Over a year ago the director of my team read us a book called “I Moved Your Cheese.” by Deepak Malhotra.
I can’t remember all the details, but what I do remember was the main point of it all. To put simply:
YOU MAKE THE CHANGE (you move the cheese).
In other words, instead of adapting to the world, create something yourself, make something better, invent something new.
The money makes and leaders of the world are the ones who are proponents and promoters of change.
YOU lead society when you learn to create changes rather than allowing change to happen to you.
Now, you can also resist change…
Those who resist change are doomed to the ultimate failure:
For instance, I know of a few, much older parents who cannot, for the life of them, take advice and guidance from others. Things that have been tried and tested to be true are outright ignored. Instead, they are “set in their ways” and became bitter, angry people at their older years when anything new comes around.
Their ideas of these subjects may have gotten them by, but they didn’t benefit from the happiness, joy, and growth of change.
Their habits of resisting the ability to change never allowed them to develop that inner peace. Instead, change is chaos. It’s like using your muscles. If you never allow them discomfort, they don’t develop, they just dwindle and die.
Their habits of resisting the ability to change never allowed them to develop that inner peace.
In contrast, those who become leaders, mentors, and overall lively people, are those who continually understand that change and growth are what keeps us humble and alive.
Think about moving your “cheese” in your company, club, or community in every way possible. Don’t allow a setback to keep you where you are and don’t allow the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality to be the driving force of your reality.
You are so much better than that. Once again, instead of adapting to the world, create something yourself, make something better, try stuff, test stuff, and invent something new.
Will you allow life to happen to you, or will you make things happen for your life?
Now, go out lead a life of growth and prosperity, because you created it.
Why Am I Awkward? How to Cultivate Confidence in Conversation With Three Simple Characteristics of People
My co-worker asks me a question I thought I knew and as she follows up with a question stumped my train of thought. I couldn’t recover.
Think Jon, think.
Heart pounding, voice trembling, and sweat dripping down my forehead on a chilly mid-afternoon day in February.
Instead of relaxing and saying “I’m not sure” or, “I don’t know” with confidence, I figured I could foster up a clever answer only to be met with and yet another awkward standstill.
It’s like my brain had a flat tire, and I needed to fix it before moving on with the conversation.
“Hi, how may I help you today?”
Thank you Starbucks barista, thank you for saving me.
I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.
One thing to understand is that being awkward isn’t entirely your fault. A lot of factors like the way you grew up and how family treated you tends to dictate your interactions with people.
For instance, I grew up with desires to please my parents as I brought home report cards filled with B’s and A’s only to face indifference.
After that, I grew up trying to please people to ensure that I gain their approval. It felt like subconsciously, I was still trying to please my parents through other people.
'To this day, I get weird feelings when I know someone doesn’t like me the way I want them to, a weakness that I have to fight against each day.
Pleasing people with the right things to say makes us awkward. We want to fit in somehow and say the right things at every moment, but we’re too ashamed or afraid to say what we want to say in fear of something that holds us back.
Maybe you’re familiar with these thoughts:
“No, this question is stupid. I can’t ask this right now.” (then someone else asks the question, and the host says, “good question”).
“I can’t say that they’ll think I’m dumb.” (even when they mentioned that there are no “dumb” questions).
“I don’t want to talk right now, but I can’t say I’m busy with something.” (as people are constantly talking to you and you can’t get any work done because you’re too afraid to make others feel “rejected”).
Conversation is an art, but confidence is a skill.
To set things in motion for your ability to handle a conversation with confidence, here are three foundational characteristics of PEOPLE you can abide by.
1) People Are More Forgiving Than You Think
There are no perfect people in this world and therefore, no perfect conversations.
Television is scripted, interviews are prepared, and YouTube is edited. Have you ever hated the sound of your voice? Well, you might hate it, but others don’t.
Likewise, people aren’t going to dwell on your faults. They don’t stay up all night thinking about how much you suck with conversations. If anything, they’ll forget what you say.
Next time you’re in a conversation, don’t sweat it, literally, don’t sweat it, we’re all people.
2) People Want to Be Heard
We are inherently selfish, egotistical, narcissist. We love ourselves far more than we love anyone else. I know it sounds harsh, but hey that’s the reality of it.
Thus, we’ll talk about ourselves with excitement or passion, or both. Your ears are gold to others as they eagerly wait to say their opinion or talk about their cool rock collection at home.
The human ego is an essential insight into human nature because it allows you to capitalize on others in a conversation rather than figuring out what to say about yourself.
To add onto this, ask questions about what you don’t know about them. It may seem strange at first, but as I mentioned, people want to talk about themselves when they get the chance.
More importantly, get others to talk about what they like and enjoy, and their passions will shine through. Plus, it’s always fun to get to know those around you.
Having a connection is critical here.
3) People Love Stories
Perhaps the most challenging step in your journey as a conversationalist is to become a better storyteller.
When you learn to tell a good story, people’s ears perk up and become intrigued by what you have to say to them. A story captivates an audience and helps them remember things far more than merely stating facts.
Develop your storytelling skills, and people will enjoy talking to you.
People remember how you made them feel more so than what you told them.
With that said, as you speak to someone, don’t make it boring. Be different but be confident in the way you say it!
Remember, no one is inherently better than you.
As soon as you believe someone has more value in this world than you, then all is lost. Go out there with confidence as an individual knowing that we’re all in this together and nobody truly knows what they’re doing in life anyways.
"I'm addicted to you. Don't you know that you're toxic?"
- From "Toxic" by Britney Spears
Something that I didn't know growing up was that our American society has a disheartening surplus of unintentional toxic people.
Yes, even you can be a toxic person.
Defining a toxic person can be tricky because most people think a toxic person as someone who brings others down in some way with their venomous words and actions.
Perhaps someone who talks bad about others or who brings down your emotional morale.
Let's take a more significant step back and look at this from a bigger picture.
Toxic people encompass everyone on the emotional spectrum from mentally optimistic to severely depressed.
When I was in college, my depression got the best of me. Luckily I had someone to talk to during those dark years. Unfortunately, each night became a one-sided rant fest with my roommate about how much I hated everything in life and all the people in it.
My friend, bless his heart, took it all in without judgment for several semesters, only to later feel a little resentful of the things I resented as well as time went on.
Intentionally, unintentionally, I put negative thoughts and ideas into his head that subconsciously motivated his thoughts and ideas about his own life and the people he was around.
I gave him a poison I didn't intend to give him, and he sipped it down each night without noticing the effects.
I find that the most toxic people are those who think that they are stagnant in their ability to change. These people define themselves to a particular character and have no attempts to stray away from it for the betterment of themselves.
"I'm a badass bitch, so I take orders from no one. I want to be a boss and control others."
"I'm a quiet, shy person. I can never meet anyone or talk to anybody."
"It's hopeless. I can't do it."
What I find in toxic people versus people willing to change are the following:
Growth Mind: Have positive outlooks in the midst of struggle
Toxic Mind: Stay negative in all circumstances
Growth Mind: Stays away from gossip
Toxic Mind: Starts gossip or looks for it
Growth Mind: Has dreams, vision, goals in all areas of life
Toxic Mind: Lets life happen to them and complains when it's not going the way they want it to
Growth Mind: Takes action
Toxic Mind: Takes no action
Growth Mind: Thinks about others before themselves
Toxic Mind: Thinks about him/herself
Growth Mind: Try to give before they take
Toxic Mind: Takes before they give
Growth Mind: Finds ways to make it work
Toxic Mind: Dwells on the ways it doesn't work
There's much more of course.
The basis of a toxic person roots him or herself in their own self-loathing and self-pity. They are solely thinking about themselves and their issues without any regards about others.
The overly confident and pretentious person doesn't care for other's well-being. Their world seems to revolve around them, and because of this, they make others feel uncomfortable and resentful towards them.
The shy and timid person wants to remain comfortable in their shell so that they don't need to associate with people. Then, they start to believe that hating people is valid and complain about others in a much more quiet way.
I mentioned earlier that even the overly optimistic person could be toxic as well. This is because ignoring the reality isn't going to allow for internal growth. Often suffering is what will enable us to grow and become better.
What's worse, of course, is the negative people in life. Negativity brings about a subjective dwelling on what is, versus what could be, thus never allowing room to grow. Those who are negative, are never happy and will bring more unhappiness upon others.
What's the secret cure to your toxicity? It's simple.
Think about others before yourself.
Think deeply about how, when, and what you say around someone for their benefit. What value do you bring to the table for them?
If you're depressed, are you looking for actual help? Or are you merely trying to bring them down with you subconsciously? Are you a self-righteous jerk who thinks they're better than others? Change.
Remember, you're only toxic because you want your self-made "reality" to be other people's reality as well. "Misery loves company" as they say and the key to happiness is to look beyond yourself and look towards the betterment and well-being of those around you.
That's when you not only learn to help others; you end up helping yourself along the way.