Category Archives: Positive Mind

Rules of the wealthy

I’m not sure where “Family Wealth Watch” got this data or information, but it makes sense to me.

Focus on big wins (Edit: I think this should say Focus on Big Goals)

Working hard is not always the right answer. Working hard on the right things is how the elite compete.

Not thinking about retirement in your 20s? Think again.

There will be areas in your financial life that disproportionately affect your chances of achieving financial success. By paying significant attention to these areas – such as eliminating debt, building substantial savings and investing early – the wealthy are able to leverage big financial wins.

Action always beats inaction

Most people feel stuck when it comes to making decisions about money. Information overload and analysis paralysis lead to inaction, which can frequently be the greatest impediment for financial progress.

Being decisive regarding money is vital to building small wins along the way toward wealth. This type of momentum, or consistent progress, contributes to overall success, according to Harvard researchers.

Intangible goods are the greatest in value

How you spend your money matters.

Experiential purchases offer some of the highest returns on investment. By prepaying for trips, vacations, or concerts, you allow yourself to extract the pleasure of the purchase before the event and for years afterward.

Another powerful mechanism that offers high returns on your spending is to invest in yourself. Continuous self-improvement pays off in many ways — and over the long term.

Intangibles, like the financial freedom to make a career change or take a year off to travel, are much more rewarding than a quickly depreciating asset.

Delayed gratification trumps impulse

According to financial experts Thomas Stanley and William Danko, most American millionaires have never spent more than $400 on a suit or $200 on shoes.

Delayed gratification is a learned behavior. And it is often the strongest predictor of success.

Confidence is a commodity

Confidence can be mined. With a deluge of personal financial advice already in the market, creating confidence assists in the decision-making process.

Confidence-building techniques should be part of your daily routine. And according to research studies, there is a strong correlation between positive self-talk, confidence and performance. Additionally, inward questioning and regular rewards allow individuals to continually foster confidence.

This allows room for wealthy thinking.

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Daily reminders

From Darius Foroux:

What you put in your brain influences your thoughts. And the quality of your thoughts influences the outcome of your life. That’s why I protect the gates to my brain as much as I can.

You do that by not consuming junk information like the news or mindless entertainment. You also do that by not associating with toxic people.

And you do that by reminding yourself of all the things that make life better. Here are 14 of those things. When I do these things, I’m a better person.

1. Let go of the past

Today, you’re a new person. Every day is a new beginning. Forget about what you said and did yesterday. What matters is that you have good intentions and that you do your best to make today the best day of your life.

2. Don’t rush things

We’re always going somewhere. And we rush the middle. But the funny thing is, that the middle IS our life.

3. Shape your own future

Who are you? What kind of life do you want? Shape your life by your decisions. Match your life with who you are.

4. Your life is good

….Remember that your life is good the way it is. Why? Because it’s the only one you have. Does that mean you should improve it? What makes you assume that? If something is good, you can still make it better.

The next 10 things are also worth reading.

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For the new year

From Shane Parrish at Farnam Street Blog:

1) What did you do a lot of this year that you want to do less of next year?

(2) Did you spend your time in a way that was meaningful and conscious or were you ruled by habits and defaults?

(3) Did you invest in the right relationships? https://getpocket.com/explore/item/want-a-happier-more-fulfilling-life-75-year-harvard-study-says-focus-on-this-1-thing

(4) Are you living deliberately and consciously?

(5) Did you go after what you want or did you hope it would come to you?

Ask “What could I do?” not “What should I do?”  https://hbr.org/2018/04/when-solving-problems-think-about-what-you-could-do-not-what-you-should-do

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be kind to yourself

From Eric Barker:

 

You’re compassionate with others all the time. You need to start showing more self-compassion, and treating yourself the way you would a friend in need.

Self-compassion boosts happiness and reduces stress, makes you less likely to procrastinate, and even improves romantic relationships.

So how do you do it? Next time that voice in your head starts saying critical things, reframe the thoughts into something positive and forgiving.

From Self-Compassion:

The best way to counteract self-criticism, therefore, is to understand it, have compassion for it, and then replace it with a kinder response… Reframe the observations made by your inner critic in a kind, friendly, positive way.

Imagine someone who loves you (like Grandmom) saying the kind words. Research shows this delivers serious results.

From Self-Compassion:

Practitioners first instruct patients to generate an image of a safe place to help counter any fears that may arise. They are then instructed to create an ideal image of a caring and compassionate figure… The training resulted in significant reductions in depression, self-attacking, feelings of inferiority, and shame.

You need to dispute negative thoughts and reframe them into something positive. Every time that critical voice starts yammering, instead imagine Grandmom giving supportive advice.

This is only a small part of his post about how to be your best self.  The whole thing is worth a read.

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Negotiation Tactics

Of course some of this is right up to and maybe over the line of manipulation.  But a lot of it is NOT, and is just dealing with how we are wired as humans in a way that is constructive for everyone.  The Chris referred to in this post is Chris Voss.  He was the FBI’s lead international hostage negotiator and he’s the author of an excellent new book: “Never Split The Difference.”

From theladders.com:

  • Don’t be direct: Direct usually comes off as rude, no matter your intentions. Be nice and slow it down.
  • Don’t try to get them to say “yes”: Pushing for a “yes” makes people defensive. Try to get a “no.”
  • Do an “accusation audit”: Acknowledge all the negative things they think about you to defuse them.
  • Let them feel in control: People want autonomy. Ask questions and let them feel like they’re in charge.
  • The two magic words they need to say: Summarize their position to trigger a “That’s right.”
  • Listen for levers: They might only need the orange peel. Listen, listen, listen.
  • Keep asking “How am I supposed to do that?”: Let them solve your problems for you.

Emotions are critical. Most deals end because of negative feelings and most deals close because people like one another. So don’t alienate the other side — unless you are trying to kill the deal. (And that’s an effective technique as well.)

But what you really want to do is what that magic phrase “How am I supposed to do that?” accomplishes so well. It allows you to say “no” without making an enemy. Chris sums it up nicely in his book with a quote.

From Never Split The Difference:

“He who learns to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.”

Discussions and negotiations aren’t about war or winning. It’s about finding a way for everyone to get what they want and to be happy with what they get. For the people closest to us, it’s also about understanding them better through listening.

And that’s what builds relationships that last.

A little more detail on the keys I found most interesting:

1) Don’t be direct

Straightforward and honest are good qualities. But when you’re too direct in a negotiation or heated discussion, it can come off as blunt and rude. You sound like you don’t care about the other side and just want what you want.

Skipping listening, empathy, and rapport is what turns an easily resolved dilemma into a fight. And you never want to turn a discussion into a war. Be nice and slow it down. Here’s Chris:

Don’t think, “I’m a very direct and honest person. I want people to be direct and honest with me, so I’m going to be direct and honest with you.” Well, that happens to come across as being very blunt and overly aggressive. If I’m not aware that my direct and honest approach is actually offensive to you, then I’ll be mystified as to what your problem is. Meanwhile, dealing with me might feel like getting hit in the face with a brick.

“Cutting to the chase” can feel like an attack. So slow down. Smile. Use a friendly tone or a calm voice.

3) You need to do an “accusation audit”

If it’s an argument with a loved one or a business negotiation that’s headed south, the other side probably has made some accusations about you. “You don’t listen” or “You’re being unfair.

And the common response is to start your reply with “I’m not ____.” You deny their feelings. Boom — you just lost the patient, doctor. They now assume you’re not on the same page. That they can’t trust you.

So what does Chris say to do instead? List every terrible thing they could say about you.

6) Listen for levers

Sometimes you feel you have no leverage. But Chris believes there is always leverage. You just have to find it. And you do that by listening and asking questions — which nicely builds rapport and makes your counterpart feel in control at the same time.

Negotiation is not a fight. It’s a process of discovery. When you know their real needs, the real reasons they are resisting you, then you’re able to address those directly and problem-solve.

What’s interesting to me is that they use the word “levers” and “leverage.”  I guess you can look at it that way, but really you are looking for points of agreement and ways to make a situation win-win.

7) “How am I supposed to do that?”

Playing dumb works. In fact, being helpless works too. Asking “How am I supposed to do that?” is deceptively powerful.

It gets them to solve your problems for you and in a way they deem acceptable. 

From Never Split The Difference:

Calibrated “How” questions are a surefire way to keep negotiations going. They put pressure on your counterpart to come up with answers, and to contemplate your problems when making their demands… The trick to “How” questions is that, correctly used, they are gentle and graceful ways to say “No” and guide your counterpart to develop a better solution — yoursolution.

By getting the other side to think about your situation it very often gets them to grant concessions. And they’re concessions that they’re okay with and will likely stick to because it was their idea to offer them. Here’s Chris:

You want to make the other side take an honest look at your situation. It’s the first way of saying “no” where you’re doing a lot of things simultaneously. You’re making the other side take a look at you. You make them feel in control, because it’s a good “how” question. You don’t want to say it as an accusation. You want to say it deferentially, because there’s great power in deference. You want to find out if they’re going to collaborate with you. 9 times out of 10, you get a response that’s really very good.

Keep asking it. In hostage negotiations Chris would ask it over and over: “How do we know the hostage is safe?” “We don’t have that kind of money. How are we supposed to get it?” “But how do we deliver the ransom to you?”

Now I know what some of you are thinking… Eventually they’re going to say, “You’re just going to have to figure it out.” And that’s fine. That’s the signal you haven’t “left any money on the table.”

This last point is a great one.  It’s the classic way that women get their ideas heard in meetings.  One important point that he left out here is that you can steer the “how” questions to lead to the idea that you have.  Of course, as women are painfully aware, this leads to you getting credit for exactly zero ideas.

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Making and Keeping Friends

From Eric Barker:

This is how to make emotionally intelligent friendships:

  • Know thyself: To get the friendships you want, you have to know what you want.
    • How many friends would you optimally have? What level of closeness do you need? How frequently do you want to communicate? You want to ask yourself, “What features of a friendship will be most fulfilling to me in the long run?
  • Make time: More accurately, make it a priority. We all waste time. So, uh, just don’t waste time alone.
  • Must, Trust, Rust, Just: The first two are key. Strengthen the “must” and try to elevate the “trust.”
    • “Must” friends: The inner circle. The closest of the close.
    • “Trust” friends: Not inner circle, but people you trust, share confidences with and know are there for you.
    • “Rust” friends: They’re pals simply because you’ve known them a long time. (If it had more than that, they’d be “must” or “trust.”)
    • “Just” friends: Closer than acquaintances and you may see them regularly with a group, but you’re not tight with them and don’t have a big shared history.
  • Be proactive: In case you need confirmation, waiting for the phone to ring does not, in fact, make the phone ring.
  • Communication: Create safety, be vulnerable, be emotionally expressive and use active listening. And a sincere compliment never hurt either, beautiful.
  • Upkeep: You’re not too busy to send a text message every two weeks. If you think you’ll forget, put it in your calendar.

And what should you look for when meeting new folks who might become future “must” or “trust” friends? All the research agrees: similarity is key. Not only does it draw us to people, it also makes friendships more likely to last.

From Buddy System:

Similarities also occur when tastes and interests match up, and similarities make friendships easier to maintain. And, unless you are interested in hanging out with people who make you feel bad about yourself (not a good interest to have), finding someone who conveys that you are likeable to them will be very reinforcing to your self-esteem.

Beyond similarity, you should also look for people you want to learn something from. Since you took the time to sit down and “know thyself,” think about the person you want to be. Your best self.
Who do you want to rub off on you? To make you a better spouse, parent, worker or human being?

Research shows your friends often know you better than you know yourself. So not only does being closer to friends make your life better, it’s also the path to getting to know yourself better.

Read the whole thing.  The details are important.

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Critical Thinking

From Scientific American

University of Waterloo psychologist Igor Grossmann and his colleagues argue that most intelligence tests fail to capture real-world decision-making and our ability to interact well with others. This is, in other words, perhaps why “smart” people, do “dumb” things.

The ability to think critically, on the other hand, has been associated with wellness and longevity. Though often confused with intelligence, critical thinking is not intelligence. Critical thinking is a collection of cognitive skills that allow us to think rationally in a goal-orientated fashion, and a disposition to use those skills when appropriate. Critical thinkers are amiable skeptics. They are flexible thinkers who require evidence to support their beliefs and recognize fallacious attempts to persuade them. Critical thinking means overcoming all sorts of cognitive biases (e.g., hindsight bias, confirmation bias).

Critical thinking predicts a wide range of life events. In a series of studies, conducted in the U.S. and abroad, my colleagues and I have found that critical thinkers experience fewer bad things in life. We asked people to complete an inventory of life events and take a critical thinking assessment (the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment). The critical thinking assessment measures five components of critical thinking skills including verbal reasoning, argument analysis, hypothesis testing, probability and uncertainty, decision-making, and problem-solving. The inventory of negative life events captures different domains of life such as academic (e.g., I forgot about an exam), health (e.g., I contracted a sexually transmitted infection because I did not wear a condom), legal (e.g., I was arrested for driving under the influence), interpersonal (e.g., I cheated on my romantic partner who I had been with for over a year), financial (e.g., I have over $5,000 of credit card debt), etc. Repeatedly, we found that critical thinkers experience fewer negative life events. This is an important finding because there is plenty of evidence that critical thinking can be taught and improved.

 

How to teach critical thinking:

The Foundation for Critical Thinking

Our conception of critical thinking is based on the substantive approach developed by Dr. Richard Paul and his colleagues at the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking over multiple decades. It is relevant to every subject, discipline, and profession, and to reasoning through the problems of everyday life. It entails five essential dimensions of critical thinking:

  1. The analysis of thought.
  2. The assessment of thought.
  3. The dispositions of thought.
  4. The skills and abilities of thought.
  5. The obstacles or barriers to critical thought.

Critical Thinking.NET

Underlying Strategies

(The three underlying strategies are “Reflection, Reasons, Alternatives” (RRA):

1. Urge students to be Reflective, to stop and think, instead of making snap judgments, or accepting the first idea that comes into their heads, or automatically accepting whatever is presented in the media.

2. Gently ask such questions as “How do you know”, “What are the reasons?” and “Is that a good source of information?” thus prodding them to have good Reasons for their views and to seek reasons for others’ views.

3. Emphasize alertness for Alternative hypotheses, conclusions, explanations, sources of evidence, points of view, plans, etc.

 

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