Thursday, February 3, 2011

"An Effective Trick To Help You Not Take Things Personally!" [Reflections Of A Middle-Aged Man]

I think it would be fair to say that we all have a tendency to take things personally. It's just that some of us have a greater tendency than others to do so. And, when it happens, some of us are better able to deal with it within ourselves than others.

Taking things personally is never healthy in any relationship: employer-employee, friend-friend, husband-wife, partner-partner, parent-child, . . . for a number of reasons. One main such reason is that, if you do take things personally, then your feelings will continually be at the mercy of others - whether they attacked you personally or not. That is never healthy in a relationship, and it is no way to live!

If you are someone who tends to take things people say or do personally, then I want to share with you a little trick I have found that really helps. It involves understanding why people sometimes do what they do and seeing that often what they do has nothing to do with us and that, therefore, there is no need to take it personally. I will share this trick through 2 relationship principles.

Relationship Principle 1: People sometimes are selfish. This principle may sound cynical but bear with me.

I think that it is an undeniable fact that we all have selfish tendencies. However, some of us are more selfish than others. And some of us can become selfish given the right circumstances.

By understanding and accepting that people sometimes are selfish, then we understand that sometimes people:

- will think only in terms of what is best for them,
- will see things only from their own point of view,
- will want to be right about everything,
- will want to have things their way all the time,
- will not think about how what they do affects others,
- and so on . . .

Consequently, sometimes people will do what they do simply because they are motivated by selfishness! And if they are motivated by selfishness, then there is no reason why we should take personally things they do and say as their actions had nothing to do with us. In fact, you could say that their actions has shown you just how selfish they are.

For example, if someone cuts you when you are driving, don't take it personally. Just tell yourself, "this person has just shown me how selfish s/he is by cutting me off . . . it is nothing personal!"

Relationship Principle 2: People always have a reason for doing what they do. This principle is one that I learnt about people some time ago.

This principle does not mean that people are always right about what they do. Nor does it mean that they should always be excused for their action. It also does not mean that they themselves always know why they did what they did. But there is nevertheless always a reason!

Here are some reasons that I can think of that would cause people to do what they sometimes do (perhaps you can think of others):

- past unmet needs,
- current needs,
- current wants,
- past unresolved issues or conflicts,
- past hurts,
- current fears,
- current hang ups,
- ulterior motives or hidden agenda,
- current insecurities,
- past decisions,
- ego issues,
- personality disorders such as: narcistic tendencies, ADD, ADHD, lack of empathy, . . .
- and so on . . .

Consequently, sometimes people will do what they do simply because they are motivated by who they are and the "baggage" they carry! And if they are motivated by such things, then there is no reason why we should take personally things they do and say. In fact, you could say that their actions has shown you that they behave as they do because they "have issues". Again, nothing to do with us and therefore nothing personal!

For example, I know a 12-yearl old boy who once told his step-mother "I love you" only to be given the reply "Yeah, well you have a funny way of showing it!" Needless to say the boy was deeply hurt by the reply (and understandably so). The way to help that boy is to help him understand that, even though the step-mother's comment sounded like a personal attack on him, the reply really reveals who the step-mother is as a person and that it was nothing personal.

In conclusion, the trick to not taking personally things people say and do is to understand and accept that sometimes people are selfish and/or they "have issues", and that their behaviour often has nothing to do with us. You can even turn things around and say that their behaviour betrays who they really are. This will help you shift the focus from you (which is partly why you take things personally) and place it on them (which will help you not take things personally).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An Ultimate Lifestyle Secret - The Power Of Self Confidence

Self confidence is not something that holds me back, in fact I really appreciate the level of confidence I enjoy and feel that I can make the choices and decisions I want without a feeling of concern or over riding fear. That is not to say that I am always successful, but I realize that even by trying I am moving closer to a higher level of confidence.

I did not always have a high level of self confidence. When I was younger, I had a lot of self confidence in my ability to do well in football and track, but my confidence in my ability to deal with life’s challenges was quite low. This was probably caused by a fear of not measuring up to my parent’s expectations and a little bit of social shyness. However, as I got older, I realized that my parents only wanted me to be healthy and to try my best at everything I did. As a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I had a lot of social interaction with people from all walks of life and I lost most of my shyness. My job also required that I respond to all different kinds of situations. The more success I had, the more my self confidence rose.

Self confidence or confidence in yourself means that you know that you can do whatever task you are faced with. This does not mean that you have to do every task by yourself. It means that the ones you know you can do by yourself you do and the ones where you need help you know how to find it. Confidence is a learned trait, not something you are born with. It is the force which pushes you forward and allows you to find the right path amidst the confusion and chaos of life. Confidence is the necessity you must have to assist you in realizing your dreams and goals.

We all have the power of self confidence within us. Sadly many leave it unused for long periods of time while others use it sparingly like a miser. Forget about past worries and build the power of self confidence within you. Since you can’t change the mistakes of the past, don’t let them spoil the present or dim the future.

The first thing that you must practice is “don't hate yourself” before deciding to practice self confidence. It is very difficult to become self confident if you do not like yourself. Remember, just like everyone else, you were born into this world for a specific reason. Think about the things that you are good at doing. Work at becoming better at them. Don’t worry about the things that you are not very good at. As a very successful person I was talking to recently said, “Why spend your limited time here on earth working on things you are not good at. Instead perfect the things you are good at and hire someone to do the things you are not good at.”

Mediocrity and poor performance are often due to low self confidence but it is not something you have to live with. You can build your self confidence by challenging yourself to take action and do something. Even though you feel as if you lack confidence, it doesn't mean other people can tell. Building good self confidence is a wonderful thing, and it's much easier than you'd imagine. One of the easiest ways of building self confidence is to “take baby steps.” What I mean by this is to set small goals or projects that you have to complete. Each time you do one in the time you have set for yourself, you will build your self confidence. The accumulation of small “victories” will convince your subconscious mind that you can do what you set out to do. It will then convince your conscious mind that you have a lot of capabilities and your self confidence will grow. If you continue to do this over a period of months, you will find that your self confidence becomes greatly improved. With improved self confidence you can take on bigger projects and goals and as these are completed your self confidence will grow by leaps and bounds.

So what other techniques are available to anyone wishing to develop more self confidence? It should be no surprise to you when I tell you that the single most influential person on your self confidence is you, or more specifically, your mind. This probably sounds very basic but are you using your own thoughts to reenforce your self confidence and self esteem? Talk positively to yourself all the time. Become your own best friend and supporter. Encourage yourself to do more. Congratulate yourself on every small or large victory. Remember that very few people are successful the first time they try to do something. You didn’t ride a bike the first time you tried. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb on his first attempt either. It took him more than 10,000 attempts before he made the first successful light bulb and it only lasted a few minutes. The biggest thing to remember is that you are never defeated in doing anything you want to do until you quit. Donald Trump, during a recent interview, stated that he was richer than most people because he failed more times than most. However, in his case, he learned from his mistakes and tried again. Why? Because he was confident that he could do what he wanted to do if he just continued trying. You are no different from Donald Trump. Do what he did. Just keep trying until you succeed. When you do, your self confidence will soar and you will realize that you can do anything you want to as long as you continue trying.

Another technique is to watch other people. When you see someone that stands upright and moves with a sense of purpose watch to see if they give you the impression that they have a lot of confidence. If they do, duplicate the physical characteristics of these confident people and you will start to gain the confidence they display.

One thing that you must ensure that you do not do is listen to people who talk down to you or try to tell you that you cannot do something. Usually these people can’t do these things themselves, so they try to convince others that they can’t do them either. If something like this keeps happening to you, tune these people out and stop associating with them. Your inner confidence needs to be liberated from this constant barrage of negative thoughts and statements from the dream stealers around you. Your limitations are in your mind, not in your reality.

Here are some tips for everyday practice. If you want to develop and build confidence, associate with positive uplifting people. Good people around you will help you build self confidence. If you want to build up your confidence, do something new every day. Each of these small acts will add to your confidence and also make your life more enjoyable. The most sacred thing in life is self confidence because it is the secret of all miracles. When you have confidence in yourself, you arouse everything that is stronger, greater and superior in you. In consequence, the more confidence you have in yourself, the more you will attain and accomplish. A person who knows the power of self confidence walks a path of inner growth and achievement. With self confidence a person of mediocre ability can achieve more in life than those with exceptional talents and little self confidence.

Supreme self confidence is a birth right for every person so isn’t it about time you claimed yours?

Friday, January 28, 2011

“11 Great Reasons why Smiling makes us More Successful!”

First: Our smile shows others people that we are friendly.
If a stranger approached you and gained eye contact with you and then treated you to a broad smile you will have a fairly good idea that they are being friendly and certainly mean you no harm.

By contrast we would find it far more difficult to offer trust to the stranger that wears a scowl or unfriendly face features.

Second: A smile can make people happy.
When someone treats you to a smile, even a stranger, you usually smile back.  For that moment you enjoy a flash of positive communication without saying a word. As you walk through a crowed area such as a main street you can do this hundreds times in a very short period of time. 

When you smile at someone who is not already smiling and they smile back you have brought a moment of happiness into their lives which, who knows, could last all day.

Third: Smiling is infectious.
When you spend a lot in the company of someone who smiles a lot you will soon discover that their smile starts to wear off on you.  It is hard not to return a smile; most of us do it at a subliminal level without thinking.

Fourth: Smiling can make you popular.
Which type of people do you prefer? A person that has a tired and listless face. An expression that may reflect their inner thoughts of boredom and worry? Or, would you prefer someone who is always smiling and shows that they have an enthusiastic passion for life.

I think for the majority of us the choice would be obvious!

Fifth: Smiling can help you to make new friends
In the same way few of us would choice a miserable person for a friend. Lets face it we all want someone who is going to be bubbly and a happy and positive. 

Sixth: A smile is usually returned
When someone smiles back at you it make you feel good inside. You have just made a short but very positive communication and possibly the first step in the process of getting to know or making friends with someone new.

Seventh: Smiling makes you positive and happy inside.
When you smile it is hard to feel unhappy, negative or sad in anyway. Smiling gives you enthusiasm and drive, it is also habit forming.

Eight: A smile makes you look far more attractive.
You don’t see many celebrities or media personalities that are not smiling because if you did it is fairly certain that their popularity would quickly start to drop!

Ninth: Smiling also helps make you memorable to others!
Have you noticed that smiling people are usually far more memorable than those that are not? It is fact that you are 3 time more likely to remember the person that is smiling over the one that is wearing a negative or neutral features.

Tenth: Most importantly, smiling is good for your health!!!
When you are smiling you find whatever you are doing far easier. It releases stress, worry and tension that you may have built up throughout the day. Long term, developing the smiling habit will be one of the smartest things that you can do to improve most aspects of your life.

Eleventh: The effects of smiling can last for hours
Whatever problems and challenges you have in your life, smiling temporary puts them and hold.  For a while you forget the problems and become positive, and while you are in a positive state you have far more potential and power to advance and improve your life.

Lastly: Smiling is FREE!
You are never going to run short of smiles and will always have enough to go around.  When you weigh up the positive points of smiling it is a no brainer decision to do far more smiling and share them with as many people as possible.

Keep smiling.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

“7 Surprisingly Quick And Easy Ways To Feel Happier”

All of us have days when we're out of sorts. You just wish you were in a better mood.  You've had days like that, haven't you? Perhaps you tried to get yourself into a better state of mind but struggled to achieve it.

Sometimes we get stuck in our own emotional dumps and forget how easy it is to feel happier, so here are seven simple ways to lift your mood. Many people have found them useful. Some of them may surprise you!

1. Go for a walk.

Most people know that going for a short daily walk is one of the best forms of exercise. When you are feeling down it is even more beneficial. If you can, go into a natural environment with plants and birds. Can you think of such a setting not? What do you notice first? The different shades of greenery, the fresh  smell of country air, the sounds of birds, or the sunlight shining through the trees? Make it real by taking a short stroll.

2. Listen to quality music.

Music can shift a listener's state within moments. It's effect can be nearly magical. Dig out that CD you haven't listened to in ages or tune in your radio to something you've never listened to before.

3. Open yourself to discovering something new.

Read something (printed, not on line) different than what you would normally watch. There are a ton of different types of magazines can you get these days. Visit your local library or browse through a magazine rack.  Pick up or buy a magazine you wouldn't normally buy. You may discover something wonderful.

4. Find something to laugh at.

Laughter is one of the best ways to lift your spirits. Find a humorous book, or watch a comedy. Even better, try to learn a few new jokes and tell them to others. 

5. Simple breathing meditation.

Breathing meditation is a great exercise that you can do anywhere.  Simply allow yourself to sit comfortably with your back straight. Now close your eyes and become aware of the flow of air into and out of your nostrils. That's all there is to it. Do this for 10-15 minutes. Notice how pleasantly surprised you can be at how you feel afterward.

6. Doodling for the fun of it.

Most people can remember when they were young and used to doodle for hours. Kids love drawing silly little pictures. Drawing is not just for kids or artists.  Whoever you are get some pens, pencils, crayons or whatever you have and just draw for the fun of it. Notice how your state of mind shifts.

7. Think of others less fortunate.

The fact that you are reading this article suggests that you are probably much better off than most people on this planet. At times this may be hard to believe, but if you can read and have access to the internet, just those two things alone means you are better off than most people in the world.  There are many human beings that barely have access to the basics of survival. There are people in lots of pain. Allow your compassion for them to grow.

These are all pretty simple. There's nothing profound or life changing, but when all you need is a quick pick me up these may be just the thing you need. Putting simple ideas, methods, tools and techniques into action will help you achieve change more quick and easily--surprisingly so at time-- than you imagine.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Simple Techniques To Initiate Stress And Anxiety Relief At Work

Ricky Gervais and the BBC's stunningly successful sit-com "The Office" has been a huge hit around the world spawning countless spin off's and remakes.

The fact is that the comic situation transfers across cultural barriers. The exact idioms of the language may alter but essentially we see people in the show that we relate to in our own workplace - sometimes we even see ourselves.

The people are not the only aspect of the show tat transfers, so do the situations the characters find themselves in. Do these two quotes from The Office strike a chord?

Jim Halpert: Because right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train.

Michael Scott: This is our receptionist, Pam. If you think she's cute now, you should have seen her a couple years ago.

These lines may be funny yet they point to something basic and fundamental pertaining to the work place: stress and more specifically work related stress.

The UK Health and Safety at Work Executive (HSE); the UK government's Work related health and safety body define work related stress as: “the adverse reaction a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them."

A certain degree of stress is healthy, t keeps us on our toes and drives us to achieve. In essence stress will cause us to lead more fulfilling lives. The difficulty is here however, is how do we create a healthy balance of stress because too much stress and anxiety is certainly harmful to your health and well-being? What techniques can we apply to encourage stress and anxiety relief in our lives? Stay with me for a short while and we'll look at 10 simple ideas to initiate stress and anxiety relief at work.

Tune Into Your Body

A simple idea it may be, but one that is the key to unlocking the box to the other stress and anxiety relief techniques that we shall examine. Be aware of the degree of stress that you're experiencing at any one moment in time. First of all you need to know when your stress levels are rising.

Measure your stress level on a scale of 1-10. While you're at home find a time when you are alone and when you can lie down with your eyes closed. Put on your favourite music for relaxing or just sit in silence, whatever works best for you. Just let your mind wander and do not seek to hold your thoughts, no matter how fleeting. After 10 minutes or so you should be aware of level zero stress.

this is the gauge for measuring all other stress levels. During the day check into the scale and not the level of tension that you're feeling: are your shoulders hunched and tense; how does your gut feel, is it tight and churning; is your jaw clenched?

Take time to move

Movement is a great way to reduce stress levels. Just by getting out of your seat and moving around you will find that you will feel a measure of stress and anxiety relief. A brisk walk during your lunch break and a short jogging session at the end of the day will reduce tension. Generally aim to keep fit anyway.

Take time for deep breathing

Simply breaths deeply, inhaling through the nostrils, after holding the breath for a count of three exhale slowly through the mouth.

Take time to use your minds power of imagery

This is another great way to bring stress and anxiety relief into the workplace. Just take a moment or two to imagine that yo are somewhere else. Hear the sound of the sea, create the vivid colours of the sky in your mind, soar of to your favourite place and do not wait for that distant vacation; go there today. The more vivid the images the better this stress and anxiety relief technique will work.

Take time to challenge your irrational thoughts

Be aware of you inner voice and the messages that it is sending to you. Often these thoughts are based on previous mind conditioning and the thoughts will be harmful and create unnecessary levels of stress. For example if you are under pressure to get something done by a particular time you may find yourself thinking" I must get this done or else I'm fired and I'll need to find another job!" This is probably not the case and if it is then you're probably better looking for another job anyway.

Take time to plan work into smaller manageable tasks

A large taks can be overwhelming and may need to be broken down into simpler easier to complete jobs. We meet more step by step targets this way and feel agreater sense of achievment after each step is finished. Give yourselfa reward for completing the smaller taks and do not wait for the final task before you give yourself a pat on the back.

Take time to reduce cafine intake

Have you ever seen a two-year old completely wired after chomping through a few cookies or drinking cola? Well that’s exactly what happens to all of us when we take in too much sugar or caffeine. However, unlike the nipper at home we can’t very well run around the office making airplane noises, we just carry the excess stress.

Take time to have a play break

Some professionals keep “squish” balls, or stress balls, in their work space a simple squeeze is all that is needed for rapid relief of stress and anxiety. Other people take a few minutes to play a game at They’re quick (less than five minutes), easy to play, and many don’t require a download.

Take time to Blow Off Steam - but fairly

don't think that you can't vent a little, but just remember words spoken in anger can haunt you for a long time if they’re read or overheard by the wrong person. Don’t put anything in email you don’t want the whole office to see.

take time to understand that a little stress is worthwhile

Finally, remember that it’s natural to feel stress when you leave your comfort zone. Some stress must be endured as you expand your horizons, learn new tasks and earn new responsibilities. That kind of stress may not be much fun, but in the long run, it’s worth it!