When it comes to being successful, it is often that people will say that your EQ is more important than your IQ.  With EQ = Emotional Quotient and IQ = Intelligence Quotient.  You will also hear, "It's not WHAT you know, but WHO you now."  A third way is "Your NET WORTH is equal to your NETWORK."

All of these sayings are saying that the human element is the most important factor in being successful.  In learning about human beings, we also hear the terms Empathy and Sympathy.  For the longest time, I had no clear explanation of the difference between these two terms.

Many people will explain these two terms to mean something like being able to feel what another person is feeling.  So if somebody is happy, I can feel their happiness and if they are hurting, I can feel their pain.  There is even something called "sympathic pregnancy", or according to Wikipedia Couvade Syndrome, where a man experiences some of the same symptoms and behavior of an expectant mother.

As I read the Wikipedia articles on the difference between empathy and sympathy, it also gets confusing, so let's start with the more simplistic explanation of the difference.  One way I heard to distinguish them is that empathy is recognizing the feelings of others without having to experience them yourself.  Sympathy is recognizing and feeling the same feelings as another.

According to this example, it is recommended to have an empathic doctor instead of a sympathetic doctor.  An empathic doctor will recognize your pain and discomfort caused by your throwing up.  A sympathetic doctor may also start throwing up with you.  An empathic man will recognize the emotional turmoil of his partner and will not allow that to prevent him from helping to get over this turmoil.  The sympathetic man may join in the emotional turmoil, crying and or fighting with his mate.

I like this simplistic definition as I can understand it and it clearly tends to prefer empathy over sympathy.  Reading Wikipedia it is a little less clear.  Wikipedia's definition of empathy is " the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient (in fiction writing) being." and sympathy is "an extension of empathic concern, or the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being."

One thing that strikes me about these two definitions is that empathy mentions feelings and sympathy says "distress or need".  This would indicate to me that empathy can cover all feelings, pleasurable and painful and sympathy is only focused on painful feelings.

According to the Law of Attraction, this would clearly indicate that we should pay attention to empathy since it covers all emotions of other people.  If we focus on the painful feelings then more painful feelings will tend to come up.  If we focus on
 
 
The Nike slogan of "Just Do It" is easy to understand and makes great sense to overcome the sense of fear that might be stopping you from doing something you want to do.

What do you do if you have no idea what to do?  I mean, what if your mind is a complete blank?  You try to ask yourself questions, like "What do I want?", or "How can I improve?" and all you hear is the echo of the empty chamber between your two ears.

I guess some people would suggest to "Just Do It" anyway.  Just do something.  Anything.  Get up and go outside and walk around the block.  Get up.  Get up.  I think that sitting in from of the television or randomly surfing the web would not qualify as "doing it".

Give it a chance to try and break out of whatever it is you are doing now.  It's very possible that by doing this nothing will happen.  You will return from your activity still with no idea what to do.  That's OK, at least you got up and did something, no matter how small.  Reward yourself for this little success.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.  This activity you just took may or not be one of those steps, but remember if you are looking at the thousand miles, you won't even be able to see each of the steps and when you look at one of the steps it may seem unbelievable that such a small thing could ever add up to a thousand miles.  Have a clear understanding that those small steps do indeed add up to thousands of miles.

Do smal
 
 
What is the foundation of your life?

For me it is probably reason and simplicity.

I like things easy to understand that are logically consistent.  This, of course, means things like the scientific method and placebo controlled trials.  It also means things like the Law of Attraction, compassion and love.

If somebody tries to propose to me something and insist I must use faith to accept the belief, then I tend to assume that the person either has little basis for their belief or are trying to deceive me in some fashion.  I strongly believe that using our mental capacity to understand and discover the world is one of the greatest goods that we can do.  How does throwing out that capacity help us to reach our potential.

When it comes to supernatural abilities, I also question the whole concept.  If such abilities actually exist then that would mean that they are part of nature and would no longer be super.  They would just be another ability that some people possess and others don't, though there would be nothing special about them such that if in the presence of a doubter then all the evidence of these abilities disappear.

If I assume that the world is reasonable, what is reasonable to me?

Setting and working towards goals, strikes me as simple and realistic as many people who have achieved great things either consciously or unconsciously behave this way.

It seem reasonable to look out for myself and my family.

It seems reasonable to st
 
 
The Law of Attraction (LoA) is the belief that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results.

Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.

These definitions are provided by Wikipedia.

Does this mean that you can sit around all day like a spiritual icon and expect the world to deliver all your wishes to you?  I don't think so.

What is missing from the definition of the LoA is action.

Action is a critical component of the LoA.  Not only must you focus on achieving certain goals, you must also take actions towards these goals.  The Law of Attraction focuses on the thinking part to point out that your thinking can have conscious and unconscious impact on the actions that you take.  The LoA does not prevent or restrict you from taking any and all actions in order to produce what you are thinking about.

A great example I just read was to image you want to test the LoA by imagining a purple feather showing up in your environment in the next 24 hours.  If you are expecting to use serendipity instead of the LoA then you would just continue with your day as usual and see if a purple feather shows up somewhere.  This would also be trying to see of the LoA had triggered your reticular activator such that you will notice a purple feather that you would not have noticed before.

Instead of trying to rely on the world providing your purple feather, a more probably success method would be to seek out the purple feather.  How about performing a Google image search for a purple feather?  How about visiting the local zoo or some other place that has peacocks or other birds that might have blue feathers.

There is the old saying "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration".  I don't know what the percentages are for the LoA in relation to thought and action, though I suspect many people assume it is something like 99% thought and 1% action.  More likely, it is something like 20% thought, 80% action.

That 20% thought can be quite powerful and influence much of your actions so I don't at all discount that 20%.  Just don't get deceived into believing that the LoA means sitting around thinking to yourself about how to achieve your goals.

Take action, now, to achieve your goals.
 
 
Have you ever tried to make a change in your life and encountered resistance from others?  This is common and there are different ways to cope with this.

A first place to start it to think about why does their resistance bother you, or in other words why are you resisting their resistance?  How about completely accepting their resistance as a fact of nature and not allowing it to affect you any more than the fact that the other person surely has many other opinions that differ from yours.

It is common that we resist other people's opinions when we are not secure in our own decisions and opinions.  If we are truly confident in our position, it makes much les difference if others agree or disagree.  Think about at work a person that has been recently promoted to a leadership position.  It is common that people that knew this person previously as their peer, may challenge this new leader much more than they would if a stranger came in and was assigned as their leader.

One way to build confidence in your new decisions is to be around new people that did not know you before.  This allows you to see their reactions without the confusion of their past expectations of what you used to be like.

This is also the same as children as they grow up.  It is often difficult for parents to see how much their children have grown.  It is often others that accept them as adults before their parents.

I heard a story about Jesus that when he came upon a village that was resistant to his teachings, he would go around them.  He said to his followers something like "There is no reason to spend our time trying to talk with those that are already set against our teachings".

So, be like Jesus, don't waste your time on those that are resistant to the changes or grown you are experiencing.
 
 
When thinking about the Law of Attraction and positive thinking, most people are mistaken in believing that this means that nothing bad will ever happen if these are used.  This couldn't be further from the truth.

No amount of positive thinking will ever stop things outside of our control like natural disasters or human aggression.  Nor will it stop us from making mistakes or just doing plain stupid things.

What the Law of Attraction can do is to improve the likely hood that we put ourselves in the environment and prepare ourselves to more likely notice opportunities that will improve the likelihood that the things we want show up in our life.

Positive thinking can help us to respond to the circumstances of our life in a way that benefits us, versus hurting us.  When the results of our life are not what we want, we can take control and respond in a way that will benefit us, or we can react in a way that may be harmful to us.

Think of it this way, if you are waiting a long time for someone to show up for a meeting or date, how could you respond?  You could get upset and express that to them.  Does that help you?  It may make you temporarily feel good to get mad at the person, though does it make for a productive meeting?  Maybe there are some other ways to respond.  You could decide to do something else and no wait for the person.  You could decide that it is not important and be happy that they showed up.  You could express concern that you thought they might have been hurt.

How would you feel if a doctor says your body is reacting to a medicine you just received?  Now, how would you feel if the doctor says that your body is responding to the medicine?

Try taking control of your life and respond  to situations instead of reacting.
 
 
Have you ever been in a situation where someone points out a fault of yours and it makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed?  I know I have.

When observing successful people, I have noticed that they often have a way of turning these uncomfortable situations to their benefit.  I am struggling for the exact name of this technique, but it is that the person, instead of trying to hide or ignore the fault, they accentuate it.  Like, "It's not a bug, it's a feature" or "If you can't hide it or fix it then feature it."  Let me give you an example.

Zig Ziglar was approached by one of the members of his audience who said, in a disapproving voice "I hear you get paid well for those fancy speeches you make."  Zig's response was "Mama, where did you hear that vicious rumour.  That is absolutely incorrect.  I do not get paid well, I get paid exceptionally well."

Do you see how Zig did not try and ignore or lessen the accusation?  Instead of saying something like "Well, I earn it because of the value I provide" or "I don't get paid so much compared to others".  I can clearly see how neither of these methods are as powerful as not only agreeing with what we are being accused of, but making it even bigger.

I have also seen this in business negotiations before.  I have seen a successful person, if they are buying something and have reached their bottom price which they believe to be reasonable and the seller continues to ask for more money, the buyer, instead of raising their price to meet the seller will start to lower their offer and tell the seller clearly that if they want to make the deal they had better act fast because the price will continue to go down.

I am proud that I was just able to use this technique.  I was involved with a business negotiation and the other party asked for more money.  Instead of trying to justify my current offer as per the contract, I agreed with them and said that I was also willing to ignore the contract and take more money for myself, though I suggested to be fair, we follow the contract.

I want to reinforce this behavior that when someone points out something that is intended to be a negative judgement of me, that instead of being defensive or disagreeing with the person, I try to find a way to agree with the person and accentuate what they are noticing to my benefit.
 

Charity

09/19/2012

11 Comments

 
How important is giving to charity?  Is giving money or time away with no expectation in return of equal or greater value as doing something that benefits you?

My initial impression is that this is similar to making an "art" film versus a commercial film.  I hear an interview with Harrison Ford many years ago and he was asked why he didn't seem to do "art" films.  His was response was that he didn't see why an "art" film couldn't be commercial.  In that light, is it required that charity be a money losing proposition?

Is it enough to be the best, most positive, most helpful, most loving and also most productive, profitable, and improving person possible.  Why is there a need to separate these things?

I think it is great to help people and you can do it for your own reasons.
 
 
I have been putting off doing some simple things over the last few days.  Why do I want to improve this?

I want to improve this because these tasks are easily within my ability to do and I have enough time to do them.  I will get a feeling of accomplishment when I spend a complete day to fulfill my tasks.

I'm trying to figure out what is the root cause and solution for this issue.  I guess part of the issue is that I'm not passionate about the things that are on my To-Do list.  Sort of like if on the list is to take out the trash and you keep putting it off.  I mean, how passionate about taking out the trash can I be?  One way to look at it is that taking out the trashing is something that must be done with no need for passion.

Let's think about taking a shower.  Am I passionate about taking a shower each day?  Not really.  Do I have to come up with all sorts of reasons to take a shower?  Nope.  Why not?  Because taking a shower is just something I do.  I have been brought up that part of being a civilized person is to regularly bath.  It is just part of who I am, no need to think about "Why" or if it something that I'm really passionate about.  I also don't regularly suffer form procrastination on this issue.

Maybe it would be helpful for me to define "Who am I."  For example, if there is some work related topic that I am procrastinating about, I can ask "What type of worker am I?"  I'm looking for an answer like "I'm an astronaut, writer, business person, or leader."  From this you can ask yourself, "What does x, act like?"  If the thing you are procrastinating about is something that your profession does, then in order to be excellent at your profession, you should do that, no matter how you feel, actually how you feel shouldn't make much difference.

If I am a blogger, than I write in my blog.  No question or delay about it, that is what I do.  If I am a business person, than I develop business contacts, that's what business people do.  If I am a project manager, then I develop project plans, schedule meetings and write reports.  If I am an internet marketer, then I oversee the development of a website, SEO and product development.

Who are you?
 
 
"Don't criticize, condemn, or complain" is rule #1 in Dale Carnegie's 3 Fundamental Techniques in Handling People.

I like this for it's simplicity and logic.  It's does make sense the criticizing, condemning and complaining have are more negative than positive impact.  Despite this, it often feels so good to fall into the trap of these behaviors.  Just like it is easy to get out of control in eating food that is bad for us.

That is an interesting side thought.  Why does it seem that the "bad" things are easier to do than the "good" things?  How often to you hear about someone who is out of control eating fresh fruits and vegetables?  Do you often hear someone on the news saying "I just can't help myself, I know that there are all sorts of sweets and fattening foods, though I just can help myself from eating a well balanced, nutrition meal?"  Isn't it more likely the opposite?

Is it a matter of focus?  The news tends to publish what people want to hear and it seems most people want to hear negative things.  "If it bleeds, it leads".  I'm not so sure it is a matter of the media filtering what we hear.  Look around you.  Do people talk about how they can't help themselves from doing the right thing?  Isn't it more thought of as a struggle to do the right thing?  How many students talk about how they can't keep themselves from doing their homework and getting good grades?

How much of this is also a factor of what we define as "good" and "bad"?  Last night I was in bed soon after 9pm.  This wasn't difficult for me, it was a conscious choice and I was happy to do it.  I went to bed at that time because I wanted to get up at 5am this morning.  I know that if I go to bed at 11pm it is very difficult to get up early, therefore it was not difficult to go to be early.

So, maybe this also is affected by goals and our clarity towards our goals.  If our goal it to have a long term healthy relationship with people, we should realize that criticizing, condemning and complaining will damage this long term relationship.  If instead, we are only interested in immediate gratification and satisfaction, then these strategies may seem to have value.  The same can be said for healthy versus unhealthy food.  If we are focused on our long term health and well being then eating healthy is an easy choice.  If instead, we are focused on the immediate pleasure, than the unhealthy choices may be the most attractive.

This is part of it, and there are still external factors.