Quiet Confidence

Confidence is not loud or boisterous.

Nor is a strong ego to be confused with confidence.

Real confidence is often silent, strong, principled and gracious.

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Understanding the Intentions of Others

Erik Seidel is arguably the best poker player ever and is in the Poker Hall of Fame.

But he doesn’t count cards – he observes his opponent’s behavior.

Erik Seidel remains on top because his style of play is a psychological one based less on mathematical outputs and more on understanding the human element according to the Maria Konnikova, author of The Biggest Bluff.

To learn the intentions of others, look to the other side of silence not necessarily what they say.

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The Good Part of Bad Luck

Bad luck may be saving us from something far worse.

“You never can tell whether bad luck may not after all turn out to be good luck…One must never forget when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse; or that when you make some great mistake, it may very easily serve you better than the best-advised decision.” —  Winston Churchill “ My Early Life,” 1930

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The Benefit of Adversity

Our happiness seems to come back to one thing.

Not how lucky or unlucky we are but how we deal with adversity.

Happiness is born of adversity because happy people tend to face their problems when they occur.

Rather than wishing problems away, take steps to deal with adversity and develop the optimism that comes from being proactive.

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How is Walking into the Operating Room Motivational?

New York Presbyterian Columbia University Hospital has found that when able, if a patient walks into an operating room for surgery instead of being wheeled in on a gurney they will recover sooner.

In every other way, too, actions don’t just speak louder than words, they send an even more powerful subliminal message directly to your brain that you expect to succeed.

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Double Down on Strengths

Most people have no problem articulating all their shortcomings – after all, they’ve probably heard them from the lips of others.

Rerunning negative thoughts over again produces more negative thoughts.

Flip that.

What are you good at?  Why do people trust you?  What is the chief advantage you have as a person?

For the rest of this day – double down on them.

They are real, true, sources of great pride and a master motivator to unlocking other strengths – the ones you didn’t even know you have.

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We Get What We Expect

My accountant was a negative guy with whom to play golf.

He would hit the ball straight and far down the fairway and then as he was choosing his next club, he would say “on in 2 and 3 putts”.  For those who don’t play golf, if you’re on the green in two shots, you would not even think you would need three putts to hole out.

He played down to his negativity.

I hope he didn’t say “here’s your tax bill, now multiple it by 3 and you’re good”.  Of course not.

Self-sabotage is the worst kind of negativity and yet we all do it either out of fear, or I believe lack of confidence.

If we can’t stay positive on ourselves, how can we expect others to treat us that way.

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Compare Yourself to Only You

Rick Allen, the heavy metal rock band Def Leppard’s drummer, didn’t want to be near people when he had an auto accident in 1984 that caused his left arm to be amputated.

He asked his brother for his stereo while in the hospital and it was then that he realized that he might still be able to play the drums as a one-armed drummer.

Allen continued to play with the band during its most commercially successful period.

What he learned was that he could no longer compare himself to others.

That he is unique and can only be compared to Rick Allen.

There’s someone better, smarter, more attractive, funnier, richer and on and on but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

Like Rick Allen, compare yourself to you and only you to see the real growth that keeps you motivated.

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Great Communicators are Great Listeners First

Wait 5 seconds before you answer in person.

10 seconds before rereading a text before hitting send.

Always re-read email before sending.

If the mail is emotional or contentious, wait 12 hours, re-read it and chances are you will not send it (just writing it may have done the job for you without the acrimony that is sure to follow).

Effective communicators listen or read before attempting a response.

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One-Day Vacation from Stress

Stress, anxiety, fear and worry get compounded as we face each new day as we hold on to the previous day’s problems.

Here’s how a one-day vacation from all that works:

  • Accept no new worries, fear, stress or anxiety for 24 hours by learning how to feel the stress coming on and pushing it until tomorrow. No exceptions.  It’s a day off from worry.
  • Previous days worries and stress are also put on hold for the day.

The toughest part is recognizing the building anxiety as it is happening but as you do, push it off until tomorrow.

When you resume worrying, being fearful again, being down with anxiety and stress, your one-day vacation will provide a fresh look at problems.

Some will go away.  Some will remain, but training the brain to take a short break from emotional distress is an act of personal kindness you deserve.

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