Category: Dealing with Others

On Giving Advice

“Wisdom is the ability to take your own advice” Sam Harris

Realize that giving advice from your own personal experience or autobiography will create much better engagement. Speaking from a pedestal never turns out well.

If asked for advice, you really need to gauge how serious the requester is. Are they just asking in hopes of getting some validation or in opening up a complaining dialogue? Do they really want detailed, specific advice? A great question I saw from Ramit Sethi was this…”How serious are you?”. Then listen closely to the answer. Anything short of “I’m ready and will do anything you say” means they aren’t ready…just tell them they are doing great and move on.

The flip side of this is to also be careful with requests for help to others. Some say, “It never hurts to ask”, but this isn’t true. If you ask someone for a favor and put them in an uncomfortable position, they may not help you and may avoid you at all costs to avoid being further “uncomfortabilized”…new word! If you must ask, follow the “Give, Give, Give, and Give Some More” policy.

Friends…Choose Wisely

“A friend is one to whom you can pour out the content of your heart, chaff and grain alike, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away”

Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. If as the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, who are those 5 and are they the ones you know they should be?

As my beautifully wise Mom told me at one point when I was a boy, true friends you can probably only count on one hand… the kind that will drop everything just to help you regardless of what is going on in their own life. Regularly tell these people you are grateful for them…they are nearly impossible to replicate.

If you’re married, consider that your significant other is probably your best friend… do you treat them that way? If not, time for you to do better.

To make more friends, ask yourself at the end of the day…”who did I help today?”… you have to take a risk to be somebody’s friend… put yourself out there. See your relationships as the place you go to give, not a place to take.  Friendships of convenience in the moment usually end poorly…look for long term potential.

Always be elevating your associations…not for more money but for people that will challenge you. Really good friends will help push you out of your comfort zone… associate with people that will do you this kindness.

Could it be possible that some person whom you consider to be a friend is in reality your worst enemy because of his negative influence on your mind? Sometimes the truest friends come in disguise. You may not recognize their true beauty at first. The same is true in reverse. Choose wisely!

“It doesn’t matter how many friends you can count, but how many you can count on. It is more about quality than breadth… go deep” -Jason Gaignard

Secret Formula to Getting What You Want: Give, Give, and Give Some More

“I shall pass this way but once. Therefore any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again” –Stephen Grellet

Wow, this is a hard one: ever feel like your giving is a one way street? You can’t do anything about the other side, except keep giving. After giving enough, you have every right to ask, but don’t count on it being favorable. Here are some thoughts on giving:

  • Pay it forward… give first
  • Give, give, give, give, give, then ask if you must
  • Do the unexpected or no one will ever remember you. Tell a good story of why you do things this way

If there is already an exchange of giving:

  • Focus your life on appreciation, not expectations…let gratitude fill your soul
  • Always give a little more than you promise… under promise and over deliver

If you give without thoughts of receiving, whatever it is will grow…isn’t that the idea anyway? Be grateful and be wary of desire… things in excess tend to become their opposite.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile” -Albert Einstein

Stand Up for What is Right/Dealing with Bullies

goliathI am ashamed at how many times I’ve sat silently and seen or heard things being said, done, etc that I knew deep down were not right. I promise to do better. So, rather than stating my own approach, here is a barrage of quotes by a number of folks (an overwhelming number by Martin Luther King Jr. who I’d say is the ultimate model of what to do) that say how I feel…

“Please don’t mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness” – Carson Kolhoff

“Bullies prey on the weak, but… there is always a small kid who fights like hell (thrashing and swinging)…he may not win but the bully will go elsewhere. Be that kid” – Tim Ferriss

This may sound like a stupid way to introduce this, but this quote from Cinderella’s mom made me think: “have courage and be kind”… why is it so easy to be mean-spirited and yet it takes more effort to be kind to each other? For my kids I place one hand on their heads and one on their heart…”live as your heart and head lead you”… one may lead you astray, but thinking with both will never misguide you…

Seeking Change, Truth…
Gandhi says, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”…”first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. “Truth goes through three steps: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, then finally it is accepted as self-evident” -Arthur Schopenhauer

Being bold privately is nice, but for change to happen it must be public and in the light of day…
These words from Martin Luther King Jr. explain much,” we are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open where it can be dealt with”…” we are here to say to the white man that we will longer let them use their clubs on us in dark corners. We are going to make them do it in the glaring light of television”…“the Negro’s great stumbling block is not the White Citizen’s Council or the KKK, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension, who consistently advises the Negro to wait for a more convenient season”.

Realize that it may be far easier to confront your enemies than your friends…
”It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends” -JK Rowling. “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy”…” in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” -MLK

When you pick sides, good versus evil must be glaringly apparent…
”People will choose good over evil, but the choice must be undeniably clear. Good must stand apart… untainted, unblemished”…” meet physical force with soul force”…” we shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer” -MLK

Sometimes justice seems blurry and there can be a fine line between justice and injustice, but look in your heart and think it through in your own head…
”One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws… an unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself”…” one who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty”…” privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may give up their unjust posture, but groups tend to be more immoral than individuals” -MLK

Before you ever start pushing for change, decide how far you’re willing to go… is anything worth Death?…
“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he is not fit to live”…” we had an understanding in our movement that if you let people stop you from doing something through death, it only encourages them to kill you whenever they wanted you to stop doing something” – MLK, “I will not fight, but I will not comply. I am not willing to kill, but I am willing to die” -MLK on nonviolence

My quote: “Please don’t mistake my easy-going nature for weakness… I have resolve like a M—–F—–! I am a force to be reckoned with”

This book was a great reference: King Remembered by Flip Schulke



competition“If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize“ -Mohammad Ali

Many times the threat of attack is greater than the attack itself… don’t overestimate others or underestimate yourself.

If you want to motivate others, throw down a challenge to inspire. Talk in terms of others’ interests… appeal to others noble motives (charity, honesty, hard work).

Great goals produce great motivation (as Tim Ferris says in 4 Hour Work Week…“You may run through brick walls for a sailing trip to the Greek Isles, but not be willing to change your brand of cereal to go to Sandusky, Ohio”), however, realize that the secret to winning usually is a series of singles, not a home run.

Before you begin make sure you understand the rules… many times they aren’t the same for everybody. What rules does your competition have to comply with… do you? This may be your opening. Examples: US military vs. ISIS, Wal-Mart vs. Amazon, Donal Trump vs. 20 year politicians, etc. An old cliché says “fight fire with fire”… this is stupid… fight fire with water. It is hard to win playing someone else’s game… play your own game relative to others.

“Sometimes you have to respect your competition so much that you treat them with no respect at all. You have to defeat a great players aura more than their actual game” -Pat Riley

If you have ever seen the ending rap battle in the movie 8 Mile, Eminem kills the competitive spirit of his opponent by saying everything negative he thinks he’s going to say about him before he can do it and he has nothing left to say…beat your opponents to the punch!

Practice on your weaknesses, but play to your strengths