The Empowerment of Saying No

Humans are social creatures, and most of us crave attention and acceptance.  The rub is that we often haven’t a clue how to get it, so we cave to authority figures in the name of being a “team player.”  Here’s a better way:

20 Enlightening Quotes About Self-Esteem…

You Need To Read Right Now

1.  Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.

— Karl Lagerfeld

2.  I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.

— Charlotte Brontë

3.  The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.

— Mark Twain

4.  One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.

— Michael J. Fox

5.  When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.

— Jodi Picoult

6.  The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.

— C. Joybell C.

7.  You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.

— Yogi Bhajan

8.  How would your life be different if…you stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others

— Steve Maraboli

9.  Insecure people only eclipse your sun because they’re jealous of your daylight and tired of their dark, starless nights.

— Shannon L. Alder

10.  Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.

—Marcus Aurelius

11.  What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

12.  To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

— Oscar Wilde

13.  No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

14.  Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

— Dale Carnegie

15.  A human being‘s first responsibility is to shake hands with himself.

— Henry Winkler

16.  The greatest success is successful self-acceptance.

— Ben Sweet

17.  Self-love, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.

— William Shakespeare

18.  Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.

— Deborah Day

19.  You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

— Maya Angelou

20.  The things we hate about ourselves aren’t more real than things we like about ourselves.

How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them

by Dr. Kerry Petsinger

He looked shocked.

I was having a conversation recently with a guy who was telling me about his nephew, a high school senior. “He should be an engineer,” the guy told me. “Engineers make great money. The job market for engineers is good. My nephew should definitely become an engineer. Don’t ya think?”

“No,” I said.

(That’s when he stared at me, stunned).

“What?” he replied.

“No,” I repeated. “I don’t know your nephew. What are his strengths?”

“His strengths?”

“Yes, his strengths. What are his strengths, his gifts, his passions? What is he interested in?”

“Passion?” The guy scoffed. “Nobody chooses a job based on PASSION!”

I calmly replied, “It’s important for him to discover who he is…what his strengths, passions, and interests are…” and he looked at me like I was speaking gibberish.

I haven’t seen the guy again, and am not sure which career path his nephew will choose. But I know one thing for sure: if the nephew doesn’t understand himself, and if engineering doesn’t align with his strengths, passions, and interests, it might not be a great decision to become one.

We’re all guilty of making bad decisions. These decisions can greatly affect the course of our life. Whether we get involved in relationships that aren’t good for us, choose a career that doesn’t light us up, neglect our self-care repeatedly… we make bad decisions at times.

Why So Many People Make Bad Decisions

Making bad decisions can drastically change your life, leaving you unfulfilled and dissatisfied. When people make recurring poor decisions, they may not reach their potential.

People make bad decisions for many reasons. Their mindsets, lack of self-expertise, and following societal norms are three of the reasons they make poor decisions.

Your Mindset Determines the Quality of Your Decisions

Mindset, according to Merriam-Webster, is a mental attitude or inclination. It is important to recognize that your mental attitudes and inclinations are present and can greatly affect your ability to make decent decisions. Living your best life starts with your mindset. If you think small, make decisions based on limiting beliefs, and consistently avoid taking meaningful action due to fear, you will never reach your full potential.

Jim Taylor, PhD, explains cognitive biases as:1

“the tendency to make decisions and take action based on imited acquisition and/or processing of information or on self-interest, overconfidence, or attachment to past experience.”

He describes many cognitive biases. One bias, the myopia bias, he explains, is when you

“see and interpret the world through the narrow lens of your own experiences, baggage, beliefs, and assumptions.”

The homecoming queen/king bias, Dr. Taylor writes, is when you “act in ways that will increase our acceptance, liking, and popularity.”

When you make decisions based on your cognitive biases, your choices aren’t always wise. It’s important to realize your mental inclinations are present.

Understand Yourself, but Don’t Let Your Feelings Lead You Astray

If we aren’t self-experts, it’s hard to make good decisions. Lions are amazing, strong, powerful, majestic animals. They know where they belong in the food chain, and they know where to live. They know how to hunt and how to act. However, what if a lion didn’t understand this, and attempted to live in the ocean? Surely it would NOT thrive in the ocean. The same goes for us. If we don’t understand who we are at the core, it’s hard to make the best choices that enable us to fully thrive.

When you understand yourself, you are better equipped to make good decisions. This does not, however, mean that you should always make decisions based on “how you feel.” In fact, making decisions based on your feelings can sometimes significantly restrict your growth.

For example, recently I was asked to speak to a group of business professionals. While I’m an extrovert and love being around people, and am very comfortable working with my coaching clients from around the world, standing in front of a crowd as a speaker is currently out of my comfort zone. My immediate response was discomfort, but I said “yes” to the invitation. Why? Because speaking is one of my goals, and I know as I move toward that goal I will be uncomfortable at first.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary in order to experience growth. As Brian Tracy says,

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

Following Societal Norms Can Lead to Bad Decisions

Societal norms affect people’s choices every day. The people you spend time with and society in general often influences the jobs you choose, the hours you work, the level of success you reach, your habits, and everything from your worldview to your view of what a “good” relationship with your significant other is.

Blindly following the crowd can cause you to live an unfulfilled life. Just because everyone you know works 9-5 in an office doesn’t mean that’s the best fit for you. Just because everyone you know has their kids in a bunch of activities doesn’t mean that’s the best plan for your family.

How to Make Great Decisions That You Won’t Regret

Three keys to consistently making great decisions are being aware of our mindsets, understanding ourselves, and making decisions intentionally instead of passively following the crowd.

Be Aware of Your Mindset

It is important to understand that your mindsets can lead you to make poor decisions. Success starts between your ears, with your mindsets. People often avoid making positive changes in their lives and doing big things because they believe achieving their biggest dreams is not possible for them. They settle for less than their full potential. Many people have an internal dialogue that is less than friendly toward themselves.

Start paying attention to your thoughts. When you think about achieving a big goal you have, what thoughts do you have? Are you encouraging toward yourself? If you discover that your self-talk is discouraging, work on modifying your thoughts. For example, if you think, “I can’t start a business; I don’t know how,” modify that sentence to “I don’t know how to start a business right now, but I can learn.” If you think, “I can’t lose weight; I failed last time I tried,” modify it to “I didn’t achieve my goal last time, but this time I’ll do x,y, and z to get great results.”

One way to minimize the risk of making poor decisions due to your mindset is by collaborating with an expert on your decision, or learning from people who have already done what you aspire to do. For example, when making career decisions, you can hire career counselors or executive coaches. If you want to retire when young and travel the world, learn from people who have done exactly that. Learning from experts and mentors who have achieved what you aspire to do can help you stay inspired and encouraged.

Become Self-Experts

Becoming self-experts is an important key to making good decisions. When you have a strong understanding of your strengths, your priorities, and the impact you want to make on the world, you can make purpose-driven decisions and live more fulfilling lives.

I highly recommend the book, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. The book helps people discover 5 of their strengths. Having a strong understanding of your strengths can help you choose a career path that allows you to maximize those strengths, rather than choosing a career that isn’t a good fit for you.

Make Decisions Intentionally

Being intentional with your decisions rather than passively following society’s recommendations for your life can help you make choices that align with what matters most to you. Pause to reflect and think about why you’re making the choices you’re making. Are you living your life in a manner that enables you to become the best version of you, and make the impact on the world that you are here to make? Or, are you living the life that society wants for you?

One simple step to being more intentional in your life is to write out a tentative schedule for your day. When you tell your time where to go, it can help you minimize time spent on time-sucking activities that don’t align with who you most want to be.

Also, as Jim Rohn says,

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Being intentional with who you spend time with can also steer you toward better decisions.

Although nobody’s perfect, and nobody has a perfect life, working on these strategies can help you make better decisions, leading to less regrets and a more fulfilling life.

Thriving in an Ambiguous World

The present world – jam-packed with mixed messages on how to succeed and stay ahead of the financial curve – is hard to negotiate for many of us. If good intentions were enough to succeed and thrive, undoubtedly we would all be swimming with success.

However, like a majority of folks with scant knowledge of how to be on top of our respective life/business games, we struggle mightily to cope with the information-overload age and the quicksand-pit of half-baked programs claiming they can teach us “all” we need to know to be empowered and happy.

Teachers and coaches come in all stripes and hues, but the effective, empowering ones are not usually the prodigies whom we worship. The best ones understand through their own experience what long-term failure can and will often do to most of us mortals. Failure makes us less likely to take chances or stick with a dream long enough to turn it into a reality.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
-Albert Einstein-

After a lapse of many months since I last wrote, I have concluded that I can help you find the right information, teachers and systems to empower you in the present moment and insure a much brighter future, even if the world and economy seem to be going to Hell.

In the coming months I will share with you my prolific and profound research into the people and solutions which can propel you to unimagined greatness. Stay tuned.

It is Time to Deliver

 

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What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  No, not just for some, but for everyone.  The United States consequential election made me think of this song and how helpless we all feel because we believe the world has drained into a cesspool.

And since this site is about empowerment, let me lead the way.  To move anything or start a movement, you need to lead by example.

If you think that too many people are living in poverty, then lead the way.  Pour your heart and soul into becoming rich in an ethical way or at least self-sufficient.  Then volunteer your wisdom to small groups in need of your newfangled knowledge and wisdom.

If you feel unglued, get focused.  Do what you can to make the world you live in and the people you support to have more time and space to accomplish what they need to.  Pour their coffee too.  Iron their shirt or blouse while you do yours.  Finish the leftover filing on your colleagues desk while he/she is at lunch.

There is so much we can do silently that will get the spirit of giving and receiving in gear.  And be grateful for the air you can breathe, the roof over your head, and the sufficient food to sustain you and your loved ones until better days arrive.

Empowerment is more than words or guru-speak.  Empowerment is working with what you have in your mental and physical toolbox to build castles in the sky and bring them back down.

When Apathy and Self-Loathing Take Over Your Life

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This past May I turned 66, and I feel like I am 166 on a life-support system.  This was not an inevitable turn, though if you looked at my bloated, gouty blob you might think so.

Since college, I have been on a weight rollercoaster.  In my best moments – and there have been at least eight of them between six months and six years – I have been svelte and fit to the point of doing 1000 pushups and situps a day on several of those occasions.  Yet eventually, in each case, I have rebounded and began to loathe the day I was born.

I am smart to the tune of a 144 IQ, yet my life results show me to be dumb as a rock.

My children range between apathy and ridicule of me.  And my wife bounces between love, pity and antipathy toward me.  Tonight she is incensed because she is working herself to the bone and trying to improve her lot, while I am seemingly just drifting toward my early grave with no meaningful legacy.

Why do I write this low-energy lament to you in the world of nobodies going nowhere?  Because I know i am not alone in being an abject failure.   Despite having the environment which could have led to a much more favorable result, I have seen the worst in my mind and received what I deserve.  Stinkin’ thinkin’ has been at work – overtime!

Which brings me to my site, wishfully titled (in a moment of clarity), Empowered For Achievement.  My premise was relatively simple:

Less than 10 percent of the planet’s population control between 80-90 percent of the money and assets.  This is wrong.  This is fixable.  And this is a passion I have – to set up a learning environment that can give the empowerment skills to the 90 percent living in ignorance who are chasing carrots, living under a bridge, or dieing very young due to malnutrition and lack of basic necessities for survival.  I believe passionately that through a proper education matching that of the affluent and wise can arise a world revival of a divine mission to live on purpose for all Mankind.  In my vision, we will no longer need safety nets because we will have the tools and confidence to tame even the most hostile of environments.  We will understand our infiniteness, and no longer harbor the feeling that knowledge and opportunities must be hoarded due to lack of both.  Moreover, we must never ever leave our education to people – including parents and family members – who fear the success of the many, praise safety over risk-taking, never question authority, and hold onto low self-esteem as a defence against the world of the possible.

I know this message can, will, and should resonate with the billions of silent sufferers of low self-esteem worldwide.  No matter how shity life may seem, you were born to make a difference.  Let’s not sit out this existence because we didn’t learn how to learn and didn’t learn what was important in our youth.  Look in the mirror – eyeball to eyeball with yourself and say:

I will not let my life be hijacked a day longer.  I will not let anyone guilt-trip me into complacence, resignation, inevitable underachievement or insignificance.  I will be fascinated with all learning and not be ashamed because of my glaring blindspots and insufficiencies at present.  Once I learn to learn, I promise my Maker that I will do the utmost to help others where they are weak or disrespected because of generational ignorance.  The tables will be turned and the many will finally have the most of Heaven on Earth.

Join me.  Teach life lessons and life skills as part of a wiki site here.  Make a proposal or suggestion at richardposner@empoweredforachievement.com.

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Accepting Your Spiritual Warts

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If you are flawed and dysfunctunional by “normal” standards’ of judgment (or believe you are or have been told you are), should you – or must you – consider yourself unworthy of sharing your heartfelt wisdom or securing a decent life?

Life deals us blows.  If we feel persecuted, cursed and or angry, the tendency is to lash out at the world and ultimately get put down again or surrender like a shrinking violet to the Land of Obscurity and Insignificance.

Your spiritual warts ARE a badge of honor!  Even if you are a spiritual infant with an Einstonian brain or a spiritual angel with an amoeba brain, you are a significant element of Creation.  You are worthy by life to speak out and be heard, while giving and receiving love without reservation.

Spiritual or physical warts and imperfections are catylists toward leading an empowered life.  When we stop focusing on what is wrong and start focusing on what we can do with our inherent divine nature, doors will open and people will take notice of the new you.

Whether you are fifteen, masturbating and wondering if you can be loved or 56 and wondering if you’ll ever find yourself, start acting as if you deserve it.  Whether you face ridicule or more disappointmentduring this transition, there will be light at the end of the tunnel as long as you believe it is there.

It is a tragedy that so many people put there energy into supporting people who are already on the path to self-actualization.  The one percent on top of their game cannot teach you to become you, nor can they carry you to the Land of Significance.  As long as you believe that they can or will give you more, you can expect even less fromyourself.

The search for significance is personal and doable.  Fuck the warts and scars.  Speak up and be more.  You have listened too long to tales of why you can’t be someone.  Write your own story – flawed as it may seem at first – because that is your right and duty in the cosmos.

 

Leaping Before Looking

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”     ~Mark Twain~

As a child, I often heard it said:  “Curiosity kills the cat.”  This proverb was supposed to instill in us the notion that exploring and getting lost are not at all virtuous behaviors. It is better to play life close to the cuff.  I beg to differ.

We all make mistakes, and those of us who make the most mistakes the fastest have the greatest likelihood of success and unstoppable self-confidence.

This morning for me was a case in point.  I am very uncomfortable working with computer technology.  Yet when I read a report from a reliable source today which told me I could tweak my computer and increase the speed of it in five easy steps…well, curiosity got the best of me.

I followed the instructions to the T, yet when I rebooted my new laptop I had no Windows after the initial logo flashed.  Something was happening inside my machine because the lights of the operating system were flickering, but no matter what I did or tapped, the OS was inoperable.

I quickly dispatched a message to the frickin guy who sold me the manual to ask for urgent help, but I got no response.

I then figured out how to go to Safe Mode, but that was like a novice opening a circuit board to try to find a shorted circuit.

Next, I pulled out all the manuals and disks for my computer, but they were all written in Japanese (which is a challenge).

Oh well, I thought, I’ll reformat the hard drive.  The notion was daunting because I’d have to spend half my day adding software and copying files from my old desktop to the newer laptop.

So I went back into Safe Mode and perused my options a final time. Aha!  There it was:  “Go back to the last working configuration.”  Presto, two wasted hours brought a victory at last.

The moral of this story:  Our dumb mistakes are always learning experiences in disguise.  They teach us how to work out difficulties and become empowered.

For those of you who are technically-challenged or know someone who is that way, share this story.  The only thing which separates us from our dreams is the willingness to try new things and the unwillingness to take failure or obstacles personally or fatally.

Stop being intimidated by technology or people.  Everything in our world is put there to make us better and stronger.  Face up to challenge and embrace it.