Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for the ‘Personality’ Category

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

by Brett Blumenthal

A couple of years ago, the Boston Marathon promoted its event with a series of inspiring billboards.  All of them were black and white images of a runner, with a quote that expressed their reason for running.  Some billboards were of fully mobile individuals and others were of those who were disabled but were determined to cross the finish line, either through a family member’s or friend’s assistance, or through the use of a prosthetic device.  Each had different quotes, but one in particular really stood out: the runner’s response was simple…“Because I can.”

As kids, the “Little Engine who could” told us a valuable tale of an extraordinary spirit…of perseverance…of determination…of believing in ourselves. As adults, we don’t always have tales to teach us these valuable lessons. And, as a result we start making excuses. We stop learning. We stop trying.

‘Because I can’ eliminates these excuses. It pushes us past the status quo and our comfort zones. It gives us a reason to do the things that we think we can’t. And, it enables us to believe in ourselves.

Practicing ‘Can’ thinking is important to keeping us young, to having a positive outlook, to staying motivated and to reaching our goals. Further, it can help us lead richer and fuller lives that are more rewarding. The fact that you have the ability to do something empowers you to do it, whatever the task might be.

How can you use the power of ‘Because I can’? Here are a few ways to incorporate this positive thinking into various aspects of your own life:

  1. Be More Active: Whether it is to get to the store or work, or if it is climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, embracing a ‘Because I can’ attitude is an easy way to incorporate more activity into your life. Break the ‘I’m tired’ or ‘It is too hard’ or ‘It is too far’ cycle. Increasing your activity level will provide enormous benefits, both physically and mentally.
  2. Try Something New: It is easy for us to make excuses for why we shouldn’t try new things. Maybe you think it is out of your comfort zone. Maybe it seems too difficult. Or maybe, it is just inconvenient. Reminding yourself that ‘You Can’ try something new will help you to move past these roadblocks and discover new things about yourself and possible new interests.
  3. Reach for the Stars: No matter how old you are, setting new goals and continually dreaming makes life more interesting and rewarding. Whether it is professionally or personally, find new ways to stretch yourself, to learn and to grow. Pushing yourself to be the best you can be will give you a sense of accomplishment. Further, you’ll never feel bored.
  4. Speak Up: Often, we can become complacent in our lives, going through a routine and not addressing things that bother us or make us unhappy. You have a voice. Use that voice ‘because you can’. Communicating to loved ones, co-workers and even your boss as to how you feel, what your needs and expectations are and what you are thinking can help you develop deeper, more meaningful and rewarding relationships. Further, you will be truer to yourself, inevitably making you a happier individual.
  5. Go the Extra Mile: No, you don’t have to be a marathon runner to incorporate this slogan into your exercise routine. But, when you are at the end of your thirty minute aerobic workout, try going an extra ten minutes ‘Because you can.’ You’ll empower yourself to push beyond the ‘status quo.’ Additionally, you will strengthen your heart and burn off the cheesecake from the night before.
  6. Increase Your Willpower: Saying ‘No’ to our favorite indulgences can be challenging. However, developing a strong willpower, whether it is in response to our favorite chocolate cake or to over-shopping and spending past our means is something that we can all benefit from. Next time you are tempted to do something you think you might regret, try reminding yourself that you ‘can’ say no. YOU have the power.

The human spirit can be very fragile, but incorporating positive thinking, such as ‘Because I can,’  while, eliminating ‘because I can’t’ from your thought processes, can be very powerful.

Do you have any techniques that motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and move beyond the status quo? What inspires you?

http://www.sheerbalance.com/brettsblog/2009/01/15/do-you-push-yourself/

Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well-adjusted, happy, healthy minded individuals, we sometimes realize that it just isn’t so.  Personally, I’ve had moments where I’ll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and BAM, I’ll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails.  Sometimes it is easy to write it off and other times, not so much.

Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain individual, you feel negative.  Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional.  Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member, you regress into a state of childhood.

Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives.  And, although we are all human and have our ‘issues,’ some ‘issues’ are quite frankly, toxic.  They are toxic to our happiness.  They are toxic to our mental outlook.  They are toxic to our self-esteem.  And they are toxic to our lives.  They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan.

Here are the worst of the toxic personalities out there and how to spot them:

1. Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics.  Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late.  These individuals figure out what your ‘buttons’ are, and push them to get what they want.

  • Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem.  They find ways to make you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation.  The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.

2. Narcissistic Nancy: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them.  They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marys of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met.  You often want to say to them “It isn’t always about you.”

  • Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust.  You are left disappointed and unfulfilled.  Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them, that you have nothing left for yourself.

3. Debbie Downers: These people can’t appreciate the positive in life.  If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast.  If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they’ll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.

  • Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything.  Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity.  Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.

4. Judgmental Jims: When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive.  If you find people’s unique perspectives refreshing, they find them ‘wrong’.  If you like someone’s eclectic taste, they find it ‘disturbing’ or ‘bad’.

  • Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Debbie Downers.  In a world where freedom rings, judgment is sooo over.  If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring.  Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.

5. Dream Killing Keiths: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can’t do it.  As you achieve, they try to pull you down.  As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.

  • Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in what is instead of what could be.  Further, these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself.  Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.

6. Insincere Illissas: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere.  You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh.  You feel depressed and sad and they give you a ‘there, there’ type response.  You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.

  • Why they are toxic: People who aren’t sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria.  This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships.  When you are really in need of a friend, they won’t be there.  When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are.  When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.

7. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways.  In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies.  Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you.  Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business.  Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.

  • Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don’t respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy.  These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.

8. Never Enough Nellies: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy.  They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you.  They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.

  • Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them, that you will end up losing yourself in the process.  They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your own needs sacrificed.

All of these personalities have several things in common.  1) the more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue.  2) Unfortunately, most of these people don’t see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one.  3) Most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.

Frankly, life is too short to spend your time dealing with toxicity.  If you can, avoid spending mucho time with people who are indicative of these behaviors and you’ll feel a lot happier. Have you encountered these personalities?  What have you done?  Any personalities you would add?

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/8-toxic-personalities-to-avoid-461078/


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