You Don’t Owe This World a Thing

I am psyched about the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie. I loved the recently released trailer, which I must have seen a dozen times so far.

There is one scene in particular in this trailer that caught my eye. It’s the scene where Martha Kent, Superman’s adoptive Earth mom, tells him: “Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be. Or be none of it. You don’t owe this world a thing. You never did.”

To me it’s obvious that many comic book movies are moving in a new direction with the message they’re sending. And, personally, I love this new direction.

Some years ago, comic book movies like Spider-Man used to tell us that “with great power comes great responsibility” and try to instill in us the idea that we have an obligation to use our strengths to help, even save, humanity.

Now the message is shifting towards what I see as a more rational and mature message, which suggests that we are free to do what we want in life. Thus, we should use our strengths to help others if that’s what we want to, but we don’t have an obligation to do that. I’d like to talk about why this idea makes a lot of sense and why it’s useful to live by it.


Our Existential Freedom

This emerging idea in comic book movies that we are free to choose our own path in life can trace its roots in the thinking of prominent philosophers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre. I have no doubt that film directors Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan, who are responsible for the current wave of Batman and Superman movies, are drawing some inspiration from these guys.

The ideas of philosophers like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre were grouped in a philosophy known as existentialism. The main premise of existentialism is that life is intrinsically meaningless. It has no objective meaning or purpose, and our notions of good and evil are subjective as well.

This lack of objective meaning can be a source of dread, but it’s also highly liberating and empowering. Because it implies that we have no preset obligations in life; that we are free to give our life whatever personal meaning we want and live it in alignment with that meaning.

I find this existential perspective quite accurate. One could even say that “man is condemned to be free”, as Sartre puts it. But it’s not too bad of a sentence, considering how valuable the freedom to live how we want is.

Of course, we are born in society, which brings upon us a set of basic obligations, as part of a basic social contract in the absence of which society would not be able to function properly. But this is a very basic contract, with obligations such as not killing, not stealing, not beating people up. Beyond that, I don’t buy into anything else as a given obligation in life.

Overcoming the Savior Mindset and Living Freely

Many of us have been educated to think otherwise though. Parents, teachers, religious leaders, and many old-school superhero movies have taught us that we have some sort of immense duty towards other people. We have to help them, fix their problems, save them from difficulty, and generally be very nice to them.

I think this idea is simply unsubstantiated. Why do we have the duty to help others? No sensible reason is ever given. Sure, helping others will improve their life, it can also benefit us eventually, and it’s wise in many cases. But that doesn’t mean it’s an outright obligation.

Also, in practice, this idea backfires in horrible ways. As a confidence and communication coach, working frequently with men and women who live feeling they have a strict duty to help others, I witness this all the time.

Such individuals become pathological people pleasers. They always put others first and sacrifice their own needs for them. But they never feel like they’ve done enough for others and they constantly feel the heavy pressure of obligations. Ironically though, they often get very little in return when they need help, and they are often seen as insecure, clingy or needy, which is why they frequently have very few real friends.

One way or another, their bottomless sense of obligation towards others brings them much frustration and disappointment.

Again, this is not to say that helping others doesn’t make practical sense sometimes, because you will get help in return when in need, or that it cannot feel very good at times, even if you get nothing in return. It’s just not an obligation. Martha Kent is right: you don’t owe this world a thing.

If you’re used to thinking and feeling that you owe this world something (maybe, a lot), as well as acting accordingly, it’s gonna take some work to change this mindset. You’re gonna have to dig into your beliefs system and make some crucial changes there. But this is doable, and definitely worth doing.

If you wanna learn how to change your beliefs effectively, free yourself from the burden of a strong sense of obligation and radically improve your social confidence, I suggest you watch this special presentation, where I discuss just that in more detail and share some of my best advice.

Also, join my free social confidence newsletter, where I share regular advice on this topic. The help is out there. You just have to grab it and use it.

4 Myths about Conversation and One Crucial Truth

I think many people have some off-track ideas about conversation and how it’s supposed to be done, which sabotage their social interactions and social life.

Based on my social and coaching experience, I’d like to debunk 4 such common conversation myths, then underline an important truth, and hopefully help you gain a better understanding of both yourself and the subtle art of conversation. Let’s start with the 4 myths.

Myth 1: Conversation Means Just Small Talk

Small talk – like chatting about the weather or how good the coffee you’re having is – is a frequently present part of conversation. But that’s not what conversation is all about. Ideally, small talk should only be one component of a conversation.

Small talk is a great way to break the ice with somebody, to ease your way into a conversation. It’s also something that’s good to have sprinkled all throughout a conversation. But a good conversation is not just small talk. On the contrary, it involves discussing meaningful and highly engaging topics at least as much.

It is true that some people tend to just stick to small talk, but they are not the example to follow. These people are generally uncomfortable with deeper conversation because they fear it will expose their shortcomings or turn into some sort of argument. However, the best conversationalists combine small talk with deeper conversation. They’re the right model.

Myth 2: Small Talk Is a Waste of Time

Group of multiracial friends with barbecue and beer bottle enjoying their vacationSo small talk is a part of conversation though. However, simply because it’s about banal topics does not make it worthless.

I find that people who don’t get the point of small talk are typically not seeing one important aspect of conversation. For them a discussion is strictly about learning something or being intellectually stimulated; and small talk does little in that sense.

However, conversation is also a form of social play. When conversation is play, the topic is not very important. It’s the vibe going on between the two or more people discussing that matters. I can talk with someone about cheese nips and have a satisfying conversation. Because the emotional exchange is the important part, not the informational exchange.

If you’re not used to seeing and making conversation as a form of social play, it’s time you begin trying to do so. You’re missing out on an amazing experience if you don’t.

Myth 3: Conversation Means Being Fake

Ammm, no! Sure, some people are mostly fake during conversation, pretending to like things they don’t, to be someone they’re not, in order to please whomever they’re talking to. But not everybody is like that, and again, such folks are not the example to follow.

Because conversation is not about trying to please others. It’s about seeking a mutually rewarding interaction with somebody. And if you can’t have that kind of an interaction with a person, that’s fine too. It’s okay to just drop it.

If you have to be fake for somebody to enjoy your company, it’s usually not worth it for you, so you shouldn’t try to make conversation that way.

I often help my coaching clients develop a more genuine and articulate style of conversation. Throughout this process, they constantly discover how enjoyable it is when you’re being real with others, and how it truly pays off.

Myth 4: People Are Too Stupid To Talk To

I hear a lot of men and women complain about how others are idiots, they have nothing interesting to say, and all they talk about is movies, TV, or celebrity gossip.

I’d definitely love it for more people to have more exciting lives and be more interesting to talk to. But at the same time, I do find lots of smart and fascinating people. In fact my social circle is full of them.

But you have to talk to a lot of people and interact with some of the less interesting people as well to discover who the more interesting ones are. And many times an apparently dim and dull person ends up being quite intelligent and intriguing once you get a chance to truly know them.

So not all people are stupid or boring; and some people being less than what you’d like them to be is not an excuse for avoiding social interaction.

This leads me to my final point, relating to one question:

Why Do Many People Buy Into These 4 Myths?

Why is it that many folks believe this baloney about making conversation?

Part of it has to do with a lack of social experience, which creates a lack of true understanding of conversation, which leaves plenty of room for false ideas to come in. And there are many sources for such ideas out there.

Many people’s ideas about talking to others come from a combination of movies, cheesy self-help articles and guidance from socially awkward friends. And they’re just very off.

There is a deeper aspect to this issue though. Working regularly with people with less than fulfilling social relationships, I often find that they use ideas such as the 4 myths above as excuses to avoid social interaction and justify their paltry social lives.

But the real reason they avoid social interaction is because they find interacting with others nerve-racking. They are shy or socially anxious, and conversing with others is not easy for them. So they avoid it. The 4 myths come afterwards as rationalizations, or backfiring attempts to comfort themselves by making themselves seem superior to others for not being as sociable.

If this is you, it’s crucial for you to understand that, with some proper guidance, you can overcome your social insecurities and you don’t have to let them paralyze you. But you’ve got to take responsibility for your life and stop making excuses for avoiding social situations.

Instead of making excuses, you gotta admit that you wanna have a better social life, and then focus on working to develop the social confidence & skills that will allow you to do it.

And I can help you with that. The first thing I suggest you do is check out this practical presentation, in which I’ll show you my highly-optimized method for developing social confidence, used over the past 5+ years by hundreds of people I’ve coached. You’ll learn a lot from it.

Also, join my free social confidence newsletter for more practical advice from me for improving your confidence and conversation skills.

Truth be told, no loner is genuinely pleased with being a loner. Life isn’t only about socializing, but social relationships are a very important component of life, and a huge predictor of life satisfaction. It’s worth taking care of this aspect of your life.

You can do it! The ball is in your court.

Why So Serious? 5 Ways to Loosen Up and Enjoy Life More

I’ve always appreciated considerably people who are upbeat, optimistic and generally unperturbed by the hassles of everyday life; people who don’t seem to take anything too seriously and are able to fully enjoy life as it is.

Such people aren’t very common though, and a lot of folks are actually quite far from being that way. I certainly wasn’t that way growing up and in much of my youth. But I admired this laidback life attitude so much that I put a lot of work into developing it and making it my own, which over time I did.

Nowadays, learning to take things less seriously is also something I often help my coaching clients achieve. Drawing from their experience and mine on this journey, I’d like to share with you 5 key insights for loosening up and enjoying life more.

1. Get Some Temporal Perspective

Whenever something pisses you off or stresses you out, it’s good to adopt a wide timeframe and ask yourself how much that thing will matter as time goes by.

How much will it matter one year from now that you said something somebody found rude and they got mad at you? Not much, I’m sure. What difference will it make 5 years from now that you made some banal mistake at work and your results were suboptimal? Almost none, I bet.

The truth is that on a large timescale, very few things truly matter. This is why looking at things in perspective helps you relax and not take minor issues seriously. It weeds out the unimportant from the important and helps you focus on what truly matters, so you don’t pointlessly strain yourself.

2. Look on the Bright Side Too

I know that looking on the bright side seems like a trite piece of advice. But despite this, it’s one of the most relevant pieces of advice for people who take things too seriously.

You see, one major reason why they take things so seriously is because they look at everything that goes wrong, and they lose sight of all that goes well. They see the cup half empty in any area of life, and this makes it hard for them to enjoy themselves.

So in order to relax and have more fun, you wanna consciously practice finding and acknowledging the positive in your life: your qualities, your achievements, your opportunities, the things you do well and the things worth being grateful for. It doesn’t mean to deny the negative; it just means to see the positive as well. Your happiness will improve significantly.

3. Laugh and Make Fun about It

There is something subtly powerful about laughing at a negative event and joking about it. It sort of tells your mind that the event isn’t that bad after all, since you can laugh about it. And once that idea has entered your mind, it will start finding reasons why, indeed, the event isn’t that bad. So you’ll detach emotionally and feel more joyful.

why so serious

People who are optimistic and upbeat do this all the time. Some of them can laugh about anything, and that helps them immensely. I’ve seen people laugh even about the sternest situations, such as having a terminal disease. Because they have this mindset like: “This is what is; I can’t change it, so I might as well enjoy myself while I still can”. And so they do.

We have a lot to learn from such people. If they can joke about a terminal disease, I’m sure we can joke about the casual hassles of daily life.

4. Work on Overcoming the Deeper Attitude Issues

Typically, taking things too seriously is only a symptom of much deeper issues. Often people who take things too seriously are perfectionists and they can’t tolerate imperfection (their own or that of others). Many times they have visible self-image issues, and often they really lack self-confidence.

When having such issues, even a minor failure, flaw or perturbation in your life can seem like a very big deal and have a strong emotional echo, even though at some level you may realize it’s not that big of a deal. The only way you can change this effectively is to address these deeper issues and fix them.

Fixing these deeper issues will take some time and require proper guidance. I don’t have the space here to go into details on how fix them, but I’ve created a special presentation where I explain just that. In it you’ll learn how your confidence and self-image issues arise, and how to overcome them step by step. So go here and make sure you watch it.

5. Have a Rich, Active Life

People with a rich, active life rarely take things too seriously. They’re too busy doing stuff. They don’t have the time or energy to dwell on negative events and worry. In a way, you could say that worrying about minor things is a luxury, afforded by people with too much free time on their hands.

So an effective way to stop taking things too seriously is to fill your life with activities and keep yourself engaged. Learn, get a job, pursue your passions, find new hobbies, do some volunteer work, do something. It will keep your mind too busy to worry, and it has many other perks as well, like making your lifestyle more exciting and making you a more interesting person.

Life is too short to worry about stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter. But that realization is not enough for you to stop worrying. You need to take the proper steps to change your thinking patterns, fix the deeper attitude issues, and learn gradually to enjoy life more. It’s up to you to do this self-improvement work and make the most out of life.

For more help from me in improving your attitude and your life, check out my free social confidence newsletter.

4 Rules for a Fulfilling Social Life in the Modern World

The world has sure changed a lot.

Just a couple of centuries ago, most people lived in small towns and villages, where they had a basic social life and well-defined social roles. In time, human settlements grew, and a large percentage of the population migrated to the city.

Then came newspapers, radio and TV, as well as enhanced transportation, which enabled news, goods and people to travel faster and further than ever before. And more recently, we saw the rise of the internet, mobile communication and social media, which created a whole new level of possibilities for social interaction.

I find that many people are very confused by today’s social structures and social tools. They find it difficult to build meaningful relationships in the intricate modern world. I’ve been coaching such people since 2008. Based on my experience, I’d like give you what I deem as 4 essential rules for a fulfilling social life in today’s world.

1. Don’t Stay Too Informed About Others

With social media websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being so popular today, it’s very easy to connect online with others and stay informed about their lives. The problem is that staying too informed about other people’s lives, particularly those you hardly ever see in real life, can be a major source of frustration.

You see, we are all inclined to compare ourselves to others. And when we receive constant updates about a large number of people and compare ourselves to them, they’re always bound to be at least a few who seem to be doing much better than us in some way: they travel more than us, they go to cooler parties, they have better relationships, they have more expensive cars, etc.

Our minds really don’t know how to properly handle all this personal information. They’re wired for living in small bands and tribes (which is what we did for most of our existence as a species) where there weren’t that many people to compare ourselves to in the first place.

If each day we go online and we notice there are all these people who are doing better than us in some area, it’s gonna create the false sense that we’re losers. We’re not, of course; we’re just comparing ourselves with a really big sample, and looking mostly at the positives in their lives. This is prone to create a sense of defeat and disturbance.

So often when you cut down on the amount of info you get about others via social media, it will feel like a huge relief. You’ll be happier with yourself, have a better mood, be more productive and focus more on your own life.

I’ve experienced this every time I’ve cut down on my social media usage. Nowadays, I only use it scarcely to keep up to date with the lives of others. I much prefer face to face conversations, which limits the information I receive to what truly matters to me.

2. Keep Your Social Expectations in Check

Not only that we stay connected with lots of people today, but we also get constantly exposed to the highest examples of social success in the world.

Turn on the TV and you’ll quickly stumble across news about some movie star going to exclusive clubs, spending $10k on champagne, and dating a supermodel. Moreover, we’re subtly suggested that we all can and should get the same type of lifestyle.

social lifeUnsurprisingly, many people’s social expectations are off the charts. Men wanna date models, women wanna date VIPs, many folks seem to be going around meeting others with a 50-qualities-you-must-have-to-roll-with-me checklist in their pocket. Then they complain that they’re single and they don’t have any friends.

Now, I’m all for having standards regarding who you date or befriend. And it is true that many persons have the opposite problem of lacking any standards whatsoever. Nonetheless, many people have social expectations that are way too high. It’s not necessarily that they can’t achieve them, it’s just that it’s gonna take tremendous effort and sacrifices, while settling for something less will prove very fulfilling as well.

You don’t need to have an elite social life to be happy. Connecting with like-minded people is what truly matters. If you have several upbeat, easygoing people to hang out with regularly, plus they have similar values with you, your social life will be much more fulfilling then if you reject social opportunities constantly, waiting to meet the perfect people.

 3. Concentrate on Substance over Appearances

I think people today focus on how they come across to others more than ever. They concern themselves with their image fanatically, often to the point of caring about it much more than about the way they truly are, and thus ending up manufacturing false appearances about themselves.

Every time I see I guy I know is still living with his parents going out dressed in an expensive suit on which I knew he blew all his money, it makes me laugh. And I see this kind of stuff often. Maybe it’s not a suit, it’s a car or a watch, but it’s the same pattern.

Creating an embellished image of yourself can get you some attention and validation from people who just met you. But once they get to know you better, all that validation will go away because you’ve cheated their expectations.

Since you can only keep up appearances for so long, creating false appearances is a very ineffective strategy to build deep, long-term relationships with people. And ultimately, these relationships are the most important ones, because they are the most rewarding.

This isn’t to say that appearances don’t matter and you should ignore them. That’s a mistake too. However, in my view it’s wise to make sure you never put appearances over substance. Consider how you come across, work on putting your best foot forward when you interact with others, but don’t try to seem someone you’re not. It won’t get you far.

4. Don’t Try to Please Everyone

In today’s world, we interact with more people than ever before in the history of humankind. Some of our interactions develop into deep relationships, many more remain transitory.

In such a context, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to approach social interactions from a mindset of trying to please everyone. This, unfortunately, is something a lot of people do.

Trying to please everyone is simply not a realistic or helpful attitude. It gets you constantly stressing about what others think of you, acting inauthentic, sacrificing your needs to please others, only to end up being the generic person that nobody remembers.

I believe the best mindset to have is the mindset that, while you do want to be liked by at least some people, you can’t please everyone and you don’t have to either. It’s a mindset that will permit you to be authentic, confident and relaxed in social situations, while also being sociable and bonding with lots of people. And it will do wonders for your social life.

The tricky part is internalizing this mindset if you currently don’t have it. You need to immerse it into your subconscious beliefs system and make it a part of who you are. Then you’ll naturally operate on it in social situations and rip the benefits.

This is an issue that I often work on with my coaching clients, and there is a lot I have to say about it. So I created a special presentation in which I discuss step-by-step how to stop trying to please everybody and become authentic and confident in social settings. Go here to watch it right now. I guarantee you’ll learn a lot from it.

The best part of living in today’s world is that there are more social opportunities and social tools than ever. But it’s important to know how to navigate the opportunities and use the tools effectively. With the right know-how, you can build a truly rewarding social life, and that will make your whole existence feel more meaningful.

For more social advice from me, I invite you to join my free social success newsletter, and I’ll talk to you some more there.

Taking Action and Taking Risks That Lead To Social Success

I frequently say that social success builds up on a foundation of social confidence and good social skills.

Most people who lack the social life they want are in this position because they are lacking in these two departments. Social situations commonly make them feel nervous, and they are somewhat socially clumsy.

Fortunately, there are steps they can take in order to utterly change this. Social confidence and skills can be learned. It’s mostly a matter of training one’s mind to think in a new way, and building positive social habits. I describe this process in more detail in this special presentation.

This process does take some work though, as learning anything meaningful does. For shy and socially anxious people, this is where a lot of procrastination often comes in.

Although they feel lonely, although they crave a better social life, it’s common for them to postpone working on their social confidence and skills over and over again, and just try to distract themselves from their problems with TV, computer games, food, alcohol or daydreaming.

I understand this phenomenon. Years ago, when I realized I was socially insecure, I didn’t immediately start looking for a solution. At first I just waited, hoping this problem will go away on its own. It didn’t. Then when I eventually picked up a book on overcoming shyness, it took me months before I seriously started practicing what I had read in it.

I procrastinated a lot. But eventually I took the necessary steps to find a reliable solution for my social insecurities and I applied it consistently until I became the socially confident and capable person I wanted to be.

When I look at the shy and socially anxious people I talk to today as a social confidence coach, I see a similar issue of procrastinating and not taking action. Only sometimes it’s so acute it’s shocking even to me.

smileSometimes I’ll have an email exchange with someone who’s been socially anxious for over a decade, and although they’ve read a bunch of advice over the years about overcoming this, they’ve yet to take even the first practical step for improving their confidence.

Considering how precious and short our time on this planet is, wasting so much of it is mind-boggling to me. Nevertheless, many people procrastinate for years before truly doing something to improve their social confidence. So I’m writing to hopefully help change that.

There are a few major reasons why we procrastinate in overcoming our social insecurities, which I’m gonna address one by one, and I’m gonna show you how to deal with them:

1. Delusional Hope

This is when a person thinks their shyness or social anxiety will just go away on its own, if they just wait. Kind of like a bruise on your arm that heals itself. Unfortunately, that rarely happens.

You see, the mind doesn’t work the same way the body works. Your body repairs itself. Your mind on the other hand reinforces the thinking, feeling and behavioral patterns you already have. So if your thinking is negative, you feel nervous in social settings, and you avoid social interaction, as time goes by this will only stay the same.

In order to change, you need to take conscious action and effectively re-condition yourself to think, behave and react emotionally in a different way. Here is my blueprint for doing this.

2. Lack of Hope

There are also many individuals who lack hope in the exact area where it’s important for them to have hope. I’m talking about the people who simply don’t believe they can overcome their social insecurities, so they choose to do nothing.

When a person tells me “I just don’t think I can overcome my shyness”, I will typically ask them “What makes you think that? Have you tried it multiple times and failed? Have you seen lots of people around you trying it and fail?” They’ll usually reply: “No, it’s just something that I think”.

That’s the kind of thinking that’s not rooted in concrete experience and has little to do with reality. The person thinks they can’t overcome their shyness just because their thinking is generally pessimistic, without solid proof to support it.

And this is the type of thinking that’s most toxic. It’s the kind of thinking that keeps folks stuck in jobs they hate, in mediocre relationships, in circumstances way below their potential, all while reality permits so many things to be achieved. It’s the kind of thinking not to be trusted.

I’m not saying that you should believe with certainty that you can overcome your social insecurities without proof (I believe it, but I have lots of proof). I’m just saying to have some hope that this is something that may possibly be done. And that possibility is what makes it worth trying. If other people have succeeded, why can’t you?

This leads me to my next point.

3. Not Wanting To Take Risks

For some, even when they think it might be possible for them to gain social confidence, it’s not enough to take action. Because the possibility of failure is also there, and they don’t wanna assume that risk. They aren’t willing to try something until they’re sure it’s gonna work. They want guarantees of success.

Interestingly enough, this is the precise kind of mindset that’s at the root of shyness and social anxiety.

You could say that shy and socially anxious people feel nervous in social situations and they don’t talk much because they’re afraid they’ll say something stupid or weird or boring, and they’re not willing to take that risk. So they end up watching from the sidelines as others talk, bond and have fun.

The fact of the matter is that in life, there are no guarantees. If you wanna achieve anything, you gotta be willing to take some risks.

You take risks by opening up and participating in social situations, and the reward is that you get to have a fun social life. You take risks by trying a solution for your insecurities that seems good after an external evaluation, and the reward is that you get to overcome your social insecurities. Even if that solution may not be ideal for you, because eventually you’ll get to the right one.

Somehow, this discussion all goes back to time. Time is the only finite resource you have. You don’t want to waste away years and years of it by waiting and delaying and avoiding risk, instead of working on overcoming your social insecurities and trying the solutions that exist. 

Trust me: years from now, when you’ll be looking back at your life, the biggest regret you’ll have is having procrastinated, not having taken more action and not having taken more risks. And the biggest satisfaction you’ll have is that of having put everything into it and tried all that you could to be the best person possible, and have the best life possible.

If you’re ready to take action for ending your shyness or social anxiety, get onboard my free social confidence newsletter, where I’ll share with you my top social advice, based on my experience as a former shy guy and my 6+ years as a social confidence coach. Click here to join it today.

And above all, end the procrastinating! Take action! The time is now. 

How to Change the World

I find that almost every person I meet has this deep, strong drive to change the world. It’s in our nature to want to improve our surroundings and it’s in our nurture to want to leave our mark on things in a meaningful way.

This being said, changing the world is not easy. Many people find themselves spending their days in meaningless tasks which give them little opportunity to have a real impact on the world. This is one of the main reasons why they feel frustrated.

If you want to really change the world, you will need to leave aside the common wisdom most people follow and to go on a smarter, saner path. My work as a coach led me to believe there are four fundamental ingredients to change the world big time. In this article, I’m going to share them with you.

1. Lead by Example

One of my favorite quotes from Gandhi is this: “You must become the change you want to see in the world”. How true! It is essential to practice what you preach if you want to have a real impact. If you preach healthy living, then live healthy. If you preach being sociable and outgoing, then be sociable and outgoing.

Not practicing what you preach is the best way to lose credibility and to diminish the impact of your message. People tend to think that if you don’t follow your own advice, either it’s too hard to follow or you don’t really believe in it. So why should they?

If on the other hand, you practice what you preach, not only that you gain credibility, but you show people how to apply what you preach and what benefits it provides. This is crucial because there is nothing as persuasive as a real model of following a certain way and benefiting from it.

2. Have a Compelling Message

impactI think a lot of people don’t have an impact on things because they have nothing clear they stand for. They know they want to change things, but they don’t know why, how and most importantly, in what direction.

If you want to change the world, you need to get very clear on this: What do you stand for?

Of course, this is not a question you best answer just like that. Take some time to read, experience, experiment, reflect on different things and find that key thing you believe will make the world a better place.

When you have one thing you find meaningful and worth standing for, you can develop a powerful and compelling message around it. Then, focus on getting that message out there as much as possible, in the best ways possible. This leads me to my next point…

3. Make Yourself Visible

If you want to feel you impact things on a large scale, talking with your friends and convincing one of them to quit smoking or something like that won’t cut it. Large scale impact implies large scale communication and getting your message out there to thousands of people, sometimes even more.

In order to do this, it is required to make yourself and your message highly visible. You want to get out there, to get your message out there, to interact with many people and with the right people. There are many ways to do so, of which I often recommend four:

  1. Blogging and using social media sites;
  2. Publishing one or more books;
  3. Public speaking;
  4. Business networking;
  5. Appearing in the traditional media.

You will find that each one of these methods has its pros and cons. Depending on your specific goals and strengths, some of them will work better for you than others.

 4. Paint Suggestive Pictures

One question I’m fascinated about is this: How do you generate emotions using words? There are a lot of answers to this question, but there is one answer which, in my view, takes the cake: painting suggestive pictures.

Most people react emotionally with ease to something they can visualize. This is why whatever your message, you will have a powerful impact with it if you communicate it in a very visual way. Use lots of visual words, visual metaphors and analogies, which create a clear picture in people’s minds of what you’re talking about.

I often start sentences with: “Imagine that…” Then I’ll paint a specific picture that I know will get the response I’m looking for. It’s a great way to hook people and get them wanting to walk on the road you’re showing them.

Changing the world can be quite a challenge. For some reason, most people are resistant even to ideas and trends that will improve their lives. At the same time, in my experience, changing the world is a highly fulfilling endeavor and I think it’s definitely worth pursuing it.

Just keep in mind that changing yourself always comes before changing the world.

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Aim High In Your Career

It used to be that people saw their job strictly as a way to earn a living. If their work provided a good income, they would consider that it fulfilled its role entirely.

progressMany people still see their job that way today. However, I believe that it’s worth aiming higher. I believe that it’s good to ask for more from your work that to simply earn you a good paycheck. And by doing so, you’ll transform your career into something much greater than a steady income stream, and your whole life will be much more rewarding as a result.

I see career as one important piece in a much bigger puzzle. And that puzzle is what I typically refer to as lifestyle. These days, I always think of career development as part of lifestyle design. I try to look at the bigger picture. When you think about it that way, your perception shifts and aiming higher becomes natural.

Money, Passion and Time

From my perspective, aiming higher in your career means that you seek not one, but three things from it:

1. Money. Your job provides you with a decent income that ensures you a financially comfortable lifestyle. You don’t have to become filthy rich, but if you can struggle to make ends meet, you have a problem. Income does matter, even if it’s only up to a certain point.

2. Passion. You enjoy your work. You feel passionate about the activities you do in your day to day job and about the impact you have through your work. You feel excited to go to work every day and see your job as a source of emotional satisfaction.

3. Time. I don’t mean that your job gives you time; I mean that your job doesn’t take too much of your time. You work a reasonable schedule, which leaves you with time and energy to do other things as well. This applies even if you enjoy your work. There are surely other things you enjoy as well and you want to do. These require time too.

Now think of how a job that fulfills all 3 of these conditions looks: you go to work and you enjoy what you do, but you don’t spend too much time with it, and you return home with a decent paycheck.

Then you use the remaining time and the available income to do other things that you’re passionate about, whether it’s travelling, reading, cooking, partying, going to the gym, spending time with your family, horseback riding, spelunking, or whatever.

Overall, it’s a lifestyle where you have all the important elements within reasonable dosages: fun, freedom and fulfillment. Now, is this too much to ask?

Some people will tell you that it is. That work is intrinsically hard and time consuming, and that’s just a cost you need to pay in order to make a living. I disagree. I think that’s a huge limiting belief to have and I deem it’s only reasonable to ask for a career that combines money, passion and time.

Why do I think it’s reasonable? Because I have such a career and most of the people I’ve surrounded myself with do as well. In fact over the years I’ve met and talked to literally hundreds of people with such career and the resulting lifestyles. And they’re just regular people, who achieved this on their own, under no special conditions.

Yes, within the general population, they are a minority. But they’re such a well represented minority that I believe it’s worth aiming to be part of it.

Maybe not everybody will do work they enjoy, provides them a good income and doesn’t demand too much time. But you’re not everybody. The possibility is there for you, waiting to be turned into reality. So believe in yourself and aim for this kind of a career and lifestyle.

What does it take to actually achieve it?

The Power of Persistence

Well, the trouble is that many people start off aiming high in their career, but their career goals and expectations quickly plummet in the face of failure. They seek to achieve an amazing career, but their initial attempts go wrong, so they quickly get discouraged and give up.

Initial failure though is actually to be expected. I often say that if having a great career would be easy, everybody would have one. But it’s not.

You need to try various paths and methods, to experiment, to learn from failure and to keep going. You need to find your own formula for career success and it is only with perseverance that you can do so. It takes time, it takes flexibility, and it takes some patience.

Unfortunately, most people have a low tolerance to frustration, which means they’re simply not able to handle emotionally a lengthy journey towards career success, paved with traps and perils. The first time they fall in a puddle on the road, they give up and go back.

The key differentiator that can make your story a success is persistence in the face of hardship. It’s essential for you to learn to stay confident in the face of failure and to keep pushing forward. These are rare, but nevertheless, learnable qualities. And it is these qualities that, in the end, will get you the amazing career and lifestyle you want.

PS: Check out my latest posts on as well. One is about conversation topics for first dates, and the other is about 3 powerful mindsets for dating success.

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How to Stop Being Needy

Do you often sabotage yourself by being needy? Whether this happens in job-related situations, around other people in general or around members of the opposite sex that you fancy, I want to let you know that you can learn how to stop being needy and solve this issue. Permanently.

Over the last several years, I’ve coached dozen of individuals who were needy and I helped them gain the self-confidence they desired. The fact of the matter is that being needy is a process, created in your mind by the way you think about yourself and others.

And you can reverse this process through proven psychological techniques, thus replacing neediness with sell-confidence. Here’s the gist of this procedure.

1. Build Trust in Your Strengths

First and foremost, you have to get in touch with you own strengths. Do some self-exploration and get to know your own strengths. Acknowledge them to yourself and become aware of their value in this world, for you or for others around you.

If you’re often needy, it’s almost certain that you don’t have a very good opinion of yourself, and that has a lot to do with seeing your flaws but not seeing your strengths. A big part of learning how to stop being needy is correcting this state.

The goal is for you to know our strengths better and trust them. Thus you’ll see yourself in a better light, which will make more things seem possible for you, which will automatically make you less desperate. There is a lot of power in seeing yourself in an overall positive way.

2. Think in Terms of Abundance

freeAlso common for people who are needy is a perception of shortage. “If I don’t get this job I will never find another one like it.” “If I don’t get this person to be with me, I will never find anyone like them.” This is how their routine thinking goes.

But this is never true. In reality, no matter how special an opportunity is, there are many other opportunities similar to it. That are many great jobs and great women/men out there, and this is something that you need to realize and internalize.

Put another way, in order to stop being needy and desperate, it’s essential for you to think in terms of abundance. To see this world as a world full of opportunities, in which when one door closes, another one opens. It is very much true. And this is a way of thinking that you can develop with practice.

But, this is not as straightforward a process as it may seem. There is an entire art and science to changing the way you think. To learn more about it, I recommend you watch this practical presentation right now, where I discuss it in more detail. It’s loaded with relevant confidence building advice for you.

3. Challenge Yourself

One of the amazing things about challenging yourself is that besides helping you be more confident, it also helps you stop being needy.

This makes a lot of sense. When you challenge yourself and you surpass these challenges (which one way or another you almost always do), you prove to yourself that you’re capable and you can rely on your won person.

This in turn builds the perception that you have many options in life, in dating, in your career, and so on. And that’s how to stop being needy in any of these areas.

Our regular tendency is to avoid challenge. Because challenges create struggle and sometimes generates anxiety. This tendency is especially true for people who are needy. So it’s crucial for you to correct this tendency and begin doing the very opposite.

Consistently challenge yourself. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things, and take calculated risks. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve and how your image of yourself and of the world can change.

For more advice on how to stop being needy don’t forget to watch this video, and put into practice the ideas you’ve learned so far.

The truth is that you don’t have to be needy. It’s not a fixed personality trait. It’s a mere habit you’ve picked up over the years through some bad social conditioning. You can completely remove this conditioning and be the confident person you want to be. Many before you have managed to do so.

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4 Reasons Why Your Confidence Isn’t Improving

I’ve been working full time as a confidence coach for several years now. I’ve seen many people make incredible progress regarding their confidence (typically my clients), but I’ve also seen many people make small progress or no progress at all.

Truth be told, the rule when it comes to boosting your confidence is either to succeed marginally and in a very long stretch or time, or to fail.

Nevertheless, the people who see amazing improvements in their confidence, and overall they are quite numerous even though they are the exception, represent living proof of the level of confidence anybody can potentially achieve.

Just have a look at my testimonials page, with snippets of real feedback emails I received over time from people who applied my Conversation Confidence guide, and you’ll see that utterly transforming your level of confidence is indeed possible.

And even though it’s not gonna happen overnight, you can experience amazing changes in just a couple of months, sometimes even less.

If your confidence is not improving at this point, or not very fast, I’d like to show you why, so you can make the right course corrections. There are 4 major reasons why your confidence may not be improving.

1. You’re Not Really Serious about Gaining Confidence

The first reason may be that you want to gain confidence, but you’re not really committed to the process. You may read some occasional advice on boosting your confidence, but you rarely apply it, and even when you apply it you do it for a couple of days and then you give up.

ConfidenceNot being serious about gaining confidence isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Maybe your level of confidence is actually pretty good, and there are just some specific areas where your confidence is a bit lacking. And this lack of confidence isn’t really affecting your life that much, so it’s hard to gather the motivation to do the work required to gain more confidence.

If your life is great and more confidence with only bring marginal improvements, maybe it’s a good idea to simply admit to yourself that the return on investment is not big enough and that’s why you’re not really committed to improving your confidence. And that’s that.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. In general, people who seek advice for gaining confidence are seriously affected by their lack of confidence. Maybe they have no friends and no social life because they are shy, or they have toxic relationships, or they’re stuck in a crappy job, and their life isn’t anywhere near the way they want it to be.

If this is your case, there is no sensible reason for you to not be serious about improving your confidence. In fact, improving your confidence might just be the most important thing you’ll ever do in your life.

So it’s time to quit fooling around, fully acknowledge that you need this, and make a firm decision to get this area of your life handled, no matter what it takes. Your confidence isn’t gonna go up by itself. You need to make working on it a priority for yourself.

2. You Don’t Truly Believe You Can Gain Confidence

Many folks think that confidence is either something you have or you don’t. So it’s hard for them to believe they can improve their confidence.

Right off the bat, I’d like to assure you that this is not true. The fact of the matter is that, although your genetic predispositions do play a role in your level of self-assurance, for the most part your confidence is the direct result of your beliefs and your automatic thinking patterns.

And using the right tools, you can change these. If you would see the amazing transformations some people achieved that I’ve seen over the years, you wouldn’t have a doubt that this is possible. And there is no motive why you can’t achieve the very same results. Your brain functions the same way their does.

Sure, most people don’t achieve big improvements in their confidence, but it’s because they follow a flawed process, not because it isn’t possible. And then they falsely assume that it just can’t be done, or at least not by them.

Nevertheless, the fact you haven’t managed thus far to achieve your desired level of confidence, if anything, is an indicator that you’re following the wrong path, not that a good path isn’t there. And that’s actually my next point.

3. You’re following The Wrong Advice

There are tens of thousands of articles online on how to be more confident, be more outgoing, love yourself and so on. And there are hundreds of books on these topics. I’ve read and applied a ton of them as I worked on my own confidence.

The conclusion? More than 95% of the advice on boosting confidence you’ll find out there is bogus. It’s simplistic, repetitive, impractical, naive or just plain wrong.

Confidence is one of those topics everyone seems to think they understand, but few people do. There is some real, multifaceted psychology behind the process of gaining confidence, and few individuals actually have a good grasp on it.

This is why it’s important to not buy into every confidence boosting method out there, especially if it promises immediate, complete and effortless changes. Let me be as clear as possible: if somebody is promising you some trick to become confident overnight, they’re just trying to swindle you out of your money.

There is no such thing. Building confidence is a process. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to take years, but it doesn’t happen overnight either.

Use your critical thinking and do your research when you learn about a method for developing confidence. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

4. You’re Looking For Advice When You Should Be Looking for a Formula

Imagine that you wanna learn how to bake a cake. What you need is a complete recipe, which shows you the entire process from start to finish, gives you all the steps in the right order, and explains precisely what to do in each step.

Isolated advice such as “you have to add lots of sugar to make it sweet” or “add fruits on top after you heat it” is useful but it’s not the complete recipe. It’s some adjacent advice. And unless you also have a good understanding of the recipe, you won’t be able to bake the cake.

It’s the same with gaining confidence. Advice is useful. The right advice is very useful. But it’s still just isolated pieces of advice. What you require is a step by step formula, which takes you through the entire cognitive and behavioral process of confidence enhancement.

I know that it may seem like a couple of tips are all you need and you can handle this, but unfortunately this is rarely true. Gaining confidence is a bit more complicated than you might think. Some psychologists and researchers dedicate their entire life to studying it.

Personally I offer a free social confidence newsletter, where I seek to provide the best possible advice for gaining confidence, but at the same time, I know that for most people, getting some good advice will help them make visible progress, but in itself is insufficient.

Because good advice is not a complete formula. And complete formulas are typically what you find in books and courses. That is why I have a Conversation Confidence guide, which offers a precise, actionable formula for gaining (you’re got it) conversation confidence. I encourage you to check it out.

I believe in formulas, I believe in committing yourself to the process, and I believe in applying tried and tested methods, not methods that sound good or promise miracles. These are my tenets for building confidence, and these are the tenets I encourage you to follow as well. You will go far.

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