How to Be Open-Minded to New Ideas

If you have definite ideas about how things are or how they should be, you’ve probably had someone tell you to “keep an open mind.” Having an open mind is important to succeed in life. Embracing, or at least considering, new ideas and technologies is vital to our personal growth.

Are you willing to consider someone else’s opinion? Can you look at facts that may seem suspect and analyze them without bias? If you’re open-minded, you can be flexible when met with new ideas. It means you can adapt to new experiences.

Being able to think critically is a vital component of being open-minded. In our quickly changing technological world, it’s important to keep an open mind in order to keep up and stay current, rather than missing out on all the new things around us.

It’s also important to be willing to change your views when you’re given new facts. This could prove crucial depending on your chosen profession. For example, as a police officer or lawyer, being willing to see things from a different perspective could help you achieve greater successes.

Here are some ways to learn how to be open-minded to new ideas:

1. Decide now that you don’t have to be right all the time. While it’s not unusual for some people to be obsessed with being right, it’s not something that’s looked favorably upon. No one can be right all the time, not even you!

• Try to be relaxed when discussing new ideas rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to be right.

2. Recognize that there are many reasons why people have certain beliefs. They may be from a different country or have different life experiences that have shaped those beliefs. Someone born at an earlier time would also see things differently than you.

3. Learn to listen carefully. Rather than jumping in with your opinion, let the other person finish speaking. Then use active, or reflective, listening to understand and clarify their ideas:

• Repeat back to them what you understood. Respectfully ask questions when you don’t understand or agree with their standpoint.

4. Look at things from a different perspective. Before deciding that a new idea doesn’t have merit, consider doing some research to understand the concept better. Consider the way the other person explained the idea and see if it makes more sense after you’ve researched it.

5. “Walk a mile” in someone else’s shoes. Spend some time volunteering in your community. This will allow you to see things from a different perspective and with certain limitations.

6. Take time to try something new. There’s no better way to open your mind to new ideas than to attempt a new task. Learning new skills or taking up a new hobby can open your mind in ways that nothing else will. Give it a try; you may be pleasantly surprised!

It’s true that being open-minded can be an advantage in many aspects of life, however, don’t be too quick to become open-minded about everything. There may be some deeply held beliefs that you don’t want to leave by the wayside in order to embrace openness. That’s okay!

While you’re learning to be open-minded to new ideas, remember that it’s fine and good to hold onto some beliefs and stand up for what you believe in.

Just because an idea is new to you doesn’t mean you must agree with it in order to be open-minded. Having an open mind will strengthen your skills to evaluate new ideas intelligently and choose truth in your life.

 

Smart Ways To Manage Job Search Expenses

A job search can be expensive as well as time consuming. There are ways to manage your expenses so that you get the maximum value out of your spending. These are strategies for keeping costs down and taking advantage of all the tax deductions you are entitled to.

Reducing Job Search Expenses 

  1. Network over coffee. Face to face networking still matters even in a Facebook age. Inviting people out for coffee or breakfast is usually less expensive than lunch or dinner.
  2. Choose your wardrobe carefully. Buy your interview suits and tasteful accessories at consignment shops or on eBay for a fraction of the retail cost. Select separates that you can mix and match for more options.
  3. Barter for services. Some job coaches are worth their high fees, but you may know people who will help each other out for free. Offer to proof read each other’s resumes. Share job leads and take turns rehearsing for interviews.
  4. Access community resources. Local government offices, nonprofits and business groups often provide free and low cost career services. Call your state employment office and check community calendars.
  5. Evaluate your travel priorities. In a tight job market, some employers may expect you to pay the travel expenses for long distance interviews. Ask yourself if the position is worth it for you. Clarify how many candidates are being considered.

 

Deducting Job Search Expenses 

  1. Stay in the same field. The IRS only allows deductions for job search expenses if you’re looking for a job in your current occupation. On top of that, there cannot be any significant gap between your last position and the start of your job search.
  2. Know the limit of 2 percent. Allowable job search expenses are deductible if you itemize deductions on Schedule A and those miscellaneous expenses including your job search costs exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
  3. Hold onto your receipts. Good record keeping will help you stay on track. Keep receipts for everything from stamps to airline tickets. The IRS may want to see more than your credit card statement. Mileage logs and odometer readings can be submitted if you travel by car.
  4. Watch your phone minutes. Phone bills only count if you incur extra charges. If you have an unlimited phone plan, the details are probably irrelevant to the IRS.
  5. Calculate agency fees. If a job search agency charges you a fee, you may be able to deduct it. If your new employer later covers it, you’ll naturally need to make a reimbursement.
  6. Keep business trips mostly business. To be deductible, a job search trip must be primarily for business purposes. Keep a log of your time to confirm your activities.
  7. Specify your coaching services. Certain coaching services can be deducted while others fall outside the guidelines. Improving your interviewing technique is likely to be approved while counseling on making a career switch would be ruled out.
  8. Consider your child care needs. Some experts question if child care can be deducted. If you want to do so, document it like any other expense with receipts and details on why it was essential.
  9. Stay up to date. The tax code is complicated and changes all the time. Consult your tax professional or IRS Publication 529 on Miscellaneous Deductions to ensure your information is current.

 

Keep expenses under control so you can focus your efforts on finding the right position for you. Your job satisfaction is worth making an investment, but a little knowledge and careful record keeping can help you get excellent results for less.

Determining What Motivates You

Being able to figure out what motivates you will be a real benefit throughout your life. Once you know what brings you inspiration, you can draw from this list to keep you going whenever you need a boost.

Explore this process to discover your own motivations:

1. Think about the most difficult situation you’ve ever experienced. Then record the answers to these questions:

  • What did you think about the event?
  • How did you feel about it?
  • How did you arrive at how you were going to handle and resolve the situation?
  • What was important to you at the time – was it how you felt, what you thought your parents would think, what you believed was “the right thing to do” or something else?
  • Ultimately, what did you do to resolve the event?

 

2. Next, reflect on 2 or 3 of your biggest achievements. Maybe for you, graduating from college or moving out on your own was a big achievement. Continue writing down your answers to these additional questions. This process will help you to identify your own motivations.

  • What did you do to achieve your success?
  • How did you meet your goals?
  • What did you think about during the process?
  • What motivated you – looking out for your future, wanting to make more money, hoping to make your parents proud, or something else?
  • Did you visualize what your life would be like once you had achieved your goal?
  • How much did you really want to achieve it?

 

3. Analyze your answers. After reflecting on the above questions, your mind will be more open to identifying what’s important to you. So far, what have you discovered that motivates you? Are you surprised at what you’ve found?

4. How do you feel about these concepts? What motivates one person might not motivate another. Still, it’s likely that you’ll feel inspired by the same one or two issues consistently throughout your life. Ideas from this list may ring true to your feelings:

  • You strive to feel like you’re doing “the right thing.”
  • You want to increase your ability to earn more money.
  • Pursuing your passion propels you forward to accomplish more.
  • You hope to see the pride in your parents’ eyes.
  • Maybe you seek recognition from other people – you hope to be noticed and admired.
  • You want to make your or your children’s futures better.
  • You feel the need to prove to yourself that you can achieve something.
  • You like the idea of stepping up to a challenge in your life.
  • Seeking variety in life motivates you to try new things.
  • You strive to overcome a difficult childhood and emerge triumphant.
  • Discovering and validating who you really are as an individual is important to you.
  • You plan to dispute negative messages someone from your past instilled in you.
  • You want to do something in life that “really matters.”
  • Perhaps you enjoy the sheer entertainment value of doing something.
  • Writing down your goals and making an action plan spurs you on to accomplishment.
  • You like to see your list of achievements grow.

 

Whether you want to improve your life, make more money, or follow your passion, discover what motivates you. Then, apply your motivators to situations that really matter. Now, you’re ready to achieve whatever you seek in life.

4 Actions That Bring You Success

Who doesn’t want more success? Whatever you’ve already accomplished, there’s always another interesting mountain to climb. If you’re looking for more achievement, you can improve your life dramatically with a few simple changes. Although these suggestions are straightforward, most of them will require constant attention for a little while until they become habitual. Once they become automatic, though, you’ll be thrilled with your progress.

Try these ideas to enjoy greater success:

1.Hang out with successful individuals. You’ll frequently find that you achieve about as much as the people with whom you spend the most time. If you want to be successful, affiliate as often as you can with people who are more successful than you. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • You’ll be exposed to a completely different way of thinking and interacting with the world. Very successful people look at many things differently than those who are less successful. Integrating some of these ideas into your own thinking will likely bring you more successes of your own.
  • You’ll also encounter new opportunities. High-achieving people frequently have all kinds of ventures going on; you never know when they might need a helping hand. You’ll also get to connect with their peer group, who are likely to be very successful as well.

 

2. Adjust your attitude. Successful people usually have a positive attitude. That’s what allows them to move forward aggressively. This is not the same as acting foolishly, however.

  •  Minor challenges don’t bog them down because they believe that things will work out in the end. They also keep the bigger picture in mind, so minor challenges are just that – minor.
  • If you want to be wealthy, do you have positive attitudes about wealth and wealthy people? If you want to be healthy, do you have a positive outlook about that? Your attitudes must be congruent with your objectives.
  • Everything starts internally; seeing outside changes in your life takes time.

 

3. Be organized and focused. Before you go to bed each night, make a list with all the things you want to accomplish the next day. Doing this at night gives your brain a chance to work on things in your sleep. Also, you’ll feel much better when you can start the day with a clear objective instead of spending time trying to figure out what to do.

 

4. Have goals. Your brain is tremendously good at finding solutions. You can help it out by doing a good job of outlining and prioritizing your objectives. The simplest way to do this is to write down your goal and include a deadline. Now your brain knows what to work on and when to have it accomplished.

  • Read over your goals at least twice a day to provide mental emphasis that they’re important. We all know how easy it is to get sidetracked by 50 other things and forget all about our goals and plans.

 

These 4 simple ideas can bring you great power, if you’ll use them to your advantage.

Being successful is really no more challenging than being unsuccessful. Both require specific actions and attitudes applied consistently over a period of time. Make some changes today and give yourself the gift of success.

Are you a Professional or an Amateur?

Well, which are you? A professional shows up every day and does the necessary work. An amateur does not. Even your hobbies can be approached in a professional manner. However, being a pro doesn’t have to mean that you’re obsessed and spend every possible moment and thought on your objective.

Being professional means that you take it seriously, spend your time and energy appropriately, do what needs to be done, and avoid allowing less important things to interfere.

A high school student can be a pro or an amateur at school. A pro would attend class regularly, have their homework done on time, start studying for tests early, and spend some time studying each night.

An amateur student would daydream, study at the last minute, and only complete some of the homework. A pro student wouldn’t go out the night before a big test. An amateur would.

Are you treating your career and relationship like a pro or like an amateur?

Pros outperform amateurs over time, every time:

  1. A professional sticks to a schedule. An amateur works when he feels “inspired.” If you only work when you feel like it, you’ll never be successful. Whether you’re writing a book, training for a marathon, or starting a business, it’s important to do what needs to be done and do it each day. A professional does this. An amateur does not.
  2. Professionals have priorities. Amateurs have priorities, but they have a different set of priorities. Professionals make their work a priority. Amateurs make comfort a priority. The high school quarterback that spends each evening looking at game film has a different priority than the quarterback that would rather play video games.
  3. Professionals expect, and deal with, discomfort effectively. Pros know that most of what they have to do doesn’t involve sunshine and unicorns. But they do it anyway. Amateurs want to have fun and lose their motivation quickly if the task is unenjoyable.

Are you acting like a professional, or dooming yourself to mediocrity as an amateur?

Anyone can become a pro. And you can become a pro at anything you choose. You can be a pro at being a dog owner or caring for your lawn. There isn’t time to be a pro at everything, so choose wisely.

Become a pro and leave the amateur world behind:

  1. Identify the most important tasks. What you’re trying to master will determine the most relevant behaviors. For example, if you’re a real estate broker, your list might look like this:
  • Market myself by ranking my website – write industry-related articles and acquire backlinks from real estate authority sites.
  • Acquire new clients – cold call expired listings and knock on doors.
  1. Make a schedule. When will you perform these tasks? How many times will you repeat them each day? Determine when and how often. Make a schedule that uses your time wisely and effectively. One cold-call each week won’t accomplish much. Making a cold-call in the middle of the night won’t gain you any fans, either.
  2. Stick to it. This is the real difference between a pro and an amateur. Whether you feel like doing the work or not, you’ll do it if you’re a pro. A pro just does what needs to be done.
  3. Evaluate other decisions by how they affect your area of concentration. Making a fool out of yourself in public won’t do much for your political career or your climb up the corporate ladder. An all-night party won’t help your attempts to secure a tennis scholarship. A pro considers how any decision impacts his area of expertise and his goals.

 

It’s time to take yourself seriously and go pro. Real success requires commitment to do the things that others aren’t willing to do consistently. Choose to handle your important business like a pro. You’ll never have to worry about competing with the amateurs.

Persistence Pays: Learning to Finish What You Start

When it comes to completing a job, task, or project, have you ever choked under the pressure and wondered if you would finish? If this has happened to you, you might have ended up feeling guilty and profoundly disappointed in your own abilities.

Even though your desire for an end result is high, the difficulty level or time required to complete the task could make you want to give up.

Where do you stand when it comes to persevering until a job is complete? How can you persist when you’re challenged in meeting your goals?

If you struggle to complete what you start, these strategies are for you:

  1. Be consistent. Sometimes, it feels like you’ll never get there. When you feel that way, remind yourself you must simply keep on keeping on. If you stay with working consistently toward your goal, chances are good you’ll eventually accomplish it.
  2. Notice what you’ve done so far. When you can see some fruits of your labors, you’ll get another burst of motivation to keep going. Maybe you completed 10% of the project last week. That’s 10% less than you have to do to finish. Have acute awareness of what you’ve already completed as well as what you have left to do.
  3. Maintain a positive outlook. Whenever you stay focused on the positive, it just makes it easier to continue plodding forward. Being positive is a choice, so take advantage of it. Accentuate the positive.
  4. Avoid under-estimating what it will take to finish. We’ve all had the experience of thinking we know how long we will spend to complete a particular task, only to find it takes much longer. If you must make a ball-park guess as to how much time you’ll need, it’s better to over-estimate.
  5. Make a personal vow to finish what you’ve started. Staying conscious of what you want to do and why you want to do it and then vowing to finish will serve as motivation to help you keep your nose to the grindstone. Promise yourself you’ll persist until you prevail. Then do it.
  6. Recognize when you must tweak your results. There may be times when you wish to slightly alter your end goal. After all, situations and people change. Particularly for long-term projects and goals, stay focused so that you’ll identify when it’s time to make alterations.
    If what you want has changed, it’s okay. Just revisit the goal, tweak it, and keep moving forward.
  7. Consider setting mini-goals. If you need some extra motivation along the way, you might benefit from setting interim goals that you can easily accomplish. It feels good to see that you’re achieving your mini-goals. The momentum you gain is remarkable. 
  • Consider this example about losing weight: Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds. When you face that fact, it’s overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it. It’s difficult to get started. But what if you were to set a goal to lose just five pounds?
  • Chances are pretty good that you’ll be successful. And when you are, you can rejoice in the moment and set another mini-goal to lose five more pounds.
  • Try setting mini-goals to keep momentum going and ensure you continue forward to the task’s end.

 

Being persistent can be a challenge that’s well worth conquering. Be consistent and take note of what you’ve done so far. Stay as positive as you can and avoid under-estimating the time it will take for job completion. Vow to finish and stay aware of what you’re doing so you can adjust your goal if you need to. Finally, consider setting mini-goals to persist until you finish the task.

Your persistence will pay off!

Are You Uncomfortable With Success?

Many people are uncomfortable with the prospect of success. It’s seems hard to believe but it’s true. Who wouldn’t want to be more successful? Failure might not be ideal, but it can be more comfortable than the possibility of something more. Eliminating your fear of success could be all you need to do to take your life to the next level.

You may not even be aware that the thought of success makes you uncomfortable.

Consider these facts and strategies about success to become more comfortable with choosing success as a way of life:

The fear of success can manifest itself in different ways. Procrastination, self-sabotage, and an inability to concentrate on important tasks are signs of discomfort with success. Do you suddenly feel tired when performing a task that could take your career to the next level? These are signs that your subconscious is derailing your efforts.

  • Notice signs of self-sabotage in your work and relationships. Ask yourself why you engage in those behaviors. Look at your past objectively. You’ve been sabotaging yourself for years.

Attack your negative beliefs. Make a list of your negative beliefs regarding success. Question them.

  •  How do you know this belief is true?
  • Where did this belief originate?
  • Could you be wrong?
  • What are a few counter examples to this belief?
  • What is this belief costing you?

Success is more complex than failure. It’s can seem easier to deal with your life as it is than to become successful. The more successful you become, the more visible you become. You’re more exposed to criticism. You have more responsibility. You may have to live with more pressure.

  • Remind yourself that you’ll have access to more resources if you’re successful. An excess of resources results in more comfort. When you have plenty of money and influence, life becomes easier.

You might worry about having to become a different person. Success requires change, but you can still be the same person. Someone that wants to lose weight will have to change their eating and exercise habits, but they are fundamentally the same person. There are changes to be made, but you’ll become an enhanced version of yourself.

Have a vision of success that appeals to you. Are you afraid that massive success will result in a loss of free time? Build a vision of success that allows you to work on the beach for a few hours each day with your laptop. Success won’t happen if your vision of success is unappealing. What is your ideal version of success?

List the advantages of success. Make a personal list that excites you. Consider all the advantages that success can bring: influence, money, social status, comfort, contribution, and so on. Use logic to motivate yourself.

Enjoy the process. Success can seem like a lot of work. If you view the work as misery, no success will be attractive enough to motivate you. Find a way to enjoy the process of becoming successful. You might choose to value what you’ll learn or the people you meet along the way. Sometimes, it’s just the adventure in finding the right path.
It feels counterintuitive that anyone would fear success. However, this is one of the primary reasons everyone isn’t more successful. Avoid underestimating how much your negative impressions of success can sabotage your future.

Build a vision of success that motivates you to be successful. Eliminate the negative. Question your current beliefs. And enjoy the success you deserve.

4 Ways to Rapidly Boost Your Career

The economy still has room for improvement, and jobs are still hard to find. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a few extra steps to give your career a significant boost. It’s important to always be working on your career. No one else will do it for you!

Careers are like sandcastles. If you’re not putting time and energy into them, they tend to decay and fall apart.

Consider taking these 4 steps to boost your career:

  1. Explore freelancing. Over 42 million people in the US work for themselves. Technology has changed the landscape of the traditional workplace. High-speed internet, webcams, and conferencing platforms have made it a reality to work independently from home.
  • The only drawbacks are questionable job security and the lack of opportunity for employer-paid health insurance and retirement benefits.

However, with good experience and strong skills, you can boost your earnings significantly. One of your clients may also become your full-time employer someday.

  1. Learn how to network. Whether you work independently or not, networking is still a critical skill to have in your toolbox. Take the time to network across all the available platforms, including social media. Forums related to your field can also be very useful.
  • Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others provide a worthwhile resource to facilitate making connections with others. This means it’s easier to find new clients or new employment.
  •  Many adults find social media annoying, but it’s here to stay. Learn how to take advantage of it.
  1. Choose a mentor. Find a mentor within your organization or career field. Choose a mentor who has been down a similar career path as you and is now where you aspire to be someday.
  •  Every work environment has its own set of unwritten rules that have some impact on who is successful and who isn’t.
  • A good mentor can assist with navigating your career, avoiding the traps, and ensuring you do well.
  • If you’re a freelancer, a mentor is just as valuable. There’s always someone willing to help. You just have to find them. Networking would be a great process to use when looking for a suitable mentor.
  1. Embrace the idea of continuous improvement. The most successful people practically make a religion out of improving themselves.
  • Some employees will take it upon themselves to get some additional training or education. But how many of them really look in the mirror and continuously better themselves? Not many.

If you spend a little time working on your skills each day, it really adds up over several months. Be proactive and determine what skills and knowledge will be most valuable to you in the future. Being just one step ahead makes you look like a genius.

  • Employees who show initiative really stand out. Consider how few individuals actually change. By boosting your skills and image, others will start to notice you in a big way. Competitors will notice, too.

While the economy is still struggling to grow at a healthy rate, there are still things you can do to boost your career and job prospects. Freelancing can be a good idea for certain individuals with marketable skills. Networking is always a valuable strategy. It really is all about who you know.

A mentor will keep you on a positive path and aid in your quest for continuous development of your skills. Be better tomorrow than you are today and everyone will notice. Put these tips into practice immediately, even if you’re already thrilled with your current career. It can always get better.

How to Use Social Media to Find Your Next Job

Social media is all the rage. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more seem to be everywhere. In social media like these, we get constant updates about the relevant and not-so-relevant aspects of everyone’s lives. Here, we’ll consider a practical application of social media: finding your next job.

Social media gives you great tools for sharing information electronically with a potentially very large audience.

Try these strategies to help you land a great job:

  1. Focus your attention on people instead of companies. For instance, if you’re interested in a particular company, look at blogs and on Facebook for people who work there. You’re likely to also see the other people they know. Maybe you share an acquaintance or two. You can submit resumes to them, ask for advice, and get more contacts.
  • You’ll want to be subtle; people are unlikely to be happy about being bombarded with job requests on their own time. By starting out with a few non-intrusive messages, you should be able to make in-roads toward your goal.

 

  1. Start your own blog. By putting out content that showcases your knowledge and expertise, people will begin to see you as an expert. Blogs are easy to start, and many websites will host yours for free. Other than the work involved, it’s free advertising for your skills.

 

  1. Use Twitter. It’s becoming common to hear stories of people getting laid off, sending out a few Tweets proclaiming their new unfortunate job status, and ultimately finding a new position as a result of their Tweets.
  • With Twitter, word spreads quickly.
  • Companies are beginning to use this tool as well, for this same reason. Recruiters use Twitter to announce positions and give updates.

 

  • Here’s a quick Twitter tutorial:

1)     Go to Twitter.com and fill out your profile completely, including a professional photo of yourself.
2)     Follow everyone you know. Also follow everyone who seems like they might be able to help you find a position.
3)     Tweet away.

 

  1. Take advantage of video. In addition to more usual social media tools, video is becoming increasingly relevant. Upload a video resume to YouTube and let the world know what you can do and what you’re looking for. Check out other video resumes to get a feel for how it’s done.
  • When creating a video, keep brevity in mind. Explain your background; describe what you’re looking for and why you’d be the best person for the job. Take your time and get it right – you can rerecord as often needed.

 

  1. Consider Paid Advertising on Social Media. Also, consider Google AdWords and Facebook advertising to put the word out that you’re in job-search mode. To do this, you’ll need to make a landing page with your resume. Adding a blog, video resume, and any publications you authored would be helpful as well.

 

Social media is here to stay, so you might as well use it for something constructive. Finding employment is never enjoyable, but utilizing social media can really make a difference.

Never before has the average person had so much capability to reach so many people. Craft your message and get it out there every way you can think of.

 

Transcending the Ego

The ego is a tricky thing. It drives us to do impressive things, but makes us miserable in the process. Many of the most successful people have the biggest egos, and most of them are also unhappy. This is because the ego is never satisfied. It always requires more to feel comfortable. Each success or accomplishment must be bigger than the last. There’s no peace.

Move beyond your ego to find true peace and happiness:

Avoid taking anything personally. Other people have bad days too. You sometimes misinterpret the intention of others. Your imagination is partially fueled by your ego.

  • Even if someone insults you directly, their words are nothing more than sound. The sound of a tree falling wouldn’t offend you. An insult is no different. Only your ego makes it so.

Avoid comparing yourself to others. Are you better than someone else if you own a bigger home or wear nicer clothes? Is someone better than you if they get the job you desire? Each person has a value that is immeasurable. Comparisons prove nothing.

Seek a healthy body, rather than society’s ideal. Your ideal body is the one that gives you the greatest level of health.

  • The best body shape for you is unlikely to be the most attractive possible body to others. Do you want to be healthy or impress others?

Recognize your separateness from your thoughts and emotions. You are not your thoughts or your emotions. You are the consciousness that witnesses these things. When you are able to see your separation from your thoughts, you can also see the separateness you have from the things that happen around you.

  • When you view the world in this manner, your ego can’t be touched.

Avoid reacting. Respond instead. The ego attempts to influence you to act quickly and without contemplation. The longer you wait to respond to your negative feelings, the more likely you are to avoid the ego.

Avoid criticizing others. When you offer criticism, you’re saying that there is a better way. Give up your need to be right and correct others. Ask yourself why you criticize. In the end, it’s only to make yourself feel better.

  • Even if you believe you’re trying to be helpful, you’re still trying to feel good about yourself. If you’re ego-free, you’ll lose the desire to criticize.

Question your motivations. Imagine you’re buying a new car. Ask yourself why. Do you really need a new car? Is your current car adequate? If you need a new car, ask yourself if you’re considering appropriate cars and for appropriate reasons.

• Are you considering what your friends, family, and neighbors will think about your choice?

• Are you buying a more expensive or larger car than you need?

• Always question your motivations. You’ll often find your ego is a driving force.

The ego can limit your success and happiness. Consider that your ego can stop you from trying if you’re afraid of failure. Your ego can make you unhappy if your neighbor has a boat and you don’t. Your ego has a million ways it can undermine your future and your present. It can even make your past look worse than it was.

Our society worships things that often come more easily to those with insatiable egos. However, it’s a trap. Learn how to move past your ego and you’ll find life to be more satisfying.