Admitting Mistakes

I love the wisdom of Dale Carnegie who said it best when he wrote, “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically”.

For some reason human beings always want to be right but no one hits 1.000 in that department.

Admitting mistakes has even more value today than ever before because the emerging Millennial generation of which there are 80 million people coming of age puts a high value on authenticity.

The unbelievable hype of the Mad Men generation is no longer believed.

We want to know people who are real and who admit that they aren’t perfect.  In fact, the imperfections make our advantages look even more impressive.

So the worst thing we can do is to live like it’s 1999. 

Try for perfection.

Accept our best efforts.

And when we’re wrong, don’t waste an opportunity to be real and authentic.

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Be Your Own Best Friend

True friends are hard to come by.

We aggregate them on Facebook and gather them in our social circles but if we can count one true friend in our lifetime, we are extremely lucky.  Now, I’m not saying that the warmth and friendship of acquaintances is not valuable and rewarding.

I think you know what I mean.

We often overlook being our own best friend – the person who is always there for us, who never lets us down, who always tells us the truth.  Melody Beattie said, “If you want to meet the right person, you have to be the right person”.

And that applies to warm and close friendships.

So if we want to enrich our own lives, become your own best friend.

Some starting steps:

  1. Laugh, dream, make plans.
  2. Be positive and put a stop/loss on negative thoughts.  We can’t be our own best friend if we say negatives things about ourselves.
  3. Instill in ourselves, the kind of qualities we would look for in a best friend.
  4. Constantly move toward what we want to achieve – our dreams make us focus on that which is important.

“Stop looking out, start looking in, be your own best friend” – Van Halen

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That Little Voice Inside

Everyone has intuition.  Everyone.

Some of us don’t listen to our intuition because we may not like what we are thinking or we don’t have the confidence to believe it.

Intuition is that little voice inside that is never wrong when we allow ourselves to believe it.

When things work out well, few people say, “I heard a little voice inside my head”.  We usually refer to that little voice inside when we didn’t listen to it.

Nothing is more important than to consult with our own common sense before we make decisions.  And the more we do so, the more we build the confidence to hear even bad news from that little voice.

“I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us…if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do” – Christopher Reeve

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The Most Valuable IOU

The human condition is that every time we do something wrong, we make a mental note of it.

And if we forget, there is always someone there to remind us.

The most valuable IOU has nothing to do with money or possessions; this one is issued for doing something right – something successful.

For trying and not giving up.

For a good idea or accomplishment.

Why is making an IOU to yourself (in writing, on your smartphone or in your mind) so valuable?

Because you can use them as needed the next time you take on a challenging task, hit a rough spot in life or feel like life is getting out of control.

I do this all the time.  Even a small success needs to be remembered for future use.  It’s a self-perpetuating motivational tool that always pays dividends.

“Self-suggestion makes you master of yourself” — W. Clement Stone

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Listen To The Other Side of Silence

Ever use the phrase, “I hear you”?

Take it to the next level.

Listen to what others are not saying.  The thing you didn’t hear.

Often people say what others want to hear or what is appropriate at the time.  Sometimes, we don’t feel comfortable sharing things that turn out to be critical to be properly understood.

That’s why the little known communication skill we should acquire is to listen to the other side of silence.

Try it today.

First listen (and that can be a major breakthrough because when we think about communication between individuals we often think of speaking not listening).

Then, look for the possibilities that the other person is not articulating.

If someone tells you that they are fed up with their girlfriend, boyfriend or mate, listen for what’s not being said (i.e., “I’m scared to leave and start over”).

If you hear, “I can’t stand this job” you might listen for what may not be said which could be “I have lost my confidence to do the job”.

And even if someone close to you says, “We never agree on anything anymore” listen for what may be hiding in the statement (i.e., “You don’t listen to me”).

“One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people” – John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

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