Archives for category: self-improvement

In this book, Daniel Goleman shares a review of the emotional intelligence concept.

The relationship between stress and performance has been known for about a century in psychology. It’s called the Yerkes-Dodson Law.

The relationship of stress to performance, captured in the Yerkes-Dodson Law, shows that boredom and disengagement trigger too little of the stress hormones secreted by the HPA axis – and performance lags. As we get more motivated and engaged, “good stress” brings us to the optimal zone, where we perform at our best. If the challenges get too great and we become overwhelmed, we go into the zone of burnout, where stress hormone levels get too high and hamper performance.


About Social Emotional Learning or SEL :

But the big surprise in the payoff for social and emotional learning: academic achievement scores go up eleven percent. Why would that be? I suspect it has to do in large part with how HPA axis arousal interferes with cognitive efficiency and learning. If you are a kid who’s preoccupied by worry, anger, distress, anxiety, or whatever stress causes in you, you’re going to have a diminished capacity to pay attention to what the teacher is telling you. But if you can manage those emotional upsets, your working memory – that is, the capacity of attention to take in information – increases. And SEL teaches you how to manage these disruptive feelings – not just through lessons like the stop light, but through learning how to get along better with other kids (a major source of those turbulent feelings). And that lets you be a better learner.
And of course if you’re an adult at work, this identical skill set will make you a better performer. And it’s never too late to develop further strengths in emotional intelligence.

Adam Grant is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in this book he talks about two different attitudes : the one of giving and the other of taking (or being selfish and self-centered).

It appears that giving has its downsides, people could take advantage of it, but it builds mature relationships in the long-term perspective.
On the opposite, by taking the maximum in every situation, the outcome could be better in the short run but affects the long term.



powerless speech is actually more influential than powerful speech.


As burnout expert Christina Maslach and colleagues conclude, “there is now a consistent and strong body of evidence that a lack of social support is linked to burnout.”


Taylor’s neuroscience research reveals that when we feel stressed, the brain’s natural response is to release chemicals that drive us to bond.


The dating couples—especially the ones in love—operated like selfless givers. Their default approach was to empathize with their partners’ needs and give in right away, regardless of their own interests. Concern for their partners had the effect of “short-circuiting efforts to discover integrative solutions in favor of more accessible but less mutually satisfactory outcomes,” the researchers write, leading to a “‘kid gloves’ approach to problem solving.”


Focus attention and energy on making a difference in the lives of others, and success might follow as a by-product.


Sir Richard Branson shared with us how he see his approach in business, and he goes direct to the point.


The harder I practice, the luckier I get

– Gary Player

I sincerely believe might constitute one of the most powerful sentences a business leader can utter : “I not sure – what do you think ?”


in most cases 90% of life is just showing up


his top ten recommandation :

  1. Follow your dreams and just do it
  2. Make a positive difference and do some good
  3. Believe in your ideas and be the best
  4. Have fun and look after your team
  5. Don’t give up
  6. Listen, take lots of notes and keep setting new challenges
  7. Delegate and spend more time with your family
  8. Turn off that laptop and iphone and get your derrière out there
  9. Communicate, collaborate and communicate some more
  10. Do what you love and have a couch in the kitchen




This is a book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world’s civilizations—to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to ex- tract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.


  1. The Divided Self
  2. Changing Your Mind
  3. Reciprocity with a Vengeance
  4. The Faults of Others
  5. The Pursuit of Happiness Love and Attachments
  6. The Uses of Adversity
  7. The Felicity of Virtue
  8. Divinity With or Without God
  9. Happiness Comes from Between
  10. Conclusion: On Balance

If Passion drives, let Reason hold the Reins.



This finding, that people will readily fabricate reasons to explain their own behavior, is called “confabulation.” Confabulation is so frequent in work with split-brain patients and other people suffering brain damage that Gazzaniga refers to the language centers on the left side of the brain as the interpreter module, whose job is to give a running commentary on what- ever the self is doing, even though the interpreter module has no access to the real causes or motives of the self’s behavior.


Human rationality depends critically on sophisticated emotionality. It is only because our emotional brains works so well that our reasoning can work at all.

In later studies, Mischel discovered that the successful children were those who looked away from the temptation or were able to think about other enjoyable activities. These thinking skills are an aspect of emotional intelligence—an ability to understand and regulate one’s own feelings and desires.


the lesson Buddha and Aurelius had taught centuries earlier: “Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.”


You can change your affective style too-—but again, you can’t do it by sheer force of will. You have to do something that will change your reper- toire of available thoughts. Here are three of the best methods for doing so: meditation, cognitive therapy, and Prozac. All three are effective because they work on the elephant.


Passionate love is a drug. Its symptoms overlap with those of heroin (eu- phoric well-being, sometimes described in sexual terms) and cocaine (eupho- ria combined with giddiness and energy).


if the sages have a variety of unstated reasons for warning us away from passionate love and attachments of many kinds, perhaps we should be selective in heeding their advice



Love and work are crucial for human happiness because, when done well, they draw us out of ourselves and into connection with people and projects beyond ourselves.

James Allen (1864 – 1912) was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best known work, As a Man Thinketh, has been mass-produced since its publication in 1903. It has been a source of inspiration to motivational and self-help authors.

(from wikipedia)


Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.


The people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it.


The weakest soul knowing its own weakness, and believing this truth–that strength can only be developed by effort and practice–will, thus believing, at once begin to exert itself. And, adding effort to effort, patience to patience, and strength to strength, will never cease to develop and will at last grow divinely strong.

As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.



He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.


A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped. And even then the weak man must become strong of himself. He must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.


He who would accomplish little need sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.

David Joseph Schwartz (1927 – 1987) was an American motivational writer and coach, best known for authoring The Magic of Thinking Big in 1959. He was a professor at Georgia State University.


Isolate your fear. Then take appropriate action.


I walked over to my bookshelf, took down my personal copy of Fifty Years with the Golden Rule, and said, “Paul, read this book and return it. See how, in J. C. Penney’s own words, just doing what’s right made him one of America’s richest men.”


Here is a psychological principle that is worth reading over twenty-five times. Read it until it absolutely saturates you: To think Confidently, act confidently.

managed motions can change emotions


  1. Action cures fear. 
  2. Make a supreme effort to put only positive thoughts in your memory bank. 
  3. Put people in proper perspective.
  4. Practice doing what your conscience tells you is right.
  5. Make everything about you say, “I’m confident, really confident.”


To think big, we must lise words and phrases that produce big, positive mental images.


Creative thinking is simply finding new, improved ways to do anything.

Step one: Believe it can be done


Be an experimental person.

How much we can do depends on how much we think we can do.  When you really believe you can do more, your mind thinks creatively and shows you the way. 

Remember, a mind that feeds only on itself soon is unclernourished, becoming weak and incapable of creative progressive thought.  Stimulation from others is excellent mind food. 


Person who thinks his job is important
Receives mmtal signals on how to do his job better;
And a better job means
More promotions, more money, more prestige, more happiness. 


Because big men do not laugh at big Ideas.


Trying to learn all there is to know about people by studying one small group is like trying to master mathematics by reading one short book.


Go fIrst class in everything you do. You can’t afford to go any other way. 


It always holds true. A man who lacks enthusiasm never develops it in another.




Success depends ou the support of other people.

Take the initiative in building friendships-leaders always do.

Take the initiative. Be like the successful. Go out of your way to meet people. And don’t be timid. Don’t be afraid to be unusual. Find out who the other person is, and be sure he knows who you are.


The person who does the most talking and the person who is the most successful are rarely the same person


Destroy fear through action.

But persistence is anyone of the ingredients of victory. We can try and try, and try and try and try again, and still fail, unless we combine persistence with experimentation


Stop blaming luck.

The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to get.

Use goals to help you grow


Every big accomplishment is a series of little accomplishments.

The step-by-step method is the only intelligent way to attain any objective.

Profit comes from only one source: investment.


  1. Get a clear fIx on where you want to go. 10 years.
  2. Write out your ten-year plan.

  3. Surrender yourself to your desires.
  4. Let your major goal be your automatic pilot.
  5. Achieve your goal one step at a time.
  6. Build thirty-day goals. Day-by-day effort pays off.
  7. Take detours in stride.
  8. Invest in yourself



This book was first published in 1937 ! Dale Carnegie (1888 – 1955) was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement.


raw notes:

Difference between appreciation and flattery. One is sincere, one not.

I am talking about a new way of life.

we usually spend about 95 percent of our time thinking about ourselves


If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.

– Henry Ford

Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love

– Buddha


“In an article in Bits and Pieces, how to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument :

  • Welcome the disagreement.
  • Distrust your first instinctive impression.
  • Control your temper.
  • Listen first. 
  • Look for areas of agreement. 
  • Be honest. Apologize for your mistakes
  • Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully.
  • Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest.
  • Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.


You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.

– Galileo


—isn’t it better to begin by saying: “Well, now, look. I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.


“I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”


Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.


Childish? Perhaps. But that is what they said to Napoleon when he created the Legion of Honor and distributed 15,000 crosses to his soldiers and made eighteen of his generals “Marshals of France” and called his troops the “Grand Army.” Napoleon was criticized for giving “toys” to war-hardened veterans, and Napoleon replied, “Men are ruled by toys.”


Books – (from wikipedia):

  • 1915: Art of Public Speaking, with Joseph Berg Esenwein.
  • 1920: Public Speaking: the Standard Course of the United Y. M. C. A. Schools.
  • 1926: Public Speaking: a Practical Course for Business Men. Later editions and updates changed the name of the book several times: Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business(1937 revised), How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking (1956)[16] and Public Speaking for Success (2005).
  • 1932: Lincoln, the Unknown.
  • 1934: Little Known Facts About Well Known People.
  • 1936: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
  • 1937: Five Minute Biographies.
  • 1944: Dale Carnegie’s Biographical round-up.
  • 1948: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
  • 1959: Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook: a Treasury of the Wisdom of the Ages. A selection of Dale Carnegie’s writings edited by Dorothy Carnegie.
  • 1962: The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking. The fourth revision of Public speaking and influencing men in business, by Dorothy Carnegie, based upon Dale Carnegie’s own notes and ideas but a very different book than original.