Monthly Archives: June 2019

How to influence people and make friends

In this post, you’ll find a few ideas on how to influence people and make friends.

 

Life is about influence. What we think about is that money is important, but the reason why this is so is that money has the power to move people. We think money makes things happen, but the truth is that money makes people do things for you because people love and need money. Which means that most people get the whole money thing wrong. Most people think that the world is run by money which is true only in a surface level kind of thinking. In a deeper level money buys us influence.

We’re all deep down aware of this, so much so that we can’t help but feel at awe of people who are able to move and touch the hearts of lots of people through their words, from seducers to politicians. So at the end of the day instead of one, there are actually two ways to get what we want in life: 1) through hardworking our way into money based influence, or 2) through emotional intelligencing our way into the hearts of people.

How to influence people and make friends

So how does one influence people and makes friends? The first question is: why do you need friends in the first place?

The answer to this question can have a back and forth kind of effect over your friendship network and the way you live your life. Meaning that the attitude you have about friendships can dictate your friendships, and as a result also the way they influence the way you live your life, and the way you live your life can influence the kinds of friendships you have.

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If you’re needy then you’re more likely to have your friendships take over your life which is not ideal since each human being is at the end of the day out there for him/herself. Which means that each attempt to please is like a chess move in favour of the opponent with the probability that the beneficial move is not even a gambit. Being needy is a problem, and being able to tell when you have that problem is crucial.  Neediness comes from the sense of insecurity and the need for the approval of others. Which is totally a part of human nature but completely detrimental for your future if your goal is to take your fate by your hands.

So, are you needy? The point is that your friendships should enhance your life, if not as a stepping stone for your life goals, at least for the purpose of enjoying life for its own sake since as far as we know… there is only one.

Have a clear idea of the end goal

When it comes to friendships the most important thing is just like goals to know what you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to create more connections behaviours that increase your connectivity to people in a deeper level is the way to go. If all you want is to have people who will get you closer to your vision, the kind of behaviour that increases debt and value over time with each member of your network might be the way to go.

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Connection

When the goal is to increase the depth of your relationships with other members of the human race the tested and proven strategy has always been to train yourself into thinking their way by wearing their shoes. The number one question is always: “what would x do or want in this situation/from me?” The strategy here is not to think about what ought to be, but what is. The strategy is to get in the minds of the people you want to connect with not to take advantage of them but to as Steve Jobs would have said: show them what they really want. Being that what they really want is more powerful than the things they tell you in words that they want since when they do find what they really want, no words in the dictionary are enough to explain the array of feelings they feel regardless of language.

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This is the kind of thing the ultimate seducer/politician is looking for. The things/desires you want/have that you don’t even know you deep down want/have. This requires living in the head of the target, which eventually makes you the target of your own conquests. You genuinely like what your target likes because you now think the way they think. Hell… for a second you’re them even, and you as you know a foreigner because you feel the way they feel… no more no less.

 

Logic

The other way to go about it is also dependent on your goal, that is if your goal is to not connect with the human race, which is fine, but to advance your now perceived to be “selfish” cause. Here it’s easy to make the mistake of using deception towards other fellow human beings to get what you want since you don’t really care about what people think right? Wrong! You might not need people to love you, in the same way that anyone who seeks for connection does, but the truth is that human beings can as much as you can deny have a role on your overall happiness and misery. Just think about the concept of bullying. If we really are the masters of our destiny, why do some people commit suicide when rejected by their peers?

The point is that even when our goal is not to connect, we have to connect nonetheless. Not the kind of fake connection we learn about in books of persuasion, but the kind of connection in which the other side of the table knows what you’re about and is ok about it. What I mean is the kind of connection of the kind of which you want to be as useful as possible to the other person, so that through the power of the reciprocity bias they urge to be as useful as they can for you back. In essence, you get what you want by making sure the people who can help you get what you want get what they want. It’s that simple.

In a world of sceptics, the only thing that makes sense is results. If A wants B, and A can give you C, the most effective way to have C is to find a way give B to A, and show them you can do it.

We’re all self-involved. We want people to go by our principles because we think our principles are the most principled of the principles. What we forget is that chances are that our regards for our principles come not from the fact that they’re right but from the fact that they’re ours. The truth is that we are biased towards ourselves, and the way to get what we want in a world of logic not emotions, is to learn to be biased towards the other person, whoever that person is. No matter how illiterate or stupid.

So how do you make friends and influence people In a world of logic? You do it by being as useful as possible. You do it by being the tool of others who by themselves are the tools of the tool. Both A and B are special because they are people, but they are as human as they are tools. They’re both aware of it, and they are both OK about it.

Summary

The final thing to talk about is honesty. The ability to tell things the way they are is one of the most desired traits in all areas of life. So many potentially great relationships fall because of this lack of clarity and straightforwardness. This means saying what you have on your mind and what you hope to get from the relationship. The idea is to be as honest as possible about it, and if you can manage doing it without making the other person feel bad about it, they might even thank you for it. This is like criticism. We often hide passive aggressiveness behind it and when called on it we label what we’re doing as constructive criticism. True constructive criticism is more than just telling the person about their weaknesses with no regard for their feelings, but also this added concern for their feelings, since doing the opposite will just make them less likely to listen to what you have to say, the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish.

The one who is recklessly honest is of the same kind as their honesty: just reckless. The one who avoids honesty completely intentionally or not puts the relationship in jeopardy, taking it a step closer to the breaking point. So, honesty for what you want and feel without being aggressive about it, and clarity on what you really want is what to aim for when on your journey to influencing people and making friends.

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉

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How To Find Inspiration To Write

In this post you’ll find a few ideas on how to find inspiration to write.

The thing about any field/area that requires one to come up with ideas is that, well, there is usually no cut and dry way to go about it. Most people when asked about it will give you vague advice. As for every other area of life, the literature is beaming with how-to content detailed in such  a way that given enough time and patience, one can learn to use and master pretty much any algorithm to do anything.

Being creative is one of these things we can’t even call difficult/hard, because the notion of difficulty or hardness implies that the sledge hammer of all problem solving techniques namely effort and trial and error, when applied will invariably produce results. The crazy thing about it is that the opposite often is the case. Meaning that when the moment comes that we run out of ideas, and we fall for the temptation of applying the strategy described above, it is this exact approach that pushes the creative winds away from us instead of bringing them closer. This approach stresses the brain, which for most people tends to make them more close minded. And the more close minded they become, the greater the level of stress, and on and on, until the only way to get out of this vicious cycle is to take a break.

How to find inspiration to write

Finding inspiration to write can be seen as a smaller problem that makes part of the larger scale problem of how to find inspiration. Like in many areas of life and science, it is often by thinking about broader problems that we find solutions for the small, and vice versa. Below are a few ideas.

Just do it

The first idea on how to find inspiration to write and pretty much any kind of inspiration is to just do it. I thought of telling you to decide what you want to write about first, but as you’re probably aware of, most of the time we don’t even know the subject we want to write about in the first place. The reason why this approach can be effective is not because the perfect idea will fall on your lap fully formed, but because most of the time, a great idea is just like a combination of genes. The parent genes here are the parts of other seemingly unrelated ideas, that when put together make up something new. The problem of trying to come up with one fully formed and perfect idea all at once is that they tend to not be as deep.

So, when you just start writing, with no regard for the subject, you open your mind to an array of possible subjects to write about, and with this openness, we increase the odds that two or more ideas will be paired into something deeper and more meaningful to write about.

This idea comes from the business concept of brainstorming, where a team, trying to come up with the next idea to work on, eventually stumbles into something no individual would have come up by itself, since the ideas they had in their heads where just a part of the more complex and powerful big picture idea the group came up with.

Sleep on it

This idea comes from the area of problem solving, if there is such an area in the first place. When faced with a difficult problem, professionals, regardless of field, tend to take this approach when they notice their efforts to solving the problem at the moment became fruitless. Often it is the case that the answer for their questions come up as a flash to them, supposedly with little to no effort from their part and usually in moments they’re not even thinking about the problem in the first place. It’s as if the mind actively hides the solution for the problem, and only when they “give up” on it is that it finally reveals the solution.

Well, it’s now known in psychology and neuroscience that even after we “give up” on the problem the mind is working on it in a subconscious level. We think we’re only problem solving when we’re actively trying to solve the problem, but the truth is that the problem solving process is much deeper than that. The way to trigger this mechanism is to pay enough attention and try to actively solve the problem in question in the first place. Just thinking about it might not be enough. You have to put some initial effort, and even be willing to go through bouts of frustration before you can earn the right to put the problem away. Think of it in the following way: the more time you put trying to solve the problem, the more the subconscious will be convinced that the problem really is a big deal.

The same idea can be applied to the creative process, since problem solving can be easily seen/perceived as just another side of creativity. If you’re old enough I’m sure you’ve heard a story or two of people who stumbled into brilliant ideas when they least expected after days or weeks of creative effort. Just like a mathematician who finally cracks a problem after months or years of work.

Expose your mind to more

We think of creativity as the kind of thing that either you have  or not. We have this tendency to think that it comes 100% from within, which is not true. A part of being creative is combining things you experienced/ know about in a new  way. What we forget is that to be creative or be inspired we need to be inspired about something. Only a person who has experienced what being in love feels like can gain the inspiration to write a novel about the feeling. Only a person who understands the basics of physics can gain inspiration/insight about how the physical world works.

So, in a way our creativity is limited to the range of things we exposed ourselves  or experienced up to any particular moment. The greater the number and richness of experiences we have, the greater the number of things can feel inspired and creative about. It’s true that creativity is at the time of this writing not completely understood and that for some reason some people or some mental states really do produce more with less. But to rely on the possibility that you might be that kind of person might render your creative efforts fruitless. Here you go about it by using a large numbers strategy, in which just like the salesman who relies not on the possibility that he might be likable enough to produce record sales, but who instead goes about it by knocking on as many doors as he possibly can.

I learned this from the motivational Speaker Jim Rohn, who called it “The law of averages”, in which according to him, at the beginning of any sales carrier, the salesman/woman begins with some predefined success ratio. His/hers success ratio might be low, and it probably will be, but that’s not the point. The point is that the rate is always positive no matter how small. And since chances are that it will be small, the way to make more sales and improve your sales skills is by increase the number of attempts to make a sale.

Learn to be critical at the right time

We live in a time of extremes. Meaning, we’re either at one extreme or another. We’re either super positive or super negative. We either believe the world is better than it ever been or we believe that the world is at its worst. The truth is that extremes rarely portray the truth. The truth is that often it is the case that “the golden mean” is the case.

The point for this point is to do the hardest thing you can possibly do. Not to be pessimistic in an age of blind optimism, but to master the art of being pessimistic and optimistic at the right time.

Most of us fall for one way of operation or another. We’re either optimistic all the way, which often causes a disconnect between what we think is good, and the way the public feels about our work, or too pessimistic, to the extent that it prevents us from getting to the sparks of creativity that lead us to innovative writing, of the kind that opens  even old minds.

In an age of optimism what is hard is not to be pessimistic, but to be pessimistic and positive at the right time for the right amount. Because that’s what writing is about. With the openness that comes from being optimistic ideas come more easily, in the same way that children open themselves for the kinds of adult who are less judgemental. With the closeness that comes from being pessimistic delusion is removed from the writing, at least as much as the subconscious allows, making it more likely that truly great ideas grow through the paragraphs, and the weeds of bad ideas are weeded out.

In the end of the day, the truth is that being clear minded is one of the hardest things one can aspire to be, since it often is the case that when we’re not, we feel as if we were, sometimes even with the highest degrees of confidence. So, the solution for this problem is simple: find a person you trust who will be able to tell you when the great is great, and when the terrible is terrible, since by ourselves, there is always the chance that our biases towards our work are so shiny to the extent that they blind us to the truth, and the truth is very important, and probably the only thing that matters.

Summary

So inspiration, whether to write or compose, is more than just finding a spark of ideas that seem great. It is also about being able to recognize when we’ve stumbled into something great, because this is the deciding factor on whether we should keep digging the same hole or start all over somewhere else.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉

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How to be more positive in life

In this post you’ll find  a few ideas on how to be more positive in life.

The way you approach the world around you, and how you react to it is one of the biggest contributors to what you get from it. When in times of crises, the overall mindset is one of pessimism, and when in times of prosperity, the overall mindset tends to be one of optimism.

We react to the mood of the times in the same way a cell that happens to be a part of a diseased organ absorbs its diseased state. And yet, there are some people out there who manage to keep an up beat spirit no matter how challenging the moment. When the country is in the middle of a losing battle, these are the people who bring inspiration and motivation from the  feelings of desperation, and uplift the overall morale of the people in the process.

I’m talking about the kind of people who can keep going no matter how bad the times, and who are able to somehow believe something good will come as long as they keep pressing forward.

How to be more positive in life

When we think about the idea of being positive, most of us think delusion. This is because there are people out there whose positivity comes from a delusional basis. I’m talking about the kind of people who would avoid going to the doctor when they feel sick, because they think that just because they believe so deeply in whatever divinity they believe in, the disease that afflicts them will miraculously heal itself. So, because of that kind of people, most of us with some common sense can’t help but to feel some aversion to the mere thought of being positive for the sake of being positive. The problem with that is that being positive has its own advantages/benefits.  For starters, it’s what allows us to keep moving forward even when everything seems hopeless, and to go back to the fight after a defeat, regardless of how bad it was. Without that, quitting becomes a part of who you are, since you’re unable to see the light, when there is no apparent light. Learning to be positive is important.

Make it a habit

The first thing one can do to become more positive in life is to make it a habit. Our thought patterns, just like our routines are/become literally hardwired in our brains. If you created the habit of brushing your teeth everyday since you were little, you probably know how uncomfortable it is to not brush your teeth for a single day. The automatic part of you takes over when you make habits, and it makes those habits more and more likely to be repeated as you repeat them. The same goes for the kinds of things you chose to think about, and how you chose to think about them.

Learning to be positive can be as simple as making a conscious effort to see the good in every situation, no matter how bad. This is a part of the book The obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday, which in essence teaches us the art of overcoming obstacles.

So there is lots of power that come from establishing the right kind of habits, especially when one of them is that habit of thinking positive regardless of circumstance. This way you don’t have to think about it, and just like a computer program scheduled to run everyday at the same time, your neuro-program runs every time you need it requiring little to no effort to do so. If you worry that habits just like meditation are the kind of thing that requires a decade of sustained dedication, you can relax because according to recent science, all it takes on average is really just as little as 66 days.

Back it up with work

Being positive just like being confident is widely a product of reality. Meaning that whatever state of mind or feelings you have at the moment you have so for a reason. A good way to think about feelings and emotions is that of a thermostat. The device senses and reflects to what’s happening on its immediate environment. In essence if life is good, you’re more likely to feel confident and positive, and vice-versa.

We tend to feel negative when our expectations for the future are not positive, and in general we feel like that when we find ourselves making no progress in life. We need to keep getting better than we were in the past, and failing to do that is a reason for unhappiness.

So, another solution to feeling more positive is to do something. Pick a goal and go after it. Chose an area in your life,  be that relationships, school, your body or career, and make a deliberate effort to improve it each day that goes by. After a while the changes that come from this change in attitude will affect not only your life, but your attitude about it. It might not be the case that you’ve gotten your six pack, or the love of your life assuming that’s what you were aiming for, but the mere fact that you’re going forward towards something you’d love to have in your life can often be enough to improve your outlook in life.

Pay attention to the people around you

Sometimes our lack of positivity comes from not the inside, but from the outside. As much as we love to think of ourselves as independent beings immune to external influence, we are more affected by the people we spend most of our time around than we think. Spend enough time with negative people, and soon enough a part of that negativity will rub on you. Spend enough time with positive and motivated people, and soon enough that positivity and motivation will rub off on you. You don’t believe it? Well you shouldn’t believe on anything just because a stranger you’ve never met tells you to in a blog post. Just make an experiment on yourself. Start by deciding whether the people you spend most of your time around are of the positive/negative kind. Then make a deliberate effort to spend more time with people of the opposite kind, and take notes on how you feel before and after.

Again we’re like sensors of the environment we find ourselves in, and sooner or later we become what we spend most of our time around. In some cases we instinctively move away from people like that, and with luck manage to keep our level of positivity. The opposite is also common, meaning that when we find ourselves in the presence of a very positive person, our tendency is to want to spend more and more time around them.

Be more reliant on yourself

The last strategy to being more positive in life is to rely on you and you alone to get what you want. We live in a time in which for every failure of character one can have, there is an easy to find person to blame it to. If you’re lazy and not driven to accomplish anything in life, the easiest people to blame are your parents. You can just pull the “they didn’t raise me right” card. If you can’t find a good job you can blame on the rich, and how they “control” everything. As for everything else you can blame the government and their policies for which you probably have little understanding about, and even if you do probably have little to no real impact to your life.

The point is that when we blame other people for our failures we become powerless, and people only care about the things that are about themselves. Waiting for some someone to come and fix your life for you just because you complained about it is a losing strategy. And this level of powerlessness is one of the biggest reasons why thinking positive can be difficult sometimes.

So, the solution is to take everything to your own hands. Even for the things you had little control over. Someone promised you a deal and didn’t come through on the last minute and your whole business failed? Well…you could have known or try to know beforehand with more certainty whether they were the kind of people who would do that kind of thing in the first place. You could have thought about potential backups, and on,.. and on. The point is that there is always something we can do to further our cause, no matter how difficult/little the odds. What you have to do is to accept this fact.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉

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