Saturday, April 1, 2017

6 Signs You Worry Too Much About What Others Think: Why It’s a Problem and What to Do About It by Dr. Gary Trosclair, Huffington Post

6 Signs You Worry Too Much About What Others Think: Why It’s a Problem and What to Do About It 
by Dr. Gary Trosclair, Ph.D, Huffington Post

It’s very human to want to be liked. Isolation is dangerous for our mental health. But if you betray yourself to get people to like you, that causes problems that are at least as bad if not worse. I’ll explain why in a moment, but first let’s look at some signs that you worry too much what others think about you.

1. You do things you don’t want to do and you resent it.
2. You no longer (or never did) really know what you want.
3. You’re afraid to say what you really believe.
4. You spend time with people you don’t like or you avoid people out of fear.
5. You struggle to make your own decisions.
6. You imagine that people are upset with you when they really aren’t.
Here’s why it’s a problem:
Deep inside of us, along with our need to be liked, we also have a need to be authentic, to think and live in our own unique way. Nature made us this way so that we could think critically and develop creative solutions rather than rushing headlong over a cliff with the rest of the herd. If we all thought alike the human race would have died out long ago.
As Bertrand Russell wrote, “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
We thrive when we get along with others, and think and act independently at the same time. If you aren’t doing both, you’re out of balance, and your psyche will complain about it with either depression (“No one likes me.”) or anxiety (“I have to get them to like me”). These are often warning signs, and if not heeded, things can get really bad. That’s why it’s dangerous to worry too much what others think about you.
Here’s what to do about it:
1. Find your people: Don’t imagine that you can stop caring what everyone thinks. Seek out the people who see your strengths and goodness and whom you trust. Stick with them and take what they say seriously. When you fear that they’re thinking badly of you, check it out: Ask them what’s going on. A small group of friends or community can go a long way in increasing security. It’s important to know that you’re loved.
Bernard Baruch put it well when he said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
2. Face it down: What if other people do think badly of you? Thank goodness! If everyone likes you, you’re probably not being true to your self. Ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen?” and come to terms with it.
3. Spend time alone or in therapy: In order to remember or learn what you want, need and believe you’ll need to have periods of time when you can hear yourself without worrying about the voices of others. Journal. Talk to yourself. Ask yourself what you need. Find ways to make yourself happy that don’t depend on other people. Psychotherapy can also help with this because it focuses on hearing what’s inside of you.
4. Experiment judiciously with speaking your mind. This could mean taking some chances. You may not be able to do this at work, since we usually need to maintain an appropriate persona at work. And, sadly, if you belong to a racial or sexual minority, you are probably wise to be guarded in certain situations. But exercising your opinion elsewhere can build confidence. This can be scarey, but it can also be liberating. Avoidance breeds anxiety, while mastery brings self esteem. Here again, therapy is a safe place to start.
5. Decide what’s truly important to you: Is what people think of you high on that list? Make a short list, post it on your fridge, send yourself reminders on your phone, and don’t let critical folks who are suffering from insecurity come between you and fulfillment.
6. Find your inspiration: Name three characters—real or from literature or film (for example Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Malala Yousafzai, Misty Copeland, Katniss Everdeen or Harry Potter) that have faced these same fears and overcome them. Carry their image in your mind. Authenticity is an archetypal theme: For millennia we’ve used stories of heroes and heroines that have not followed the crowd to help us overcome our own fears. Images of their courageous acts reach older parts of your brain—fear centers that may not respond to simple logic—and can free you to follow your intentions.
This being true to your whole self—this individuation—isn’t easy. It takes courage and perseverance, but in the long run it feels better. And for many people, bringing their unique offerings to the world is what gives their life meaning.
Here’s how Carl Jung put it: “May each one seek out his own way. The way leads to a mutual love in community...Therefore give people dignity and let each of them stand apart, so that each may find his own fellowship and love it.. Give human dignity, and trust that life will find the better way.”
My Thoughts:

"Don't concentrate on all the people who may dislike you; concentrate on the God who Loves you!"

As a Christian, I try to completely trust God and not people in everything I do and say; it gives me peace of mind when I put God first, others second, and myself third. People are quite fickle; one day they're your friend; the next day they're your enemy. So try not to worry if people "like" you or not. God brings people in and out of our lives all the time: some for our encouragement, some to try our patience, and others, unfortunately, to build our characters. It's quite rare to find a true and devoted friend who'll stick by you through thick and thin.

Try as much as you are able to be patient and stay humble of heart with others, trust in God completely and not in yourself or others. It's NOT possible to please everybody, but it IS possible to please God. The only way you can get most people to "like" you is to do nothing, to say nothing, and to be nothing, but then you'd no longer be the unique human being that God created you to'd be a mind-numbed robot or a plain vanilla ice cream cone; you wouldn't be you!  

It's important to remember that it really doesn't matter whether or not others "like" you or how they treat you, but whether or not YOU like YOU and how YOU treat others! You're your own worst critic, so if you're happy with who YOU are then that's all that matters. There are many reasons for other people's unfriendly or unkind behavior. You can only try to positively influence others, but you can't control others! How others behave is ultimately their responsibility, not yours! YOU are only responsible for YOUR behavior, NOT other people's behavior

Think about this, Jesus was the perfect human being and what did the world do to him? Jesus even warned his disciples (John 15:18, 20), "If the world hates you, remember the world hated me first. If people did wrong to me then they'll do wrong to you too." St. John said (1 John 3:13), "Don't be surprised if the world hates you!"  And St. Paul said (2 Tim 3:12), "Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

For many and varied reasons people, in general, can't stand people who strive to live good and decent lives. It's counterintuitive, but it's quite true. The old cliche, "no good deed goes unpunished" is quite true. It amazes me how many politicians, entertainers, famous, and wealthy people who live sinful lives are venerated as secular saints. Jesus warned of this too (John 15:19), "If you belonged to the world, the world would love you."  

People will betray you, abandon you, and mistreat you; don't treat them the same way, just forgive them and continue to love them. "Loving" someone is quite different from "liking" someone. You're never going to "like" everyone and not everyone is going to "like" you. So if others are unfriendly, rude, hateful, or disrespectful to you, then return love, kindness, blessings, and prayers instead. When our lives are over, it really won't matter how many friends we had, but whether we were a friend to others (especially to those who are outcasts in the world).

I think Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said it best:
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; be kind anyway. 
If you are successful you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget about tomorrow; do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.   

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ten Unmistakable Signs of A Bad Place To Work by Liz Ryan, Forbes

Ten Unmistakable Signs of A Bad Place To Work 
by Liz Ryan, Forbes

I talk to job-seekers every day. Some of them have target lists of companies they’d like to learn more about, and almost all of them have lists of companies they would never work for, no matter what.
Where did they get their lists of companies they would never, ever work for? They either worked for those companies in the past or have friends who did. People talk, and they tell their friends “No matter how badly you need a job, don’t go to work for this company and that company. It’s worse working there than being unemployed, by a mile!”
An employee handbook is a window to the corporate soul. Reading the employee handbook will give you enormous clues to the company’s culture. If they won’t give you a handbook, run away then and there!
Here are ten unmistakable signs that a company you are interviewing with is not a good place to work.
1. No-Moonlighting Policy
If you read the company’s employee handbook and you find a No-Moonlighting Policy, that’s your cue to back out of the recruiting process, fast! A No-Moonlighting policy is a rule that says that if you work for this company, you can’t have another, part-time job. Why would that be any of their business, if you’re showing up to work and getting your work done
You should not have to ask permission to spin records at weddings as a DJ or to work part-time at your uncle’s catering company. A No-Moonlighting policy is exactly the type of overreaching, Big-Brotherish practice that corporations only employ when they believe that their team members are insignificant cogs in their machine.
2. No-References Policy
You won’t find this policy in the employee handbook, so it is important that you ask your interviewer about it. Ask them whether the company’s managers are allowed to provide references for their former employees. In many large organizations, they are not.
Even if your old manager wanted to give you a glowing reference, he or she wouldn’t be allowed to do so. Your manager would have to send the inquiry to HR, and all they’d be allowed to do is to verify your dates of employment and your job titles. What a slap in the face to the employee who did a tremendous job, and deserves a good reference!
Ask the question this way:
“I am very interested in the culture of any organization I think about joining. I hope that if we end up working together, that relationship lasts for a good period of time but I also know that people don’t walk into companies anymore and retire from the same company thirty years later. Does your company allow managers to give references for their employees, or are those inquiries sent to HR?”
Only fearful leaders put No-Reference Policies in place. They couldn’t care less whether the No-Reference Policy makes it harder for their former teammates to get a new job. No-Reference Policies are unethical and should be illegal but they’re not, so proceed with caution!
3. Progressive Discipline
If the handbook talks about Progressive Discipline, get out of Dodge immediately! You are an adult. You are not a wayward third-grader who needs to worry about getting sent to the principal’s office. Progressive Discipline policies that line out the punishments employees will receive for a first infraction, second infraction, etc. are holdovers from the Industrial Revolution and have no place in the Knowledge Economy we are working in now.
4. Payroll Deductions
Some old-school companies will take money out of your paycheck for stupid things. You will see these policies written out in the employee handbook if they have them in place. We got a call in our office from a young woman who works for an accounting firm in Chicago. Her boss had asked her to order pizza for the team one day.
The young woman ordered $120 worth of pizza for the group and told her manager about it. Her manager got mad. He said, “$120? You could have gotten a better price!” The young employee was freaked out. She went back to her desk and started researching cheaper pizza options online.
She placed another pizza order with a different restaurant. This time the bill was $89. Unfortunately, in her nervous state she forgot to cancel the first pizza order, so both pizza orders arrived.
Her boss said “I’m going to take the $120 out of your paycheck!” Of course, the team ate all the pizza — both orders. Any company that wants to take money out of your paycheck (for a piece of equipment that breaks while you’re using it, e.g.) is not a place you want to work for.
5. Dictated Hours
I collect employee handbooks. At least 30% of the 100 or so employee handbooks on my hard drive specify the number of hours the company expects you to work — and I’m talking about salaried employees who do not get paid a penny for overtime!
Some companies specify, for instance, that ‘staff-level’ employees should expect to work 45 hours per week (for the price of 40!), supervisors should expect to work 50 hours per week and management folks should plan on working 55 or more.

Smart companies know that what’s important is that the work gets done – not how many hours people work. If you see this kind of language in an employee handbook, do not take the job — because you will hate it if you do!
6. Managers Control Internal Transfers
In good companies, employees bid on internal jobs they are interested in. If they get the job, then their new manager and their old manager will talk about a transition plan to get the employee into their new position without leaving the former manager in the lurch.
In bad companies, managers control their employees’ internal transfer and promotion opportunities. They haven’t figured out that if an employee is thwarted in his or her desire to move to a new position inside the company, they’ll just find a new position in another company!
Companies that don’t understand the difference between machines that can be controlled by humans, and talented employees who can’t be controlled, don’t deserve your talents.
7. Formal Performance Management
Performance Management is the name of a popular HR hoax and scam that turns any job into a series of tasks and goals that you’ll be held accountable for on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. No job worth doing breaks down into tiny, measurable parts.
Good jobs are whole. You know what your mission is and you work toward your mission every day, checking in with your manager as appropriate. Run away from any company that surrounds you with yardsticks and measurements. Working in a place like that would only raise your blood pressure and destroying your mojo.
8. No Casual Time
When you read a potential employer’s employee handbook, pay special attention to the section of the handbook that focuses on paid time off. Good companies understand that in addition to scheduled vacation time and unscheduled sick time, normal adults need occasional days off to deal with real life.
You might have to take your cat to the vet one day or be called into a meeting at your kids’ school without notice. Good companies have personal time or casual time you can use for those real-life situations. If the only kinds of time off your prospective employer offers are vacation time, sick time and holidays, keep job-hunting! There is a better employer for you than these folks.
9. Pay Grades Make the Man (or Woman)
Also pay close attention to the discussion of pay grades in the employee handbook you are reading, and listen on your job interviews when people talk about pay grades and levels. In some companies, status and title are everything. These companies are not populated by fun, smart and creative people!
In some organizations you hear people say “Don’t call him — he’s an E5, and he won’t answer your call because you’re only an E3.” They say these things without irony. They think it’s normal to rank and evaluate people based on their title and pay grade. Don’t work with people like that! You have a brilliant career to lead, and bureaucratic, fearful organizations will not help you get there.
10. Interview Process
Last on our list of bad-company giveaways is the interviewing process itself. If people return your calls and email messages, treat you kindly during the interview process and generally seem to value your time and talents, that’s a great thing.
If they leave you waiting for weeks between each contact, give you endless tests and assignments and behave as though they are members of the royal family and you are a piece of dirt under their feet, don’t stick around!
No employer will ever love you more than they do at the point where they are trying to hire you. If the signals you get during the interview process are negative, don’t expect things to get better once you have the job.
The world is big, and there are lots of good organizations to work for. Don’t you deserve to work for one of them? Invest the time and energy to find a company where you can bring yourself to work. We are cheering you on!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Choose Life!

Choose Life!
by Bryan J. Neva, Sr.

In 1981, teenagers George Kyriacos Panayiotou (professionally known as George Michael) and Andrew John Ridgeley formed a musical duo in Hertfordshire, England. Calling themselves Wham!, they meteorically rose to the top (with a few bumps along the way) and eventually sold more than 28 million records by the time they broke up in 1986.

Their most memorable hit, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," was released in 1984 and rose to #1 in the UK and the US; it was subsequently ranked #28 by VH1's 100 greatest hits of the 1980s. In the music video, the duo wore designer T-shirts with the slogans, "CHOOSE LIFE" printed on them.

In hindsight, the "CHOOSE LIFE" T-Shirts worn in their music video was rather ironic as Michael and Ridgeley embraced the hedonistic lifestyle of most music stars. Their idea of "Choosing Life" was simply uninhibited personal freedom, having fun, and doing whatever feels good. That was living life to the fullest. Ridgeley eventually settled down to a more normal lifestyle, but Michael continued to live a debauched lifestyle which probably contributed to his untimely death in December 2016 at the age of 53. 

Ask anyone who's fighting a terminal illness if they "Choose Life" and they'll give you an unequivocal "Yes!" Healthcare comprises about 20% of the U.S. economy, so most of us want to stay alive. But staying alive is quit different from having a high quality of life. We all exist but how many of us truly live? 

More than 3000 years ago, the Prophet Moses gave an inspirational speech to the people of Israel about "Choosing Life" (Deuteronomy 30:11-20): 
Surely what I'm telling you today is not at all hard, nor is it too far away. It's not up in heaven that you should say, "Who'll go up to heaven for us to learn about it so that we can live by it?" Neither is it something beyond the sea that you should say, "Who'll cross the seas for us to learn about it so that we can live by it?" No, not at all, what I'm telling you today is actually very near to's in your mouth and it's in your heart. What I'm telling you today is life and prosperity; it's death and adversity! All you must do is obey the commandments of the Lord your God by loving Him, walking in His ways, and observing all that He has taught you, then you'll live and prosper and the Lord your God will bless you. But if you turn away and do not obey Him, then you'll perish and die. So I call upon heaven and earth today to bear witness to what I have told you; I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your family may live and prosper!
Moses' taught that to "Choose Life" was to obey God's commandments by loving Him, walking in His ways, and following His teachings. And by doing these you'll prosper and God'll bless you. Not doing these is simply to "Choose Death" and curses.   

God has given all of us the freedom to choose how we want to live our lives. If we want to live a hedonistic lifestyle, that's our right. God's not going to stop us. But God has revealed to us the way to a have a truly abundant life simply by loving Him, walking in His ways, and following His teachings. The choice is between life and death; it's between blessings and curses. So "Choose Life" so that you and your family may live and prosper!

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