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10 Things You Should Give Up To Boost Happiness

10 Things You Should Give Up To Boost Happiness

Happiness is not a goal, but a state of being. People forget that though its true that you feel happiness when you reach your goals, DAILY happiness is an experience. Achieving your dreams does give happiness, but does not replace sadness. In fact, I would say that feeling happiness while reaching for your dreams is one of the most important keys in reaching your goals in the first place.

So if happiness begets more happiness AND success, how will someone get there if they don’t feel very happy right now? Luckily, there is a simple answer to this. All people would need to do, is give up on certain negative things that drag them down. There is a lot of baggage that people carry around and that prevents the experience of joy. Think of these things as blockages to the well of happiness that exists within everyone.

People can and have succeeded in their attempt to remove these harmful things from their lives. And everyone can do it. As long as he or she knows what baggage to give up, he will surely rediscover the happiness he always had.

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To help out, I list here 10 common things to give up to be happy:

1. Give Up Jealousy

Some people think that comparing themselves to others is good. It could be, if the purpose of is to compete. To give oneself a goal to aspire to. But it starts being harmful when the achievements of others bring about envious feelings. Give this up, and you’ll have more time focusing on what you could achieve instead of what others achieve.

2. Give up the Fear of Change

Most of the time, even if the current situation is like hell, a lot of people just refuse to budge. They know that they aren’t comfortable where they are. It’s just that they fear new things more! Shedding this feeling from their lives would open up new worlds for them to discover. Being able to decide to change and facing it head on is the most exhilarating feeling someone could experience.

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3. Giving up Control

Though many people want the power to control how their lives (and perhaps the lives of others) play out, not everything can be controlled. Sometimes, no matter how hard they try, not everything turns out the way they wanted it to. However, once people start recognizing that certain things and events are just really beyond their control, they can start to be more accepting of what life gives them.

4. Give up Overwork Time

Professional achievement drives a lot of businessmen and entrepreneurs to work long hours. I know it’s to achieve our dreams, but we need some balance in their lives in order to be happy. Achieving worthy goals is good, giving some time to other important parts of life (family, friends, hobbies) is better.

5. Give up Blaming

Sometimes, things go wrong. Whether its in the job or some other area of life, people feel the need to give blame to something or someone when this happens. It’s like a coping mechanism: people just don’t want to feel responsible for anything bad that happens. By giving this up, people can instead focus on finding solutions and getting out of a bad situation.

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6. Give up Complaining

Constantly complaining people not only ruin their own happiness, but the happiness of others too. The one thing that people could surely control is their reaction to unhappy events. One of the best things people could do is to stop their complaining and start looking at problems in a new light.

7. Give up the Need to Be Right All the Time

No one is possessed with the power to know everything there is to know. So why do some people insist that they are right all the time? Even if they were, would it have been worth it to argue with others because of it? Sometimes its just better to put the relationships you have over being right.

8. Give up Limiting Beliefs

Still some others feel that they just can’t achieve their dreams, or even some form of it. The feeling of lack, the belief that their ability is limited, is one of the BIGGEST obstacles to happiness. By giving this up, the world will start revealing unlimited possibilities.

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9. Give up Bad Friends

People are easily influenced by their peers. Humans are such social creatures that we adopt the habits and values of the people around us. Bad friends who influence people  to be less than what they could be will prevent them from experiencing the happiness they deserve. Instead, people should surround themselves with others who inspire them and drive them to live their lives to the fullest.

10. Give up the Past

Admittedly, the past is filled with experiences, good and bad. But these experiences are meant to build people up. The past should not be a recording of regrets that people look back to most of the time. The past should be a source of wisdom, to push people to become their better selves and continue to live the happy life they deserve to have.

Featured photo credit: Happiness/Farrukh via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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