When I was twenty-two years old, I ran for the local school board.
No one my age had ever made it through a primary in North Carolina, they told me. There are too many better-known candidates in the field, they consistently reminded me. The statistics show that young people just don’t do well in elections, they shared.
I’ve always been a bit stubborn, so I didn’t listen. And I made it through the primary.
One thing made all the difference:
There is a book that has been a surprising source of happiness in my life over the past three years.
It’s a children’s book that has condensed hundreds of years of psychological research into a book that can be read in less than five minutes.
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It’s called Let’s Be Happy by P.K. Hallinan and it sums up all that has been said by William James, Martin Seligman, and decades of positive psychologists and other gurus.
As far as impact on my life and ability to inspire, I rank it right up there with Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss in the “Must-Read Children’s Books” category.
In today’s episode I share what this book has meant to me and how you can apply its principles in your life.
In every part of life, we usually get what we expect.
If you wake up expecting your boss to be a jerk to you, he probably will be. If you drive to the gym expecting to be unfocused during your workout, you’ll find a gym full of squirrels. If you expect your child to act up at just the wrong time, guess what he or she does?
You get what you expect, good or bad.
Our expectations create our reality. You get what you expect, good or bad. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Years ago I heard a story about a store clerk. I am almost certain that I heard this story from Zig Ziglar, because I can just hear it in his voice.
Whether it was him or someone else, it illustrates how our expectations create our reality so well.
That’s the magic leadership number.
I know it means nothing to you now, but it will soon.
To be a good leader you need 2.9013 positive interactions for every negative one. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
The Losada Line is the magic leadership number. It’s named for its founder, Marcial Losada.
Losada spent more than a decade researching interactions between leaders and their team members. He spent time with high performing teams and low performing teams. He studied teams across numerous industries, through booming economies and depressions, with male and female leaders, and every conceivable variation you can think of.
Do you believe in your own abilities?
More importantly, do you believe that you can improve them?
That latter mindset is the key to higher performance. It’s the key to learning and achieving. And it’s the key to changing the world.
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There was a time when I thought my blog would never grow.
My traffic had leveled off, my subscriber numbers were steady, and it just wasn’t that much fun anymore. I was stuck in neutral. I had stopped believing that I could do better, that I could learn more, and that I was having the impact that I set out to have. I wasn’t changing the world. I merely existed.
I used to think I was pretty smart.
That is, until I found myself at the grocery store at 11:30 at night because of a carton of milk.
Smart people do a lot of dumb things and there is a common reason why. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
It turns out smart people do a lot of dumb things and there is a common reason why. I’ll explain below.
I’d just returned from a late night shopping trip. It was 11:15 at night and I was almost finished unloading the groceries when I discovered that the milk they’d sold me was expired. I immediately got into my car, despite being exhausted, and drove four miles back to the store.
All for $2.99 container of milk.
Willpower alone is never enough to overcome an obstacle, resist temptation, or reach your destiny.
In fact, as the day wears on, it gets weaker the more we use it. You must manage your willpower in order to be effective.
You know this all too well if you have ever attempted a strict diet or tried to summon the energy to start your term paper early. Willpower is never enough. But what do you do about that?
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What’s the secret to raising positive kids who believe they can change the world?
Short answer: There is none. There is no one secret to raising children who are positive, who get good grades or who go on to change the world.
But there is one technique that could make a big difference. And it is vastly underused.
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Listen to this post
Can you fake your way to being a better person?
In a word, yes. But how?
Authors Andy Andrews and Orson Scott Card might have the answer.
Change the behavior first
What is a behavior you want to change? Not a feeling or a thought, but a behavior.
Are you too impatient? Too prone to explosive anger? Too timid in the face of threat? Too quiet in meetings? Too selfish?
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Listen to this post
Am I a liar and a hypocrite for being positive here?
…by definition, this makes you (not to be mean, but clear) a liar and a hypocrite.
Ouch. So what did I do in response? Well…we will get to that later. But initially I questioned my own logic. Was I wrong for staying positive? Was I being a liar and a hypocrite?
I wrote in that post how my natural inclination is towards the negative. This surprises a lot of people who know me fairly well, but not intimately, as I wrote:
That shocks a lot of people not named my wife, my mom, my best friend, my mentor, or anyone who has never worked for me. Most people see me as a generally positive and upbeat person. But the reality is that, most of the time there is a war raging inside of me. One voice screams at me reminding of everything going wrong in my life and the world. The positive voice whispers softly. I tend to hear the louder voice too easily.
So why do I remain positive when I write? Why am I a fake?
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