A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”
“Is the man of the house home?” they asked. “No”, she said. “He’s out.”
“Then we cannot come in”, they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in,” he said.
The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a house together,” they replied. “Why is that?” she wanted to know. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!” he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!”
His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?” Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”
“Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”
The woman went out and asked the three old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him.
Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, why are you coming in?” The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!”
How do you identify whole grain products?
- Look for the Product Symbol, such as Healthier Choice Symbol endorsed by the Health Promotion Board that reads “Higher in Whole-Grains” or the “Whole Grain” stamp by the Whole Grain Council in the US.
- Check the description on the packaging for these terms: Whole grain, whole wheat, sprouted whole grain wheat flour, wholemeal, brown rice, oats or oatmeal (including instant oatmeal). All of these are whole grain products as they contain all parts of the grain.
What are terms that may be confused with whole grains?
- Enriched flour, bran, wheat germ and high-fibre do not describe whole grain foods.
- Multigrain can be several whole grains or several refined grains, or a mix of both. So, multigrain products may not always have whole grains.
- These terms may not refer to whole grains either: Wheat, wheat flour, durum wheat, organic flour, semolina and stoneground.
As whole grains help in weight control, can we eat them without restriction?
Whole grains are not free from or low in carbohydrates. While they help to boost the feeling of fullness, whole grains do contain similar energy values as their refined counterparts. They should, therefore, be included as part of your overall meal plan.
Is it advisable for very young children to eat whole grains?
There are concerns about feeding whole grains to children below two years old. This is because the amount of phytates, a compound found in whole grains, can bind to minerals before they are absorbed. It is also harder for the body to digest food with phytates.
The high-fibre content in whole grains also increases the feeling of fullness, which may affect the appetite of young children who need to obtain sufficient nutrients for growth.
However, for an overweight child, eating whole grains may help to control food intake.
Ways to integrate whole grains into your diet:
- Opt for different types of whole grain bread each week.
- Eat whole grain cereal with milk or yogurt, or mix it with other breakfast cereals.
- Add brown rice or oats to white rice when cooking at home.
- If you don’t like brown rice, try red, black and purple rice. There are manyvarieties on the
shelves today. ‘
- Cook with whole grain noodles or pasta instead of refined varieties. The taste is generally similar, though these may have a nutty flavour.
- When baking, replace half of white or plain flour with whole wheat flour in your recipes for cupcakes and cookies.
BY DANIEL ALLY
As I was giving a speech in Washington, D.C., a well-dressed man approached me to ask a question. After our interesting discussion, he reached deeply into his pockets and pulled out a stack of cards, spilling them by the dozens as he searched to find his own.
After fishing for almost a minute, he still couldn’t find his business cards, which was a tragedy. He tried to make up for it by scribbling his phone number on another business card, which happened to be the one a woman gave him right before he reached me. As she watched him do this, she shook her head in shame.
This is the atrocity that you can witness every day in the marketplace. This kind of behavior prohibits many people from attaining the wealth and success they are capable of in their lives.
The number one tip in networking is to avoid thinking of it like most people do. After all, why fit in when you can stand out? If you want to stand out, don’t go to the networking event with the wrong intentions.
If you’re there to flirt, eat, or get a job, you’re going to fail. You need to have the right motives, which should be to help people and make a positive impact.
Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
We all know the predominant question for most people is, “What’s in it for me?” If you network like with that question in mind, you’re missing the point.
However, if you go there with the mindset of knowing that 99 percent of people think like that, your chances of networking like a millionaire will skyrocket.
The key question that I ask myself to expand my network is, “How do I add more value to more people in a shorter amount of time?” This question made me a millionaire. After all, if you impact twice as many people, you’ll earn twice as much.
Here are seven approaches to consider:
1. Write a Book
When I first wrote my book, I didn’t realize that it was a business card. In fact, I started to give my book out freely and then began to use my business card as a bookmark. Writing a book is easy and will impress most of the people you meet.
Publishing a book gives you the ultimate credential. Plus, you never know who will be reading it. Imagine handing hundreds of people your book when they ask for a business card. If you have a good idea in your book, people will call you and find a way to help you, especially if it helps them solve their problems.
Related: Networking Is a Contact Sport
2. Publish Articles
My articles have reached millions of people. Most of these people who read them could never help me, but that doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that people are reading my work. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Writing is the beginning of all wealth.” It’s true.
My inbox is filled with people who have requests of all different kinds and many of them are useful. By writing articles, you have the ability to attract thousands or millions to yourself, instead of chasing them down. Plus, it’s easier to have people reach out to you, especially if you gave them what they wanted.
3. Give Speeches
Public speaking is a highly underrated form of networking. This is probably because many people have glossophobia, which is the fear of public speaking. Nonetheless, you can reach more by using this medium to exchange your ideas.
If you’re in business, you have the ability to sell your products and services to a wide variety of people. What’s more amazing is that there are thousands of meetings going on right now and many of them don’t have speakers. If you gave a few speeches per month, your chances of success go up substantially.
4. Connect People
Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” One day, a realtor called me and found out that I was interested in a house that she did not list. She took the liberty to connect me with her competitor, which is something most realtors would never consider doing.
Later on, I found out the house her competitor showed me wasn’t quite for me. Because of her kind referral, I decided to reach out to her and deal with her again. Eventually, I bought the house and she received a nice commission due to her excellent service. All she did was connect people. No wonder she was the Number 1 realtor in her city.
Related: 4 Business Meetings You Should Never Take
5. Follow Up
It is futile to meet people and not follow up with them. In fact, you might want to go the extra mile by sending them a personal thank-you note. I sometimes send my books to people and you wouldn’t believe the kind of response that I get back.
We are creatures who love to cooperate with each other. Often, people forget that they said certain things at a particular event, and it’s your duty to remind them. If you can follow up in a tactful and diplomatic way, you’ll get to reach the echelons of success. The fortune is in the follow-up.
6. Ask for Introductions
One time, I received an award at a banquet and a woman took a liking to me. As we swerved through hundreds of people, she took me to the seemingly most important people in the room. It was all because I hit the motives in her that most people need: recognition and respect.
Since she had the need to be recognized and respected, she was delighted to learn that I was aware of her self-perceived fame within that particular network. Because of this, she helped me to land one of my biggest opportunities of all time. Never underestimate the introduction. This can be done by email as well.
Once people find out that you’re a donor, you’ll make a lot of friends. Everyone likes people who give money. You don’t have to go around waving a check for your contribution, but you do want people to acknowledge that you are a giver. The secret of living is giving.
Having money does attract all kinds of people, good and bad. However, you should have the discernment that goes along with being wealthy. Make sure that your philanthropy has a long-lasting impact and will help more people. You should always know where your money is going.
If you’re serious about increasing your network, you should consider taking up new hobbies. For instance, there are different personalities and temperaments in poker and basketball than there are in golfing and yachting. Since we all have hobbies, you would be better off gravitating toward ones that help you improve your overall “game”.
If you’re going to network, do it right. Skip the name tags and small talk and get straight to business. Make sure that you’re reaching out to people and realize that people are looking for you just as much as you’re looking for them. As Ghandi said, be the change you wish to see in the world. Enjoy networking!
As posted on www.entrepreneur.com
You have to pay the cost if you want to be the boss.
The cost is discipline. No leader can achieve success without a certain level of discipline. A disciplined person is willing and able to give up short-term pleasure to achieve long-term gains. Of course becoming disciplined requires you to have daily habits. Only disciplined people with habits can turn their lives around.
Habits can change the direction of our lives. While some people have pitiful habits, like gossiping, others have powerful ones, like praising others. No matter who you are or where you came from, your habits can make or break you.
What are your habits? Where are they leading you?
Here are 10 daily habits that will make you a millionaire:
First and foremost, you should never go a day without learning. Learning can happen in all forms. Personally, I study every day for a minimum of three hours. This includes the following habits: reading the dictionary, reading books, watching videos, reviewing and replying to comments, talking to my coach.
Out of all of this, reading is most important. Every day, without fail, I get to my books and soak in as many ideas I can. I also put my phone in another room as I drink in the knowledge and wisdom of these books. All the books in the world have all the answers in the world. I can afford to miss a meal, but I can’t afford to miss a book!
“The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” –Thomas Carlyle
Every day, you should make it your duty to set your goals. In my composition book I write down everything that I want to accomplish for the month, year, and decade. This process fascinates me and gets me to think bigger and step over the small problems in life. To date, I have over 100 of these composition books in my garage.
Let’s say you have a goal to live a lavish lifestyle within the next 10 years. If you want to achieve this goal, you list some ideas that correspond with it. For instance, you list the following ideas for the year: a private jet, 10-bedroom mansion, personal chef, a Rolls-Royce. When you come up with these ideas, you’ll get really excited about where your life is heading.
You can set endless goals, but you need plans to achieve them.
First, you’ll need to break down those 10-year goals into years, months, weeks, and days. Once you break them down into smaller parts, you’ll have to come up with some steps to achieve those results and find a way to hold yourself accountable.
One of my clients had big goals to be a professional speaker. However, he didn’t know how to plan. I told him that he’ll have to set the stage high (no pun intended) and make plans to achieve his goals. I told him that if he gave 120 speeches in a year, he would reach his goals. I helped him break it down to 10 a month, which is one speech for every third day.
After we planned, he admitted that his goals felt more achievable!
In the new millennium, we have so many new ways to get and stay connected. To network effectively, you’ll have to be a producer, not a consumer. This means you have to network aggressively, not passively. Don’t wait for emails or phone calls to come to you. Instead, make an effort to reach out to others. Realize that networking is a daily habit.
I use a special system called the “Rule of 10.” This rule allows me to send 10 text messages, 10 phone calls, and 10 emails a day. On top of this, I’m constantly making videos, giving speeches, and writing articles, which allows me to reach the masses. I’m also posting several times a day on all of my social-media accounts. This is networking at its finest.
Everyone needs time to think. To think effectively, you should keep a journal. It allows you to reflect on the day and ask serious questions. In addition, you’ll be able to keep track of stories, ideas, jokes, lessons, quotes, successes, failures, and more. You can keep track of who you met and where you went.
Every day, I write a minimum of four pages in my journal. To date, I have cherished two dozen journals. It gives me time to reflect on my greatest accomplishes, challenges, and opportunities. Sometimes, I’ll journal for over an hour.
When I look back in my journals, I’m often astounded from my journey. Further, it’s good to leave some notes behind for future generations.
“It’s not the number of hours you put in, but what you put in the hours.” —Abraham Lincoln
To be successful in life, your body must perform at the highest level. Your mind is constantly asking your body to do the unexpected, and you must be prepared. The best way to prepare your body is by exercising, even when it’s inconvenient. Once your body is prepared for opportunities, you’ll be able to navigate through the oceans of success.
Imagine the feeling of perspiration dripping after a great workout. It’s a good feeling, right? If this is the case, why debate with yourself about whether you should workout or not? Why not make it a habit to work out 3-5 times a week for an hour or less a day? Not only will you gain unprecedented endurance, but you’ll also get all your work done before the end of the day.
Only powerful people know how to rest. After all, that’s when they get most of their power. Some people get so tensed up over time they burn out. When you get too fatigued or stressed, you lose concentration, then control. A person who doesn’t learn how to relax ends up wasting the precious time they could have saved.
You need to zone out every once in a while. We all naturally zone out. Find a healthy discipline that sedates you. Usually, I’ll take some time to cook a great meal or take a walk in my neighborhood. Other times, I’ll put on some jazz music and have a friendly conversation with a loved one. Even in the midst of a serious deadline, these relaxing adventures will help you abscond from the worries in life.
Every day we get a moment to talk to ourselves. The average human being speaks to themselves at least 12,000 times a day. The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is what they say to themselves. Click this link to find out some of the greatest affirmations you can make.
Truthfully, I’m a successful person who’s been relentlessly reciting his affirmations on a couple note cards every night for several years.
Melia Robinson/Business Insider
Mastering your craft
Every day, you must be working on your craft. Each of us has been innately gifted with a talent (or talents) that must be exercised on a daily basis. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Mastery takes years to cultivate, but if you’re willing to be the best at what you do, there won’t be much competition.
“Every master was once a disaster.” –T. Harv Eker
Successful people have learned to organize the right relationships in their lives. This means that their closest people are nurturing them mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Even if you see a “solo act” like a musician, you must also account for those who are behind the scenes, like their make-up artist, manager, sound technicians, voice coach.
However, your mastermind doesn’t form without effort. It takes time to carefully select the right people. More important, the right relationships will form naturally when you learn more about what you’re doing. Eventually, your hand-picked team will bring out the best in you and help you overcome the greatest challenges you’ve ever faced.
All of these habits require the utmost discipline. You must communicate your needs to others so that they can support you in your habits.
When you seek constant improvement and refine your lifestyle by letting these habits your success, you will receive unlimited rewards in the process!
As posted in www.businessinsider.com
There is a woman behind every successful man is a term common to everyone. However this does not apply to every women that men will come across in their lives. Here are 6 women to steer clear of if you want to be successful!
The Bossy One
Being bossy is second nature to this woman as if it is ingrained in her DNA. Yes, she may appear cute when you first approach her, but over time this trait is poisonous and you might find it hard to be with her.
The Paranoid One
She is always worrying about you not being faithful to her. This may be due to bad experiences in relationships in the pass and she is not trusting of men. She may seem attractive at first sight due to her vulnerability. However her distrust of men will make it tiring for you when she accuses you once too often.
The Clingy One
This woman is one of the toughest partners to be with. It would be sweet to have her missing you all the time and wanting your attention, however this will become poisonous to the relationhip over time as you will feel choked by her demands for your attention.
The Never Hungry One
She is constantly worried about her figure and appearance and is perpetually on a diet. She will complain that she is overweight and not eat when you are on dates with her. This may seem as a plus point at the start of your relationship as it means she would not gain weight being with you. However I’m sure it is no point to eat alone on a date.
The Party Girl
She is always seen out at parties and is usually the life of the party. You may find her attractive due to her carefree and wild nature. She may be good for the party but what about when she is not out at parties. This girl may be running away from her problems by partying and it may be too late for you to realise that when you get involved with her.
The Drama Queen
The drama queen is damaging for a relationship as she thinks that the world revolves around her. She is immature and will throw tantrums as often as you change your underwear. She is also prone to mood swings and will constantly be wanting to have a quarrel. This is one woman who would literally drain your soul.
Zig Ziglar said “Money isn’t everything , but it’s right up there with oxygen.” The topic of wealth, income, and making money is often discussed and viewed in a negative light. Our society is afraid of being labeled as greedy or money hungry, but what must be understood is that money is a crucial part of freedom. I personally know what it’s like to have nothing, to stress about paying my next bill, and to feel hopeless. I also know what it’s like to thrive, and I’ve been fortunate enough to create some great income as well. Having money is a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling, but most importantly it gives you options.
Have you ever heard anybody say any of these?
“Money is the root of all evil.”
“Rich people are greedy.”
“Money won’t make you happy.”
“You don’t want to be one of those people.”
“I don’t need money.”
It’s usually those who claim they don’t care about money that are broke. Why not get wealthy? Why not become a millionaire? Why not focus on making as much money as you can? As entrepreneurs, I know you have goals of increasing your income. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so those thriving financially must be doing something different, right? Better yet, they must have a better perspective about money and how it’s earned?
Let me give you eight very tactical and straightforward tips that can be used right away to catapult your income.
1. Stop doing what you’re doing. We all know the saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a difference result.” If you aren’t satisfied, the first thing you must do is stop doing what you’ve been doing because what you are doing is what is creating your dissatisfying, current reality.
What’s great about life is the opportunity to completely change your story and direction overnight. Regardless of your past decisions, you’re always one decision away from making the right one.
2. Don’t let money define you. Your self worth has nothing to do with your finances. Whether you have a negative bank account or $5 million in the bank, your confidence must never waiver. If anything, your confidence needs to increase when you are stressed so you are motivated you to never feel that stress again.
Being wealthy is a state of mind, but so is being broke. You are what defines you, not what you possess.
3. Start prioritizing your profits. When you set up your weekly schedule make sure you start with income producing activities. Of all your activities, 20 percent will account for 80 percent of your income. Figure out what those are. Really think about the the top two or three things you need to do to create income. Now put those in your schedule consistently to assure you are creating income.
Constantly ask yourself if what you’re doing is profitable. Focus on doing what you should versus what you feel. Never forget that impact drives income.
4. Start placing a higher value on your time. Time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money, but you can never get more time. It is possible to become twice as valuable, and make twice as much money in the same amount of time. There is nothing more valuable than time invested wisely. We all have the same 24 hours, and it’s what you do with them that determines everything.
5. It’s Ok to say no. Steve Jobs once said, “It’s what Apple said “no” to that ultimately made them successful.”
If you’re over-extending yourself and committing to too many things, this word will change your life. Say “no” to everything that doesn’t create income for you until you get your income to a place you feel confident and secure. Make a commitment to yourself that you will focus on income-producing activities versus tension-relieving activities.
6. Proximity is power. Most broke people hang with other broke people and they usually stay broke, together. Elevate your peer group by reaching out to those playing the game of life at a higher level than you.
Find those people because you’ll become a lot like the people you spend the most time with. Their belief systems, their ways of being and their attitudes are contagious. You’re either surrounding yourself with those who hold you accountable, or let you off the hook. Choose wisely.
7. Lower your excuses. As the excuses go up, the bank account goes down. The best excuse makers or “validators” have the smallest bank accounts. The energy and time you spend on creative excuses is better invested in thinking of actual solutions that move your life forward. Excuses are a disease and those who continue making them will continue to have money issues.
8. Shift your focus from victim to leader. Stop blaming the economy, stop blaming your past, stop blaming your boss or company, and stop thinking the world is out to get you. Charge more, switch jobs, become more valuable. My friend Hal Elrod says, “The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life, is the moment you can change anything in your life.”
The difference between ordinary income and extraordinary income is fast implementation. How quick will you get on your grind to start increasing your income? I assure you if you take these tips seriously, and want it bad enough you will create an income explosion the next couple months. I want you to realize that your bank account isn’t who you are, it’s who you were before you made the decision to focus on wealth.
Originally posted on www.entrepreneur.com
BY DEREK HARVEY
Just after my wife and I got married, we attended a seminar on aiding the rehabilitation of human trafficking victims, particularly those trafficked for sex. (I won’t get into all that…that’s another story for another day.) In one of the presenter’s talks, he asked the audience what the biggest cause of divorce was. Since I had just been through premarital counseling, I pretty much felt like an expert at marriage. I shot my hand up quickly to answer the question, and blurted out, “Sex, money and communication!” …then looked at my wife next to me and grinned. Too easy.
“Wrong,” the presenter barked back. “Those are symptoms of the real problem.”
Ouch. Embarrassed much?
Not only was I given a sharp lesson in humility, but what followed changed my life. I was about to be told the best piece of marriage advice that this young, prideful, newly married man-boy could’ve ever asked for.
“The reason marriages end in divorce is because of one thing…unmet expectations.”
My newly married man-boy brain couldn’t handle the revelation. I don’t remember much of what was said after that. I was too busy thinking of all the unmet expectations I was already experiencing after being married a month.
Since that seminar six years ago, I have seen the pain and frustration that plays out from having unmet expectations, not just in marriage, but in all relationships. It’s a deadly venom that flows to the heart and wreaks havoc in relationships.
But having unmet expectations isn’t just a marriage problem. It’s a life problem.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, married, working, unemployed, old, young or [insert demographic here]. Having unmet expectations is lethal to everyone. No one is immune.
So…what’s the solution?
I’m a math guy. I ‘heart’ equations. I love crunching numbers and thoroughly enjoyed algebra and calculus in high school (although I probably couldn’t do a calculus problem to save my life now). So I came across an equation.
EXPECTATION – OBSERVATION = FRUSTRATION
Here’s what that means. Below are two hypothetical situations played out…
When I come home from a long day at work, I EXPECT my wife to have dinner prepared and ready for us to sit down and eat as a family. She’ll be wearing an apron with no food stains on it (because she’s perfect like that) and her hair will be perfectly done up. Meanwhile, my 16-month old daughter will sit in her high chair and eat with utensils…never missing her mouth, which makes cleanup a breeze. After we all finish eating at exactly the same time, we’ll head out into the Colorado sun and go for a nice family stroll, while the butler (you read that right…BUTLER son) cleans up the kitchen and prepares our home for evening activities.
I come home from work thirty minutes late, and dinner hasn’t even been thought of…much less started. Because of this, my toddler is screaming her head off, signing “MORE! PLEASE! EAT!” When I search for my wife, I find her working on a design project trying to meet a deadline that’s technically already past due. When I ask what’s for dinner, she glares at me the way only an overworked, overtired work-from-home-momma can glare (it can scald your pupils…so the legend goes). After picking up my toddler, I make my way into the kitchen to find an abundance of NO GROCERIES. So, being the manly chef that I am, I set my eyes on cheese and bread. “Grilled cheese!” I exclaim. I put my daughter in her high chair as an influx of rage bursts from within her. I quickly grab the apple sauce pouch to appease her. It works…for now. I get to work on my grilled cheese sandwiches. Everyone eats. The kitchen is left a mess. Toys are scattered throughout the living room just waiting to break someone’s ankle. My wife and I collapse on the couch, avoiding eye contact and avoiding volunteering to clean the kitchen. I could keep going but…you get the picture.
FRUSTRATION = The difference between the two.
Quite an elaborate illustration, I know. But I’m trying to paint the picture of what our expectations can be like versus what life is actually like…what we observe. (DISCLAIMER: In no way was that illustration indicative of my actual life. It’s either not true at all, or highly exaggerated…or spot on. The jury’s still out.)
Antonio Banderas says it best,
“Expectation is the mother of all frustration.”
The fact of the matter is this: In life, we often have expectations that go unmet, and we’re often frustrated because of it.
But we don’t HAVE to be.
Read the complete story here.
BY JON GORDON
I meet and learn from champions every day. Not just in locker rooms but also in classrooms, hospitals, homeless shelters, homes and office buildings.
I’ve learnt that to be a champion you must think like a champion. Champions think differently from everyone else. Here’s how:
THEY EXPECT TO WIN
When they walk on the court, on the field, into a meeting or in a classroom, they expect to win. In fact, theya are surprised when they don’t win.
They expect success and their positive beliefs often lead to positive actions and outcomes. They win in their mind first and then they win in the hearts and mins of their customers, students or fans.
THEY CELEBRATE SMALL WINS
By celebrating the small wins, champtions gain the confidence to go after big wins. Big wins and big successes happen through the accumulation of manysmall victories.
This doesn’t mean champions become complacent. Rather, with the right kind of celebratio and reinforcement, champions work harder,practise more and belive they can do greater things.
THEY DON’T MAKE EXCUSES
They don’t focus on the faults of others. They focus on what they can do better.
They see their mistakes and defeats as opportunities for growth. As a result, they become stronger, wiser and better.
THEY ARE COMMITTED
They see their life and work as a gift. They know that if they want to achieve a certain outcome, they must commit to and appreciate the process.
They may not love every minute of their journey but their attitude and will helps hem develop their skill.
THEY STAY POSITIVE
Their faith is greater than their fear. Their positive energy is greater than the chorus of negativity. Their certainty is greater than all the doubt. Their passion and purpose are greater than their challenges. Despite their situation, champions believe their best days are ahead of them, not behind them.
Social skills are arguably the most important set of abilities we can have. Having great social skills help you meet interesting people, get that job you want, progress further in your career and relationships. But aren’t some people just naturally blessed with good social skills and easy smooth conversation?
But lack of good social skills can make life lonely, causing anxiety and depression. We get depressed and anxious when we don’t meet our fundamental human needs. And the need to socialize, to connect with others is fundamental. We all need social contact. But it’s a trap to assume that you either have social skills or you don’t.
Sure, some people find it easier to naturally relax around people, talk and listen confidently. But like any set of skills, social skills can be learned, honed and developed by anyone. And social skills training are a vital part of building confidence.
But what are social skills? I’ve made a list here of some of the most important:
1) The ability to stay calm in social situations
Regardless of how many social skills you have; if you’re anxious then your brain won’t work properly. It’s always harder to think and speak clearly when we become agitated. So calming down is vital. But relaxing in social situations helps in another way too.
If your body and face give the unconscious message that you’re nervous, it will be more difficult for others to relax with you making harder for you to build rapport with them. This article on how to control your emotions may help you: How to Control Your Emotions
People make a huge mistake though when they assume that gaining good social skills is just about starting to speak well. Take a look at the next skill:
2) Listening skills: The art of connection
When you had dinner with Gladstone, you were left feeling that he was the most charming person you had ever met. But after dinner with Disraeli, you felt that you were the wittiest, the most intelligent, the most charming person.
Dr Warren Bennis PhD, University of California
There is little more attractive and seductive than being truly listened to. Good listening skills include:
Making ‘I’m listening’ noises – ‘Uh-huh’, ‘really?’, ‘oh yes?’ etc.
Feeding back what you’ve heard – “So he went to the dentist? What happened?”
Referring back to others’ comments later on – “You know how you were saying earlier…”
Physical stillness, eye contact and attentiveness while the other person is talking.
To listen well to others you need to develop real interest in them.
3) Empathy with and interest in others’ situations
A major part of social anxiety is self consciousness, which is greatly alleviated by focusing strongly on someone else. A fascination (even if forced at first) with another’s conversation not only increases your comfort levels, it makes them feel interesting. I never worry what I’m going to talk about because I know I can get other people to talk.
The best social situations are the ones in which you actually forget about yourself and become focused on what is going on and other people. A major social skill is being able to focus outward. Take a look at this how to overcome shyness article: How to Stop Being Shy
4) Knowing how to build rapport
Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social interaction. It says basically “I am like you, we understand each other”. Rapport occurs on an unconscious level, and when it happens between two people you can see it because, the language, speech patterns, body movement and posture of the two people seem to mirror and match.
Rapport is an unconscious process, but it can be increased as part of social skills training. Practice the following:
Body posture ‘mirroring’, or movement ‘matching’. When you are within someone match their body posture and expressions. Don’t mimic too closely this is supposed to have an unconscious effect.
Reflecting back language and speech, including rate, volume, tone, and words.
Feeding back what you have heard.
Think about building rapport and you’ll feel naturally more socially confident as you’ll be focusing outward.
5) Knowing how, when and how much to talk about yourself – ‘self disclosure’
Talking about yourself too much and too early can be a major turn-off for the other party in conversation. Good initial small-talk is often characterized by discussion of subjects not personal to either party, or by an exchanging of personal views in a balanced way. Immediately describing your deepest desires and darkest fears to a stranger may freak them out.
However, as conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-emotional ones first!) leads to a feeling of getting to know each other. Now lets look at the importance of how your eyes communicate.
6) Look into their eyes and smile
If you don’t look at someone when you are talking or listening to them, they’ll feel:
You are ignoring them
You are untrustworthy
You don’t like the look of them (!)
This doesn’t mean you have to stare at them. Too much eye contact too early on in a relationship can be unsettling too.
Research on attractiveness has shown (not surprisingly) that smiling whilst looking directly at someone makes you appear much more attractive (1)
Having great social skills will enhance your life. Speaking clearly (see how to speak clearly) and gaining the confidence to speak in front of people (see also public speaking techniques) will mean that talking to new people and relaxing with friends old and new will be a breeze.
Don’t lament not being naturally confident or socially able; rather, instead, seek to enhance your social skills for a better life.
Mark Tyrrell, the author of this article, has also created a set of hypnosis downloads to help build social confidence. Hypnosis is extremely effective in increasing social comfort as it allows you to experience the social situation without actually being there. This allows you to relax and rehearse new social skills so they become natural in the situation itself. Practice makes perfect.
As posted in : http://www.self-confidence.co.uk/