Why Your Life Sucks: The Top 5 Reasons

Sometimes, while contemplating who you are, what you’ve accomplished so far and how your life looks, you may find yourself thinking and saying to yourself: “Wow! My life sucks!”

Many times, this thought is a blatant lie. Your life doesn’t suck; you have plenty of things to feel good about. Sometimes though, even if it’s still an exaggerated thought, there may be some truth to it. There may be several areas of your life where things are not going the way you’d like them to go, and you’re clearing not living up to your potential.

As a confidence and communication coach, I work all the time with people who feel they’re underachieving. Although a dramatization, “my like sucks” is almost a mantra for some of them. Drawing from this coaching experience, I’d like to discuss what I deem the 5 most widespread and crucial reasons why your life may not be how you want it to be.

1. You Don’t Know Yourself

Self-knowledge is critical if you wanna achieve something in life and be happy. If you don’t know what you want, you’re not gonna have clear, stimulating goals to go for. If you don’t know what truly makes you happy, you’re likely to aim for goals society says you should achieve but actually do little to make you happier.

If you don’t know your natural strengths, you’re gonna let them go to waste while trying to perform well in tasks you have no natural inclination for. A shortage of self-knowledge leads to heaps of missed opportunities and pointless frustrations.

So if you believe you don’t know yourself well, I recommend that you make understanding yourself better a priority. Introspection, feedback from others, personality tests, psychology books and coaching sessions, they can all help immensely in knowing yourself better. Use these tools.

2. You Let Yourself Get Distracted

boredThere are plenty of elements all around us to distract us from our goals: movies, games, TV, the web, Facebook, food, drinks, music, gossip, etc. They pull us to engage with them for a dose of brief but immediate pleasure, often losing sight of our long-term goals in life.

It’s very easy to fall prey to such distractions and end up ignoring your major goals. Then one day, as you look back at your life, you realize you’ve spend years entangled in activities that gave you instant gratification, but you’ve accomplished little that’s worthwhile.

People who get things done recognize the powerful pull of distractions, they learn how to manage them, and they do so daily. They learn how to balance seeking short-term and long-term satisfaction, and they take active steps to make distractions less available. If you wanna achieve something in life, you wanna follow their example.

3. You Expect Quick Results

I’m frequently shocked by how fast most people expect to achieve their goals. They have nearly zero tolerance for things going slowly and taking hard work. They want everything to happen now and happen effortlessly.

I see this related to confidence and communication skills building in particular, since this is my field. So often, severely shy people expect to become super-confident socially in literally just a few days. Or people with few social skills seek a few quick tips that will make them smooth and charismatic overnight.

When you tell them that social confidence and social skills, even with a highly-optimized approach, will still take weeks and months to improve visibly, many swiftly go looking for someone who will promise them immediate results. A year later, they’re back looking at your solutions, having made no progress in this time. That’s the paradox of seeking quick fixes: it actually delays one’s progress instead of hasting it.

Expecting quick but meaningful results is simply not realistic. Anything worth achieving will require time and work to be achieved. Change doesn’t happen overnight; success doesn’t come overnight. It’s crucial to accept that and let go of expectations to get quick, meaningful results. Only then, you’ll be able to put in the necessary work to get what you want.

4. You’re Not Willing to Invest in Yourself

Your success in any area of life (career, relationships, health, etc.) is greatly influenced by the quality of your education in that area. Quality education gives you the right know-how and helps you develop the proper skills to achieve what you want, in a timely manner.

But quality education rarely comes cheap, and it almost never comes free. Sadly, a lot of people are not willing to invest financially in their professional and personal growth. They try to get by with free information they can find on the Internet, or to figure everything out on their own.

That’s the very long, slow and frustrating road to success. As I mentioned above, no meaningful results can be achieved overnight, but you can sure speed up the process a lot by getting the proper education and help.

It’s worth investing some money in books, classes and training programs that help you gain key knowledge and develop relevant skills. I can vouch from experience that, if you choose the right education and teachers, the return on investment will be tenfold.

5. You Hang Out With the Wrong Crowd

The people you surround yourself with and spend your time with have a huge impact on where your life goes. Unsurprisingly, it’s very common for individuals with unfulfilling lives to hang out with people who pull the down instead of pushing them up.

These people they hang out with fit various negative profiles: some are pessimists who discourage them from following their dreams, some are slackers who encourage them to waste time, some are needy and drain them of resources, some are dumb or prejudiced, and some are toxic or manipulative.

If you have such people in your life, it’s crucial to distance yourself from them, so they’re not able to influence you. You will do much better when you’re out from their negative spell.

Your life really doesn’t have to suck in any way. Like all other people, you’re not perfect, but you do have the ability to live a pretty damn good existence. However, it won’t happen by accident. You need an effective approach to life. I have laid out its fundamentals in this article.

For more advice from me for your personal and social success, check out my free social confidence training video, and join my free social skills newsletter. You won’t regret it.

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.

3 Love Myths That Really Harm Your Romantic Life

Romantic relationships fascinate me. Most people deem their romantic life as very important to them. At the same time tough, it’s an area that even generally smart and educated people often navigate using irrational, impractical and simplistic ideas. And when that happens, a lot of frustration and disappointment ensue.

I’ve certainly made my fair share of relationship mistakes, and I like to think I’ve learned from them. I also like to think that, in time, I developed a much more realistic, scientific and healthy view of love and relationships.

Looking out how many folks think about romantic relationships (from friends to acquaintances to relatives to coaching clients), I’ve identified 4 major love myths that loads of people operate on. These myths cause them a lot of pain and struggle, and they really got to die. So this is my attempt to debunk them and hopefully send them to their grave.

Myth #1: You Have a Soulmate

This idea states that there is one person in this world (no more, no less) who is a perfect match for you. And when you find each other, you’ll fall madly in love with each other and have the perfect, everlasting relationship.

Sounds like a fairytale when you read the whole proposition? It is. Psychologists, sociologists and biologists have been studying the underpinnings of love for decades, and there is nothing in their discoveries to support the concept of a soulmate.

The truth is to be found in basic statistics: you live in a world with millions of other potential mates. Given the complexity of human beings, some of them will likely be highly incompatible with you, many of them will be somewhat compatible, and several of them will likely be highly compatible with you. It’s a stretch to call these later people soulmates, but they are people you would have an amazing romantic relationship with. And there’s more than one of them.

These are the odds you’ve been dealt in the real world. And these are the odds you wanna consider when you think about finding love.

Believing they have a soulmate just makes people abandon great relationship because they don’t feel “perfect”, as well as become emotionally dependent on their current partner if they think he/she is their soulmate. And if for some reason their “soulmate” breaks up with them, a whole Greek tragedy follows. Having a soulmate is a crude, outdated concept, and it’s high time we drop it.

Myth #2: True Love Lasts Forever

Whenever I hear this statement from somebody, I ask them what they mean by “true love”. The most common answer is that true love means “love that lasts forever”. So they’re essentially saying that “love that lasts forever lasts forever”. Which is saying nothing; it’s a circular statement.

LoveI take a deep breath and I keep going. Eventually I discover that what the other person is trying to convey is the idea that if a love is strong (which is what they call “true love”), than it will never end. They’re basically asserting that the longevity of love can be predicted by its intensity.

Okay, now I understand. But their assertion is not true. In fact one of the key aspects of the psychology of emotions is that the duration of an emotion frequently doesn’t correlate with its strength. A person can get very angry, and 5 minutes later be completely calm. Similarly, someone can fall in love head over heels, and in a few months that love is gone.

I find it interesting that, nowadays, people marry out of love more than ever, yet the divorce rate is higher than ever as well. I’m sure there are many explanations, but one of them is probably the fact that love can be a very volatile feeling. To assume that it will last forever because it’s strong, or even because it’s been strong for a few years, is farfetched.

Believing this myth is bad because it makes people commit to lifetime relationships purely based on love. And that’s a mistake. Because later, if much of that love dissipates, they may find out they have nothing else in common: no commons goals, values, passions or beliefs. There is nothing left to hold them together. That’s how messy breakups or really stale relationships come to be.

Myth #3: Love Will Just Find You One Day

We see this myth exemplified in movies all the time. She walks into a coffee shop, just looking to get her morning coffee, when him, tall, dark and handsome, accidentally bumps into her and spills his vanilla latte all over her.

He starts desperately apologizing and hopelessly trying to clean the latte off her dress, while casually noticing she has really nice eyes. Next thing you know all this has transitioned into in a fun, flirtatious conversation, which then turns into a date, which turns into an epic loving relationship.

It’s a great movie plot. But it rarely happens in real life. They’re just too many unlikely factors that have to come together at the same time for such a situation to actually occur. Honestly, you’re probably more likely to win the lottery than to find love like that.

I know why people believe this myth though: because it’s convenient. It’s much easier to believe that love will just find you one day because you really want it, than to believe that if you want love in your life, you have to be proactive and go find it.

However, that is the truth. If you wanna have love, it’s not enough to just get out of the house. You need to actively expand your social circle and meet new people, deliberately initiate social interactions, and make quality conversation with others. You need to talk with a range of people, go on series of dates, test and explore, until you find someone you connect really well with.

That takes time and work. That requires good social skills and social confidence. And a lot of people find it hard to accept that; especially those who are shy and somewhat unskilled socially. So they prefer to believe a myth.

Nevertheless, believing a myth won’t get you far. You need to look reality in the eye, accept it and choose your action course based on it. It’s the only way to find real love.

If you’re shy, socially anxious or you lack social skills, seek help and work to fix this. Check out my instructional presentation about improving social confidence and join my free social confidence newsletter for more help from me in this area. Address the issue. Don’t delude yourself that love will just find you one day out of the blue.

Romantic relationships can be a very fulfilling part of your life. But you need to look for them, go into them and decide which way to take them based on rational beliefs and mindsets, not on unrealistic assumptions. So let’s put the love myths to rest.

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.

The Ingredients of a Fulfilling Social Life

In the last few years, I’ve given a lot of thought to the question: What makes one happy? I think there is a lot of variation, as each person is different, but there is at least one common thread. And that thread is good relationships.

I think that, on the whole, the people with the most meaningful relationships tend to also be the happiest.

Thus, it’s no surprise that, for example, people with social anxiety, who tend to have few or no friends and rarely go out, are often also diagnosed with depression. Loneliness is not only boring; it’s also detrimental to your mental wellbeing.

Most of us lack a proper map for what to look for regarding our social life. It’s not enough to go out and hang out with people. A social life needs to fit some criteria in order for it to be rewarding.

Therefore, I want to talk about what I deem as the three key ingredients of a fulfilling social life.

1. Quantity

Yes, quantity is important. I don’t believe in having one friend. I also don’t believe in expecting your romantic partner to play all the important roles you want in your life: lover, collaborator, friend, mentor, therapist etc. You’re putting too much pressure on one single person.

The thing is that we have an array of similar but distinct social needs. We want companionship, but also romance, and fun, and deep conversation, and guidance, and support, and a massage at 2 AM in the night.

So the best way to go is to find a palette of people, each one with the ability to fulfill some of your needs. Typically, the more individuals you have in your social circle, the more of your social needs you can satisfy.

2. Connection

Obviously, quantity is not enough. You can know a lot of people, but if the dynamic of the relationships is not adequate, they don’t bring any perceptible value in your life, and vice versa. Quality is also key.

At a psychological level, the measurement of the reciprocal value two people bring into each other’s lives is something I like to call connection. A good relationship, in my book, is defined by a strong and rewarding connection.

This connection can be casual, romantic, sexual, emotional, intellectual, and so on, depending on the nature of the relationship. But it must be there. When you feel that connection interacting with a person, you know it’s a relationship worth having.

You want to have a social life with lots of people in it, but more importantly, with people you truly connect with. At the end of the day, you’re much better off with 10 strong interpersonal connections in your life than 100 barely manifest ones.

3. Authenticity

As a coach, a lot of the people I discuss with tell me they don’t enjoy socializing and interacting with others. As we explore this topic, what I discover almost every time is that they believe they must get the approval of others, and they act in a fake way during social interactions.

Well, when your social interactions are mostly about playing a role in order to get approval and avoid disapproval, of course you don’t enjoy them very much. Who enjoys being fake and on guard all the time?

This is why I see authenticity as a fundamental ingredient. The point it to behave in a genuine way around other people, instead of faking it. Thus, whatever connections you build with people, they are authentic and you can truly savor them.

I find it a lot more productive to meet lots of people, and hold on to those you genuinely connect with, instead of meeting a few people and clinging on to them no matter what. The later kind of relationships is simply not rewarding.

Conversation Confidence

I always notice one common quality that all people with fulfilling social lives have. This quality is what allows them to bring quantity, connection and authenticity in their relationships with others.

And the quality is conversation confidence: the ability to engage others in a comfortable and genuine matter, without making excuses for who they are. With conversation confidence, you can interact with others easily, express yourself and simply unveil the relationships that are meant to be.

Next Tuesday, on September 13, I’m going to release Conversation Confidence: a 4.5 hours audio guide, based on scientific research on the psychology of confidence and my 5 years of experience as a coach.

If you want to be a confident conversationalist and have a rich, fun and fulfilling social life, this guide is the cornerstone. With its release, I’m also gonna launch some cool free bonuses, as well as another website and brand.

Stay tuned. Big things are coming.

Image courtesy of Lulz Photography

On Health, Life and Love

I’m in writing overdrive. But you’re not going to see the content here on the blog, because it’s for an information product I’m currently working on.

I can’t tell you anything about it at this point, except that it is a practical, bullshit-free guide to making conversation with confidence. And it’s coming along beautifully.

I get so many emails on this topic that I decided it’s about time I create an information product addressing this issue.  There are four or five emails related to this in my Inbox right now, still waiting for me to answer them.

Anyway, since all my writing energy is focused on the guide this week, I decided to share with you on People Skills Decoded a couple of the educational videos I’ve been watching lately and getting a lot of value out of.

The first video is a presentation made by Mark Sisson, who is in my perspective one of the leading authorities on healthy eating and living, and the creator of the Primal Blueprint.

In this video, recorded at The 21 Convention, Mark discusses how to eat and exercise to be healthy, lean and active. If you tend to go with the conventional wisdom on this subject (whole grain cereals and stuff) this presentation will surprise you. Watch it here.

The second video is an old favorite of mine: a presentation on the science of love made by Helen Fisher, a person who actually studies love scientifically. Check it out below or on TED.

Big things are coming. Stay tuned.

Image courtesy of Sister72

How to Be the Life of the Party

You know those parties you read about in fairytales, that last three days and three nights? I just got back form a kick-ass salsa party that actually lasted that long.

In light of this circumstance, I decided to write about a social life topic I know many people are fascinated with: how to be the life of the party.

I believe that when you know how to be the life of the party, not only that you enjoy festive events more, but you enliven everybody else present as well. You become the core that attention goes to and positive energy flows from.

Here are my top four principles on how to be the life of the party:

1. Make Having Fun Your Main Focus

If your focus is on being charming and impressing others at a party, you’ve hit a dead end. Typically, there is nothing that will get you in your head more than concentrating on obtaining some form of validation from others.

The individuals who are naturally the life of the party, interestingly enough, don’t focus on being the life of the party. They just want to have fun and try to find as many ways to do so as possible.

Their entire attitude at a party stems from this mindframe. Paradoxically, in learning how to be the life of the party, you need to forget about impressing and focus on entertaining and enjoying yourself instead.

2. Talk with Lots of People

If you study the social dynamics at parties, you notice that the person who is seen as the life of the party is the person who behaves in a highly social way. Well, you want to be that kind of a person.

When you’re interacting with just about everybody in the room, you’re meeting people, shaking hands, telling stories, cracking jokes and being outgoing, you boost your mood and you’re spreading it to everybody around you.

Even if you’re somewhat shy, you can still get sociable by making baby steps. Start by talking with the people you already know, then with people you don’t know but seem really friendly, and so on. In no time, you can end up talking with everybody at a party.

3. Dance, Learn To Dance and Dance Some More

In my experience, most good parties tend to involve some music and dancing. The parties that are strictly conversational in nature often end up being quite a bore. Somehow, movement and dancing seems to be an integral part of social fun.

So, it’s time to get your dancing groove on. The most valuable piece of advice I can give you here is: don’t just sit in a corner with your arms crossed and watch others have fun. Rather, be on the dance floor, dancing like it’s 1999.

If you generally feel somewhat self-conscious when you’re dancing, I can totally relate to that. From my perspective, there are two ways out:

  1. Realize that people are not looking at you and making fun of your dancing (it’s a party not a dance contest) and thus, relax;
  2. If you really believe that you’re a terrible dancer and have a hard time getting over it, get some dancing lessons.

4. Do Stupid Stuff

Think of a party as your one chance to do almost anything you want and get away with it. In a party environment, many of the conventional social norms no longer apply and you can get away with doing lots of stupid shit.

So, embrace this opportunity. Don’t be the dreary person who talks about the state of the world all night long. Be the person who sprays champagne on everybody, and jumps in the swimming pool with their clothes on.

Trust me: the more stupid stuff you do at a party, the more you animate that party and draw people towards you. As long as you don’t end up doing something illegal, in my view, just about anything else goes.

Think about it this way: you only have one life to live. You might as well enjoy it and help others enjoy it as well. Having fun is one of the most important things you can do. Therefore, learning how to be the life of the party matters first and foremost because it increases the fun factor all around.

Image courtesy of sfmission

When It Comes To Life Success, It’s All About Crafty Confidence – 5 Unorthodox Tips to Improve Yours

This is a guest post by Jonny Gibaud, co-founder of Emergency Food Storage. Jonny writes for the love of helping people, inspiring people and Katie Holmes. For articles on Life Design, Business and Sexy Money head over to his blog or check out his personal BrandBase.

Confidence Is The Winner

Confidence, more than ability, is usually what separates the winners from the losers and so what better trait to focus on for improving your confidence.

Some people are innately very confident and I am sure we all secretly harbor some resentment towards them because of it but even if confidence does not come easily to you, it can be improved. The 5 Unorthodox confidence boosting techniques we are going to focus on today are:

1. Wear Outrageous Underwear
2. Make Statements – Limit Explanation
3. Learn To Love Silence
4. Dress Dapper
5. Finish Well

1. Wear Outrageous Underwear

Sometimes the only thing you need to do to put your fears to rest is to have a secret that you know and no one else does. Imagining people in their underwear is yesterday’s news, wearing your own outrageous pair of skinnies under your clothes in the new future.

Having this little secret that you and only you in the room know will help you feel more relaxed and settled.

Personally, whenever giving a presentation or networking I like to wear a pair of silk black boxer shorts with bright red hearts on. (Yeah, too much information I know) but it is this little outrageous act that relaxes me and allows me to be at my most confident. Try it and see for yourself.

2. Make Statements – Limit Explanation

Confidence is all about perception and the quickest way to destroy that perception is to overly explain your job, idea, background, latest travels etc. Try to limit the amount of explaining you do unless specifically asked to.

Simply making a one sentence statement is incredibly powerful because it comes across that what you just said does not need explanation or proof.

“I’m a Personal Branding consultant who works with my clients to define and project a powerful Personal Brand both online and offline” is far more powerful then “I’m a Personal Branding consultant who works with my clients to define and project a powerful Personal Brand both online and offline. You need a personal brand because…..and I do this…and this for you…with this on the side”

3. Learn To Love Silence

Silence is your friend, my friend.

Most people hate silences and will do anything to avoid them, and it is for this reason that learning to love them can be so powerful.

Whether the silence falls within a natural lull in conversation or when contemplating an idea, people will normally try to jump in and fill it with repeated words, fill words or just plain nonsense. Anything but the silence.

If you can learn to enjoy the silences, not try to fill them and use the time to actually think (as opposed to having shifty, uncomfortable eyes) then the world is yours. People admire this trait and subconsciously attach a huge amount of self confidence to your character.

4. Dress Dapper

We all make snap decisions, we shouldn’t but we do. If you’re not looking your best, you will never feel and act your best.

Remember how confident you felt in a Tux or a beautiful dress. (Tux for boys, dress for girls. Behave people.) Clothes make a difference and nothing saps your confidence like turning up underdressed and not looking your best.

Take the time to make sure you look dapper and let your confidence expand from there. Your look is the foundation of your confidence.

5. Finish Well

It’s all in the finish people. Fortunately you can make a hash of almost everything but if you finish well, that has the major impact on what the audience takes away.

Focus on always finishing speeches, conversations and network events with a powerful and confident close. Practice and perfect it.

With a powerful close that will leave a great impression you can be safe in the knowledge than no matter how badly things go, people will tend to remember at least a confident close. This knowledge will also help you relax and in turn act more confident. It’s a great fulfilling circle of awesomeness.

Get Confident

So there you have it. Five very simple and effective techniques for improving your confidence. Go out and give them a try, I am sure you won’t be disappointed. Also, as a shameless plug for my new upcoming book keep and eye out for the launch of CHOOSE: Master of Money Or Slave To It.

Rock on all.

Image courtesy of pasotraspaso

Beyond People Skills: My 3 Life Lessons

This article is written at the invitation of fellow blogger Abubakar Jamil, as part of the Life Lessons Series. You can find out more about this project and the people involved on his blog.

It’s a very enjoyable activity for me to look back at my life so far, at the experiences I had, to reflect on them and to draw lessons. It’s something I do periodically, in a systematic, pen & paper way, and something I encourage everyone to do.

As I’m doing this process now, there are 3 very valuable life lessons which stand out. They go beyond improving people skills and they’re the lessons I want to share with you.

Life Lesson 1: Your weaknesses are your strengths.

When I was a teenager, I was frequently described as ‘annoying’ because I asked a lot of questions and always wanted details about things I didn’t quite understand. The result of this was that I started asking questions about why it’s bad to ask a lot of questions. I never got a satisfying answer, but I also didn’t want to annoy people so I ended up shutting up a lot more.

As time passed and I got seriously into psychology, I began to see all the potential benefits of my tendencies to ask a lot of questions. I was basically an analytical person, which enjoyed decoding various phenomena. So instead of repressing this side of my personality, I decided to express it and find the best ways to do so.

Now, the fact I ask a lot of questions is what makes me have a good understanding of how people skills work; get a good grasp of my clients’ needs and provide real results through my coaching services. I still annoy some people, but I don’t mind that anymore. I know that if I look in perspective, my weakness is my strength.

Life Lesson 2: Perfectionism kills productivity.

I started writing at the same time I started coaching. I remember that it took me then almost 4 hours to write a one page article related to people skills which I now write in less than 2 hours. Part of this visible increase in my writing speed is due to the fact my writing skills have improved a lot in the passing years, and part is due to the fact I stopped being a perfectionist about my writing.

When I was writing articles for the first time, I felt this need to make them look perfect. I wanted the perfect structure, style, words and ideas every time. Later, I realized that perfection was not necessary. My readers wanted very good writing and high quality ideas (this made them read my stuff and buy my other services) but they did not require perfection.

By being a perfectionist about my writing, I was using a lot of time for each article, without a significant increase in the benefits to justify it. So, I gradually started to tolerate imperfection and give less time to each article. I continued to have a high standard in my writing, but I no longer sought perfection. Because perfectionism was killing my productivity.

Life Lesson 3: Hope is not enough, you need a good strategy.

This is a lesson which fortunately for me, I’ve learned mostly from the experiences of other persons around me. I say fortunately because it was a lesson learned mostly through big failures and loses.

I have seen people in my professional network lose a lot of money and fail miserably with all sorts of business ideas. And most of the time, these people had one thing in common: they weren’t applying realistic business strategies. They had a lot of hope and optimism, but no real understanding what it takes to make their business ideas work. They were very slow to learn from their mistakes, to develop their strategies, and so they’ve made businesses plummet.

I have seen this happen beyond managing a business, in managing a career or a life. And it’s the same pattern: hope is good but it is not enough. At the end of the day, you need to know what the heck you’re doing and have a solid strategy to reflect it. Hope is a good companion, but not a replacement for competence.

These are my 3 life lessons. What are your most important life lessons?

Image courtesy of Paco Alcantara