Be proud of being the black sheep. If everyone agrees with you, maybe you’re not being bold enough.For a while, even as someone who never worked a real job, I was afraid to put forward an opinion that I knew was likely to be challenged. I had heard all the proverbs and stories about how those who change the world for good are often criticized, but it was hard to walk the walk. I was afraid of being put down! I was also afraid of causing offense. The irony is that I thought I was being polite in going with the flow—not conforming to it myself, necessarily, but not really challenging it in others. Read More
How do I overcome my shyness? How do I conquer my fears? I want to take a big leap, but I can’t bring myself to approach the ledge… what do I do?These and similar questions fill my inbox on a regular basis. Many of us long to overcome fears and limiting beliefs, because we think that these are obstacles in our way. And here’s the thing: it’s not about overcoming. If you're shy or introverted by nature (I am, too) you don’t “get over” these things. In fact, they aren’t things that you’re supposed to “get over.” They’re part of who you are, and they can be weaknesses or strengths depending on what you do with them. Read More
Consider a painting by one of the European masters. Somehow you’ve discovered this painting in your grandmother’s attic. It’s worth a fortune, or so say the appraisers who come to your house to inspect it.They’re going to take it away for auction, but before they do, you insist on keeping it on your mantle for a month. Every day you look at it with pride. This painting has been in your family for centuries! Soon it will bring you wealth, but first it brings beauty and elegance to your living room. The painting is spectacular, with thousands of careful brush strokes and just the right blend of colors. The artist had clearly spent decades mastering his craft. Of the dozens of his paintings that were still known to exist, you sense that this was one of his favorites. Except for one thing. Just off-center, in the midst of perfection, lies a single black spot. The spot isn’t huge, but it’s not tiny either. When you look at the painting, there’s no missing it. How did it get there? Surely, you think, it was a rare mistake. Perhaps the painter was tired at the end of a long day and accidentally splashed a dash of black in the midst of all the color. Or maybe some well-meaning apprentice came along later to retouch the painting and ended up making a mess. Read More
Normally I’m not an auditory learner and have a hard time paying attention to lectures or podcasts. In the case of the “Brave New Year” program by Chris Brogan (not an affiliate link; I purchased it for regular price), however, I was able to go through the whole thing.
I particularly like what Chris had to say about the subject of acceptance. Here’s an excerpt:Read More
The pursuit of happiness is as old as modern civilization. Books, elixers, religions, and philosophies are all devoted to it. Happiness is a quest, an obsession, and a universal aspiration. But what does it take to be unhappy? In some ways, it's easier than happiness itself. New research and much life experience offers a simple recipe for genuine discontent.Read More