Our desire to be happy drives most of the things we do in life.
If we’re happy, we’re more likely to:
- Do things that will make a positive difference.
- Make a bigger impact on those we interact with.
- Be in a better frame of mind to make changes to move us closer to our goals.
- Have a health attitude, which will affect what we do daily.
- Have a higher level of self-confidence and self-esteem.
While we may have different ways of pursuing happiness, our intentions are almost always the same — to do things in life that will make us a happier person.
The interesting thing is we’re never really taught how to be a happy person. The idea of being happy in life is something that’s meant to just happen, usually based on our daily habits and the quality of our relationships.
There are always ideas we can learn and apply in order to generate and experience more happiness.
The ability to persuade or influence others is a valuable skill to have.
We’re constantly being persuaded in our daily lives through advertising messages, conversations we have or things we’re required to get done. The more persuasive we are, the quicker and easier we can accomplish what we want.
What does it mean to be a persuasive person?
Being a persuasive person means being able to positively affect the thoughts, emotions and actions of another person to accomplish a desired outcome, that’s beneficial to both.
A persuasive person is able to build a picture of a better result or future in the mind’s eye of another person and cause that person to willingly take action to make that result or future a reality.
Some of the characteristics of persuasive people include:
- They’re goal-oriented.
- They’re future or possibility thinkers.
- They tend to show leadership qualities.
- They focused and effective.
- They like getting things done.
The more persuasive we become, the better results we’ll achieve for ourselves and others.
Our dreams are a representation of who we are and what we consider to be important to us.
From an early age, we all have dreams and part of our journey in life is making those dreams come true. Even though we have dreams that are important to us, many people stop pursuing their them and one of the biggest reasons is they believe it’s too late or they are too old.
Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, says, “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
People often justify giving up on their dreams by saying they’re being responsible or the time isn’t right. There will never be a perfect time to do something because things or conditions are always changing.
If those who aren’t willing to pursue their dreams are honest with themselves, they’ll admit they have some level of fear and resistance that’s preventing them from taking the necessary steps to make their dreams come true.
The truth is we’re never too old to purse our dreams!
In the 1990s, there was a single mum, with a young daughter, who was struggling to make ends meet, living on government aid in the UK. Having put away her dreams of being a writer for many years, she felt she had nothing else going for her except to write a story that she felt compelled to share.
We experience competition in our daily interactions. Being competitive has both benefits and disadvantages.
On the negative side, being competitive can be viewed as being self-centred, aggressive, inflexible and self-absorbed. Those who are competitive because they have to win at all costs often create more stress for themselves and those they interact with.
The origin of the word competition means “to enter or be put in rivalry with.” Competition is part of our lives from sports competition to educational and career competition.
Like most things in life, we can use being competitive to our advantage. We can harness it in a way that will assist us making faster progress towards the outcomes we want.
When I was in my early twenties as a university student, I was extremely competitive at sports. I hated losing and oftentimes, if I believed I could not win at a sport, I would not even participate. To me, winning was the reason why I played sport competitively.
Looking back, that was a very limited way of thinking and wasn’t healthy.
Our ability to keep making progress when things aren’t going our way is critical if we want to accomplish the things we want.
Challenges, setbacks, obstacles or roadblocks are all part of the process whenever we pursue things that are important to us. Whenever things don’t go our way, it can be easy to lose motivation or not feel inspired to do what needs to be done.
Difference Between Inspiration and Motivation
Inspiration and motivation are both necessary if we want to stay on course and achieve our objectives.
Inspiration is internally generated. This can be ignited by a desire or passion to do something or achieve a particular objective.
Motivation is usually triggered by something external, however there are two types of motivation—intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is generated from within, whereas extrinsic motivation is triggered by an external source, whether it’s to gain a reward or avoid some type of consequence.
Motivation usually gets us started, whereas inspiration and our habits is what keeps us going.
While both are important, the challenge of relying on external motivation is that when something doesn’t go our way, which is an external event, it can cause us to slow down or even quit on what we’re pursuing.
Being able to find inspiration again when things aren’t going our way can make all the difference whether we achieve something or not.
One thing we all have in common is the desire to continually grow and evolve. Making progress is a sign we’re headed somewhere in life.
Since an early age in life, we’ve been able to use our imagination to dream of the things we want to do, experience or have. Whether we’ve been able to achieve or live our dreams or not is an indicator if we’ve lived a good life or not.
There are important differences between those who dream up a dream and achieve it versus those who don’t achieve their dreams. It’s been said that a dream cannot come true if we don’t have a dream to begin with.
What often makes a dream more concrete is to convert it into a goal. While dreams are often intangible and unquantifiable, goals on the other hand, are more tangible and measurable. A simple distinction is a goal is a dream with a deadline.
Having dreams means we:
- Have something to aim for.
- Are challenging ourselves to grow.
- Have a desire for something better.
- Are keeping ourselves motivated.
- Are not settling for what we already have.
Knowing how to stay focused on our dreams and be able to get back on track if we start heading in the wrong direction is beneficial if we want to get closer to and eventually achieve our dreams.
We all go through difficult times in life and how we deal with them often defines who we are and who we become.
The better we can handle tough times, the better our chances of not letting those experiences slow us down or stop us from making progress towards what we want. As the saying goes, “Tough people are built for tough times.”
The challenge we face is that if we don’t handle the difficult times in our lives well, it can:
- Create unnecessary mental anguish.
- Cause us to have mental or emotional breakdowns.
- Place additional strain on our relationships.
- Cause us physical pain or trigger other symptoms in our bodies.
- Lower our motivation to do the things we want to.
Having reminders whenever we go through a difficult time will help us cope better and also overcome it easier and faster.
Our capacity to produce the results we want and be the best we can be is closely related to the way we use our mind.
The better we use our mind, the more effective we’ll be, which will translate to the type of results we achieve. The more cluttered our mind, the less effective we’ll be.
If we have too many things cluttering our minds, it means our units of attention, or our ability to focus, is being taken up by different things, which will result in less attention being given to the things we want to do.
In order to more effectively use our minds, we have to give it better attention. Our thoughts form the key contents of our minds. The better we learn to harness our thoughts, the more effective we’ll be.
We’ll never get rid of all our thoughts and it should not be the objective. Our objective should be to free up mental units attention so that we can direct more attention to doing the things that’ll cause us to have greater progress in life.
Our ability to influence people determines how much of an impact we can make.
If we want to make a bigger impact in the world, we have to become better at influencing other people. The dictionary defines influence as “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour and opinions of others.”
Influencing someone can often be mistaken as trying to manipulate a person but there is a significant difference. Manipulation is getting someone to do something in an unfair or forceful manner, whereas influence is getting someone to buy into something that can be a benefit to everyone involved.
When done correctly, a person who has been influenced to take a particular action, should feel they’re taking that action because they want to, and not because they were forced or manipulated into doing it.
Some of the benefits of becoming a more influential person includes:
- Expanding other people’s vision of what’s possible.
- Leveraging resources, knowledge and skills to reach outcomes quicker.
- Guiding others to look at things from different perspectives.
- Becoming a more confident and powerful person.
- Assisting others to achieve what they want in life.
Having strong influence skills can make a huge difference in our lives. On the other hand, if we make common influence mistakes, it’ll be challenging to achieve what we want, which will also affect others getting what they want.
Learning to not take things personally can be very challenging because we’ve been conditioned from a young age to be influenced by external situations.
Taking things personally means an event or experience that didn’t go the way we expected it to, has caused us to feel some type of negative emotion, whether it’s sadness, disappointment, frustration, anger or lower motivation.
Why do we take things personally?
Some of the reasons why we take things personally include:
- We allow an event that happened to mean something about us and our identity.
- Our beliefs and values, which we conclude to be true for us, have been violated in some way.
- We’re insecure and find it difficult to accept the aspects of ourselves that are imperfect.
We’re all doing the best we can to live life. The danger of taking things personally is that we’re being influenced by external situations or things outside of ourselves. Instead of living from the inside out, we’re living from the outside in.
One of the most valuable things we can learn in order to have a higher level of self-awareness is to not take things personally, especially when things don’t go as planned.