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Wednesday

A Great Tip to Become a Better Everything

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This may be the best no-brainer formula I've ever heard on how to get better at pretty much everything... <-- Show off how hip you are and Click to Tweet this!

Similar to the last post I'm not really sure where the original version of this story came from, and it seems to have been adapted in many directions over the years - and even I have adapted it here.   If you know who told the story originally please let me know and I will credit the original version.

The formula applies to most facets of life, and I've shared some possibilities in parenthesis, but I'll use "leader" in my example.  You can substitute any of the other options, or maybe even some that aren't in my suggested list.

So without further delay, here is a quick and highly effective 4-step formula to be an amazing (leader, friend, mate, boss, coach, teacher, parent, etc...)


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Tuesday

Is Your Glass Half Empty - Half Full - or Just Getting Too Heavy?

Glass Half Full

I don't know who originally told this story, but I have heard it a few times and wanted to share it.
 
A Harvard Professor of Psychology walked around a room full of students while teaching about stress management.
 
To begin his lecture he grabbed a glass of water and raised it above his head as if he was going to propose a toast, and instantly everyone expected they’d be asked if the glass was half empty or half full as part of the lesson.  Instead though, with a smile on his face, the professor asked "How heavy is this glass of water?”
 
Students called out answers "6 ounces" and "10 ounces" but he shrugged them off.

He replied, “The actual weight doesn’t matter. What really matters is how long I've been holding it.  If I hold it for just a minute it feels very light.  If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm.  If I hold it for a whole day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed.  Any longer than that and I will be very tempted to give up and drop it.  In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
 
The students were all blown away by the simplicity yet truth of this lesson.
 
However, the professor continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like this glass of water.  Carry them for only a short while and they're managable.  Worry about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt.
And if we think about them all day long, or longer, we can begin to feel paralyzed and hopeless – incapable of concentrating or focusing on anything else.”
 
The professor reminded his students "It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses whenever possible.  As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night.  This can certainly be easier said than done in some cases, but in many cases it's actually quite easy if we're mindful about it"
 
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By the way, the best way to get new posts is via email.   Don't worry, there's never any SPAM.

 
 
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Monday

Are You Selfish (Enough)?

me time for myself

Recently I was on a flight to Atlanta, and sitting next to me was a guy in his early 40's who told me that he was doing a little traveling while he was on paid leave from his job.  I politely said that sounded nice and went back to my reading. 

But he went on to tell me that his health had been failing as his work environment was so stressful, and it recently came to a head via the onset of hypertension and some other stress related ailments, so they forced him to take a few weeks off to relax.  He said that he was always worrying about everyone else at work, and that he never consistently took care of himself.  And for over 15 years he dedicated 100% of himself to his work, and and he's now paying the price.  I asked if he exercised or played any sports to help combat the stress?  He said no, because he didn't have any time.  I said you need to make time...  I didn't mean to blurt it out like that but it just seemed so obvious and critical to his survival.  He didn't seem to mind, and said that he couldn't make any time for exercise, and went on to tell me all the tasks he had in a week (and believe it or not this guy didn't even have kids).  As he told me his tasks it was clear to me that he was indeed busy, but also that he could find time if he really tried, but he chose to put everything and anything on his agenda before himself.  He wasn't necessarily disorganized, but rather he was just too passive, or maybe even a martyr.  I told him that it sounded like he should consider putting himself on his own weekly agenda, and that he needed to be somewhere at the top of that agenda!  Then it was if a light went off in him.  He was very intrigued by what I had said, and went on to talk about ways he could do that.  Was my advice so novel?  I don't think so.  I think it was common sense actually, but sometimes we all need to be reminded of it, and this day I was on the giving end...

The funny thing about that conversation is that on any given day that could have been me in that other seat telling a very similar story of busyness.  I have had similar feelings, and also dedicate a large chuck of my energy to work, and tend to put others needs over my own.  But I've learned a secret that has been paying dividends...

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