Becoming a Better Communicator

When the need to be heard is greater than the need to hear, communication has hit pause.

Talking more is communicating less.

That’s why meetings are dreaded except by those doing all the talking and why few can remember a lecture of any kind in which they have not first become engaged in the conversation.

Asking questions is the secret.

Listening to the responses will prompt more questions.

Not weighing in on your reaction to what you’re hearing is a top skill level.

And how do you know if you are becoming a better communicator?

How much of what you have just heard can you accurately remember?

The bar is low as we live in a talking culture so victory easily goes to the next person who tries.

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A Lesson in Love from Our Pets

Pets give love first and have it returned as a result.

They don’t demand that we pet them, feed or walk them or cuddle up on a sofa with them – the act of love precedes the love itself they receive.

When a dog wags its tail in happiness, it is not that they are demanding love, it’s the opposite – they are excited because they are going to get love by first giving it.

We can learn a lot about life from our pets who don’t judge, don’t text while they are interacting with us and exist to make others happy.

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Taking Back Control

As each day starts, we often have a game plan for how we are going to live it.

That is until others weigh in and try to influence or even live the lives of others.

Your very own personal life is like a canvas upon which you paint the picture of what you envision.

You wouldn’t let someone take your paint brush and commandeer your canvas to use their colors, their brush strokes and their design.

Our day today is very similar – it’s your canvas, no one gets to paint on it.

It’s not whether the final outcome is better or worse, it’s whether it is yours.

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Happiness Tips from Cave Dwellers

Cave dwellers constantly feared for their lives.

The fight, flight or freeze response in cave dwellers saved their lives from the danger of predators but it gives modern folks panic attacks, anxiety and worry.

A chat could set it off, something on social media, even an email or something ostensibly less threatening like the fear of missing on something.

The 3 big obstacles:

  1. Your brain feels others pain as your own.
  2. For your brain, imaginary is real.
  3. The brain can’t tell physical pain from emotional hurts – a broken heart and broken bone feel pain.

The 2-step solution:

  1. Your greatest joys come from seeing strangers as friends, that’s how the brain becomes happier.
  2. Help others feel safe and cherished and you will receive the same benefit.

Feeling safe and worthy becomes happiness.

The pursuit of gratitude and compassion provides more happiness than the pursuit of happiness itself.

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Fear is Useless

Fear is useless.

What is necessary is trust.

In ourselves.

To support each other.

To trust that things will get better.

Fear cannot exist where trust prevails.

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Sharon Stone

On the publication of her book The Beauty of Living Twice, actress Sharon Stone who survived death in 2001 said this in a recent New York Times interview:

“I’ve let go of all the reasons why I cannot work.  I think 40 years of too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too blond, too brown, too young, too old.  Too this, too that.  I’m not really interested in the why-you-can’t-return-my-call of it anymore.  So, if a director wants me, specifically, they’ll be able to find me.”

Solve Conflict with These 6 Words

Deal with it and move on. 

Not just deal with it and keep on obsessing over conflicts, hurts and problems that then never seem to go away.

Move on – put it to rest, leave it behind, spend no more of your valuable time on the same issue.

Shy and Loving It

I was on a plane to the coast one time with Jan Murray and Joey Bishop, two old school comedians.

It was a six-hour flight – they kept the young flight attendant laughing on the empty wide-bodied L1011.  She likely never heard of them until then.

It is said that comedians have to keep people laughing to keep from crying.  That their need to be the source of laughter covers up other problems.

As a child I was so shy (those who know me today, stop that laughter), that my school called my parents in for a sit down and said you’ve got to get this boy into a theater group which I hated.

And here I am today – still shy in many ways but perfectly skilled in standing in front of a TV camera, before a microphone or an audience.

Being shy has made me more outgoing and learning to be outgoing has made me appreciate the many advantages of being shy.

Both are possible.

Finding New Relationships

Friendship happens.

It thrives in an atmosphere of encouragement.

It is heightened by discovery – finding new things you have in common.

Friendship is audio-friendly – the sound of a voice is more powerful than 1,000 emojis.

We’ll binge on Netflix, listen to podcasts, bury ourselves in social media but the investment that pays off in friendship is to pick up the phone and be yourself.

How Badly Do You Want It?

Resilience is the mental ability to expect good but to accept when things go wrong as a challenge to determine the single most important thing of all.

How badly do you want it?

Thomas Edison really wanted to invent the light bulb since he failed over 10,000 times trying.

And 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady wanted yet another Super Bowl ring so badly he talked Gronk into coming out of retirement to help him.

Resilience is the ability to recover from difficulties and it is a byproduct of getting up when you’re down because you want it that badly.

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