Posts Tagged ‘actions

13
Feb
12

I will always love you. It’s me I hate.

This past weekend singer, actress, producer, and model Whitney Houston died at the young age of 48. Her career was defined by her beautiful persona and angelic voice as well as her drug use and erratic behavior. Once again we are faced with the confusion of how someone with so much going for them could leave us before their time. It’s hard for us to put conflicting parts of people together into one package but if we take a look in the mirror, we know it’s a part of the human condition for all of us.

The Cognitive Dissonance Theory was developed by Leon Festinger in 1957. As individuals we seek consistency among our cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions, actions). When there is an inconsistency between beliefs and behaviors (dissonance), it creates anxiety and something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In other words, something has to give. To alleviate the stress of living a double life, we can focus on the positive of the more important belief, reduce its importance, or change the conflicting belief so it is consistent with our other beliefs or behaviors.

I heard it explained in terms of pleasure or pain. Something gives you so much pleasure or causes you so much pain that you will eliminate the dissonance in order to preserve the pleasure or eliminate the pain. For example, a marriage may experience troubled times, but the recognition of the good it brings causes the couple to reconcile and mend the relationship. Or in the case of pain, a person is arrested and spends time incarcerated. Because of the pain induced they are “scared straight” and go on to live a life in compliance with society’s laws.

Sometimes, though, we don’t hit the high or low and our lives play out in a state of compromise and subtle self-loathing. Take for example a smoker who knows that the habit is detrimental to their health but continues by rationalizing that it keeps their weight in check. In this unfortunate case, the belief has changed to accommodate the unhealthy behavior, sometimes until it claims their life.

We all experience cognitive dissonance in our lives. In some cases, it’s a minor vice and in others its life threatening. In either case, the only thing that is capable of reconciling the discord is the individual themselves. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to enable the discord by altering what’s at the core of our identity. But when we do that, we kill a little bit of ourselves.

They say that the greatest battle is waged within the self. Don’t seek to change the behaviors of the world. Supporters of our vices, addictions and self pity are far and wide and always ready to oblige our demise. Seek to change yourself because there’s only one of you and the world needs to experience all of you it can!

 

23
Aug
11

is your triple “A” rating at risk?

A dear friend and I were discussing the importance of branding, not just to businesses, but to every individual. Personal branding is, in effect, how your character, reputation and deeds are recorded. It’s what makes you distinctly you, as a person, as a professional, and as a member of our social collective.

Recently, the subject of theUnited States’ credit rating has been the topic of much news. AAA is the highest credit rating given by debt analysis agencies such as Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s. Every individual is their own little economic microcosm. We sell ideas, peddle influence, seek to add value, and contribute our resources. So what kind of a rating would we earn as individuals? Would we earn the coveted triple “A” rating? Here’s how we could:

A is for ASSOCIATIONS: We’ve heard about this since we were school kids. Do we aspire to soar with eagles or scrounge with turkeys? After all, birds of a feather do flock together. Many great personal development writers clearly point out that we are the sum totals of the people we associate with.  Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You’ll be the same person five years from now as you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” And yes, what and who we read about is also an association that factors into our ratings.

A is for ATTITUDES: We’ve heard this one throughout our lives too. An attitude of gratitude should flavor everything we do. A positive attitude can turn hurt into something that makes us better, not bitter. What’s your attitude toward failure, fear, rejection, and betrayal? These are all staples of a well-lived life. It’s so easy to bear fruit in season when the sun is shining and the rain falls regularly. It’s tough when the soil is barren and there’s no rain on the horizon. But that’s the clearest indication of what type of rating we’ll earn on our Attitude. As Cavett Robert so eloquently said, “If you don’t think every day is a good day, try missing one.”

A is for ACTIONS: Another childhood lesson: actions speak louder than words. I’ve found throughout the years that I’m most despondent or anxious when I’m not taking action. As General George S. Patton said, “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” That’s because actions are the living proof of our verbal aspirations and mental attitudes. So when confronted with life’s issues, remember: the best way out of a problem is through it. Action dispels doubt and fear and is the quickest way to boost our rating. Zig Ziglar said, “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”

The higher your rating the more value you add, not only to your own life, but to the lives of others by being a better friend, mentor, spouse, partner, contractor, consultant, employer, preacher, teacher…. you name it! Want a Triple “A” rating in life? It’s not up to the economists; it’s up to you!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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