The Number One Way of Communicating

It’s texting – at least among teens (up from 32% in 2012 to 35% 2018).  Probably higher today as it has been trending upward.

In-person communication has paid the price for texting – down 49% to 32% in the same period.

Social media (16%) and video chatting (10%) are also on the rise.

The only means of communication that is declining is in-person.

Depression comes from lack of interpersonal relationships.

The phone is a convenient tool but also a great addiction.  To avoid the downside of too much connectivity, set aside times for meals, bedtime, homework (for students) and social interactions to silence devices.

Stressing Our Pets

Did you know that Spotify and Comcast have streaming music for your pets?

It turns out that pets are stressed by their owners because stress is absolutely the malady of the digital age.

On Spotify you can set up your pet channel, post a picture and let them chill out to music while you’re away which is the major way these channels are used.  Comcast uses images, colors and music to soothe the anxious pets.  No hip-hop and classic rock here.  They seem to prefer Beethoven and soft rock.

When pets are getting stressed out by their owners, it is past the time for us to rethink the role of instant access, social media and streaming video in our lives.

A Sense of Duty

Two months before entering first grade, my father had a massive heart attack.

From that moment on, I learned that I had to take care of him, my mother and later in life everyone else.

Caregivers know the feeling I’m describing.

Pouring your last ounce of physical and emotional energy into saving someone else.

Just as important is to learn to take care of yourself – your needs, emotions and priorities.

That sense of duty toward others also applies to us.

Faith in Yourself

Believing in yourself is not a feeling.

It’s a decision.

Waiting to feel confident enough to live life, pursue careers, enter relationships and deal with adversity is a sure way to never be ready.

It comes down to betting on yourself.

Are you ready to decide to believe in your abilities, motivation and skills or are you going to wait until you feel it?

If you’re not willing to bet on you, how can it be expected for someone else to provide that which you will not?

The first person to believe in you must be you.

The One Thing About Jealousy

If someone is jealous of you, you already won.

Don’t blow it by being jealous of them.

Jealousy kills relationships, self-confidence and trust.

Take the victory and move on.

Asking Questions

The most powerful way to interact with others is to ask questions but that is not how we do it.

We more often talk about what we think, what we know and what we feel and totally miss the opportunity to learn and gauge the emotions of those around us.

I worked for a person in broadcasting who constantly questioned me on the latest rumors in the radio industry even though he was more connected to it than I was.

I finally said, “Why do you always ask me about the things you already know?” and he answered, “that’s how I learn more about the industry and about you”.

Asking open ended questions instead of making statements is a skill worth acquiring.

P.S., it works with children, too.

The Best Decisions

More bad relationships are started by doing the reverse – thinking with your heart and not your head.

Feeling with your head is also the reverse of what works best.

To make the best decisions think with your head, feel with your heart – not the other way around.

Rotate Your Greatest Hits

My mother used to prepare the same basic Italian meals – needless to say Sunday and Wednesday were pasta days.

Occasionally she would vary.  Fish on Friday.  Special menu for holidays, birthdays and events.

When I programmed radio stations, we played the most popular hits in a tight rotation over and over again making sure that the most popular songs were being played.

There are things in our lives that make it special – routines, things that always bring us joy.

Rotate life’s greatest hits to make you happy and make it possible to endure all those not so nice things that we have to deal with.

Don’t postpone joy – put it on repeat so it can play over and over again.

Assume You’ll Win

It amazes me how many college students doubt themselves before doing projects, papers, discussions and even internships.

And they may be young and full of potential but they are not the only people who doubt themselves.

The last person to bet against you should be you.

It’s far better to assume you will win and banish every thought of failing.

Imagine if a football team took the field and said, “I’m worried about winning this game”.  Bingo.  Right there, they lose.

We do the same thing by placing a bet on self-doubt instead of self-confidence.

You’ll win.  Period.

If you don’t, you’ll learn and win like that.

The next time you try anything, never bet against the most important person in your life – you.

Shy People

I was shy growing up – so much so that my teachers told my parents to force me to join a theater group to get over it (obviously I protested).

Although I went on to a career on-air in radio and television, teaching and public speaking, I never got over it.  In many ways, I’m still shy and I’m sticking to it.

Sometimes there is an outgoing me and sometimes a private me.

It’s possible to learn how to be bigger, become more outgoing when necessary and even perform in public.

One of my favorite things to do is start a conversation face-to-face with someone I don’t know.

That allows me to channel my “shy” at the same time proving that I can “be bigger” when it is appropriate.

A loud mouth is not better than a wallflower.

It is far better to be many things when needed than all things that are never needed.