Being More Positive

The brain reacts more from negative thoughts than positive.

We learn faster from pain than pleasure.

When burned, we back off and avoid.

Painful experiences are more memorable than pleasurable ones.

We work harder at trying not to lose something than to gain the same things.

These are observations from Rick Hanson’s book Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.

The message is we must work harder to enjoy the benefits of being positive but most often spend too much time reacting to the anxiety caused by negative thoughts and actions.

Retrain your brain to hear you say the positive things that happen to you.

You may have to think hard because we tend to easily remember what’s wrong and have a more difficult time recalling what is right.

Take these positive thoughts and dwell on them for just a few minutes – or many times during a day.

There is clinical evidence that we can reprogram how we think by actively recalling the positives in life and not just feeling overwhelmed by the negative.

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Preventing Cell Phone Addiction

47% of parents say they are worried that their children are addicted to cell phones (source: Common Sense Media).

But only 32% say they are addicted.

Phone addiction is becoming such a problem that Apple, Google and Facebook are being pressured to come up with solutions to help young people become less addicted.

The fear of missing out on something is great with a cell phone in hand.

Being left out of social media conversations is a powerful motivation to stay connected.

Cell Phone New Rules:

  1. Divide your apps into ones you check vs. the black hole apps of social media.
  2. The first two screens have Uber, Lyft, Open Table – things that are useful and not time consuming.
  3. Put time wasting social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter in a social media folder on the third screen.  When you go there, be cognizant of the time you are using so that you don’t keep scrolling and clicking your way to addiction.
  4. Make a call when multiple texts are required.
  5. Spend as much time face to face with others as you do connected on the phone.

Balance is the only answer for cell phone addiction and courage.

The courage to change the way you use this tool now.

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Taking Blame

Learn to love taking the blame.

That’s what entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk says.

 “…because once I do we can work toward coming up with solutions instead of talking endlessly about the problem”.

There is nothing wrong with being human.

No one is right all the time.

Embracing being human – subject to mistakes and bad decisions – is a liberating thing.  Holding on to being right about everything is stressful and not believable.

Turn the focus toward finding solutions not more ways to prove you are right.

There is nothing wrong with being human.  No one is right all the time.

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Advice

People don’t want advice.

They want someone to listen to them without passing judgment and – and this is the hard part – without offering any solutions.

Advice is a misnomer.

It should be to listen.

Do they really want help with their divorce or a sounding board to air their frustrations and concerns?

Do they really truly want career advice or do they want to vent about the job they hate because even if you share with them a gem of wisdom, they’re likely not going to hear it or act on it.

Does the person who lost a loved one want to hear “be strong”, “they lived a long happy life” or “they’re in a better place” when there are no words to convey loss.  Just being there is the elixir that makes a difference.

The ears are more powerful than the mouth when it comes to “advising” others – it is the little-known secret of human relations.

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Better Conversations

Why do we start a conversation with a pitch to get the other person to change their mind?

It never works, but we still do it.

First, make a friend.

Help the other person open their ears and potentially their mind to what you’re saying.

Begin every conversation with a sincere compliment.

“Thanks for giving me some of your valuable time”

“There is a lot of wisdom in what you say”

“You always seem to be open to different points of view”

Or, if you know them well, a sincere personal comment.  Sincerity is key because otherwise communication is just manipulation.

You’d never consider drinking a bottle of water without first opening it and a wise person never starts a conversation without helping to get the other person to open up to receiving your message.

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