A Valuable Gift That Costs Nothing

The one thing everyone wants – no, craves – is approval.

All of us are always looking for approval.

Approval is the gift that keeps on giving.

Take a moment and think of the one person in your life that you admire most and you’re probably looking at someone who gives you constant approval.

The thing is to generate as much approval for others as you can while being 100% sincere.  To not be sincere is to be controlling.

Find the good in everyone and tell them.

People you know and people you don’t know.

Giving approval is like that Doritos tortilla chips commercial that’s says “crunch all you want, we’ll make more”.

To feel good about doing the one thing that is guaranteed to make others feel good at no cost to you is the most valuable gift you can give.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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How to Criticize

Don’t.

Name a person who likes criticism?

But to make suggestions, help someone improve or go to the next level, the most effective way is to do it indirectly.

Talk about this specific problem in terms of you not them – this way it will not be taken as criticism. 

Then, suggest specific things (cures, ideas, hints) that the other person will want to hear because it is not criticism. 

Always end with a word of encouragement that what you’re talking about is possible for that specific person. 

No one would be insulted to be treated in this way because it is the most positive way to allow another person to learn from their mistakes.

And yes, it works on children as well.

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Confidence Is Perishable

When everything is going great, it’s easy to have confidence.

And then something happens and we look over our shoulders wondering what’s about to go wrong.

One or two challenges to confidence and poof – we start wondering what’s wrong.

Confidence is as perishable as fresh food – when it doesn’t get consumed, it rots.

So, consume confidence.

Use it when it comes your way and save it for when you need a reminder (like on a list or inputted into a notes app on a smartphone that you can scroll through).

No one can escape the loss of confidence from time to time.

That’s exactly when it helps to use the confidence you gained previously to make it through the rough times.

Waiting for everything to go great is a long wait that is unnecessary when you dedicate yourself to reminding yourself of all the successes you’ve had.

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Read some sample chapters of my book Out of Bad Comes Good, The Advantages of Disadvantages here.

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We Become Like the People We’re Around

Animals adapt to their environment – even over the ages changing their appearance so as to protect themselves from other predators.

But humans also become like the people in our lives.

If they are less ethical, it challenges our ethics.

If they are rude, we adapt and sometimes change our tolerance to rudeness.

If they cheat, we may not become cheaters but we will spend some effort to resist the outside pressures exerted by others.

Less obsession with making friends.

Or collecting friends on social media.

More attention to who we want as friends.

Having people who share the values that define us in our lives is being a good friend to them and to yourself.

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Becoming a More Confident Person

We know a confident person when see one, right?

Not necessarily.

People can learn to act confident, speaking with force, make decisions even if they are not good ones and who wants to be left suffering fools like this?

Real confidence comes from deep inside.

Humility – the ability to thank others and not take the credit. 

Giving power away – it takes confidence to let another person have “your” way. 

The “awesome power of listening” rather than speaking. 

Leading others by actually going first.

The ability to admit a mistake quickly without using the word “but” to explain it.

Investing in other people even when they don’t believe in themselves for a real return on investment.

Looking for and giving out compliments backed by evidence not criticism backed by jealousy or fear of losing control.

Hint:  These are 7 can’t miss steps to becoming a more confident person above.  Choose one each month and master it before moving on to the next.

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