This section is all about how you interact with other people. The aim is to make a great impression, feel confident and feel better. It also introduces the 'As If' Principle, where altering the way you behave can alter the way you feel.
I can't overstate how important the 'As If' Principle is, as it's something we can immediately put to use when things get on top of us. I consider it one of the most important aspects of wellbeing and personal development and you'll learn all about it below.
In this video, Richard Wiseman introduces the 'As If' Prinicle and explains why it's so important.
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. This section also encourages you to think about how you approach other people and the right way to behave.
In around 2 minutes, you'll be able to start working out what qualities you'd like to have and start acting 'as if'.
How to Connect
To help you get going, I've created a simple exercise to help you implement the 'As If' Principle and improve you interactions with the world.
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 just need to create a mind map or a simple list.
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
Using the key qualities you've identified in your first 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.
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.
Your Connect Resources
Follow the links below to learn a lot more
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 to 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.
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 really makes us mad. 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
Try to sit down once a week and think about how you’ve connected 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.
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 out 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 from the 'Be Ready' 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 as well.
Connect Blog Posts
Remember, the 'As If' Principle shows us that altering our behaviour can alter the way we feel. This can help us make a great impression, feel confident and feel better.