Many wise sayings (as well as research) promote the importance of quality over quantity of friends, but we’re left to define the word “friend” in our own way.

I’m grateful for the handful of non-relatives whose homes I have access to, who would trust me with their social security numbers, and whom I can trust with my insecurities or my life itself. Our lives should be noticeably better, mutually, because of our friendship than they would be otherwise.

Whatever your definition, remember the importance of seeing others this way and being this friend as well.

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There is a strong correlation between heavy social media use and loneliness. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. Overusing social media leads to sacrificing genuine human connection, an essential ingredient for a gratifying life.

Technology is helpful, miraculous even, in connecting us to those we may never otherwise connect. But let’s make sure we use it responsibly, as a tool, rather than a replacement for human connection.

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David Burns’ insightful book “Feeling Good” reminds us that labeling ourselves is both self-defeating and irrational. We are complex, constantly changing organisms that will never fully fit one label — and even if we do that would soon change.

A useful analogy is to think of ourselves more like flowing rivers than statues.

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The trouble with much of our public discourse is that even people with good intentions don’t see the difference in one important distinction: Wanting to be right, vs. wanting to know IF you’re right.

One is for truth-seekers (whatever “truth” you’re seeking). The other is for those who are absolutely certain that there is no way of viewing the world other than the way that they’ve decided is correct.

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Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. During decision-making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments.

How to use: be mindful of the FIRST thing you say/do when meeting someone, in job interviews, in sales pitches, etc.

“I’m Steve and I’m sometimes hard to get along with but I love all people” can be effectively heard as “I’m sometimes hard to get along with blah blah blah.”

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Something “bad” happens. A metaphorical fire has started. As humans, we have the ability to choose how/if we react.

So the question is: will you respond with gasoline or water? A useful heuristic for children and adults alike.

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Gary Vaynerchuck has an insightful book called “Jab, jab, jab, right hook”, the premise of which is to engage your audience/fans/clients by giving three times before asking or requesting anything. Josh Spector has a creative idea challenging us to make one out of every three social media posts highlight and praise other people.

Imagine a world where the ratio was skewed more in favor of “how can I elevate and support you?” than “what can you do for me?”

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Gary Vaynerchuck has an insightful book called “Jab, jab, jab, right hook”, the premise of which is to engage your audience/fans/clients by giving three times before asking. Josh Spector has a creative idea challenging us to make one out of every three social media posts highlight other people.

Imagine a world where the ratio was skewed more in favor of “how can I be of help to you?” than “what can you do for me?”

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It’s common to hear people brag about the expertise of their teachers/coaches, but the real way to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and coaches is by assessing the skill of their students or mentees.

The best teachers show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.

If you’re in a leadership role, make sure you create the conditions that allow people to flourish. The best way to do that is to produce an environment where the learning reveals itself.

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Steve Acho

I write very short articles (20 seconds to read) sharing perspectives on health, relationships and business that have been most helpful (SteveAcho.com for more)