Stop caring about everyone’s opinion of you

For the most part, what other people think and say about you doesn’t matter.  

When I was younger I let the opinions of my high school and early college peers influence my decisions.  
And at times they steered me away from ideas and goals I strongly believed in.  
I realize now, many years later, that this was a foolish way to live, especially when I consider that nearly all of these people whose opinions I cared so much about are no longer a part of my life.
Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way.  What they think and say about you isn’t important. 

What is important is how you feel about yourself. 

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Think of Others

Sharing the heart is a simple practice that can be used at any time and in every situation. It enlarges our view and helps us remember our interconnection.
The essence of this practice is that when we encounter pain in our life we breathe into our heart with the recognition that others also feel this. It’s a way of acknowledging when we are closing down and of training to open up. When we encounter any pleasure or tenderness in our life, we cherish that and rejoice. Then we make the wish that others could also experience this delight or this relief.
In a nutshell, when life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others. If this is the only training we ever remember to do, it will benefit us tremendously and everyone else as well. It’s a way of bringing whatever we encounter onto the path of awakening bodhichitta. 
[Pema Chödrön Heart Advice]

Complainers in the Office: 3 Ways to Deal With Them

Exposure to nonstop negativity actually impairs brain function. Here’s how to defend yourself.
Do you hate it when people complain? It turns out there’s a good reason: Listening to too much complaining is bad for your brain in multiple ways, according to Trevor Blake, a serial entrepreneur and author of Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life. In the book, he describes how neuroscientists have learned to measure brain activity when faced with various stimuli, including a long gripe session.
“The brain works more like a muscle than we thought,” Blake says. “So if you’re pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you’re more likely to behave that way as well.”
Even worse, being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity–including viewing such material on TV–actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. “That’s the part of your brain you need for problem solving,” he says. “Basically, it turns your brain to mush.”
But if you’re running a company, don’t you need to hear about anything that may have gone wrong? “There’s a big difference between bringing your attention to something that’s awry and a complaint,” Blake says. “Typically, people who are complaining don’t want a solution; they just want you to join in the indignity of the whole thing. You can almost hear brains clink when six people get together and start saying, ‘Isn’t it terrible?’ This will damage your brain even if you’re just passively listening. And if you try to change their behavior, you’ll become the target of the complaint.”
So, how do you defend yourself and your brain from all the negativity? Blake recommends the following tactics:
1. Get some distance
“My father was a chain smoker,” Blake confides. “I tried to change his habit, but it’s not easy to do that.” Blake knew secondhand smoke could damage his own lungs as well. “My only recourse was to distance myself.”
You should look at complaining the same way, he says. “The approach I’ve always taken with complaining is to think of it as the same as passive smoking.” Your brain will thank you if you get yourself away from the complainer, if you can.
2. Ask the complainer to fix the problem
Sometimes getting distance isn’t an option. If you can’t easily walk away, a second strategy is to ask the complainer to fix the problem.
“Try to get the person who’s complaining to take responsibility for a solution,” Blake says. “I typically respond to a complaint with, ‘What are you going to do about it?'” Many complainers walk away huffily at that point, because he hasn’t given them what they wanted, Blake reports. But some may actually try to solve the problem.
3. Shields up!
When you’re trapped listening to a complaint, you can use mental techniques to block out the griping and save your neurons. Blake favors one used by the late Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros during a match against Jack Nicklaus–a match the crowd wanted Ballesteros to lose. “He was having difficulty handling the hostility of the crowd,” Blake says. “So he imagined a bell jar that no one could see descending from the sky to protect him.”
Major League Baseball pitchers can sometimes be seen mouthing “Shields on!” as they stride to the mound, he says. He adds that his own imaginary defense is “more like a Harry Potter invisibility cloak.”
A related strategy is to mentally retreat to your imagined favorite spot, someplace you’d go if you could wave a magic wand. “For me, it was a ribbon of beautiful white sugary sand that extended out in a horseshoe shape from a private island,” Blake says. “I would take myself to my private retreat while people were ranting and raving. I could smile at them and nod in all the right places and meanwhile take myself for a walk on my private beach.”
Blake first saw the picture of the island in a magazine, and the image stuck with him. Eventually, he got a chance to try it for real. “It turned out the island was for rent, and it was the same one I’d seen,” he says. “So I rented it for a week. And I got to take that walk.”

Source:
Complainers in the Office: 3 Ways to Deal With Them | Inc.com

10 Life-Enhancing Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less

by Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D

It usually takes us much longer to change our moods than we’d like it to take. Here are ten things you can do in ten minutes or less that will have a positive emotional effect on you and those you love.

1.    Watch “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. See it online at Oprah.com. This is a deeply moving segment that may be the best ten minutes you’ve ever invested in front of a computer.

2.    Spend a little while watching the sunset with your mate. Nothing extra is necessary. Just sit and take in the natural beauty of the sky and appreciate being able to share it with the one you love.

3.    Sit quietly by yourself. It doesn’t really matter where or when. Just let your feelings bubble up and then experience the thoughts flowing out of your mind. Clearing your head and heart will give you extra energy to get through the rest of the day.

4.    Write a thank you note to your mate. When was the last time you thanked your partner for just being who he or she is and being with you? Doing this in writing will give your partner something to cherish for the rest of his or her life.

5.    Take out your oldest family photo album and look through it. The experience will fill you with fond memories and perhaps make you a bit wistful for days gone by.

6.    Play with a child. Most kids have short attention spans; ten minutes of quality time from a loving adult can make their day. It will also help you stay in touch with the child inside of you.

7.    Visualize or imagine a positive outcome for any issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you.

8.    Go to bed with the one you love ten minutes earlier than usual. Then spend that time just holding each other. Let the feeling of warmth from your mate move through you.

9.    Hang out by some water. Studies show that hospital patients who can see a natural body of water from their beds get better at a 30 percent faster rate. If you’re not near the coast or a lake, try taking a bath. Doing so is also healing.

10.  Get your body moving. Shake, twist, and jump around. Let yourself feel the joy of moving to your favorite music, or just the sounds in your head. Run, walk, and bike to your hearts content. You will live longer and love it more.

Sadly, many people measure happiness by how long the experience lasts. The truth is that a few minutes of joy here and there can make a big difference in what you get out of life.

Dr. Goldsmith’s Website

36 Ways To Be Irresistibly Attractive

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“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action.” ~Deepak Chopra
Here’s the bottom line: we want people to like us. Even when we say we don’t care what people think, we really do.
We desire to be loved, respected, and viewed in a positive light. Our human interactions are vital to our sense of well-being, self-esteem, and happiness. When we discover that someone doesn’t like us or rejects us in some way, our emotions can run the gamut from defensive indignation to deep pain and profound sadness.
For any of us who have attempted to be likable and attractive to everyone, you eventually realize the futility of this exhausting endeavor.
It is impossible to “make” everyone like you, and even if you could, you will ultimately lose your self in the process. When you morph into a people pleaser or an actor playing roles to accommodate those you want to impress, you often alienate the very people you hope to charm.

The art of being irresistibly attractive to others requires that we do something which can be quite difficult. It requires us to love and respect ourselves first and foremost.

Only when we see ourselves as lovable and embrace our own authentic qualities, needs, ideas, values, and personality traits, do we release the pheromones of attractiveness to others. Although not everyone will be intrigued by your authenticity, those who are attracted to you will generally be emotionally intelligent, mature individuals who value genuine and unaffected relationships.
Self-love, self-confidence, and authenticity are the foundational elements of attractiveness. To strengthen this foundation and foster the transition from “trying to impress” to naturally attracting wonderful people attracting wonderful people into your life, there are some specific changes and shifts you can adopt.

Here are 36 actions you can take to make yourself irresistibly attractive:

1.  Develop your own personal operating system. Carve out and define your own reality, philosophy, values, and interests rather than automatically  accepting those of your family, peers, religion, or culture.
2.  Begin to let go of the need for validation. Don’t be motivated by the opinions or others or the desire for recognition. Be driven by what is important to you and what you value.
3.  Trust your instincts and allow for experimentation. Get to know yourself and discover what you enjoy and find exciting, even if you have to fail a few times.
4.  Accept others as they are. Begin letting go of judgments and criticism of others. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their faults. Learn to deal with difficult people without diminishing yourself.
5.  Really hear people. Go beyond just listening and understanding. Let people know that you really get them.
6.  Take care of unresolved matters in your life. Restore your integrity. Forgive and ask for forgiveness where necessary. Reclaim the energy you have given to these matters.
7.  Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get some form of exercise daily. Eat healthy foods that support your body, not your emotions. Do this because you respect yourself, not to impress others.
8.  Cause things to happen. Don’t wait for them. Be a creator, an instigator, a collaborator. Share your enthusiasm.
9.  Show people you care. Don’t just talk about it. Show them in ways that are meaningful to them, not you.
10. Require the best of people. See them not only for who they are, but who they can be. Lovingly reflect that vision to them.
11. Ensure your own needs are met. Discern your primary needs, and communicate fully what is important and valuable to you  in your relationships. Don’t compromise these to keep peace or hang on.
12. Speak constructively. Use your words to uplift, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Don’t offer “constructive criticism” or subtle digs.
13. Laugh easily. Have a lightness about you. Take life less seriously and choose to find and create fun and joy.
14. Cease gossip. Choose not to talk about others in ways that are openly or subtlety critical. Don’t share information for the feeling of power or intrigue.
15. Make requests, not complaints. If you need something from someone, ask for it directly. Don’t whine or complain to them or others.
16. Handle situations fully. Kindly but clearly deal with negative issues as soon as possible. Don’t tolerate anything  if it causes resentments.
17. Be done with arguments. Smile and walk away until healthy communication is possible.
18. Offer help only when asked. Don’t assume that others want you to fix them or that you know best for them. Be available and give help only when asked.
19. Care deeply, but remain detached. Let others know you care deeply about them when they have problems, but don’t get caught up in their problems.
20. See with your heart, not your eyes. Look beyond superficiality when seeing someone. Financial status, appearance, notoriety, all mean nothing. Look for the authentic person inside.
21.  Don’t say yes when you mean no. If you mean no, your yes will be harnessed with resentment. Say yes only when your yes is given freely.
22. Let others know you are grateful. Tell them and show them that you feel blessed to have them in your life.
23. Never play the guilt card. Don’t try to manipulate or hurt someone by trying to make them feel bad about their choices, decisions, or actions.
24. Give more than is expected. Don’t over-commit, but freely give more than you promise.
25. Be inter-developmental in your relationships. Don’t be controlling, dependent or co-dependent. Create relationships that are mutually uplifting, reward, and satisfying.
26. Be a big person. Don’t try to take credit, diminish others, or hold back on praise. Offer acknowledgment and power when it is needed and deserved.
27. Be confident enough to be humble. Be able to laugh at yourself, acknowledge your flaws and failures, and accept that they don’t define you.
28. Be open to learning. Don’t flaunt your intelligence or superior knowledge. Recognize that there is always something to learn, even from those who appear “less than.”
29. Be more engaged than engaging. Show your sincere interest in others. Use the word “you” more than “I.” Listen intently and reflect back to others who they are.
30. Give gifts that others want. Not just gifts to impress or that are important to you.
31. Challenge yourself constantly. Don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t languish in past accomplishments. Keep moving forward and exude enthusiasm about possibilities and the actions to make them happen.
32. Detach from adrenaline. Simplify your life enough so you are not rushed, stressed, cluttered, or distracted. Allow yourself time and room to focus.
33. Embrace the incredible power of now. Nothing is more valuable than this moment. Make it the best moment you possibly can right now.
34. Don’t fight the flow. Don’t struggle against people or situations you can’t control. Move effortlessly in a different direction.
35. Keep evolving. Stay on a path of personal development and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.
36. Accept that you won’t be attractive to everyone. As you evolve and become more attractive, fewer people will be attracted to you — but what an incredible group they are!

Source:
36 Ways To Be Irresistibly Attractive | Bloom