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10 Ways to Love the People in Your Life

“At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?” ~Jack Kornfield

We all grow up with some healthy stories about love and some unhealthy ones.

By Tara Sophia Mohr  —  Tiny Buddha

I learned some beautiful, life-giving ideas about love, ideas like these:

Loving people means believing in their potential.
Love means treating people with kindness and gentleness.
Loving the people in your life means celebrating their successes and cheering them on.
But I also grew up with some stories about love that I came to see weren’t so helpful. Those ideas about love bred problems in my relationships.

One of those stories was: Loving someone means always being available to them. (Turns out, it’s not true, and living as if it is breeds resentment.)

Another was: Loving someone means always having space for what they want to talk to you about. (Turns out, not true either!)

Another myth about love: If you love someone, you do what they are asking you to do, out of love, even if it feels difficult. (I can tell you, that doesn’t work so well.)

I’ve developed my own guidelines for loving the people in my life, guidelines that express how I want to relate to the people around me.

These are some of my guidelines for loving:

1. Tell them about their brilliance.

They likely can’t see it and they don’t know its immensity, but you can see it, and you can illuminate it for them.

2. Be authentic, and give others the gift of the real you and a real relationship.

Ask your real questions. Share your real beliefs. Go for your real dreams. Tell your truth.

3. Don’t confuse “authenticity” with sharing every complaint, resentment, or petty reaction in the name of “being yourself.”

Meditate, write, or do yoga to work through anxiety, resentment, and stress on your own so you don’t hand off those negative moods to everyone around you. Sure, share sadness, honest dilemmas, and fears, but be mindful; don’t pollute.

4. Listen, listen, listen.

Don’t listen to determine if you agree or disagree. Listen to get to know what is true for the person in front of you. Get to know an inner landscape that is different from your own, and enjoy the journey. Remember that if, in any conversation, nothing piqued your curiosity and nothing surprised you, you weren’t really listening.

5. Don’t waste your time or energy thinking about how they need to be different.

Really. Chuck that whole thing. Their habits are their habits. Their personalities are their personalities. Let them be, and work on what you want to change about you—not what you think would be good to change about them.

6. Remember that you don’t have to understand their choices to respect or accept them. Read more

Elevating Your Children to Love

Teach Your Children Well

Haidt, PhD, recalls the first time he heard South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela speak after his release from prison. Jailed since the early 1960s, Mandela emerged in 1990 urging reconciliation and cooperation in building a democratic, post-apartheid South Africa.

“Here was a man who had been imprisoned his whole life,” says Haidt, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “If anyone had a right to be angry, it was Mandela. Yet it was he who said that we all must work together.”

Haidt recalls a sensation upon hearing Mandela’s words, something subtle but undeniably real — something similar, perhaps, to what you felt the last time you witnessed any act of remarkable generosity or largeness of spirit: a momentary pause, a flutter in the chest, a tingling in the hands.

“It gave me chills,” Haidt recalls. “Just remembering it brings the sensation back.”

That “sensation,” Haidt believes, is neither an inconsequential response limited to one transitory moment of awe, nor a vague and indecipherable “feeling.” Rather, the effect that comes from witnessing acts of charity or courage may be a profoundly important universal phenomenon worthy of scientific research, he says.

Haidt is a pioneer in studying the effects that good deeds and acts of valor have on those who witness them — an effect he has termed “elevation.”

While Haidt’s work is still largely theoretical, he says parents can apply the principles of elevation in everyday interactions with children. For instance, he cites William Bennett’s The Book of Virtues — which describes models of virtuous behavior from history and literature — as a potent source of what he calls “moral exemplars” for kind and virtuous behavior.

“No one thing is going to make much of a difference, but talking about virtues and vices when they arrive in daily life, plus modeling virtuous behavior yourself, can help to create a sense of a moral world,” Haidt says. Read Full Story

Be Kind to Your Employees, They Will Thank You For It

We all know how important it is to recruit the right talent for your company. Employees are our greatest asset.

By Isabel Dimaranan

 

They’re the minds that run the corporate machine, and the best of them keep our company on top. So, once we have them in our nest, how do we ensure that they stay?

As one of our favorite CEOs, Richard Branson, says, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

Managers need to do their part in order to keep employees at their best, but it’s not always an easy feat. A large global survey of employee attitudes toward management suggests that a whopping 82% of people don’t trust their boss. Another staggering statistic is that over 50% of employees quit their jobs because of their managers. If treated improperly, even the best employees disengage and lose their potential. This in turn leads to higher turnover rates, which can cost us greatly.

How can you engage your employees and prove that you’re trustworthy as a leader? There are many ways, but let’s focus on one simple solution that’s often overlooked.

Kindness. It doesn’t cost a dime to be kind to your employees, and your company will benefit from it in more ways than imagined.

According to findings from The Energy Project and the Harvard Business Review, the three leadership actions that impacted employee performance the most were treating employees with respect, recognizing and appreciating them, and being positive and optimistic.

Exercising kindness can produce positive results in both our personal and work lives. It encourages people to see us as trustworthy and genuine individuals. When we instill kindness to motivate our employees, it can have an even greater reach. If you treat your employees with kindness and respect, your employees will feel valued, inspired, and are more likely to engage in open communication with their leaders. As a CEO, you reap the benefits of kindness by creating a more connected and reliable workforce, while setting up a legacy for a positive work culture. Read Full Article

Is Kindness Always Possible ?

On a dog walk this summer, I strolled through a local Catholic university, and there it was: a sign with a Dalai Lama quote that said “Be Kind Whenever Possible. It is always possible.”

By Susana K. McCollom

Is it?

As the Institute for Spirituality and Health (ISH) celebrates its 60th anniversary, we asked more than 30 Americans a series of questions centered on spirituality, health, and inspiration.

On a daily basis, the Institute is immersed in spirituality-centric conversations with everyone from long-term associates to the drive-by visitor who stops in, wondering what ISH is about. We wanted to know if the language we encounter each day is echoed by the wider population that does not walk through our doors. What does spirituality mean for people, and how much does it matter?

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Simple Ways to Teach Your Child to be Nice

These simple ideas teach your children to be nice, generous people, one good deed at a time.

By Kristine Breese from Parents Magazine

Great thinkers from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Dalai Lama to my daughter, Addison, all have had something to say about the importance of helping others. The civil-rights leader stated, “Life’s most persistent and nagging question is ‘What are you doing for others?'” The soft-spoken spiritual leader called doing good deeds “our prime purpose.” And my 12-year-old put it this way: “Helping feels good because it’s nice for the other person and for you.”

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7 Steps to Being a Kinder Person

Kindness is the best gift. You know because it gives you that welcome skip in the heart, whether you’re giving or receiving. Yet in this time of frantic holiday making, kindness can get lost along the way.

 

By Jinny Ditzler

I’ve always found that an easy way to make a positive change is to take stock of how I’m doing. I invite you to do the same as a way of becoming an even kinder person.

So as you read through these seven steps, think about how you’re doing. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate yourself on each step? More later about what to do next.

1. Be kind to me. If you’re not taking care of yourself — exercising, taking time on your own, sitting quietly, reading — your well is empty. Then it’s too easy to become resentful and impatient, let alone kind to others. Just 20 minutes a day makes a difference.

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The Science Behind Why Love Is A Powerful Drug

There’s a certain type of love we all crave and chase. We want it to be all-consuming. We want to think about our partners all day and night.

We want to be love sick to the point of nausea. We’ve seen that type of love on television, and we’ve been moved by songs written about it.

Blair Thill on LOVE HURTS  | Elite Daily on Facebook

Once we experience love our desire for it only increases. We remember the euphoria of being intimately tied to another human being, and we want to recapture that feeling. It’s difficult to articulate what, exactly, that feels like. Well, it’s almost as if love is a drug, and you want another hit. That sounds crazy but, believe it or not, there’s science to back it up. Falling in love stimulates the same part of the brain as an actual drug. In the moments immediately following the use of an illicit drug like cocaine, the brain’s levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine skyrocket, causing feelings of euphoria. The ‘high’ of the high. Yet it seems that the initial stages of love offer a similar (albeit legal) kind of high. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist whose work focuses on relationships, has studied this phenomenon. Her research has found that, when you fall in love, serotonin lifts your confidence levels, norepinephrine boosts your energy and dopamine enhances feelings of pleasure. In simpler terms: You feel like you’re on top of the world when you’re falling in love. Read More

Kindness Breeds More Kindness, Study Shows

IN FINDINGS SURE to gladden the heart of anyone who’s ever wondered whether tiny acts of kindness have larger consequences, researchers have shown that generosity is contagious.

Goodness spurs goodness, they found: A single act can influence dozens more.

AUTHOR: BRANDON KEIM.BRANDON KEIM SCIENCE

In a game where selfishness made more sense than cooperation, acts of giving were “tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more,” wrote political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and medical sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University.

Their findings, published March 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the latest in a series of studies the pair have conducted on the spread of behaviors through social networks.

In other papers, they’ve described the spread of obesity, loneliness, happiness and smoking. But there was no way to know whether those apparent behavioral contagions were actually just correlations. People who are overweight, for example, might simply tend to befriend other overweight people, or live in an area where high-fat, low-nutrient diets are the norm.

The latest research was designed to identify cause-and-effect links. In it, Fowler and Christakis analyze the results of a so-called public-goods game, in which people were divided into groups of four, given 20 credits each, and asked to secretly decide what to keep for themselves and what to contribute to a common fund. That fund would be multiplied by two-fifths, then divided equally among the group. The best payoff would come if everyone gave all their money — but without knowing what others were doing, it always made sense to keep one’s money and skim from the generosity of others.

Where’s the Love in Social Media ?

This year social media sites have seen an influx of negativity beyond all reason. Some is over the election, but also over the news around the world of violence and hate speech.

It’s created a content crisis for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, where hate speech and fake news is rampant. This has led to reforms in the rules on these networks to try to stem the tide and identify fake news as well as hate speech. Social media sites upped their moderation policies, but sometimes even that backfired.

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3 Principles for Accepting Yourself and Being Authentically Happy

By Paul Dalton

“Happiness is really a deep harmonious inner satisfaction and approval.” ~Francis Wilshire

It is only in the last few years of my life that I have felt genuinely happy and comfortable in my own skin.

Until my early thirties the dominant feeling I carried around with me was one of extreme social awkwardness. Which is strange, because most people who knew me prior to that time would have described me as a confident guy who got on with just about everybody.

I’m aware that outwardly I was very skilful at presenting a positive and socially pleasing demeanor, while on the inside feeling anxious and exhausted from keeping up the act.

This wasn’t just at work or at parties, it was rife in my closest relationships too—with my friends, my family and, most bizarrely, with my fiancée.

Perhaps the reason I was so well liked by so many is because I would agree with just about everything anyone said, so I was no bother to them. In disputes, I’d take both sides. I was always the first to offer a hand when someone needed help, but not because I felt charitable; I just wanted them to like me more.

If I got angry or frustrated, which I did often, you would never have known it. You would have seen someone who appeared unflappable, regardless of the circumstances. If I was hurt, let down or disappointed, my lightening reflex was to smile and say, “That’s okay!”

Somewhere along the line I had developed the philosophy that my happiness was dependent on the approval of others.

This meant that my level of contentment was proportionate to how pleased I thought others were with me moment to moment. Of course, the problem was that I rarely thought they approved of me enough, so I was rarely happy.

Now that I think about it, some of my earliest memories involve me trying extremely hard to be a “good boy,” to do what I was told, and how lonely it felt to fall out of favor with my parents.

I never thought about what I wanted from life, only what would make others want to have me around. Read More