Sunday, December 02, 2012

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel. 
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

12 Practical Business Lessons From Social Psychology

It’s been said many times that business is all about people. That being the case, perhaps we should stop reading management books for advice and start looking at social psychology. Very simply, social psychologists study how people interact with others – their families, friends, and yes, business partners. Smart marketers and executives have been using the findings of this growing field for decades to close sales, hold effective meetings and get their way in negotiations. But rather than putting you through an academic psychology lesson, we condensed the most useful concepts into one article.

The Foot in the Door Phenomenon

The Concept: If you’re wondering how to convince superiors, employees or customers to do what you ask, try using the foot in the door phenomenon. This refers to the tendency of people to do something huge if they have already agreed to something much smaller. Your friend should be much more open to helping you decorate your entire house for a dinner party if, for example, he already helped you pick out decorations.
How You Can Use It: This handy principle has countless applications in the business world. Hand lotion and beauty supply kiosks at the mall use it all the time. If you can get a person to talk to you for a couple of minutes and rub some lotion on their hands, you’ve got your foot in the door, and they are much more likely to buy from you than if you had just screamed a sales pitch at them.

The Door in the Face Phenomenon

The Concept: Another classic persuasion tactic is known as the “Door in the Face Phenomenon.” Using this approach, you make your actual request look reasonable by first making an outrageous request that the person will unquestionably turn down. When they turn you down, you then ask for what you really want, which now looks trivial in light of what you asked for a moment earlier.
How You Can Use It: Let’s say you want your company to approve funding for a team of five marketers to research a new advertising campaign. Rather than simply asking for this funding and risking being shot down, use the door in the face principle. Ask your company for twice the amount of funding for a team twice as big as what you need. This will almost certainly be disapproved, but don’t fret; you didn’t need that amount in the first place. Act like you’re really going to work hard on cutting the funding down to the bone and reworking your proposal. In a few days, come back and propose the funding request you wanted all along. It will look as though you found a way to accomplish the same tasks for half the price with half the personnel. Social psychology research states that you are much more likely to get what you want by doing this.

The Serial Position Effect

The Concept: A truly sharp marketer should understand how our brains process information. The “Serial Position Effect” (developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus) assists by explaining how we remember items we see or hear in lists. Ebbunghaus discovered that things shown at thebeginning of a list and at the end of a list are remembered best. This was later titled the “Primacy Effect,” and the “Recency Effect.”
How You Can Use It: This powerful concept can affect what the millions of people seeing your advertisements, listening to your radio promotion, or reading your sales letter, remember about your product. If you have five benefits that your product provides over the competition, think long and hard about which ones you want to stick deep into your audience’s memory. Place those items at the beginning and end of your pitch. This way, prospects will remember these benefits when they see your product on a shelf or think about the commercial they just saw.

Attitudes Follow Behavior: Resolving Cognitive Dissonance

The Concept: Cognitive dissonance is a fancy term for when people have opinions, behave contrary to them, and change their opinion to fit how they acted. For example, if you normally despise handguns, but join your buddy at the shooting range one day, you might leave thinking about how “guns aren’t really that bad if you use them safely.” Simply by holding and shooting one yourself, your brain begins thinking positive thoughts about it. Similarly, a “boring” task might later be remembered as “not being all that bad” or even being “fun” because, after all, you did it.
How You Can Use It: What this means to you is that if you can get your customer to perform a small task, such as a little game or survey online, the customer may begin making some positive assumptions about what you sell. This especially works for businesses operating in controversial markets, such as gambling, tobacco or other vice-related products. If you can find a harmless and fun way for potential customers to get involved with your products and services they will be more likely to become loyal buyers down the line.

Two Routes to Persuasion

The Concept: Not everyone processes information (including product demos and advertisements) the same way. Generally speaking, there are two types of audiences, depending on your product/service. Your audience is either attentively thinking about your message, or they are distracted. These two audiences take two different routes to understanding your message. The involved group takes what is known as the “Central Route,” meaning that they focus on what you are saying closely, develop counterarguments and respond based on what they eventually decide your product is all about. If your ad or pitch was strong and convincing, these people will probably buy. If it was weak or not convincing enough, there’s little hope of them buying.
How You Can Use It: The distracted audience takes a very different route to understanding your pitch known as the “Peripheral Route.” These people focus on irrelevant parts of the pitch that randomly interest them. The speaker’s good looks, for example might interest them more than the information in the pitch. Simple language is also important for this kind of audience. For example, if you’re selling a market research service, classic adages such as “look before you leap” will probably work better than “perform proper market research before investing.”

Perceived Expertise

The Concept: Let’s face it – most of us give more weight to what “experts” say than average Joes off the street. Most people would sooner listen to a warning about the health hazards of eating fast food, for instance, if it came from a renowned nutritionist than from a self-righteous teenager.
How You Can Use It: What makes someone appear to be an expert? One tactic that has been used by marketers (and politicians) is to begin your pitch with something the audience already agrees with. This makes the speaker seem intelligent and makes the audience eager to believe more of what he or she has to say.
Of course, being introduced as an expert never hurt either. A comment about an approaching asteroid from “Dr. Robert Kimmel, Chair of Astrophysics at Harvard University” will surely be taken more seriously than, “Robbie Kimmel, local guitarist and college student.”
Finally, social scientists find that speaking confidently greatly improves believability. A study performed by Bonnie Erikson in 1978 proved this by having college students rate the credibility of two supposed “witnesses” to an accident. One spoke very clearly and confidently and the other one hesitated and stumbled over his words a bit. One by one, each student said the confident speaker was much more credible. Perhaps it’s time to buy your TV or radio guy a course in effective speaking!

Perceived Trustworthiness

The Concept: Trustworthiness of the speaker is another factor critical to any kind of visual marketing. No trust, no sale. Fortunately, how trustworthy you look can be controlled almost entirely by you.
How You Can Use It: Our outward behaviors have a lot to do with whether trust us or not. One behavior that seems to carry a lot of weight is eye contact. Researchers have found that if video-taped witnesses in court looked their questioner straight in the eye rather than down or around, they were seen as more trustworthy.
You can also appear more trustworthy by seeming like you’re not trying to influence an audience. “Hidden camera” TV commercials utilize this tactic all the time. Social psychology experiments have found that people who don’t think they’re being watched are comfortable being completely honest.
People also find others trustworthy when they argue against their own interest. Thus, a message about risks of cigarette smoking seems much more sincere coming from the tobacco companies than it would if were given by an anti-smoking politician up for re-election. People might link the politician’s anti-smoking speeches to his political agenda, whereas they cannot do this with the tobacco companies and are much more likely to absorb the message as true.

The Mere-Exposure Effect

The Concept: Sometimes repetition alone can make a message more believable. Social research has found that people tend to eventually believe things they’ve been told many times, simply because they’ve repeatedly heard it. Studies show that people rate false statements such as “Mercury has a higher boiling point than copper” as true if they were made to read them a week before.
How You Can Use It: This concept is why companies run the same advertisement three times during a one-hour television show. The first time the audience sees the ad they might just ignore it. However, a week later they may have seen the ad 20 times, and by that point they have begun to accept its message and view favorably the product it advertises.

Distraction Disarms Counter-arguing

The Concept: Audio and visual messages are much more effective when the audience can be somewhat distracted by background clutter just long enough to inhibit counter-arguing. Mild distraction often preoccupies the brain just long enough to stop it from inventing a reason to say “no.”
How You Can Use It: Many radio commercials utilize this tactic. The words promote the product being sold while background music or intermittent comedy distracts us from thinking too deeply about the words. Be careful not to distract so much that ad is not processed, however. Extremely violent or incredibly sexual advertisements are often ineffective because the audience is simply too distracted by what they’re viewing to pay attention to the message. They key is to strike a balance such that your message is understood, but not deeply analyzed or argued by the audience.

The Self- Reference Effect

The Concept: Remember – a marketer’s job making sure the audience understands and remembers the sales pitch. One handy way to achieve this is known as the “Self-Reference Effect.” The Self Reference Effect refers to the tendency of people to effectively recall information about themselves. Most people are primary concerned with themselves. Thus, memories pertaining to what we think about the most, (ourselves), are held longer and recalled easier. Studies have shown that, when asked to compare ourselves to a short-story character, we remember that character better than if we compared them to someone else.
How You Can Use It: When planning a new marketing campaign or presentation to the board, it is important to keep this principle in mind, as it can greatly influence what your audience walks away remembering. Try focusing on the basic lifestyle and personality traits of your audience. Once you have these squared away, design your new message to match these traits. This makes your message personally meaningful to them and boosts their chance of remembering what you said.


The Concept: Priming is when various stimuli (sights, tastes, smells) automatically trigger thoughts of similar stimuli. The smell of crisp fall air, for example, might trigger thoughts about the holiday. As a result, simply smelling the fall air might make you crave pumpkin pie or apple cider, even though no food is in front of you.
How You Can Use It: Priming is a classic sales tactic that has been used for decades, and you can put it to use for your business immediately. The key is to find some kind of neutral stimulus that is clearly related to your product. A perfect example of this can be found at any movie theater. As soon as you walk through the door your nostrils are overcome with the smell of buttery popcorn. Without even seeing the popcorn or being asked to buy it, you find yourself making your way to the concession stand because you suddenly feel like the movie wouldn’t be the same without the snacks. This is classic priming, and all five senses are susceptible to priming by intelligent marketers and businesspeople.

Prevent Employee Social Loafing

The Concept: Have you ever noticed, perhaps in college or around the office, that when groups are assembled to complete a task, it always ends up that a couple of members do most of the work while the majority of members do almost none of the work? This is a social psychological phenomenon known as “Social Loafing,” and it happens everywhere and in absolutely every profession. Social loafing is defined as the tendency for people to put less effort into a task when they are in a group than when they are alone.
How You Can Use It: Social loafing can seriously drain a team’s performance. The good news is that the causes of social loafing are known and consistent. Social loafing happens when no one is personally accountable. When the group is judged as a whole no matter what its individual members do, loafing is almost sure to occur. The sure-fire way to make sure that all of your employees are contributing equally to the task at hand is to assign them to groups, but assure them that they will be personally monitored and evaluated on their contributions to the group. The more someone thinks they will be judged personally, the less social loafing you have. This allows you to make the most of the talent you have on staff and almost always produces stronger results than the vague “group evaluation” does.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Tabacaria - Álvaro de Campos

« I am nothing.
I'll never be anything.
 I can not wish to be anything.
Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams of the world. »

 Fernando Pessoa, poetry of
Álvaro de Campos- A Tabacaria

Thursday, May 03, 2012

How Can I Be More Convincing and Get Anything I Want?

I've read about how to plant ideas in someone's head, but the whole idea of bald-faced manipulation makes me uneasy. Still, I'm not great at making a case for what I want, even though I know it's a skill that's incredibly useful. Can you offer any suggestions to help me better convince others to do what I want?
Dear Unconvincing,
TV shows and movies focus on characters who are impeccable at reading others, so it's not unusual to wonder if these sorts of tricks are based in reality. To some extent they are, as you can learn a lot from body language and sometimes get what you want through manipulation, but popular psychology works more effectively in the vacuum of fiction. In the real world you can't always get what you want, but you can make more convincing arguments.
People are going to do what they want to do, and it's not a simple matter of saying a few magic words to convince them that your needs should be their priority. It's extremely important to remember this, as it's not only unethical to manipulate someone into doing what you want, but it's often going to be a waste of your time. All of that said, we often fail to get what we want because we succumb to common pitfalls of communication. If you want to convince someone to do something for you or change their mind on an issue that's important to you, presenting it in the right way can make a big difference. There's never a guarantee, and there's no magic method, but there are a few things you can do to better your chances.

Structure Your Request in the Optimal Order

How Can I Be More Convincing and Get Anything I Want?When we want something, we have a tendency to butter up the person who can give it to us. As creative thinker Simon Sinek points out, this just makes everything you say seem disingenuous. Consider this: you send someone the following message:
Haven't seen you in years. I hope you're doing well. Congratulations on all you've been doing. It's really amazing! We should grab coffee sometime. If you could do me a favor, I'm in an online contest where I can win a big prize and I was wondering if you'd vote for me. Hope you're well, talk to you soon.
All the pleasantries fall short because they're preempting a request, so it sounds like you're saying all of that stuff because you want something and not because you mean it. Here's the same letter in the opposite order:
I'm hoping you could vote for me in an online contest where I can win a big prize for my work. I haven't seen you in years. I hope you're doing well. Congratulations on all you've been doing. It's really amazing! We should grab coffee sometime.
Suddenly the pleasantries feel more genuine because you asked for what you wanted, then got to the buttery stuff. It feels real because it isn't colored by something else you want. If you're trying to convince someone to do something for you, just ask. Get to the other stuff afterwards and everything you say will be more effective.

Require as Little Decision Making as Possible

How Can I Be More Convincing and Get Anything I Want?People—all of us—are bad at making decisions. Choosing is generally a pretty stressful thing, and that stress hardly stems from the choice we make, but rather the act of making that choice. The longer we deliberate and the harder we think, the more we deplete our willpower. And because willpower is a finite resource, we get stressed more and more easily as it's depleted. This is a problem for everyone, and not a problem you want to exacerbate when making a request. If you need help from somebody, don't ask them to make a complex decision. You want to make that decision as simple as possible.
Let's say, for example, you want a friend to help you move to a new home. Simply making the request is the best option. Tell them when the move is, how much help you're going to need, and leave it at that. You want to avoid things like suggesting different moving dates and picking the one that best suits their schedule. That gives them a more difficult decision to make, they'll think about their choice a little more, and it'll stress them out just a little bit more. While additional decision making isn't always going to earn you a "no," it doesn't help. Pile on too many choices—even if they're well-intentioned and meant to help the person you're asking—and you'll hurt your chances of getting the result you want.

Ask for What You Want Right After Lunch

How Can I Be More Convincing and Get Anything I Want?According to a 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PDF), our glucose levels play a large role in the kinds of decisions we make. As a result, making a request of someone while they're hungry isn't a great idea as you increase their likelihood of saying no. David McRaney, author of the human psychology blog (and book) You Are Not So Smart,explains:
They found that right after breakfast and lunch, your chances of getting paroled were at their highest. On average, the judges granted parole to around 60 percent of prisoners right after the judge had eaten a meal. The rate of approval crept down after that. Right before a meal, the judges granted parole to about 20 percent of those appearing before them. The less glucose in judges' bodies, the less willing they were to make the active choice of setting a person free and accepting the consequences and the more likely they were to go with the passive choice to put the fate of the prisoner off until a future date.
It's kind of frightening what a difference food can make. If you want something from someone, ask after lunch. They'll be more awake than they will be after dinner, and they won't be deprived of the glucose that will help them come a little closer to that "yes" you're looking for.

Don't Talk So Much

How Can I Be More Convincing and Get Anything I Want?Less can be more in many situations, and it's especially true when you want something. You may feel like you need to explain your position again and again, but the more you talk the likelier you are to supply information that doesn't matter. The problem is, the information that needs to be heard might not be the first thing out of your mouth. By the time you get to the point, you may have lost your listener. Forbes offers up some simple advice:
When you say something complex, and people aren't getting it, it's not going to help, generally, to say additional complex stuff. Before you start talking, take a minute to think about how to communicate the essence of your message in a simple way.
Figure out what you want, then figure out how to ask for it in a few sentences. Most requests are simple, but we have a tendency to encumber them with additional talk that isn't necessary. The point of this tip is another argument for what most of the tips in this post are saying: keep it short and to the point.

In the end, you can't convince people do do whatever you want them to do but you can take the right approach to increase your chances. Hopefully, in more cases than not, you'll be successful. Good luck!
Photos by the Everett Collection (Shutterstock).
this article was copied from:

Friday, March 30, 2012


Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
This list was inspired by the book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Laney.