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3 Steps To Regain Your Invincibility

3 Steps To Regain Your Invincibility

    I wore snowpants all the time as a kid and still remember the feeling. Do you remember what it felt like to wear snowpants and mittens on a bright snowy day?

    You felt invincible. The snow couldn’t hurt you because you we wearing your trusty snowpants and mittens. Instead of staying inside, you were empowered (or in my case, ordered by your mother) to explore all that the snow had changed in your world.

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    Then you got older and stopped playing in the snow. There were a few snowball fights in high school and that one time in college when you streaked across the commons in January. But that’s it. No more building forts or tunneling through snowbanks.

    There’s no need for me to worry about you losing your sense of adventure, is there? Surely you’ve replaced tunnelling through snowbanks with exciting projects that just so happen to not require snowpants or mittens? You’ve continued bundling up for adventures and leaping into the unknown with cries of delight. Haven’t you? No?

    You must be miserable.

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    I don’t wear snowpants anymore but I’ve managed to hold onto some of the joyous bravado of my early days. How? It’s pretty simple. That’s right. I’m going to pour you a steaming mug of advice on how you can feel like you’ve got snowpants and mittens on. For free? Yes. For free. Ridiculous!

    1. Get two different kinds of nekkid– When dealing with metaphorical snow, it’s often in comfort with exposure that we find the best protection. I recommend having at least one friend who knows the details of something you’re struggling with. Accountability is often a result of such disclosure, but that’s not what we’re concerned with just yet. The key thing here is to have at least one person you’re NOT sleeping with who gets the regular dirt on your life. When it comes to the one you do the naughty and get annoyed over stupid things with, I suggest you stop taking your clothes off and actually get nekkid. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go ask your mother. (That always worked for my dad as an answer. I figured I’d try it out.)
    2. Take baby steps in scary directions– You’ve probably heard the, “do one thing every day that scares you” pitch? That’s resulted in a lot of scary-looking people getting laid but not much else. Most of us aren’t at the point where we can leap at things that terrify us. In fact, it’s often considered a disorder for one to be attracted to risky behavior. Where’s the balance between sleeping with ogres and turning into Miss Havisham? Baby steps. Pick a direction, take a step in that direction, mark your progress, and take another step once you’ve gotten used to the temperature. It’s a lot like getting into a cold pool. Once you’re up to your knees you say, “oh, enough of waiting!” and jump in. I should note that wearing real snowpants won’t do much to protect you if you’re trying to swim in icy water. It’ll probably help you drown, to be Frank.
    3. Get some Thinsulation– When you think of insulation, you probably think of either the scratchy pink stuff in your walls or the sort of behavior that plagues most political systems. For just a moment I’d like you to think of insulation as something that protects you and gives a bit of padding for when you leap and don’t land exactly as you’d planned. I want you to think of Kevlar snowpants strong and warm enough that you could slide down a snowy mountain on your butt while wearing them. That’s the sort of insulation you want. The empowering sort of insulation that gives stupidly impossible things a glimmer of plausibility. We’re talking about Thinsulation! How can you arm yourself with such magnificent insulation? By figuring out what really, truly matters to you in life and doing your best to make the rest slip into place as you have time. Not sure what that entails? Start by getting nekkid and taking some baby steps. You’ll find your way soon enough.

    Was that as good for you as it was for me? I hope so. Cigarette? No? I don’t smoke either.

    What makes you feel invincible?

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    Image: Source

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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