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Pearls of Life

(11) Pearls of Life

What is the purpose of human life? Sadhguru

PL11

Always Say Thank You

I was brought up always to say thank you, and I would feel really uncomfortable if I didn’t, in the same way I’d feel unpleasantly odd if I didn’t brush my teeth as soon as I got up. Actually my mother, who instilled this habit in me, was once given two black marks at school by her teacher-the first one was for bad behavior, and the second one was for being so cheeky as to say thank you for the first one. My mother had explained that she’d been brought up always to say thank you when she was given something. The teacher didn’t appreciate my mother’s sense of humor.

My mother was right though (well, in principle anyway). We may not always notice when we should thank someone else, but we certainly notice when we aren’t thanked. So don’t, for goodness sake, leave other people’s contributions unacknowledged. It doesn’t matter how small they are-no one’s going to complain that they didn’t want to be thanked.

Thanking people makes them feel good, it makes them feel warm and appreciated and cared about. It makes them feel it was worth the bother. Surely giving someone that kind of feeling has to be worthwhile in itself. And, on top of that, it makes them feel they’d be happy to do something for you again, because they know it won’t go unrecognized

 Don’t Do Too Much

 Some people can cope with anything. The world can fall apart about their ears, and somehow they just keep going. They manage a busy job, maybe a large family, plus they volunteer for a couple of charities, sit on one or two committees, and still find time to play tennis twice a week. They are clearly among the world’s copers, and they don’t seem to need any help or backup to get it all done. So no one offers them any support. Obviously. In fact, if you really want something done, they’re the ones to ask.

All of which is great, unless you happen to be one of those people-and you want some help. You won’t get it, you know. Everyone will have decided that you don’t really need it. Presumably, as you’ve actually asked, you could maybe do with a bit of backup in an ideal world, but they needn’t feel any obligation because you don’t actually need them.

You’ll cope. You always do. So what’s the moral of the story? Well, if you need other people to help you get what you want, don’t give the impression that you don’t need help. Drop the urge to look as if you can handle anything, and admit to a bit of human frailty now and again.

People will probably like you all the better for it. People who can handle anything on their own are a bit scary really.

 Give a Bit Extra

 This is a great strategy-I love this one. I enjoy the look on people’s faces when I deliver more than I promised. It makes me feel good and it makes them feel great and everyone gains. How cool is that?

The principle is simple: Whatever you say you’ll do, do a little bit more. When you babysit your neighbor’s kids, do the washing up that you find in the kitchen, too. If you say you’ll deliver your report on Thursday, deliver it on Tuesday. If your partner expects you to buy him dinner on his birthday, give him a dozen roses as well. When you borrow you dad’s car, put it through a car wash before you return it. When your friend wants company after bereavement, take her a couple of meals for the freezer at the same time.

We had a Christmas visitor a couple of year’s back who gave us a lovely thoughtful present in return for her Christmas dinner. Not only that, she’s a very clever seamstress and noticed that the cats had badly torn one of our cushion covers. She insisted on taking

it away with her and repairing it, and it arrived back in the mail within a few days looking as good as new. What a generous gesture, and all the more appreciated on our part because she’d already thanked us amply. You see? Its fun coming up with things you can do to make people’s lives that bit brighter than they’re expecting. It’s wonderful seeing them realize that they’re cared about and valued. It’s bound to make people want to go the extra mile for you but, to be honest; it would be more than worth doing regardless.

 Be Generous

 For some reason when we talk about someone being generous we tend to imply that they’re willing to give or share material things such as money or possessions. That’s certainly a laudible attitude, but not all of us have enough to share, and not everyone needs to share with us. But we do have other things we can be magnanimous with. How about your time? Are you generous with that? If someone asks you to come to a meeting, or spare them a couple of hours, or give them a ride to collect their car from the mechanic, are you always ready to say yes? Or would you prefer to get lost in a good book, or finish the project you’re working on, or just put your feet up at the end of the day with your favorite TV program? Let me tell you; you’ll actually get far more out of helping out-maybe not every time, but certainly on average-because you’ll be stepping out of your routine and anything could happen, from an interesting conversation to a huge adventure. That’s the thing-you never know what will happen next, especially when you do something different, however mundane it might seem.

Here’s something else you can be generous with: knowledge. You must know something that not everyone else does. Surely you could run a session on stop-frame animation at the local youth club, or get a couple of local kids started playing the guitar, or show some of your junior colleagues how to make their PowerPoint presentation stand out, or give a talk about your specialist subject to a local group. You never know, you might even enjoy yourself.

 

 

 

 

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(12) Pearls of Life

The Importance of Staying Positive! - Law Of Attraction

PL12

Praise but Don’t Flatter

People like to be praised, whether it’s for a sparkling piece of work or a stylish choice of clothing, a generous gesture or a clever idea. So give them what they want-they’ll appreciate you for it.

Praise sometimes get a bad reputation for some reason. Some people misguidedly believe that too much of it is a bad thing, or that it will just sound insincere. If you’re worried about this, just remember these guidelines:

● Keep it in proportion. Don’t gush all over someone just because his report was neatly laid out. Give him modest recognition, and save the real effusiveness for the really exceptional achievements.

● Don’t worry about sounding insincere. The rule is very simple: If it is sincere, it will sound sincere. If you’re making it up, it will come across as empty flattery. The thing that needs to change is that you need to voice what you’re already thinking more often, not make up things to praise people for.

● Bear in mind that the praise you give says a lot about your values. If you praise people for only being clever, they’ll come to assume that that’s what matters to you. If you praise people for hard work as well as actual achievement, they’ll realize that you care about effort as well as results. Praise people for being generous or hard working or considerate or brave or quick and those are the things you’ll be telling them you care about.

 Be Loyal

You know your partner can be a bit pushy sometimes. But you don’t go around telling that to everyone. Maybe you moan a bit to your best friend or your father or your brother, but to the outside world you stick up for them, and keep any criticisms to yourself.

Same goes for your best friend. You may be allowed to tell them that they’re irresponsible, but you won’t admit you think that in front of anyone else. And your boss. No eye for detail? That may be your opinion but you wouldn’t share it with the rest of the department.

Am I right? And if not, why not? Look, the point about loyalty is that it isn’t about the person you’re loyal to—it’s about you. Loyalty is an attribute you either have or you don’t. You don’t turn it on or off according to the merits of the partner or friend or boss in question. That wouldn’t be loyalty—that would be expressing an opinion. Loyalty is about you giving your support to someone regardless of your personal view. Whether you agree with them.

Whether it’s easy to stand with them. Whether you think it will benefit you. Funny thing is though, it will benefit you. People will recognize loyalty when they see it, and approve no matter what they think about your partner, friend, or boss. And they’ll realize that if they can get you on their side, they too can rely on your loyalty precisely because you don’t switch it on and off as the wind blows. You’re an inherently loyal person no matter what.

 Don’t Talk Behind People’s Backs

I can remember a colleague I used to have who was fairly popular, being funny and entertaining and very good company. There was a group of about half a dozen of us who worked closely together at one time, and got on very well. One lunchtime he and I went out for a bite to eat together, and he started being quite catty about one of the girls in our group of friends. I really didn’t like this at all, and it also set me wondering what he was saying about me behind my back.

You see, it wasn’t only the poor girl in question who, if she knew what was going on (and she found out eventually), had reason to feel aggrieved. I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to be his friend either. Back then I’d learned less than I have since, and I carried on hanging out with John for the entertainment value.

But I made damn sure I didn’t tell him anything private, and I never trusted him after that. No matter how justified your views about people may be, talking behind their backs will always put you in a bad light, and make you appear disloyal. If it isn’t necessary to say anything, then it’s necessary to say nothing. I’m not saying you can’t pass on important information, for the right reasons, to someone who actually needs to know. And of course you and your partner or very best friends are allowed to discuss what you think of people honestly. That’s not the same thing at all, as you know. We all know when we’re bitching, even when we pretend to ourselves that there’s a valid reason for it. But it actually makes us look a lot worse than our intended target.

 Learn to Take Criticism Well

I’ve noticed that the people who can handle criticism best are the most confident ones. They’re so sure of their own worth that being told about a minor flaw doesn’t cause them immediately to question their whole value and abilities. Tell people who are under-confident that they don’t always listen very well, and they’ll think you’re telling them that you don’t like them, they’re a useless friend, and they should be embarrassed and ashamed every time they deal with anyone. Tell people who are self-confident that they don’t always listen well, and they’ll think, “Ah, I don’t always listen. I should do something about that.”

Of course the people who look confident on the surface aren’t necessarily the ones who feel confident underneath. And if you don’t feel confident enough to take criticism well, you’ll need to fake it. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because after a bit of practice you’ll find that, actually, a bit of constructive criticism isn’t the end of the world. In fact it’s rather helpful. And people will respect you for being able to take it on board.

You’ve seen people being criticized. Which ones impress you-the ones who get defensive or sulky?

Or the ones who say, “Thanks for the feedback. I’ll think about that?” Of course not all feedback is accurate, but if you’re known to handle it without getting prickly, you can ask others for a second opinion, and they’ll be happy to give you an honest response.

And look, this is good news. Would you rather everyone knew you had a weak spot but were too nervous of your reaction to say anything to you, or would you prefer to know so that you could sort it out?

 

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(13) Pearls of Life

Admit Mistakes & Rebuild Trust

PL13

Admit Your Mistakes

This isn’t the same thing as accepting criticism of course, but it’s closely related. We all know that everyone makes mistakes, and if you won’t admit to them you’re not fooling anyone that you’ve never made any. You may, however, come across as arrogant or pompous or simply unable to recognize when you’re wrong.

I’m not advocating some kind of confessional where you go around admitting to everything you can think of, just to appear humble. You don’t want to undermine people’s confidence in you entirely. But where it’s clear something has gone wrong, and it’s down to you, then say so. People will respect you more for it.

The same goes for mistakes in the past. If you can tell a story against yourself, admitting you got something wrong, it makes you look human and modest and honest and genuine and self-effacing. All of which are good things.

There is one exception to this approach, mind you. I had a friend years ago who was always late for everything, to the point where it was hugely irritating. I remember her saying to me, “I’m dreadful at timekeeping, I know, but at least I can admit it.” I thought, “You mean you know it, you realize the frustration it causes, and you still do it? If you were unaware of the hassle I might conceivably forgive you, but if you know what you’re doing it’s inexcusable.” When you recognize your mistakes, that doesn’t absolve you of any responsibility for correcting them. On the contrary, it makes it imperative.

 Get to Know People

 So you want something-badly. That job, or a bigger house, or a decent holiday, or a calmer outlook on life, or a crucial deal at work, or a decent care package for your elderly father. Whatever it is you need, you’re going to struggle to get it without any support. Whether it’s at work or at home, from officials or neighbors or your kids’ school, you’ll find it a whole lot easier with people on your side.

This is always going to be true, before you even know what it is you might want next year or in five years” time. The more of a network you have, the better chance of finding someone to give you the legup you need. It’s far harder to get what you want if you’re a recluse, you know. So go on, get out there, meet people. Get to know your colleagues-go for the occasional drink after work even if it’s not really your thing. Turn up to a residents’ meeting or a school parents’ party or an event at the health club. Chat to people, find out more about them, even offer them help if you find someone who could use your support. One day you’ll find you need someone who understands cars, or knows a local state representative, or has dealt with a particular customer before, or can tell you how to apply for something, or will nominate you for a committee, or can put you in touch with a good lawyer, or will put a word in with the finance director. And the more people you’re on good terms with, the more likely it is you’ll know just the person you need.

 Learn to Listen Properly

 You’d have thought listening was a basic skill, but how often do you have a conversation

with someone where it becomes apparent that you’d both come away from your last discussion on the subject thinking you’d agreed to different things?

“But you said you were going to pick up the milk on the way home!” “No, I said I wouldn’t have time, and you said you’d do it….” Well, all I can say is that at least one of you wasn’t listening properly, and quite possibly both.

There are lots of things that can keep you from listening properly. Recognize any of these?

  • You’re too busy thinking of what you’re going to say as soon as you can get a word in.
  • You go off on a different train of thought sparked by something that’s been said.
  • You know what they’re going to say anyway.
  • You’re bored.
  • You don’t really understand what they’re saying.
  • You’re distracted by noise or activity.
  • You’re in a hurry.

If you want to have productive conversations with people, you need to recognize when one of these things is happening and stop yourself getting distracted. If necessary you need to say, “Sorry, I missed that—can you say it again?” Or, “I didn’t understand that, can you explain it without the jargon?” Or “I can’t really concentrate because I’m running late for a meeting. Can we catch up on this properly later?”

Nobody minds this kind of response, because it shows you want to listen properly. If anything it’s flattering-people like to be heard. So train yourself to listen properly and stop pretending

 Know What You’ve Agreed To

 Not all conversations lead to a decision, but often they do. And it’s surprising how often everyone has a different recollection of what’s been decided. That’s why we have minutes for meetings. You might like to try minuting your morning chat with your partner about who’s buying the milk, but personally I’d be somewhat irked if you were my partner and you tried to do that at 7:30 a.m. just as I was rushing out the door.

On the other hand, you do need to know who’s buying the milk. So you need to get into the habit of at least summarizing the conclusion before you go your separate ways. “Right. So I’ll buy the milk and I’ll see you back here at about 6:30 then.” This is even more important when you’re working toward something you really want. It’s crucial you’re clear about whether you’re calling someone back or waiting for their call. Did your boss ask for your report by this Friday or next Friday? You’ll only know if you summarize what’s been said, and listen to yourself summarizing it. (I know that sounds foolish, but it is possible to summarize on autopilot and not actually know what you’ve said-I’ve done it myself.) If the discussion is at all important, and especially if it’s official or work-based in any way, it’s also sensible to email your understanding of the decision to the other person—so they can reply if they don’t think they heard what you thought they thought they heard. (See how easy it is to get confused?) Drop your boss a quick email: “Thanks for the chat this morning, and I just wanted to confirm that I’ll get my report in by next Friday at the latest.”

 

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(14) Pearls of Life

Louise Hay - I Can Do It

PL14

Pick Up the Signals

 People don’t always say what they’re thinking-at least not in words. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work it out. We say a lot more with our bodies than we do with our mouths, and if you learn to look for the signs, you will generally have a pretty good idea of how the other person really feels.

Maybe the person you’re talking to is silently angry, or nervous, or just plain uninterested but trying to hide it. Just ignore everything you’ve been told about some people being intuitive and others just not. Anyone can learn to read body language. In fact, if you’re not especially intuitive, you really need to learn how.

It’s just a matter of training yourself to remember to look for signals. If you’re on the lookout, it’s not hard to read body language. And I’ll tell you something else-when it conflicts with the words someone is saying, it will be the body language that’s telling the truth. You can bet on that.

So what are you looking out for? Well, broadly speaking, relaxed confident people look relaxed and confident. I’m sorry if that sounds too simple, but it really is simple. They sit or stand in a relaxed stance, arms by their sides or in their laps (if they’re not holding anything), and they smile readily (and properly, so it reaches their eyes). Tense people (who are angry or anxious or in a hurry, or whatever) are more likely to cross their arms and their legs, fidget, strum their fingers and hold themselves more rigidly.

Angry people sound tense, lean forward, and often clench their fists. Bored people will look over your shoulder or check their watch-even while telling you they’re interested in what you have to say. The only challenge here is looking for the signs. Reading them is honestly simple.

 Sympathize with Other People’s Anger

It’s no fun being angry, and it’s not something to subject anyone else to if you can help it. But sometimes people are justifiably angry, and sometimes you’re in the firing line. If you’re at fault, the only thing to do is fess up and apologizes, and does what you can to put it right. But what if it isn’t your fault? Maybe a customer is angry with your organization, and you just happen to be the person on the end of the phone or across the counter. Or perhaps your neighbor is livid that your tree surgeon cut down the tree on their side of the fence, when actually you’d never asked them to do any such thing. How are you going to deal with that?

The first thing you’re going to do is stay calm. However bad the confrontation, it will get a whole lot worse if you get angry, too. What you need to do is recognize why people get angry-and that’ll be because they don’t think they’ll get the response they want any other way. So show them they don’t need to raise their voice. You can start by listening. If you don’t shout back, or incessantly tell them to “calm down,” they’ll realize you actually want to hear what they have to say. And they’re likely to start calming down quite fast. Now you need to sympathize with them. That doesn’t mean apologizing if it’s not your fault-it just means letting them know you understand why they feel angry, and you consider it justified: “I can see how upsetting that must be.” OK, you’re doing well. Deep breath. Now, don’t waste their time with long explanations-that’s not what they want to hear. Just a quick one-liner will do if it’s really essential: “I certainly never asked them to cut that tree down.”

Nearly there. They should be feeling a lot happier now. But they still want something done, so do whatever you can to help. Give them a refund, or even a gift certificate as well. Offer to replace the tree with a new sapling of their choice. If you can resolve someone’s anger effectively enough, you can actually strengthen your relationship with them.

 Don’t Respond to Tactical Anger

OK, everything I just said about dealing with anger-forget it. At least when the anger you’re dealing with isn’t justified. Some people use anger to manipulate, threaten, bully, intimidate, or bludgeon you into doing what they want. This is completely different from justified anger and needs a totally different response. This is toddler-tantrum world, and should be dealt with just as you’d deal with a toddler.

In case you don’t have children I’ll explain the technique (and possibly put you off ever having kids). First you tell them, calmly, that you’re not prepared to be shouted at/spoken to like this/abused/bullied/intimidated (delete as applicable), and tell them you’ll leave if they don’t calm down. Then you carry out the threat if necessary, and leave if they don’t stop shouting. If they start up again next time they see you, just keep giving them the same response.

I know this is tough if you’re dealing with someone who is-or seems-senior to you. Your boss or your father-in-law or the head of the homeowners’ association. But hey, we’re all equal on a human level, and you deserve respect as much as anyone else. What can they do to you? You can’t discipline someone for refusing to be cowed by your manipulative intimidation. What actually happens is that these people learn fast that their prima donna tactics don’t work on you, and in time they’ll stop trying it because they’ll be the ones who look bad when you don’t react the way they’d planned.

 Give Other People Results

I once had a personal assistant (yes, I used to be the sort of person who had a personal assistant) who was such a hard worker. She came in on time every day and slaved away until going-home time. Whenever I asked her to do anything, she’d be right there, pen in hand, taking notes.

I’ve no idea what she did all day, but she did whatever-it-was diligently. The reason I don’t know what it was she did is that somehow there was never much to show for it. She could place a call for me, or retrieve something from the filing cabinet, but then I could do that for myself. Other than that not a lot seemed to happen unless I was extremely specific about what I wanted and when and how and so on. Then it mostly happened. On a good day. I have a feeling she organized things constantly. Trouble was, I actually wanted things to happen. I wanted my car serviced or a difficult customer sorted out or a meeting with four other busy people fixed, or a train ticket to appear magically on my desk the day before I traveled. Nope. None of that. The filing system was immaculate though.

Your boss wants results. Targets met-or preferably exceeded. Your partner wants that vacation booked, or the lawn mower serviced. Your kids want the cinema tickets arranged. The school committee wants the white elephant booth organized. People want things to happen. Not just to sound cool and look good, but actually to happen. You know what you have to do. Do it.

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(15) Pearls of Life

Wayne Dyer How To Get What You Really, Really Want

PL15

 

Be Part of Your Organization

 

You’re part of a team. The family, the company, the committee-I don’t know what teams you belong to but you certainly should. The word team may not be the one that springs to mind when I mention some of those things, but it should be. You need to view any cohesive group you belong to as a team. This comes more naturally to some people than others, but you can learn to do it.

 

The rest of the group all like a team player. So do you, when it comes to the other people involved. You’ll be far better regarded if people can see that you’re one of them. Because what’s the alternative?

 

To see the group as a separate entity, to refer to the company or the committee as “them” rather than “us.” People notice these things, you know. If you’re not part of the team, not talking about “we,” not identifying with its successes-and its failures-you’re distancing yourself from it. That’s not friendly is it? Nor is it loyal.

 

This is important but usually easy with your family. Hopefully you’ve always felt like one of the clan. It can be more of a challenge at work though, and with other “official” commitments. But that’s where it matters most. If you want to get the best out of other people, and get them on your side, it’s crucial that you don’t give the impression that there’s more than one side to be on. If you’re all pulling together, all part of the same gang, they’ll appreciate your input and want to give you all the support you need.

 

 Work Hard

 

 There’s no substitute.

 

People want to help those who help themselves by working hard. If you want support you need to show that you’re making most of the running yourself. No one’s going to work hard on your behalf if they can see you twiddling your thumbs.

 

I’m not telling you to work 24 hours a day without respite. You need to do other things as well as work. Rest and play, obviously-everyone knows that. But you should put in plenty of working hours, and when your time is allocated to work, that’s precisely what you do. Listen, no one owes you anything. We get what we want by a combination of a bit of luck and a lot of hard work. If you want stuff, you work. Simple as that.

 

 Work Right

 

Hard work is crucial, but it has to be the right kind of hard work. No, I can’t tell you what that is because it’s different for everyone. And many’s the hard worker who feels aggravated at not being promoted because they put in more hours than anyone else on the team (but didn’t actually meet their targets). If you want things, you need to make sure that you’re investing your energy in the right direction. It’s not about effort in, but about results out. How you spend your working time should be determined by the results you need to achieve. If you can achieve those results without trying, you’ve set your targets too low. Remember, people must see you working as hard as they do, or they won’t want to work even harder to help you when it’s needed. So work out what you need to do to get what you want-the evening classes you need to attend, the sales you need to achieve, the bills you need to pay off, the qualifications you need to gain, the weight you need to lose. Then think about exactly where you need to put the effort in to make it actually happen. What will be crucial? That’s where you need to invest all that hard work.

 

 

 

 

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