Abraham Maslow argued that all needs could be grouped into two main classes: deficiency and growth.
At a young age, when an expression of a need is disregarded as not as important as the needs of the caretaker, a child may get the message that they are not loved while they have this need.
This causes people to behave in a way they think they should feel, not how they really feel. As adults, they are always influenced by others' opinions and driven by their insecurities and fears of facing themselves.
To psychotherapist Carl Rogers, the loneliest state is not the loneliness of social relationships, but a separation from one's own experience. Rogers developed the notion of the "fully functioning person" that is characterized as:
Goals are grouped into two main clusters:
When people are under conditions of freedom, they tend to move towards growth. The goal isn’t to become completely growth-oriented and despise security, but under freedom, the balance tips towards growth.
The practice was created by a Buddhist teacher named Roshi Joan Halifax. Many people are adopting this practice because it helps us guide ourselves and support ourselves in any given situation.
Even the name itself invites the body and the mind to calm down and alleviate any stresses with the heart. Before practicing this method you must first find a comfortable position for your body and practice long deep breaths to soothe your mind.
After reviewing many studies that explored the science behind a happy life, a deceptively simple, yet reliable formula has been created for a joyful life.
Most of the ingredients to this recipe are very accessible. We know the joy of splashing in the summer rain; we have someone to support us in laughter and pain. It is possible that we are already leading a happy and meaningful life but are unaware of it.
A happy life is full of positive emotions. In particular:
To nurture our social connections, we need cooperation, touch, and forgiveness.
People find comfort in certainty. We form organisations; we structure our activities and strategies around the idea of certainty; we find satisfaction knowing that planning will bring fruition. But the unforeseen makes the greatest difference to our futures.
We look out for the unexpected every day - for example, when we use a pedestrian crossing, we still look out for the unexpected driver who might race through the red light. That awareness of the unexpected is at the core of understanding the science of smart luck that we can use to our benefit.
Many of the world's leading minds have developed a capacity to use the unexpected in a positive way.
You can develop a serendipity mindset in yourself. Serendipity is not a passive luck that just happens to you. It is an active process of seeing and connecting the dots. It is about seeing bridges where others see gaps, then taking the initiative to create smart luck.
It is vital to be open and alert to the unexpected.
In one experiment, two people were chosen. The one saw themselves as 'lucky,' the other as 'unlucky.' Both participants were taking separate trips to a coffee shop. On the pavement was a £5 note, and inside sat someone posing as a successful businessman.
This experiment shows that your mindset, and how you think about the possibility, can affect your ability to find opportunities in the moment.
Preparation is the main factor for creating smart luck. It is mostly about removing the mental and physical barriers to serendipity. These include overloaded schedules, pointless meetings, and inefficiencies throughout your day.
An unprepared mind often discards unusual encounters and misses the opportunities for smart luck. Preparation is about developing the ability to employ the positive coincidences that come up in life.
Our habits and preconceptions can prevent us from spotting serendipity. Three major biases stand in the way:
Beginners can set a timer for two minutes, then list in two columns the parts of your day that led to positive outcomes and parts that did not. Examine what parts worked really well, and what was inefficient, stressful or unfulfilling.
You might notice patterns that stand out for good or bad. Sometimes, it's the smaller things that deplete your energy and alertness.
Serendipity often requires an incubation period. Some efforts result in an immediate spark, while others are like planting seeds that will produce fruit in the future.
Respect your time. Diarise this time like you would a business meeting. Give yourself space to manage your focus, interests and creative energies.
There are simple tools that can further help you exploit serendipity.
Research shows that more than 50% of American workers feel disengaged at their jobs.
Research also shows that motivation is very important to feel engaged. Motivation predicts career success better than intelligence, ability, or salary.
We find motivation when something is meaningful. Meaning is much bigger than the enjoyment of a moment. It can include something we don't like. Soldiers risk being killed every day to serve their country. New parents handle poop daily for years.
Meaningful things give us purpose. This means doing something that serves a larger cause than yourself or, at least, making a contribution in your own world.
When a task you have to do doesn't seem meaningful, reframe your experience. You may not always be able to change what you have to do but you can change how you view it. When you look at it in light of how it helps others, you'll often find motivation.
You're not "filling out boring paperwork, you're helping people get the insurance that could save their life. You're not slaving over a hot stove, you're showing your family how much you love them.
When we feel connected to what we're doing and make it our own, we're much more motivated. Having sovereignty over what we do, when we do it, how we do it, where we do it, and who we do it with, serves as a powerful motivator.
When you're handed a task at the office, you can make small tweaks to customize what you have to do. It creates a motivating feeling when you can do it your way.
Very often, when we look at a task, we take the outside view by forgetting about the emotional component. And that's how something we may actually enjoy becomes a chore.
Academics often define introversion by what it is not: extroversion. What everyday introverts think about introversion is not really factored in.
As early as 1980, this problem was identified when a study found that the scientific and common-sense definitions of introversion were not the same.
Introverts tend to turn inward rather than outward, but beyond that, it is more complex. There are four types of introverts:
Many introverts are a mix of all four types.
Any time there's a crisis, it can spark self-evaluation. We can wonder where we are in our life and career. Are we doing things that feel fulfilling and challenge us?
Whether you've been unsatisfied in your career path or your job seems risky at the moment, this might be a time to map out a future that is satisfying and potentially financially rewarding.
If finding a new job sounds overwhelming, think practically about how you can insert yourself into an area where you might seem like an outsider.
Knowing how your specific experience translates is key. Knowing the fine details of the job, what it requires, and the company will help you to find a way in. Showing examples of learned new skills proves you're really passionate about that role and will grow into it. Employers find that exciting.
It is good to dip your feet in before the big switch. It doesn't hurt to do a side hustle while performing a full-time job. For example, if you're dreaming of becoming an interior designer, ask friends if they know someone looking for help redoing a room.
Networking is easier than ever. Email listservs and specialized Facebook groups can offer a relatively simple foot in the door for particular industries.
Instead of "fake it until you make it," it's better to believe in yourself and your capability. No employer expects you to have 100% of the qualifications.
Don't lie about your proficiency and then get in over your head. Expect to find the job more challenging at first. If you're not hearing back from employers or not nailing the interviews, reach out and ask for feedback. Ask people in that industry to read your resume.
Due to the highly unpredictable and uncertain nature of certain events, our opinion about the world has turned largely subjective and detached from reality, because reality itself has become elusive and hard to grasp.
Our mental projections and division of thoughts are creating unique representations about our world which have become our own truth.
Cultural Intelligence requires us to be open-minded to alternatives, and not be too attached to our belief systems, assumptions and what all we have learned over the years.
One has to understand that everything is fluid, and it is not necessary that we are always right and the other person is always wrong. We have to be concerned with meaning, not with opinions about who is right.
Professional athletes have five common traits, which make them mentally tough:
Ego, generally considered an enemy, surprisingly can also be defined as a measure to handle setbacks, criticism and rejection.
When our ego-strength is embraced and utilized positively, we genuinely believe in ourselves no matter what the circumstances. No rejection, loss or failure can destroy our will to keep going.
Mental toughness is about keeping calm and level-headed while in situations that can make one emotional or make one’s heart pound.
It is almost like a superpower if you are composed and ‘cool’ instead of giving a knee-jerk, emotional reaction.
Any high-stakes situation tests our ability to deal with negative consequences in case of failure. If there is a huge risk involved and your decision or action can make or break the situation, there is an added stress that can paralyse you, in a critical time.
Stoicism and mindfulness help us understand and avoid fear and undue worry, not letting the negative emotions cripple us.
Apart from time, which is limited, the biggest resource we have is our energy. It is our ability to perform and sustain activity over a period of time. From learning a skill to writing a book, everything requires energy and persistence. One also has to be resilient and consistent.
Managing one’s energy simply becomes our most important daily responsibility.
While perfectionism is the enemy of efficiency in this fast-paced world, doing your job thoroughly is a trait of being tough mentally.
What makes it special is that it is all more difficult where there are distractions, choices, alternatives and deadlines looming around us all the time.
To practice mental toughness the best way is to dive into action, challenging yourself, and becoming a better, more complete individual, letting go of fear, doubt and anxiety, all of which suck our energy.