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We all want to persuade people (our kids, boss, employees, spouse) to do certain things.

The Pygmalion effect (also called the Rosenthal effect) is a phenomenon that has been proven to work very well by scientists, including Dr. Robert Rosenthal of Harvard University and UC Riverside. It has been shown that when you have high expectations for your students, spouse, children, employees, etc. that they will perform better just because you have faith in them.

Also, it has been proven over and over that positive reinforcement (reward) works better to change people than negative reinforcement (punishment).

So when your child comes home with poor grades, it is best to say,

“Honey I know you can do better next time because you are smart” than to say “You are grounded for a week, dummy.”

Self-fulfilling prophecy is powerful. Listen to the way you talk to yourself in your mind. Do you call yourself stupid, lazy, ugly? If you do, you will start to become what you call yourself.

An MMA fighter named Tito Ortiz talked about this. He had grueling workouts to prepare for fights and tried to motivate himself by calling himself lazy if he quit a workout early. He called himself a loser and other names people should never call themselves or others. Ortiz was unpopular in the ring. He was often booed, and he could not understand why people didn’t like him.

Later Ortiz got a new coach who told him to be careful of his “self-talk.” Ortiz began to call himself a winner and a hard worker. To his surprise, the fans quit booing him and he dramatically improved his fighting ability. It became easier to finish his workouts.

Do you want to change someone? Wives I know you want to change your husband. The best way is to use positive statements. “Honey, I really admire you when you take out the trash” is better than getting angry and not talking. Silence only makes things worse, because us men are never smart enough to read your minds.

If you really believe in yourself and your people, great things will happen!

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I’ll be happy when…

Brad Stanton —  December 8, 2012 — 33 Comments

It is easy to get into the habit of thinking “I’ll be happy when…

I get married00014
I have kids
I get out of this marriage
my kids leave home
I get a promotion
I get well
my kids behave better

Why not be happy today? Psychologists and success coaches say that the thoughts you are thinking right now and today are creating your future. The feelings you are feeling now and today are creating your thoughts and actions that create your future. Emotion causes motion, in other words, when we feel strongly about something, we take action.

Nothing positive ever came from thinking negative.” ~Many people

Many good things come from thinking positive. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote many books and traveled around the world giving speeches about the power of positive thinking. He saw many people changed for the better by the power. He himself was a very timid person until a college professor took him aside one day and told him to get rid of his timid nature. The professor told him that he was smart and hardworking, and would go far in life if he would get rid of his pessimism and timidity. At first, Peale was very upset about what the professor had said. But after he let the words sink in, he began to realize the professor was right. Peale began to slowly change, and never forgot how important it is to believe in yourself, to have faith in your abilities.

In the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, James Scott Bell writes about meeting Dr. Peale. He said it was a day that changed his life. Bell and his wife came to a point in their life when they began to wonder why everything was going wrong. Then Bell began thinking about positive thinking and shared the idea with his wife. They both began to think positive instead of negative and soon their life had turned around.

I realize that some people’s problems are so difficult that a little positive thinking won’t help. But maybe a lot of positive thinking will. Morris Goodman, who was seriously injured in an airplane crash, could not breathe without a machine, or swallow, walk, talk or do anything except blink his eyes. But he had extraordinary faith that he could walk out of that hospital by Christmas. No one believed that he could do it, especially not the doctors. But because of his amazing faith he learned how to talk, eat and swallow, walk and live a rather normal life.


Zig Ziglar speaks at the Get Motivated Seminar...

Zig Ziglar speaks at the Get Motivated Seminar at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You have probably heard that when you exercise your body secretes endorphins into your bloodstream. These chemicals give you the “runner’s high.” They make you feel peaceful and happy.

Zig Ziglar writes that when you read motivational, inspirational material, glands in your body secret healthy chemicals that make you high. These chemicals help you become motivated, wide awake, peaceful and happy.

I stopped to think about this, could it really be true? I read that a couple of weeks ago and decided to see if it is true. Recently when I read or listen to motivational, inspirational books I stop and think, is this getting me high? Sure enough, it is! Amazing. So the moral of this story is that you can stay high on healthy chemicals while avoiding the illegal drugs that can blow your mind.

I have met a number of people who used so many illegal drugs that their minds became weak and numb. I recently read that smoking pot lowers the IQ. Some study in New Zealand researched this.

Well, if you want to stay stoned, read my blog, I think it will help. You might also try some of the books I list in the “Recommended Books” page of my blog. http://bradstanton.com/books-i-love/

Happy reading!

Your inner genius Part 1

Brad Stanton —  September 8, 2012 — 19 Comments

Nixon announces the release of edited transcri...

Nixon announces the release of edited transcripts of the Watergate tapes, April 29, 1974. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My grandmother was very intuitive. She could watch a politician on TV and know all about them. For example, when I was a boy she saw President Nixon and said “that man is a crook.”

I said “No, he is the president, he can’t be a crook.” I suppose I was naïve. At that time no one had ever heard of the Watergate scandal. Later I found that my grandmother was correct.

In college I took a couple of psychology classes, which I loved. One thing a professor talked about was how law enforcement officers are trained to read body language when interrogating people. I was so fascinated I went out and bought a book called “How to Read a Person Like a Book” written by a PhD in psychology. It was fascinating, but I was amazed that my grandmother had learned to read people without studying it from books.

Brain researchers estimate that your unconscious data base outweighs the conscious on an order exceeding ten million to one. This data base is the source of your hidden, natural genius. In other words, a part of you is much smarter than you are. The wise people regularly consult that smarter part. ~Michael J Gelb, Author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

This means that your subconscious mind contains ten million more pieces of information than your conscious mind. The more you learn to tap into the genius of your subconscious, the more you can achieve in life.

Apparently my grandmother stored things in her subconscious and could draw them out when sizing a person up. She couldn’t explain how she did it, she just did.

Sometimes we connect well with our subconscious when we sleep. Some of the most useful discoveries were made while a person slept. The man who invented the sewing machine tried for days to figure out a way to make a needle sew clothes in a machine. Finally, he decided one night to forget the problem and go to sleep. He awoke later with the idea of how to do it in mind. It worked!

Researchers say the thing you think about the last 45 minutes before you sleep will stay in your mind and your subconscious will process it.

But often, a person doesn’t even need to sleep. There have been times at work when I was wrestling with a problem that I just couldn’t seem to solve. Finally I would realize I just needed to take my mind off of it for awhile and rest. I usually took a ten minute walk. Often after I came back to my desk the solution would come to me very quickly.

Many years ago I wrote an article about this subject for a writing class I was taking. Just thinking about it and spending the time to write an article about it helped me use my subconscious. I was able to solve more problems and come up with ideas that I never had been able to do before.

Please leave a comment, how do you use your subconscious? What do you think about this?

Summer Sounds

Brad Stanton —  August 29, 2012 — 23 Comments

The Cheers site in Boston

The Cheers site in Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. What was the best sound you ever heard? For me it was more than one sound, it was like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month meditating after work, a new thing for me.

I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….

It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.

They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.

I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.

Sometimes after an evening of meditation and prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for everyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.

It is late summer here in the northern hemisphere (I love reading blogs from down under where spring is blooming). Even now I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan and my neighbor’s air conditioner humming. Those sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times.