The Secret to Being Liked

The hotel worker who cradled Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s head in the kitchen where he was assassinated in 1968 remembers the quality Kennedy had that made him like the senator.

Juan Romero delivered room service a day earlier and remembers how Kennedy looked right into his eyes and made him feel important.

It won’t be difficult to find people who believe you make them feel important in a world distracted by digital devices and self-absorption.

Feeling important is one of the best feelings we can have (or give).

It makes us special – no other words are necessary.

Just focus, gaze and sincerity.

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  • Awesome article!

Avoiding Disappointment

On Instagram or Facebook someone is having a better vacation than we had.

Or is wearing more stylish clothes.

More friends on social media even if they don’t know them all.

A new job gets a big announcement and plenty of congrats.

Seems things are perfect in cyberspace.

Even when we consciously try not to have high expectations, when it is a tap away on the phone, it is easy to be a bit envious and disappointed.

Disconnect from time to time.

And repeat this mantra:

Keep your expectations low and your motivation high to avoid the ups and downs that are so prevalent in the digital world.

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Exceeding Expectations

I was at Philadelphia International Airport a week ago when my printed ticket would not authorize me to go through TSA Pre.

The TSA agent didn’t just show me where the kiosk was for printing a new one but she took me to the kiosk, leaving her post, inputting my ticket number and printing a new ticket.  She then proceeded to walk me back through the line to her station.

I would have been happy with instructions but it made my day to see her personally intervene and take such a person-centered interest.

Philly’s airport reputation just got a reassessment.

All TSA agents are rude and cranky – not this one.

By doing more than I expected, I was not only happy and grateful but it made my day.

The secret in a self-absorbed world is to exceed expectations.

At work.

At home.

With friends.

This is real positive power available to anyone looking to be remarkable starting now.

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Constructive Criticism

There is no such thing as constructive criticism.

Constructive help?  Yes.

Criticism?  No.

No one likes to be criticized even under the guise that it is going to make you better.

Listen to suggestions, not criticism.

Filter out the negative.

Help others.  Avoid including a critique of what they did wrong.

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Building Confidence

Nothing helps boost positive feelings more than when things are going right.

And nothing makes us doubt ourselves more than when things go wrong.

The trick is to build confidence when you need it most not to wait for things to get better on their own.

Keep a list of accomplishments on your phone notes  

Review the list many times during the day (it’s right on your phone)

Include little things – in fact, start with little things

Assume you will succeed not fail

Take time to discard any negative comments from others

Trying and not quitting is a big success – put it on the list

For every criticism, add a compliment – always balance them

Never attack yourself

Remember there is no such thing as constructive criticism 

To build confidence it is first important to show love and respect for yourself.

And the most important thing:

Don’t look for confidence in the words of others.  

Your confidence is your responsibility.

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Erasing Self-Doubt

Nothing hurts more or more deeply than self-doubt.

When the simple belief that we can do it is attacked by all the reasons we can’t.

It’s one thing for other people to doubt.

It’s fatal to happiness when we doubt ourselves.

Nothing worth doing is worth doubting.

Assume a virtue if you have it not as Shakespeare said.

Don’t look elsewhere for the belief in yourself.

If you don’t have it, they won’t have it for you.

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Stop Stress in 10 Words

Money.

Relationships.

Work.

Not enough time.

These are four of the biggest anxiety producers.

Stress is cumulative.  It gets worse as we obsess over it.

An effective way to stop stress in its tracks once it starts occurring is to repeat this mantra often:

99% of the time what we worry about never happens.

The worry always causes more anxiety than what is feared.

Manage stress by putting it in its place.

Perception is scarier than reality.

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Responding to Insults

When they go low, you go high.

But what about when they keep going low?

Another approach is when they go low you ignore them.

It’s like wearing a shirt that has a big button on it that says PUSH.

There are times when an honest response is the right thing to do.

And when the insults keep coming, keep cutting off the oxygen of the verbal abuser.

They will soon look for someone else’s buttons to push.

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From Losing to Winning

It took 5 years.

Many surgeries.

Rehabilitation.

Dealing with personal issues.

Living with self-doubt.

But on Sunday, September 23rd, Tiger Woods won his first PGA victory.

Here’s the thing.

Losing is an ugly gift that reminds us how badly we want to win.

The tougher it is, the more it hurts, the more that it requires us to double down and not give up, losing in a rehearsal for winning that cannot be denied.

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Harsh Criticism

Criticism is never constructive.

And harsh criticism is abusive behavior.

Even in sports, the coach who gets away with harsh criticism as a motivator is often out of work a year or two later.   Hurtful feelings are a lousy motivator.

Don’t listen – walk away, end the conversation.

There is a difference from improving and being devastated.  Improving is your decision no one else’s.

Being defensive means the abuser won.

Another reason not to listen.  The first time you defend yourself, you won’t change anything but you will feel worse.

No one gets direct access to your psyche.

Not even for compliments.  Our brains are sensitive areas that control the way we feel about ourselves.  Letting anyone have direct access to our inner most and fragile state of mind is flirting with danger.

If it is an employer who harshly criticizes, double down on looking for new work. 

The best way to avenge such negative and hurtful behavior is to do something positive to finding a less toxic workplace.

Never criticize yourself.

Nothing is harsher or more damaging than an insult uttered by you to yourself.

We are responsible for how we think about ourselves – never outsource it to anyone else especially those close to you.

Concentrate on the good, not the bad.

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  • Jerry I love your posts. They are so right on. And I feel such wisdom and support coming from you to all of us. Many thanks.