Forget Everything You Know About Being Liked — Here’s a Popularity Makeover

Hardly anyone can resist a person like this …

  1. The one who is first to give out praise without seeking it for themselves.
  2. The one who listens without judging.
  3. The person who asks questions instead of talking about their own lives.
  4. The one that expunges all jealousy from their soul and wishes others success even if they can’t share in it.
  5. The one who can say “I’m sorry” many times a day and be proud of it.
  6. And the one who bans the word “me” and replaces it with “you”.

Start with the first until it’s mastered and then go through the list one at a time for a popularity makeover.

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The Biggest Regret — Is It Yours?

You may think it was working too much but it is actually not loving enough.

This from a recent survey of 90-year old’s looking back on their lives.

Too much work, not enough time, more attention to the family are all issues that have come up in similar surveys but now the biggest regret of those who have lived a full life is not loving enough.

Imagine if these seniors had their epiphany 30 or 40 years sooner.

So, it’s not too late for us this morning.

Who do you love the most and what can you do to show them?

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Starting Over After a Bad Day

I like to look at my life as a blank canvas.

Every morning I get a chance to paint a new picture – unique to what I am feeling that day or what I want in life.

And this valuable imagery.

You wouldn’t hand the brush over to an employer, a friend or even a loved one and allow them to paint on your canvas – that would not be a true representation of your life the way you want to live it.

But that’s what we do – allow others to unduly influence or even hijack the life that is ours.

To reclaim it, start each day with a blank canvas – you may paint a Rembrandt or it may wind up looking like finger painting.

But it’s yours and the more we value and protect our choice to live the way we want to, the happier we will be.

Today is your picture of what you want and how you want to use this day.

When people are close to death, they often regret a lot of things that they never thought about when they had years to live.

Doing it your way – for better or worse – is one way to avoid those regrets.

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Why Dreams Often Fail Without These 19 Words

Just wanting something does not at all mean we will get it.

Seeing that dream vividly in your mind’s eye is more effective.

You don’t want to get rich, you want to visualize in vivid color pictures what wealth means to you. 

You don’t want a promotion, it’s much more motivating to see what title you want on your business card.

It doesn’t work to say you just want to be happy – what specifically does happy look like for you?  Can you paint the picture in all its color?

Back to money – everyone wants more but few ever get enough because they fail to see vividly in their mind’s eye why that money is important so the journey to earn it often becomes the destination.

The only thing worth your sweat and blood is that which you can visualize.

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Self-Sabotage

I have a friend who always thinks the worst thing is going to happen to him.

He cannot even enjoy his successes.

Self-sabotage is lowering the bar so low that it becomes easier to succeed.

But my friend never enjoys his victories.

I’ve known him for a long time and in college he always thought he failed the test but was frequently the one who got the A.

Attacking yourself – and that’s what self-sabotage really is – is not how to live a happy and successful life.

If it’s worth your time, it’s worth your positive energy and hard work.

Whatever happens happens but you’ve done your best.

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Expect the Worst

Why is it that we criticize ourselves often worse than someone else could?

Does expecting the worst make it easier if things don’t work out?

Or is being overly optimistic just as dangerous because you’re flirting with a potentially bigger letdown if you don’t meet or exceed expectations?

Keeping expectations low and within reason and motivation high is the winning formula.

Expect the worst and you’ll likely get it.

Expect success and you’ll often be disappointed.

But expect the best possible effort that you can muster – that’s a winning plan.

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Positive Reinforcement

When a student tells their parents “I got 4 A’s and a B”, often the first response is “what did you get the B in?”  Not tell me about your report card.

For every “I got the promotion”, often the first comment is “how much more does it pay?” not “that’s great news – tell me about it.”

“I’m a finalist” often evokes “who else are you competing against and/or what are your chances?” instead of a simple and enthusiastic “congratulations – well done”.

The default setting is increasingly negative.

Lifting up and not running down is positive enforcement.

You want to be the person doing all the “lifting”.

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Overcoming Doubts

Doubts mean absolutely nothing – unless you listen to them.

Doubts are excuses to fear the future and make a case for why something will not turn out right.

Happy, successful people don’t allow themselves to harbor doubts.

Their language does not include “can’t” or “won’t” because doubting yourself is like shooting yourself in the foot before the race begins.

To overcome doubts, eliminate them from every aspect of life and give yourself a better chance to succeed.

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Trusting Your Instincts

If you don’t, how can you expect anyone else to?

Failure to do so means you are outsourcing what you believe to be true to someone else who can never be in your shoes.

The hardest thing to do especially when the stakes get higher is to trust your instincts but it should be the other way around.  It should be easy, second-nature, automatic.

Your instincts are your inner gift – pay attention, empower and trust your inner wisdom.

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The Best Deal You Can Ever Make

A recent article in The New York Times “The Best Deal Is What You Give Away” was written by a woman recalling her childhood and the time her father wanted to sell his car, a 1978 Chrysler LeBaron.

The father wanted $1,000 but he looked to his daughter as a “de facto adviser” and the daughter recommended he charge a higher price — $1,200.

In the end the buyer showed up with his two daughters and peeled off $1,200 in hundred dollar bills.  The father hesitated to pocket the money and eventually handed $200 back to the buyer and said “Please, you must take your daughters to Disneyland and buy them whatever they want”.  The man was “confused” but eventually acceded to the seller’s demand.

And therein was a powerful lesson I share today:

“When you have what you need, use the rest to bring joy into someone else’s life.  That is the best deal you could ever make.”

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