Access Over 100,000+ Car Listings With This App

Buying a car is the second biggest investment that most people will make throughout their life and finding the right car is really important. To ensure that you are able to find the right car for you there is a need for you to be able to do much research.

These days the Internet is the best source for information on vehicles and especially for those available for sale. Whether you are looking for a new or used car, getting as much information on the car will go a long way in helping you decide which vehicle is the best one for you. The Edmunds App is a powerful tool and anyone looking for their next vehicle should have it on their Apple smartphone or iPad.

You Now Have Access to Millions of Vehicle Listings

The Edmunds App is an extremely powerful app designed for mobile devices that run on the Apple iOS-like iPhones and iPads. With it, you have access to millions of listings for new and used vehicles, reviews, pictures and detailed specifications of all make and models of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Putting all of that information at your fingertips will make your next vehicle a lot easier and nearly guaranty you will be able to find your next vehicle.

All You Need To Make A Successful and Safe Car Deal 

View car and dealership reviews – Having access to what other people are saying about a specific make and model of vehicle and details about the dealership at your fingertips help to make it easier to come to the right decision.

Comes with a car payment calculator – The built-in car payment calculator is extremely handy with the ability to know what your payment would be before you even arrive at the dealership to talk to a salesperson about the vehicle.

Comprehensive Search Functions – Having multiple search functions and being able to tailor your searches in our to get the best possible results makes the app very beneficial to anyone looking for a new vehicle.

Enables you directly text a car dealer – The app makes it possible to text the dealer directly from within the app in order to inquire about any special deals that could be available for a specific vehicle listing.

Let This App Do The Job

Buying a vehicle can be very stressful for the many considerations that need to be made in order to come to a final decision on which one that is right for you. So, if you have the right tools at your disposal you are far more likely to be able to make the right decision. One of those tools that you should have on your Apple smartphone or iPad should be the Edmunds App.

This is an extremely powerful app that puts everything you would need in order to find the vehicle that you are really wanting. The features of the Edmonds App helps to bring things like multiple search functions, full-color pictures, detailed specifications and reviews of both vehicles and dealership.

If you are in the market for a vehicle new or used, you really should go to the Apple App Store and download and install the Edmonds App. To see more information and to find where to go to get it, just click here.

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We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

We all know what a bad habit is. Smoking, eating unhealthy foods, excessive alcohol consumption and living a sedentary lifestyle are just some of the things that are drummed into us as behaviours we ought to avoid in order to increase our overall well-being.

Yet a study by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in the year 2000, avoidable behaviours such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking alcohol were some of the underlying causes of nearly half of the deaths in the United States:[1]

  • Tobacco: 435,000 (18.1% of total US deaths)
  • Inactivity and bad eating: 400,000 (16.6%)
  • Alcohol consumption: 85,000 (3.5%)

If we know bad habits are so detrimental to our health, why do we continue to do them?

Why we can’t resist bad habits

We all indulge in behaviours that we know aren’t good for us and there are a couple of reasons why we continue these habits regardless.

Bad habits give you the comfort you need

The first is our need to feel comfort and doing whatever it takes to reach this state.

Every action you take has a purpose behind it, even if you’re not consciously aware of what this is and the most common hidden purpose is comfort. Our brains are wired to be reward-based and our ‘reward’ is the feeling of comfort that, in turn, triggers a release of dopamine or the ‘feel good’ hormone.[2] This causes us to crave more of it and so we associate this good feeling with the bad habit.

This explains why we continue to indulge in bad habits and find it hard to stop; it feels comfortable and we essentially get to exist in our ‘safe zone’. In other words, you get attracted to the reward despite knowing it’s bad for you.

Smoking that cigarette on your work breaks causes your brain to associate that habit with freedom from work and relaxing, or drinking alcohol may be associated with letting yourself go and having a good time after a hard week. The thought of exercising and making some kind of effort is overridden in the brain by the ‘easier’ thought of sitting on the couch and watching your favourite TV programme. So you can see how easily the habit is connected with reward.

Everyone else is doing the bad habit too

We also tend to rationalize our bad behaviours if society as a whole finds it acceptable. If a vast amount of people are doing the same thing, then it must be okay for us to do it too. It’s not difficult to find socially acceptable bad habits. Snacking, skipping exercises and even smoking are things that lots of people do.

This causes an inward rationalisation when it comes to unhealthy habits such as “just one more won’t hurt” or “I’ll do better next week, I’ve just had a stressful day today”. These in-the-moment justifications tend to be driven by the guilt of knowing we’re probably not making the best decision in the long run.

We also look outwards for examples that validate our bad habit decisions such as “my grandfather smoked every day and lived until he was 90.” Our minds love to find evidence that backs up our decisions, whether good or bad.

The consequences of continuing bad habits

Most people know the consequences of these types of habits. Warnings are plastered on cigarette packets about getting cancer. Governments beam healthy eating campaigns and the need to be more active through adverts and TV programmes. But what are the real long term consequences of constant bad habits?

  • Cancers, diseases and cell damage
  • Unhappiness and depression
  • Negative physical well-being leading to pain or lethargy
  • Increased physical problems in later life

Most of these can be subtle and gradual meaning we don’t notice them and easily dismiss our decisions in the moment. But being mindful of the decisions we make today can keep our wellbeing topped up and constant while investing in our future selves.

For more examples of common bad habits and how to should stop them, check out this article: 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

How to stop these bad habits

It’s hard to stop habits that are so ingrained in our daily lives. With stress sometimes being the main trigger to a bad habit, the solution lies with reprogramming our mind. I have covered this in my other article How to Program Your Mind to Kick the Bad Habit, here let me briefly talk about the solution:

  1. Frstly, be mindful of what these habits are and how often we do them. What exactly triggers the habit? Is it an unconscious decision to do it? Question why you have developed this habit in the first place.
  2. Secondly, make a commitment to yourself that you want to eliminate this bad habit. Now you understand what may be triggering it, can you find something positive to replace it? For example, you reach for the chocolate after a hard day. Can you find a healthier reward snack? Or reduce the amount of times you’re allowed to have chocolate? Perhaps if stress is your trigger, try going for a run and give the brain another reason to release dopamine instead.
  3. Thirdly, be consistent. The key to forming new habits is consistency. Yes, it’s hard for a while but your brain soon adapts to new ways of doing things until it starts to feel natural to you. Turn your reward system into a way to celebrate sticking to your new positive habits instead.

It’s all about conditioning yourself to a new, positive way of thinking.

Living a happier, more positive life starts with the habits we choose to form. Be mindful of which direction your habits are pointing and start changing your mindset to one of investment into your health and well-being. It’s not just for your future self but also living in the moment in a positive and healthy way.

Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via pexels.com

Reference

[1] The Jama Network: Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000
[2] Neroscientifically Challenged: Know your brain: Reward system

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Science Tells You How Long It Takes to Break a Habit

Habits arise through a process of triggering, actions, and rewards.[1] A circumstance triggers an action. When you get a reward from the action, you continue to do that.

If you aren’t intentional about actions and rewards, you’ll develop bad habits. These lead to self-sabotage, failure, and poor health. On the other hand, good habits enable health, happiness, and dream-fulfillment.

So how long does it take to break a habit? Some say 21 days, some say approximately a month. What is the real answer?

How long it takes to break a habit

There’s no magic number of repetitions that’ll get you to internalize the habits you want. Researchers have proposed several different ways of understanding habit formation.

The 21-day rule (or myth)

One of the earliest and most popular pieces of literature on the subject is Psycho-Cybernetics (1960) by Maxwell Maltz. Dr. Maltz who was a plastic surgeon wanted to understand how people viewed themselves. In particular, he was curious about how long it took for patients to get used to changes he made during surgery.

Based on observing his patients and reflecting on his own habits, he determined that it took at least 21 days for people to adjust. He used this information as the basis for many “prescriptions” in his self-help oriented Psycho-Cybernetics.[2]

Since then, self-help gurus have latched onto the idea of taking 21-days to change habits. People began to forget that he said ‘a minimum of about 21 days’ instead of ‘it takes 21 days to form a new habit.’

Give yourself a month?

Another popular belief in self-help culture states that habits take 28 to 30 days to form.

One proponent of this rule, Jon Rhodes, suggests:[3]

“You must live consciously for 4 weeks, deliberately focusing on the changes that you wish to make. After the 4 weeks are up, only a little effort should be needed to sustain it.”

This was a generally agreed-upon figure, but the 21-day rule popularized by readers of Maltz was more appealing to many people because it was easy to understand, and it was faster than the general 28-30 rule.

The time-frame for changing habits varies

While the 21 and 28-day rules appeal to our desire to change quickly, a 2009 study from University College London suggests that the window for change can be much wider. The research, published in The European Journal of Social Psychology, followed habit-formation in 96 people over a 12-week period.

The UCL study looked at automaticity, which is how quickly people engaged in the actions they wanted to turn into habits. Researchers explained:[4]

As behaviours are repeated in consistent settings they then begin to proceed more efficiently and with less thought as control of the behaviour transfers to cues in the environment that activate an automatic response: a habit.

The amount of time that it took for actions to become habits varied. Participants anywhere between 18 and 254 days to form a habit. The average number of days needed to achieve automaticity was 76 days.

Make habits to break habits

Understanding the connection between forming new habits and getting rid of old ones makes the process easier.

Dr. Elliot Berkman, Director, Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, states:[5]

“It’s easier to start doing something new than to stop doing something habitual without a replacement behavior.”

Quitting something cold-turkey is tough because you’ve wired yourself to want to do it. For example, quitting smoking is challenging beyond a physical nicotine addiction. The ritual of how a person prepares to smoke is another aspect that makes it hard to quit. In order to do away with this bad habit, the person needs to find something to fill the void left by the smoking ritual.

Look beyond time

There’s such a wide range in the amount of time it can take for someone to turn an action into a habit. That’s because time isn’t the only factor you have to think about when you’re forming new habits. Dr. Thomas Plante, Director, Spirituality & Health Institute, Psychology Department, Santa Clara University and Adjunct Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine explains:

“One important issue is how strongly do you really want to break the habit in question. Second, how established is the problem habit? It is easier to break a new habit than an old one. Third, what are the consequences of not breaking the habit?”

It’s one thing to make a generic goal to exercise more, but if you thoroughly enjoy being a couch potato, it’s going to be harder to get into the exercise habit. If you’ve had a bad habit for a long time, it’s much harder to ditch it because you’ve had more repetitions of that behavior.

If exercising more won’t do much to change your life, you might find it tough to be active. On the other hand, if your doctor tells you that you won’t live to see your child’s 18th birthday unless you start moving, you have more incentive to change.

Plante also notes that people who tend to be obsessive and those who struggle with addiction may have a harder time breaking habits than the average person.

Set aside time to change

The most powerful changes don’t happen overnight, and they probably won’t happen in 21 days. Set aside at least two months to change, but understand that altering habits is different for everyone. If you’ve had the habit for a long time, or you have to break an addiction or obsession, you may need more time.

We all make changes at different speeds based on lots of variables. The intention behind your actions, your ability to interrupt negative patterns, and the possible consequences of changing (or not changing) can also affect the time it takes adjust your habits.

Regardless of how long it takes, tackling bad habits and replacing them with good ones is essential for you to live your best life. Bad habits can keep you from achieving your full potential. They can make you sick, unproductive, and unhappy. The worst habits can even cost you your relationships and your life. Good habits set you up for success all-around.

Your health and wellness, your ability to connect with others, and your ability to live out your dreams start with good habits. If you’re ready to make changes, learn more about breaking bad habits by checking out How to Program Your Mind to Kick the Bad Habit

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

Reference

[1] Habits for Wellbeing: What is a habit, how do they work, and how can I change them?
[2] Maxwell Maltz: The New Psycho Cybernetics
[3] Selfgrowth.com: Change a habit in 28 days
[4] European Journal of Social Psychology: How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world
[5] Hopes and Fears: How long does it really take to break a habit?

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This is Where You Can Connect With All Top Recruiters

There is nothing more stressful in your life if you are like the many who are looking for a job. The current job availability in many areas in the US are very slim, so this can make it very difficult to find the right job depending on the type of job you are looking too. Anything that can be used to make finding your next job will help to alleviate the immense pressure and stress you are feeling.

If you are having a bit of trouble finding the right job for you and getting more and more stressed out, you may definitely need a little helping hand. If you have an Apple mobile device like an iPhone or iPad, you could use the ZipRecruiter App to help you find listings of available jobs in your area.

You Don’t Have to Look Around Anymore

ZipRecruiter is the mobile version of the powerful job search service used by many of top employers and individuals looking for a new job. The app is filled with extremely useful tools for searching for a job opening, submitting resumes and applying for jobs. The app brings all of the benefits of the well-known job recruiting service to your fingertips. By downloading it to your Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone and the iPad so you can be sure to get your notifications quickly.

Job Search Has Never Been That Easy

Helps you to search hundreds of the top job boards – Use the app to search 100+ job boards which are used by the majority of the largest employers to post their open positions.

Receive notifications if there are jobs matching your wants – After you set up your account and profile which includes specifics about the types of jobs that you are looking for.

Send a resume and apply through the app – The powerful job search app makes it possible to apply for a position and either upload a resume or even import one directly from LinkedIn.

Get notification of your resume is read – After you submit your resume for consideration for a job you will receive a notification if at any time your resume is read by the prospective employer.

Open Yourself To More Opportunities 

At any given time of the day, there are tens of thousands of positions opening up at companies all across the country and these available jobs are frequently posted on job boards so that people can find them. The ZipRecruiter App was designed to help reduce the stress associated with finding a job by simplifying the job search process by using your Apple mobile device.

The ZipRecruiter App makes searching the job boards a much easier process, notifies you why any jobs fit your criteria that you established when you set up your account. You can also apply for a job and upload a resume or send it directly from your LinkedIn account.

If you are in the market for a new job and are getting stressed out because you are not having any luck, check out the  ZipRecruiter App here.

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Are You Making The Rules Or Playing By The Rules?

Do you thrive in the face of competition or try to stay under the radar? Does competition motivate you to stand out from the crowd, or does it frighten and intimidate you?

Competition has never been more intense than ever for this fast-paced generation. People are getting smarter and finding ways to work more efficiently. You have to stand out to be successful, and that requires a consistent drive for improvement. Stagnation gets you nowhere, and if you remain passive and submissive, opportunity will pass you by.

Whether or not you like it, competition isn’t going anywhere. With the state of the workplace today, is it time for all of us to suck it up and embrace our competitive side? If so, just how competitive do you have to be to get ahead?

The battle between the hawk and the diplomat

Leadership philosophies vary. Some people feel that it is better to be diplomatic at work. Others find that you have to be aggressive to get ahead.

We’ve all had that colleague who seems to enjoy going with the flow. The person had stable employment, but they never advanced. They seem satisfied with their work even though they aren’t climbing the ladder to leadership. These are the employees that you see happily working at the same company, in the same role for 20 years.

On the other hand, there are the fiercely driven individuals who are willing to take on challenges to be successful. They are the people trying to prove themselves so that they can advance their rank and max out their salary over the course of their career.

The difference between these two types of people is their competitive spirit

Whether a person is passive or outspoken, they make a conscious choice to be one or the other. Many factors, such as personality type and upbringing, play a role in how they see the world. Type A personalities make waves, while Type B personalities are more likely to go with the flow.[1]

Some of us are naturally soft spoken and gentle. People with this personality tend to be peace makers. They avoid conflict, and they avoid drawing attention to themselves. Others among us are extroverts who feel energised in social settings. They like to stand out from the crowd, and they’re highly competitive.

Family upbringing plays a role in how you perceive competition as well. Some parents push their children to achieve at a young age. They teach kids that to get ahead, you have to take risks, be competitive, dream big, and be the best at what you do.

Other families don’t stress competition. They teach children to play it safe. People with this ‘timid’ personality avoid risk taking. They don’t feel the urge to achieve recognition or get the promotion. As long as there’s food on the table and a roof over their heads, they’re happy.

It’s possible to be too passive or too competitive

Being Mr. Nice Guy isn’t always good for you

If you’re too passive, you’re going to get steamrolled by someone with a higher competitive drive. Others may mistake your kindness for weakness, and they may not show you the respect you deserve.

The meek among us have to worry about the constant threat of others’ perceptions. People may mistake your willingness to go with the flow as proof of spinelessness. Even family members and friends may see your peace-making ways as evidence of lack of a backbone.

Of course you can still get by, but it’ll be hard to get far and feel fulfilled. When you bend to the will of others, you won’t reach your full potential. You’ll be too busy trying to please others. The bottom line is that you’ll miss out on big opportunities while you’re living in someone else’s shadow.

Fierce competitors beware

Being competitive has its own set of challenges. You can seem ruthless at times, and you may unintentionally harm the people you love. You may resort to unethical practices so that you can get what you want, regardless of what everyone else wants or needs.

Competitive types tend to be workaholics. They place a lot of stress on themselves, which can damage their health, family, and social life. If you’re too driven, you run the risk of becoming so focused on tasks that you forget the big picture. You can seem aggressive, pushy, and cruel to others.

Finding a happy medium

Somewhere between being too passive and too competitive, is a healthy balance. You might expect us to tell you that the balance is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, but we’re actually recommending that you aim to have more competitiveness than passivity.

It’s impossible to completely avoid having competitive feelings, so you may as well learn to turn them into a healthy competitive spirit.[2] When you pick a challenge you’d like to overcome or choose a person that you’d like to beat in a competition, it gives you direction and motivation. This drive will push you outside of your comfort zone and give you incentive to improve yourself.

Competitive people constantly have to read, research, and forge meaningful connections with people in order to gain new insights on work. As a person with a healthy competitive drive, you’ll always try to expand your knowledge and improve.

Nobody makes memories by avoiding new situations. Being competitive means that you’ll get the chance to grab life by the horns. You’ll self-reflect on what you’d like to accomplish, and later in your life, you’ll have great stories to share.

Being competitive is great for your team too

As long as you have a healthy amount of competition in the workplace, you and your colleagues will be able to push one another to be better. If you compete with the intention of helping one another rise, you’ll all win.

Being competitive as an organization also builds trust. Think about the way that sports teams practice. They compete against one another to improve their skills. The cohesiveness that they develop enables them to face opposing teams successfully. A team won’t flourish if they’re too cautious and guarded to engage in healthy competition.

When opportunity knocks, answer the door

Going with the flow can help you navigate tough situations, but if you’re too passive, you’ll miss out on opportunities to shine. Having a competitive mindset isn’t about picking a fight with everybody. It’s about figuring out how and when you should fight.

Being a peacemaker doesn’t always make you a good person. Sometimes, not speaking up is the worst thing you can do. There’s nothing to gain by hiding your light under a bushel.

We humans are meant to be competitive. We have a survival instinct that drives us to seek the best means for carrying out our basic needs. It’s natural for us to fight–we just engage differently these days.

How you can spur healthy competition

  • Keep it fun. Sometimes a little light-hearted competition helps people stay motivated. Incorporate games or other fun activities into your workplace when possible.
  • Teach people how to compete in a healthy way. Learning to respectfully disagree, push back, and give constructive criticism are valuable skills for anyone who works on a team.[3] If you want someone to know how to compete, you may have to show them how to do it first.
  • Let people take responsibility for their work. A worker who isn’t invested in their projects won’t perform well. You and your team need to take ownership for your work and have a stake in the company. Give employees a voice, and they’ll be more motivated.[4]
  • Encourage a feedback loop. If the culture in your workplace is geared around constant improvement, then people will be more willing to take risks and innovate. If it’s normal for everyone to give and receive constructive feedback, you can create a productive work environment.[5]

Set out to find your personal best

A healthy amount of competition motivates you to achieve new heights. When you engage in competition often, you learn that winning and losing don’t have to be high-stakes activities. You understand that sometimes you’ll be better than others, and sometimes people will be better than you.

Ultimately, as you continue to compete, solicit feedback, and improve, you’ll stop looking for external motivation and focus inward. You’ll realize that you’re competing with yourself first and foremost.[6]

Give yourself permission to make the rules instead of just follow them. Engage in a little bit of friendly competition, and never stop working to improve yourself.

Reference

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One Word That Will Secure Your New Year Resolutions

Every January, most of us start the New Year with fresh new resolutions, including the simple and realistic ones and some bizarre, impractical promises. But along the way, a sizeable number of us start to slowly lose sight of the goal and end up ditching all of them, one after the other. We may blame the failure to fulfill the resolutions on being over-ambitious, other more demanding commitments, and more excuses.

It is January, February or whatever month of the year and being a distinguished psychologist, Susan David knows why many resolutions go unfulfilled. She, therefore, sets out to help using an inspiring post – “Want to help your resolutions stick? Make this one-word change.

Read about Ted and why Alex, his adopted son is worried!

Susan had a London-based client who also doubled as her friend called Ted – an obese, intrepid traveler and ardent lover of cheeseburgers and beers. Ted along with his wife, chose to adopt Alex, an orphaned Romanian boy whose artistic skills are simply phenomenal. But realized that his dad would die because of his failure to stick to his resolution of keeping fit, he did what not even a single ordinary boy can do. He did art of himself, desolate and abandoned!

How “The Orphan” changed Ted and made him re-look at his resolutions

Touched and inspired by the painting, Ted didn’t do what many would have done immediately. He, instead, started changing his lifestyle in gradual steps. As Susan writes, Ted “doubled down on discipline and willpower,” not because he needed to impress his wife and Alex or appear like he’s making a change. He’s a testament to how Susan’s “Want-to” ideology can help a person achieve any New Year’s goal with ease.

Lessons extracted from the post

It isn’t easy to stick to your promises and utterly fulfill all of them. But with a tiny tweak made, not in a rush, but rather by positioning your goals in terms of “want to” not “have to,” everything soon gets back on course to fruition. You see, she explains that behind every “want to” goal is unexplained genuine interest and values that are powered by personal enjoyment and the inherent importance of attaining the goal.

You can choose to pursue your goals out of the fear of failure and end up failing terribly. Consequently, you may set out to conquer your resolutions because, out of them, is a genuine appreciation from within your heart. She says that life is a series of small wins that, all of them combine to be one mega win. These aren’t even half of the lessons obtained from Susan’s “Want to help your resolutions stick? Make this one-word change,” and I’d recommend that you go through it.

To read the full article, click here.

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Why Criticism Is Better Than Compliment

Think back to the last time you received a compliment and the last time you were criticized. No doubt, when you received the compliment, you felt good – and when you received the criticism, you felt upset and wanted to reject it.

You shouldn’t be surprised by your reaction to the negative comment, as it’s a human’s survival mechanism to avoid being criticized. Clearly, we don’t want to be seen as failures, so we’d rather shut our eyes and cover our ears than have to take any criticisms from others.

However, there’s a serious problem with this approach. Namely, by doing our utmost to avoid being criticized, we allow ourselves to travel on a never-ending highway of mediocrity.

Without receiving negative feedback and criticisms from others, our growth and opportunities become stunted. And in the long term, we’re not only liable to fail – but to fail badly.

The Microsoft KIN is an example of how lacking criticisms leads to a great failure. Launched in 2010, this smartphone was a major failure despite its $1 billion development and marketing costs. Unbelievably, the phone only lasted on the market for 48 days. The problem? Microsoft failed to do comprehensive testing of the smartphone with the target demographic. It was only after the phone went on sale that it became blatantly obvious that most 15 to 30-year-olds preferred Androids, BlackBerrys and iPhones to the Microsoft KIN.[1]

If criticism and feedback had been received by the target demographic while the phone was in development, Microsoft could have avoided the huge embarrassment and financial loss that occurred. As the story above demonstrates, early criticism is a necessary factor for future success.

Excessive praise weakens your motivation

I believe that criticism is better than compliments. But why do I think that? Well, let me give you a metaphor that will explain my rationale.

Picture in your mind praise being a type of health food. Now, no one would argue that healthy nutrition is a bad thing. However, what’s good for you in small or measured dosages can be bad for you if you take too much of it. You may be surprised to hear this even applies to your water consumption.[2] And your fruit consumption too.[3]

Clearly, too much food or drink – no matter how healthy they may be – can make us ill. For optimum health, we need a balanced intake of healthy food and drink.

It’s the same with compliments. Receiving them from time-to-time is a good thing, but if they’re all you ever hear, then they’re likely to have a negative impact on your ability to achieve things in life.

Excessive compliments take us away from our original motivation of simply enjoying an activity. We start doing the activity purely for the sake of receiving ego-satisfying praise.

However, enough time being stuck in the latter, means we become imprisoned by praise. Without the expectation of praise, our motivation to complete things begins to be lost.

As an example of this, think back to a time when you were learning a new sport. If your coach only praised you, then you’d have missed out on being shown what things you were doing wrong. And as a consequence, your ability to learn and refine your techniques would have be diminished.

Criticism encourages growth

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about trolls or abusive comments, I’m talking about constructive criticism, which I like to think of as ‘healthy criticism’. Feedback that helps to make you stronger.

If you always think you’re right but don’t get feedback from anyone else, how do you know for sure that what you’re doing is any good? Listening and acting on honest views will tell you precisely what you’re doing well – and what you can do better.

This type of feedback forces you to evaluate your actions and the way you work. If you use constructive criticism wisely, it can guide you away from bad practices and move you towards good ones.

The right kind of criticism is honest feedback that will benefit you.

Grow strong through the power of criticism

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of constructive criticism, let’s delve into several ways that you can use it to boost your productivity and success in life.

Criticism is generally more actionable than compliments.

For example, imagine you’re learning to play guitar, and in your first public performance your tutor says: “You did well.” Now, while these might be welcome words to your ears, they’re not as useful in helping you improve as: “Your timing needs some work.” With this piece of advice, you have specific guidance on how to quickly improve your performance skills. (You might need to spend hours playing alongside a metronome.)

Actively seek criticism by asking for feedback.

This could be in the form of a question.

Continuing the guitar playing example, you might ask your tutor (or other people who heard your performance): “What could I have done better?” You could also ask very specific questions. For instance: “Did my playing in the introduction sound in tune?”

Let’s be honest, most people don’t know how to give feedback – they typically offer vague comments filled with emotions. By asking specific questions, you’ll gain valuable feedback that will help you learn and develop quickly.

However, asking questions should also be to gain useful feedback, not to show you have doubts about your abilities and skills.

Take criticism with patience.

When you take criticism, I strongly recommend the following:

  • Be quiet and listen. Try to listen to as many perspectives as possible to get a full picture and more points of view.
  • Ask clarifying questions. Aim to understand what the other person means when they criticize you. Don’t make an initial judgement that they’re wrong. Understand first, then start to process their opinions.
  • Ask for suggestions to improve, but always refer back to your goals. After clarifying the problem, seek for suggestions, but don’t just try to satisfy others’ needs. Instead, refer back to your goals to see how improvements can align with your original intentions.
  • Take control of the process. Pick the right person. Typically, this would be someone who is honest, impartial but wants the best for you.

Rapid feedback is important.

Speed is also important when it comes to receiving feedback.

The sooner you get feedback from others, the faster you’ll know what to improve before going ahead with your plans or work. For example, if you’re planning on setting up your own business, ask some interested friends to provide feedback on your ideas. Do this before you launch your business, and you’ll save yourself valuable time learning the long and hard way.

Seek criticism instead of praise

The Power of Positive Thinking author Norman Vincent Peale said it well,

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

How true that is.

Fortunately, you now have the keys to help you move away from seeking praise – to instead, seeking constructive criticism. And once you start putting these keys to use, you’ll unlock the doors to a whole new way of learning, developing and succeeding.

Reference

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