Be An Ambassador For Positivity

In our daily lives, we encounter situations where we have a choice to make. It’s a choice of response. In your workplace, what do you do when your team screws up? In your household, what do you do when your kids don’t do their homework? What do you do if they finish it well? All these situations might seem boringly common, but the reality is that the majority of people makes the less correct choices in such situations. How many times have you been yelled at in work? How many times have you been yelled at when you were a young rebellious kid? All of these experiences have framed your way of thinking. The truth is, most people have got a very bad understanding of how they should behave in such situations exactly because of the way they have been brought up. In this article, I want to utilise one of the concepts that is developed in a book called Whale Done, where the author tells a story of a manager who learns about how he should “motivate and treat” the people around him (including his team and his family) and how he should build healthier and more positive relationships.

 

Your Response

According to Ken Blanchard, there are 4 ways we can respond to any situation. No response, negative response, redirection and positive response. The two very well known responses would be the positive and the negative one. However, Blanchard argues that these are too simplistic and that there are 2 more responses that are less easily observable.

The first one is no response. The reason behind the complexity of this response is that it is the most frequent one we use without realising that we do. In most cases, when people do something well, they tend to be ignored, but they should be praised. This is a very common issue because the only way you can motivate someone to grow and perform better and better is through a very careful choice of your responses. We need to understand that no response is also a response. It creates a very passive behaviour of the subject because he or she did something well but is not seeing any appreciation – the subject does not treat the consequence of his/her behaviour with any special care and thus might not utilise it for the future. This is not how we should treat people when they behave well. They need to be praised and rewarded – they need to see our positive response.

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The second less understood response is the redirection. Redirection is a method of handling a negative situation by redirecting the energy or the attention of a person or an animal in a positive direction. What you can imagine behind that is trying to teach a og how to stay by your side. He sees another dog and there he goes. He has not stayed by your side. What you should not do is you should not scold him, you need to redirect his attention to something positive. You utilise other things you have practised before, you get to him and you show him a treat. You make him stick to you and you make him come a few steps with you. Then you give him a treat or you praise him. You have ignored his bad behaviour and you’ve turned the situation around. This is a very simple example. In the human case, you might have someone messing up in your work. What you should not do is you should not scold the person. You speak to him, you calmly explain that there has been a mistake and you take responsibility. After that, he will feel more comfortable and you can start focusing on how he can improve his performance. Scolding people does not work most of the times. Redirecting their attention is a different kind of story.

For a more detailed explanation, I highly recommend that you take a further look into the book Whale Good. In a very short summary, make sure that you understand that any reaction that you have will affect the person’s state of mind and your relationship. Focus on building a good relationship through positive responses and redirections and watch your relationships improve.

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Shifting Your Orientation

Most of us grow up in an environment where we are taught to focus on the process. What do you want to do when you grow up? What do you want to study at uni? What internship are you planning to look into? This kind of questions inevitably places our mindsets at one side of the scale I will be talking about today. It makes us process-oriented. If you look around yourself, most people are focused on the process, they care about the “what” rather than the “why.” In this article, I want to touch upon the reason why you might be caught up in the confusion of the process with no significant outcomes.

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Process Orientation Vs Outcome Orientation

You might have heard the saying that you should focus on the process and the outcome will come naturally. But will it? If you have no idea what the outcome you’re looking to reach is, can you really reach it? Does that even make sense? The truth is, you should enjoy the process, you should be grateful for the lessons, the mistakes and the little successes, but you should always know the reason why you are doing something. In other words, you should always bear the outcome in the back of your mind and you should be looking into ways that can get you there. However, the looking part comes after understanding where you want to end up. You can’t arrive at a destination if you don’t know what the destination is. Simply put and as I always say, find your strong why and you’ll figure out the rest.

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A Little Story To Make It Clear

Once upon a time, Jack had to make a 5mm hole into a wall so he could hang up his favourite picture. However, he found out that he needed to buy a new drill. So he packed up, changed and went out to get one. When he arrived, he walked past the cashier and headed straight to the section with drills. But when he got there, he froze. There were so many of them, different brands for different prices. He looked at them and he decided to go to another shop because he thought that the brands weren’t really good as he saw some bad news about the companies in terms of financial crises and their weaker position in the market. So he got in the car and drove to another shop. When he got to the section with the drills, he froze again. He found out that good brands with a better image were too expensive. So he got to his car and drove back to the first shop to buy one of the cheaper ones. When he got back home, he unpacked the drill, plugged it in and made a 5mm hole. Then he packed the drill and hid it in the garage. The outcome of making the hole took him about 3 seconds. However, the process of buying the drill took about 3 hours.

Can you see my point? Jack got hung up on the process not realising that all he needed was to make a 5mm hole in the wall. All he needed was the first drill he got his hands on that would be able to make the 5mm hole. If he focused on the outcome, he would’ve gone to the shop, got the first drill, went back home and made a hole. That’s everything he had to do. Why would he complicate things so much for 5mms?

 

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Learning Point

What should you take from the story? People do this in their daily lives! Apply this analogy to your work life. Why do you work where you work? What do you do what you do? What is going to happen if you do what you do for the next 10 years? Are you going to achieve something you wanted to achieve or are you going to “survive” on the monthly income with no specific outcome in your mind? We often fail to realise how much time we waste being all hung up on the process not realising that there is no ending point in what we’re doing. Focus on the outcome, find your why and make it happen. As Friedrich Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

The Decision Filter

On average, we make about 40 000 decisions every day. These decisions include both conscious and subconscious decisions, most of them being subconscious. What makes things much more complicated for us is the incredible amount of influences that affect us throughout this decision-making process. For instance, deciding whether to buy a coffee from Starbucks or to save money on that one purchase could be quite troublesome. How come? Because we are quite easily influenced by factors like social media, visual adds on the streets or simply our friends who buy their coffee on daily bases, thus presenting it to us as a common action to take. Without realising that buying a coffee for 5$ on a daily bases leads to an expense a little over 1,800$ in a year, we follow the “standard” and suffer the consequences with everyone else. What I want to talk about today is a very simple decision filter you can use pretty much every time you’re making a decision. This will help you evaluate your decisions based on your own values and principles.

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Step #1 Define Your Values & Priorities

To structure your filter effectively, you first need to define its functions. You need to define the variables that will affect whether our decision passes through the filter or whether it gets stuck inside it. The two core variables that we’ll focus on are your values/principles and your priorities.

Values/principles

To define your values, take a piece of paper, sit down in a quiet place and think about what kind of person you would like to be. I’d suggest focusing on 10-20 core values that can range from honesty, respect to others all the way to being responsible and professional. All these values and hundreds of others will help you define one of the layers of your filter.

Priorities

As Warren Buffet said, the best way to define your priorities is to think of 20 goals or achievements you’d like to reach within your lifetime. List them down, rank them from the most important one as number 1 to the least important one as number 20. Once you’ve ranked them, take the 3 from the top and disregard the rest.

Step #2 Three Core Questions

Now that you have defined your variables in your filter, you can structure the filter itself. The filter is constructed from 3-5 check-in questions that allow you to make it clear to your mind whether the decision should pass through into the action taking stage or whether it should be stopped.

Question #1

This question should involve your priorities. The question should look somewhat like this – Does this decision bring me closer to becoming…./reaching….. or does it keep me where I am or take me further away from it? For instance, if your #1 priority was to become financially free, you could ask yourself – Does buying a coffee every day in Starbucks get me closer to my financial freedom or does it keep me at the same spot, or even worse, away from it?

Question #2

Question #2 should focus on your principles and values. You should ask yourself something like – Does this action violate my values and principles? For instance, if you wanted to be very honest and you were facing a decision whether you want to tell your partner that you’ve cracked her favourite vase, what do you think you should do? Ask – Does not telling my partner about cracking her vase make me a dishonest person? The answer to that would be – yes, so it follows that the action you should take is telling her about it.

Question #3

Question number 3 is a little reassurance after the first 2 questions. If you buying a coffee in Starbucks doesn’t pass one of the first 2 questions, question 3 could help you find a “middle way.” The question should look somehow like this – Since this action violates my values/priorities, how can I do it so that it wouldn’t? For instance, If you really want to buy coffee, maybe you should buy a cheaper one, or maybe you should brew your own. If there is an appointment that hasn’t passed your filter due to the prioritisation of different tasks, can you reschedule it? Can you leave earlier? Can you make it shorter?

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Overall, this filter serves as a tool to make your life simpler. Using this will allow you to make decisions based on your own view, based on your own values, principles and priorities. It is also very customisable, so take it, play with it and exploit it as much as you can! Much love!

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3 More Ways To Improve Your Relationship

When you’re 80, thinking back about your life, you won’t think about how much money you’ve made, how many companies you’ve grown or how much you’ve travelled. You will think about the relationships you’ve created throughout your life. You will think about the people you’ve spent your time with. Relationships are arguably the most important aspect of our lives as human beings. This is due to the fact that we are social beings, we love to be around other people. This also means that your number one regret will be connected to the relationships that have not worked out, what you will regret the most is that you have not spent more time with the people you love. Because of that, I decided to minimize that regret in your life and write our second article on this topic. If you want to take a look at the first one, here is the link. Listen to the next audio (start at 1:40) before we begin.

 

Learn To Communicate

Communication is the most important aspect of your relationships. In fact, your relationships are built on your communication with the other person. If you can’t communicate how you feel, your relationship will be full of misunderstandings and misinterpretations that will drive you nuts and eventually lead to an end of the relationship. Learning to communicate is a long process that requires lots of practice. We have already posted an article on how you can connect with anyone. You can read about that here. In communication, being sincere and straight-forward is a must. You don’t want to allow any kind of misunderstandings step between you and the other person. Another important factor in communication is timing. You might have the best intention to talk to the other person, but there are times when it is simply better to give them more space. This is especially the case if the other person is of the opposite gender. Men and women find it very hard to understand when they should give each other more space and when they should be more intimate. It is a skill that requires practice. If you’d like to read more about this specific issue and many more regarding the relationships between a man and a woman, I suggest you take a look the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It is probably the best piece out there that talks about issues of such kind.

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Build A 100/100 Relationship

This is quite straight-forward, yet many fail to understand it. According to my research on Instagram, most people think that relationships should be 50/50. That is a huge mistake. The only way your relationship will grow and prosper is through a constant effort of both parties. You both need to go all in. What does it mean from your perspective? It means that you should give it your all without expecting much in return. There will be times when you will feel like you’re giving more than the other person, but that will be only temporary. If not, that relationship was not meant to stay. It is as simple as that, but you should not hold back just because you’re afraid that the other person won’t try as much. Go all in and what’s meant to be will be.

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Create A Growth Environment

We are here to grow. Growth is something we are all looking for inherently. We might not understand it at first, but one of the major reasons why we look to create relationships is to grow personally alongside someone else. Thus, we should also strive to create a growth environment in the relationship. Help each other, support each other and strive to grow together. It is the most beautiful feeling when you learn what the other person needs and how you can help them. Each relationship is different in this sense because we’re all looking for something else. However, it is a fact that once you figure it out, lots of positivity and momentum will step into your relationship.

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How Do You Spend These 3 Crucial Commodities In Your Life?

When people ask me: “How can I instantly change my life?” I usually ask them back, where do you spend your time? Where do you spend your money? Where do you spend your energy? These 3 factors are arguably the 3 most important spending areas in your life. No matter what situation you are in, if you start paying attention to these 3 factors and take control of them, you will see a difference. In other words, tracking these 3 factors will provide you with an overview of how your life is going, where it is heading and how you can change it. Are you spending your time doing the things that help you grow and that you enjoy? Are you spending your money on the most important stuff or are you wasting it in Starbucks on coffees every morning? Are you getting angry over little, unimportant quarrels in your household? That’s the kind of questions I hope you would start asking yourself.

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Where Is Your Time Going?

In one of our articles, I talk about the value and the importance of time in our lives. If you want to read up on that, check out this article. The way we spend our time is something that has the power to determine our state of mind, our growth or fallback, our happiness, our future, our financial situation and many many more important aspects of your lives. Do you want to buy a house on a beach? There are specific ways you need to spend your time to reach that goal. Do you want to become happier? Redistribute the time you spend with people based on how they affect your state of mind. The way you spend your time can benefit you, or it can hurt you. You choose.

Where Is Your Money Going?

This is something most people struggle with, even though they are very aware of it. However, bad spending habits have taken over their subconscious mind and there is no stopping that. The only way you can stop bad habits is by breaking them and replacing them with good habits. How can you do that? Start tracking every single cent. Where does your money go? Get a notebook, carry it wherever you go and write down every single spending that you might have skipped. In some time, it will annoy the heck out of you, which will eventually lead to you stopping spending that money because you don’t want to see that stupid notebook. In other words, it will force you out of bankruptcy.

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Where Do You Spend Your Energy?

The third factor you need to mind is your energy. Where is it going? Are you spending your energy on unnecessary stuff like stupid quarrels over whether your meat is well cooked or not or are you focusing on the bigger picture? Do you place your focus in the areas you find necessary to grow in, or are you wasting it somewhere else? Your energy needs to be going in the direction of the areas that you care about the most. Do you want to be a footballer? Guess what you should be spending your energy on? Do you want to be a writer? Guess what now? You are the owner of your energy, don’t let it go to waste…

Start tracking these three areas if you feel like you need a change. Tracking them will allow you to see where the change needs to happen and what the change should look like. Start tracking!

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