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A fairly common social issue people have is that they're not sure how to make friends and put together a social life for themselves. Making new friends
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A heartfelt compliment can often feel like a helping hand.
It can boost our motivation when we feel like quitting, help us push through nightmare-inducing days, and remind us we’re special to someone out there.
But there’s a catch.
When trite and vague, compliments can harm instead of soothing.
Despite the complimenter’s best intentions, our self-doubt often raises alarms that make us question the compliment’s validity.
Instead of feeling flattered, we wonder about the complimenter’s agenda.
It’s no wonder, then, that a recent study concluded that the most flattering type of praise is specific. When
complimenting, pinpointing what truly makes someone stand out from the crowd is like offering evidence that drowns the receiver’s inner critic.
Most importantly, it makes people feel seen, which is the best type of compliment in itself.
That said, if you don’t know how to start making your compliments more specific, I’ve listed four that have blown my mind and brightened my days.
By far, these are the best compliments I’ve ever received. And after including them in my “compliment repertoire”, I’ve also made people I love smile from ear to ear.
Hopefully, they’ll feel like a helping hand to your loved ones as well.
“That Says a lot About how…”
The other day I reached out to a coworker because her mother was sick. Her response shook me.
“Thank you for asking,” my coworker texted back.
“That says a lot about how thoughtful you are.”
Had she only replied with the initial thank you, it would’ve already been specific enough.
But her response stuck with me for months because of the second phrase.
With it, she elevated me as a person.
She reminded me I’m good and thoughtful, which is something beautiful to do in a world where we often only share ugly news and gossip.
What shocked me the most, though, was that I didn’t question my coworker’s claim.
Though I normally snort in disbelief when someone calls me “thoughtful” (courtesy of my inner critic), since my coworker also mentioned the exact action she appreciated (me inquiring after her
mother’s health), my self-doubt evaporated.
After her text, I felt like Mother Theresa.
“You Walk the Talk.”
It’s no secret that many people like to “talk the talk” but never “walk it”.
That’s why complimenting someone when they actually come through can feel exhilarating.
Keeping promises can be hard, so when you tell someone, “You walk the talk” (after they’ve done it, of course), they’ll feel rewarded and valued.
Like before, they’ll feel good about themselves because their inner critic won’t be able to counter your evidence-based compliment.
But it’s more than that.
According to a recent study, moral outrage combined with action is attractive to long-term
relationship seekers. In other words, when someone acts upon their convictions, they become irresistible.
By praising someone’s “walk-the-talkiness”, you’re essentially making them feel good and sexy.
“They Must Be Very Proud of You for…”
Whether we admit it or not (and despite its disadvantages), we often crave someone’s validation.
No matter whom, there’s someone out there whose approval can brighten or ruin our days.
Once you know someone well, you can tell who their validation-kryptonite is, and you can use that knowledge to help them feel better when they’re experiencing both highs and lows.
By saying, “they (insert here whatever name or names) must be very proud of you for…,” you encourage the other person to think about their positive qualities and deeds.
Most importantly, you remind them they’re enough.
Plus, if you know everyone involved intimately, you can take this up a notch (as long as it’s sincere, of course).
For example, I spoke with my sister the other day about how I sometimes feel like a disappointment because I chose to teach and write over my engineering career.
“You’re wrong.” My sister shook her head.
“Mom is proud of you.
She’s told me several times.”
I still feel high after that conversation.
“It Means a Lot Coming From You.”
One of the many reasons I love my husband is that he’s constantly making me feel special and good and beautiful and smart.
The other day, we were talking about philosophy (we’ve spent too much time together during the pandemic), and he shared some brilliant insight he’d had after he read an article.
“That’s clever,” I told him after I rephrased what he’d said.
“Thanks.” My husband beamed, his chest puffed. “It means a lot coming from you.”
My husband grabbed my hand. “When someone smart tells you you’re smart, you feel Einstein-level smart.” (I told you my husband is amazing.)
By responding to someone’s compliment by saying it feels doubly special because of who they are, you’ll lift their mood for a day. Heck, a month.
Make Someone Feel Special Today
Life can be hard.
There will always be moments and comments that mine our self-esteem.
There will always be people determined to put us down.
So why not make an extra effort and offer an out-of-the-ordinary complement to someone you love?
It will make the other person feel special and lift your mood.
After all, the examples mentioned above share one crucial quality: gratitude, a well-documented practice that enhances our well-being and decreases negative emotions.
By using these four compliments, you’ll brighten a loved one’s day — and your own.
Last year I moved to Los Angeles, a decision I made spontaneously, expedited by the pandemic.
The prospects of sitting out another lookdown over the winter in my tiny Manhattan studio with nothing to do and nowhere to go didn’t entice me very much.
For a while already, I’d been craving more nature, quiet, and space, so I decided Southern California was my best bet.
I had some hesitations, however.
Not lastly because I’d leave behind a big, tight-knit friend group in New York.
I initially moved to the city for my MBA, in which I pursued the people rather than the academics or the career prospects.
And I wasn’t the least bit disappointed — I met incredible people, made lifelong friendships, and built a network.
Was I stupid to leave all of this behind?
For the first time in years, I felt like I had a real community again.
I moved away from my hometown Vienna after college and lived in five different places over the next five years.
While I made wonderful friendships across the globe, I never truly found the same level of community in any of them.
Instead, I got used to socializing in smaller settings or one-on-one.
I’d gotten used to the reality that I’d no longer experience the unbeatable feeling of arriving somewhere and recognizing many familiar faces.
Not just faces, friends.
It gives you a feeling of belonging.
Now that my time in New York had reminded me of the beauty of community, I wasn’t willing to live without it anymore.
I made the move regardless, vowing to myself that I’d make the community a top priority for my life in LA.
To my own surprise, after only a couple of months, I found myself in a place that I thought would take years to get to: alongside like-minded (and other-minded) humans that make this city
feel at home.
As an introvert, socializing and making new friends don’t necessarily come naturally to me.
But throughout my career as a management consultant and my MBA experience, I learned how to be an extroverted introvert.
Meaning, I’m as open and social as an extrovert and can make new friends with ease, but my natural disposition is still introversion.
It takes more deliberate effort and energy, but it’s very possible. Let me show you how.
Why It’s Important To Seek Out New Friendships As We Evolve and Grow Older
Because of how our environments are set up (i.e., we no longer live in tribes or small villages and spend most of our days connecting digitally), our basic human need for community requires
intentional efforts that many of us don’t know how to orchestrate.
We may feel lonely for many different reasons: we moved to a new place where we don’t know anyone, we’ve lost touch with old friends, we’re recently single, we’ve outgrown relationships, or, god
forbid, we’re stuck in self-isolation due to a pandemic.
I’d argue that even if you currently have a well-established friend group, you may want to continue building new relationships.
You change. What you liked and who you were ten years ago is not static.
So do your friends. You grow and evolve, and so do your friends. In some cases, you may find that you’ve developed in parallels, in others, you may have grown apart.
Even if you haven’t grown apart, it’s still incredibly enriching to surround yourself with a diverse community. For most of us, this requires intentional effort.
The fortunate thing about making friends as an adult is that it’s so much more straightforward than it was in school.
You know who you are and what’s important to you, and when you meet someone with similar values, it doesn’t take long to form a connection.
Shared experiences will expedite the process, just as my intense two-year MBA program resulted in friendships that felt like they started ten years ago.
So now that we’re clear on the why, let’s get into the how.
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making Meaningful Connections & Finding Community
1. Get clear on your values & your unique interests
You’ll make your life a lot easier if you cultivate the self-awareness required to build any meaningful relationship.
Your interests will help you meet people and bond more easily. What do you like doing? Not what should you like doing, but what do you actually enjoy? The
freakier and abnormal the better. This will make for great bonding. Yes, everyone likes traveling, going to brunch, and watching Netflix. It might be hard to light a spark with someone over your love
for avocado toast though. What is it you truly burn for? What lights you up? My interest in psychedelics is still niche (especially for someone from my background), but whenever I do meet someone who
shares it, there’s an instant bond.
But don’t be constrained by your interests, let your values guide you. Getting super clear on values is the basis for surrounding yourself with a diverse
community. If you only look to befriend those interested in similar things, you’ll miss out on a lot. What’s equally important is actually sharing a similar set of values. The Burning Man community
is a great example of this. There’s a vast variety of people making the pilgrimage to the playa every year: hippies, creatives, scientists, tech entrepreneurs, billionaires. What they all have in
common is that they share a set of values, namely Burning Man’s “ten core
principles”. They include radical acceptance, inclusion, self-expression, communal effort, and more. I’ve had the chance to meet incredible people very different from me through other
values-based activities like healing circles. Don’t miss out on the chance to expand your mind through those that are different from you.
2. Reframe your inhibitions (this is for my fellow introverts)
Whether you’re a diehard introvert like me or just socially awkward, let me let you in on a little secret: openness can be taught.
Introversion is not the same as shyness, and while you can’t turn yourself into an extrovert (because you cannot regulate what gives or drains your energy), you can become an outgoing
I know this because I did it.
My job as a management consultant, moving cities every two years, and my MBA morphed me from a shy college grad into a social butterfly.
Socializing like an extrovert can be a learned behavior.
All it takes is a few reframes:
Recognize that most people feel a little discomfort: It’s not just you, everyone feels awkward talking to strangers. Just like public speaking. Maybe not
everyone, there are those that truly love chatting up strangers (my dad is one of them), but they’re the exception, not the rule.
Bring yourself back into your body when you get nervous: I love this TED talk on how to befriend stress. It basically tells you to focus on your physical symptoms — increased heart rate, heat, shallow breath — and view
them not as detriments but rather as your body getting physically ready for the challenge ahead. I always disliked networking events and would get nervous walking into a room with 80% of guys in
suits. But then I’d just tell myself: this is hard, but thank god my body is getting me hyped up for it!
Realize that you have nothing to lose: Yes, there will be moments of rejection. You’re reaching out to someone who’s clearly not into making conversation. You’re asking
someone to hang out and they repeatedly bail. But these downsides are absolutely minuscule compared to what you may gain: incredible, lifelong friendships. The risk-reward balance is undoubtedly in
your favor. Don’t overthink it, go make the first moves.
Don’t take anything personally: The more you’ll put yourself out there, the more you will get rejected. That’s just statistics. What’s critical is that you
don’t attribute any of the rejection to who you are as a person. Don’t make assumptions that people don’t like you. They could be disengaged for all types of reasons, you can’t possibly know. And if
they’re truly just not up for it, even better — self-selection is working in your favor here.
3. Leverage technology and social media
While social media in itself certainly isn’t helping our loneliness epidemic, you can and should take advantage of technology in your quest to find friends.
Rather than consuming content all day and comparing your life to what you see on your screen, social media is actually a great place to initiate connections.
Here are some specific ideas:
Facebook groupsare a great place to start: There are lots of local communities on Facebook. If you’re a foreigner, you could look for specific
expat groups (Europeans in ___, Frenchies in ___) or any other type of cohort you may be in, topics you’re into, etc. (Single girls in ___, Yankees fans in _____, Dog lovers in ______, Burners in
_____). Don’t hesitate to make posts, but be specific, e.g., “I’m going to a flea market Sunday next week, anyone wants to join?”. I see this in my Facebook groups all the time and the response is
Search for apps designed to help you find friends: When I first moved to LA, I made an intention to connect with someone from Bumble BFF every two weeks. The app matches girls looking for friendships in big cities across the US. If your city doesn’t have Bumble BFF, it may have
something similar. Experiences may be mixed, but I ended up hitting it off with every single girl I met (I wish I could say the same about online dating). After just two months I stopped using it
because I was busy tending to the new friendships I had made.
Consider Instagram or TikTok as a tool to connect IRL: Perhaps you come across someone who looks fun, maybe through mutual connections, groups you’re interested in, or
other accounts you’re following. Don’t be shy to DM people. I DM’d one of the yoga teachers at my studio and we connected instantly and now frequently hang out. Believe me, there will be very few
people who’ll think “oh, what a weirdo” rather than welcome the initiative. We’re all looking for more connections in our lives. A genuine message will always be received well. Again, you have
nothing to lose.
4. Start putting yourself out there & socialize
The first few steps are great and necessary, but this is the one that will really propel your efforts. Joining groups is a wonderful opportunity to meet people with similar interests and socialize
beyond the regular one-on-one.
You have lots of options to put ourselves out there:
Group classes: Get a Crossfit membership, find a yoga studio or join a pottery class— whatever you're into. For the sake of meeting people, it’s important to
continue going to the same place so you’ll end up seeing familiar faces. Then, be the person that chats people up and initiates conversation. Just do it. If that’s uncomfortable for you, start
challenging yourself in small ways (e.g., today I will smile at everyone I pass, I will say hello to at least two people, I will chat up one person I meet).
Community events: Based on your values or interests, what are some local communities you could join? Think about things that you would do on your own but instead do them
with other people. If you’re into running, check if there’s a running club in your area. Or a meditation group. Or an urban farming community project. I personally fell in love with the ecstatic
dance community in LA and go dance with them a few times a month.
Meetup groups: Finally, another tech-enabled alternative. In most big cities there are hundreds of Meetups for all different kinds of topics and activities. Find one
that speaks to you and just go. If you don’t meet anyone right away, don’t give up immediately. Go a few times. Give it your best effort. Try things you’re comfortable with, maybe for you that’s a
tennis group, or if you’re more adventurous, go for something completely new.
5. Become the person who initiates connections
Once you’ve gotten more used to connecting in settings created for connection, start experimenting with those that maybe aren’t. Or, simply create them from scratch.
Go alone to places that are busy and chat people up: coffee shops or dog parks are always great places to make easy, friendly conversation. Museums or concerts could
work well, too. Look for something that others also go alone to and you’ll find it easy to identify people to start conversations with. Then get chatty.
Be the person who connects people in your network: sooner or later you’ll find that people will also connect you more with others the more you do this. You can also just
straight up ask friends for connections. Tell them you’re moving to a new city and don’t know anyone, or maybe you’re not moving you’re just unsatisfied with your current social life. Ask if they can
make any introductions. Or tell them about a specific passion or project of yours and ask if they can think of anyone who’d also be into it.
Bring people together: Once you know a few people, start organizing events to bring them together. Just half a year after I moved to LA, I hosted a dinner party for my
birthday and invited everyone I knew in the city. Some were old friends, others I had just met a few weeks earlier. Don’t worry too much whether people will show up or whether they will vibe with
each other. Most people love making connections when given the chance. So give them chances! Some low-effort options if you’re not into hosting: organize a group hike, a picnic, a night out, or any
other group activity. If you have a bit more time, weekend trips are also a great way to bring people together.
Start a community: This is the ultimate move — and one I personally have yet to make. I’ve met several people over the years who can be described as nothing but
community builders. They go beyond hosting frequent gatherings. They form and engage communities based on shared values, communities that grow beyond the person who started it. It’s my dream
to eventually start one, it’s something I’m slowly but surely working towards. If I had to give myself advice, of course, it would be: just start!
Some Final Thoughts
If you’re serious about trying out any of these steps, you’ll likely feel awkward at some point along the way.
And that’s okay.
Outside of our comfort zone, that’s where we grow.
Like most things in life, practice makes perfect.
Give yourself time and self-compassion.
Be patient and consistent, and your efforts will be rewarded.
Finally, one simple mantra that helped me was “just say yes”.
When you start putting yourself out there more, people will respond.
They’ll invite you to things, and sometimes you may not be into what they’re suggesting, or the introvert in you would just rather hibernate.
You’ll have plenty of time to hibernate.
Say yes and I promise, you’ll be happy you did more times than you’ll regret it.
If the pandemic has shown us one thing, it’s that we’re absolutely dependant on human connection. We’re dependant on each other.
Relationships are what make our lives worth living.
So let’s make them a priority, no matter where we’re at in our life.
5 Ways You Can Attract More Positive People and Opportunities Into Your Life
A lot of people have a general sense of unease because they’re not attracting the right people or opportunities into their life, but they haven’t really taken the time to think about either.
Take dating, relationships, and marriage.
How many people haphazardly fall into all three?
How many people date out of convenience, proximity, even desperation?
Wouldn’t it make sense to know the type of people you’re looking to date before you date them? Doesn’t it make sense to have, you know, standards, qualities you’re looking for, values you want
them to have?
The same goes for friendships and business connections.
You should have an idea of the type of people you want to have in your life.
I’ve gone so far as to write down criteria for the type of people I want in my life.
Does that seem weird?
Seems weirder to me to not put a ton of thought into human relationships that have a major impact on your life.
People don’t have to meet every single little thing you’re looking for, of course.
And your tastes can and will change over time.
But without some guiding philosophy to start with, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
Wake up every day like it’s your first day in town & you don’t know a soul. Make fast lovers, fast friends, fast business relations Waltz in & out of a hundred venues to stoke ur
curiosity. Keep a pace you can maintain like your life depends on it. Your life does depend on it.
In short, get your ass out of the house and talk to people.
I bounce around from coffee shop to coffee shop in town to do my work instead of sitting at home.
I’ll strike up conversations and get to know the names of all the employees.
I talk to the people sitting next to me — man, woman, old, young, doesn’t matter.
You never know who you’re going to meet or what it might lead to. Do this in a way where you’re not expecting these conversations to lead to anything either.
You’re just in the world doing you’re thing, seeing who might want to come along for the ride.
This is the ethos of all these points, really.
Get out into the world and be on an adventure that other people want to become a part of.
Controversial opinion: introversion isn’t an excuse you should use to avoid talking to people. Introversion just means you get more energy alone than you do with others.
I’ve often talked about how I wouldn’t even have a writing career had it not been for a few chance events like my friend asking me to write for his website or my first piece happening to land on
the desk of the editor who became my mentor instead of one who might not have cared.
Even though luck played a role in both events, I put myself in a position to get lucky.
My friend noticed my penchant for writing because I was reading a bunch of books and sharing
my insights from them on social media.
I submitted my work to that website because I noticed an acquaintance of mine had done the same.
After I started to follow my intellectual curiosity and work on something that mattered to me, I started getting a hell of a lot luckier.
Funny how that works.
The energy you put into the world matters.
If you desire high-quality opportunities and live an attractive lifestyle by working on yourself, opportunities will present themselves to you.
You can’t win if you never place any bets.
Start placing a bunch of little bets until one of them pays off huge.
Write that article, share that post on social, say hello to that person, go to that event, give that business idea a try, make that investment, apply for that job, try that new hobby, do
Start thinking of yourself as a lucky person.
Ever notice how Debbie downers always have bad things happen to them?
The effect works in reverse, too.
I swear my life got so much better when I just started focusing on self-improvement.
I didn’t know exactly how it would get better, but I had faith that it would and it did.
Place yourself at the center of your world.
This doesn’t mean you need to be self-centered.
But it does mean that putting yourself first makes everything else happen much more easily.
Don’t chase acceptance and validation from others.
Get it from within and people will be drawn to you.
Stop wishing others would be in your life.
Build a life so amazing that you’re discerning about who you let into your life.
Don’t be aloof and indifferent.
Be interested in others, but understand you’re not everyone’s cup of tea and not all of them are yours either.
Fully engage in the world and with others without a ton of expectation, and watch the universe pay you back tenfold for your effortful yet detached approach.
you’re sitting in a bus, waiting in line, or simply sitting on your sofa at home, and you find yourself with a few minutes of idle time on your hands – how might you occupy yourself?
As most do nowadays, you’re likely to start scrolling through your phone; but what if, instead, you chose to retreat into your own mind and entertain yourself with pleasurable thoughts?
How hard could it be?
At first glance, it sounds eminently doable.
After all, as humans, we possess remarkable minds that can reflect on the past, process the present, and even make forecasts about the future.
We can direct our thoughts on real or imagined, as well as pleasant or unpleasant, scenarios and events. Given the endless forms our thoughts can take, why wouldn’t we – when given the opportunity
to withdraw from the external world – dive into our own minds and entertain ourselves with our thoughts?
About 10 years ago, psychologists at the University of Virginia and Harvard University began exploring this question by inviting volunteers to spend time in a room void of all distractions (except
for an electric shock device) and to occupy themselves with their thoughts.
Their findings, published as a series of studies in 2014, were striking: 67 percent of
the men and 25 percent of the women opted to intentionally shock themselves, rather than spend a short period of time alone with their thoughts.
Subsequent work has confirmed that people generally report low-to-moderate enjoyment following an experience in which they are given full freedom to sit and think.
These findings seem surprising for a species that’s defined by its unique thinking abilities (surely raising doubts about our species name, Homo sapiens, which translates from Latin as
But it is important to note that our brains have primarily evolved to regulate our body’s metabolic needs through action and, while we do possess a remarkable capacity to simulate other worlds
within our own minds, to do so is a cognitively demanding task and one for which we’re not necessarily well-practiced.
Perhaps another factor at play, beyond the aversiveness of the effort involved, is that the benefit of thinking pleasurable thoughts is not intuitive, especially considered against the many
competing things to think about – planning, problem-solving or even ruminating over events.
While attending to negative issues within our lives has its uses, it certainly isn’t enjoyable.
Thinking for the purpose of enjoyment might therefore require practice and sufficient motivation – people might need a little nudge.
Thinking can be rendered more enjoyable simply by boosting people’s intentions to use their thoughts towards pleasure
A team of international social psychologists led by Nicholas Buttrick and Timothy Wilson at the University of Virginia did just that recently, by asking their volunteers to set aside a ‘thinking
break’ to focus specifically on pleasurable thoughts with the sole purpose of enjoying the experience. However, they found that, even when instructed to think specifically pleasurable thoughts,
people still did not particularly enjoy the experience relative to other activities.
Across a series of studies involving participants from 11 different countries, those assigned to
thinking for pleasure rated the experience as significantly less enjoyable than others assigned to various other solitary activities, including reading or watching a video. The findings were
consistent across cultures, which demonstrates the universality of people’s preference for activities that provide an external source of entertainment, rather than spending time thinking about
pleasurable topics of their own making.
To better understand why thinking for pleasure is so challenging, it is helpful to break the activity into two basic parts: the thought processes and the thought
The thought processes refer to the intention (ie, having sufficient motivation) and ability (ie, having sufficient concentration) to think for pleasure, while the thought
contents refer to the subject matter of one’s thoughts, and whether they are sufficiently meaningful and/or pleasurable.
Although people might generally prefer external stimulation compared with thinking for pleasure, another recent series of studies showed that thinking can be rendered more enjoyable simply by boosting people’s intentions to use their thoughts in that way – when researchers
instructed participants to specifically think for pleasure, rather than giving them the freedom to think about whatever they wanted, the participants found the experience to be significantly more
This suggests that being motivated to think for pleasure, and intentionally doing so, increases the enjoyment and does not merely occur to people as a natural insight.
Turning to the second component of the process side of thinking for pleasure – ie, having the ability and concentration to generate the thoughts and to sustain one’s attention on such thoughts for
a prolonged period of time – another series of studies confirmed the relevance of these factors.
Following a period of trying to think for pleasure, participants reported finding it particularly hard to concentrate and, to the extent that they found it challenging, it significantly decreased
their reported enjoyment.
Fortunately, the same research found an easy fix for this aspect of the thinking process – when the researchers asked the participants to first write down a list of enjoyable topics, and when they
could look at their list during the thinking break compared with not having their list with them, the participants reported less difficulty in concentrating, which led to the greater overall
enjoyment of the thinking time.
This brings us to the other key part of the thinking for pleasure – the content of one’s thoughts. What type of thoughts garners the greatest enjoyment?
And do we know intuitively what those are?
Our recent research, led by Erin Westgate, suggests that most of us don’t know
what to focus on to generate the most enjoyment out of intentionally thinking for pleasure.
My colleagues and I found that providing participants with examples of enjoyable thinking topics (ie, accomplishments, social occasions, vacations) increased their enjoyment, compared with having
participants generate their own topics, suggesting that they’d struggled to come up with these topics for themselves.
When people are asked to think enjoyable thoughts, they don’t necessarily think of meaningful ones.
My collaborators and I also found an intriguing pattern – the strongest predictor of enjoyment in a thinking period came from the extent to which participants said they found it meaningful.
This led us to wonder whether directing people to focus on meaningful thoughts would provide them with greater enjoyment, rather than focusing on simply pleasurable ones.
We tested this in a second study, by providing the same example topics (as above) to two groups of participants, but we asked one to specifically think for meaning, while another to think for
To our surprise, we found that those people instructed to think meaningful thoughts reported finding the experience less enjoyable and no more meaningful than those instructed to think for
To explore this further, we asked these participants to write down the topics they’d thought about. Using linguistic text analysis, we found that the participants we’d asked to think meaningful
thoughts used significantly fewer emotional as well as fewer positive words than those asked to think for enjoyment.
This suggests that people do not spontaneously choose meaningful topics that are also enjoyable.
Overall, our findings demonstrate that, when people are asked to think enjoyable thoughts, they don’t necessarily think of meaningful ones, thus detracting from their pleasure,
and when they are asked to think about meaningful thoughts, they don’t necessarily think of enjoyable ones, again undermining their pleasure.
All of this suggests that most of us do not have an intuitive sense of how and what to focus on in order to derive the most pleasure from our thinking experience.
Fortunately, these results point to a couple of scientifically-backed ways for us to make thinking for pleasure actually enjoyable.
So, now that you are coming to the end of this article and you have a few minutes to spare, why not spend some time with your own thoughts?
Here’s what I can recommend for optimizing your enjoyment:
Your goal should be to have a good time; that is, make it your intention to focus on events and aspects of those events that bring you enjoyment.
When conjuring topics, choose ones that are both meaningful and pleasurable (eg, social events and accomplishments).
Prior to the thinking period, write down these topics, so that you can glance at them if you feel like you’re having a hard time staying focused.
Set out a specific time for your thinking breaks; that is, choose to engage in the activity when you feel motivated to think for pleasure, but stop if and when you feel like it’s becoming too
As with all things, practice – you will get better over time and, the more you do it, the more you will anticipate thinking for pleasure to be enjoyable.
The thoughts we create shape the lives we live, hence it is to our benefit to occasionally spend some time thinking for pleasure.
While initially challenging, with a little practice, we have at our disposal the cognitive abilities to derive pleasure from simply entertaining our own thoughts. In a world in which the external
environment demands so much of our attention, I believe we could all benefit from occasionally retreating inwards to derive both meaning and pleasure from within.
Recalibrate Your Ego And Your Side Hustle Will Quietly Fall Into Place
That will eventually lead to a job-quitting endeavor
"I just keep reminding myself, there are stupider people who have done it — so I'll be just fine"
One of my friends once said that to me while we were getting coffee.
We hadn't seen each other in a long time and we were catching up about work, life, and relationships. He was talking about this new side hustle he was working on.
The side hustle had to do with creating a YouTube channel.
Sure, it's not a project to be taken lightly.
The confidence of my friend was contagious, however.
He told me of all the plans he had for his channel.
The conversations he was going to have, the guests he would invite, the community he could build.
This dude wasn't even selling me anything but I was a few moments away from pulling out my wallet and handing him over a few Benjamins.
What came of my friend's side hustle?
I guess you can say, the stupider man won…
Perhaps you've experienced something similar to this.
You've pulled out your laptop and seen scores of "idiots" making a name for themselves via their business and thought, "Hell — if they can do it, surely I can" only to find that
six months down the road nothing has blossomed.
That's your ego messing with your creative juices.
Hack it and head over to the other side.
It doesn't have to (and probably won't) make sense at first
I started my online writing journey back in 2017.
I was unhealthy, drinking, doing drugs, and working at a dead-end job.
When the place I worked at caught fire, I took to writing as a form of therapy.
In the beginning, I wrote in silence.
I never shared a damn thing with anyone — especially not the people close to me.
That's what my ego wanted.
To feel superior and guarded against criticism.
After a few months, I finally posted to my Instagram account.
A few months after that, I started posting on Quora.
Next came Medium.
Back in the early days, you know what happened?
People shat all over my work.
They criticized the hell out of what I had to write.
But you know what?
That shit made me better.
It made me see what people wanted to read.
It made me see what others were writing.
It humbled me.
It showed me that in the beginning (hell, even to this day) nothing is given — everything is earned.
Your ego wants to be safe.
A space with no feedback fuels your ego, it allows it to be superior.
There's nothing safe about a successful side hustle.
"Constantly seek criticism. A well thought out critique of whatever you’re doing is as valuable as gold."
— Elon Musk
Redefine your idea of success and your hustle becomes more attainable
Back in the Spring of 2020, I finished creating my first online course.
In total, I probably spent about six months compiling, outlining, writing, filming, and uploading to get it finished.
When it came time to market the course, I believed it would sell more than I could possibly imagine.
My ego told me that the world had been waiting for this gift — if only I could deliver it.
I drew up an actionable email sales sequence to sell the course.
I pressed "publish" on the email.
I held my breath and flipped shut my laptop.
Then, I lit up a metaphorical cigar in my mind and started daydreaming about all the lavish spending I was going to treat myself to.
An hour went by — nothing.
Another hour went by — nothing.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I got a sale.
A few more trickled in that day.
Then another and another.
When all was said and done, I sold a few thousand dollars worth of courses.
Something to be proud of for sure.
Why was I still feeling miserable about the results?
Because my damn ego tricked me into thinking my problems would cease to exist.
Perhaps you can relate?
You press "publish" on the piece of content you've been writing for a week and think it'll go viral when only maybe 65 people read it.
You reach out to be a guest on a podcast and the host turns you away.
The most important part is taking action, not the outcome.
Taking action is the first step in hacking your ego.
A rising tide lifts all [side hustlers]
You've probably heard ad infinitum that,
you’re the sum total of your five closest friends
But have you actually experienced it?
I mean, have you actually built a mastermind group that keeps you driven, headed in the right direction, and (most importantly) accountable?
"group of people who complement each other in order to accomplish a goal. It is important all the members think the same way but have different knowledge, while showing a positive mental attitude
to help each other."
At first take, this sounds like a definition for a board of directors or some other boring C-suite jargon. As a side hustler, the most important person in getting the work done is
You don't have to put it all on yourself though — even though your ego feels safe that way.
Find someone in your network that can help hold you accountable.
Share what you're doing and creating with the people around you.
Sharing your work (even if through conversation) helps hold your feet to the proverbial fire.
Where we're going — we don't need roads
Your ego wants it to all work out the way you draw it up in your mind.
Your ego wants your side hustle to look, three years from now, exactly how you imagine it today.
That's a fool's errand.
An online entrepreneur worth his or her salt knows you need to have a plan.
However, they'd slap you silly across the face if you told them you haven't pivoted or searched for feedback.
That course that I mentioned earlier?
It looks completely different now than how it did when I first created it.
Because all y'all (my hundreds of customers) ravaged the product to hell.
Once I was able to calm down (and warm up) I realized that if I can recalibrate what this information is telling me, I can make my product, my content, and my voice more valuable.
These new paths — though unfamiliar and uncertain — are against what your ego is telling you. Past the horizon, however, are the answers.
Choose speed over perfection
This is something that I still deal with even after years of shipping products and content.
Perhaps it'll never go away.
Your ego wants everything to be perfect.
It wants all the proverbial "T's" to be crossed and "I's" to be dotted.
It wants the product to be purchased by everyone.
So you'll edit, and refine, and tweak, and ask for feedback, and procrastinate. Eventually, you'll lose out on more opportunities because of all the time
I get so many emails from my audience asking if I can lend feedback on their info products.
While I'm happy to help (again — "a rising tide lifts all [side hustlers]"), I tend to be as basic as I can and always note that the most important thing this individual can do is ship the
Most people don't even care about design, formatting, color composition, video quality, etc.
What your ego care's about most is that it looks professional, sexy, and expensive.
What people consuming your products and content care about most is the solution.
"Everyone" is not your customer
I get it.
You want to be the next viral writer.
You want to be the next best-selling author.
You want to be the next YouTube sensation.
Get in line…
Your ego wants the world.
He or she wants fame and fortune.
Your ego, however, doesn't want "Daniel" — you're the first customer.
I deliberately used that name "Daniel" because he was my first customer — and I'll never forget him. It was May of 2018. I had been working my freaking ass off and woke up to a Stripe payment with
his name in the invoice.
For months, I had been focusing on him. Err, at least the archetype that he represented.
He was the second member of my tribe.
That's what you need to build first for your side hustle to fall into place.
You can't have the world — at least in the beginning.
You set your sights too high up, you'll miss all of the people who have been waiting for you all along. You miss the people that can recognize your voice, your mission, and the impact you're going
to make in this world before everyone else.
Focus on the smallest possible community first.
Your ego will hate this.
Your tribe will love it.
Recalibrate your ego and your side hustle will quietly fall into place
If you were to turn on your laptop and open up a web browser, you probably wouldn't spend more than ninety seconds before you started to compare where your side hustle efforts are to another.
This can get the better of you if you're not careful.
There's a gap between the side hustle you envision and where you currently are now.
Sometimes your ego will trick you.
Sometimes it will lie to you.
Sometimes it will lead you down the wrong path and tempt you with empty promises.
All in all, the surest way to building the side hustle you've always envisioned has, and all ways will be about putting in the hard work no one else wants to.
The hard work recalibrates your ego.
When you recalibrate your ego — you'll see everything with your side hustle quietly fall into place.
Join the Tribe with 5,000 others and monetize your creativity with my free guide-regardless of your expertise-level — Check it out for free here
There are two types of toxic opinions: impersonal and personal.
“Conservatives don’t care about the poor.”
“Technology is ruining our lives.”
“Wealthy people are selfish.”
“You’re lazy and leave all the housework up to me.”
“You don’t listen to me.”
“That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.”
You can rephrase a toxic opinion by saying “I think…,” followed by supporting facts or by stating what you experience and how you feel.
An opinion or your point of view, when grounded by the facts as you see them and the knowledge that others may see it differently, is a powerful, direct, and respectful way to communicate.
It’s empowering to say, “Look, this is my opinion on the subject.
You may disagree, but I want you to know what I think.”
For example, “I feel hot.
The thermostat says it’s 75 degrees in here,” expresses your experience and states a fact. “I think technology is ruining lives.
I read a study from Harvard citing cellphone use by small children reduces cognitive brain function.” “When we agree to sit down to watch TV together, and you get on your iPad, I feel disrespected
The purpose of an opinion is not to prove someone wrong or convince them of your point of view.
The goal is to speak truthfully and accurately about what you know or believe without discounting others’ experiences.
Without opinions, we would have no creative dialogue or problem-solving. We would be empty shells with little or nothing to say.
Instead of creating defensiveness, an opinion invites dialogue, because you take responsibility for your point of view by saying, “I think, I believe, I propose, I suggest.”
When you speak this way, it encourages others to do the same. Whether they follow your lead is up to them.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
So below are several questions that have massively improved the quality of my conversations.
Each one of them enabled me to generate meaningful relationships, and I hope they do the same for you, too.
What’s Your Story?
Asking open-ended questions is an excellent way for someone to reveal different aspects of their life, and talk about whatever subjects they enjoy.
Research shows that we love talking about ourselves.
Quoting an article from Psychology
Today: “talking about oneself activates the same areas of the brain that light up when eating good food, taking drugs and even having sex.
Simply put, self-disclosure is gratifying.”
So if you’re able to make someone feel good by talking about themselves, the probability of developing a relationship and establishing a meaningful connection is much higher.
Which Of Your Friends Or Family Do You Look Up To Most?
Seneca says, “you can tell the character of every man when you see
how he gives and receives praise.”
When you’re able to understand why someone gives respect, their core values in life quickly become evident.
Throughout my life, my mom has been at the epicenter of my respect.
Having raised me & my little brother as a single parent, she’s always aimed to act in our best interest.
Earlier this year, she got diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Despite living in New Zealand at the time, I decided to fly back to the UK, so I could be with my family while she was having surgery &
Take a moment to think about someone that you look up to with enormous amounts of respect.
And whenever you find yourself in a conversation, ask the other person to do the same.
You’ll discover that it’s a genuinely humbling mental exercise.
What Book Had The Greatest Impact On Your Life?
I’ve discovered that you can tell a lot about someone by the type of books they read.
After all, the kind of content we consume is what helps to shape our thoughts & identity.
Several months ago, my mental & physical health took a turn for the worse.
I was unsure how to escape my constant negative way of thinking and quickly plunged into a spiral of depression.
But while exploring the Calgary public library, I found a book titled “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday.
Using examples from ancient philosophy, the lessons from that book helped me to change my perception of adversity, overcome my negative mindset, and live a much happier life.
Occasionally, you might find a book that completely turns your life around and enables you to live with a renewed sense of fulfillment.
So asking people which book changed their life might help to improve yours, too.
What’s An Obstacle You’re Currently Afraid Of Facing?
the former Roman emperor, once said: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
A great truth of life is that fear comes from uncertainty.
However, you can also use fear as a motivator to grow as a person and overcome any obstacle that stands in your way.
For example, I used to be afraid of talking to strangers in public.
But once I overcame my fear and began having conversations, my self-confidence massively increased as a result.
We don’t like to talk about the things which scare us.
But whenever you have a conversation about fear, remember that embracing it can give you the courage to change the narrative in your head that’s preventing you from succeeding.
If You Could Restart Life, What Would You Do Differently?
Regret is something that we all experience, but often don’t want to face as it forces us to admit our mistakes.
However, I’ve found that when you reflect on your past, it provides an opportunity to reverse course and prevent the same errors from happening in the future.
Rejection teaches you how to reject what’s not right for you.
As you look back on your life, you will realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected by someone or from something you wanted, you were in fact being redirected to someone or
something you needed.
Seeing this when you’re in the midst of feeling rejected, however, is quite tough. I know because I’ve been there.
As soon as someone critiques criticize, and pushes you away – as soon as you are rejected—you find yourself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I’m not worthy.”
What you need to realize is, the other person or situation is not worthy of you and your particular journey.
Rejection is necessary medicine; it teaches you how to reject relationships and opportunities that aren’t going to work so that you can find the right ones that will.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it just means someone else failed to notice what you have to offer.
This means you now have more time to improve yourself and explore your options.
Will you be bitter for a moment?
Of course—you’re human.
There isn’t a soul on this planet that doesn’t feel a small fraction of their heart break at the realization of rejection.
For a short time afterward, you will ask yourself every question you can think of:
What did I do wrong?
Why didn’t they care about me?
But then you have to let your emotions fuel you in a positive way!
This is the important part.
Let your feelings of rejection drive you, feed you and inspire one heck of a powerful opening to the next chapter of your story.
Honestly, if you constantly feel like someone is not treating you with respect, check your price tag.
Because it’s you who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you’re willing to accept for your time and attention.
So get off the clearance rack.
And I mean right NOW!
If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.
I know it’s hard to accept, but think about it…
All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make thereafter.
We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some intolerant person or shallow circumstance once told us was true.
It’s time to realize this and squash the subconscious idea that you don’t deserve any better. It’s time to remind yourself that…
The person you liked, loved or respected in the past, who treated you like dirt again and again, has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you in the present moment, but headaches and
One of the most rewarding and important moments in life is when you finally find the courage to let go of what you can’t change, like someone else’s behavior or decisions.
Life and God both have greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or believing that you’re broken.
The harsh truth is, sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller and emotionally stronger than you ever were before.
It’s not the end of the world—it’s never the end of the world – and yet rejection can make the loss of someone or something you weren’t even that crazy about feel gut-wrenching and
Sometimes people don’t notice the things we do for them until we stop doing them. And sometimes the more chances you give, the more respect you lose. Enough is enough. Never let a person get
comfortable with disrespecting you. You deserve better. You deserve to be with someone who makes you smile, someone who doesn’t take you for granted, someone who won’t leave you hanging.
Some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.
Take a deep breath. Inner peace begins the moment you decide not to let another person or event control your emotions.
You really can’t take things other people say about you too personally. What they think and say is a reflection of them, not of you.
Those with the strength to succeed in the long run are the ones who build themselves up with the bricks others have thrown at them.
Let your scars remind you that the damage someone has inflicted on you has left you stronger, smarter, and more resilient.
When you lose someone or something, don’t think of it as a loss, but as a gift that lightens your load so that you can better travel the path meant for you.
You will never miss out on what is meant for you, even if it has to come to you in a roundabout way. Stay focused. Be positive.
Rejections and naysayers aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things; so don’t let them conquer your mind. Step forward! Seriously, most of us do not understand how much potential we have
– we limit our aspirations to the level someone else told us was possible.
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. Don’t be one of them. Ultimately, you are who you are when nobody’s watching. Know this! And dare to be yourself, however
awkward, different or odd that self may prove to be to someone else.
Comparing yourself with others, or other people’s perceptions, only undermines your worth, your education, and your own inner wisdom. No one can handle your present situation better than
The more we fill our lives with genuine passion and purpose, the less time and energy we waste looking for approval from everyone else.
You can use your struggles, frustrations, and rejections to motivate you rather than annoy you. You are in control of the way you look at life.
Sometimes transitions in life mean something even better is coming your way, so embrace them and don’t be afraid to let go.
Right now is a new beginning. The possibilities ahead are endless. Be strong enough to let go, wise enough to move forward, diligent enough to work hard, and patient enough to wait for what you
All details aside, you don’t need anyone’s constant affection or approval in order to be good enough in this world.
When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you.
It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs.
So you don’t have to internalize any of it! Your worth isn’t contingent on other people’s acceptance of you.
You’re allowed to be yourself.
You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings.
You’re allowed to assert your needs.
You’re allowed to hold on to the truth that who you are is more than enough.
And you’re allowed to let go of anyone in your life who endlessly makes you feel otherwise.
Sometimes we need to be reminded to actually practice the little habits that allow us to better understand and nurture the right bonds, or let go of the wrong ones.
We need to be reminded to be selective in our battles, too.
Oftentimes peace and love in our lives and relationships are both better than being right.
We simply don’t need to attend every argument we’re invited to, especially when our sense of self-worth is on the line.
If you feel shy or awkward in social situations, know that many others are probably feeling the same way too.
If you've ever been to a social gathering where you've felt awkward and uncomfortable, chances are you are not alone.
While social gatherings can be very enjoyable, especially when we are surrounded by people whose company we enjoy, there are social events that we attend where we sometimes find ourselves wishing
we were someplace else.
Such occasions can sometimes be the cause of much anxiety and self-consciousness.
We may even feel like everyone else is having a good time except for us.
Yet the truth is that everyone has felt shy and awkward on occasion.
One of the best ways to overcome self-consciousness or get past your feelings of shyness at social gatherings is to focus on the people around you.
If you can remember that other people might also be feeling awkward or shy, you might find the thought of speaking to them less intimidating or overwhelming.
The next time there is a social event you feel nervous about attending, you may want to try this exercise: Spend some time with your eyes closed and breathe deeply.
When you feel ready, create your own zone of comfort by visualizing yourself surrounded by a warm white light that is protective yet accepting of others.
Imagine people at the event being drawn to you because of the open and warm feelings that you are radiating.
When you arrive at the event, take a moment to spread this same light of loving acceptance to everyone around you.
Smile and greet people warmly.
Try going up to someone who is standing alone and introduce yourself.
When you radiate acceptance, openness, and receptivity, people can't help but respond to you in kind.
Focusing on how we can make other people at a social gathering feel at ease can help us forget about our own insecurities.
In the process, we end up making the very connections that we seek.
The next time you attend a social gathering, invite people to join you in your zone of comfort that you have so lovingly and intentionally created.
Let yourself enjoy being encircled in the warmth of their friendships.
18 Important Reminders About Living Up to People’s Expectations
Written by Angel Chernoff
Your needs matter. Don’t ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for
A life spent ceaselessly trying to please people who are perhaps incapable of ever being pleased, or trying too hard to always be seen as doing “what’s expected of you,” is a sure road to a
Marc and I were on this road once, but I’m happy to say we’re paving our own path now based on our own needs, morals, and values.
And today I hope to inspire you to do the same…
Do more than just exist.
We all exist.
The question is: Do you live?
Marc and I eventually realized existing without ever truly living were not what we wanted for ourselves.
So we made changes – we gradually embraced the points discussed in this article and never looked back.
If you are in the same place we once were – seeking approval from everyone for every little thing you do – please take this post to heart and start making changes today.
Life is too short not to.
First and foremost, you are not obligated to live up to everyone’s expectations. – Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect. And
you are under no obligation to give others what they expect. Period. Do things because you care. Do things because you know it’s right. Don’t just do things because everyone else expects you to.
Expectations just get in the way of great life experiences. – Don’t let expectations (especially other people’s expectations) get in your way.
Truth be told, the unexpected is often better than the expected. Our entire lives can be described in one sentence: It didn’t go as planned, and that’s OK.
You don’t need others to hold your hand every step of the way. – Be willing to go alone sometimes. You don’t need permission to grow. Not
everyone who started with you will finish with you. And that’s OK. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
You get to learn from your mistakes without unnecessary third-party pressure. – You’re going to mess up sometimes. But the good news is, as
long as you’re listening to your intuition, you get to decide how you’re going to mess up. Which means you get to decide how you’re going to live and what you’re going to learn along the way.
No one knows you better than you know yourself. – How you seem to others and how you actually are, rarely match. Even if they get the basic
gist of who you are, they’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle. What other people think of you will rarely contain the whole truth, which is fine. So if someone forms an opinion of you based on
superficialities, then it’s up to them, not you, to reform those opinions. Leave it to them to worry about. You know who you are and what’s best for you.
Only YOU can define what’s possible for you and your life. – Some people will kill you over time if you let them; and how they’ll kill you is
with tiny, harmless phrases like, “Be realistic.” When this happens, close your ears and listen to your inner voice instead. Remember that real success in life isn’t what others see, but how you
feel. It’s living your truth and doing what makes you feel alive.
In the end, happiness is simply living your life your own way. – There comes a time when your back is up against the wall and you realize all
you can do is say, “Screw it, I’m doing things my way!” That’s the earth-shattering moment you stop planning for someone else’s expectations, and start making progress on what’s truly important to YOU. That’s when
you begin to live life according to your own morals and values. That’s when you can finally be at your happiest.
You can best serve yourself and others by giving yourself what YOU need. – Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes
you come alive, and pursue it at all costs. That’s what this world needs – people like YOU who come alive. Which means your needs matter; so don’t ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what’s best
for you and your life, not just what seems best on the surface for everyone else.
Rather than being confined by opinions, you need to create your own reality. – If J.K. Rowling stopped after being rejected by multiple
publishers for years, there would be no Harry Potter. If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 200+ times, there would be no Starbucks. If Walt Disney quit too soon after his theme
park concept was trashed by 300+ investors, there would be no Disney World. One thing is for sure: If you give too much power to the opinions of others, you will become their prisoner. So never let
someone’s opinion define your reality. (Read Daring Greatly.)
You need to allow yourself the freedom to speak your truth. – Yes, speak your truth even if your voice shakes. Be cordial and reasonable, of
course, but don’t tread carefully on every word you say. Push your concerns of what others might think aside. Let the consequences of doing so unravel naturally. What you’ll find is that most of the
time no one will be offended or irritated at all. And if they do get upset, it’s likely only because you’ve started behaving in a way that makes them feel they have less power over you. Think about
it. Why lie?
The wrong people should not be able to tamper with your standards. – Remember, failed relationships aren’t designed to encourage you to lower
your standards, but to raise them and keep them up. So while you’re out there making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there
are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too. Bottom line: Don’t let the wrong people bring you down.
The haters can have less of an effect on you. Don’t worry about the haters, ever. Don’t let them get to you. They’re just upset because the
truth you know contradicts the lies they live. Period.
Your individuality can be openly celebrated and enjoyed. – Constantly seeking approval means you’re perpetually worried that others are
forming negative judgments of you. This steals the fun, ingenuity, and spontaneity from your life. Flip the switch on this habit. If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different
from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t change. Uniqueness is priceless. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self.
It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it. Being unapologetically YOU is worth it!
There can very easily be less drama to deal with on a daily basis. – Forgo the drama. Ignore the negativity around you. Just be sincere and
kind, and promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
You can create more time to socialize with the right people. – When you’re feeling insecure, you typically
don’t notice the hundreds of people around you who accept you just the way you are. All you notice are the few who don’t. Don’t ever forget your worth. Spend time with those who value you. No matter
how good you are to people, there will always be negative minds out there who criticize you. Smile, ignore them, and carry on. You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are
priceless to another.
Great relationships are not governed by one-sided expectations. – When it comes to your relationships, don’t keep everything you need to say
to yourself. Let it out. Express your point of view. Communication is not just an important part of a relationship, communication is the relationship. Communicate even when it’s uncomfortable and
uneasy. One of the best ways to heal and grow a relationship is simply getting everything on the inside out in the open. Compromise. That’s how good people make great things happen together.
You can be YOUR best, without competing with everyone else. – When you are happy to simply do your best and not compare or compete, everyone
worth your while will respect you. Here’s some healthy food for thought: Always… Be strong, but not rude. Be kind, but not weak. Be humble, but not timid. Be proud, but not arrogant. Be bold, but not
a bully. (Marc and I discuss these concepts in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of the brand NEW edition of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
You are not obligated to anyone more so than you are to yourself. – Your relationship with yourself is the closest and most important
relationship you will ever have. So don’t forget about YOU out there, and don’t be too hard on yourself either. There are plenty of others willing to do both for you. And remember, if you don’t take
good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.
Now, it’s your turn…
Yes, it’s your turn to give up trying to live up to people’s expectations
All the love and validation you need is yours to give yourself.
Let that sink in.
Then leverage the reminders above as needed to let it sink in even deeper.
Be the friend to others, that you wish them to be to you.
There comes a time in all our lives when we may need to evaluate our relationships, making sure that they are having a positive effect on us, rather than dragging us down.
Without realizing it, we may be spending precious time and energy engaging in friendships that let us down, rather than cultivating ones that support and nourish us along our path.
Life, with its many twists, turns, and challenges, is difficult enough without us entertaining people in our inner circle who drain our energy.
We can do so much more in this world when we are surrounded by people who understand what we're trying to do and who positively support our efforts to walk our path.
We can begin this evaluation process by simply noticing how we feel in the context of each one of our close relationships.
We may begin to see that an old friend is still carrying negative attitudes or ideas that we ourselves need to let go of in order to move forward.
Or we may find that we have a long-term relationship with someone who has a habit of letting us down, or not showing up for us when we need support.
There are many ways to go about changing the status quo in situations like this, having a heart to heart with our friend showing through example.
This process isn't so much about abandoning old friends as it is about shifting our relationships so that they support us on our journey rather than holding us back.
An important part of this process is looking at ourselves and noticing what kind of friend we are to the people in our lives.
We might find that as we adjust our own approach to a relationship, challenging ourselves to be more supportive and positive, our friends make adjustments as well, and the whole world
16 Reasons You’re Succeeding in Life
(Even If You Feel Like You’re Losing)
Written by Angel Chernoff
A big part of happiness and success is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now, and
sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is.
At times we all feel less than adequate.
We feel like we’re running in place, struggling to make even the slightest bit of progress.
And while this is a perfectly normal feeling, you have to ultimately break free from it and see yourself and your life in a more positive light.
The key is to pay attention to the small things.
Just because you’re not where you want to be, doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
In fact, quite the opposite is true.
To be truly happy and successful today doesn’t mean you don’t desire more in the future, it means you are sincerely thankful for what you have already accomplished and patient for everything yet
Train your mind to see the good side of what’s in front of you.
Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles.
Notice again and again how fortunate you are.
The evidence is all around you right now, and it’s beautiful and well worth gathering into your awareness.
Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that are going well in your life at the moment.
As you fall asleep every night, fill your mind with an appreciation for all the small things that went well during the day.
Examine your daily successes.
Give the power of your thinking to the positive influences in your life, and they will grow stronger and more influential every day.
Remind yourself of what works well and why, and you’ll naturally find ways to make lots of other things work well too.
The most efficient way to enjoy more success in life is not to obsess yourself with what hasn’t worked, but instead, to extend and expand upon the success you already know.
Here are some much-needed reminders—sixteen good reasons you’re already succeeding in life:
You are walking your own path, not anyone else’s. – One of the most foundational sources of both success and happiness is simply being
comfortable with who you really are. Not trading your reality for a role or your truth for an act. Not giving up your freedom of thought. Not putting on a mask. So never let anyone’s ignorance, hate,
drama or negativity stop you. If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must continue to be different from the world. Don’t be scared to walk alone on your own path, and don’t be scared to
You are gradually working through your fears. – As you know, running from fear is a race you’ll never win. In fact, what you’re afraid of
dealing with is often precisely what will set you free. So keep doing what you’ve been doing—take another step forward today. Don’t let your fear decide your future. Don’t let it shut you down.
Instead, let it wake you up! Take chances and indulge in the excitement. Tell yourself that the fear of suffering is far worse than the suffering itself. Convince yourself that everything you want is
on the other side of fear. Because it is.
You have not let failure stop you. – Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading toward success. Oftentimes
our greatest insight comes from our failure, not from our accomplishments. It’s a matter of taking each lesson and stepping forward with it. At the end of the day, whether you choose to go with it,
flow with it, resist it, change it, or hide from it, life goes on. If what you did today didn’t turn out as you hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity try again, or to do something totally different.
What’s important is to realize that you have a choice.
You learn something new and grow stronger every day. – To find the best path forward we must occasionally stray from it. There are no wrong
turns; only paths we didn’t know we were meant to walk. In the end, to be a success you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving. Keep letting your mistakes
strengthen you. Life is a series of little journeys. Allow each step to be a teachable moment. And don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy sometimes, doesn’t mean you
aren’t headed for sunshine.
You have overcome some considerable obstacles. – Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Nothing! There is a benefit and a blessing hidden in the
folds of every experience and every outcome. Consider the possibility that the little obstacles in your life’s path are not obstacles at all, but stepping-stones to amazing places.
You do your best to love what is. – A big part of success and happiness is not getting everything you want, but mindfully wanting what you
get. After all, stress is resistance to what is. Continue to accept what comes to you totally and completely, so you can appreciate it, learn from it and then let it go. Sometimes the best possible
response is simply allowing yourself to be at peace with what is, rather than wishing for, and bemoaning, what is not. It’s about doing the best you can with the hand you’ve been dealt.
You try to be as present as possible. – We all have two lives. And the second one starts now, when we realize that we only have one. Really,
nothing is worth more than today. Because you can’t change yesterday or accurately predict tomorrow, but you can ruin today—your real life—by worrying about those two illusory eternities. So stay
present and focus on what you can create today. Tomorrow will reveal itself exactly as it should, just as yesterday already has. (Read The Power of Now.)
You love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of everyone else loving you. – Putting yourself first does not mean being “selfish.” It
means being self-aware. It means never forgetting to love yourself, too.
You don’t judge people. – People are sometimes too quick to judge, but slow to correct themselves. You know this and you graciously do the
opposite. It’s impressive, really. Because it’s much easier to judge people than it is to understand them. Understanding takes extra kindness and patience, and this “extra” is worth it. This “extra”
makes a big difference in the end.
You are the reason some people smile. – Do not miss a chance – not one single, tiny opportunity – to tell someone how wonderful they are and
how beautiful they are, inside and out.
You have incredible people in your life. – Your capacity to be both effective and happy is directly related to the quality of people who most
closely surround you every single day. Having just one or two of these people a phone call away is truly a priceless blessing. These relationships are worth celebrating.
You have been selfless in your closest relationships. – Almost every immoral action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It
is a trait we hate in other people but often justify in ourselves. The fact that you have made sacrifices for people you love is remarkable in every way. I know it’s not easy. It’s one of the very
hardest parts of loving someone – you have to give things up for them. And sometimes, you even have to give them up, selflessly.
You have given up doing things for others out of guilt. – Sometimes we give in to our loved one’s requests out of guilt. But we need to stop
feeling guilty for not giving the people we care about everything they want. It’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow, but we foster the attitude of entitlement in our lives and relationships when we
are ruled by a guilty conscience. It’s OK to say “no” to friends and family sometimes. You know this, so just keep doing what you know is right, and never let false guilt get the best of you.
You aren’t overspending to impress or satisfy others. – I think it’s good for our friends and family to hear us say, “I can’t afford that” or
“We will have to save for it.” Because that’s real life. We don’t have all the money in the world to buy everything we could ever want. If you think about it, I bet you’ve known families before who
are working multiple jobs to drive luxury cars and keep their kids in expensive extracurricular activities, when honestly, everyone would be happier and better off with more family and friendship
time and less financial stress.
You respect yourself enough to never let anyone walk all over you. – A simple reminder, but so very important: Never, ever submit your
self-worth or moral values to a relationship. True love and friendship can flower only under the sun of mutual respect. Some people may try to trample your garden and walk all over you, but you don’t
have to sit there and take it. Period. (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of the NEW volume of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
You know you can’t please everyone, and you don’t try. – That’s right. Keep standing strong. Don’t let the negative opinions of others derail
you. Ultimately, there are two kinds of people – those who are a drain on your energy and creative force, and those who give you energy and support your growth. Avoid the first kind. May the bridges
you burn light your way. Just be happy, be honest and be true to yourself every day. If others don’t like it, let them be. Success in life isn’t about pleasing everyone.
Now it’s your turn…
If you can’t check off every point from this list, no big deal.
This list is just a rough guideline.
We all need our own time to travel our own distance, our own way.
But keep in mind, the principle still applies:
Success is not a skill; it’s a persistent attitude.
It’s not a place you arrive at; it’s a process you live through.
It’s what you do every day.
It’s what you are doing now…
You are succeeding in life.
You just have to believe it.
Visit the liks below and discover how so many other find friends....
When we take time to check in with our hearts, each person we encounter can be seen as
a fellow traveler in the journey of life.
Every day we experience a magical twilight between our dreams and waking state.
During this brief period of time, our minds still remember that all things are possible.
We can smoothly transition into our physical world without losing a sense of hope when we check in with our heart center first before we even get out of
Our heart center is the link between body and spirit, instinct and inspiration.
It doesn't take long to hold a thought of loving gratitude for the heart that beats within us.
In a mere moment, we can review all that we want to accomplish in the light of love.
When we get into the habit of beginning our day from the heart, all of our activities glow with the infusion of conscious
intent, and all interactions are done with compassion.
We can restart our day right now by imagining how love and inspiration feel.
As light glows from our heart center, radiating out through our bodies into the space around us, any feelings of stress or frustration seem to melt away.
Now, we see each person we encounter as fellow travelers in the journey of life, and every activity becomes part of a spiritual partnership.
As conscious participants in the cycle of giving and receiving, we share our light with others as we become enlivened ourselves, with our hearts leading the
In the intersection where our body and soul meet, our physical heart beats in time with the rhythm of the universe.
It does the physical work of supplying our body with life force without our attention, but for its spiritual work, we need to be conscious.
When we concentrate on its rhythm and glowing light, we remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Then we know that we can choose any time to check in with our heart center, and in doing so, experience the joy of being in love with life.
Ev shares the top 5 things you should look for in a FRIEND.
A campy fun video.....BUT.......did you see any of your personality traits happen? We learn from everything that happens, so keep stuff
happening!!!!!!!! Go to Evmoney on YouTube for lot's of advice with a laugh.
When we get stuck, think about the big picture, and how we can remain calm and balaned to attract more friends. Are we
alone because of habits, do you smile, do you get involved, or could it be because we did not Consider Others.
Every thought we think and every action we take has an
impact on the world around us.
Every thought we think and every action we take has an impact on the world around us.
To be aware of this is to be conscious of our impact on the people in our lives.
Sometimes we just want to do what we want to do, but considering the full ramifications of our actions can be an important part of our spiritual growth and
At first, being more conscious requires effort, but once we have made it a habit, it becomes second nature.
The more we practice this awareness of others, the more we find ourselves in easy alignment with our integrity.
Our thoughts are an important place to begin this practice because our thoughts are the seeds of our actions.
It is not necessary or beneficial to obsessively monitor all our thoughts, but we can perhaps choose one thought or action per day and simply notice if we are in
alignment with this experience of integrity.
For example, we may find ourselves replaying a negative encounter with someone in our minds.
We may think that this doesn't affect the person about whom we are thinking, but the laws of energy tell us that it does.
When we hold someone negatively in our minds, we risk trapping them in negativity.
If we were this person, we might wish for forgiveness and release.
We can offer this by simply letting go of the negative thought and replacing it with a wish for healing on that person's behalf.
With regard to our actions, we may have something difficult to express to someone. Taking the time to consider how we would feel if we were in his or her shoes will enable us to communicate more
sensitively than we would if we just expressed ourselves from our own perspective.
When we modify our approach by taking someone else's feelings into account, we bring benefit to that person and ourselves equally.
The more we do this, the more we reaffirm our integrity and the integrity of our relationship to the world.
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