Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Successful People Question Themselves!

Questioning yourself probably doesn't sound like a great trait. Confidence is key, right?

Well, there's a difference between overwhelming self-doubt and self-reflection. As Justin Barro wrote for Inc., it's important to hone your Emotional Intelligence by asking yourself whether or not certain things need to be said.

These questions shouldn't make you doubt yourself, they should simply boost your self-awareness.

- Áine Cain

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Successful People Say 'Sorry'!

Yes, we all know the dangers of saying "sorry" too much. After a while, the word loses its meaning.

However, if you're a person who can muster up a genuine apology when you've done wrong, that's a sure sign of emotional intelligence, according to "Hiring for Attitude" author Mark Murray writing in Forbes.

- Áine Cain

Monday, January 21, 2019

Successful People “Don’t” Plan More Than They Produce!

You have ideas, maybe lots of them. You spend hours, weeks, months, even years thinking about them, planning them, and examining the pros and cons from all angles.

But when push comes to shove, you find a million reasons not to do them!

They probably won’t work anyway, you tell yourself.

And what if you put your heart and soul into one of these projects and then it’s met with ridicule or, even worse, silence? Better to wait until everything is perfect.

The reality: Yes, it would hurt if your brainchild were met with indifference or derision, but what’s the alternative? Never taking a chance? Never seeing what you can really do? Stripping away the layers of creativity. until all that’s left is an inoffensive shell?

Perfection is an illusion, of course, and virtually every success story is preceded by a string of failures, sometimes spectacular.

Be willing to have your own.

Even if nothing turns out as you planned, you’ll learn plenty about what to do next time. At the very least, you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, “I gave it my best shot.”

- David Sack (modified by Amr Badran)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Successful People Don’t Let Criticism Lay Them Low!

When discouraging words come your way, you see it as confirmation of what you suspected all along—I’m a loser.

And it doesn’t even need to be words. A single disgusted look can make you wither.

That’s why you wear a heavy coat of armor whenever you deal with people, whether at home, at work, or out in the world. You are eternally, exhaustingly, braced for attack.

The reality: 

People usually mean a lot less by their criticism than we hear.

Pay attention to your reaction the next time you are at the receiving end of a negative comment.

Does your pulse race, does your face go red, or are you hearing the outraged or anguished commentary in your head rather than really listening to what the person is saying?

Try to stop yourself and listen as though you were taking notes for another person. 

Is the criticism valid? Is there something to learn from it?

If so, great! You’ve had a positive experience, albeit a painful one. If not, say, “I see your point but I disagree, and here’s why.” Then move on.

- David Sack

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Successful People Don’t Make Room for the Little Stuff in their Life Before the Big!

Life seems full of minutia—errands, chores, email, to-do lists. But despite all the busyness, it doesn’t seem to add up to much at the end of the day. You often feel as though you’re missing the big picture.

The reality: The oft-told story of the rocks in the jar applies here: If you put the little stuff in the jar first—the pebbles and the sand—you won’t have room for the rocks.

But add the rocks first—the important things, such as faith, family, health, and relationships—and the pebbles and the sand can be worked into the empty spaces.

The point is not that there’s a way to squeeze everything into your life, but you should prioritize the things that really matter.

- David Sack (Modified by Amr Badran)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Successful People Don’t Avoid Confrontations!

No matter how big or legitimate your complaint, you can’t bring yourself to actually confront a person with your grievance!
What if they get mad? What if they come up with some complaints about you in return?
Instead, you live with the problem, and complain about your boss to your spouse, about your spouse to your friend, and about your friend to your sister, etc…

The reality: It can be hard to stand up for yourself, but doing so in a diplomatic way is more respectful to everyone involved than venting behind someone's back.
It’s also your best hope for bringing about real change.
Give the person a chance to make things better or explain. 
You will both be better off for it.

- David Sack (Modified by Amr Badran)

Monday, January 14, 2019

Successful People Put Themselves First!

Do you wait to be asked …
to speak in a meeting?
to go out with friends?
to have a turn with the game?
to join the conversation at an outing?
to share your opinion?

Putting yourself forward is just not in your DNA!
What if you speak up and say something stupid?
What if you ask someone to do something and they say no?

Better to sit back and wait until someone begs you to join in.

That way, if things go wrong, you can say, “Hey, it wasn’t my idea.”

The reality: If you wait to be asked, the invitation may never come. Yes, that might mean you sometimes avoid embarrassment, but it also means you are going to miss chances to grow, learn, and just have fun.

- David Sack (Modified by Amr Badran)

Successful People Can Disagree with Someone without Reacting Emotionally!

There is a huge difference between disagreeing with someone and having an emotional discussion that ends in flames! One is productive and one is chaotic!
Ending a discussion in agreement isn't required for a dialogue to be positive.
People can disagree and still respect each other.
It's when people speak from an emotional place that conflict tends to arise.

- Nicolas Cole

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Smart People Try To Recognize Their Emotional State and Actively Make Moves To Improve It!

The people who struggle with emotional intelligence hardly know where they stand at any given moment emotionally, let alone someone else!

One of the most important parts of being intelligent in this capacity is knowing, and being able to take responsibility for, your emotional state.

- Nicolas Cole

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Successful People You Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood!

This is the golden rule of emotional intelligence. So much of conflict between people occurs right at this intersection, where one party, or both, rushes to judgment or criticism of the other person's feelings, instead of first seeking to understand where they're coming from.

- Nicolas Cole

Healthy People Sleep With Their Phones "Away" From Their Heads!

There’s a lot of myths and half truths out there about how—and if—your smart phone may be affecting the brain. While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on the topic of wireless devices, there does seem to be a link between blue light—emitted by electronic screens including those of smart phones—and sleep.

Interrupting or changing our sleep patterns is bad for a lot of reasons. For example, lack of enough deep sleep could be preventing us from flushing harmful beta-amyloid from our brains.

According to Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at MIT specializing in sleep and the brain, our brains’ natural cleansing system requires six to eight hours of sleep. Without it, brains eventually encounter major build-ups of beta-amyloid, a neurotoxin found in clumps in the brains of people with neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

While scientists have always known that the brain cleanses wastes, much like the body, the sophistication of this cleansing system was investigated in 2013 by Maiken Nedergaard of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester. This study found “hidden caves” that open up in our brains when we’re in a deep enough sleep. This liquid cleaning system, dubbed the “glymphatic system,” enables copious amounts of neurotoxins to be pushed through the spinal column.

So, exactly how far away do you need to keep your smart devices?

We’re not completely sure, but Swart says it’s a good idea to not sleep with it next to your head.

Ultimately, keeping our brains healthy takes willpower and resilience, just like with any other part of our bodies. But as research shows, staying sound of body and mind as we age is certainly possible—with a little effort.

- Vivian Giang

Monday, January 7, 2019

Successful People Sit Upright!

Mothers everywhere were really onto something when they instructed their children to sit up straight. Not only is an upright position found to increase energy levels and enhance our overall mood, it’s also been shown to increase our confidence, as in this 2013 preliminary research conducted by Harvard Business professor Amy Cuddy and her colleague, Maarten W. Bos.

Positioning yourself in a powerless, crouched position can make your brain more predisposed towards hopelessness!

In the study, the researchers found that people who sit in collapsed positions—usually adopted to look at small wireless devices like smartphones and tablets—were less likely to stand up for themselves. Participants with bad posture were also the slowest to ask if they could leave when the experiment had been declared over.

On the other hand, participants who were randomly assigned larger devices, like laptops and desktops, were more likely to sit upright and be assertive in asking if they could leave.

From a purely cognitive perspective, positioning yourself in a powerless, crouched position can make your brain more predisposed towards hopelessness, as well as more likely to recall depressive memories and thoughts. Researchers say this phenomenon is ingrained in our biology and traces back to how body language is “closely tied to dominance across the animal kingdom,” as Cuddy writes in her new book, Presence.

So what’s the best way to ensure you feel powerful in both body and mind? Erik Peper, a professor who studies psychophysiology at San Francisco State University, advises checking your posture every hour to make sure you’re not in the iHunch, or iPosture, position. He also advises bringing smaller devices up to your face while in use instead of forcing yourself to look downward at them in a collapsed position.

- Vivian Giang

Successful People Stretch Their Brain Muscles!

Like other muscles in your body, if you don’t use the brain, you’ll eventually lose it. This means it’s crucial to exercise your brain and keep it stimulated.

Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, notes that it’s especially important to target areas of your brain that you use less frequently. Good suggestions for stretching your brain muscles include learning to speak a new language, learning a handy skill, or even learning to juggle.

To enhance his own cognitive prowess, author James Altucher tries to come up with new ideas every day. He writes about his daily system:

Take a waiter’s pad. Go to a local cafe. Maybe read an inspirational book for 10 to 20 minutes. Then start writing down ideas. The key here is, write 10 ideas … a waiter’s pad is too small to write a whole novel or even a paragraph. In fact, it’s specifically made to make a list. And that’s all you want, a list of ideas.

Mid-way through the exercise, Altucher says his brain will actually start to “hurt.” Whether he ends up using the ideas or throwing them away is not the point. But it is important to vary your routine. 

Harvard psychologist Shelley H. Carson, author of Your Creative Brain, also believes that mixing things up and even allowing yourself to become distracted can be an important cognitive tool.

- Vivian Giang

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Successful People Keep Their Body Active!

According to neurologist Etienne van der Walt, keeping active is one of the best ways to improve brain health. As he told Quartz earlier this year, “Specific forms of exercises have been shown to be very beneficial for … brain growth.”

Simply speaking, when we exercise, our heart rate increases, oxygen is pumped to the brain at a much faster rate, and new brain cells develop more quickly.

The more brain cells we create, the easier it is for cells to communicate with one another, developing new neural pathways.

Ultimately, our brains become more efficient and plastic, which means better cognitive performance.

A 2014 study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that children who regularly exercised had higher “attentional inhibition,” defined by The New York Times as “the ability to block out irrelevant information and concentrate on the task at hand.” The Times article also noted that study participants ended the with “heightened abilities to toggle between cognitive tasks.”

It doesn’t even take that much sweat to keep your brain in good shape. A study conducted by the department of exercise science at the University of Georgia in 2003 found that an exercise bout of just 20 minutes is enough to change the brain’s information processing and memory functions.

Bottom line: however you decide to keep active, just keep moving.

- Vivian Giang

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Successful People Congratulate Themselves for Small Wins!

The frequency of success matters more than the size of success.

Don’t wait until the big wins to congratulate yourself, says B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University. Instead, come up with daily celebrations for yourself; your brain doesn’t know the difference between progress and perceived progress.

Both progress and setbacks are said to greatly influence our emotions. So the earlier in the day you can feel successful, the better—feelings of excitement help fuel behaviors that will set you up for successes.

For instance, a productive morning routine can be used to motivate you through the rest of the day. We feel happier and encouraged as our energy levels increase, and feel anxiety or even depression as our energy levels go down.

- Vivian Giang

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Successful People Consider the Future Outcomes of Their Choices!

What will make a better story?

Life is about choices: Do I take this path or that one? When you come to forks in the road, ask yourself this wonderful question, shared by author and consultant John Hagel: When I look back in five years, which of these options will make the better story?

Why use this question to guide you? Because, as Hagel explains, “No one ever regrets taking the path that leads to a better story.”

- Warren Berger

The Importance of Information Availability

I operate on a very simple belief about business. If there are six of us in a room and we all get the same facts, in most cases the six of u...