Month: June 2021

Give YourSelf the Dignity to Be Different

It’s really easy to be ignorant of our habits and misunderstandings; to adopt cultural norms as being synonymous with our own values, and then upon straying from such norms, internalize the image of flawed Self. It creates a feeling of separateness, and of not belonging. This is what I’d like to discuss today and intend to ease your heart of suffering.

Why do I endeavor to ease your suffering?

Because I speak and support those who I call people with purpose and sensitive dreamers. And when you clear your heart and your understanding, your true power and true service come through.


I’ve said it here on my podcast Lila, and I’ll continue to emphasize the fact that there are various ways to live your life. The idea that there exists a hierarchy consisting of two camps— what’s best and true and what’s left for “the special Olympics*”—is misguided.

*I respectfully use this analogy to demonstrate the root of a general cultural belief in the USA as shown by the presumption that the special Olympics is inferior and less valuable than the original Olympics.

What do we accept, tolerate, and mark as inferior because it doesn’t live up to the “original”?

It’s the belief that different is somehow inferior because while admirable, it’s insufficient. Because if you could be the other thing (e.g. attend the regular Olympics), you would.

And this voice is so loud that it almost brings forth shame at the mere thought of ignoring it. Of choosing another way. Of not believing what it says. It ignores the magic of who you are— not in comparison to but as is. It insufficiently addresses the complicated realities of life, which can leave us feeling vulnerable in the wake of not being able to live up to the dream.

And what dream is that, little one? Is it truly yours?


It’s through our actions and our willingness to be who we are, different or not, that leads to true change. To a more compassionate society that is accepting of others.

Because the first other is always you. The first other is always you.

The reason I point out diverse cultures around the world, like in Lila episode #13 here, is to demonstrate the possibility of all that could be. Aren’t cultures amazing in their never-ending creativity to make sense of their surroundings? To give meaning and richness to life?

Global cultures demonstrate there is more than one way to live your life. That other creative leaders and beings have built practices that over centuries have served them well. And you may benefit from adopting some of those habits and cultures.


Look no further than social media to deeply understand this, where deeply ingrained and often unconscious biases are plastered and sold all over the internet. Without presence, without wisdom, and the ability to quiet the noise of “should” and tune into the voice of IS, you’re destined for crazy-town.

And sensitive dreamers, people with purpose, require a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging. But to force yourself to live up to standards and dwell in camps—or rooms as I frequently call them—that do not align with your light is challenging. There are other ways, and this requires you to believe. In yourself, in those that love you enough to support your freedom to follow a new path and in the dreams that show you the way.


To see the beauty in what’s on offer from all different types of people. And that you engage yourself enough, commune enough, to build real friendships with the people and values, the way of beings, you prize the most. Especially if they aren’t the ones you grew up with.

Aligning with your truest values is a greater representation of who you truly are, more than any singular race, gender, sex, nationality or any other checkbox you can imagine. The intersections of our lightest and most powerful gifts are one way of defining who we are as a society.

We fixate on fixing boxes when we should be fixin’ to build wings to soar. And speaking with and understanding the 1 million types of birds in the sky from all over the world to best learn to navigate the airways.


This brokenness first, and always, begins with a disconnect from Self.

Your values.

Your light.

That aligns with all those around you.

You need not be the same or different to belong or be accepted. I see you and I value you. And I’d love to see more of you if you’re willing.

Question values that are superimposed on the walls of the halls you roam. Whether it’s in self-help, coaching, the USA, brown-black-white-red-blue… be curious to it all so you can be free to see and be who you truly are. Beneath the noise. Beneath the misconduct of self which almost always relies on confusion.

Big hugs,


Lalita Ballesteros is a speaker, comedian, director, and the founder of Haus of Lala, a creative agency specializing in personal branding. She stands by the belief that your voice matters and that authentic self-expression is our most important work. In the past, Lalita’s disrupted the publishing industry with Seth Godin and The Domino Project (powered by Amazon) creating six best-sellers and raising over a quarter million in revenue in only four months. She also worked at the American Embassy in Rome, created a 6-figure Airbnb business, and oversaw ambassador efforts at Lyft. She speaks three languages and is a regular contributor for Positively Positive, a publication with over 2.5 million followers on Facebook. Lalita’s been seen on the stages of TEDx and Comedy Bary as well as in the pages of Fast Company, Etsy, Forbes, Yahoo Small Business, Mashable, and the best-selling book End Malaria. She currently lives in Toronto with her dog, Luna. Follow her writings and comedy here and #100daysofcomedy here.


Image Credit: Kim Carpenter.

5 Mental Health Benefits of Lifting Weights

Benefits of Lifting Weights

Everyone has their own challenges to deal with when it comes to mental health, and there are lots of different approaches to consider embracing, if you want to bring balance to your life and keep the darkness at bay.

Exercise in general is proven to be good for your state of mind, and lifting weights in particular can be especially helpful in this regard.

Here is a look at why this is the case and why you should consider pumping iron to improve your mental state.

Find out the Right Set and Rep Range for You

Before we go any further, it is worth pointing out that lifting weights is only beneficial from a mental health perspective if you take your own physical attributes and limitations in mind.

You need to pick set and rep ranges that are actually achievable, but will allow you to make progress towards your goal. For example, if your goal is to increase your strength, the evidence suggests that you should focus on lifting heavier weights with a lower rep range.

Dealing with depression

Depression afflicts literally hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and if this is something you have experienced, then thankfully, lifting weights could be a way to combat its most unfortunate symptoms.

Research has shown that plenty of people with depression will see improvements, and it is especially useful if you have mild to moderate symptoms.

Addressing anxiousness

Anxiety is another widespread mental health conundrum that can leave you open to unhelpful bouts of groundless worrying.

Lifting weights is an activity that has been linked to a reduction in both the mental and physical signs of anxiety, although again, it is generally most impactful for those with modest levels of anxiety, and may not be as useful for those with more intense symptoms.

Improving self-confidence

If you are lacking in self-esteem, this can have a detrimental effect on many aspects of your life, and can also be apparent to others around you in a more conspicuous manner, than other forms of mental health imperfections.

The changes that your body will undergo as a result of regular weight training and resistance-based workouts will have a knock-on effect on your self-confidence, allowing you to feel more comfortable in your own skin.

Reducing age-related issues

Getting older is something we all have to do, and as well as our bodies feeling the effects of time’s passage, our minds will also exhibit gradual degradation over the years.

For a long time, it was recommended that older people make use of brain training games to keep their minds active and their memories intact.

While this is still the case, studies have since shown that this is not enough on its own. For the fullest effects to be realized, brain training has to be combined with lifting weights.

Minimizing everyday stress & encouraging mindfulness

Finally, it is worth remembering that whatever mental health dilemmas you have on your plate, whether they be genetically inherited or brought on by the stress and strain of modern life, lifting weights provides you with a much-needed respite.

This all comes down to the fact that, like other forms of exercise, your mind will be entirely occupied by the task at hand, allowing the troubles of the world to melt away, and also teaching you to live in the moment, rather than always allowing your mind to wander to other things.

Of course, you should combine any weight training you do with other forms of mental health treatment as necessary, and get the advice of an expert in the field to receive the best results and advice.

About the Author
Sarilaya Cada is a freelance content writer. She is interested in a wide range of fields, from project management, to education, to engineering.

Build Up Strong Willpower and Self Discipline

Willpower and Self Discipline• You Can Improve Your Willpower and Self-Discipline!

• Increase patience and self-control.

• Overcome laziness and procrastination.

• Strengthen your determination and decisiveness.

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Listen Again: Clint Smith

Original broadcast date: June 5, 2020. The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in 2020 sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.

11 Little Tricks I Stole from Psychologists to Be a Better Conversationalist

Have you had that ultra-embarrassing moment when you’re talking to someone and you’ve forgotten their name? Or that you’ve been monologing about yourself for the past five minutes? Or that you’ve made a joke that was badly received? I totally have.

I’m not alone, either. Especially after a pandemic that forces social distance, a lot of us are feeling rusty at basic conversational skills.

Luckily, talking well and easily is a skill that you can improve and lose like any other. Here are 11 tricks I use, recommended and backed by psychologists, to be less socially awkward and better at talking to other normal humans.

1. Influence how people think with material priming

Researchers found that placing themed objects in the room you’re having the conversation affects how the person you’re talking to thinks and feels.

To use this trick for yourself, think about the tone you want to set for your conversation and which objects might set that tone. For example, if you’re trying to flirt with someone, why not place a candle in the room, or a bed?

2. Make sure they tell the truth by asking them to repeat their story backward

There’s no shame in having a faulty lie detector when it’s been a year without social contact. If you’re trying to suss out if someone is telling the truth, ask them to repeat the story in reverse order. If they struggle, they’re probably lying to you.

Psychologists call this phenomenon the “cognitive workload.” Telling the truth is easy — if you’re lying, that’s an extra burden on your poor brain. Imagining your fake story in reverse is much trickier than simply repeating an honest story backward.

3. Grab someone’s attention with “soft tension”

“[M]ost people spend the majority of their conversations sharing their own views rather than focusing on the other person,” the authors of a 2017 paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology tell us. This makes it hard to grab someone’s attention without waving your arm in their face and shouting their name repeatedly.

To avoid that, simply build soft tension — ask a question you know they’ll be able to easily answer. This allows them to stay the center of their own world, but puts the focus on you. Examples include asking about favorite music genres, books, or foods.

4. Make a perfect first impression by tickling their frontal lobe

The words you use when you meet someone affect how they think of you pretty much for the rest of your acquaintance. If you want to knock it out of the park the first time around, use positive language to stimulate their frontal lobe.

A study in 2009, conducted by Maria Richter et al, described how the presence of negative words like “disgusting,” “grueling,” and “dirty,” cause stress in the moment as well as contributing to long-term anxiety. Positive words, like “refreshing,” “celestial,” and “warming,” conversely, decrease the expression of stress hormones.

5. Remember their name with mnemonic devices

It’s no secret that a person’s name is the sweetest sound to them. Ensure you give your conversational partner what they want by remembering (and using) their name in conversation.

One 2016 psychological study found that it’s much easier to remember names if you use mnemonic devices. For instance, if you meet someone named Oliver, you might remember that he has blue dots all over his tie.

6. Don’t fake it till you make it

Talking can be stressful! There’s no harm in acknowledging that. But if you want people to like you, don’t be tempted to fake it till you make it. If you don’t feel like smiling, don’t pretend — wait until you can genuinely smile.

Research from a 2019 paper shows that consumers can instinctively tell the difference between real and fake smiles, even for Instagram celebrities and influencers. If they can’t convincingly pretend to smile, you probably can’t either.

7. Use “conversational entrainment” to have a more productive chat

Psychologists define this as “spatiotemporal coordination resulting from rhythmic responsiveness to a perceived rhythmic signal.” In human talk, this means you mirror what they do.

Research from a 2019 paper shows this works best when you mirror three aspects of their conversation: verbal cues, like the way they form their sentences; lexical, like the types of words they use; and nonverbal, like eye movements. This has been demonstrated to give us “productive and fulfilling conversation,” according to Borrie et al, 2019.

8. Copy improv stages with the “yes-and” approach

Improvisational theatre is famous for the “yes-and” approach. In order to keep conversation flowing and expand on a line of thinking, improv actors say, “yes, and” when it’s their turn to speak. Research has shown that this strategy works well to foster collaboration and trust in businesses and academic settings.

To do this, catch yourself the next time you start to say no or go off on a conversational tangent. Instead, try to yes-and whatever your conversational partner was saying.

9. Ramp up your listening level

I can be guilty of putting my “listening ear” on autopilot. Especially in group conversations, many of us don’t actively listen but just passively absorb and assume we’re understanding what people are saying. But it isn’t true. Research shows that actually listening demands a lot of effort — and the more effort you put in, the better you listen.

To make friends and influence people in your next conversation, try to simply be aware that listening is an active exercise and ensure you’re hearing and reflecting on what your conversational partner has told you.

10. Don’t cross the teasing line

Teasing is viewed as a fun and harmless way to casually chat and joke. But it can have real harmful repercussions to your relationship with the person you’re talking to. “[T]easing is often negatively evaluated when it is meant to amuse the hearers at the target’s expense or it is delivered in a non-affectionate way,” writes Valeria Sinkeviciute in her 2017 paper on the subject.

Instead, ensure that you go for an affectionate delivery, that you don’t target the same person repeatedly, and that you don’t make jokes at the expense of a single person.

11. Find a shared interest

Starting from ages as young as four, research shows humans have a strong perception of “us” versus “them.” Luckily, a shared interest is all it takes to get into the “us” group with whoever you’re speaking with.

If you’re struggling to chat, try looking for something you have in common with your conversational partner. Sports, music, food, books are all great places to start looking.

Talking is a superpower. I’m always in awe of people who can strike up a conversation and easily bond with others within the span of a few minutes, being socially awkward myself. But like any other skill, it’s something you can learn and improve at.

These 11 psychological tricks can help you can manage conversations a little more easily, especially when you’re out of practice.

Zulie Rane is a reader and a writer who believes in the power to change the world through the written word. You can find her writing on, posting selfies and art on Instagram at @zulierane and tweeting bad puns on Twitter at @zulierane.

Image courtesy of cottonbro.

Accountability vs. Responsibility

How would you like to learn a success strategy that will double your chances of achieving your goals?

I’m talking about the power of accountability, and today I’d like to give you some tips on how to put it to work in your life so that you do a better job of achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself this year.

We’ll also talk about accountability vs. responsibility and the differences between the two so you can better understand how each strategy will empower you to accomplish more, faster, in the months ahead.

Accountability vs. Responsibility: What’s the Difference?

Stephen R. Covey says that “accountability breeds response-ability.”

He’s the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in case you don’t know him.

I like this saying because it suggests that accountability and responsibility are different from each other — and it highlights the fact that being held accountable increases your ability to respond, which means taking action.

When you are responsible for something, it is your duty to respond and take action.

When you are accountable, you are responsible for reporting the actions you have taken and providing an account of the results.

Responsibility is task-oriented. You are responsible for accomplishing the tasks required to achieve your goals.

Accountability, on the other hand, is results-oriented. When you are being held accountable for something, it is your duty to take stock of what you’ve done and report on the outcomes of your actions.

Both of these duties are key to your success.

Benefits of Having an Accountability Partner

Understanding the difference between accountability vs. responsibility is helpful when you have a partner.

I always encourage people to find an accountability partner who will hold them accountable for their goals and actions!

When you have an accountability partner, the two of you hold each other accountable for meeting deadlines, accomplishing goals, and making real progress toward the life you want to create.

This is so powerful — because when you make your goals public by sharing them with another person, it makes them more real and impactful and greatly increases your motivation to achieve them.

In fact, the American Society of Training and Development did a study on accountability, which showed that if you make a commitment to another person and make a specific appointment to check in with the other person and report on your progress, you will increase your chance of success by 95%.

It’s a simple thing to do, but the results are very powerful.

This is especially true for solo entrepreneurs, who typically don’t have a team working with them, as well as people who don’t have any supportive friends or family in their lives.

Having an accountability partner who will stand in witness of your goals and commitments and require you to make regular reports on your progress goes a long way to giving you the support you need to get things done, even in the face of other people’s skepticism or negativity.

How to Choose an Accountability Partner

So, how do you find an accountability partner and set up an effective accountability practice together?

My first recommendation would be to choose someone who isn’t a close personal friend or family member, as it can be harder to remain neutral with someone like that, due to whatever emotional baggage you share together.

My next tip would be to choose someone who is highly motivated to achieve big goals in their life.

You also want to find someone who is positive, enthusiastic and happy to encourage you as you work toward your goals. Avoid anyone who tends to be negative or pessimistic in general. Such a person is more likely to drag you down to his or her level and make it harder for you to stay motivated as you work to achieve your goals.

Finally, be sure to choose someone who you know to be responsible and reliable. Your accountability practice won’t help much if the other person is always flaking out on you.

Have Regular Accountability Partner Check-Ins

Once you have identified a suitable accountability partner, I encourage you to email them and ask if they would be interested in committing to an accountability practice with you.

In my events and programs, I encourage my students to set up a time to check in with their accountability partner every day. Ideally, this should be at the same time every day.

Early in the morning works best for most people, I find, as that’s usually when people are planning out their schedule for the day. But anytime will work if it fits in better with you and your accountability partner’s schedules.

I find that the best way to check in with your partner is over the phone or by using a video app like Skype or Zoom. There’s something to be said about having that personal connection with each other.

But connecting via text or email works on the days when connecting over the phone or face-to-face isn’t possible.

I encourage you to keep your accountability meetings short and to the point. This isn’t the time for chit-chat — it’s time for you to report on your progress and declare your intentions for the day ahead. Five minutes should be more than enough time for you and your partner to do that.

So the best way to do this, I find, is to remind your partner of the actions you committed to taking the day before, and then state whether you completed those actions or not. Then they do the same — and that’s it! That’s all it takes.

You recount yesterday’s commitments, update your partner on your progress and performance, and then commit to a new set of actions for the day ahead.

This is powerful because when you know that you’ll be reporting to someone, it provides the extra motivation you need to be productive and get the job done. It’s a lot harder to make excuses to someone else who is holding you accountable than it is to justify your lack of results to yourself.

During your accountability check-in, you can also ask your partner to share ideas, information, contacts and any resources you might need to achieve your stated goals.

You can pitch your partner on your latest idea and ask for feedback: “What’s your opinion? How would you proceed?”

Or you might ask your partner to make a call for you, give you the name of a contact who might help you, or email you some information he or she has already collected on that subject.

An accountability partner can also provide enthusiasm when yours is waning because of obstacles or distractions. I encourage you to choose a partner who is as excited about reaching his or her goal as you are about reaching yours — someone who is committed to your success and theirs.

It’s important to remember, though, that an accountability call is not a coaching call or social call. Accountability partnerships work best and last longest when you keep the calls short and focused.

You might want to set a timer and give each other a minute or two each to ask for feedback, suggestions and encouragement. That will help make sure your accountability calls don’t take up too much time every day.

Your Turn: Choose Your Accountability Partner This Week

Bestselling author Catherine Pulsifer once said, “At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves — our success is a result of what we do.”

This is true, of course. But an accountability partner can share the burden of accountability and make it so much easier for you to remain committed to your goals.

So this week, if you don’t already have an accountability partner, I challenge you to find one. Don’t worry if the first person you ask says no. They might be too busy, or not interested in using accountability as a success strategy at this point in their life. Or they might already have an accountability partner.

Just keep going until you find someone who is excited to embark on the accountability journey with you. It’ll be worth it, I promise you!

And be sure to download my free 12 Month Success Planner with easy templates to help you plan out your daily strategies and achieve your goals.

Understanding accountability vs. responsibility means you harness the power of both. Cultivating an accountability practice is a simple but extremely powerful way to stay focused and on track toward your dreams as you take responsibility for working to achieve your goals in the months ahead.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Alexander Suhorucov.

Setting Boundaries Quotes to Improve Your Life

Setting Boundaries Quotes

Get inspired with these setting boundaries quotes, collected from various sources. Quotes about boundaries can help you set boundaries whenever and wherever you need them.

Setting boundaries is important for a sane and happy life, and can help you avoid discomfort and being manipulated.

Sometimes, it is unpleasant and awkward to set boundaries, but they are necessary to set up.

Setting boundaries would help you avoid wasting your time and energy, and can give you “me time”, some time for yourself. This action would also enable you to focus on the important things and avoid unnecessary distractions.

Strangely as it might seem, they also win you respect from others and you don’t feel used and mistreated.

I am speaking here about setting healthy boundaries, not about keeping people away from you. When you know how to set boundaries, life become happier, and have more control over your life.

Setting Boundaries Quotes

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brene Brown

“When trying to teach someone a boundary, they learn less from the enforcement of the boundary and more from the way the boundary was established.” – Bryant McGill

“Music speaks to people in a way that breaks down boundaries that words and actions sometimes can’t.” – Dan Reynolds

Positive energy knows no boundaries. If everyone were to spread positive energy on the Internet, the world would be a much better place.” – Lu Wei

“I encourage people to remember that ‘No’ is a complete sentence.” – Gavin de Becker

“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.”Brené Brown

“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” – Doreen Virtu

“Setting emotional boundaries prevent people from manipulating you, using you, and playing with your feelings.” – Remez Sasson

“Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.” – Gerard Manley Hopkins

“In the end, as a leader, you are always going to get a combination of two things: what you create and what you allow.” – Henry Cloud

“Be honest with who you are, what you want and how you want to be treated. Boundaries only scare off the people that were not meant to be in your life.” – Shannon L. Alder

“Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them, too.” – Gina Greenlee

“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce.” – Tony Gaskins

“Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere.” – Paulo Coelho

“Sometimes the only way to gain someone’s favor is to stop giving them yours.” – Curtis Tyrone Jones

“Don’t live a normal life by default, push the boundaries of your potential.” – Steven Redhead

“Individuals set boundaries to feel safe, respected, and heard.” – Pamela Cummins

“People who violate your boundaries are thieves. They steal time that doesn’t belong to them.” – Elizabeth Grace Saunders

“When you can say ‘no’ to yourself, you can say ‘no’ to negative habits.” – Remez Sasson

“First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.” – Epictetus

“We can say what we need to say. We can gently, but assertively, speak our mind. We do not need to be judgmental, tactless, blaming or cruel when we speak our truths.” – Melody Beattie

“No one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves.” – Marianne Williamson

“The limits of your imagination create the boundaries of your world.” – Debasish Mridha

“A broken soul doesn’t invest in boundaries because the world has crossed them, without mercy.” – Shannon L. Alder

“Just as we expect others to value our boundaries, it’s equally important for us to respect the boundaries of others.” – Laurie Buchanan

“The best thing about me is that I am generally very honest – not hurtfully honest, but honest. The worst thing about me is that everybody can make me feel guilty. I feel responsible about things that don’t even concern me.” – Carolyn Jones

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

“Healthy boundaries are important, but you may be building a brick wall when a picket fence would do.” – Amy Dickinson

“Be considerate and helpful, without being a people pleaser.” – Remez Sasson

Relationship Boundaries Quotes

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brene Brown

“Every human being must have boundaries in order to have successful relationships or a successful performance in life.” – Henry Cloud

“Evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of any relationship is your responsibility. You do not have to passively accept what is brought to you. You can choose.” – Deborah Day

“Love the moment and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” – Corita Kent

“Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries demonstrates respect for ourselves and others and builds trust in both our work and personal relationships.” – Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

“Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries.” – Truman Capote

Setting Boundaries Quotes

Quotes Directory >> Setting Boundaries Quotes

Build Up Strong Willpower and Self Discipline

Willpower and Self Discipline• You Can Improve Your Willpower and Self-Discipline!

• Increase patience and self-control.

• Overcome laziness and procrastination.

• Strengthen your determination and decisiveness.

I Want More Info