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Persistence is a boring but necessary virtue. You might not think anything is changing in your career life or love life, but if you are persistent you will eventually see change. Remember! True failure only happens when you abandon your quest. Keep on questing!

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Living in the past is like driving forward while staring in the rear view mirror.     Believing is seeing.     Be an over-fright success story.     One's actions convince louder than one's words.     Make progress. Make new mistakes.     All work and no play makes Jill want to reach for the Prozac.     The purpose of your life is to find the purpose of your life. It doesn't matter how fast you get there if you're heading in the wrong direction.     If at first you don't succeed, you're doing something stupid.     You're nobody until somebody hates you.     Behind every successful woman is someone who pissed her off.     To get where you need to go you must first see who you really are.     Be a warrior, not a worrier.     Be a winner, not a whiner.     If the coyote had stopped to catch his breath, he might have caught the roadrunner.     A pack of puppies led by a pitbull will always be feared more than a pack of pitbulls led by a puppy.     Brainpower is as important as horsepower. Read, read, read!     You should always pick a job for its passion value not cash-in value.     Don't let a blame preoccupation ruin your occupation.     It's always better to go for longterm greed over short term greed.     A shortcut is often the longest distance between two points.     Time is money...and time wasters are money wasters.     Don't wait to make heaps and heaps of cash to have heaps and heaps of fun.     Every member of the Fortune 500 Club could also be a member of the Misfortune 500 Club.     Money doesn't bring you true happiness...but happiness can bring you true money. If you love what you do, the money will come.     Whatever business you're in you're in the people business.     Fail Faster. Succeed faster.     Behind every successful woman is someone who pissed her off.     Follow the fuscia brick road.   Failure is in many ways like "fullure" - it is always full of lessons to be learned.     Believe in a laughter life.     Don't let your convictions become your restrictions.     Invest in "Fresh Air Fun." Take a walk outside once a day.     If you want your body to be smoking, you've got to stop smoking.     Sometimes, all you gotta do is ask. Duh.     Taking no action is an action. Duh.     Happiness is not about what happens to you -- but about how you choose to respond to what happens.     Comedy = tragedy + 3 months and/or 3 margaritas!     Practice that tongue twister "NO" today.     Take the fat out of your fate. Slim down your schedule to what matters.     It's not just what you know...but what you do with what you know.     The grass is greener on the other side - until you get there and see it's astroturf.     When you grow - you often outgrow.     The only constant is change.     You are a human being, not a human was or a human will be.     Self honesty is the only path to happiness.     Sometimes we're "mad at" someone whom we should merely be "sad at."     Be so proactive you're preactive.     Fast doesn't always last.     Love is a boomerang. What have you and give away is what you get back.     Fear of commitment: it could happen to you...or someone you can't love.     Saying difficult things now is better than fixing even more difficult problems later.     It is better to have loved and lost - than to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.     It is better to have loved and lost - and had some really amazing hot sex - than never to have lived and loved at all.     A man is not a project. A man is a man. And a project is a project.     It's better to have a short bad relationship than a long bad relationship.     It's worth it to hold out for a soul mate and not settle for a cellmate.     Assess breeds success.     Turn all bad experiences into good inperiences - take them in fully, and change in a positive way.    
 

Friday, May 09, 2008

Soulmate or Egomate?



There’s a great quote in that wonderful tale, "The Little Prince" where the Prince wisely says: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

What this quote describes is “soulmate love" -- which is a far more mature love than “egomate love" -- which too many people get tricked into seeking -- and thereby never finding true love and true happiness.

In case you’ve been foolishly getting "soulmate love" confused with its lesser"egomate love" fake and faux pas imitiation -- here are some helpful reminders ...

Soulmate

A soulmate is someone whom when you meet -- without thinking – without letting your neocortex play into the decision – you feel an instant familiarity, a sense of connection, a longing.

Egomate

An egomate is someone who you instantly want because you know they will “look good to others” – because this person is beautiful or rich, or has some ego massaging quality. But this thing you like about this person is a generic superficial quality -- rather than the dynamic and tingly connection you feel when with this person.

Soulmate

A soulmate is someone who you could spend a great deal of time with just sitting on a sofa and feel happy. You don’t need fanfare. You don’t need to go out to expensive restaurants. Just being with them cuddling and kissing feels like a vacation.

Egomate

An egomate is someone who you need to spend lots of money on and do ritzy activities with to fully feel the excitement of being with them.

Soulmate

A soulmate is someone who you miss when they’re not around – and can even lose sleep over. When you talk about this person to friends, you might mention their looks or money, but you mainly talk about what makes them special to you – those deeper, less
superficial qualities which are about connecting soul to soul.
You feel a passionate friendship for this person.

Egomate

An egomate is someone who when you talk about this person to friends, you mainly talk about this person as being rich or beautiful -- or any of a variety their trophy qualities which build up your ego. If you’re honest with yourself, some part of you doesn’t respect this partner of yours on certain levels -- or even like them as a friend. Indeed if you weren’t dating this person, you might not even be friends with them. Perhaps you even feel a bit bored by them if you spend too much time alone in their company or sitting on a sofa just talking. But your ego overpowers your instincts, because your ego loves talking about how rich or beautiful this person is – and impressing friends and family.

Soulmate

You’re not looking for perfection in your partner. Perfection is all about the ego. With soulmate love you know that true love is what happens when disappointment sets in – and you’re willing to deal maturely with these disappointments. You recognize nobody is perfect. Not only does your partner have imperfections, so do you. And because you value the deep love and connection you are lucky enough to share, you choose to work on your problems and grow as individuals and as a couple. With soulmate love, you’re not only finally ready to wear your heart on your sleeve, but roll up your sleeves and do the necessary work. Your goal with a soulmate is to create the most fabulous “inside world” – inside yourself as a growing individuals and inside your private relationship as a thriving couple.

Egomate

Your ego cares about perfection. A lot. In particular your ego cares about your partner appearing perfect to the outside world. You’re less forgiving about imperfections in your partner because of your ego – because you take your partner’s imperfections personally -- as showing you as being imperfect -- and your ego does not like your not being perfect. So you put a high priority on looking super cool and perfect to others. Indeed, you are so blinded by the image perks your uber-gorgeous or uber-rich partner offers up. that there’s an immature part of you who doesn’t really feel the need to connect in friendship with your partner – or grow as a person when problems arise in the relationship. You just care about the “ego symbols” you are showing to the outside world.

Soulmate

Your partner could gain weight, lose all their money, lose all their hair - and you wouldn’t care. You love them for their core self.

Egomate

If your partner gained weight, lost their money, lost their hair, you’d lose your “ego symbol”and thereby feel less attracted to this person and want to break up.

In summary: Soulmate love is far more satisfying. Afterall, looks and money can (and often) fade. But a bad personality and bad values and a bad intimacy connection are forever.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The "Who Knew?" Guru


The findings of a recent Wall Street Journal ranking of the most influential business thinkers might surprise you. Only one of the top five thinkers is an actual traditional business guru -- which is not only interesting, but good news for my boss, Karen Salmansohn -- who is herself an unconventional business guru, with her best selling books -- like HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT A PENIS and GUT: HOW TO THINK FROM YOUR MIDDLE TO GET TO THE TOP, and BALLSY: 99 WAYS TO SCORE EXTREME BUSINESS SUCCCESS. So it seems Karen is part of a big trend. Meaning? I'll probably have my job working for her for a long time to come!

I spotted this trend in an article Erin White wrote for WSJ called "New Breed of Business Gurus Rises." Below are those top five. Check it out: 4/5ths of the bulk of them are a psychologist, 2 journalists, and a celebrity CEO.

1. Author and "traditional" consultant Gary Hamel
2. Journalist Thomas Friedman
3. Author and Journalist Malcolm Gladwell
4. Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates
5. Harvard psychology professor Daniel Goleman

Each of these thinkers has done their share to change the way we "do" business. But rather than focusing on how they've changed business, we must focus on what this shift away from "traditional" gurus means for business.

Examining this trend leads us to many conclusions, but the main reason people are looking to unconventional gurus is because "time-strapped managers are hungry for easily digestible advice wherever they can find it." That's according to Thomas H. Davenport, a management professor at Babson College and the compiler of the ranking.

Today's most pressing business concerns include weighty issues like globalization, innovation, and motivation. Rather than relying on didactic, esoteric business theories and policies, managers are looking for easily digestible, yet still profound, pieces of advice. And they've found it in these not-so-run-of-the-mill advisers.

This new culture of gurus presents managers with a win-win situation. Because each business-expert comes from a different walk of life, people are getting a broader range of information. Each brings with them a special qualification or knowledge in a particular area that provides a more eclectic pool of information.

One dynamic missing in this pool, however, is women. Not one woman made it in the list of the Wall Street Journal's top 20. The lack of a woman's presence proves that there is another pressing business issue to be understood, namely, diversity. If you'd like to help solve our nation's diversity issues, I recommend you check out some of my boss Karen Salmansohn's unconventional business books -- which you can see in the book section on this site. Buy a few not only for yourself but friends -- and you will be doing your part to help to make sure there might be a woman business thinker on that list next year in WSJ!


Holley Simmons Reporting!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Word to the Wise


cloy–verb
1. to weary by an excess of food, sweetness, pleasure, etc.; surfeit; satiate.
2. to become uninteresting or distasteful through overabundance.

You've no doubt heard that quote "Everything in moderation."

That includes chocolate, beer, love, and, yes, broccoli.

Even things which are good for us become our worst enemy when consumed in mass quantities. It's essential to cut ourselves off at an acceptable point before our consumption takes a toll on us.

In addition to being bad for us, certain surpluses can lead to a lack off interest in what once used to excite us. Like the 2nd definition of today's "Word to the Wise" suggests, we become uninterested due to this overabundance.

For example, I love dumplings. You wrap anything up in a tight little won ton wrapper and I'll eat it. One night, I tried my hand at my own home-made pork dumplings-75 of them.

By the time I got to my 25th dumpling (I'm not kidding you…) I felt nauseous. I gave the rest to friends and vowed to never make them on my own again to avoid the same gluttony.

Funny thing is, though, I haven't been able to eat them at all ever since. What once brought joy to my life, now caused not only sickness but dullness. Since dumplings had always been a periodic treat for me, over-loading myself with so many at once really ruined any further experiences.

Dumplings are a silly example, but they're representative of what happens to us when we put all of our interest in one metaphorical won ton wrapper. Whether it be a new love interest who we're infatuated with, or a shirt of ours we wear constantly because it accentuates our hips nicely, we're bound to grow out of that initial feeling of yearning.

Under some circumstances, however, I can see how superfluity can be healthy. After a break-up, happiness lies at the bottom of that quart of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby. Working hard in order to save up for a fabulous set of bed sheets is totally commendable, considering you've earned it.

So in conclusion, perhaps we should add a flourish to that much talked about sentiment and start to say... "Everything in moderation...INCLUDING moderation."

Holley Simmons Reporting!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

There's no "Friend" in Business



Can bosses be too nice?

According to an article by David Koeppel on Portfolio.com a boss needs to be a little bossy to succeed at the workplace.

Indeed, 9 out of 10 workplace problems are caused by the lack of engagement on the part of a manager.

Rather than being an effective leader, some managers play so much nicey-nice wanting to be everyone's friend - and in the process wind up avoiding important managerial duties like criticism, feedback, employee guidance, reprimanding an employee when they've failed, and confronting a worker when they haven't met set goals or expectations.

These kinds of dialogues are imperative for an office and it's output to be effective. Unfortunately, when managers fail to have them, they're often conducted by a less qualified person.

Also... one of the big roles of a manager is to direct and oversee the final products of an office. If this final goal remains unclear and unstated because a boss is playing nicey-nice, then mixed signals and misinterpretations will occur -- creating a hodgepodge of what everyone thinks they're supposed to be doing.

Plus, if an employee is faltering at work and they don't know it, how can they ever improve? Without someone to boldly tell them how they can make themselves a better worker, they will be forever stuck in a stagnant pool of mediocrity.

Ditto in relationships.

Being disengaged in a love relationship – trying to play so nicey-nice that you stop being authentic and communicative -- is also a surefire way to ensure a relationship's demise. A disengaged nicey-nice partner will wind up coming off as bored and disinterested, which in turn rubs off on the people around them.

So try to make sure you're not playing nicey-nice with those around you. And if you're not -- but you know someone who is -- be sure not to be too nicey- nice about it -- and instead confront them with helpful, instructive ways that they can improve.

Holley Simmons Reporting!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Trophy Lives


You've seen at least one. Maybe you've been one. A totally mismatched couple -- where the woman is sexy and beautiful, and the man is balding and nerdy.

This no doubt happens conversely. Not that men date balding women. But I confess I've also seen many a gorgeous man with a so-so woman. For the purpose of this article, however, I'm simply intrigued by the notion of women who have the upper-hand in the looks department, and rather than date a hottie choose a nottie.

Why do these babes choose this way? In an article from www.livescience.com, Jeanna Bryner explains what was once thought to be an act of desperation or a lack of confidence is now being interpreted as a strategic decision.

Relationships where women are better looking than their male mates are shown to fare better in the long-run.

It's like this: Consistent research shows men place a greater emphasis on beauty than women. Men even equate relationship satisfaction with the attractiveness of their mates. To some men, beautiful women serve as justification that they're desirable. They feel like the envy of all their friends because such a good-looking woman has chosen to settle down with only them.

On the other hand, research shows women are more interested in relationships where they feels emotionally supported. In a study assessing 82 newlyweds, researchers videotaped each spouse as they discussed with their partner a personal problem for 10 minutes. The tapes were then analyzed for whether partners were supportive of spouses' issues. A group of trained "coders" rated the facial attractiveness of each spouse on a scale from 1 to 10, with the perfect 10 representing the ultimate babe. About a third of the couples had a more attractive wife, a third a more attractive husband and the remaining partners showed matching looks.

Overall, wives and husbands behaved more positively when the woman was better looking.

The finding "seems very reasonable," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management. "Men are very sensitive to women's attractiveness. Women seem to be sensitive to men's height and salary."

Personally, I agree that physical attractiveness is important in a relationship, but I don't think it's paramount to a couple's "survival rate." After all, beauty fades - but a bad personality is forever. You need to find someone with whom you ALWAYS feel a connection, regardless of looks. Plus, who said you can't be attractive AND supportive? This issue can't be looked at in such a black or white manner.

Also, I can't imagine women are the only sex looking for support. Aren't there just as many men out there looking for emotional support and reassurance?

Chemistry between two people is determined by many factors -- so why bother putting such a large emphasis on looks?

Holley Simmons reporting!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

A New Kind of Therapy: Reality TV


Think reality television and you may instantly assume “junk” or “trashy.” Filled with “real” people who want to be the next great singer or D- list celeb, many shows are a waste of that precious commodity called “free time.”

Yet, a new phenomenon is sweeping reality TV. According to James Poniewozik in his article “Reality TV Wants to Heal You” more shows are overtly -- or covertly -- about mental makeovers.

Instead of merely focusing on the misadventures of affluent, sex-obsessed shallow hotties, they’re focusing on inspiring and helping real people achieve important life goals. Even stars like Oprah have jumped on the reality TV train to help promote charities and emphasize the importance of giving back.

Pick an issue that Americans are facing today, and there is most likely a show dedicated to curing it. The Biggest Loser helps coach weight loss. MTV’s Made aims to give outcast kids self-confidence. Plus, there are shows for socially challenged nerds, out of control kids, and addicts in need of intervention. All these shows have a positive psychology benefit. They emotionally connect with viewers on a deep heart level – reminding folks that a “can do” attitude results in positive change.

Poniewozik admits that perceiving “Reality TV” as “Good-For-You TV” might seem contradictory at first. But when you think about it, the reality genre has from the get-go always been dealing with troubled relationships, self esteem issues, and personal problems.

Poniewozik points out that from Survivor to American Idol, reality’s premise has always been that what does not get you eliminated makes you stronger!

And even a show like What Not to Wear is more than just a mere fashionista manifesta. The show truly emotionally connects with the all too many tired, disgruntled women of this world who so desperately need motivation to do something good for themselves, too.

The common thread on all these shows: There are no external circumstances you cannot overcome by improving your internal attitude. You might vie to get into those skinny jeans. Or perhaps your goal is a perfect marriage. Anywhichway, the “yes” attitude these shows promote and applaud is the secret to getting where you want to go. And it’s an inspiring reminder to watch others struggle and win!

Now, I’m not suggesting you set your DVR to tape every reality show available and have a marathon weekend. Pick and choose what interests you, and you will soon receive your mini dose of therapy and inspiration (and a good laugh).

Nisha Kumar reporting!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our "Word to the Wise" series continues...

per·spi·cu·i·ty [pur-spi-kyoo-i-tee]
–noun
clearness or lucidity, as of a statement.

Sometimes when we have strong feelings about an issue, it's difficult to express ourselves eloquently, especially to the person who caused these feelings. We fall back on stonewalling, manipulative double-speak or even passive aggressive behavior.

But these actions, or more appropriately inactions, only leave us in a worse state.

The best thing to do when someone does something that upsets us is to LET THEM KNOW! How on earth else will they know how we're feeling? Just because we feel strongly about an issue, doesn't mean the intensity is reciprocated.

Take for example, a relationship in which the woman wants to move things forward to exclusivity. Rather than just coming out and saying, "You know, I'm very interested in you and am wondering how you feel about making this relationship more serious", she instead tells the other person she's going on a date, just to see their reaction and stir up feelings of jealousy.

Unfortunately, this "double-speak-zero-truth-speak" might wind up leading their love interest to interpret the date as a sign that the woman is not interested in being exclusive. They, in turn, make plans with another woman to counter-act. Oh how that backfired!

The truth is, if we're close enough with someone to share our feelings with them, then we should be close enough to tell them the absolute truth. This rule applies to romantic relationships, sexual relationships, relationships with our parents, co-workers,…The list goes on and on.

Honesty really IS the best policy. Although it's difficult at times to put ourselves out there and make ourselves vulnerable, it's absolutely necessary if we want relationships filled with understanding and compassion - and true joyous intimacy.

We should never be afraid to say what we want. Otherwise, we might never get it, dammit!

Holley Simmons reporting!

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Fighting With Your Sweetie?



How's your love life these days? Is there still loving love in your relationship?

If your sweetie did something…well, unsweet, and youre upset... remember how you talk and listen to each other, will determine whether or not you remain with each other.
Darlene Mininni, Phd, author of the book THE EMOTIONAL TOOLKIT, has some helpful tips to make sure your honest conversations don’t become your last conversations.

1. Begin difficult conversations WITHOUT criticism. According to Gottman’s research from The Love Lab, 96% of the time you can predict how a conversation will end based on its first three minutes. So make sure you don’t start out BLAMING – or calling the person an uncaring person. If you do, then your sweetie will spend more time defending themselves, than attending to your needs and feelings. Instead, explain how the situation affects you – affects your feelings, values, goals. After your talk, your sweetie should then repeat back how they hear what you feel, so they can fully empathise – be in your shoes, head, heart -- thereby increasing their listening and empathy power – which will increase your ability to find a loving solution power!

2. Don’t try to convince your sweetie you are right and they are wrong. When you feel attacked by your sweetie’s actions/words, it’s normal to want to defend yourself - to explain all the reasons why you are right and your sweetie is wrong. Whether your tone is loving or combative, the underlying thinking is the same: “Once your sweetie realizes how wrong they are, they will change!” Guess what? It ain’t so! So stop trying to focus on winning your arguments. Instead try to focus on having a winning relationship! How? Try talking in “I” sentences instead of “you” sentences – so you speak more about how you feel. (And NO.. “I think you are a jerk is NOT an example of an “I” statement!) Your goal is to get your sweetie to EMPATHISE with you. So forget about facts. Keep staying with your feelings, values, dreams. From this place of empathy, perhaps your sweetie will better hear you -- and thereby want to find a way to take care of your needs and feelings (aka: want to change their evil ways!).

3. When you’re angry, calm yourself before you begin communicating. Although studies show that yelling is better than stonewalling, because at least it’s about intimately connecting with your sweetie, and showing you care enough to want to deal with the problem at hand – alas, yelling has its share of problems as well. Studies show that when people rant and yell, they just get angrier. The best strategy: Wait until you’ve calmed down to speak to your sweetie. Interesting factoid: If you and/or your sweetie’s heartbeat becomes higher than 100 beats per minute during an argument, you will not be able to fully hear what the other person is saying. This physical reason alone is good reason not to yell – as it will only stymie your attempts to communicate, frustrating you further. Also, studies show that a strong emotion like anger literally interferes with your ability to think rightly. When you’re angry parts of your brain’s processing become blocked, and it’s literally more difficult to think clearly and solve problems. Keep in mind a ditty Einstein once said: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level thinking we were at when we created them."

4. Never share important conversations by emailing back and forth. Or texting. (Yes some couples talk about important issues by text!). You need to sit in the same room, and if possible hold each other's hands as you have your difficult conversations. This sense of touch will keep you reminded about your goal: to share a loving, empathic conversation.

5. After a conflict, you need to put in the effort of repair. Gottman suggests you need a ratio of 5 to 1 nice/nasty moments- that's 5 nice moments to 1 nasty moment. After a conflict, send loving emails, do loving gestures, share what you love and appreciate about each other out loud -- or in quiet, sexy whispers.

6. Don't obsess about the past. Once a disagreement or difficult situation has occurred, and you've talked empathically about, do not ruminate about it. Forgive and forget. What you should be focusing on after your talk is: Does my sweetie want to change so this conflict does not repeat. If your sweetie is putting in the effort of change -- then, well, your sweetie truly is a sweetie, and you should let them know how much you appreciate their efforts

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