What If Your First Love Didn’t Work?
Nothing is predictable…not even ‘Life’!
have often seen people wonder the need to take another chance at love after suffering an episode of a major heartbreak or a backstab!
Such people are either too afraid to even try out something again. Or too apprehensive and skeptic.
It is to them I want to reach out!
One bad life experience can’t make you conclude that life is fucked!
God has no enmity with you, remember that.
Each one of us is his special child.
‘To experience joy, you have to feel pain.’ Keeping this in mind know that nothing great will ever come without a hefty input of effort.
‘Love’ can be the best effort you give to make someone in your life feel special. It can be a defining point in your life when you might suddenly decode the reason of your being- the true essence of youth!
It might present to you the perfect reason why you should love- once again- an yet again!
Love doesn’t come with a warranty card- There’s nothing certain about it.
Don’t fall in love with the concept of ‘Permanency’ in your mind.
‘Love’ is as unpredictable as ‘Life’ itself!!
It is boundless, and best described as an adventure for those who can make the best out of it.
Of course, you might be less willing after a decent try or two. But in those sharp edges you will find something smooth that you will keep in your memory and treasure for the rest of your life!
All I want to say aloud is just that…Love as much as you can.
If Love was the reason why you are broke today, Love shall be the only solution going to help you out too!
12 ways you are sabotaging your career
I’ve had to learn most of these the hard way
- Not having awareness of the market value of your role and industry therefore accepting a lower salary.
As daunting as negotiating can be at first, it is a skill worth developing. Start by recognising your bargaining position and the specific value you bring to the table. Be assertive.
- Not networking both inside and outside of your company.
Decisions around promotions are influenced by your presence at social environments and opportunities often come via people. This is how you advance in a large corporate. Also helps you to develop a support network in advance should you ever need it. I attended a talk with Carrie Gracie (link to her article), an editor who is currently in an equal pay row with her employers, the BBC. She reinforced how important solidarity had been in her plight against injustice.
- Not being proactive in seeking opportunities to advance, also known as ‘not sitting at the table of your career’. As much as other people may have your best interests at heart, they can never advocate for your advancement in the way that you can. So avoid being passive and leaving these matters to your manager or your team. This goes beyond just working hard and hoping to be noticed. It requires that you volunteer to take on projects that will give you the chance to shine and show what you are capable of.
- Not contributing to meetings, nor sharing ideas in group settings.Your thinking is what sets you apart from your peers and sitting quietly whilst other share portrays you as somebody who has nothing interesting to add. I’m not suggesting that you talk for talking sake but rather demonstrate that you are able to bring ideas that will add value.
- Not being effective during working hours thus choosing to catch up in time best spent with family or recharging your batteries.
‘There is a time for everything’. It’s great to be committed to work but life is not all about work. That’s what causes people to burn out and one day realise (often when it’s too late) that there were other things that they should have prioritised.
- Not taking a long-term view of your career.
Taking a long term view means that you can recognise other areas worth investing in now that would boost your prospects further down the line. These may include skills such as leadership, people management, sales and learning new languages. Careers, just like life, can be unpredictable and taking this approach means you can be prepared to go back to the drawing board and explore a new direction if you so wish or circumstances demand that you do. By also committing to learning and developing yourself, you begin to build your self-confidence, which impacts your self-perception.
- Not anticipating nor adapting to change at work.
There is no denying that technology and innovation are changing the future of work, which in itself is bound to create instability and uncertainties. This will lead to restructuring and change in management. Whilst you cannot control this, you can however develop adaptability skills. ‘It’s not a matter of whether your cheese will be moved because it will. Rather how best you can prepare your mind to go in search of new cheese or anticipate that current cheese may run out. Complaining is not a strategy nor is burying your head in the sand.
- Staying in a job that you hate or makes you depressed.
Life is too short to be spent in such toxic environments. Find the courage to seek out your options in advance, so you don’t end up jumping ship in a reactive manner. Always best to head towards the ideal role than to try and simply escape what you don’t like.
- Not taking the time to figure out how and what you want to add value to in your career.
The process of experimentation is how you truly find out what matters and you will commit to in the long-term. Competence can be up for sale to the highest bidder but commitment never is. The former is a heart thing and not a cheque thing. Purpose therefore is found at the intersection of earning a living through avenues that you are committed to. That’s how you get paid for what you would do for free.
- Not improving your interview skills.
This is vital, and thus an on-going project so that you are able to bring your CV to life in an effective manner. What helps is to clearly define your values, work on your self-confidence, and utilise storytelling (putting a select stories together from your experience so the interviewer can be clear on what your differentiation is). Also asking the right questions so you can make an informed decision. What are the company values, long term vision, what’s expected of you and how performance will be reviewed are a few worth putting across.
- Not being clear on your career boundaries.
You can’t always have it also best to determine in advance what your negotiable are. Higher salary can often require longer working hours. What are you willing to put up with?
- Not working on your personality.
Skills are important but never underestimate the role of your optimism, patience, being good-natured, listening skills, being interesting and also showing interest in those around you. Not a case of just being a corporate robot or seeking to please everyone. I’ve noticed that in some cases, personality trumps skills. Hence why most business decisions are often made over lunch and people work with those they like.
7 Easy Things You Can Do to Change Your Life in 2 Months
Big changes are the result of small tweaks.
Whether your goal is to finish a project, change your friend group, make more time for passion projects, or improve upon a bad habit, here are 7 easy things you can do to change your life in the next 2 months:
1. You said you wanted to explore more of the city.
You’ve been saying that you want to go to more new places, to see things you haven’t seen before — so why don’t you do it?
This week, pick a different part of town, a new coffee shop, a museum, a restaurant, and go there. Put it on the calendar. Invite a friend. Make it happen.
2. You said you wanted to finish that big project.
Well, you can’t finish a big project until you finish a small project.
When was the last time you started and finished something in a weekend, or even a day? This week, pick one small thing you can finish and then finish it.
Then, next week, pick a slightly larger project (but not too much larger). Finish that.
Before you know it, you’ll be finishing big projects left and right.
3. You said you wanted to go to the gym more.
Ok, so when? When are you going to go?
“I’m going to go, I swear,” isn’t an answer anymore.
Tomorrow, don’t just make that loose promise to yourself that you’ll get there. Set a time and block off everything else. Then, before you go to bed, set what time you’re going to go to the gym again the next day, and the next day.
It’s just a habit. That’s all.
4. You said you wanted to eat healthier.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Is there healthy food in your fridge? Do you already know what you want to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
People eat unhealthfully, and live unhealthy lives, primarily out of a bad habit of failing to prepare. But if you had healthy food around, and if it was more of an option, chances are you’d probably eat better.
That’s pretty easy to solve for, isn’t it?
5. You said you wanted to stop scrolling through Instagram so often.
Well, is the app on the home screen of your smartphone?
That sort of easy access makes it difficult to break a bad habit.
Instead, move it to the last page. Maybe even delete it altogether. If you want to break a bad habit, you have to break your relationship to the activity — not forever, but for the time being.
6. You said you wanted to surround yourself with more positive people.
Ok, so what are you doing back at that dumpy bar with those same five friends you know aren’t going anywhere in life?
“You are a reflection of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I’m all for having friends with all sorts of different interests and backgrounds and aspirations. But if you have a goal, and if you want to improve something about yourself, and the people you’re always with make that process more difficult, then you need to reassess.
So, the next time they invite you out, say “No.”
Instead, give that other friend of yours a call. Maybe you two have never hung out. Cool, then dive in. Go grab a coffee. Change the dynamic and see where things go.
7. You said you wanted to work on yourself.
Let me guess: Netflix before bed?
Look, there is nothing wrong with watching a little TV every now and then. But working on yourself is, well, it’s work. And if you don’t prioritize things like self-reflection, journaling, meditation, etc., then you’re never going to grow into the person you know you’re capable of becoming.
Self-development is a practice. You can’t think about it like this big mountain you’re one day going to wake up having conquered. It doesn’t work like that.
Instead, focus on what you can do today that will quiet your mind down and allow you to really sit with yourself.
Before you go to bed, write a page in your journal.
You’ll be amazed at what you find out about yourself.
World’s Millionaires and Billionaires Now Control Half the World’s Personal Wealth, New Analysis Shows
“The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster.”
Millionaires and billionaires own nearly half of all the world’s personal wealth, which reached $201.9 trillion last year, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group.
“The share of global wealth held by millionaires increased to almost 50 percent in 2017, compared with just under 45 percent in 2012, driven mainly by higher-wealth individuals investing in higher-return assets,” the report (pdf) states.
In other words, as Bloomberg put it, “The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster.”
That’s especially true in the United States, where the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled Congress are working to keep slashing taxes on the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations at the expense of working families.
“North America remained the richest global region in 2017 in terms of personal wealth, which expanded by 8 percent to $86.1 trillion,” the report notes. “North American wealth was highly concentrated in the over-$5-million segment, which held 42 percent of investable wealth.”
Overall, researchers found that “residents of North America held over 40 percent of global personal wealth, followed by residents of Western Europe with 22 percent. The strongest region of growth was Asia, which posted a 19 percent increase.”
Although China currently has fewer millionaires and billionaires than the United States, the report’s lead author Anna Zakrzewski told Bloomberg that researchers expect the number of Chinese millionaires to increase four times as fast as in the United States. “China will continue to experience similar growth as in the past,” she said, “and this will mean that over the next five years, there will be more wealth created in China than in the U.S.”
But no matter where the wealth is created, it will likely remain concentrated in the hands of the world’s richest people. As Common Dreams previously reported, an Oxfam study published in January found that during 2017, “a new billionaire was created every two days.” According to that report, “82 percent of all wealth created went to the top 1 percent of the world’s richest while zero percent—absolutely nothing—went to the poorest half of the global population.”
Meanwhile, in the United States, religious leaders and anti-poverty advocates have launched a new Poor People’s Campaign—inspired by similar efforts of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. decades earlier—and organized nonviolent direct actions to demand that lawmakers at all levels of government “address the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and America’s distorted national morality.”
That campaign comes as 43 percent of U.S. households cannot afford “a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and healthcare,” according to a United Way study published last month.
Noting that “the three wealthiest people in America own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent ,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had responded to those findings by tweeting, “Is that really the kind of society we want to be living in?”
Everybody wants to eat, but no one is willing to hunt.
Everybody wants to be fit and strong, but no one wants to lift heavy weights. If only they could pay someone else to do their pushups for them…
People give up for a number of reasons. The following list contains 16 of the most common of them.
Okay, let’s take this one by one…
1. Expect fast results.
I often say that expectations can break your heart. It is sad but true that most people like the idea of something happening to them, but they don’t want to put in the time and effort required.
The idea is this: nothing works the way you expect it too. It takes longer. The matter of fact is that nothing works the first few times.
2. Stop believing in themselves.
If you are looking for someone who’s going to make all your dreams come true, take a look in the mirror.
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
Resilience is the ability to face disaster with a smile and keep on fighting for what you want.
3. Get stuck in the past.
The past is a place of reference, not of residence.
Learn from your mistakes, move on.
What happened, happened, and the more time you spend there, the more you’ll break your heart.
4. Dwell on mistakes.
You learn more from failure than you ever do from success, it is true, but it is equally important not to let said mistakes affect your current performance.
No one is perfect, and wishing for perfection is a waste of time and energy. Strive for progress – which means making a lot of mistakes, over and over again, until you become better and stop making them.
5. Fear the future.
The future doesn’t exist yet. Tomorrow is but a promise at best. You cannot control it, so let it go.
Carpe diem, so to speak.
Live in the moment, do the best you can with what you have.
There’s no reason to fear what has yet to present itself to you.
6. Resist change.
Keep an open mind. Embrace uncertainty. In fact, make it one of your principles and understand deeply that one’s ability to face uncertainty usually determines their level of success.
Change is the one true constant of life, and the most adaptable individual is the one to survive.
7. Give up their power.
People give up their power when they think they have none. They also like to find excuses.
You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.
You are the only one who’s responsible for how you feel, how you act, and how you react to what happens to you.
And that is your power.
8. Believe in their weaknesses.
No one’s perfect. Accept that you aren’t either. Accept your faults. Understand that you can progress and learn. You can develop certain skills.
Nothing is set in stone.
Remember the previous part about change? Well, the good news is nothing ever stays the same. Neither will you.
9. Feel the world owes them something.
Being an entitled prick is one of the worst way to go about life.
No one owes you anything. No one. Don’t break your own heart by thinking that they do.
10. Fear failure more than they desire success.
Failure is inevitable. It’s not the opposite of success, but a part of it.
An integral part of learning.
We stumble and fall, over and over again, until we learn how to do it.
Winners keep on going. They do it and do it and do it, and they fail and fail and fail, until they succeed.
11. Never visualize what is possible.
Would you be able to hit a target you do not see? Or cook a dish without knowing the recipe?
12. Feel they have something to lose.
You are going to die. Whether you want it or not. What more do you have to lose?
In fact, the more you hold on to something, the likelier it is that you’ll lose it.
Loss is a part of life. Accept it.
Or is it work smart?
14. Assume their problems are unique.
Maybe your parents, your teachers, or your friends told you that you are unique.
You are not.
Someone else went through what you are going through right now. Learn from them.
Someone else accomplished what you are dreaming about right now. Learn from them. Let their feats inspire you.
15. See failure as a sign to turn back.
Failure is a sign you are trying. Failure is a sign you should try harder. Failure is a sign you are getting closer to success.
Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.
16. Feel sorry for themselves.
Don’t. Just don’t.
Worrying and feeling sorry for oneself never solved any problem. It just gave people who felt powerless something to do while still feeling powerless.
Like sitting in a rocking chair and pretending you are going somewhere.
How Will You Make the World A Better Place?
Your legacy is a footprint in the sand of time
“Try not to become a man of success — but rather a man of value.” — Albert Einstein
The value of your life goes beyond yourself.
Your actions and emotions influence everyone you touch. You change others. The memories you create live in others — they become part of who they are.
American poet Henry Longfellow wrote: “Lives of great people remind us we can make our lives sublime and, departing, leave behind footprints in the sand of time.”
Your legacy is like an echo — it will continue resonating once you are gone.
Choose your words wisely; turn your story into something worth listening over and over. If you think you are too young to design your legacy, you are wrong. Start now.
What footprint will you leave in the sand of time?
Let your path inspire others to walk in your footsteps.
Your legacy is much more than a memory
“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Building your legacy is your life’s purpose. That’s why Jeff Bezos has this image on his fridge — it’s a daily reminder of his life’s purpose. Don’t let everyday distractions derail you from what really matters to you.
The sand of time is history. The footprints you leave behind last for generations. However, don’t confuse being remembered with your legacy.
A legacy doesn’t have to live only in memory.
A nameplate on a bench in Central Park can boost your ego, but not your impact. A legacy isn’t only about leaving what you earned but also what you learned — those who attain wisdom become immortal.
What if your most important gift to others is not tangible, but a piece of yourself?
A legacy is a powerful way of connecting with those whose lives you touch. Your roots, culture, family, connect you to those who came before you. What you leave behind connects you to your descendants and community.
Turn your imprint into something sublime — let your deeds and words inspire others to become the best version of themselves.
Legacies live on — they continue to affect people once you are gone. However, you don’t have total control. You can manage your behavior, not how people perceive you. Wanting to be remembered, loved, and revered is natural. But don’t make it about yourself.
A legacy is an act of generosity — your footprint can help make the world a better place. Remember, we don’t own the planet, we are just curating it for future generations.
You have an invisible touch
“You can’t make footprints in the sands of time by sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?” — Bob Moawad
What impact do you want to create in the world?
Building a legacy requires you to be an active player, not just an observer.
You don’t have to be Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson or Steve Jobs to change the world. I’m not discouraging you from becoming a first-class change agent by any means. The truth is, most people get stuck by comparing themselves to exceptional leaders.
Regardless of the size, every drop of water turns the ocean into what it is. Don’t undermine your value. The world needs your uniqueness — don’t fear the power of your own light.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?”
— Marianne Williamson, Our deepest fear
You have an invisible touch. Don’t think you are nobody. Do you want to change the world? Being famous is not a necessary condition for creating a positive impact. Start by inspiring those around you.
As the African proverb says:“It takes a village to raise a child.”
It takes a village to achieve any meaningful change in the world — from reducing violence to fighting poverty. Effective change requires participation. You can fight the good fight and inspire others to join too.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
You passion brings out the passion in others — the invisible touch is contagious. As you let your passion shine, you will be amazed by how others feel free to do the same.
Besides material possessions and money, there’s so much that you can give others. People need inspiration, solutions, knowledge, and wisdom.
What’s your gift to the world?
Be true to yourself
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” — William Shakespeare
The best legacy is one that is consistent with your values and lifestyle.
The purpose of your legacy is not to make you look good. On the contrary, your life should make your legacy proud. People will remember the impact you had on them and the memories they shared with you. One way or another, your stories will be echoed.
Your uniqueness is your best legacy.
Don’t try to become someone you are not just to be remembered. Identify what matters to you. How does your unique self contribute to making the world a better place?
As Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner remind us in A Leader’s Legacy: “By asking ourselves how we want to be remembered, we plant the seeds for living our lives as if we matter.”
Keep your legacy present. Think of it as a compass that will help you act with purpose even in the darkest hours. Use the following questions to reflect on the footprints you want to leave behind.
What is important to you? What would make you proud?
If you can only do one thing to improve the world, what would your contribution be?
How do you want your life to touch others? How can you increase the well-being of those around you?
What actions would it take to create your legacy?
The planet needs your help too
“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” — David Brower
You cannot define your legacy without considering your impact on the planet as well.
By 2050, scientists predict there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. That’s no joke. In the meantime, clueless politicians deny the damage we are causing to the environment.
The U.S. is the king of trash, producing a world-leading 250 million tons a year — almost 4.4 pounds of waste per person per day.
Developing countries are more efficient because they have to. Being wealthy shouldn’t turn us into predators — we have to act smartly.
Don’t add unnecessary things to your life. Try repairing what’s broken rather than throwing it away. Don’t upgrade because you have to. If your car or computer is still working, don’t change them. Small behavior can create a huge impact.
Remember, the impact on the planet is part of your legacy too. Being a successful entrepreneur means nothing if you don’t care about the trash your organization creates.
The zero-waste movement is growing. There are an increasing number of people — often young millennial women — whose yearly trash output can be small enough to fit inside an eight-ounce jar. They embrace a minimalist lifestyle that saves them both money and time. We can all dramatically reduce our waste without getting to that extreme yet.
While you reflect on the legacy you want to leave behind, consider how also to reduce your garbage footprint.
Five exercises to design your legacy
1. Write a six-word memoir
The Six-Word Memoir is the brainchild of Larry Smith — it’s a simple way to get to the essence of who you are and what matters the most. The challenge is simple, but not easy: “Can you tell your life story in six words?” Learn more here.
2. Create your own visualization
Imagine your elderly self, rocking back and forth in a chair. Reflect on your fulfilling life. What have you achieved? What have you done for the world? What is your legacy? Engage your senses. Record your voice narrating those memories as if you achieved them already. Check out the eight-step exercise here.
3. Write your own obituary
This exercise confronts you with your own death — that’s why it’s so powerful. Writing your own obituary is a moving experience. We take time for granted, but when you face your own death, all excuses vanish. Crafting your obituary encourages you to live your life the way you want to be remembered. Download the exercise and instructions at the end of this post.
4. Write a legacy letter
This document is similar to a will though it focuses on the wisdom and impact you want to give others rather than on possession or material things. Writing a legacy letter is not only a useful exercise, but it’s also a beautiful gift for your loved ones for once you are gone. Here’s a simple way to take a first stab at it.
5. Define your values
As I mentioned before, your values define your choices in life; they are the foundations of your legacy. Even if you think you know what you stand for, it doesn’t hurt spending some time reflecting or revisiting your values. Follow these steps to identify and prioritize your core values.
We all have a purpose in life. Designing your legacy will bring clarity — it will help guide your actions and priorities.
Your legacy is not about you, but about the mark you leave in those whose lives you touch. It’s a generous act — there’s no room for egos.
What footprint will you leave in the sand of time?
Negativity Can Be Positive, It’s Not Always So Bad
In the midst of the social media age, the stakes for keeping up with the Jones has never been higher. Accomplishments are immediately shared. Vacations you dream of taking are spread across your digital screen as you scroll away at home, at your dreaded 9 to 5 job, or most likely — on the toilet.
A bit grim? Maybe so — and I admit, few people have sincerely called me an optimist. However, negativity gets an unfair shake, probably because there is confusion about what negativity actually means.
Which brings us to this, the literal definition:
negativity, noun, is the expression of criticism of or pessimism about something.
There is a distinction between negativity and being a serial complainer or Debbie-Downer. Expressing negativity does not automatically make you a horribly depressing person.
In moderation, it is in line with skepticism. It just means you have doubts, and that you recognize that things do not always go according to plan. Circumstances and situations change, and you need to be able to adjust accordingly.
Negativity, in this lens, can be seen as a form of adaptability and even independence. While it is easy to complain internally or mope around, it is harder to express thoughtful criticism in the context where it matters. Perhaps you are working on a team to complete a project, here, expressing negativity can create dialogue and lead to more analytical and rigorous decision-making.
Negativity is also distinct from toxicity.
Toxic, adjective, causing unpleasant feelings; harmful or malicious.
You should absolutely avoid toxicity. When you see toxic people, Run.Seriously, I learned this mistake when I hung on to a toxic relationship with an ex-romantic partner, thinking that our conversations were helping both of us. In reality, it was just draining for everyone and eventually, turned into cyberstalking where law enforcement had to get involved.
While some toxic people can and do express negativity, people can also express negativity without being toxic. This distinction is important, as negativity is far too often linked to things that are actually annoying or harmful.
13 Little But Powerful Ways To Shatter Your Ego
A starter’s guide.
Every time I’ve suffered in life, my ego has been at the source. Not knowing your ass from third base breeds numerous problems, but perhaps the most dangerous is the inability to see beyond your own point of view.
Living via your ego is essentially operating as if everything revolves around you — the world as you see it is the way it is. While a smattering of truth is present, much of life is open to interpretation. Getting outside of our own opinion as often as possible can spare us much of the heartache.
Easier said than done, there are several strategies to stepping outside of the ego and living a harmonious life. Here are thirteen ways to remain grounded in your understanding of the events life chooses to unfold.
1. Kill the addiction to approval
Much like the Hedonic Treadmill, approval is like any other desire in life. We strive to gain it, relish in it momentarily once attained, and set out for more thereafter. It’s as gratifying as winning the lottery and having to return the money the next day. The recognition is not the issue — the fact that we don’t feel good enough without it is.
2. Seek out praise for others
The subconscious mind doesn’t operate based on what you think is true. It functions based on what it hears. Deliberately identifying opportunities to praise others will gradually shift your inner being from quietly self-serving to proudly secure.
3. Write down or declare your purpose each day
Despite the astounding capabilities of the brain, it’s default is reaction mode. If you don’t chart a course for it, the ship only steers when absolutely necessary. Writing down your intent for the day allows you to override the survival mechanism and stay consistent with who you really are.
4. Let go of the false power of anger
You’re not fooling anyone by raising your voice. Anger, although combative on the surface, is a derived from fear. We have no need to relish in rage when we are secure within ourselves. It’s when we feel threatened and afraid that we look throw the kitchen sink.
Leaning into anger is the fastest route to losing any grip whatsoever on the situation. You give up your ability to cause a different outcome. Instead of lashing out, care for the child inside of you who’s clearly hurt from the situation and come up with a more balanced plan of attack.
5. Spend time alone in nature
Man-made structure can always have holes poked in them. There’s always an opportunity to say what could be better. Nature on other hand, is much harder to argue with. It comes from the earth, the unknown, which we do not understand. That which we do not understand, we proceed with caution. There’s absolutely zero ego in the eye of a hurricane.
6. Leverage the Law of Attraction
Increasing in popularity over the past several years, the Law of Attraction states that what you put out to the universe, you receive in return. So when most of your questions to are centered around what you can get out of life, life typically meets you with a similar demanding nature.
Conversely, looking for ways in which you can serve often opens up the doors for others to do the same for you. You must give what you wish to receive.
7. Be still
There was an event that took places in your life between the ages of 4–6 that resulted in a permanent conversation in your head. This internal noise, which we leverage for much of our wisdom, is not our intuition. It’s simply our survival dialogue giving up a blown-out-of-proportion commentary about what’s happening in our lives. The ego is pulling the strings.
Next time you feel triggered, don’t act or respond right away. Acknowledge your first response and ask yourself, “What else could this mean?”
8. Use irritation from others as a mirror for yourself
How you react to others says more about you and the state you’re in than it does about them. People are who they are — some very secure, some not. An inkling of frustration is meant to be water, not gasoline. Assume everyone you interact with is perfect the way they are except you. Hold back the onset of berating other people and flip the lens to see which part of your psyche the situation could be exposing — and could use more of your love.
9. Focus on inner currency
While you may have tangible money in a tangible bank, the same can be said for what’s inside your heart and mind. It won’t matter how much money you have in savings if there’s mostly garbage in your head. The love and compassion you show yourself and others is the quickest way to making huge deposits in your spiritual bank account — the one that will grant you a far more fulfilling life than simply dollars and cents.
10. Give in to vulnerability
Being open and honest about what’s really going on is a true measure of strength. The fear of looking bad drives people to internalize much of what they deal with on a daily basis. Feelings are reduced in power when we verbalize them and see them for what they are. Keeping them locked away in a tight crevice leaves the authentic self preoccupied, creating space for the ego to step in and navigate self-expression.
11. Suppress the need to add your opinion to everything
There’s something to be said about the person secure enough within themselves to remain quiet and reserved while another party shares. We’re very connected as human beings. Odds are, we could add our opinion to just about any conversation. Most of the time however, it’s not who we really are that’s looking to add the opinion — it’s the ego.
The ego has an overwhelmingly need for significance. Therefore, it cannot help but blurt a point-of-view every waking chance it gets. Realize this is not serving any particular need outside of self-worth. If you’re not offering something of legitimate value to the person you’re speaking with, calm the storm and wait for a question to be posed.
12. Question why you do what you do
In neuro-linguistic programming, there’s what’s called a core value elicitation. With this method, the values that drive people are derived from what they’re looking for in life, down to the deepest level. For example, a person’s chosen career path could serve the values of contribution and growth or it could serve the values of security and self-worth. Same trajectory, very different forces manning the control booth.
It’s when we’re unclear on which of these values we’re serving that we’re often left unfulfilled. We arrive at a checkpoint we looked forward to celebrating and a cascade of emptiness wipes out whatever glimmer of excitement we had been harboring. The ego is self-consumed. If what you’re doing doesn’t light you up, it probably isn’t addressing a value that’s important enough to you — or you’re not making a deliberate correlation to it.
13. Locate yourself in others as often as possible
The context in which we screw up in life can differ, but we all do it. It seems like only yesterday we experienced our most spectacular drop of the ball, as we pleaded to our higher power for people to show mercy.
Much of life is trivial. It’s not grandiose or horrific, it’s simply there. Being, breathing, alone, and perplexed. It’s hard enough as it is for many of us. Because of the way the human brain is wired, things will get worse if we don’t consciously make them better. Given this understanding, we either make things better for others or we allow them to get worse — there’s no neutrality.
Viewing ourselves as distinct from everyone else is the quickest way to set the ego loose to spread its turmoil. We’re not that different. We all have the same needs. Certain people may created layer upon layer of protection agencies but inside, there’s still a scared kid. The sooner we identify a time when we experienced a similar struggle to what another person if dealing with, the sooner we trade our admonishment for love and care — the ultimate victory for the authentic self over the ego.
Listen to the Power of Quiet People
You don’t need to be loud to be smart
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
That’s a tricky question. I have a hard time answering it myself.
That’s the problem of binary questions — you are forced to choose one or the other. Being quiet is a choice — you can be more outspoken in specific scenarios or more withdrawn in others.
Who you are cannot be limited to one label. Especially, when those labels are loaded terms. Our society favors action versus contemplation — extroverts have a more positive buzz.
Quiet people have a unique power — everyone, them included, needs to pay more attention to it.
A culture that worships loud people
Our society has a long tradition of trying to define what’s normal — maybe because we have a hard time accepting that we are all unique.
Being left-handed was vigorously oppressed throughout the centuries — lefties were forced to use their right hand to write. Discriminatory practices against left-handers persisted well into the 20th Century.
Similarly, people still believe that being an introvert is not normal — those who act and speak louder are favored.
I remember growing-up, classmates would say, “Why don’t you talk more?” I felt something was wrong with me. I enjoyed listening to others, observing the world, and cultivating my inner-self.
Through time, I became much comfortable with being exposed. I can do a keynote speech in front of thousands of people or facilitate workshops that put me in a vulnerable position. I don’t have an issue exposing myself — many people now believe I’m an extrovert.
So, have I changed?
At some point, I became a victim of the push to being more extroverted. I became too loud — I wasn’t listening or reflecting as much as I usually did. In the past year or so, I’ve been finding balance — I recovered the power of being quiet.
“Society favors a man of actions versus a man of contemplation.” — Susan Cain.
The speaker and author explains on her TED talk how, in the 20th Century, we shifted from a culture of character to one of personality. Being bold, having social influence and charisma became critical traits to define a successful personality
We have an outdated ‘charisma bias’ towards the loud — there’s a cult for charismatic leaders, but that doesn’t warrant better results.
Bill Gates has played a transformational role in the tech world, similar to Steve Jobs. However, in spite of the Gates Foundation social impact, he doesn’t get as much publicity or credit as Apple’s former CEO. Similarly, Steve Wozniak is not as quoted as his co-founder.
The press gives the microphone to those who are loud.
However, most successful stories are the result of collaborations between both introverts and extroverts. Wozniak says that he would never have become a computer expert had he not been too introverted to leave the house when he was growing up.
Quiet people have things to say too and, most of the times, they provide more clarity and depth.
Quiet people have a strong voice
“There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum. “ — Carl Jung
The terms introvert and extrovert were popularized by Carl Jung in the early 20th century, although both the widespread understanding and usage differ from his original intent. People turned it into a binary approach — you are one or the other.
Jung’ suggested that everyone has both extroverted and introverted sides, with one being more dominant than the other.
Free yourself from the extrovert or introvert label trap.
The Swiss psychologist explained how we recharge our brain differently: Introverts by spending time alone; Extroverts from other people. Similarly, Hans Eysenck proposed that each type has different levels of arousal — their minds and bodies are more responsive to different stimulation.
According to the English psychologist, extroverts have a lower rate of arousal. They need to work harder to get stimulated to the same level than introverts. That’s why extroverted people seek bold challenges, new experiences, and crave for company.
Conversely, quiet people don’t need others to feel recharged. Their voices are already strong — they don’t need to speak louder. Also, being alone with one’s thoughts can be as restorative as sleeping.
Introverts are active when they are quiet.
Introverts have a lot to say but also value the power of being quiet. Silence is not the absence of words, but the presence of focus. The only thing introverts hate more than talking about themselves is repeating themselves.
Purposeful silence is a beautiful thing
“There is always music amongst the trees, but our hearts must be still to hear it.” — Minnie Aumonier
Being quiet is a choice, not a permanent status.
Mental noise can destroy our minds, as I wrote here. Silence is an endangered species that we need to take care of. Noise is both a distraction and escapism. Silence is more than the absence of noise — it allows the presence of everything else.
For Japanese people, silence is an essential form of non-verbal communication — it’s a sign of respect and personal distance. For Westerners, silence means something is wrong. That’s the biggest mistake extroverts make — they assume that, when people are quiet, it’s because they are doubtful, lonely or suffering.
Silence gives you the freedom to be yourself. It’s a beautiful choice that can reap many benefits.
- You listen more to others. Listening is the most essential part of a conversation. We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen as twice as much as we speak as Epictetus said.
- You avoid getting involved in ill conversations. The need to speak is an easy trap — we all become victims of our desire to add to the conversation. Gossiping, criticizing, expressing opinions about what we don’t know are clear examples of doing unnecessary talking.
- You pause and observe life. Talking too much keeps our brain busy. As the Japanese proverb says: “To fill a cup of tea, you have to empty it first.” When you stop talking, you start paying attention to the world around you.
- You learn from others. Rather than jumping to quick conclusions, you can listen to different voices. Not only you learn from others, but it also helps you walk in their shoes. Understanding diverse perspectives is critical to avoid being judgmental.
- You can spend more time getting to know yourself. Silence allows your inner-voice to speak up and get familiarized with your inner-self. To know yourself is to accept yourself. However, too much self-examination can kill you, as I explain here.
Permanent silence is not always good either — life is a balancing act.
Quiet people need more safe time
The fear of being ignored, criticized, or attacked by others prevent people from sharing their true thoughts.
Google research discovered that Psychological Safety can make or break a team. People want to feel safe to express their opinions without the fear of being judged by others.
This notion applies to any team — working, sports, friends and family relationships must provide a safe space for everyone to speak up. Quiet people need safe time — let them choose when to talk and respect their opinions.
The practice of Psychological Safety encourages two practices.
1. Conversational turn-taking:
Everyone should have its turn to speak — avoid one person taking over the conversation. Women feel that they are more often being interrupted by men. The same happens to African Americans or Latinos — sometimes being a minority makes you quieter. Encourage a space where everyone’s voice not only can be listened to but also respected.
2. Social sensitivity:
Any group — socially or at work — should get better at reading non-verbal cues. Not every silence is the same. Understanding the nuances can help you adjust your behavior. Research by Adam Grant has found that introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes than extroverts do because they’re much more likely to let those employees run with their ideas. Whereas extroverts can get so excited that they put their own stamp on things, overshadowing other people’s ideas.
Accept quiet people as they are. If you lean towards being an extrovert, don’t expect others to behave as you do.
Five ways to give room to quiet people
Quiet people need space too — just as loud people do. These exercises will help provide it.
If you tend to talk too much, they will help you value other people’s silence. If you are on the quieter side of the spectrum, share the exercises with your friends and colleagues.
1. No-interruptions rule
It’s more difficult for women to earn recognition for making a valuable contribution than it is for men. The same happens to quiet people. Make space for everyone to have its turn to share their thoughts and opinions — everyone should agree to abide by the one-voice-at-a-time practice.
A ‘no-interruptions’ rule in meetings or social gatherings helps everyone voices be heard, not just those of loud people.
2. Ask for feedback in advance
Quiet people don’t like to provide feedback on their feet. They prefer to take time to review information before they share their opinions. LinkedIn launched the “Quiet Ambassador” Network to recognize the voice of introverts versus extroverts and teach leaders how to pull the most out of everyone.
Quiet people are given the notes of a meeting in advance so that they can prepare and have a point of view beforehand. Introverts can share their notes and ideas that are added to a website after the meeting.
3. Use physical space wisely
Humans tend to move from one extreme to the other. In the case of office space, we jumped from closed to open spaces without any balance. Some activities require collaboration among large teams, others small social interactions. Many, demand privacy to reflect quietly on specific issues.
Introverts don’t thrive in an extrovert-centric workplace. Create quiet spaces and experiences for both individuals and small teams.
4. Recover the value of silence
You don’t need to be loud to be smart. Silence adds rhythm and intentionalityto your life. When you stop, everything else becomes visible. Encourage those around you to experience how it feels to be quiet but, most importantly, to benefit from silence.
Try not speaking for a couple of hours. If you tend to be the first to give an opinion, force yourself to be the last one. Not just to hold your horses, but to actively listen to others. Pay attention. Most of the time silence means that your ideas add nothing to what has already been said. And that’s okay.
5. Get rid of the binary approach
The introvert versus extrovert thing is doing no one a favor. Choosing sides is never a good thing. Avoid the labels by creating collaboration opportunities. We need both quiet and noise.
Organizations of all types must embrace and promote the collaboration between the quiet and the loud. Stop extroverts rules from bullying introverts because they choose silence.
Silence is a space. Use it wisely. Invite the unexpected to happen.
Create a culture of belonging where everyone feels welcome for whom they are without having to please other people’s expectations.