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One Way to Not Lose Friends – But Why We Often Do


Its unfortunate that we often judge other people by their actions but judge ourselves by our intentions.

When other people mess up it’s easy and natural for us to point out their mistakes, highlight them, and use them as evidence for why they aren’t capable or worthy of our praise.

Yet when we mess up, it’s easy and natural for us to defend ourselves by trying to explain and articulate to other people what we really meant to say or what we were really trying to do.

The reason we do that is not because we’re bad people. We do it because we simply have access to the information of knowing what our intentions are and we often don’t know the explicit intentions of others.

We know that the way it came out was not what we really meant to say and that it sounded much worse than we actually think or feel.

We know  that the way other people interpreted our behavior isn’t an accurate reflection of what we were really trying to do.

We  know that because it is us.

But a lot of times we don’t know what another person’s intentions were.

And so all we have to go on is our immediate interpretation of their actions.

Many times though, that is a shame. Because it causes us to assume the worst about people when there is perhaps another viable and reasonable explanation.

It’s a shame when we allow ourselves to get angry at others, misinterpret others, or distrust others without exploring what was really going on.

Too often it causes us to lose friends that we never should’ve lost.

Perhaps that is why there is so much wisdom to the phase, “’tis better to seek to understand than to be understood.”

Seek to understand..

It gives us a chance for reasonable explanation.

It gives us a chance for clear representation.

It gives us a chance for possible reconciliation.

Because we spend time exploring what someone’s actual intentions were.

The valuable technique here is to learn to generously give people “the benefit of the doubt.”

To assume the best in people and not the worst.

To believe there is some explanation and not an intention to do evil.

Especially with the vast majority of the people we know and are around every day, they generally have good intentions.

There are relatively few people who are ruthlessly evil, completely self-serving or deliberately sabotaging.

But there is a lot of room for misinterpretation and miscommunication.

That is just because there are so many unique ways to look at a topic, event, or idea from a different point of view.

But just because someone has a different point of view doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them the benefit of the doubt.

If anything, it’s cause to embrace and explore what their view point is so that we can learn from it.

With ourselves though, we can be more strict and demanding. We can push ourselves to be more considerate of how other people might interpret what we do or say.

We can look beyond just our intentions and challenge ourselves to make sure that there is less room for misinterpretation of our actions.

We already know that we have the best of intentions and so we can strive to make sure that we take action in a way that it is most likely to be viewed as positive.

We can help try to save people from having to question our intentions.

So, if anything, perhaps we should flip things around from the natural way we sometimes live.

Instead of judging others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions…

Maybe we should generally give other people the benefit of the doubt by assuming they have good intentions, yet push ourselves to deliberately consider how we will affect others through our actions.

10 Tips to Save You from Gaining 10 lbs These Next 2 Weeks

mEUwAGGThe Holiday season is upon us! Parties and presents, families and lots of eating!

Here are 10 tips to help you from sliding way backwards and starting your New Years resolution way behind.

1. Have a glass of water before every meal – This will help you to feel full and prevent you from over eating. Water is always good for you all around.

2. Eat with your off hand to slow you down – There is a delay between when we put food into our mouth and when our brain registers that we are full. So eating slowly prevents us from getting so stuffed that we are miserable. If you are like me and you eat fast, eating with the opposite hand will help slow you down.

3. Send the leftovers home with someone else – I do love leftovers but send them home with someone else. No need to extend your Holiday eating longer than it needs to be.

4. One day only – Christmas is one day and so is New Years. So don’t pig out everyday for the next two weeks! It’s fine and fun to celebrate a little but make sure it is only on one or two special days and not every day between now and the end of the year.

5. Don’t snack – It is a common belief that you eat a lot more when you are snacking out of the pack or container. Instead, put a serving on your plate and eat it from there. Having to go back and get additional servings registers in our mind as eating too much but just putting handful after handful into our mouth straight from the box does not.

6. Extra sleep – Sleep helps you feel rested and burn calories. If you stay up late then give yourself permission to sleep in during the Holidays.

7. 2 drinks only – If you’re going to have a couple drinks be mindful of not going overboard and piling on a bunch of calories from alcohol all at one time.

8. Eat fewer meals – Don’t eat unless you’re hungry! During the holidays we often have big meals so don’t force yourself to eat three meals a day. Have one big meal and maybe skip the others.

9. Don’t have a dessert disaster – If you’re going to have dessert, try to have something that is really rich that will satisfy your sweet tooth in a few bits rather than having to eat a pile of dessert! Also, if you are going to give yourself a treat, try to eat it early in the day rather than late at night. This gives your body a chance to process the food before your metabolism slows as you head to bed.

10. Serve yourself last – Be the last person through the food line. It won’t hurt you if everyone else eats all of the deviled eggs by the time you get there. It also helps you practice patience, self-discipline, restraint, and self-control over your food cravings.

Lastly give lots of hugs and love! The release of dopamine that happens when you hug makes you feel good and often leads to a variety of things that keep you active and healthy.

Happy Holidays!

Rory Vaden: Realign yourself to reconcile conflict

We try to avoid it. We go to great lengths to pretend it doesn’t exist. But, inevitably, we are going to have relationship conflict.

There is a person at work who you don’t think is pulling his or her weight. There is someone at home who has a bad attitude. There is a friend who has allegedly been spreading lies about you. And now we’re in the middle of it. So, what do we do?

Read the full article at!

The 3 Keys of a “Clean-Up Conversation”

Conflict in relationships is not only an inevitable part of being human; it is a fundamental necessity of strengthening any team. Any team that creates a culture that embraces conflict between people as just another expected routine business process to work through is a team setup for success.

The crux of working through conflict in our relationships and our communication with one another is what I call a “Clean-Up Conversation”. Here are 3 keys to having great ones:

1. State your highest intention first – Don’t begin your Clean-up Conversation by launching immediately into all the things the other party has done wrong. Instead establish a solid foundation to work from by reinforcing the things you both believe in. Re-state your commitment to the team or the cause you are both fighting for. Validate what you do know to be true about the other person’s intentions. Affirm the principles that you know you both believe in and try to operate by. Start by stating the indisputable truths that you both agree on.

2. Transition with honesty – After you state your highest intention, without using the word “but”, then move into your feedback for the other person. All you are doing here is acknowledging that things aren’t perfect between you. You can say “at the same time I feel a bit of a separation from you right now and I’d like to work through it.” You are just bringing up the idea that things aren’t working so that there is no confusion about what is coming next.

3. Deliver the feedback – Tell them what the cause of your conflict is. Be direct and specific and don’t use absolute language like “you always” or “you never”. Instead, speak of a specific instance(s) with specific details of what happened. And try to keep anything that you are reliving from the past in first person. Use words like “I” or “me”. So rather than saying “you were a jerk” say “my feelings were hurt.” The first one is disputable but no one can ever argue with the second. Most important of all, is don’t be emotionally charged when delivering feedback to other people – it clouds and complicates everything.

When you embrace the idea that conflict is an inherent and necessary part of growth in any relationship you don’t get as worried about having these clean-up conversations and you don’t get as emotional in the middle of them. Learning to fall in love with the process of having “Clean-Up Conversations” will make just about any team challenge in life more navigable.

30 Days of Discipline – Not B.A.D.D. Contest for a Free iPad® Mini!

Struggling with self-discipline is universal. Our recent study proved that it doesn’t matter how old you are, what your ethnicity is, how much money you make, where you live, what your education level is, or whether or not you have kids – we all struggle with self-discipline.

We also know that most people (51%) set specific resolutions and want to improve their lives but as time goes on they believe less and less that they ever will (71% of 18-34 year olds set goals but only 43% of people 35 and up do).

With 65% of people admitting defeat in the first 30 days of making their resolutions and 18% giving up on a resolution within 24 hours, all this evidence points to one thing…

We are quick to lose hope.

Amidst all of the discouragement and heartbreak of setting goals though, there is a resoundingly clear finding that can provide refuge to all of us:

76% of people who followed through on a resolution for 30 days are STILL

following through on that resolution 1 year later!

That is significant because that means that if you can just tough it out for 1 month, you are 3x more likely to have that change be permanent in your life! So here is the question…

If you knew for sure that making one change in your life for the next 30 days would guarantee that it would stay that way forever – could you do it?

I hope you would think “yes”. You can do anything for 30 days. 30 days is nothing. 30 days fly by. Think about where you were 30 days ago… doesn’t it seem like time has flown by fast since then? Not to mention that if you are asleep approximately 1/3 of that time then that’s really more like 22 days.

If you knew you could fix your marriage forever by making some sacrifices for the next 30 days…

If you knew you could get yourself into a physical condition that you’d be proud of by paying the price for 30 days…

If you knew that changing your spending habits for 1 month would radically alter your financial future…

If you were sure that letting go of that 1 temptation for 30 days would likely mean it would leave your heart forever…

Would you do it?

I believe that you would and that you can and I want to help you by introducing you to an actual system that I use in my life every day.

Enter “The Not B.A.D.D. system”.

Anytime I’m looking to make a big change in my life I create a simple 5-point system of controllable activities to track each and every day. Being that weight and physical health is the number one change that people want to make, let’s talk in detail about my 5-point system for staying physically fit.

Each day I start off with 5 points. The goal on any given day is to keep as many of the 5 points as possible. Here is how my “Not B.A.D.D.” point system works:

–       B. Keep 1 point for not eating any bread items in a day (this includes chips, pretzels or any heavy white carbs)

–       A. Keep 1 point for not drinking any alcohol in a day (this also includes any carbonated beverages)

–       D. Keep 1 point for not eating dairy (milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.)

–       D. Keep 1 point for not eating dessert.

–       Lastly, I keep 1 additional point for working out at least 15 minutes per day (I typically do 500 sit-ups in the morning, pull-ups and/or pushups)

I’m not a registered nurse, dietician, doctor or Tony Horton, but I am someone who used to be 45 pounds heavier than I am right now and I’ve kept that weight off for 7 years of my life. For the vast majority of people – this system works!

I don’t care about the thing you read in a book about how a bit of red wine, and “cheat days” are good for you and don’t tell me how “milk does a body good”. And although I rarely get all 5 points in any given day, this is a system that works despite the fact that I travel on the road 175 days a year doing more than 80 speaking engagements.

I’m confident that the simplicity of this system will also work for you. More than anything though, I’m not promoting that this diet is the key; what is the key is latching onto any good system, tracking your progress daily and not letting go of it for at least 30 days.

The magic is in the commitment to 30 days. Do it for 30 days and you’ll find that your appetites begin to change, and what was once a struggle to get yourself to do later becomes the very thing your body craves. And what was once such a powerful indulgence for you later won’t even be much of a temptation.

Discipline is not as hard as you think when you know how to think about it the right way. And living with #dailydiscipline for the next 30 Days could just change the rest of your life.

To help encourage you to make a change in your life for the next #30Days, I’m going to be reporting my “Not B.A.D.D points” each day on my Facebook page and I’m inviting you to play along with me. As an extra incentive I’m also giving away cash and an iPad® mini!

Here’s how it works:

For each day you go to our Facebook page and post the number of (Not B.A.D.D.) points you scored that day, your name will be entered into a drawing to win cash or the grand prize of an iPad Mini!

At the end of every week, we’ll do a drawing of all the people who posted points for that week (maximum of 1 entry for each day you posted – 7 total possible entries per week) and one person will win a $50 Visa Gift Card each week!

Then for the grand prize at the end of the month, we’ll do a drawing of all the people who posted at least one entry over the course of the whole month (maximum of 30 total possible entries) and the winner of that drawing will take home a brand new 16 GB iPad® mini!

It doesn’t matter how many points you score each day, all that matters is the number of days you report your score on our Facebook page. The more days you post; the more chances you have to win!

Check out our Facebook page for official rules, details and to enter! Best to you in your next 30 Days of Discipline!

Enter the contest here!

Give Your New Year’s Resolutions another shot

Rory Vaden is a New York Times Bestselling author/self-discipline expert. He says give your New Year’s Resolutions another shot. It’s totally natural to lose steam a few weeks into a New Year’s resolution. First step: renew your intention.

Read the full article at!