Word-Of-the-Week #802: Influence

December 19, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #802: Influence 

Influence – having an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.

When was the last time you influenced someone? Are you generous in giving praise or encouragement instead of criticism? Do you believe that you are capable of making a difference?

This is the 2nd half of “How to Make a Difference to the World” by Mark Foo.

To recap: “Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and the likes, are capable of making a difference.

The truth is, every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference to the world in our own unique way. It need not be anything out of the world. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of ‘doing good’.

  1. Empower Other People

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.” – Dale Carnegie

You can change the world by helping one person at a time. One of the ways to help someone is to empower the person. But how do you empower a person? Well, one of the ways is to be generous in giving praise and encouragement instead of criticism.

By praising and encouraging the person, you’d have helped him/her to accomplish what he/she is meant to be, and that would lead to more value being added to the world.

  1. Seek to Make a Long-Lasting Effect

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli

This is Mr Disraeli’s version of ‘give a man a fish; you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.’

The good that we seek to do will make more of a difference when there’s a long-lasting effect rather than a temporary effect. For example, if we make contributions to build a school, it will benefit many people for years to come.

And when more people receive education, they will in turn provide more value to the world.

  1. Stop Whining and Do Something

“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

All the whining and complaining in the world is not going to make a difference to the world. It will only drain you of your precious energy from doing things that do make a difference.

Instead of whining and complaining, seek to use the time more productively by engaging in activities that matter. When it comes to making a difference, nothing matters more than taking actions.

  1. Lead the Way

“A good example has twice the value of good advice.” – Author Unknown

Other than doing things to make a difference, we should also seek to influence others to start doing things that make a difference. And the best way to convince other people is to lead by example.

Start doing whatever is within your ability today. Start showing more concern and love to the people around you. Start to make monthly donations to your favorite charity. Start putting more effort in your work to increase the value output.

Every effort counts, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Just do something, and do something good.

This week’s focus is on influence. Do you lead by setting a good example? Are you engaging in activities with the intention of ‘doing good’? How would it make you feel to contribute to something that had a long-lasting effect?

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Word-Of-the-Week #801: Difference

December 12, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #801: Difference 

Difference – having a positive effect.

Do you believe that one person can make a difference in the world? When was the last time you reached out to help someone in a time of need? Do you know that in order to receive, you must give first?

This week “How to Make a Difference to the World” by Mark Foo seemed like the perfect follow up to last week’s Munificent.

Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and the likes, are capable of making a difference.

The truth is, every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference to the world in our own unique way. It need not be anything out of the world. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of ‘doing good’.

The following is a guide as to how small people like us can make a difference to the world.

  1. It Need Not Be an Enormous Task

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

You already have what it takes to make the world a better place. Making a difference to the world may seem like an enormous task, but it is in fact the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions with a lot of heart.

The size of the contribution is not what matters most. The key here is to have the heart to do it.

  1. Start Now

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

There is no one best time to start to make a difference to the world. You don’t need to wait till you have the time to share some love; you don’t have to wait till you make more money to share a slice of bread. Little efforts count, and you can start making small contributions today.

  1. Your Contribution is Never Too Small

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” – Author Unknown

If you think that everything has been taken care of by somebody and your contribution is not going to make much of a difference, then you’re wrong. Can you imagine if everyone else starts to think the same way?

In fact, it is our responsibility to seek ways to contribute, large and small. You don’t have to be concerned you’re only capable of making small contributions. What counts is the effort.

  1. The Greatest Gifts of All

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

Happiness and love are the two greatest gifts you can give to the world. Too often, we’re too indulged in our own gratifications that we forget there are people in this world whom we can make a little happier and feel more loved.

As the saying goes, “To receive, you must first give.” The more you give, the more you’ll receive. Let us remind ourselves that in order to receive more happiness and love, let’s spread more of them first.”

This week’s focus is on making a difference. Are you waiting for the “right time” to make a contribution? Are you concerned that it needs to be bigger or more than you can give today?  Who could you make a little happier or feel more loved?

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Word-Of-the-Week #800: Munificent

December 5, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #800: Munificent 

Munificent characterized by or displaying great generosity.

Do you believe that being generous is about giving material things or money? Do you expect that your generosity should be reciprocated? Would you be more munificent if you knew it would make you happier?

Many of you know that I am on the board of Fostering Opportunities Scholarships and raise money for former foster youth to help them achieve their educational goals. So this is the word that came to me this week and features Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier by Amanda MacMillan.

“It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know that doing nice things for people feels good. But now, researchers say they’ve discovered that even thinking about doing something generous has real mood-boosting benefits in the brain. 

In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 people they’d be receiving about $100 over a few weeks. Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew. 

The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. So before doling out any money, they brought everyone into the lab and asked them to think about a friend they’d like to give a gift to and how much they would hypothetically spend. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making. 

Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over. 

Another piece of good news was that it didn’t seem to matter how generous people were. Planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot. “At least in our study, the amount spent did not matter,” said lead author Philippe Tobler, associate professor of neuroeconomics and social neuroscience, in an email. “It is worth keeping in mind that even little things have a beneficial effect—like bringing coffee to one’s office mates in the morning.” 

It’s not yet clear how long these warm and fuzzy feelings last after being generous. But other research suggests that making generosity a regular habit may influence long-term wellbeing and happiness, the study authors say. 

Next time you think that the best way to make yourself feel better is to buy yourself a treat, consider that the opposite is likely true. “It is worth giving it a shot, even if you think it would not work,” Tobler says. “In order to reap health benefits, repeated practice is probably needed so that giving becomes second nature.”

This week’s focus is on being munificent. Do you make charitable contributions? Do you donate time to a charity or for a cause? How often do you give the gift of your time to friends or family? How does it make you feel when you witness the benefits of your generosity?

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Word-Of-the-Week #799: Thankful

November 28, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #799: Thankful 

Thankfulappreciative and grateful.

Are you appreciative and grateful for all that you have? Do you acknowledge and thank people when they do something that is of benefit or favorable to you? When you do something kind or giving to someone, do they thank you? How does that make you feel?

Today is the day we give thanks and I am sharing “words of wisdom” that really resonated with me. This from SD Tribune Neil Senturia on “9 reasons why this columnist is thankful on Thanksgiving.” I’m only listing #9 today to keep it short.

“The Challenge. “May you live in interesting times,” is an old saying. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Embrace the insanity, because it is exactly that which keeps you sane. 

My final thanks are personal. I am reasonably healthy, and I deeply acknowledge the good fortune that I have received. And so I give thanks that I can continue to try to do better, to improve the lot of others, to make people laugh from time to time, to remain engaged in this world — in other words, I am thankful to be alive. 

I am always deeply moved when I read the New York Times Neediest Cases stories. They have been doing this for 100 years, but you don’t have to travel to the Big Apple to see this world. Those stories are right here, right now, up close and personal. Do not give up. The journey always starts with the first step. And finally, remember that there but for the grace of God go all of us.”

Rule 655: Count your blessings.

This from Bill Marvin, “You have enough on your plate right now (pun intended), but while we enjoy our abundance, many in the world are hungry today … and with what has to be one of the best uses of the Internet that I know of, you can do something about it.

Go to The Hunger Site, click on the “Donate Free Food” button and somewhere in the world a hungry person gets a meal to eat, at no cost to you. The food is paid for by corporate sponsors who gain exposure in the process because you’ll see their logos, but all you have to do is go to the site and click on the donate food button. It literally takes a second … and you can do it once a day. Pass the word.”

  • And being thankful has its health benefits. Researchers at the University of California-Davis, Cornell and the University of Michigan found that people “who have a plethora of events for which they feel grateful bounce back more quickly from trauma, can undo the negative effects of stress and have lower blood pressure.”

A USA Today article said to, “Notice small things. Experts almost universally agree that some of the most significant blessings are also the most seemingly insignificant acts. Take note of a nice day, a spectacular sunset, a moonlit night.”

I personally am so grateful for all that I have in my life. I am thankful to have been able to travel and experience so many different cultures. And I am very thankful to live in the “best place on the planet” with an abundance of everything. (And great paved roads) I have wonderful friends and family and the love of my life! I don’t think it can get any better than that!

This week focus on being thankful. What are you grateful for in your personal and professional life? When was the last time you told your customers, guests, clients, members, friends and family how much you appreciate having them in your life? This week make it a point to thank someone and then notice how they respond. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Word-Of-the-Week #798: Holidays

November 21, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #798: Holidays 

Holidaysthat “special” time of year that brings joy and/or stress.

How do the holidays make you feel? Do you travel to be with your family? Do you spend time with family that lives out of town? Or do you leave town, so you don’t have to be around any of them?

Since we are in the beginning of the Holiday Season, I am taking the liberty of running this past WOW. Long time subscriber John always makes me belly laugh when he replies to my WOW’s. This is what he wrote after my WOW on family.

“I recall a quote from an elderly Aunt of mine back in the 50′s that always stuck in my mind which occurred after a family “tiff” during the annual Thanksgiving family get-together many, many years ago.   

Three members of the family were particularly known for getting on each others last nerve.  During a particularly “animated discussion” my Aunt, who was known to enjoy her homemade Elderberry wine, stood up and proclaimed, “A toast to Thanksgiving, that special time of the year that we get together to remind us why we all moved apart.”  

The saying goes, “You don’t get to pick your family, but you do get to pick your friends.” You may not be able to control their behavior, but you can control yours. You can either choose to not be reactive or to not be around them. My mother used to tell me to “ignore your brother” a lot. As I have gotten older, I am seriously questioning that statement. Is it in anyone’s best interest to ignore certain behavior? What message does that send?

This week’s focus is on the Holidays. Do they make you feel festive and/or joyous? Or do you feel stress? In a perfect world what could you do to make them more joyful? What behavior could you change to reduce your stress?

And just for a little FUN, stressed spelled backwards is desserts! Maybe we all need more of those. Here’s to having a wonderful Holiday Season!

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