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How Small Talk Works When It Comes To Achieving Success

How Small Talk Works When It Comes To Achieving Success

By definition, small talk means polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, especially as engaged in on social occasions.

By simply engaging and socializing about unimportant matter, we trigger our brain and we sharpen our way of thinking. Even all the bigger things come from something smaller that triggered them. In fact, small talk is one of the best ways to start a conversation and lead that conversation to a whole another level.

I read one article while I was lurking the net and it was about “30 days of engagement in small talk with strangers.” Even though I am only on the 3th day, I’ve seen drastic changes in my life. I’ve started to realize that people need someone to talk to, something spontaneous, and all of that can be satisfied by a small talk with a stranger.

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When we engage in small talks, especially with strangers, we show our positive site. People are polite and they will smile back at everything you say, but these days no one wants to kick-start and breaks the ice.  No one want’s to show their dark side at first sight. By default we trigger two positive images.

On my three day journey, I’ve figured out that small talk works when it comes to achieving success and another two vital things: there is beauty in simplicity, and the neon light effect.

There Is Beauty In Simplicity

If we see the image of how success works and how the image was created, we figure out that it’s same as solving puzzle. One piece over another we will complete the puzzle, sooner or later. It may be a puzzle from a thousand pieces or 10 thousand, but one day, if we are being persistent and dedicated, we can solve that puzzle and create the image of success.

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Small talk is the first piece of the puzzle. By engaging in small talk, sharpening our brain on the simplest of things, we see that it’s the first corner of the puzzle (since corners are easiest to find).

Most of the people will respect us and are willing to help us because we have the power to share our positive energy even for a couple of seconds. One simple “how you doing?” or “how was your day?” have the power to open millions of doors, especially those to happiness and success.

By doing it frequently we master our way of doing the small talk. Just ask the question: “how many people you know only by doing a small talk with them?” Maybe 70 percent of the people I know are a small talk relationship. I would be poor if I cut my small talk from everyday life.

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It’s the most powerful thing when we master the small talk and that’s why there is beauty in simplicity.

I dare you to try the 30 days challenge of “small talk with strangers” and lot of doors will be open. You may not make a strong lasting relationship with everyone, but you will gather excessive experience with relationship with people. That’s a vast step in the sphere of success. Always remember that the image is created by smaller parts.

The Neon Light Effect

The neon light effect is the one of my favorite outcomes from small talks. It’s the brain trigger after we end our small conversations.

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Because the brain remembers almost everything, by engaging in small talks, we formulate a way of thinking about the environment we are surrounded with, especially about HR and public relations. Even if we are programmer, we have to engage with people and sell our products out there. We are community of 7 billion for a reason. We have to connect and share our energy. Small talk is the best way to start a long lasting relationship.

We may think that if we finish our conversation, it will be gone forever. The brain sucks everything, and one positive image of a small talk will stay in our brain AT LEAST one day. By engaging every day, we stimulate our positive vibes and we feel powerful. When we feel powerful success looks very easy, piece of cake! The problem is that we are not always positive. In fact, most of the time we are we struggling and fighting with harsh times, but the small talk can boost one bit of positivity.

Once more, I highly recommend you to start the challenge. For 3 days I saw drastic changes, and I can’t imagine after 27 days more. In fact, I think I will continue doing the small talk with strangers forever.

Small talk is the most important piece of the puzzle when we want to create the image of success. Persist in it, master it, and you will feel both, the neon light effect and the beauty in simplicity.

Featured photo credit: The kindness of strangers/Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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