Archive for May, 2006

Change envy into a more powerful emotion

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

When was the last time you came across someone who had something or could do something that you didn’t have or couldn’t do.  Think back.  Did you see someone in a car that you wish you had, or a house, or a job.  Or maybe it wasn’t a thing but a skill, like playing the guitar, a sport or communicating in a foreign language.

How did it make you feel?

  • Did you feel envious?
  • Did you feel jealous?
  • Angry?
  • Inferior?

The emotions that envy bring out in most people are, on the whole, negative ones.  People see something (either a physical thing or maybe a skill or a relationship) that someone else has, and they see a void in their own life.  This bring up negative feelings.  The bigger the void the bigger the negative feelings will be.

I’m not saying that negative feelings are bad (negative feelings can drive us to do great things) but left unchecked, negativity can become all-consuming.  When you find yourself starting to become overwhelmed with negative feelings, stop and examine the situation.  Feeling bad isn’t going to make anything better – actions are what’s going to cause any change, and the best way to cause change is to ask better questions.

Here are some better questions that you can ask yourself:

  • “Did I want what whatever was making me envious before I actually saw it?  If not, why?”
  • “What are the specific things (these are usually either skills or disciplines) that are ”
  • “How could I get to have XYZ?”
  • “What skills does the other person have that, if I had them, would allow me to achieve the same results?”
  • “Is changing my goals and priorities to achieve XYZ worth it?”

By asking these questions you are focusing your mind in a much positive way, examining the reasons behind why you might not have what you desire, but also, and perhaps more importantly, whether it is something that you actually want or just a passing fancy.

If come to the conclusion that you do actually want the thing or skill that you are lacking, then thank your mind for making you envious (because that’s what made you notice it in the first place) and then, using the answers to the questions above, start working out a way to achieve your new goal.

Now isn’t that far better than just stewing in your own anger?

Read on...

Want to learn how to speed-read?

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Do you want to learn how to speed-read?  WikiHow has an excellent article on how to learn to speed read that will cost you nothing.

Compared to most systems that will cost you anything between $10 to $100 (or more), the information in this article is quite thorough and should, if you practice enough (and learning to speed read requires a LOT of practice) you should be able to increase your reading speed dramatically.

The article breaks down speed reading into 11 steps, but the four steps that I feel are the most important are:

  • Time your current reading speed
    Know where you are starting from – this way you’ll be able to spot improvements that you make.
  • Stop reading to yourself
    One of the main obstacles to speed reading is subvocalizing the words you see in your head.  As odd as it might sound, this dramatically reduces your reading speed.  Humming to yourself or playing music through headphones while you read are both good techniques for eliminating subvocalization.
  • Read with your hand
    One of the keys to speed reading is smooth eye movement and it helps if you use your hand of finger as a guide for your eye.
  • Practice and push yourself
    If you want to learn to speed read then you will need to put in hours of practice time.  Don’t expect to speed read in 5 minutes!

Try it and see how you fair!

Read on...

How Happy are YOU?

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Here’s an interesting upcoming programme on the BBC as well as articles on the science and politics of happiness and the happiness test which you can take. What score did you get?

The main trick with being happy though is being happy with your life – as Tony Robbins calls it living with an ‘attitude of gratitude’.  So next time you realize you’re feeling low about your life, smile … and remind yourself what you HAVE got – not what you haven’t!!

Read on...
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