The Benefits of Not Enough Time

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay says 30 is not the new 20.

And that 80% of life’s most defining moments happen by our mid-30’s.

The first ten years of a career, which usually begins in earnest during our 20’s has exponential impact on earning power – that’s how important that decade is.

The brain rewires itself for adulthood in the 20’s so as Dr. Jay says if you want to change it, that’s the time.

Our personalities change in our 20’s more than any other time of life.

Today, postponing this important ten-year progression is validated by society.  We’re making a mistake by telling 20-somethings that they have an “extra” ten years yet to accomplish the important things that usually begin in their 20’s.

But this applies to all age groups.

There is always tomorrow. 

We’re living longer.

We can multitask and cram everything in life in.

But it’s actually the opposite.

Whether true or not, the secret is to live as if today is the last day we have.  That feeds the urgency necessary to live life to the fullest and keep growing at any age.

“To achieve great things, you need a plan and not enough time” – Leonard Bernstein

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Fear Thought and Forethought

The difference between fear thought and forethought is that fear thought is the negative thinking that makes life worse for all of us and forethought is the positive way to realistically look ahead to deal with problems.  

Sometimes just knowing the difference makes all the difference.

When we fear the future, we get what we fear even though 99% of what we fear will never happen.

When we plan for the future, we are actively dealing with potential problems.

Fear thought paralyzes us.

Forethought empowers us.

Never spend a moment fearing the future because the odds are in your favor that your fears will never be realized although you may make yourself sick and unhappy.

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Risks

When I taught generational media at the University of Southern California, I used to share thoughts about life to my students in the final minutes of class.

Last week, one of my students posted it on Facebook for all her friends to see.  It was an inspirational passage about the freeing benefits of taking risks and I’d like to share it with you today:

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach for another is to risk involvement.

To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying.

To believe is to risk despair.

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.”

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How to Persuade

The more a salesperson sells me, the more I don’t want to buy. 

The more someone tries to win me to their way of thinking, the more resistant I become.

And we’re being sold something constantly through advertising, popup ads, search, billboards and those around us.

So here is the secret to getting someone to listen to you.

Listen to them.

The sales guru Tom Hopkins is known for teaching a technique where a “champion” salesperson gathers information and looks for validation before asking for the sale.

“Would you like it in red?”

“Yes”

“I’ll make a note of it”

Listening and not talking is the key to getting people to opt in on what you have to say, or what you think.

Listening is so hard.  It seems to be against everything we’re taught in life.  To pursue what we want and do it vigorously.

Ironically, the secret to influencing others is to be skilled at sincerely listening to them.

Here are 6 ways to persuade and influence others from Steve Bressert, PhD:

1. People are more willing to comply with requests (for favors, services, information, and concessions) from those who have provided such things first.

2. People are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing or recently-made commitment which is why when shopping for a car you are asked “What qualities are you looking for?” in a car.

3. People are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations of someone they view as an authority.

4. People are more willing to take a recommended step if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others are taking or buying or using it.

5. People find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that they are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability.

6. People prefer to say yes to those they know and like.

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

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Dream On

Millennials – the 80 million or so people who are coming of age in Gen Y – have many admirable characteristics not the least of which is pursuing their dreams.

We’re never too young or too old to chase our passions in life.

There is no total number of dreams we are allowed.  Everything counts – home, work, relationships, friends, causes.  We can have more than one at a time.

Dreaming is not easily outsourced to another, it must come from within.  No one can have your dream of the future exactly the way you want it and no one other than ourselves should be asked to be responsible for it.

People who discourage should be avoided because the guaranteed best way to dash your dreams is to allow someone else to tell you what isn’t possible.

Is there a dream that you want to pursue?  If so, it will not find you.  You will have to find it.

Try this.

Name 5 dreams you have for yourself.  Think big – the bigger the better but they don’t have to be earthshattering.

Think “can” instead of “can’t”.

Start today and never look back until you fulfill your dreams.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.

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