There is a very powerful tool that will enable you to overcome many potential quarrels. This is the art of knowing how to act with "strategic humility" when a needless quarrel might arise. By being willing to forego illusory honor and speaking to someone from a humble position, you will be able to soften a heart made of stone. Your opponent's heart will melt in the face of your warmth when you act in a humble manner.
Even if you think you are losing by acting humbly, actually you lose absolutely nothing in a spiritual sense. Outwardly you are complying with the wishes of another person, but inwardly your spiritual level is not affected.
Khamenei calls Trump
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calls Trump and tells him, "Donald, stay out of office. because last night I had a wonderful dream. I could see America, the whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner." "What did it say on the banners?" Trump asks. Ali replies, "United States of Iran." Trump says, "You know, Ali, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner." "What did it say on the banners?" Ali asks. Trump replies, "I don't know. I can't read Hebrew."
Ted Cruz reveals his plan for Middle East terrorists
We live in a society where we're bombarded with stimulus. Now more than ever before, we're plugged into a rapidly evolving wired world. The dings, rings and buzzes that emanate from our smartphones seem to only stop when we forget to recharge.
But in those rare quiet moments, we hear this internal voice telling us that life is supposed to be about more than just accumulating "stuff", achieving professional success and enjoying the moment. Life is supposed to have some deeper meaning or purpose.
But, how do you find your purpose?
The quest to fill the void with a greater purpose is compelling. It sells books, seminars, and movies. It has been dramatized to such an extent that people are figuratively on the floor searching in the dark for the key that will unlock the secret to life contentment, purpose and happiness.
But they never seem to find it. You know why?
Because they're looking in all the wrong places.
1. Stop Looking for It, Start Living with It.
This may sound counterintuitive, but if you want to find your purpose, the first step is to stop looking for it.
That's right. Get off your hands and knees. Stop thinking – and overthinking – about why you are here.
You'll never really know. We may get some clues about our place in the world, but full on knowledge of why we are here might just be reserved for the afterlife.
More importantly, trying to find your purpose has an inherent risk – you're assuming it's all about you.
You ask yourself, What is my purpose that will help me feel fulfilled on a deeper level?
Here is the problem with this line of thought: Meaning and purpose come when we focus on others, not ourselves.
If you really want to achieve your potential and live a more meaningful life, stop searching for purpose and start living with purpose.
2. Ask Yourself: What Am I Needed For?
Instead of concerning yourself with what you need or what you want, ask yourself: What am I needed for?
If you really want to make a change in this world, reflect on what's motivating you. Do you want to be the hero? If the answer is yes, then you are destined for misery. You won't find meaning helping others if you're really just trying to feel good or further your own interests.
It's not about what you need. The question is, what is needed from you?
The good news is you don't need to search far. Opportunities are right in front of you — start with your friends, family and community.
Within your grasp are people in need. Start asking what you can do for them.
But here is the nuance that often trips people up. I'm not suggesting that you ask what is needed. There could be a security issue but you may not be a police officer. There may be a health risk but you may not be a doctor. You can't solve a problem you are qualified to fix.
Instead ask, what youare needed for? What unique contribution can you bring to those in need. Identify the talents and interests that will allow you to be helpful and make an impact.
3. Take Action Steps.
Your purpose relates to your talents, but you can't think your way to living with purpose. You don't find your purpose by listening to an inspirational audio series or contemplating philosophy on a mountain top retreat. You find it in action.
Just like exercise, you have to start somewhere. Find or create an opportunity to contribute, volunteer, open a business or take on additional responsibilities.
Doing things to uniquely contribute to those around you should be part of your routine.
Without a concrete and sustainable action plan, the inspiration you're feeling now will eventual fizzle and you'll wind up feeling empty and unsatisfied again.
You don't need to start big, but you do need to get started. Find a way you can give your time and your talent to others on an ongoing basis. Once a week? Fine. Once a month? That's a start.
4. Review Where You Stand.
You won't know where you stand without regular self-reflection. Every night, review what you did and ask yourself: Was that the best use of my time? Can I do more? Did I do too much? Can I delegate this or should I spend more time doing it myself?
Now you are learning by doing. That's how you live with purpose.
In truth, you don't just have one purpose. You have many.
As you evolve, so will your purpose. When you were 15, your purpose may have been related to school, friends and parents. At 35, it could be attached to your spouse or child.
When you live your life asking what you are needed for, you adapt, change, and grow. Along the way, you are able to contribute yourself to others – the ultimate purpose.
Over time, you will gain insight into your unique purposes and better understand the things that only you can contribute.
In the end, whether you can pinpoint your purpose or not, you will have spent the better portion of your life helping others and living with purpose … which is always more more valuable than finding it.
A few weeks ago, I bumped into an old friend of mine, a political blogger. I was taken aback when he mentioned to me that he was ready to give it up. "I'm done," he shrugged, his voice defeated. He was fed up with the steady barrage of online criticism that followed each publication.
I've heard people complain about the psychological toll of nasty online critics before, and it won't be the last time.
Are online haters sucking the life out of you, too?
Before you retire your keyboard and settle into permanent hibernation, let's take a breath, step back and gain some perspective about online haters.
The Internet has forever changed the way we interact with people. For bloggers with a message to share, the Internet is like candy land – a vast world bursting with sweet opportunity.
Decades ago, if you wanted to share an article or message with the masses, you needed to tap into established news media organizations. They were the gatekeepers, filtering news to the public.
Today, you have untold reach and access to billions of people across the globe. All you need is a laptop and coffee shop with Wi-Fi.
However, this opportunity comes at a cost.
Your message becomes accessible to a sea of people from diverse backgrounds, with vastly different opinions.
The thing is, negative push back is par for the course. When you cover a topic people care about and have different opinions on, you have to expect some heat. The bolder the message, the more intense it gets. You have to have a strong stomach to be in this business.
When you come across online haters, here are few things to keep in mind before succumbing to your urge to hit back:
Distinguish haters from critics.
When we see a dissenting comment pop up on our latest online publication, we cringe and are quick to call them haters. But ask yourself: Do they hate you or do they just disagree with your opinion?
Maybe you are taking their criticism a little too far. If they think your logic is flawed, that's one thing. If they are wishing you pain and suffering, that's entirely another. The latter group has issues you do not want to be dealing with.
Actual haters don't hate you, they hate themselves.
These people spew hate for hate's sake — especially the ones who can't spell and write in ALL CAPS as if they're screaming at the page. Don't let these adult tantrums shake you.
Critics, on the other hand, often make valid points that are worthwhile considering.
Don't take it personally.
When people communicate online, they are not interacting with you; they're interacting with a computer screen.
The computer is great at disseminating your message to millions, but it's terrible at making the messenger human.
The screen dehumanizes. When people disagree or are threatened by what you post, they don't react to a person, they react to a screen. The screen doesn't feel and it doesn't hurt.
This disconnect frees people from their social inhibitions, allowing them to say and do things they would never do to a real live person. They forget that there is a person behind that screen.
So, how do you cope?
Don't take personally. I guarantee you that most of the negative feedback would not exist if you were face-to-face with the critic. And that's often not because they feel the hate but keep it bottled up. It's because they don't feel the hate.
Use it to get better.
It can be a rough world out there and we all need validation. Our egos are so fragile that the minute someone gives us any criticism, we assume they are attacking us.
When someone disagrees with you, learn from it. If it hurts, then maybe they hit a nerve. Sometimes, you are upset because they may be correct, even if they are over the top about it.
Think of online criticism as a non-confrontational opportunity for growth. There may be a nugget of truth in there that can make you – and your work – better.
Remember, your critic is talking to your screen. You'll benefit from showing them that you're human.
Don't retreat into self-pity or retaliate. Rather, respond with grace, class and humility. Explain yourself and your rationale. Don't try to convert them to your point of view. When appropriate, apologize to the critic who didn't find value in your work. Show your humanity. You'll be shocked by how often bullies back down once they get some attention.
Sometimes, they will even write back about how they agree with some of your points, but were in a bad mood. Often, those who seem downright nasty in their online comments are actually decent people who are just flexing a bit of muscle from the comfort and safety of anonymity.
If they don't back down and continue spewing venom, revert back to lesson #2: Don't take it personally. Their rage isn't about you, so don't bother engaging them.
Don't Focus on the Negative
We know that heat rises; so does hate.
Most people that liked your work won't comment on it. They may share your article but most will just enjoy it and move on with their day.
But it's more than that. According to Professor Clifford Nass, professor of Communication at Stanford University, we're more likely to remember negative criticism than praise.1
So, even if you did get positive feedback, you're more inclined to focus on the negative.
I recently wrote an article that received dozens of comments. I read them all. If someone had asked me, I would have said that the feedback was overwhelmingly negative.
Later, I checked the post again and there were only four negative comments. Those four stuck with me all day, and the positive feedback faded to the background.
To conclude, online haters are tough to swallow, but that's the reality of playing in a global sandbox, especially from behind a screen. If you throw in the towel, the online haters emerge triumphant, and they'll find someone else to dump on.
The greatest advice I can give fellow writers is to leverage all the feedback – the good and the bad – to get better. And of course, to never stop writing.
Tugend, Alina. "Praise is Fleeting but Brickbats We Recall." The New York Times, 23 March, 2012.