concepts

Be Yourself

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The Ethical Code of the Month for February is Satya – truthfulness.
Satya is about truth but not necessarily always being brutally honest with people in a way that offends. 
It relates to honesty with yourself and integrity in what you do.

Start by being honest with yourself – what are your strengths and weaknesses, what can you do less of, or more of? honestly.

The Immense Effect of Doing Nothing

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Article by Yael Barcesat, translated by John Chisenhall

We are the architects of our own destiny, even when we do nothing. Nothingness generates consequences, like everything that is said, or not said; everything you do, or don’t do. These non-actions, still contribute a brick to the construction of ourselves.

I wonder if the Cartesian principle "I think, therefore I am" would be more true if we replaced the word "think" for "do". Hindus codified this natural phenomenon as karma, stating that "everything generates karma". Professor DeRose defines karma as a universal law of cause and effect.

Taking refuge in the bed under the covers and not leaving the house all day is the equivalent of pretending to avoid the dawn by keeping the eyes closed. But we know that tomorrow the sun will rise again, even though the sky is overcast. Based on this, why not choose a more consistent behavior in harmony with the tendencies of nature and use those forces in our favor. So often, it seems, these forces have been overlooked by humans.

Is it possible to remove the juice from a fruit without squeezing? The same concept applies to our lives and goals, we must go to them.

Source: DeRose Method karma

Happiness - The High Performance Accelarator

A theme always in vogue in various areas is  high performance. Books on the subject in sports, business, relational, multiply the shelves of bookstores. We see TV shows talking about how to be number one in anything: tennis, soccer, running, and not only that, how to get rich, how to influence people and so on. But what really is high performance? What is to be done? What is success? How do you measure that? I have to be better than the other or that is a perception of myself?

In a society increasingly competitive and individualistic, we tend to perceive our only comparatively achievements, if we are in the first place on the podium is what counts.

Is that what really sets if we have success, if we are made, if we have an excellent performance? Victor Frankl wrote the book In Search of Meaning, after having been  years stuck in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany in the Great World War 2 and noted that in those extreme pain and suffering people who survived had something in common: after all , be sure that life had a greater sense and those who lost their perspective, delivered the adverse circumstances surrounding them did not last more than a few days.

According to research from Harvard University, doctors in a positive state of mind shown three times more intelligence and creativity than those who are in a pessimistic or neutral state and has 19% more accurately and quickly in their diagnosis. This same survey shows that optimistic salespeople close more business 56% that pessimistic or neutral.

We are very much focused on what we should not do and what we did wrong, we learn through pain, we can not see that happiness comes before success, but if we are more positive since the beginning of our path to success and the achievement of our goals and objectives we will be more likely to achieve the results we want. If we see sense in what we are doing we will have more strength to endure any difficulties that life in present along the way.

People who seek a different result for life, for competitions, for their companies has very interesting features: it does not have the ideal conditions for expected result happens, they create them; focuses above average in their activities; assume responsibility for the outcome of their actions and do not put the blame for his mistakes on others; has more proactive and positive attitude to life events, among others.

To break the inertia, you must first be willing to leave the common place and incorporate the conviction that today should be better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. Understand that having a great life requires discipline, patience and humility. And before all this started any journey with joy, and enthusiasm, because there is no guarantee that we will get the target we want, then do not take the process we will be putting our lives out. Try! GET INSPIRED!

Fabiano Defferrari Gomes

[Original text by Fabiano Defferrari Gomes, translated by Sonia]

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The power of an apology

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[Original text by DeRose, translated by Fabs].

The use of an apology can prevent up to 90% of the conflicts with friends or strangers. It just may not work as well with relatives, but it will still attenuated strains significantly.

An apology must be used only when you make a mistake, but rather when make them too. If someone bumps you in the subway, you are certain that it was the other person’s fault, however you say: “I’m sorry”. The other person will likely apologize too! Or, if the other person is convinced that it was your fault, they may say “it’s ok”.The gains in your short and long term heath resulting from the avoidance a conflict with strangers, with friends or relatives is priceless.

So, let us attempt a psychological re-education. You may have learned that when others make mistakes, it is their responsibility to apologize. Now you will re-learn: when you make a mistake you apologize, and when others make a mistake you apologize as well.

Never say, “Did you not understand what I just said?” Instead of this indelicate phrase, solemnly declare: “I am sorry. I think I did not express myself well”.

What about circumstances where taking responsibility could cost you a tidy sum? For example, you could be in a traffic accident, you are certain it was the other driver’s fault! But he is also sure that it was yours … Why don’t you take the blame and apologize? Your insurance pays will pay regardless. You are uninsured? Well, I am not writing to you. Everyone has to have all insurances, for your car, your home, your life, your health. Whomever does not have it is so shortsighted that it would make no sense to read a text like this. And please, do not claim that you have no money right now, that excuse doesn’t work. You could have bought a car marginally cheaper and insured it easily with the savings.

But what about the law and justice? How can you take responsibility for something which is not your fault? Would this not be a merely cowardly attitude? On the contrary! It definitely takes greater courage and dignity to assume your own culpability, but it is even greater if you assume someone else’s. This is what numerous national saints and heroes have done, people with a high sense of humanitarian commitment, to a point of self-sacrificing their ego and sometimes even their life.

However, before you are ready to use the apology strategy you must eliminate the typical guilt found in former colonies. In Latin America, “desculpa-me” (excuse me) is said with humility and inferiority, while in the colonizing countries this phrase is used to exert superiority over the person being talked to.

In France, the phrase “pardon M’sier” is used as a resource with someone who has been indelicate, or has had some other form of bad behavior in any circumstance.

In England, and other English speaking countries, “I beg your pardon” can be used as an admonition with superiority and elegance with someone who has been impertinent or arrogant or has done something wrong.

In both cases, the person who has apologized did so with their head held high, with an attitude of someone who is superior to the other. The apology is used to downgrade the listener, forcing the response to be a justification. In the case of English, the person is instigated to modify their statement. For example, if the person had said: ” Did you removed the object that was here?” saying “I beg your pardon” has the power to change the attitude of the accuser to something like: “I’m sorry, what I meant was, that you may have inadvertently stumbled and dropped the object in question.” You can immediately notice a stark difference in attitude of the colonizer and the colonized by the way they apologize.

As I am writing to readers who have traveled and are cosmopolitan (if it is not the case, you will soon be, through reading of my books), I propose that you assume a posture of elevated self-esteem when using the apology strategy. In doing so, you will not be humiliating or stooping yourself, on the contrary, you will be thinking to yourself: “I have controlled the situation and I dominated this brute before me. I am pleased for having been able to do it with an intelligent management of my resources. In the cost vs. benefit equation, I have saved time and stress, and finally I have been elegant to a person who may be useful in the future.”

Make the most of the magic moment

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Everything in life has a magical moment. If you let this moment slip by it will probably never do it.

As the forefathers used to say of people who were deep in thought: “Those who think don’t marry”. And they don’t marry indeed.

Therefore, when the love of your life appears, do not think twice. Give yourself fully, body and soul. Is there a possibility of failure? Of course.

But there is also the chance you may become the happiest person in the world. You will never know if you don't see it through. Some people live behind walls, to avoid any possibility of a broken heart. They may indeed get what they want shielding themselves.

On the other hand, they will never experience moments of intense happiness which only arise when you dive head first, when you surrender yourself and experience mutual trust.This is true of all things. If you think too much, you will never leave the mediocre job to become the master of your life. If don’t think too much, you will not feel the paralysing fear.

When you act at the right time you will have the courage to let go of it all, risking everything to change your profession. After you have taken the decisive step and changed careers, you will be so deeply involved with the project that there is no other alternative but to win: the rear has been burned, there is no turning back. That is how to win.

If you take advantage of the magical moment you will change your life. If you don’t, you never will change. But beware: this does not mean acting on impulse, or having irrational attitudes. It means simply that when a real opportunity comes by, you should know how to grab it before it disappears. The most successful people and the happiest people are those who know how to seize an opportunity.

[Original text by DeRose, translated by Fabio Martins, DeRose Method Tribeca].

Relationship Advice Part III: Ending A Relationship

[this original text was written by DeRose and translated by Fabs] This is the final article in the series of three articles about relationships and the concepts of the DeRose Method. You can find the first and second articles here.  If you have decided that a partner and yourself can no longer work as a couple is it necessary to end the relationship altogether? Is it possible, and perhaps more civilised and compassionate, to evolve that relationship into something more subtle and meaningful?

Breaking up with someone who has shared so many moments of happiness, so much joy and so many intimate moments often feels like an act of violence that triggers terrible suffering for both parties. But is this the only way of thinking about it?

If we want to rethink, instead of simply kill, a relationship can we be open to the idea that the relationship needs a break or that it needs recycling into something different?

I believe that people should not distance themselves or avoid contact following a break up. It rarely makes sense to lose someone that provided so much joy just because you are in different stages of your evolution in terms of your life and your sexuality.

Instead, where possible, we should preserve these relationship, knowing that they have gone beyond the standard 'man & woman' relationship and have reached the exalted heights of two beings who are more than a couple, more than friends, more than siblings.

But most of all you must remember, at the end of one stage of a relationship and as another stage is being considered, you must behave with elegance and consideration for the other instead of the silliness that so many of us go through during a separation — the arguments, the attacks and the insults — instead of this, why not offer an attitude of generosity, which when you look back on, you feel pride for the way you behaved instead of shame.

Relationship Advice Part II: Conflict Management

This is the second article in a series of 3 articles about relationships written by Professor DeRose. The final article will deal with how to end relationships. We hope you enjoy this series. [Original text by Professor DeRose. Translated by Fabs]

Our advice for handling arguments in relationships has nothing to do with repressing emotion. Conflict management is all about the use of intelligence instead of frenzied emotion. In this case, to repress would be to block the flow of destructive emotions. Managing conflicts is not about blocking, rather, it is about re-directing and re-channelling so that emotions find a way out. So that they flow freely, but in a direction that's more beneficial.

I grew up by the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon in Brazil. From a young age we learned never to swim against the currents. If a current were to catch you, you weren't to fight against it and try to swim directly to shore. Swimming against the current would be impossible and eventually you would drown through exhaustion. All capable open ocean swimmers know that if you get caught in a current you should swim with it, toward its pull, swimming further out to sea then eventually turning around and making it to dry land further along the shore. This is how we should deal with conflicts in relationships.

We all want to be in control but the most rational and effective strategy is rarely the obvious one of swimming aggressively against the tide by playing hard ball or unleashing your emotions uncontrollably. Understand this and your words and actions quickly become much more intelligent.

Imagine a great round boulder resting at the top of a hill. This boulder represents our emotions. It's huge mass gives us the impression of stability and immovability. However, because it's balancing on the edge of a hill it's at risk of rolling down. All it would take is a light touch, maybe with the tip of a finger, for the boulder to lose all its superficial stability and begin rolling down destroying everything in its path. On the other hand, if the bounder begins to wobble just one finger in the opposite direction could prevent it from rolling away. This is how our emotions work.

Somethimes, all it takes is the lightest of touches to avoid a disaster so long as the effort is applied intelligently and at the right time. Namely, before the chain reaction starts.

Let me change tack once more then I will return to boulders and open ocean swimming. I have read much about the training and education of dogs. The secret to training a dog is to avoid shouting, screaming or getting involved in any kind of game of tug-of-war. Instead you must captivate the animal's attention. The important point to understand here is that people, like dogs only ever pay attention to one thing at a time.

I have learned from my Weimaraner dogs that they will always signal, a second before they do something, what they intend to do next. If I hesitate with my command, the dog will be off crossing a busy street or bounding into oncoming traffic! But if I notice, an instant before, and give the command “stay” or "heel" the dog obeys. If the dog has already started running it is pointless to shout “no”, “stay”, “stop”. If the action has been triggered, it is almost impossible to stop it.

If you manage to grab the dog's attention and re-direct it's actions you should reward it with a treat. If you don’t have a treat, pet it and play with it. This of course, is what's is known in the dog training world as positive re-enforcement.

When it comes to emotions, dogs and humans, react in the same way. If the first outburst is avoided, it becomes easy to avoid the conflict altogether. And the treat? It can be a word of encouragement, praise, friendship, a pat on the back, a hug, a look, a smile. This applies not only to conflicts with your partner, but rather to all relationships: at work, on the street, with friends — in all situations.

It is much cheaper to make this small effort than to get involved in a bitter and lengthy argument. My friend, Fabiano Gomes, used to be a successful lawyer and is now Director of one of our DeRose Method schools. When he was approached by a client who wanted to sue someone he would ask:

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

If the answer was “to be happy”, he would advise:

“Forget this lawsuit. Fighting won't make you happy.”

On the other hand, if the answer was “I want to be right” he would accept the case.

In my view, justice is merely an abstraction created by humans. In Nature there is no justice.

It is always cheaper to apologize. It is cheaper to circumvent a fight. It is cheaper to listen to what you do not deserve to hear, than to retaliate. If you can do that without repressing yourself you will have found the philosopher’s stone of good human relationships.

Relationship Advice Part I: How to Avoid Conflicts

This is the first article in a series of 3 articles about relationships written by Professor DeRose. The next article in the series will continue to look at the ways we deal with conflicts and the final article will deal with how to end relationships. Enjoy!

[Original text by Professor DeRose. Translated by Fabs]

Rarely do you find rational reasons for conflicts between people. They are almost always emotional in nature. Usually their reasons for starting are trivial. An off-handed remark, a certain tone of voice or a fleeting facial expression sets off something on an unconscious level that triggers our self-defence system and we respond hurtfully.

From there, each person shelters behind a fortress and stubbornly defends their point of view, intent on proving to the other that he, and only he, is right. The problem is, with both parties doing the same thing, no one ever gets anywhere.

The people who have the most conflict-free relationships are masters of one important skill: empathy. They are able to think with the other’s mind. Reality is a matter of perspective. Once you realise this simple fact you quickly notice how easy it is to defuse conflicts.

By showing empathy and understanding you are not backing down or admitting defeat. On the contrary, you are taking the first step in the art of winning over your 'opponent' - stopping them from seeing you as an aggressor. Once your partner becomes less defensive and emotional temperatures return to normal, you will more than likely get what you want... and best of all without conflict!

After all, the best generals were the ones who defeated their enemies without resorting to the high costs of war.

Compare the costs and benefits of a gruelling fight between people who love each other: hostility can last for hours or days, both parties can suffer emotional scars and grow resentful towards each other, sexual desire may be lost and if the argument never finds a resolution you might even break up for good.

Compare the kind of insecure defensiveness that fuels this arms race with the powerful, compassionate approach that would take charge of the situation, immediately see things from the other person's point of view then expertly find the gesture, warmth of voice and sincerity that melts their partner's anger bringing them doe-eyed into their arms.

Finally consider this: Who is the strongest, the one who wins the war or the one who manages to get what they want without having to fight anyone for it?