Astonish yourself with the right questions

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questionsAsking the right questions can provide you with astonishing answers about living your life to its full capacity. Starting your morning with five questions can prompt you to begin your day in a powerful and positive state, according to an exercise in Anthony Robbins’ Personal Power II: The Driving Force program.

So you remember your questions, write them down and keep them on your bed stand, tape them to your mirror, or have them as a note in your phone. Each morning for 30 days, read these questions and come up with two answers for each question.

These are the questions I developed for myself:

  • What can I do to be of service to at least one person today and enjoy the process?
  • What can I find to be grateful for today?
  • What actions can I take today that demonstrate I love myself and enjoy the process of loving myself?
  • What can I find to laugh about today?
  • Who do I love and who loves me?

In Anthony’s Personal Power II Success Journal he lists these questions:

  • What am I happy about in my life now?
  • What am I excited about?
  • What am I proud about?
  • What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
  • What am I committed to in my life now?

What are the questions with which you can astonish yourself by answering them?

via Daily Prompt: Astonish

Parallel career choices may be the best move

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If you’re in a position to make a choice in your career, logic tells us the best move is a vertical, rather than a parallel one. Even in parking your vehicle, given the choice between parallel parking and head-in, which is a better, less time-consuming maneuver?

Carparking-memeBut like in developing our driving skills, a parallel move or a lattice supported approach in career development, may be the best decision in moving out of a comfort zone. Vertical or head-on parking is the easiest maneuver, but parallel parking will hone your driving skills, for certain, especially on a busy city street with other drivers queued waiting for you to get your car parked.

The high-achiever brain thrives on challenge. Boredom is the Achilles’s heel of many people and can lead them to compensate for it with a set of unhealthy distractions. It’s better financially for you if you can stimulate your brain with on-the-job training and have someone else pay for it.

Now, sometimes a toxic work environment may make it seem any move to escape is best. With a little patience, supportive coaching, and determination, though, I know you can wait just a tad longer to make a move that best serves you. Even within the same company, one work group may have a different culture than another. Making a lateral move within your current workplace will develop a perception from others of work stability, rather than a job hopping resume.

No matter whether “it’s just a jump to the left or a step to the right” the parallel move may be the best for you in stretching you out of your comfort zone.

 

The Power of Your No

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Your mom tells you “no” for a reason when you’re a kid. She’s looking out for your welfare and she knows what you’re like to live with when you’re over-tired. But now that you’re a grownup, it’s your job to figure out what to say yes to and what to decline.

As you’re building a professional reputation, telling your requestors a plain “no” or “because I said so,” in “Momese” could be viewed as impolite. It takes courage to say no if you have a “people pleasing” tendency, yet setting a limit on others dependent demands may be the kindest thing you do for someone all year-long.

A way to confirm whether you’re taking on something that’s not yours to take on is ask yourself a simple question: “Am I doing something for someone else that they’re perfectly capable of doing themselves.”

If the answer is “yes,” then your answer to them might need to be “no.”

In the personal arena, people have difficulties saying no to themselves, much less to other people. Look around, credit card debt is negatively affecting a generation’s ability to retire without taking on a job and obesity is a public health issue. If you feel conflicted about saying no to others, perhaps it’s best to start with yourself.

Limiting your own over-indulgences may be the best “no” you give yourself and could potentially improve, if not save, your life by preventing a host of health issues, especially stress.

As James Altucher writes in his book “The Power of No” learning the well placed “no” can free you to say a “truly powerful “Yes” in your life—one that opens the door to opportunities, abundance, and love.”

Here’s a list of 20 ways to say “no.”

just say no

The more you say, the less they listen

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I mentioned only a couple of things (within a 10 minute conversation) to be of help to my young adult son. Did he welcome my advice? NOT AT ALL. Instead, he told me “the more you tell me to do something, the less I want to do it.”

Okay, then. So, my son isn’t open to positive suggestions. How is he going to figure out life? He is so young and there’s so much that he doesn’t know.

Perhaps, you’ve run into this dilemma, too, if you’re the parent, teacher or other adult-figure in a teenager/young adult life.

What is it about young people that you tell them “go west, young man,” and they go south?

Developmentally, rebellion is a rite of passage for teenagers. You will notice it in two categories: social non-conformity rebellion (hence, pierced lips, purple hair, etc.) and parental non-compliance rebellion (you tell them be in at 10 p.m. and they come in at 10:30.)

It’s a tricky balancing act to know when it’s time to allow a child to assume more responsibility for themselves. But, as soon as human beings are potty-trained is the time to allow natural consequences to occur, within a developmentally appropriate way.

The sooner a person has to clean up his/her own messes, the sooner s/ he is motivated to learn from them and find effective ways to manage his or her life.

So, fast forward to the teenage years. With peer pressure, temptation, and executive function not fully developed what’s an adult to do? The greater part of a relationship with a teenager is listening and to ask questions which are open-ended, affirming, reflective and provide a summation (OARS). Dr. John Coleman covers this in a modified way in his book “Why Won’t my Teenager Talk to Me?”

Some examples of how to approach not only your teenager/young adult but essentially anyone, include:

  • “What do you need from me” instead of “this is what you should/need to do.”
  • “Help me understand,” instead of  “you’re not listening to me.”
  • “I see you worked as hard as you could,” instead of “why didn’t you study more/work harder?”

Barring any significant health issues or outright dangerous rebellion, most teens are highly sensitized to the pressure of succeeding. As one teen told me: “I’m well aware of the importance of the SAT exams and when my parents nag me about it, it just causes me to feel more stress.”

Teenagers have a heavy work/school load and each of them has a unique approach to arranging the order of  tasks.  When parents give unsolicited advice, it can cause the stack to topple because teenagers are easily influenced by perceived judgement from important role models. So, instead of telling them how they should carry their load, ask them what you can do to help them carry it. And, if they tell you, “nothing,” then allow them autonomy. If the load topples, let it fall. You serve as the calm bystander ready to assist if asked.

Overcoming adversity builds confidence and resilience. Some of the best change makers, leaders, and inventors in history learned from daunting circumstances and mistakes.

As Thomas Edison said: “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

edison