Archive for the ‘emotions’ Category

The Oxford dictionary defines ’empathy’ as; the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own. ” – Henry Ford

Along with gratitude, empathy is one of the most important people skills to master. We all want similar things from life and the simplest way to discover how someone else is thinking is to ask ourselves how we would think in a similar situation.

Empathy diffuses anger and frustration in people because most of us just want to be understood. American writer and lecturer, Dale Carnegie believed that we should never disagree with anyone because ‘people like people who are like they are’.

However, Dale stated that if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we felt so strongly about an issue that we simply couldn’t agree with someone then we should disagree with them as diplomaticaaly as possible.

“When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.” – Susan Sarandon

Under no cicumstances should we merely use the phrase “Yes but” when voicing an alternative oppinion. Instead we should endeavour to ‘stretch’ the “Yes but” by saying something like; “I understand what you are saying but..”

By doing this we convey to the other person that although we disagree with them we understand their point of view and psychologically this is a very powerful negotiating technique.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of empathy mentions the ‘feelings’ of other people. This is important because if we can actually empathise with a person’s feelings as well as their oppinions the overall effect of the sentiment is magnified and the chances of the negotiation coming to a successful conclusion are greatly increased.

As an aside I have actually read Dale’s most famous book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ about 15 times and each time I read it I learn something new.

There are many benefits to aquiring the quality of empathy, people will start to see us in a different light and we will become known as a person who understands and cares for others’ feelings.

Wether we work in sales or not we are all selling ourselves and our ideas on a daily basis. Empathy undoubtedly increases sales because people buy from people they like and trust and moreover they will tell their friends that we are the person to go to for XYZ product or service.

As well as improving our business results empathy will greatly improve our social and family lives. People will always be drawn to someone who is prepared to listen to them. The greatest conversationalists speak the least, they simply ask the best questions and then let others do all the talking.

The native Americans had a saying that you should never judge a man until you had walked a mile in his shoes, and this holds true today. In this era of hyper communication sentiments such as empathy and gratitude are our most important tools.

“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” – Meryl Streep

Andy.

The five senses; Taste, Touch, Site, Sound and Smell are undoubtedly the greatest gifs we will ever receive but how many of us can honestly say that we make the most of all of our senses?

Most of us live our lives, at least to some degree on auto pilot, the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months and before we know it another year has passed us by.

It is possible to ‘slow’ this process down and to get more out of our lives if we chosse to and the main way to do this is by increasing our sensory perception.

“I think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me.” – Sharon Olds

Visualisation is a great method for bringing about desired outcomes, in fact the majority of successful people from all walks of life practice it. Rather than just wishing we had something it is much more productive to visualise having it.

Importantly though, to acheive the best results we must ‘visualise’ with all of our senses. By doing this we fully engage our subconscious mind and once we convince it that we really want something it will go into overdrive in order to deliver it to us, that’s what it’s programmed to do.

Practice fully utilising one sense at a time, you’ll be amazed at how clearer your thinking will become. With just a little practice we can double our ability to process and remember information.

“Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.” – William Osler

Greater use of the senses promotes greater understanding, not just of ourselves but of others, we begin to exhibit greater empathy for others and empathy is one of the tools of success. People like people who understand and sympathise with them.

People like people who are like they are.

Whenever I go on holiday I make a conscious effort to remember as much of the experience as possible. Yes, we take snapshots and video but there’s nothing like the memory of actually being there.

People that are unfortunate enough to lack one or more of the senses develop their remaining senses to compensate. Pop Star, Stevie Wonder credits a great deal of his success to his blindness.

Rather than constantly griping and complaining about all the things we lack we should concentrate on celebrating the most wonderful gifts in our posession, our five senses.

“Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.” –
Chanakya

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

Man befriended the cat many centuries ago. Initially it was because they were skilled at hunting rodents but down the years the bond between humans and felines has become stronger. They make ideal pets because they are relatively low-maintenance.

“When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me rather than I with her?” – Montaigne

We have two cats, a pedigree Blue Persian called ‘Furby’ and a black and white moggy called ‘Gizmo’ I can’t remember when they first started sleeping on our bed at night but at times it can be a real pain.

In fairness Furby isn’t that much trouble but for a small cat even he takes up a lot of room when he stretches out and my wife refuses to move him an inch insisting that he gets a good nights sleep! (What about me?)

Furthermore, he is prone to snoring. Again the sound he makes is totally disproportionate to his size. If I snore my wife unceremoniously digs me in the ribs until I stop but if Furby snores she just coos and says how cute he is.

Gizmo, the moggy is far bigger and although he is a tad overweight he is a powerful cat and at night time he can be a real handful. As soon as we go to bed he will jump up and lie on my chest. I stroke him and he purrs incessantly.

The problems arise when I stop stroking him, he doesn’t like this and he will paw my face in order to make me start again. His pawing regularly draws  blood! but shouting at Gizzy has little effect, he doesn’t like being told off but still it doesn’t deter him.

“After scolding one’s cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for future reference.”- Charlotte Gray

After being pushed onto the floor for lacerating my face he will wait a while and then try his luck again. Whenever I wake up his face is always less than six inches away from mine and as soon as he realises I’m awake he starts to purr.

If I get up during the night when I return he kindly vacates my place and goes and stands on the bedside table, he allows me to get back into bed and then comes and lies next to me again.

This may or may not sound cute and most of the time I don’t mind but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of space.

we recently re furbished our bedroom and decided to invest in a king-sized bed. Problem solved we thought. No chance, we still seem to sleep with minimal space and the cats just have an even comfier nights sleep.

Yes we are barking/meowing mad and tired in the mornings.

“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.” – Hippolyte Taine

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

Time is precious, we all know that. We all get the same amount of time each day, time is perhaps one of the few even playing fields in life. Thus how we utilise it is vital to our success and happiness.

We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch. – John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

Dashing around like a headless chickens acheives nothing, thus planning is vital in everything. If we take a relatively small amount of time to plan it will pay us great dividends later on.

I always start a task by brainstorming, just jotting down everything I (We) know about a subject, it doesnt matter how crazy the ideas are, it’s just important to get it all out.

Next add to your own ideas with a bit of research and then arrange your information into some kind of logical order.

Time is so important and non renewable that we must try to make the most of every second of it. For example even when we are doing mundain things such as queueing we can still occupy our minds in a useful way such as reciting affirmations or ‘compiling’ articles.

Rather than dashing everywhere it is more productive to build TEMPO. The earlier in the day that we can manage this the more prooductive our day will be. It is also important to pace ourselves and to take breaks for food and rest. Burnout sucks, believe me.

There is never enough time, unless you’re serving it. – Malcolm Forbes (1919 – 1990)

Once we have planned our day or task, we must then prioritise, contrary to most other PD specialists I believe in working through easy to tough, except of course when something is time critical.

The easy jobs help build tempo and as the difficulty of the tasks increases we have also gained in fluidity. Furthermore if we spend hours on our most difficult task we then find ourselves short on time to do everything else.

It’s better to have one unfinished piece of work than twenty.

I think that routine gets a bad press, routines can be very beneficial to us and are an integral part of success, we should always try to become quicker and more skilled at all our daily tasks and eventually we will be able to do more and more in the same amount of time and with the same amount of effort.

If something saves me 20 seconds then I’ll do it.

Leisure time is vital, not only do we all need time to re charge our batteries but rest and play gives the subconscious mind time to mull over all our goals and problems.

It is possible to ‘stretch’ time by being more aware about what we are doing not just going through the motions of life.

Time is infinite, it will still be around long after we are gone. If we all achieve emotional happiness our time here will have been well spent.

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. – Theophrastus (372 BC – 287 BC)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

There are essentially six basic things that all human beings NEED. These are: Air, Food, water, clothing, shelter and sex. Everything else is a bonus. Unfortunately, the more we attain the more we tend to want and this if we are not careful can become extremely self damaging.

“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.” (Henry George)

Although all our tastes vary, generally speaking we all want the same things.

If we can identify what these core things are not only will we improve our own quality of life but also that of others. Furthermore, we are paid in proportion to the amount of value we add to society. Therefor, the more value we add the more we will get paid.

Here is a general list (in no particular order) of what I think most people want:

To be loved, financial freedom, happiness for their children, a good partner, a nice house, friends they can trust, a career, a car, to be happy, regular holidays, recognition, to be needed, pets, hobbies, excitement, laughter, to help others, good food, challenges, status, to look good, to feel good, security, comfort, freedom, sport, entertainment, choice…

I suggest that you draw up your own personal list of what YOU want and then prioritise it, I guarantee you’ll be surprised by it. You have to be really honest though because much of our early lives are spent being pre-conditioned. From an early age we are told what we should and shouldn’t like, we need to strip away this pre-conditioning in order to get to the truth of what it is we really want.

Once you know what it is you REALLY want you can start to go after it.

Most elderly people don’t regret the lack of material goods in their lives they regret the lack of emotional fulfillment. They say things like they wished they’d laughed more or stayed in contact with their old friends or cared about people more.

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the acheivement of one’s values.” (Ayn Rand)

Money and material goods are important, particularly if you suffer from a lack of them but we should always keep them in perspective and moreover be grateful for what we DO have. Instead of always chasing the rainbow we should concentrate on FEELING HAPPY NOW.

“The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.” (John Berry)

If we can acheive true happiness for ourelves and those around us I think we will have acheived our main purpose in life.

Andy.

They say that patience is a virtue. I couldn’t agree more, it’s just one that I dont posess, I try, I really do and I’m not making excuses BUT there are just certain things that people do that would make even a saint swear.

However, this year I decided to turn over a new leaf and not let those little niggles get to me.

I get up at 5am and make my way to the bathroom. It does not irritate me that the toilet roll holder is empty, In fact I smile to my self feeling quite confident there will be some in the bathroom cupboard but nope the cupboard is  also empty, no problem, I go down to the garage and get a fresh pack.

On my way down the stairs I think back to the film I watched last night what a great film it was, just a pity the last five minutes hadn’t recorded but I dont mind, I’d only sat riveted for almost 2 hours, I didn’t really want to know the end.

I must’ve set the DVD incorrectly because I’d been interupted for the third time that evening by one of those wonderful telesales people who insist on saving you money, they always become annoyed though when I suggest ringing them back an hour after they have finshed work for the day to discuss the matter further, funny that.

I pass the kitchen sink and spot a dirty cup and plate on the side which one of the kids must’ve left out for me to stow in the dishwasher, I’m still smiling even when I discover jam in the butter.

As I leave for work, I glance at one of our neighbours houses and think for the hundredth time ‘why have they not taken down their Christmas lights yet, it’s May for God’s sake.’

As I head for the petrol station, someone pulls out right in front of me, then proceeds to go at twenty miles an hour, I’m a little late but I dont mind. I try to fuel up but the attendant wont switch my pump on, I’m sure he will eventually, when he’s finished his first cup of coffee of the day, after the second maybe? I then go 1p over the amount I intended putting in, no problems, £20.01 is just fine and dandy, well ok I top it up to £25, that feels better.

As I am leaving the forecourt a young lad pulls in, stereo blaring, no one else bar him has the foggiest idea what the tune is, get me out of here, sorry I mean, we all like a good tune first thing in the morning especially when it’s played by someone else at 500 decibels.

At work we hold an early meeting about the effectiveness of yesterday’s  meeting and what we plan to discuss in tomorrow’s meeting. This afternoon we are having another meeting to discuss wether to divert time away from customer support and use it to hold more meetings.

I must dash I’m late for another meeting. Colin the finance director is chairing it and I promise to smile every time he uses the words ‘cool’, ‘dude’ or ‘sweet’. I also promise to laugh politely whenever he mimicks speech marks with his fingers  or says “Let’s not go there”. I’m still smiling…

Thank God, It’s the weekend at last, the alarm clock goes off as usual at 5am because I forgot to switch it off last night but that’s cool, sorry, I mean that’s okay.

We are doing the weekly food shop but can’t move for OAP’s, they have all week to shop but hey, the more the merrier on a Saturday that’s what I say. It did not irritate me or annoy me for that matter that the woman vacating the parking space that I was waiting for spent five minutes on her mobile before leaving even though she knew I was waiting for her spot, no it didn’t, really.

Inside the store, we choose the checkout with the smallest queue but then discover it’s the smallest queue because it’s being operated by a trainee who has to keep calling for assistance.

Whilst waiting patiently I notice the couple in front of us are wearing matching sweaters and make a mental note to get a pair for my wife and I, sweet.

On the way out we bump into someone I haven’t seen in years, I can’t remember his name so I don’t introduce him to my wife, this appears incredibly rude  but what was the alternative?

As we load our groceries into the car I notice someone else has left a shopping trolley in my way but I don’t mind struggling to the trolley park with two trolleys, honestly.

We unload the shopping at home without breaking our necks on one of the cats that insist on brushing round our legs or tripping over the kids’ discarded sports bags.

Finally we walk into the village and reach the sanctuary of the pub, this should be great a few drinks and a nice meal, no cats, no kids just my wife and I, pure bliss.

Wrong, there are more kids here than at the local creche. Their parents don’t appear to be anywhere in sight. When eventually they do materialise they refuse to take their screaming brats out of the pub no matter how loud they cry or complain.

I go to get another round of drinks and to order some food, the guy in front of me proceeds to order food and drink for his party of about twenty people, he keeps getting it wrong, changing his mind, going back to ask other members of the party what they’d ordered. Like I said, bliss.

Eventually 10 minutes later, the order is complete, double and tripple checked by the waitress, I breathe a sigh of relief, the waitress breathes a sigh of relief before aunt Ethel suddenly appears and asks if it would be a great incovenience if she changed her meal.

YES IT WOULD YOU OLD…of course not maddam.

We finally make it home, kick off our shoes and switch on the TV. Up pops Simon Cowell, smiling that all-knowing smile of his – Perfect.

Life doesn’t get any better.

Andy

Wether we like it or not competition is all around us. It’s in the classroom, the play ground, the work place, it’s on the sports field, it’s on the high street. We are never going to get away from it so how we deal with it is obviously critical to our own personal success.

Just because competition is ubiquitous it does not naturally follow that it is good for us. Food is critical to sustaining life but if we eat too much of it we become overweight and lethargic.

Competition has many benefits though. It brings progress, improved choice, we all want to purchase better products for less money. We all want a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families.

Children learn about competition from an early age. In fact as soon as they start to interact with their peers they instinctively start to compete with them. It is therefor important that parents and teachers give support and guidance to the child on how to deal with competition and all the positive and negative emotions that surround it.

I’ve said many times previously that a parent should praise their children’s EFFORT not their ABILITY. The reason for this is psychological. Praising someone’s effort encourages them to try even harder whereas praising their ability nurtures within them a ‘fear of failure’.

Children are often branded as failures way too early in life and this can inflict massive psychological damage upon them. We cannot all be good at everything but most of us are good at something. Children should be encouraged to focus on their strong points. These are what will bring them success and enable them to offer the best level of contribution to society.

If we harness competition and control it, it can do wonderful things for us. The enjoyment that the human race has derived from sport down the years is immense. The rivalry between teams of all denominations has given us all untold pleasure.

Competition is good as long as we control it and harness it. However, we need to keep success and winning in perspective. Everything has a price and once we start ‘overpaying’ in order to succeed then we start to loose out in other areas.

I’ve always believed that the main aim of a person’s life is to be happy. Happiness is the best feeling in the world and if being successful at something makes us happy then we should strive to acheive it.

Find out what really makes you happy, decide what you are prepared to give or give up in order to acheive it and go for it.

I believe that competition in moderation is good for us.

Andy.

Everybody has felt embarassed at one time or another. You know that feeling, when you just wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole…

Back when I was studying for my ‘O’ Levels I decided to take a night off from revising and go to the local park with some friends. It was the night before an exam and I figured that if I didn’t know my stuff by that stage then I never would.

This is how God paid me back.

I remember it was a beautiful evening, the sun was shinning and the summer holidays were within touching distance, everything in the world felt good.

There were loads of kids at the park that night, there was a real buzz about the place and at the age of 16 this summer was the last one my friends and I would experience as ‘children’, for next year we would all be working or taking up places at college.

This was definitely a time to savour and we all sensed it.

There were loads of girls around that night and all us boys were showing off terribly. I was a good footballer back then and in hindsight I think I was a bit too cocky for my own good.

We’d played football for ages, with all the girls cheering us on before a large group of us moved over to the tennis courts, I’ve never been into tennis so I decided to chill out on the embankment outside the courts.

My cousin was one of the guys playing, and after a few games he came over to the chicken-wire fence to chat with us.

I remember him asking me if I wanted a can of coke, I was thirsty so I said that I did but I couldn’t be bothered to walk round and get it from him so I told him to toss it over the fence to me.

I think you can see what’s comming next…I certainly didn’t.

I was laid back on the embankment, I didn’t even stand up in order to catch the can, I figured that I’d catch it right there where I lay – WRONG!

I remember following the arc of the can as it came over the fence, then losing it in the evening sunshine…(that’s my excuse anyway)

That damned can it me so hard, it caught me square on my forehead (I’ve still got the scar to this day, it makes me look like I have a widdow’s peak).

What happened next kind of played out in slow motion, I could hear people howling with laughter, I staggered to my feet feeling acutely embarrassed, a  group of girls had witnessed the whole incident and I felt totally mortified.

Why had I expected to catch that can whilst I was reclining in such a position?

Fortunately or unfortunately for me my embarrassment was quickly overtaken by fear, anyone who has ever suffered a head wound will know how profusely they bleed and in no time at all I was drenched in my own blood.

I wish I could say that I turned the whole situation around and became the wounded hero but I didn’t, I just remember feeling like a complete prat.

My friend’s dad drove me to hospital, (we didn’t have a car back then) and the next day I took my exam sporting six stitches and a dull headache. I’ve had quite a few embarrassing moments since then but none of them have felt quite as excruciating as the day I was taken out by that can of Coke.

The embarrassment we experience as teenagers always seems to be more intense than at any other time in our lives.

I’ll share some of these other embarassing moments with you another time and furthermore, I’ll discuss the concept of embarrassment and how best to deal with it.

Andy.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to get stuck in a rut, we’ve all done it. Practicing bad habits over a period of weeks, months and even years, then we wake up one day and think how did this happen to me? how did my life become like this? it’s not how I intended it to be, it’s not how I intended to be at all.

We all had fantastic dreams when we were kids, we wanted to be all manner of things; astronauts, football players, models, actors.

Then we hit adolescenece and we started to think differently, by this time we’d been sufficiently conditioned by society to think small, to be sensible and to accept our lot.

Why should we limit ourselves?

Why shouldn’t we think big and if we’ve done things we regret or not been a very nice person we CAN change it, we can set the record straight not just for other people but for ourselves.

Jim Rohn, the legendary personal development specialist once said “Work hard at your job and you will make a living, work hard on yourself and you will make a fortune”.

How true this is, even a little time spent working on ourselves will yield rewards, just admitting that we should strive to improve ourselves is a major acheivement.

I’ve always said that a total life transformation takes about five years but as soon as a person begins working on themselves they will see changes immediately and not just small ones either. But habits both good and bad are hard-wired into our brains so if we want to change them we have to be prepared to be persistent.

When we are looking for a starting point for how we can improve our lives the best place is with the concepts of COMPROMISE and EMPATHY.

If we can make ourselves just 10% easier to deal with both in our business and personal lives then our world’s will take on a much happier complexion. Once people realise that we are making more of an effort with them they will reciprocate it, often to a much greater degree.

We are by nature very impressionable so the company we keep is vital, we should strive to get good people around us – our own personal support group and avoid NEGATIVE people at all costs. Negative people are like parasites they feed off and sap other people’s energy.

Many famous people have turned their lives around so I recommend delving into biography.com occasionally to see how the did it.

There is good and bad in everyone, thus it is vital that we are not too harsh on ourselves and we make our personal development goals small and achievable.

We are our own masters, we are free thinkers, we can be whatever we want to be.

Andy.

we’ve all had that feeling, a person we like or who we are attracted to walks into the room and suddenly our heart rate picks up, we become all fidgety and lead-footed and inexplicably we seem to loose the power of speach, well coherent speach anyway.

” Ah fah cowa da me Andy, you…” – You get my drift.

It’s human nature, we’ve all felt that way at some time or other. However, every time we speak to a person we learn more about human interaction.

If only we could speak to an ‘attractive’ member of the opposite sex with the same composure that we display when speaking to ‘old aunty Ethel’ say, ‘she’ thinks we are witty, charming AND good looking…hmm, how do we transfer this self assurity to people we are attracted to then?

The glib answer would be to treat them exactly the same,  the same as ‘old aunty Ethel’ but think about this for a minute, if we were actually capable of doing this would it get us results?

YES, OF COURSE IT WOULD. We would come across as calm, friendly and genuine, everything a good friend should be and the best relationships are always born out of good friendships.

So to qualify as a good friend we have to be ‘calm, friendly and genuine’ NOT good looking, NOT a brilliant speaker, NOT popular, NOT sporty and NOT intellegent…Hmm, I can manage that.

The true art of speaking to members of the opposite sex is to treat them EXACTLY the same as you would your buddies, that’s it in a nutshell, no one-liners, no showing off, just you being you.

IF YOU GRASP OR BUY INTO THIS CONCEPT THEN YOU CAN START WORKING ON IT AND IT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

If you don’t then that’s up to you but people are becomming more and more sophisticated these days and most of us are capable of spotting a phoney a mile off.

People will be pleasantly surpised by your genuineness, your ‘normallness’, these character traits create interest and more importantly they create TRUST.

Put romance on the back burner and simply concentrate on making friends. Really listen to people, find out what they are good at and what you have in common with them, then TELL them you have these things in common.

People like people who are like they are, they don’t like people who disagree with them.

Do not obsess about one individual, there really are ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ we cannot force anyone to like us and if someone doesn’t like us they will not be right for us, do not be second best or settle for second best, those kind of relationships are built on sand.

A few tips to grease the wheels of friendship AND romance:

# Smile slowly, it comes across as far more genuine and specially reserved for the recipient.

# Women are attracted to the colour blue (reliable, assertive, kind), men are attracted to the colour pink (friendly and approachable)

# Dress smartly, dress is very important, if you dont feel comfortable in smart clothes practice wearing them in private. Wear them primarily for you to make yourself feel good.

# Smell nice, people place far too much emphasis on looks, smell is probably more important and it takes zero effort.

# Be in the know, gen up on titbits, interesting news items, sport, finance. You don’t have to be an expert just read the headlines.

Practice makes perfect and the content of the opening line is UNIMPORTANT, it’s the icebreaker and people will love you for offering them a few friendly words, and if they don’t they are either having a bad day, are preoccupied with something or they are ignorant.

Whatever it is don’t let it spoil your day.

Andy.