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We all interact with other people, so this section is about making the most of those encounters. Many of these ideas are based on the 'As If' Principle, where altering our behaviour can alter the way we feel. This is a great way to deal with stress and anxiety and it should really help you take control of things.

You’re going to have to connect with people a lot in life, so why not make the best of it? You can also start to quickly move past mistakes and not let negatives drag you down. This is one of the most important parts of any personal development system as it can make such a difference.

 


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If you're new to the site, you can take a look at this Introduction to The Simplicity System or you can go straight to the Resources page


I think everyone could benefit from discovering sometthing called the 'As If' Principle. Devised by one of the founders of modern psychology, William James, it shows us that how we act influences the way we feel. Most people seem to think it's the other way around though, so I regard it as an important first step in anyone's personal development.

Adopting the As If principle into your life and acting in the way you'd like to feel can help you improve confidence, create better relationships around you and reduce stress and anxiety.

To help you get going, I've devised a simple exercise to help you implement the As If Principle and improve you interactions with the world

How to Start Acting As-If

This is a very effective exercise that will help you behave like the person you want to be. It should help you change the way you act and in turn, change the way you feel.

To do this, you need to create a mind map or a simple list and call it your ‘As If’ document. 

You should then select ten to fifteen people you admire. These can be real, fictional, famous or friends and family. I’d now like you to write down the qualities you most admire about these people next to the names, but try to keep each one down to a single word if you can.

Are these people decisive, are they inspirational or do you admire them because they’re strong or creative? As you do this, key qualities should emerge and a simple list should start to appear.

You should then create a new written document with your middle name and surname as the title, so I would be James Robinson. Using the key qualities you've identified in your 'As If' document, write a simple description of someone with these qualities and consider this 'new you' to be the person you really want to be.

Feel free to add any positive qualities that come to mind while you're doing it as well. Write about their strengths, how they act in certain situations and what they really stand for and like doing. You should also write it in the third person as if you’re describing them.

This may seem a bit strange, but give it your full attention for around 20 minutes and really feel free to really express yourself. When you’ve done this, read through it carefully and take it all in. 

It’s now time to go out and be that person. For the next two weeks, try to act like the person you’ve described.

You could even try roleplaying with a friend or family member if it’s possible and reading through a condensed version of your description every morning will also help you. This isn’t pseudoscience or a way of escaping reality, this is a way of changing your behaviour and in turn, changing the way you feel.

This is something you can do right away as well, unless you’re trying to lose weight. If this is the case, I’d make that your sole focus for 21 days and then try this.


The Simplicity System

So to sum it up simply, if you want to connect with people more effectively you should:

  • Identify the qualities you’d like to have
  • Act like you already have them

Successfully introducing the As If Principle into you life should help you start turning things around. I also think that anyone interested in The Simplicity System should read Rip It Up by Richard Wiseman, as it has to be one of the most important books you'll ever read.

Good luck with everything and I hope it makes a difference. I’d also be very interested to hear any feedback you have as The Simplify System will always need to evolve and improve.


Your Connect Resources


Follow the links below to learn a lot more

Books


Your Connect Golden Rules


Gossip will reflect you

It’s so easy to spread rumours or express negative opinions about someone you don’t like. Be careful though, as research indicates that people will subconsciously attribute these things on you.

They're also likely to presume you’re saying similar things about them as well.

Be interested in people

You’d be surprised at who can inspire you. Take time to learn about other people and when you’re interacting with them, show them you’re interested.

There’s nothing worse than speaking to someone who’s really not engaged with the conversation and looks like they really don’t care about you.

Even if you’re enjoying the conversation, just take a second to make sure you look like you are to the other person. This can make a huge difference and you make a really great impression.

Focus your energy on one thing

It’s so easy to get distracted these days and end up doing several things badly. Even worse, we can find ourselves focusing on other things, like phones, when we should be engaging with the person in front of us.

Focusing on what your doing is also a great way to turn off your natural autopilot and be fully present in your world.

Don't react, respond

When issues arise, try to react to them them in a practical way rather than responding in an emotional fashion. A great example of this is when we get an email we don’t like from a college or manager at work that gets us very angry.

It’s so easy to fall into the ‘how dare they’ way of thinking as all sorts of negative thoughts start spiralling out of control.

If you can, try to focus on what you actually have to do and get to work. This will not only save you time, as it will also avoid a lot of stress as well. 


Your Connect Slots



Weekly Roundup

Try to sit down once a week and think about how you’ve interacted with the world and what opportunities the coming week could bring. Be constructive though and if you’ve made mistakes, figure out why and move on.

You could also combine this with your weekly productivity review.

People Time

Try to make time and clear slots for the people who are important to you. This could involve a Skype call to a friend abroad or an amazing day our with your loved ones that you’ll always remember.

3 Month Review

When you sit down to review and expand your version of ‘The Road’ document every 3 months, try to think about the things you need to learn or develop in order to connect with people more effectively.

You can also think about how you can adapt the things you’ve recently learned to help you do this. 


Connect Blog Posts



Remember, the 'As If' Principle shows us that altering our behaviour can alter the way we feel. It's one of the most important parts of any personal development system and it can also help us deal with stress and anxiety.