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Brain Hacks

18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence

Are you emotionally intelligent? Heres how to know for sure.
Travis Bradberry

March 3, 2016

Measuring emotional intelligence can be difficult because of its intangible nature. But Dr.
Travis Bradberry has analyzed the data from the million-plus people that TalentSmart has
tested for EQ to help identify the behaviors that are sure signs you have a high EQ. He
shares them with us in this article, originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link
in a peculiar finding: People with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70
percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly-held assumption
that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets
star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that we know 90
percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Related: 7 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the something in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how
we manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve
positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how
much you have and what you can do to improve if youre lacking. You can always take a
scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence
2.0 book.

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests arent free. So, Ive analyzed the data
from the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors
that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary.

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as
they occur. Our research shows that only 36 percent of people can do this, which is
problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational
choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use
an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves
as simply feeling bad, emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel
irritable, frustrated, downtrodden, or anxious. The more specific your word choice, the
better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should
do about it.

2. Youre curious about people.

It doesnt matter if theyre introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are
curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the
most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what
theyre going through, the more curiosity youre going to have about them.

3. You embrace change.

Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear
of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for
change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these
changes occur.

Related: 4 Changes You Can Make to Reach Your Full Potential

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses.

Emotionally intelligent people dont just understand emotions; they know what theyre good
at and what theyre terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the
environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ
means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your
full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. Youre a good judge of character.

Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other
people, know what theyre about, and understand what they're going through. Over time,
this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You
know what theyre all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden
beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend.

If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, its difficult for someone to say or do something
that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded,
which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people
make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and

Related: 8 Ways to Be a More Confident Person

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others).

Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and
you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San
Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to
experience stress, burnout and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control
challenge for many people. No is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield.
When its time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as I dont think I
can or Im not certain. Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments
and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes.

Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without
forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer
to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to
walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes
makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound
to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of
improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

Related: Why Failure Is Good for Success

9. You give and expect nothing in return.

When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return,
this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation
with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with
the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are
constantly thinking about others.

10. You dont hold grudges.

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response.
Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival
mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat.
When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat
is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have
devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have
shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Holding onto a grudge means youre holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people
know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but
can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people.

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals
control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they
need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their
own emotions and dont allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the
difficult persons standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when
things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with
a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You dont seek perfection.

Emotionally intelligent people wont set perfection as their target because they know that it
doesnt exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal,
youre always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce
your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and
what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you've
achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

Related: 5 Ways Perfectionism Is Getting in Your Way

13. You appreciate what you have.
Taking time to contemplate what youre grateful for isnt merely the right thing to do; it also
improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent.
Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked
daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy and physical
well-being. Its likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

14. You disconnect.

Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to keep your
stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your
work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline
and evengulp!turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have
shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels. Technology
enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is
extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will
change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop
onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake.

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is
the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational
thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is
chasing you, but not so great when youre responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts
your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your
behavior. Caffeines long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time
working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they
dont let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep.

Its difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence
and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling
through the days memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that
you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control,
attention, and memory are all reduced when they dont get enoughor the right kindof
sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.
Related: Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You and Your Career

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks.

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our
negative thoughts are just thatthoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or
never happens, this is just your brains natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the
frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts
from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new

18. You wont let anyone limit your joy.

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people,
you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people
feel good about something that theyve done, they wont let anyones opinions or snide
remarks take that away from them. While its impossible to turn off your reactions to what
others think of you, you dont have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take
peoples opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or
doing, your self-worth comes from within.

6 Steps to Discover Your True Self

When you understand who you are meant to be, your purpose will finally become bigger than your
Adam Smith

November 17, 2016

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all

wisdom. Aristotle

To truly know yourself is the most important skill you can ever possess. When you know
who you are, you know what you need to do, instead of looking for permission from others
to do what you already know you ought to do. It allows you to bypass tons of frustration
caused by putting time into the wrong things. Yes, life is supposed to be full of trial and
error, but this lets you find the best areas for you to experiment with in the first place. Once
you know yourself, you will become more confident, you will understand your purpose, and
you will begin making a bigger impact on the world.

Related: Answer 6 Questions to Reveal Your Life Purpose

So how can you know who you are and what you ought to do in life? Here are the six steps
you need to take in order to know your true self:

1. Be quiet.
You cannot and will not be able to know yourself until you take the time to be still. Many
people dont know themselves because any sort of silence scares them; its too
uncomfortable to be alone with every flaw staring back at them. But it isnt until you get
alone, evaluate yourself and are completely truthful with yourself that you will actually be
able to see every facet of your lifethe good and the bad. Be quiet and discover your true

Observing yourself is the necessary starting point for any

real change. Chalmers Brothers

2. Realize who you truly are, not who you want to be.
I know you already have a set idea of who you desperately want to be, but it might not be
who you were designed to be; this is why knowing who you really are is so important. When
you know who you are, you will finally see where you and your specific gifts fit into the
bigger picture.

And although there are many points along your journey to help you discover yourself, the
best way to begin is to take a personality test and the StrengthsFinder test. (If its been five
or more years since youve completed either of these, take them again.) No, these self-
evaluations arent perfect, but they do pinpoint your top areas of strengths, so you can focus
on the change you were meant to bring into the world.
3. Find what you are good at (and not good at).
This might be the most difficult step in the process of finding who you are, but its a
necessary one. Sure, it takes trial and error to find what youre good at, and no, I dont want
you to give up before youve had more than enough attempts, but knowing when to quit is a
gift that everyone needs to learn.

Quit when youve put in ample time and your efforts arent giving back in return. What is
ample time? Only you can decide that. But when you quit correctly, it isnt giving up, its
making room for something better. When your actions do nothing but drain yourather than
produce more passion and increase your drive to do morethats a good sign it is time to
focus elsewhere. Your strengths will show you who you are.

4. Find what you are passionate about.

Following passion of any kind is a good thing, and you need to pay attention when it comes
because it indicates an area of life that you need to pay more attention to. If were talking
about following your passion in work, its a good thing. And if were talking about having
more passion for life, its a good thing. Focus more on passion; understand yourself in
better ways, and youll make a bigger impact. Passion produces effort and continuous effort
produces results.

5. Ask for feedback.

If you dont know yourself, hearing what others have to say about you is a helpful practice.
Ask them two simple questions: What strengths do you think I need to develop further?
and What weaknesses do you think I need to work on? Of course, their opinion isnt going
to be perfect, but their feedback will probably indicate a few areas you should at least take a
second look at. This step is especially important for those who are stuck in finding
themselves. Sometimes those closest to us can see something we might not be able to see
in ourselves.

6. Assess your relationships.

A large aspect of knowing yourself can be found in your relationships. When you realize
youll never truly know anyone else until you discover yourself, the importance of knowing
yourself becomes even more apparent. This truth especially rings true for business leaders,
because if you dont know the people on your team, then you will be lost as a leader. But
this rule also applies to any relationship in your life. Almost as much as you need to know
yourself, other people also need to know who you are. People need youthe real you.
Use your reflections to fight your biggest fears, because when you understand who you are
meant to be, your purpose will finally become bigger than your fears. When you realize who
you are, you will spend less time spinning your wheels. Focusing on your strengths gives
you the needed traction to begin making a bigger and better difference in the world. When
you know yourself, you will find more peace, and you will find success quicker than ever

Now go take action and find your true self, starting today.

5 Ways to Become the Person You Aspire to Be

Do you believe in the power of your dreams?

November 28, 2016

As you go through life and work toward your dreams, knowing who you are and who you
aspire to be will remain the keys to your success. Except becoming who you want to be isnt
easy. It requires tremendous courage, perseverance and a steadfast belief in yourself.

The road to becoming your best, most successful self can feel challenging at times and it
can take a lot out of you. There will be moments when you might want to give up on yourself
and your dreams. You must believe success is possible, because as you continue on your
journey, you will eventually embark upon those moments, the ones that you have always
imagined coming true.

Related: 7 Ways to Persist When Everything in You Wants to Give Up

To motivate you on this pursuit, here are five ways you can become the person who you
aspire to be:

1. Be authentic.
You cannot grow if you are not true to yourself. You have to be honest with yourself
about what you are passionate about and who it is you really want to be, despite critics and

2. Have vision.
Peoples dreams perish for lack of vision. Without having the idea in mind of who you want
to be, you will not know where or how to aim for it. Keep your vision top of mind as you
reach each milestone to motivate you to push forward.

3. Embrace a never-give-up attitude.

Curveballs will forever be coming your way as you pursue your dream. You might have
moments when you want to throw in the towel because you just cant keep fighting all the
challenges and setbacks you encounter. But you have to push through and realize you
really do have everything you need to reach your full potential.

4. Remove the naysayers and self-doubt.

Most people settle for less. And many of those same people will also convince you to settle
for less. Thats when that self-doubt invades your thoughts. You might have moments when
you no longer believe in your dreamsyou have to push aside those moments, people and
your own self-limiting beliefs. Always move forward.

5. Believe in yourself.
As author Richard Bach once wrote, You are never given a dream without also being
given the power to make it true. So no matter how discouraged you might get at times, you
must know that if you can dream something, then you will always have everything in you to
make it come true. You just have to believe in yourself and your abilities to achieve what
you set your mind to.

7 Ways to Persist When Everything in You Wants

to Give Up
Sonia Thompson

July 12, 2016

Have you ever felt like your lungs were going to explode?

Thats what it felt like during my hike up Machu Picchu.

The ancient city sits more than 2,400 meters above sea level and my group eagerly started
climbing just after 5 a.m. I ended up alone, behind the group, with more than 1,100 meters
left to go.
I never imagined the journey would be so difficult (evidenced by the shoes I chose to wear).
I worked out regularly, but that didnt prepare me for the altitude. I couldnt seem to get
enough air.

I wanted to give up. My body was begging me to stop. My weary mind wanted to follow suit.

But I persisted. And I made it to the toplungs and heart intact.

Related: When You Want to Chicken Out, Use These 6 Motivating Quotes to
Push Forward

Here are the seven things that helped me keep going that day, when everything in me
wanted to quit. If you find yourself in a situation where you want to give up, these lessons
can help you, too.

1. Ignore everyone else.

In the beginning of the climb, I only saw the people passing me. Every time I saw someone
hiking with ease, I felt bad about myself. But when I stopped worrying and stopped
comparing everyone elses journey to my own, I began to focus on my own mission and
how I was going to achieve it.

As you work toward your dream, it can be easy to get distracted when you see others
achieving their goals easier, faster, better than you. It can make you feel inadequate and
unsatisfied with your own progress. But when it comes to conquering a goal, whats
happening with others is irrelevant when it detracts from your ability to move forward.

When tackling a difficult task, you need every ounce of energy you can muster. Make sure
to channel it to a place that will propel you forward.

2. Become your own biggest supporter.

When I started the hike, I wasnt alone. But within 10 minutes, I was behind and alone. At
first I was frustrated my companions abandoned me in my time of need. But then I realized
my burden wasnt theirs to bear.

Although it can be energizing to have others around to motivate and support you, having
them there is a luxury, not a requirement. That lesson allowed me to turn inward and find in
myself the strength and determination to keep going. I began to encourage and high-five
myself with every step.
Sometimes on the road to success, you have to walk alone. If you find yourself in that
position, find a way to give yourself what you need to continue.

3. Stop and appreciate the little things.

I began the hike before the sun was up. As I continued to climb, it started to peek around
the mountain, giving glimpses of the beauty all around me. It was magical. During the catch-
my-breath breaks, I marveled at the privilege of seeing nature in all her beauty. In those
moments, I gave no thought to my struggle. I was too busy being grateful for being right

It can be easy to focus all your energy on reaching your ultimate goal. But if the only thing
you can see is your end destination, youll miss the beauty of the journey along the way.
The new experiences and welcome surprises provide much-needed fuel to keep going.

4. Focus on the next step.

It discouraged me to think how far away I was from the top. So I reframed my goal into mini-
milestones that made the next steps more manageable. Just take one more step, I
thought. OK, now just get over to those stones. Alright, once you get to that bench you can
stop and rest for a few minutes.

When your goal seems too big, it can feel impossible, which opens the door for resistance
to creep in. By breaking your target into bite-sized pieces, you can keep yourself in motion
and build momentum.

5. Throw your watch out the window.

Before the trek, I read that most people make it to the top of Machu Picchu in about 45 to 60
minutes. It took me longer. When I focused on the time it was supposed to take, I was
frustrated at myself for not being good enough or fast enough. But nobody cared how long it
took me to get to the top and I shouldnt have, either. All that mattered was completing my

As you work on reaching your goals, stop looking at the clock. Stop measuring yourself
against someone or something else. It will only serve to distract you from focusing on what
you need to do right now to advance.

6. Stop looking for a way out.

Not everyone who goes to Machu Picchu hikes. You can take a bus straight to the top and
save yourself the emotional and physical strain. Early on in my climb, I thought about
retreating or waving down one of the buses on their way up.

When your pain is at the forefront, it is natural to want to make it go away. But when you
invest time looking for a way to abort your journey, you waste precious energy that could be
used to help you overcome momentary pain and discomfort for long-term growth.

7. Acknowledge your limitations.

I had to be honest with myself. I was having trouble getting air and I couldn't keep the pace
of the group. Pushing my body to the limit by trying to keep a faster pace wasnt going to go
well for me. My path needed to be different, and thats OK. After implementing my new
strategy, the journey was less grueling.

Your road to success might not look like everyone elses. Thats OK. Everyones situation is
different. Instead acknowledge where you are, so you can give yourself what you need to
be successful.

As you work to achieve your goals, there will be obstacles, bumps and bruises along the
way. When the journey becomes more uncomfortable than what you are used to, it can be
easy to throw in the towel and retreat.

But if you follow these lessons, you can find the strength to keep going in the midst of
difficulty. And when you persist, youll discover the reward was worth the effort.

Dont give up.

31 Things That Happen When You Finally Decide

to Live Your Dreams
How you see yourself has fundamentally changed, and thats why this time you will succeed.
Benjamin P. Hardy

September 27, 2016

Youve been thinking about this for a long time, havent you?
Youve reveled in shallow friendships, numbed yourself in trivial distractions and justified
low-living for long enough. Youve tried convincing yourselfto no availthat youre not the
person you cant seem to escape.

Over time, youve disconnected with your environment and relationships. Youve started,
little by little, to be more authentic with yourself and the world around you.

What took years to hide only took a moment of honesty to recover. And now, here you find
yourself, on what feels like the edge of a cliff.

Looking out.

Youre terrified of what might happen if you allow yourself to go there. Will everything fall

Youre tempted to turn around and go back to the lie youve been living. Where its easy,
convenient and less demanding. Youve done it so many times before.

So why is this time different?

This time is different because youve caught on to the fact that theres really nothing behind
you. Its all nonsense. At this point, going back would be more painful than the unknown
before youno matter what that might be.

Related: Stop Making Excuses for Who and Where You Are

So actually, you cant go back. How you see yourself has fundamentally changed, and
thats why this time you will succeed. As Zig Ziglar tells of his friend Tom Harmon: Tom
recognized that the image of himself had shifted. Despite the fact that he still weighed more
than 400 pounds, he no longer considered himself fat.

Heres what youll find after you take the leap.

1. Youll see it everywhere.

Our eyes only see and our ears only hear what our brain is
looking for. Dan Sullivan

Once you commit to living your dreams, the lids blinding your eyes will be lifted.
A completely new world will be opened to your view.

You will notice opportunities that have been in your reach all along, ones your conscious
mind simply didnt pay heed to. From a psychological perspective, your selective
attention will zoom-in on what you want in microscopic detail. All other sensory inputs will be
outsourced to your subconscious and forgotten.

The fundamental change taking place is your self-identity. This is the point of no return.
Once this shift has happened, your whole world changes.

Nothing becomes impossible to you.

Your only limitations are your consciousness, which is quickly expanding.
Whatever you want quickly becomes yours because you see what most people dont.
Now that you can see it everywhere, you are sprinting.

2. Youll have boundless energy, fueled by purpose.

After youve crossed the threshold of decision, you will find a new wellspring of energyone
that appears to be infinite.

Youll no longer need to rely on willpower.

Willpower is garbage. It is for amateurs. Its for people still conflicted about what they want
to do.

Once youve moved beyond will to why, you no longer have to coax yourself into action. The
decision has been made. Your internal resolve and zeal trump external stimulino matter
how difficult.

Rather than focusing on defense against further damage, youre on the offense, sprinting to
the top of your mountain. From your perspective, youre already at the top.

3. Youll learn, grow and understand quickly.

Once youve made the leap, youll have a thirst for knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
You become both student and teacher.

You will become a sponge, soaking up everything you can, creating loads of neural
connections and schematic networks. Youll learn the left-brained logic and rules so your
right brain can have limitless freedom to break the rules and create.

With enhanced consciousness, time will slow down for you. Youll see things in several
more frames than others. While theyre trying to react to the situation, youll be able to
manipulate and tweak the situation to your liking.

Youll make connections others dont see. As a result, you will cement your knowledge by
generously sharing it with others.

The teacher is always the one who learns the most.

So you will teach and share abundantly. You will experience far more joy seeing others
benefiting from your teaching than by experiencing success yourself.

4. Youll apply what youre learning.

Thriving is all you understand anymore. Mediocrity is a mismanagement of your innate
human potential.

As a result, you are constantly applying new information to accelerate your progress. Youre
a scientist of life, experimenting and trying new things.

When something doesnt work, you dont persist. You cut your losses and move on,
detached from the need to be right. Instead, you want to progress and understand and
serve. Humility is your banner.

5. Youll realize all of your previous fears were

unfounded, thus allowing you to embrace future
Someone who has gone from overweight to fit understands the process. Its now logical to
them. Similarly, a person who has learned how to make millions of dollars understands the
process. The magic is gone. Theory and experience are two completely different things.
But the person who hasnt yet reached their goal is still clinging to often highly ambiguous
theories. The process doesnt make sense. Theres still doubt about whether things will
actually work out.

But when you fully commit to your path, you are freed from this dichotomy. Like Tom
Harmon, youll have a completely new self-image. In your mind, you already are where you
plan to be.

When the why is strong enough, the how is easily found.

So you dont worry about it anymore. You see fear as part of the process, as a signal youre
moving in the right direction.

Related: Face Your Fears

6. Youll stop worrying aboutand instead

anticipatethe future.

Your future is as bright as your faith. Thomas S.


Once youve made your decision, you have nothing to worry about. You are a magnet
attracting nothing but brilliance. Every day is a step closer to your ideal than the last. The
future is only getting better and better. You are in creation mode.

Youre no longer chasing happiness. Happiness is within. You have embraced who you are,
so youre not trying to compete with some external indicator of success.

You know success is inevitable because youre in alignment. Every day your external world
more closely matches your internal reality. As Dan Sullivan said, You can have everything
you love in life as long as you give up what you hate.

7. All of your needs will be met.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to
draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of
initiative (and creation): that the moment one definitely
commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of
things occur to help one that would never otherwise have
occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and
meetings and material assistance, which no man could have
dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or
dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and
magic in it. Begin it now. William Hutchison Murray

Beyond your point of no return, luck and miracles become your norm. All of your needs are
metbe they material, financial, intellectual, spiritual or relational.

The right people will come into your life. You will have enough time and money to get
moving. The right books, articles and audios will find their way into your life at just the right

You have become a vector for everything you need to accomplish your task. Dont
question whyjust gracefully, humbly and gratefully receive. The shocking truth is that
receiving is far more difficult than giving. Receiving, at a conscious and evolved level, is
your purpose. The universe wants to give you everything as soon as you are ready to
You will be given everything you need when you need it. And you no longer question that
fact. Here you are.

8. People will enter your life to help you.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


When you are on a dedicated mission, people will come to your aid to help you make it real.
This is the essence of Seth Godins book Tribes. When you are ready to go, heres what
you will find:

Mentors who will teach you and radically accelerate your progress.
Fans and supporters.
Students who want to learn.
Haters (these are just as necessary as the others who enter your life).

Your relationships are by far the most important aspect of your journey. You will begin
attracting the right people in your life when you start doing the work.

It begins with initiative and openness. Once youre ready to learn, youll have teachers.
Higher up the mountain, your work will attract the very people who will help spread your
message and forward your cause.

9. Youll have bouts of doubt, but they wont last

From time to time, even after countless pieces of evidence that youre on the right track, you
will be tempted to revert. Doubts will creep in. Youll question everything about yourself and
what youre doing. Youll go through periods of time without success. Things will appear to
be falling apart.

This is a crucial part of the process. Indeed, far more fundamental than what you do is who
you become. Growing in consciousness and progressing as a human being is intended to
challenge you to the core. Most people take the path of least resistance and this is not that

Living your dreams is not a cheap experience. It is supposed to require some effort,
something from the depths of your soul.

So even when youre tempted to quit, you will dig deep. And if for some reason you decide
to quit, that will haunt you until you rectify that decision. As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said,
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. You
can never go back to the way things once were, even if for a time you pretend to.

No matter how devastating your doubts, you will eventually regain the hope you once had.
But now it will only be stronger and more solidified.

10. Youll feel inclined to do things you never

considered before.
You are no longer rigid in your thinking. Youre open to whatever you feel inspired to do,
even ifin the momentit feels extremely uncomfortable. You no longer operate based on
how you are feeling in the moment.

You expect to be inclined to do things yourself and others might be uncomfortable with. You
are completely open. You are moving.

You no longer stall or question when you get a prompt. You respond immediately and

And when you act on these impressions, you never regret it. You only regret when you dont
act, and are left to wonder what might have been.

The more open you become, the more you find yourself in places you never thought youd
be. But you dont question why, you just keep going. Along the way, you connect the dots
looking backward.

11. Youll see past the broken approaches most

people take.
The conventional approach is broken.
Most people havent committed to what they feel they should be doing. They remain
unaware of who they are, what they stand for and who they are becoming. They are living in
fear and confusion, simply waiting to be told what to do. They want the easiest path. They
are following dogmatic assumptions.

Even worse, most people will go against their own values to fit in with the crowd. One of the
most famous psychological experimentsthe Asch Experimentdiscovered that people will
conform even when its obviously the wrong decision.

But when youre liberated from conformity, you quickly discern more effective and efficient
approaches. This comes from making connections others either havent made or are too
afraid to make.

Related: Are You an Original?

12. Youll progress quickly at anything you

Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor, has revolutionized our understanding of
intelligence. Most people are taught that intelligence is fixed. Either you have it or you
dont. However, Dweck redefined intelligence as a fluid and flexible entitywhere the most
resilient come out on top.

Those with this mastery approach,who seek learning with an intrinsic desire to
improve,are the people who become the best in the world at what they do.

Success is not born; it is made.

Once your decision has been made, youre no longer restrained in your abilities. Instead,
you are enhanced and consecrated in your performance. Where most people rely solely
upon themselves, your abilities are channeled and heightened by a source beyond your

13. Nothing will seem impossible to you.

You need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You
need to develop a complete disregard for where your
abilities end. If you think youre unable to work for the
best company in its sphere, make that your aim. If you
think youre unable to be on the cover
of Time magazine, make it your business to be there.
Make your vision of where you want to be a reality.
Nothing is impossible. Paul Arden

Believing something is impossible is arrogant.

It was arrogant of people to believe wed never fly. It was arrogant of people to believe wed
never put a man on the moon. It was arrogant of people to believe we wouldnt have
satellites in the sky guiding global communication.

We dont know what we dont know. Why put a cap on whats possible? Why live in the

Anything and everything could happen. And being open to that fact allows you infinitely
more options than those who put an invisible barrier on possibility. Without question, you
must believe what youre doing is possible. As Napoleon Hill said, Whatever the mind can
conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Related: Do These 30 Things If You Want to Be Unstoppable

14. Luck/miracles will become commonplace.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in
cause and effect.

Similarly, Bruce Springsteen said, When it comes to luck, you make your own.
Dan Sullivan said, Luck and God favor those with good habits.

When you decide to live your dreams, you expect radical and amazing stuff to happen. You
dont define what that must be; you simply trust that things will work out. Your daily habits
regularly attract beautiful things from the outside world.

Some will call you lucky. Others will call you blessed. Whatever the case, its your new

15. Youll have little interest in what most people are

entertained by.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events;

small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt

Beyond your point of no return is freedomfreedom from triviality and mediocrity. No longer
will you be able to engage in gossip or other destructive activities. These things simply dont
make sense to you anymore.

Your entertainment is learning, growth, connecting deep rather than shallow, and grand
adventures. Since you no longer limit what you can have in life, you regularly travel. You
regularly meet new and interesting people. Even the small and simple things become
significantandallow you to be fully entertained with a few moments of thought by yourself.

16. Youll live holistically.

When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires

impure food. James Allen
After youve have a radical shift in identity, you realize that human beings are holistic. When
one area of your life is out of alignment, every other area of your life suffers. And youre
increasingly aware when your top priorities are being neglected. You protect the essentials.

Furthermore, when you improve one area of your life, you grow in all areasyou are the
system. Consequently, every small and incremental victory you experience creates a surge
of momentum toward your ultimate ideal.

17. Youll no longer fear success or wealth.

The most crippling and pervasive fear is the fear of success. Many people genuinely believe
success is a sin, or that its not intended for them. But once you have a compelling vision,
you stop focusing on yourself. Money is simply a means to an end. Money is a tool.

Not only is your success inevitable, its essential for accomplishing what you feel inspired to

18. Youll no longer fear losing it all.

You are already complete. No form of success or failure will change that. Consequently,
youre no longer attached to your reputation, accomplishments or possessions. If all of it
was somehow lost, youd have complete confidence that you could continue moving
forward. Youd adjust and continue to expect the universe to conspire for your good.

This perspective allows you to be more authentic and free. Youre no longer trying to please
everyone around you. You are going to do what you believe you should regardless of the
outcome. If things fall apart, you dont perceive it as a negative, but a positive. As Ryan
Holiday wrote in The Obstacle is the Way, There is no good or bad without us; there is only
perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.

Related: 4 Ways to Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities

19. Youll consistently do whats right, even when its

not popular.
Most people can eat healthy for one day. Most people can be positive for a few minutes. But
when things stop being fun, most peoples resolves crumble.

Not you. Not anymore.

Consistency is the evidence of belief.

Zig Ziglar used to tell a story of traveling one day and not getting in bed until 4 a.m. At 5:30
a.m., his alarm went off. He said, Every fiber of my being was telling me to stay in bed. But
he had made a commitment, so he got up anyway. Admittedly, he had a horrible day and
wasnt productive at all.

But he says that decision changed his life. As he explains:

Had I bowed to my human, physical, emotional, and mental desire to sleep in, I would have
made that exception. A week later, I might have made an exception if I only got four hours
of sleep. A week later, maybe I only got seven hours of sleep. The exception so many times
becomes the rule. Had I slept in, I wouldve faced that danger. Watch those exceptions!

Similarly, Harvard business professor, Clayton Christensen said, 100 percent commitment
is easier than 98 percent commitment. When you justify incongruent behaviors once, you
open the door to a lifetime of justifications.

20. Youll have more responsibility.

Spider-Mans Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker, With great power comes great
responsibility. Unfortunately, he had it backward.

The constraints of responsibility force you to think more creatively. Responsibility qualifies
you to show up at a higher level. Hence Benjamin Franklins saying, If you want something
done, ask a busy person.

The president of the United States doesnt have responsibility because he first had power.
Rather, he has power because he assumed a huge responsibility.

Most people avoid responsibility. Theyd rather someone else carry the load. Theyd rather
not have to deal with the consequences. Fear of failure (i.e., their ego) stops them from
trying in the first place.

When you start taking your dreams seriously, you will not initially be qualified. But as you
take on greater responsibility, youll become qualified to do what you need to do. Youll grow
into your responsibilities and have increased power and influence.

Taking on the right forms of responsibility can put life on easy mode. Its like injecting
yourself with motivation steroidsurgency and desperation.
When youre desperate to be healthy, you eat right and exercise. No excuses. When youre
desperate to be successful, honing your craft is far more appealing than mindlessly surfing

21. Youll often be questioned and criticized for what

youre doing.
When you begin living your dreams, you will often receive unsolicited critique. If something
is noteworthy, there will be haters. As Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His
Ferrari, has said, haters confirm greatness.

When you really start showing up, the haters will be intimidated by you. Rather than being a
reflection of what they could do, you become a reflection of what they are not doing. This
isnt about you. Its about them and their own insecurity.

But the majority of people will support the hell out of you. Most people are inspired when
someone lives their dreams.

22. Youll often be misunderstood.

By nature, having a sense of vision is weird to most people. Being real and authentic is
weird. Its unusual and its rare. Its peculiar. And many people will misunderstand you.

A lot of people wont get what youre about or why youre doing what youre doing. Most of
them mean well. They simply dont get it, and are afraid of what they dont understand.

Others will understand you. Theyll support you and cheer you on. Dont take these people
for granted. You need them more than you know.

23. Youll stop caring about what is just and fair.

Social exchange theory is a psychological and sociological perspective on why people do
what they do. Essentially, people only engage in activities and relationships that benefit
them. If an exchange isnt perceived as fair, the relationship ends. Consequently, people
are seen as purely self-motivated in all they do.

But there is a four stage hierarchy of motivations that allows for the possibility of genuine
At stage one, you are motivated by fear: living on the defensive to avoid punishments. At
stage two, you are motivated by reward: focusing only on exchanges that most benefit you.
At stage three, you are motivated by duty: where you no longer care about fairness. Youre
going to proceed regardless of punishments or rewards.

At the pinnaclestage fouryou are motivated by love. Your aim is to bring as much joy to
each individual as you possibly can. Your love transcends human reasoning. It drives you to
do things most would consider crazy. You no longer live by conventional rules or wisdom.
You are directed by the highest and purest power in existence.

24. Your goals will manifest quickly.

As an evolved person, you are connected to your higher source. Youve learned how to
create the results you want quicklyoften instantaneously. You believe it and quickly you
see it. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, Once you make a decision, the universe conspires
to make it happen.

Related: 5 Qualities You Need to Reach Your Biggest Goals

25. Youll be completely transparent about the good,

the bad and the ugly.
Most people inflate their goodness and minimize their failings and shortcomings. However,
beyond your point of no return, you no longer care about looking stupid. Youre more
concerned with the truth.

You want deep and intimate connections. Your relationships are a sacred space where you
and those you love can be completely authentic. Your faults intensify the love other people
have for you, and vice versa.

Furthermore, youre humble enough to admit when you are wrong or if youve changed your
mind. At the same time, youre not hiding. Youre not afraid of being seen in all your glory,
as Jim Carrey says. Youre not afraid of admitting you rock at something and that you want
to use your skills to help.

26. Youll make things right with people youve

Embracingrather than avoidingreality requires that you carry no unnecessary baggage.
You want to be completely clear so youre able to create and flow.

As a result, you openly apologize for things youve done wrong in the past. You seek
forgiveness, which is really more about you than the person you harmed. Its not your
choice how people respond to your genuine apologies.

27. Youll be more authentic in public. Who do you

have to impress?
Once you know what you wantand youre completely set on doing ityou stop caring
about ridiculous stuff, like what youre wearing that day.

Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day. Even among the worlds leaders, he didnt wear
a suit, and people were fine with it. Because he was fine with it. Mark Zuckerberg is similar.

These people are less concerned with fashion and more concerned with efficiency. They
dont care what other people think. They are far less concerned about how they appear and
far more concerned about the work they do.

This doesnt mean you have to be a slob. But if, for some reason, you have a wardrobe
malfunction, you wont let it ruin your day. Beyond clothing and appearance, you are wholly
yourselfrather than what society would tell you is proper.

28. Youll put yourself out there more.

It will initially be embarrassing to start putting yourself out there. But youre not going to let
your ego get in the way of your vision. So youll put yourself out there at the expense of
looking foolish.

Youll put yourself out there at the expense of being wrong because fear no longer drives
your behavior. Even if you are unsure of what youre doing, youd rather act in faith than
hide in fear.

Youd rather accept the consequences of trying your best than hiding your talents.

29. Youll be genuinely happy for other peoples

As an evolved person, you are happy when other people succeed and sad when other
people fail. The success of others is seen as the success of the whole.

You genuinely want whats best for everyone, even those you consider your competitors.
Jealousy and envy are the ego,which operates out of fear. Youve moved beyond that. As
Ryan Holiday writes, Ego is the enemy.

30. Youll need more alone time for the deep work.

Delegate everything except genius. Dan Sullivan

Once youre serious about living your dreams, youll need to build a team. In the beginning,
youll probably need to manage most of the logistics yourself. But the sooner you delegate,
the more energy you can put into the work only you can do.

Eventually youll want to delegate everything accept your superpower. You are the creator
and your team makes it real. As Dan Sullivan said, There are all kinds of great things going
on in the company that I know nothing about.

Deep work is essential for creation. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to do. You will
need to be vigilant against endless distractions and time-wasters.

Only you know your body and mind, but most of the worlds highly successful people do
their creating early in the morning. They wake up and get to work. No email, no social
media, no communication. Just sitting with themselves, their ideas, their resources and
getting breakthroughs.

If youre highly focused (i.e., you regularly get into psychological flow), youll be enormously
successful and prolific with only three to five hours of work each day.

31. Youll have way more time.

You have to work less to make more money. Dan

When you commit to living intentionally:

You will excrete the elements of your life that dont fit.
You will repel people who poison your spirit.
You will attract mentors who help you progress.
You will build a team that multiplies your workand takes care of the moving parts.

In short, you will have way more time than youre used to having.

Your life will be simpler.

You will be focused exclusively on those things which matter most to you. Your No. 1 priority
will be your family.
Youll be holistically healthy: Youll make time for fitness, learning, engaging with others, rest
and recovery, and adventure.
You will be living the abundant life. This is the most natural way to live. Its the life of creation
and power.

4 Powerful Questions to Help You Refocus Your

Julian Hayes

August 21, 2017

Were living in the golden age of technology. Were hyper-connected to what everyone else
is doing, in addition to facing the normal pressures that society, family, peers and life place
on us. With all these factors in the back of our heads, its easy to lose track of our own

If youre not mindful of what and why youre doing something, then you could end up
somewhere far away from where you wanted to be.

This was me when I was living in New York City. I was on the path to becoming a doctor,
but in the middle of my first year of med school, I felt something was missing. I realized that
I was following a script for what I thought I was supposed to do, not what was fulfilling me.
With this realization, I left school to combine my two passions: health and writing. Many can
say, You shouldve done this from the start, but forging your own path and following your
passion is a lot easier said than done.

Related: 5 Steps to Turn Your Passion Into Your Profession

I couldnt have done this any sooner because I never took the time to ask myself the right

The quality of your questions triggers their own set of answers. This leads to specific
emotions and actions (or inactions on certain things), which become your results. If your
questions are limiting, then your results are going to be limiting, too.

Becoming the best version of yourself begins with self-reflection and asking these four
powerful questions to get refocused on the path to personal growth.

1. Who do I want to be?

As I was struggling with the decision to leave school for the unknown path of becoming a
writer and wellness consultant, I remembered that my time is finite.

We only have so many days to make our desired impact. Being conscious that your days
are finite serves as motivation for focusing on what you want out of life and maximizing
each moment despite any fear, comparison or expectations of what others think you should
be doing.

No matter how overwhelmed and lost you feel, remember that you have complete
control over what you do. If youre doing something that isnt in alignment with who you are
or will cause more regret down the road, map out a plan to work yourself away from that
situation and into a more ideal one.

Stay patient and consistent, while remembering that nothing happens overnight.

2. Why do I want this?

Take a moment and ask yourself, What do I want out of life and why?

Be careful here, because often, what we want and the reason for it, along with how we view
the world, is an internal script programmed into us.
Through the spoken word, the actions we witness and the unique experiences we go
through, these internal scripts provide us with the narratives to how we think the world
operates and how we think our lives should be.

Are you trying to make your parents proud by chasing a specific career? Is the comparison
game with your peers influencing your decisions in life? Is this life youre creating actually
yours or someone elses?

Related: If Youre Searching for Purpose, Ask Yourself These 5 Questions

Some questions to get you started on the right path:

Does this work align with what provides me joy and give meaning to my life?
Does the thought of doing this work inspire me or deflate me?
What am I hoping to get from the outside world?
How am I hoping to feel on the inside?

3. Whats my health like?

As a health and wellness consultant, I often see people put their health on the back burner
in the name of making more money and chasing career statuses.

When youre striving to become version 2.0, its imperative that you dont ignore your health.
Your health is the cornerstone piece to thriving in all other facets of your life.

With that said, ask yourself, Am I making myself a priority? How do you envision your
health? How do you want your body to move? What do you want your body to feel like?

Imagine eating healthier and how this habit is improving your energy, thus allowing you to
be more productive, land that promotion and build your dream business while having a
higher quality of life.

4. Whats included in my eulogy?

If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy and satisfied with your life?

I know this seems morbid and depressing, but thinking about your eulogy can bring clarity to
your life. For my eulogy, I want my character to be of focus, along with the impact I made on
people, as opposed to other superficial metrics.
What about you? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want people to say
about who you were? How do you want people to feel when they mention your name?
When you think about these things, youre unlocking the best version of yourself because
youre falling into alignment with your true character.

Take 10-15 minutes and write out a brief eulogy, or at least a sheet of character traits and
anything else that you want to be remembered for. Let these traits and other things serve as
your compass to living each day intentionally.

7 Qualities of People with High Emotional

EI determines how well you do at work. Do you have the traits that define it?
Rhett Power

August 23, 2017

If your emotional abilities arent in hand, if you dont have self-awareness, if you are not
able to manage your distressing emotions, if you cant have empathy and have effective
relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.

At least thats what Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., well-known writer and researcher on leadership
who wrote the best-seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, says.
Goleman has dedicated his work to finding out what makes people successful. And, his title
spoiling the surprise, he says it comes down to their emotional intelligence. Thats what
drives a person to excellence.

Related: Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed

What exactly is emotional intelligence (EI)? Psychology Today says its:

1. The ability to accurately identify your own emotions, as well as those of others
2. The ability to utilize emotions and apply them to tasks, like thinking and problem-solving
3. The ability to manage emotions, including controlling your own, as well as the ability to cheer
up or calm down another person

The concept of emotional intelligence has been around since 1990, when Yale
psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey presented the concept to the academic
world. But Goleman has gone on to study it furtherand he found a direct relationship
between the EI of a companys staff and the companys success:
Employees with a high level of EI have self-awareness that helps them understand co-
workers and meet deadlines.
When people have high EI, they are not bothered by client criticism; they remain focused on
outcomes, rather than feeling offended.
If two job candidates have similar IQs, the one with the higher EI will likely be a better fit for
the company.

Like Goleman said, no amount of smarts will make up for a lack of the ever-important
emotional and social abilities, especially as part of the professional world. Not sure how to
recognize this essential trait? Here are seven characteristics of emotionally intelligent

1. Theyre change agents.

People with high EI arent afraid of change. They understand that its a necessary part of
lifeand they adapt.

Here's how you can embrace change.

2. Theyre self-aware.
They know what theyre good at and what they still have to learnweaknesses dont hold
them back. They know what environments are optimal for their work style.

Here's how to get in touch with the real you.

3. Theyre empathetic.
The hallmark of EI, being able to relate to others, makes them essential in the workplace.
With an innate ability to understand what co-workers or clients are going through, they can
get through difficult times drama free.

Tap into your empathetic side.

4. Theyre not perfectionists.

While extremely motivated, people with EI know that perfection is impossible. They roll with
the punches and learn from mistakes.

Here's why perfection just doesn't work.

5. Theyre balanced.
Their self-awareness means that they naturally know the importance of and how to maintain
a healthy professional-personal balance in their lives. They eat well, get plenty of sleep and
have interests outside work.

Here's how to find your balance.

6. Theyre curious.
An inborn sense of wonder and curiosity makes them delightful to be around. They dont
judge; they explore the possibilities. They ask questions and are open to new solutions.

Start exploringand keep learning.

7. Theyre gracious.
People with high EI know every day brings something to be thankful forand they dont see
the world as glass half-empty as a lot of people do. They feel good about their lives and
dont let critics or toxic people affect that.

Be grateful for the good things.

Emotionally intelligent people know how to make work, and the world, a better place. Are
you one of them?

7 Things You Need to Do to Be a Functional Adult

Its time to make your damn bed.
Kelly Williams Brown

August 25, 2017

It is these small discoveries and decisions that, in the end, allow you to behave like an
adult. Its developing those good habits; its having toast with peanut butter instead of
cigarettes for breakfast. Its not always, or even usually, fun, Kelly Williams Brown writes
in Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. But it has perks
personal pride, financial security, and the feeling of accomplishment and control that comes
when you just swap in a new toilet paper roll rather than resorting to fast-food napkins.

Step 10: Be OK with being alone.

You will be with yourself for the rest of your life, so youd best learn to enjoy your own
Step 33: Make your bed, every morning.
Its worth it, because then no matter what, there is a small, tiny space in the world that you
know is orderly a small testament to control over your universe.

Step 97: Act like youve been there before.

Whatever the event or situation, act as though youve been there before, not like a small
and excitable country mouse. If you act like you belong, people will think you most certainly

Step 117: Imagine rude people as jellyfish.

Jellyfish do not respond to reason, they usually dont respond to kindness, and they will
always show up to ruin a fun party if possible. Therefore, your strategy is threefold: Avoid,
neutralize, and, in rare circumstances, poke with a stick.

Step 166: Develop a good meeting face.

Meeting face is a curious, interested, yet neutral expression.

Step 195: Ignoring money issues wont make them go

In fact, the opposite will happen.

Step 238: Do not skip oil changes.

This is the very best thing you can do to ensure your car has a long, happy car life. This
counts as something that is worth spending money on.

The Secrets of Being Authentic (and Why Its

Keep it real.
Jamie Friedlander

August 22, 2017

We like how Leonardo DiCaprio didnt bring a beautiful young actress to the 2016 Academy
Awards but rather his mother. Im not the only person whos lacking a date this upcoming
weekend, we tell ourselves.

We love how model Chrissy Teigen shares a photo of herself and her husband John
Legend on Instagram with their new baby girl, sans makeup and fancy clothing. Shes just
like the rest of us, we think.

And we relish the stories of celebrities who struggled before becoming incredibly
successful: How J.K. Rowling was living on welfare when she wrote Harry Potter, how
Richard Branson struggled with dyslexia, how Stephen Kings first novel was rejected 30
times before finding a publisher.

We eat these stories up because they emanate authenticity. DiCaprio values his
relationship with his mother just as much as his career. Teigen isnt afraid to show her less-
than-perfectside. King was a failure for many years before succeeding.

Related: 8 Tips for Being Authentic

People follow authenticity. They are searching for it, says Karissa Thacker, a psychologist
and author of The Art of Authenticity. I think its twofold: The drive to be authentic and the
drive to be around other authentic human beings goes back all the way to philosophy. But
positive psychology also tells us that this sense of being true to yourself creates meaning.
Theres a drive to be authentic inside all of us. Fundamentally, its part of living a meaningful

The word authenticity is loaded, but Ryan Lee, founder of FREEDYM, a training resources
website for aspiring entrepreneurs, believes its imperative we remember what it truly
means. Some people might think having piercings or pink hair is authentic, but wearing
Banana Republic and listening to Coldplay can be just as authentic if its who you truly are.

Because of the trend of being authentic, people think you have to grow a big beard and you
have to have tattoos and curse, Lee says. Thats not authentic if thats not you.

Room for Growth

Although authenticity might seem like an innate trait and something were born with,
Thacker believes you can develop it much like you would any other trait, like
curiosity, kindness or honesty. For many years, our society has held the I am what I am
view, she says, when in fact people regularly adapt themselves to context and situations.

She suggests the first step in building authenticity is turning on our authenticity meter to
determine whether we are in touch with ourselves and our actions.

A lot of us move through life reaction to reaction and we dont stop and go, Wait, I just did
that. Did it feel real to me? Why did I do that? Did I feel pressured by context? Was I trying
to be cool? Nobody can tell you whats authentic for you, she says.

Another way to be seen as more genuine and real is to feel comfortable not being perfect in
the eyes of others. Be comfortable sharing your failures and weaknesses. You might not
think this is the best route in business, but when done appropriately, it can work. If you
understand your context, your environment and the relationship you have with the person
youre sharing the weakness with, I think people are more inclined to helpits more honest
and its true.

Related: 9 Reasons Perfectionism Is a Bad Thing

We can relate to others better when were not afraid of being vulnerable. Ive seen this
happen time and again with executives who on the surface look perfect and can do
anything, Thacker says. But nobodys smart enough to figure it all out. Embracing your
weaknesses and your quirks is just as much a part of being authentic as embracing your

Lee agrees. For him, being authentic boils down to one concept: trust. Be truthful to who
you are, he says. Tell the truth. It really comes down to being you. Its having the
confidence to be you.

Dont be afraid to tell people what you believe in. Dont think you need to straddle the line to
please all of your friends, family or clients. Stay firm on your values and beliefs.

Forces Within
In attempting to appear open, honest and true, some people might inadvertently create a
false sense of authenticity. Thacker believes both external and internal roadblocks stand in
the way of becoming truly authentic.

The external forces are environmentalsay, worrying your boss might think youre not
competent if you tell her youre uncomfortable with a particular project, or feeling concerned
that your husband will be hurt if you tell him how you really feel about his relationship with
his brother.

Internal forces are more ingrained and much more difficult to overcome. For example, if
youre a naturally gregarious and extroverted person and someone told you to tone down
your personality early in your career, you might have dialed it down too much. If youve
squelched it for long enough, it will be much more difficult to bring your true self back.

Related: 6 Steps to Discover Your True Self

Stepping back and examining those habits of mind that are internal is a powerful step,
Thacker says. Our internal barriers are often harder to move than the external ones.

Double-Edged Sword
Because people in leadership positions are among the most scrutinized, being vulnerable,
honest and letting go of the perfect image can be challenging. But conversely, these are
the people authenticity matters most for because it goes hand-in-hand with trust. Leaders
who are kind to others are often seen as more authentic.

Embracing your weaknesses and your quirks is just as

much a part of being authentic as embracing your

I think [authenticity] does fundamentally come back to this: If Im going to follow you, if Im
going to take a risk, if Im going to put hard work and effort into a vision that youre throwing
out, can I trust youre also looking out for me? Can I trust that youre a kind person?
Thacker says.

The kindness and trust a leader emanates will ripple through ones entire organization.

When you see somebody else do something kind, what happens for you? Thacker asks.
When you see somebody else do something you know is selfless, how do you feel in that
moment? The scientists call it a feeling of elevation. I call it a virtue buzz. I think the vast
majority of us want to be around goodness. We want to be around higher virtues like
curiosity, kindness and honesty.

Whichever virtues leave you buzzing, keep in mind that no matter who else is around, your
constant companion is yourself. So like who you are (or grow into the person you want to
become) and enjoy the company.

How Laughter Can Be Your Greatest Motivator

Steve Rizzo

August 16, 2017

Did you know that laughter is essential for a healthy and productive workplace? If you didnt,
you do now. No matter what industry youre insales, service, education, whateverusing
humor as a strategy at the beginning, middle and end of the day will improve morale,
increase efficiency and help you create lifelong relationships for success. In other words,
laughter is a powerful force to help you stay motivated personally and professionally.

Related: 4 Ways to Laugh More

If you think you cant find laughter as soon as you wake up, youre just not looking. Try
looking at yourself first thing in the morning. Dont even get dressed. As soon as you wake
up, look in a full-length mirror and say, Well, Im ready to go to work just the way I am! I
bet it will at least put a smile on your face.

Humor is everywhere. You just have to take the initiative every day to get in sync with your
Humor Being and observe. Its what I call observing and developing your humor insights.
It simply means observing the funny stuff that is around you.

If youre married, believe me there is humor there. In fact, I believe that a sense of humor is
a major component to a successful marriage. But some people say the key to a successful
marriage is to understand your partner. Are you kidding me? Understand your partner?
Whether you are a man or a woman, you will never be able to understand your partner. The
only thing that you have to understand about your partner is that there are things about
them that you will never understand. If you can understand that, then you will have
better understanding. Do you understand?
Ive been married to my wife for 26 years. Until this day, I cant understand why I have to get
in trouble for dreams that she has. Allow me to elaborate.

I wake up in the morning, look at my wife and say, Good morning. Her response to me is,
Dont you good morning me!

Whats wrong? I ask.

She says, I just had a dream that you had an affair with another woman!

Guys, believe me, your response should never be, Really? What did she look like? I just
want to know if its the same dream Ive been having.

Use your imagination. Observe your kids, especially as you start your day. They are without
a doubt the funniest people on earth. Watch how they grow up to be just like you.

Related: 4 Things You Can Learn From Your Child

My son thinks hes a comedian. When he was in grade school, he was always making
people laugh, including the teachers. But he didnt know when to turn it off. This started to
become a problem. One day I came home and said, How was school today? Without
missing a beat, he said, Good crowd! Good crowd!

Trying to hold back my laughter, I said, Dont get smart with me.

He looked right at me and said, Dont worry, Pop. I dont want to confuse you.

I take these funny occurrences with me to the workplace. Its these types of observations
that help you develop your humor insights. This is how you tap into your laughter reservoir
and how to get your humor genes circulating. This is what puts you into a good mood.

Hold on to that very special something that made you laugh

and take it with you throughout the day.
Doesnt it make sense to create this feel-good state of mind at the beginning of the day?
Hold on to that very special something that made you laugh and take it with you throughout
the day. Its so very simple and the benefits are priceless.

The greatest benefit that comes from observing and developing your humor insights is that
you eventually begin to view your challenges and problems from a vantage point, rather
than a disadvantage, and that is a major key toward motivation.

Having a Bad Day? Give Yourself Permission to

Start Over
Mary Sauer

August 22, 2017

As a child, when I was having a difficult time listening or just in an all-around awful mood,
my mom would send me back to my bed. She would usher me into my room and tell me I
needed to start the day over. Before closing my door, she would tell me I was welcome to
get up as soon as I was ready to face the day with a better attitude.

Related: It Takes a Positive Attitude to Achieve Positive Results

I suspect my mom was mostly looking for a quick break from the moodiness and chaos of
being at home with four young kids in a small house, but this practice has stuck with me into
adulthood. I havent forgotten just how powerful this simple approach to difficult days can
be. From the few minutes spent under the covers of my bed, listening to a book on tape or
scribbling in my Lisa Frank diary, I found the power of giving myself permission to start my
day again.

When I am allowed a hard reset, I can salvage a rough day.

For me, this habit isnt about denying how I feel or avoiding reality. When things are wrong,
if Im arguing with my spouse or sorting through a personal crisis, I face it head-on. There is
something different about one of those days when all the small things seem to be going
wrong or when youre bristling more easily with no explanation. Those days, I need to crawl
under my covers, pull my blanket over my head and grab five minutes of quiet.
Of course, getting back into bed isnt always an option. Most of us have jobs and families
who need us. Because of this, I made a short list in my planner of things I can do in any
environment that feel like starting over:

Take a walk, around the block or around the house.

Make a fresh cup of coffee or a big glass of cold water.
Practice a few minutes of mindfulness right where I am.

I know Im not the first to adopt this habit. One blogger and mom of six calls it her second
day and signals her reset with an iced coffee. Others go for a run over their lunch break or
call their mom from their car.

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Positive When Youre Having a Bad Day

Some other quick ideas to hit reset on your day include

Complete the sentence, Ill feel better when

List three things that are in your control to change right now.
Listen to an uplifting song.
Watch a funny video.
Look at pictures from your favorite vacation.

Everyone has hard days, and that is exactly what Leah Weiss, a professor at Stanford
University who specializes in mindfulness in the workplace, believes everyone must accept
before they can move on.

The first step is to be kind to yourself, she advises. Realize that you are not perfect and
recognize your flaws. Then work toward making your day better.

As far as strategies for restarting your day, Weiss is a big fan of using mindfulness. She
suggests a practice of lighting a candle, as a signal to yourself that you are ready for a fresh
start. A full body scan is also an effective approach for checking in with yourself, to look for
causes for the rough day you might have been unaware of or to practice acceptance of how
you feel about the day.

Go for a meditative walk to reset your mind-body clock, she says. Speak to your co-
workers about what you are experiencing. Be human, be real.

Lastly, Weiss says it is important that we dont dismiss a bad day as useless. Even the
sourest of days can have a purpose in our own development, especially when we are able
to identify the underlying problem driving our negativity.
A bad day can really be a useful tool. What made it bad? Why? How can you fix it? What
did you learn or recognize about yourself? After you employ a resetting trick, reflect. By
recognizing our weaknesses, we build strength.