I’ve noticed something really interesting over the last several months. It has to do with the energy, time and motivation I have for people who are appreciative. Now, while this may sound like an extremely obvious idea, which perhaps has taken me forty years too long to grasp, I’ve also noticed that many of us have a tendency to place far too much attention on people and activities that just don’t appreciate.
Note the duel meaning here; by appreciation, I’m talking about both an expression of recognition and gratitude, as well as an increase in value. As founder of the Happiness Studies Academy, former Harvard Professor in Positive Psychology and author of the book Happier, Tal Ben Shahar states, “when you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”
So, what does it mean to “appreciate the good”? Is it as simple as passively taking note of the things that make us grateful, and perhaps even stating them out loud, and writing them down for ourselves? Or, could more be done in the form of appreciation? Is it possible that more of the finer things in life could appreciate, like love, deep friendships, rich conversation, success, wealth and overall life satisfaction, if we took more time to actively express our appreciation of others? Read More
Since a young age, many of us have been taught the virtue of humility -- and by learning to maintain it, we’ve probably experienced a lot of benefits. For starters, when we keep a modest view of ourselves, we tend to be more open to learning from the world around us. To a large extent, any effective personal development system relies heavily on humility for honest self-reflection. Yet, so many of us tend to confuse humility with timidity, which seems altogether different.
While humility keeps us humble enough to grasp new life lessons and opportunities, timidity might cause us to hold back due to lack of confidence. In the New York Times bestselling book, The Book of Joy, written by Douglas Abrams, based on his interviews with his holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Tutu clarifies the difference between humility and timidity, “Humility allows us to celebrate the gifts of others, but it does not mean you have to deny your own gifts or shrink from using them.” Read More
Fake it ‘til you make it: an old adage, which, in my opinion, is incredibly overused and all too often misunderstood.
While the saying is described by Wikipedia as, “an aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life,” it seems as though the concept fails to fully consider one critical precursor, namely, the very question it begs: How is one supposed to genuinely acquire confidence, competence and an optimistic mindset in the first place?
I’m talking about authentic confidence -- competence and optimism that drives purposeful actions and meaning. This sort of authenticity is not easily replaced with disingenuous behavior. After all, what is so terrible about transparently accepting where we are with full ownership while working toward becoming something better? The more honest we are about ourselves and where we are developmentally, the more we stand to receive opportunities that will help us progress further from where we are.
So, fake it until you make it? Who needs it when we can, instead, work towards a mindset of just "make it, so you never have to fake it?" Here are a few pointers to help us do just that: Read More
Are you overly critical of yourself when you don’t see your goals develop quickly enough? Join the club. Even though we all innately understand that our biggest dreams will require a lot of time and energy to fully manifest, most of us get a little impatient when we don’t see instantaneous results.
We all know that immediate results aren’t typically part of the “let’s try something new” equation. Yet, we live in a world where we can order just about anything with the simple click of a button, only to find it on our doorsteps the very next morning. Most of us are incredibly impatient, and why wouldn’t we be? Waiting is not a common component of our everyday lives.
So often, impatience leads to giving-up and completely abandoning our goals, only to feel skeptical about the very dreams and aspirations that used to inspire us. So, who couldn’t use a little inspiration to stay-the-course with our biggest goals from time-to-time? Here are a few tips to do just that. Read More
As I’ve wrestled my busiest self for all of these years, a few things have become abundantly clear. For starters, there’s a lot more to my “busyness” than all of the tasks, projects, accomplishments, social engagements, and activities I take on. Behind all of these things is actually a deep-rooted neediness to be recognized because of a much darker state of being – one that haunts me at my core.
For most of my life, I’ve stretched, flexed and adjusted my schedule to accommodate just about anything that seemed mildly “important,” just to numb-out a stinging voice underneath it all, which actually says, “I’m not very important.” And, what better way to discount this voice than to prove it wrong with everything I do?
As I’ve grown to own and understand this state affairs, I’ve also come to recognize a vast difference between my busyness, versus tending to important business. While the former keeps our need to feel important pacified with lots of distraction and noise, the latter is a disciplined choice to stay hyper-focused on what really matters. And, to know what’s really important, we have to get to know ourselves at a level far beyond what we do. As the late and great Wayne Dyer said, “I am a human being, not a human doing.” Read More