positive Psychology is Not Equivalent to Positive Thinking

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Last year, I officially completed the requirements of Penn’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program. Recently, I read Morgan Mitchell’s Newsweek article, The ‘Tyranny’ of Positive Thinking can Threaten Your Health and Happiness. This article makes a fundamental error concerning the definition of positive psychology, and I wish to correct that error.

Before World War II, psychology focused on three areas: curing mental illness, cultivating high talent, and making people’s lives more fulfilling and productive. Post WWII, economic incentives shifted psychology’s focus solely to pathology. Chief among these incentives were the decisions of grant-making bodies to fund research related to pathology and the realization among psychologists that they could earn a living treating mental illness.

Seligman and others (circa 1998) first conceived of positive psychology as a “science of human strengths,” seeking to prevent mental illness by cultivating human strengths. By 2006, positive psychology was also described as “seeking to promote human potential.” Today, positive psychology uses the scientific method to study the factors that contribute to human well-being.

William James

The belief that humans can increase their well-being is not new. It can be traced back through the centuries and across cultures. Aristotle pondered a state of “being happy” (as opposed to “feeling happy”) he called eudaemonia. William James argued that our actions could lead to a state of happiness distinct from feeling happy. Seligman expressed the view that the absence of mental illness does not imply the presence of mental wellness.

The focus on using the scientific method, testing ideas and obtaining evidence before drawing conclusions, is what differentiates positive psychology from many books in the self-help section. As a result, Mitchell’s claim that a simplified form of positive psychology exists is incorrect.

Furthermore, research suggests that positive results are not limited to positive stimuli. For example, fear and anger have been shown to narrow selective attention. This effect is useful when a situation demands that we focus on a task or particular set of instructions. Additionally, the concept of post-traumatic growth is defined as a positive change which stems from a traumatic life event, generally an experience that nobody would choose.

Too much of a bad thing can be bad for you. But too much of a good thing can also be bad for you. Too much confidence can beget arrogance. Too much optimism can cause you to miss signs of danger. An overemphasis on autonomy can prevent you from seeking much needed help. None of these outcomes would be in line with Seligman’s original vision or with positive psychology as it stands today.

Researchers and practitioners of positive psychology do not consider approaches without grounding in scientific evidence to be part of positive psychology. Neither would they consider an approach that involves only positive thinking tp be part of positive psychology. Just as overcoming mental illness takes work on the part of a patient, so too does increasing one’s well-being.

It is unfortunate that Mitchell conflates self-help and positive psychology. However, positive psychology has sometimes been misunderstood as being happiology, the study of a hedonic superficial form of happiness, since at least 2006. Unfortunately, some authors who disregard positive psychology’s focus on the scientific method claim their work to be positive psychology in order to cash in on its popularity. I hope clarifying this distinction helps others differentiate between what might be positive psychology and what is not.

Read the original article HERE

5 Ways to Tell If Someone Is Untrustworthy

By Thomas Koulopoulos, Founder, Delphi Group

I’m going to ask you to trust me on this. It’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, and it may be one of the most important ones I have to pass on.

It’s been said that the only way to definitively tell if you can trust someone is to trust that person. While that may well be true, there are certainly telltales that untrustworthy people almost always exhibit, which will help you mitigate the damage they may cause. If you’re building a fast-growth organization or if you are breaking new ground with a new innovation, trust is the superglue that will hold your team together. I’ve seen it repeatedly. Nothing propels a great team further or undermines a team faster than trust or its absence; the same can be said about virtually any relationship.

What I’ve realized over the years in working with countless people is that there is nothing as vital to a relationship and yet as fragile as trust. The plain truth is that if you are doing business and establishing relationships with trustworthy people, you will be able to weather almost any storm. By the same token, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to get into bed with someone who is not trustworthy, even a mild breeze will capsize the relationship.

Psychologists tell us that the first emotional bond we all develop is trust. Starting at birth, we seek out patterns of consistency that provide a reliable way to interpret the chaos of the world. This is more than just establishing comfort and familiarity. It is a deeply rooted, programmed survival mechanism.

Trust shapes our earliest relationships and it is in these formative years that we learn how to use trust to survive. In that respect, you can easily see how these nascent bonds can create enduring values that reinforce the importance of trust or teach us how to game trust to get what we want. That selfish aspect of trust is in each of us. And that’s fine as long as we reciprocate the trust we receive. But when you learn that others can’t be trusted at an early age, you lose confidence in the value of trust. If you don’t deserve theirs, they don’t deserve yours.

It’s because trust is so intimately woven into our psyches that it is so incredibly difficult to change. To be blunt, people are either trustworthy or they are not. That doesn’t mean they’re good or bad. It just means you can’t place your trust in what they say or what they promise.

Of course, we all tell occasional white lies (“why, yes, honey, there definitely is a Santa Clause!”), stretch the truth (“it really was the biggest fish I’d ever caught!”), conveniently forget facts (“gee, I didn’t realize I ate the last piece of pizza!”), and otherwise create hairline fractures in trust. But that’s rarely of concern. The danger zone is entering into relationships with people who see trust as something they can use to manipulate the truth to serve their own purposes, without regard for the impact it has on others.

Before I go further, I’ll caution you that my experience has consistently been that trying to rehabilitate pathologically untrustworthy people is a fool’s journey. Their perception of reality has been shaped in such a way, and at such a formative age, that nothing short of a direct emotional nuclear hit will dislodge the survival and coping mechanisms they have developed. What’s even worse is that these people not only distrust others, while they make effuse claims of “trust me,” but they also do not trust themselves. In other words, while their actions may let down, damage, and hurt others, in the end they are mostly undermining themselves. Which is why, over the long run, being untrustworthy is punishment enough.

So, how do you spot someone who shouldn’t be trusted? There are five telltale signs that I’ve observed in untrustworthy people. Usually these come in combinations of two or three consistent behaviors. Spot these and you’re pretty well assured that this is not a person you should be putting a whole lot of faith in.

1. They lie to themselves

One of the most striking behaviors of untrustworthy people is that they see themselves in ways that are simply inconsistent with reality. When you encounter someone who seems disconnected from the actual impact that their actions and behaviors are having, it’s a sure sign that they are trying to create a perception that conforms to their desires rather than to reality. For example, if someone constantly describes herself as a quiet person who seeks harmony, while her behavior is disruptive, arrogant, and confrontational, you’ve got a disconnect that should immediately start to raise red flags of trustworthiness.

2. They project behaviors on you that are clearly not ones you are exhibiting

People who are untrustworthy also have an amazingly consistent habit of accusing others of behaviors that they themselves are exhibiting or are contemplating. This one is a classic seen regularly by relationship counselors. It goes something like this. Mary is constantly accusing Jack of contemplating new employment. Jack knows that he is not only perfectly happy where he is and not seeking employment elsewhere but he has also never made any indications that he might be. Jack is befuddled by Mary’s ongoing accusations. Guess who is looking for new employment? That’s right, Mary. If someone is constantly accusing you of something which you know to patently false, chances are very good that what that person is doing is projecting his or her own untrustworthy behavior and insecurities onto you. This one should ring in your head like the bells of St. Paul’s when you hear it.

3. They breach confidentiality

This one has always amazed me. We all remember as kids swearing someone to secrecy only to have them break the promise and then rationalize it by saying, “But I only told one other person.” Well, it’s baffling how that same behavior plays out among adults. Confidentiality, when agreed to (and in the absence of any illicit or illegal activity), is a sacred bond. This one to me is a nonnegotiable. Once someone has broken a pledge of confidentiality, there is no second chance because that person has already demonstrated a desire to gain favor with others that is greater than his or respect for them. By the way, it’s incredibly easy to pick this one out because inevitably these people will share things with you that you can tell were said to them in confidence by others. You can be assured that if they did it to somebody else, they will do it to you. There is zero hope for trust where there is no respect for confidentiality.

4. They show a lack of empathy

This is perhaps the one shared behavior of nearly every untrustworthy person. They are able to rationalize being untrustworthy by diminishing the impact, pain, damage, or inconvenience they cause others. This is also the most dangerous of the five behaviors, because once you lose empathy for those whom your actions affect, you have started down a slippery slope with no bottom. Even worse is the fact that people who truly lack empathy have no awareness that they do, or they’re selectively empathetic when it serves their agenda. It’s simply all about them. Look for clues to this in how people generally treat those they interact with as well as their track record with others. This is the classic example of observing how someone treats those who are not in a position to give them anything of value, such as a waiter or janitor. When I was hiring senior and midlevel execs, this was the single-most important ability I needed to see them demonstrate. I learned quickly that people who lack empathy are among the most volatile and dangerous people of all.

5. Their emotional state is volatile, and they have a pattern of inconsistency and fickleness in their decisions

Remember at the outset I mentioned how trust is formed in our earliest relationships just after birth? If trust is missing in these formative years, it creates uncertainty, doubt, and inconsistency that linger over a person’s entire lifetime of interactions. While it is certainly possible to have people who are not volatile be untrustworthy, it is far more likely that someone whose emotional state fluctuates wildly is. The reason is that they will make promises they quickly regret and retract. They are never certain of why they are making the decisions they are making. And they are far too easily influenced by external factors over their internal compass. Again, we all change our minds now and then, but if someone has a pattern of consistently flip-flopping, look out. Nothing is anchoring that person to an emotional state you can trust.

None of these five behaviors make someone a bad person. And the temptation to fix these behaviors in others can be very attractive to someone who is trustworthy. But that’s because you understand the value of trust. What you’re dealing with is someone who does not. So, unless you’re a licensed therapist and have years to dedicate to the process, I’d strongly advise against it. Sure, as I’ve said, we all exhibit at least a few of these behaviors periodically, and calling someone out on them is entirely appropriate, but if you see two or more consistently, you need to consider carefully the degree to which that person deserves your trust.

Read the original article HERE

 

Wayne Dyer’s 12-Step Program to Simplicity

By Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer’s 12-Step Program to Simplicity is excerpted with permission from Chapter 8 of Wayne Dyer’s book, Living An Inspired Life.

For a moment, let’s imagine what it would be like to be fully alive without a physical shell or any of the stuff we need and desire for maintaining life on Earth.

We’d have a mental energy that allowed us to move forward or backward, up or down, instantly creating whatever we desired. We’d be free to wallow in an exquisite existence without time or space as we know it.

We’d be in a state of pure bliss, in love with everything and everyone. We’d have no duties or bills to tend to, no fear of losing anything, no one judging us, no possessions to insure, no demands on our time, and no goals to achieve.

What we’re envisioning is actually the world of Spirit, which we experienced before we came here and will return to when we shed our body (or as William Butler Yeats poetically called it, our “tattered coat upon a stick”).

Remember that a central premise of this book is that inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.

While the theme of this chapter is that inspiration is simple, this doesn’t mean that we should sit around doing nothing, awaiting Spirit’s arrival; instead, it means having faith that our spiritual connection flourishes in a life dedicated to joy, love, and peace. If our daily activities are so overwhelming that we don’t make [joy, love, and peace] our priority, then we’re disregarding the value of living a simple life.

The 12-Step Program to Simplicity

Rather than giving you some general suggestions for implementing the ideas herein, I’m going to give you 12 very specific tools for simplifying your life. Begin using them today if you’re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.

You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life:

  1. If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use.
  2. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed.
  3. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization.

Read the Full Article HERE

 

Why books are the best friend of great leaders

By Vartika

There are so many traits associated with leaders. Management, confidence, team building and what not. But, the one trait we all forget is that they are all good readers. Talk about any of the inspirational leaders be it in the past or present, and you will notice they all have the habit of reading.

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From Winston Churchill to Steve Jobs, they all have been great readers. As a matter of fact, Steve Jobs had this special love for Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas. But, what is it that makes reading such an impactful activity to inspire great leaders?

Or, in other words — why should you inculcate this habit if you want to become a great leader? Well, here are some of the reasons –

Reading leads to learning

The one thing that’s common between all the powerful leaders is that they never stop learning. And, reading is a great way to learn new stuff. As a matter of fact, you cannot always spare time to join classes for learning something new. But, you can always spare a few hours every now and then to read a book on that topic and learn the basics.

That’s why great leaders are always found immersed in books whenever they have free time. After all, there’s a reason why they say “Books are always a man’s best friend”.

Reading inspires innovation

We cannot experience everything in life. That’s why it becomes imperative to learn from others. Great leaders have this proclivity towards books because they inspire them to learn from someone else’s experience. Books are a medium through which the writer has given shape to his/her dreams. Those dreams can lay the stepping stones of something innovative, which is hard to think of in an ideal world.

That’s where the seeds of innovation are sown. And, this is why great readers don’t leave an opportunity to read whenever they can.

Reading brings a new perspective to your thinking

A good leader has to be good with people, else he can never become a great one. Books help good leaders become great ones by inculcating a new thinking perspective. When you read a book, you are reading how a particular person thinks or perceives a particular situation. And, how he/she would react to it.

In a way, this helps you to break the mold of your personal thinking. It brings a new perspective that will help you to understand why a person reacts or behaves how he/she does in a situation.

And, this can be of great help to a leader. After all, a good leader must marshal his troops in such a way that everyone feels important.

Reading takes you away from everything

In the ideal world, it is impossible to go away from everything. But, sometimes you need to go into that world of fallacy to live your dreams and to inspire your creativity. Books are the perfect medium to achieve that. Books can be the perfect resource to take a break without having to even move out of your abode.

Apart from this, reading habit also increases concentration. You would have noticed that avid readers are usually found lost in their own world. With better concentration you can eventually return to work with better focus, and achieve more.

Reading is the best stress buster

No one can deny the fact that being a leader is a stressful job. You have to take decisions, work with multiple people and make sure that everything and everyone is in harmony. This stress of managing and handling so many things can take a heavy toll on the person himself. But, books can be the best stress buster for someone going through such situations. And, the best part is that you also get to learn something new with every book you read.

Great readers always keep a company of good books to read so that at the end of the day they could get rid of all the stress by reading.

Those were some of the habits that I’ve managed to add to my repertoire once I started reading more. And, it has helped me become a better leader and a better manager. If you also want to become better as a leader, and a person in general, then these tips can be of great help. Try them out, and see how well they work for you!

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Read the original article HERE

Mindfully Free of Wanting People to Be a Certain Way

By LEO BABAUTA

One of the biggest sources of difficulties for every single human being is the desire for people to be a certain way.

We can’t seem to help it: we want the world to be the way we want it. Unfortunately, reality always has different plans, and people behave in less-than-ideal ways.

The problem isn’t other people. It’s our ideals.

Yes, I think it would be great if people stopped killing animals for food and fashion, and became vegan instead. But that’s not the reality I’m faced with, and it’s not going to happen for quite some time, if ever.

Yes, I think it would be great if my kids behaved perfectly all the time, but that’s not the reality of kids. Or any human beings, for that matter.

Yes, it would be great if my wife always agreed with me, but that’s not going to happen.

So the problem is:

  • We have ideals about how people should act, or ways we’d like them to be.
  • People don’t act in those ideal ways, or aren’t the way we’d like them to be.
  • We get bothered by that reality. Frustrated, angry, sad, disappointed, stressed.
  • This makes us unhappy, and damages our relationships with others.

This is obviously not great.

We have a couple options:

  1. Stick rigidly to the way we want people to be, and be upset when they don’t meet those ideals.
  2. Stick rigidly to the way we want people to be, and try really hard to make them be that way. (This pretty much never works.)
  3. Let go of the ideals and be happier and less frustrated.

When we think about it this way, it’s obvious that option 3 is the best route. We’ll talk about this option soon, but let’s talk about a couple objections first.

Objections to Letting Go

When people are confronted with the idea of letting go of their ideals about other people, they usually have a few objections:

  • Objection: But then people get away with bad behavior. There’s a difference between wanting someone to behave a certain way (and getting upset when they don’t) … and accepting that a person is acting a certain way, and then compassionately finding an appropriate response. In the first case, you are angry at them for their behavior, and your response out of anger is likely to make things worse. In the second case, you aren’t bothered too much, but can see that their behavior is harmful and want to help them not harm. You can’t actually control them, but you can try to help. If you try to help but need them to accept your help, then it will be continued frustration. Help but let go of the ideal outcome you’d like from your offered help.
  • Objection: But what about abusive behavior? There’s a difference between being agonized about the abuse, and accepting that the person is abusive and taking appropriate action. Letting go of your ideals about how the abusive person should act doesn’t mean you let them abuse you. It just means you accept that they are an abuser, while taking the appropriate action of getting away from them, and reporting them or seeking help for them if it’s appropriate. Don’t leave yourself in a place where you’re being harmed, but that doesn’t mean you have to be afflicted by someone else’s actions.
  • Objection: But then we don’t make the world a better place. If people behave in less-than-ideal ways, you can agonize about it while trying to change them, or you can accept that the world is not ideal … but calmly and compassionately work to help others. In both cases, you’re trying to do good … but in the second case, you’re not agonizing about how things are.

So these objections are all about wanting to change people’s bad behavior. This article is about inner acceptance of “bad” behavior (or what I think of as “not ideal”) … but once you have inner acceptance, you can take appropriate external action. That might be helping, being compassionate, getting to safety, talking calmly and lovingly to someone, reporting abusive behavior, getting counseling, or many more appropriate actions that come from a place of love, compassion and understanding rather than frustration and anger.

Letting Go of Ideals

So how do you let go of wanting people to be a certain way?

First, reflect on how these ideals are harming you and others. This wanting your way, this wanting a specific version of reality … is making you frustrated, unhappy, angry. It’s harming your relationship. It’s likely making the other person unhappy as well. This is all caused by an attachment to expectations and ideals.

Next, reflect on wanting yourself and others to be happy. If the ideals and expectations are harming yourself and others … wouldn’t it be nice to stop harming yourself? Wouldn’t it be nice to be happy instead of frustrated? Think about the desire to have a better relationship with other people as well, and for them to be happier in their relationship with you. This is your intention, and it is one of love.

Third, notice the ideals and frustrations as they arise. See when someone else is frustrating you, and reflect on what ideal you’re holding for them. How do you want them to behave instead? Don’t get caught up in your story of why they should behave that way, but instead just take note of the ideal. See that this ideal is harming you. Decide that it’s not useful to you.

Also notice your mental pattern of resentment when someone doesn’t meet your expectations, and decide to try to catch it early. It’s a pattern you can be aware of and catch early, and decide to change your pattern.

Next, mindfully observe the tightness. Turn your attention to your body, the tightness that comes from holding on to this ideal. Pay attention to how it feels, the quality of the energy in your body, where it’s located, how it changes. In this moment of observing, you are awake, rather than being stuck in the daydream of your story about why this person should be behaving differently.

At this point, you can decide to try a different pattern.

A Different Way

So now, you can practice a different way of being.

Here are some ideas I’ve found useful:

  • Instead of fixing on one way this person (or situation) should be, be open to other possibilities. Open yourself to lots of different ways this person or situation can be.
  • Try to understand the person, rather than judging them based on limited information. Try to understand why they’d act this way — perhaps they are afraid. Perhaps they’re suffering in some way. Perhaps this is their strategy for protecting themselves.
  • Try to see the good-hearted nature of their actions, rather than one where they are a bad person. For example, you might see that they are tender-hearted and afraid, and so are acting out of fear. Or they just want to be happy, and this is their strategy for being happy. Or maybe they have good intentions and want to help, but are misguided. We all have a good heart deep down inside, but it might take several layers to see that. Anger can stem from jealousy which stems from insecurities and fear, which stems from a tender-hearted worry that we’re not good enough. The angry action isn’t justified, but there is still a good heart at the core.
  • See their suffering that causes their actions and know that you have suffered in the same way. Remember how that suffering feels, so you can see what they’re going through. Compassionately wish for an end to their suffering.
  • Tell yourself that you don’t know how people should act. Honestly, I don’t always know how I should act … I am fooling myself if I think I know how other people should act. Instead, I might be curious about their actions.
  • See the other person as a teacher. They are helping you practice mindfulness, and let go of your old patterns. They are teaching you about reality vs. ideals, about how humans act.
  • Relax. Seriously, see the tightness you’re holding, and just relax. Smile. Be happy in this present moment.
  • Practice see the goodness in the other person, in yourself, and in the present moment. There is always an underlying goodness in this moment, if you choose to notice. Trust in this goodness, and you’ll be afraid less and happier more.

These are some practices. Try them, practice them over and over. I think you’ll be happier for it, and every relationship will be better.

Read the original article HERE

How to Improve Your Self-Confidence at Work in 2017

By Anne Fisher

Dear Annie: Your recent column about how to go from an “ideas person” to “management material” really struck a nerve with me because, like that other reader, I was just passed over for a promotion too, for a somewhat different reason. My boss told me I don’t speak up enough, especially in team meetings where someone disagrees with me or starts picking apart an idea I’ve recommended. He said I need to “work on my self-confidence.” It’s true that I tend to back down if someone challenges me, because I don’t want the meeting to deteriorate into an argument. But I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be more confident. The question is, how? Any suggestions? —Wendy the Wallflower

Dear W.W.: Actually, yes. First, keep in mind that your reluctance to risk conflict with colleagues by sticking up for yourself is a particular hurdle for women, and that’s partly for good reason: Decades of research have shown that strong, assertive women are often perceived as less “likable,” and hence less likely to get ahead, than their male peers.

Even so, “there are plenty of people, and not just women, who lack the self-confidence to be comfortable speaking up in meetings,” observes Andy Molinsky. A professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University’s International Business School, Molinsky wrote a book forthcoming in January that you might want to check out.

Called Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence, it’s packed with real-life stories, based on Molinsky’s 15 years of research, about all kinds of people—from executives to actors to goat farmers—who conquered various anxieties that were holding them back. By analyzing exactly how they did it, Molinsky came up with a step-by-step system that he says will work for anyone who’s trying to get beyond his or her own comfort zone.

The starting point is what Molinsky calls the three Cs: clarity, conviction, and customization. Clarity has to do with the fact that your own perception of a situation may need some adjusting. For instance, hesitating to defend your ideas “often arises from not wanting to ‘turn the meeting into an argument,’ as you say, or be seen as a troublemaker,” Molinsky notes. “But is that really accurate? If you ask around, you’ll probably find that people you work with would respect you even more if you were more assertive. They may actually expect people to speak up and defend their ideas.” Obviously, your boss does.

The next step, conviction, is about the reasons why you want to be more self-confident—not just to get promoted, but to express your thoughts and describe your work in ways that will make the best use of your smarts and help the organization. Old habits are notoriously tough to break, and a foray out of one’s comfort zone isn’t quick or easy, so Molinsky suggests giving yourself lots of what psychologists call positive reinforcement: “Keep reminding yourself that building your self-confidence is worth doing, and why.”

One of Molinsky’s most fascinating findings, in Reach, has to do with the third step, customization. It turns out that people who seem effortlessly skillful at tasks many of us dread—public speaking, for instance, or delivering bad news to a team—usually started out disliking (and avoiding) these things just as much as the rest of us. The difference is, they’ve learned to make it look easy by customizing whatever the task is, so that they do it their own way.

You can, too. One approach that works: “Before a meeting where you think you may have to stand up for yourself, think of specific words and phrases you could use,” Molinsky suggests. “You could say, for example, ‘You’re making a good point, but here’s what we may be overlooking…’ The key is to practice asserting yourself in ways that don’t seem to you (emphasis his) likely to turn the meeting into an argument.”

This will take some practice. Molinsky recommends you try it out before the next big team meeting with a mentor or other trusted coworker. You can also give your ideas a test drive with small groups of colleagues in what he calls “pre-meetings“.

If you find yourself slipping back to your wallflower ways, be patient and keep trying. “Sometimes it really helps to remember that it’s not just you,” Molinsky notes. “Everyone struggles with having to move beyond his or her comfort zone at some time or other.” The effort, he adds, “usually creates a kind of positive spiral, where one small success leads to another, and then another. People are often surprised to find that making even a major change is not as hard as they thought it would be.” Here’s hoping that’s true for you, too.

Happy New Year!

Read the original article HERE

Why You Shouldn’t Bother Making New Year’s Resolutions

By Michael Hyatt

Why You Shouldn’t Bother Making New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions are as old as time, but that doesn’t mean they’re very effective. It only takes a day or two into January before the #resolutionfail hashtag starts trending on social media.

Roughly 200 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions at least some of the time, according to research by the University of Scranton. But the same research says most of us are wildly unsuccessful.

Many of us only stick it out a while. A quarter bomb in the first week. A third don’t make it past the first month. Fewer than half are still plugging away after six months. Only 8 percent of us are actually successful.

More Than Numbers

Some industries count on our failure. Fitness centers, for instance, sell year-long contracts knowing most of us won’t actually show up. Their business model depends on most members getting distracted, overwhelmed, or uninterested after a few visits.

But this is about much more than numbers. It’s about people’s dreams. Here were the top 10 resolutions people set in 2015, according to the Scranton research:

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Learn something exciting
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others in their dreams
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with familyOur resolutions concern our health, wealth, relationships, and personal development. In other words, they’re about the things that matter most to us.

    I’m sure you have your own personal stories of starting the New Year strong only to get busy, fall behind, and eventually lose motivation.

    It’s happened to me. And it’s exactly why I don’t bother making New Year’s resolutions anymore—at least not the usual kind. When I think of my health, my family, my spiritual life, my business, I know for certain: Some dreams are just too important to entrust to a faulty system.

    Resolutions That Actually Stick

    Instead, I utilize a proven goal-setting process that incorporates safeguards for many of the pitfalls and failings of typical resolutions. It’s taken me years to develop this process, and I’ve seen it work not only in my own life, but also in the lives of countless people with whom I’ve shared it.

    Some people will say that the best way to make our resolutions stick is to only pick one or two for the year. But that’s leaving too much on the table for me—and probably a lot of you too.

    We’re talking about the things that matter most, right? Why leave so many things undone and miss so many opportunities to grow? Instead of cutting back, we just need to use a system that actually works.

    An effective goal-setting system must factor at least five dimensions of goal-attainment:

    Past experience. Dragging the worst of the past into the best of the future is another reason our resolutions fail. If we get closure on the past, especially those efforts that went unregarded or unrewarded, we’re able to more confidently step into the future. The trick is to get honest about

    Life’s too short for typical New Year’s resolutions almost guaranteed to fail. The good news is that you can shortcut the hard knocks, stop counting on luck, and finally succeed.

    I designed my 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever course to address these five dimensions of goal-attainment. I only open registration once a year for a brief window. It’s almost closed for 2016. If you’re tired of missing your resolutions, now’s the time to act.

    Question: What would your life look like twelve months from now if you reached your most important goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Most vs. Enough

By Seth Godin

Most vs. Enough

Click here to view original web page at sethgodin.typepad.com

It’s easy to be confused about the difference.

“Most” as in the best, the fastest, the cheapest.

“Enough” as in good enough. And that means just what it sounds like.

If you run an ambulance company, you need to be the fastest at response. (The “most quick”). Anything else is a reason for potential users to switch.

On the other hand, if you’re delivering flowers, ‘fast enough’ is plenty fast.

Everyone competes on something. That thing you compete on is your most. The other things you do, those need to be enough.

The two mistakes organizations and freelancers make:

  1. They try for ‘most’ at things where ‘enough’ is just fine, and they waste their effort.
  2. They settle for ‘enough’ when the market is looking for the one with the ‘most’.The only way to maximize your most is to be really clear where your enough is.