Social Uncertainty: What we Should and should Never do.

JudgementDay is comingSocial Uncertainty is on my mind lately. What is it like to be cool? How do our decisions affect others and us in the eyes of the others? Should I do something or should not I?

While the questions above were already asked by many philosophers, sociologist, and many others, the truth of the matter is that the world is changing and new trends are appearing and dying everyday. So what does that mean for us, common people?

This means that we are living in the world of uncertainty. We don’t know or understand how some things work, even if we know what they are. This is because some things did not exist 1 or 2 years ago and now we take them for granted (e.g., smart phone, 3d cinemas). It is like knowing poker rules, but still losing every time we play it. A more accurate metaphor would be to have a Social Media page, such as facebook or twitter, and not to know how our posts or comments will affect us in a long run. Certainly, we think twice before pressing “like” button or posting a new picture.

This was indeed a result of a study conducted Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, US, where researcher took a look at effects of social media on our lives. Some of the examples discussed in this research were: a guy getting fired for badly commenting on performance of his team, and a teacher forced to resign after publishing pictures drinking beer and a wine on FB. You can read more about this study and its results here.

There are many more example of things in our lives that give us uncertainty: buy or not to buy, spend time doing working or to go out, to tell something to someone or not to tell, …. Pick one.

My take of it is that we as a society are over thinking and trying to much to please others, even if we don’t know who they are. “You don’t have a new generation TV?” or “Still listening to music of 80s”? We should stop with judgement and caring about opinions of other, because other people don’t know themselves anything. Everything they think they know, is the result of social pressure and probably comes back to Money and Marketing. So take that Marketing.

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My 8 rules of success

What does it take to be successful? Here are my 8 rules:

1- Be pro-active. The opposite would be reactive. People who are pro-active do more and get better results. They also become perceived as opinion leaders and people of reference. Now, who can say they don’t want to get their opinions heard?

2- Forget the pain. Anything worth doing, won’t be easy and will make you break a sweat. Remember, short-term pain is temporary and will go away, while long-term results are durable and are there to stay.

3- Find a personal balance. There always should be balance in your life. There are many possible forms of balance, with one important example, the balance between working, resting, learning and physical health. People often forget about one of these areas and, because of their unbalance, can be easily thrown off by a person who has these areas in balance. The balance rule is important, as, after all, the team is as strong as its weakest link.

4- Concentrate on you strengths, but don’t forget your weaknesses. This rule results from the balance rule, but it needs more emphasis, as strengths are needed to deliver results while weaknesses can easily ruin the way to success. Also, by improving the parts where you are worst, the parts where you are better are also going to improve.

5- Control the uncertain. In the face of uncertainty, one can do one of following actions: do something, not do anything, or do something half way. The “to do” option entails the decision to act on that which is uncertain, not knowing what the results of this action will bring. The “not to do” option entails the decision not to act on the uncertain, while the “do half way” option entails not really to go along with the decision, nor to withdraw, which is the worst possible option. My rule is to decide immediately on whether to act or not to act on uncertainty, but to still be flexible.

6- Listen to others! This is a very common suggestion, but people never tell why it is important, besides the fact that you will be perceived as a better person… Listening is important, because people all around you are trying to teach you something. It won’t always be the best possible information / advice, so one needs to have a critical eye. Learning does not only have to come from books, but it also can come from millions of people who read books and establish their unique point of view based on acquired knowledge and experience. Don’t listen only to satisfy others, but also listen to satisfy yourself.

7- It’s all about objectives. In order to get where you want to go you need to have a plan, a starting point, a middle and an end. Nothing will just fall in your lap. Establish your objectives and make a “road plan” of how you are going to reach these objectives. Besides common knowledge, my advice is to keep objectives and the road plan at the level of top of the mind awareness. Personally, I have them written down and carry them with me at all times in my wallet.

8- Re-evaluate your decisions! Last rule, re-evaluate your decisions, is about any step of decision making, which people usually follow in business, but often disregard in personal day-to-day life, which consists of thinking about your performance in any task (e.g., cooking, playing soccer, taking to your friend on the phone), from a critical point of view. This evaluation is an important step in making your performance closer to perfection, which is just another way of saying that it is a good advice to succeed in your personal life.

It is all in your hands!
Roman