Avoiding Dangerous Assumptions

When your elevator arrives, you step forward and walk in.

Here’s a young mother who pushed her baby stroller in when the elevator doors opened.  And although elevators are statistically very safe, it was an assumption that caused the accident.

In life, we assume things that are not fact.

A fact is something that can be observed and verified.

Most people are very smart whether or not they have a formal education.

Where it goes wrong is our propensity for assuming something is true when it is not a fact.

Lots of friendships breakup as a result of assumptions made.

Dreams are broken before they start when they are based on accepting something as true when it has not been proven.

If you’re working on yourself – one good place to increase your effectiveness and happiness is to remind yourself to frequently ask this question:

“Am I making an assumption or do I have proof”?

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How to Make a Great New Friend

Remember that feeling in grade, middle or high school?

The feeling of being excluded – left out.

It would be nice if children outgrew excluding others when they became adults.

SnapChat allows young people to create their own groups and only include the invited – a step stronger than simply having people “friend” you.

You can’t do anything about other people’s behavior but while they are out excluding people, you can be making great friends by being inclusionary.

Be thoughtful enough to make sure everyone is included in the event.

It’s shocking how many companies fail to invite people who sit outside their doors to be part of teams.  Invite them in.

Reach out to those left out.

Before this day ends, include someone in an activity or a simple conversation and watch how making them feel wanted will make you feel better.

Only weak people exclude others.

Strength of character comes from standing up for and alongside people who bring diversity to our lives.

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Pushing Back Against Digital Addiction

Add digital addiction to the other addictions that ruin people’s lives.

There are rehab programs popping up as the need increases and some psychologist specialize in treating the anxiety that results from being connected too much.

Yet, just like the excuse “I can handle one drink”, formerly happy people are finding themselves deeper and deeper in 24/7 stress by not recognizing their real limits.

  1. Limit your connectivity to specific times and durations.

  2. Come to understand that scrolling through a Facebook or Instagram feed is a “black hole” to be avoided or at the very least, limited. Set a stopwatch on your phone with how long you will stay involved in social media.

  3. Don’t check back so frequently.  You won’t miss anything more important than what is happening in the present.

  4. I have 2 screens on my iPhone for things like my Uber app, weather, etc.  Everything else is in folders titled “games”, “social media”, “podcasts”, “news”, etc.  Anything in a folder gets a time limit and every app on screen one and two is a short-term distraction.

  5. Spend as much time on the phone (speaking and listening) or in-person as you spend on your phone.

Digital addiction can be avoided, but first you have to admit that there is a problem.

52% of Millennials have digital addiction so they may be among the first to step up.

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When People Let You Down

The captain is not the last person to go down with the ship.

We know this from forensic evidence of vessels that have sunk.

In fact, the captain is among the first to abandon ship preceded only by the crew.

Unlike passengers the crew is trained on how to survive at sea.

Yes, the women were left to save themselves only followed by – believe it or not – the children.

This does not mean that everyone jumps overboard. There are occasional tales of heroic and selfless actions that have saved others at the expense of their own lives.

No matter how much you trust others whether earned or imagined, always be prepared in life to depend on yourself.

Not the person who promises a promotion.

Or the friend who insists they will be there for you no matter what.

If you’re that fortunate, be grateful.

Otherwise prepare every day by learning to count on the most dependable person you know – you.

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What NOT to Do at a Meeting

Students learn less when they use a laptop or tablet to take notes in class and presentations.

And their grades are worse than those who do not use these note taking aids.

They distract users from receiving the message and distract those around them.

This spells trouble in corporate meeting rooms and at presentations where digital devices are standard equipment.

The people who look like they are trying to absorb the most from the content presentation are actually hurting themselves.

In random tests at Princeton and UCLA, students who used pen and paper outperformed the digital note takers.

Some professors discourage or outright ban the use of laptops and tablets because smartphones can take pictures of handwritten notes that can be stored later on a student’s computer.

The point is – access to information and ease of absorbing such information is turning about to be secondary to focusing on the content in real time and thinking about it.

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