Looking For Approval

Don’t look for the approval of people you don’t respect.

Yet that’s what we do – and we do it subconsciously.

Start by being the first one to show approval of your plan, your idea, your life and all that represents the person you really are.

Trying too hard to win the approval of others (including family members), is the first sign that you’re going to wind up feeling badly about yourself.

Only the people who have clearly and consistently won your respect get your ear.

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Recovering from a Setback

Stage one – devastation.

Loss of confidence.  Often surprise.  Inability to comprehend why things went wrong.  Dejection.

Stage two – blaming yourself.

What did I do wrong (not what did others do or how did circumstances affect my fate).  Fear of trying again.  Deeper loss of self-esteem and an inability to come up with a plan to persevere.

But that doesn’t have to be the end of it.

Start reminding yourself successful people usually overcome adversity. 

Learn from the situation and be specific.

Never blame yourself – denigrating you is not a winning formula to move ahead.

Be extra kind to yourself – setbacks hurt, we’re human, but being nice rather than overly critical can heal a lot of hurt.

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The Secret to Being Liked

The hotel worker who cradled Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s head in the kitchen where he was assassinated in 1968 remembers the quality Kennedy had that made him like the senator.

Juan Romero delivered room service a day earlier and remembers how Kennedy looked right into his eyes and made him feel important.

It won’t be difficult to find people who believe you make them feel important in a world distracted by digital devices and self-absorption.

Feeling important is one of the best feelings we can have (or give).

It makes us special – no other words are necessary.

Just focus, gaze and sincerity.

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Avoiding Disappointment

On Instagram or Facebook someone is having a better vacation than we had.

Or is wearing more stylish clothes.

More friends on social media even if they don’t know them all.

A new job gets a big announcement and plenty of congrats.

Seems things are perfect in cyberspace.

Even when we consciously try not to have high expectations, when it is a tap away on the phone, it is easy to be a bit envious and disappointed.

Disconnect from time to time.

And repeat this mantra:

Keep your expectations low and your motivation high to avoid the ups and downs that are so prevalent in the digital world.

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Exceeding Expectations

I was at Philadelphia International Airport a week ago when my printed ticket would not authorize me to go through TSA Pre.

The TSA agent didn’t just show me where the kiosk was for printing a new one but she took me to the kiosk, leaving her post, inputting my ticket number and printing a new ticket.  She then proceeded to walk me back through the line to her station.

I would have been happy with instructions but it made my day to see her personally intervene and take such a person-centered interest.

Philly’s airport reputation just got a reassessment.

All TSA agents are rude and cranky – not this one.

By doing more than I expected, I was not only happy and grateful but it made my day.

The secret in a self-absorbed world is to exceed expectations.

At work.

At home.

With friends.

This is real positive power available to anyone looking to be remarkable starting now.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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