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Why UberPool is Awesome

Why UberPool is Awesome

UberPool is not only changing the way we travel through reduced fares, pollution and carbon but changing the way we connect, by matching us with strangers! It is also providing us with an amazing opportunity to get social and increase our feelings of wellbeing in many ways. Why is this important? Studies show that we have lost our ultrasociality – a source of happiness in humans. Chronic loneliness afflicts one in three Americans and takes a severe toll on health. So here are my five reasons why we should make the most of UberPool, because it is awesome.

1. Small talk is good for us.

By opening up and chatting with our fellow rider/s we can boost our feelings of wellbeing! Even micro moments of positive interaction promote positive health benefts.

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2. A short casual conversation, with a stranger, where we play the “interested inquirer” gives us a chance to cultivate curiosity.

Curiosity is good for us too. It grows our empathy and makes us more open to others who we perceive as different from us. Happiness guru Martin Seligman identifies it as a key character strength that can enhance life satisfaction.

3. Humans are hard wired to be pro social.

Helping others brings the same pleasure we get from the gratification of personal desire. So when you ask your fellow rider for a little advice about, say, the best local restaurant, not only could you find out where the finest steak in town is served, which will increase your happiness if you go there and eat it, you will also increase their happiness as well.

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4. It is likely that some people you come across will become part of your wide ranging social network.

Research suggests that job seekers who have wide-ranging weak ties are actually more likely to be successful in their search than those who have stronger close relationships. So you could find yourself in your dream job! How great for your wellbeing is that!

5. Increasing our personal networks with weaker ties also gives us a broader range of social roles, which increases our feelings of self worth and lowers stress and anxiety levels.

What we need to know is do most fellow riders really feel like connecting? My answer is yes. Both extroverts and introverts get a boost out of interacting with people, even if it is not known yet whether a simple interaction, such as in a cab, provides just as powerful a boost as speaking with a friend.

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However, before you launch into conversation you might want to remember a few basic things, just in case. When is it cool to interact and when is it annoying? The key to success here is the ability to read body language.

So when should you interact with someone? When their body is relaxed and open, they are turned towards you, they smile a lot, mirror you a little, make eye contact and their language flows. Notice also if they are listening and asking relevant questions.

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And when should you not interact with someone? Well, that’s easy to figure out, they will be the opposite of the above. Their body will be tense, closed and turned away, very little or no eye contact will be made, their voice will be flat and monotone and they will speak in clipped sentences.

Obviously not all interactions are going to be positive, we all have bad days. It is important not to take offence. Who knows what goes on in another’s life. They could simply be somewhere else due to everyday stress. If only they knew that by connecting with others they could feel a whole lot better

Featured photo credit: bfishadow via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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