An effective and efficient way to get a job

There’s a story of an Italian Billionaire when asked if he had to start over from scratch what he’d do (I searched Google 50 times to find the original without luck). He replied that he’d take any job to make $500, buy a nice suit, then go to parties where he’d meet successful people. The implication being that he meet someone who’d offer him a job, share an opportunity, etc.

I’m almost 40 and of the 5 career type jobs I’ve had in my life (I run my own business now), 4 came through networking. Only 1 came out of applying to a job listing.

But networking isn’t something you just go out and do. It’s immensely more effective if you have simple people skills. And when I say simple, I mean spend a couple hours reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Read that and try it out at a party and you’ll be blown away by how effective it is and how after meeting and talking with a few people and asking them about themselves, how they’ll want to help you, without you asking them.

When I asked my old boss who was the most remarkable sales person I’ve met, what he did to improve his sales skills, he told me that right out of college without any skills or pedigree degree, he took a job as a limo driver. He was reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and thought it would be worth trying out. He would ask his customers one simple question when they got in the limo, “So tell me about what you do.” That simple question resulted in a huge increase in tips he received. Notice he didn’t ask his customers, “What do you do?” There’s a subtle difference. If you ask the latter, many people will just tell you in a few words what they do. If you ask the former, it’s an invitation for them to tell you their story. Few people will turn that down.

At one point early in my career, I was doing research in the medical field and realized I wasn’t interested in it or where it would lead. I wanted to make more money and get into the business side of things (this was right after the tech crash in the San Francisco area), so I spent nearly 9 months relentlessly applying to jobs, writing cover letters, researching companies. With no success. I was doing it all wrong.

One night, my roommate asked if I wanted to go to a party. Sure, no problem. We went. I didn’t know a single person there. At one point, everyone did shots. I wandered back to the kitchen to get a beer. There was one other guy in the kitchen and I introduced myself. We talked for a while, I asked him what he did and he said he worked in biotech. I mentioned I was looking to get into the field, and he said his company was actually hiring. My resume got send to the hiring manager, and I was interviewing within a couple weeks. You can guess what my next job was.

There are a million paths to getting rich. And there are countless people who’ve gotten rich who are jerks, tyrants, manipulative, conniving, and all around assholes. When you’re working in different industries, you’ll start to feel that all the  successful people are this way. But in reality, these are only the people who leave the most lasting impression, not because they’re the only people who succeed.

But there’s unlikely anyone out there successful who wouldn’t emphasize the value of people skills in succeeding.

If you would like to become a millionaire, keep on reading the Source


What is the best response to I love you?

This is happening for more than a year now. I am talking about numbers with my son.

Whenever my 4 year old son says “I love you”, I ask him back “How much?”.
And he replies with the largest number he knows or understands.

It started with 2, 3, 10, 20…
The answer stayed at 42 for a few days… and now he always replies: TRILLIONS.

Still to reach: INFINITY


Should I cut off ties to my kid, a professional criminal, forever?

This is a TRUE piece of text written by someone. No modifications.

My kid graduated with a useless 4 year university degree. Could not get a decent paying well job, so ended up with fast, easy money with professional criminals. My kid was released from being kidnapped recently, I couldn’t unsure whether I could report for safety sake. I almost had a heart attack, my boss at work said my performance was horrific during the time. My kid has been released recently and is still earning $ with the same people. I am the only parent, but I can’t take my kid anymore. I want to cut my kid off from my life forever, I cant handle the stress of it anymore I’m gonna have a mental breakdown, otherwise I’ll have a heart attack, lose my job or worse.


I feel for you. I was that kid. My mom cut me off until I “straightened up” she changed her phone number, door locks and all that. Both my mom and dad cut me off completely.

Best. Lesson. Ever.

After I was cut off boy I grew up fast. I thought I could handle all my drama on my own and I’d show them.

I eventually grew up, got tired of hanging with losers and their drama and “straightened up”

I am now a very successful adult with 2 kids, a college degree I use and a great job. Once I decided to straighten up my parents would give me advice but they made me do all the hard work.

Sometimes cutting them off is the most loving thing you can do.


Sign language upgrades

How do you sign “new” words? The Deaf community works as a network, collectively brainstorming new sign language terms over the web, until dominant signs emerge.

As language evolves, the powers that regulate language tend to shift. Just look at the Oxford English Dictionary, who added terms like “duck face,” “lolcat,” and “hawt” to their prestigious lexicon this past December. For the English-speaking world, these additions are anywhere from ridiculous to annoying but at the end of the day, the terms are accepted and agreed upon.

But how do these new, internet-laden turns of phrase enter the sign language community? Was there a way of expressing “selfie” in ASL, was there a sign for “photobomb?” Our simplistic question turned into a larger conversation about the nature of communication.

We turned to Bill Vicars, the president and owner of an organization called Lifeprint, a company who educates through “technology-enhanced delivery of ASL Instruction, excursion-based instruction (trips to amusement parks), and extended-immersion-based program coordination (intense two-week residencies).” Vicars himself is Deaf/HH, which means he is hard of hearing and culturally Deaf as he has immersed himself in the Deaf community. “In addition to my co workers, the majority of my friends are Deaf… my wife is Deaf,” Vicars explains. (Capitalizing ‘Deaf’ refers to the Deaf community, as noted by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, in Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture (1988), “We use the lowercase deaf when referring to the audiological condition of not hearing, and the uppercase Deaf when referring to a particular group of deaf people who share a language – American Sign Language (ASL) – and a culture.”) Vicars’ website also offers a dictionary of ASL signs. The dictionary has been an ongoing project for Vicars since he started his organization and his means of including words is a multi-tiered process:

“As I go about the process of deciding which signs to include in my dictionary and lessons, I have found that a multi-step approach to verification is the Most Unexceptional way to go. First, I do a ‘literature review.’ I compare numerous respected sign language dictionaries and textbooks to see how the sign is demonstrated in those dictionaries. Occasionally, the dictionaries conflict with each other but eventually a dominant sign tends to emerge. After doing a thorough review of the literature it is time to interview a cross section of Deaf adults who have extensive experience signing… I make it a goal to ask a minimum of ten advanced Deaf signers how ‘they’ do it. The next stage of investigating a sign is to consider how the sign is done in other locations and decide which version is more widely used… The last stage is to post the sign online to my website where it is exposed to the scrutiny of thousands of individuals – many of whom then email me and tell me their version is better.”

Demonstrating the nature of how his dictionary evolves, Vicars forwaded us a correspondence he had ten years ago where another member of the Deaf community challenged the way Vicars communicated the sign for ‘China/Chinese.’ Upset that Vicars’ term for China was taken from Chinese Sign Language rather than American Sign Language, the man claimed it was presumptuous to call the ASL term for China an old sign while denoting the CSL sign for China the correct sign. “The fun thing about ‘living languages’ is that they are always evolving and changing,” Vicars explained.

“You might want to consider that many English words that originated in other countries were ‘grafted’ into English and are now commonly considered to be part of the English language. The same process takes place in ASL. Whether a sign becomes accepted or not, only time will tell.”

Vicars complied to the concerned man’s request, calling the new CSL sign a “loan” sign while calling ASL’s version a “traditional” sign. But Vicars was quick to note that ten years after this email correspondence, the “new (loan) sign for ‘China’ is well established here in the United States as the appropriate ASL sign for ‘China.’”

And while Lifeprint is one of the more popular ASL websites, Vicars notes that there is no “official” ASL website, as the government has yet to make one, leaving only a few grassroots sites to fill the void.

When we asked Douglas Ridloff if he had ever heard of Lifeprint, he hadn’t. Douglas is an ASL artist, actor and educator and the current coordinator of ASL Slam, a space for Deaf performing artists to share poetry and storytelling in American Sign language. “It’s almost like an open mic if you will,” Douglas communicated via interpreter over the phone, “I call it an open stage because we don’t use a mic. Basically, the mission of ASL Slam is to provide a space for people to develop their own work, to give a venue to artists who have been working a long time… It’s all about collaboration, between artists and the community.”

We asked Douglas Ridloff about how new technology enters ASL and he described the different ways in which terms are brought in.

“With words like ‘Glide’ or ‘Instagram,’ we’ve started to see signs emerge,” Ridloff explained. “As a collective, we see various signs until one emerges as the agreed upon sign by a collaboration of the community. A few months ago, this became a very hot topic online, people were throwing out suggestions for different signs that could designate the concept of ‘Glide.’ We eventually narrowed it down to one sign that everyone in this online community agreed to use… In terms of Instagram, I still see quite a bit of variety regarding the sign usage, we haven’t seen a consensus yet. I think there are several reasons why. For instance, the CEO from Glide got involved and it was really key that he was a part of that collaboration in coming up with one definitive sign. When it comes to Instagram, a representative has yet to be involved in that process, so no consensus has been reached and thus it will take longer to come to a consensus. There isn’t an official canon or anything. It’s a small community.”

We invited Douglas and one of his Deaf students, 12-year-old Brooklyn resident Tully Stelzer, to a video shoot to sign some of these newer Internet terms on camera and to have a dialogue about it and the difference between how separate generations sign and the ways in which communication is learned.

When we met up with Douglas, Tully, Tully’s father Roy (who is also Deaf) and their interpreter, Lynnette Taylor, Douglas and Tully were already prepared, having discussed the terms beforehand.

Lynnette signed the cues for Tully and Roy, performing like an Olympic ballerina, seamlessly signing our words while having a separate conversation in English. It struck us how talented and perceptive a professional sign language interpreter must have to be.

Tully seemed nervous but gradually fell into place, performing like a seasoned professional. She already had some experience in front of the camera, performing in an ASL homage to Pharrell’s song “Happy” on Youtube. As we adjusted her seat, Tully signed to Lynnette who told us that Tully says she doesn’t sign so low. We didn’t understand until Lynnette explained, “Men sign lower than women, men sign closer to the hip.”

Practicing off camera, Douglas got Lynette’s attention to ask me if “photobomb” was a verb or a noun. “A verb,” I said, still somewhat unsure of my answer. Douglas told me that he was nervous about the piece as he would get heat from the community if they disagreed with his decisions. Realizing how varied the responses might be for the piece, I asked Douglas and Tully to talk about their process of developing these signs. What started out as a question had turned into a discussion without an answer.

DOUG: A week ago, we got a list of nine different words from Hopes&Fears. Some of them were technical words that have been printed in the Oxford Dictionary, and it made me really think about how some of these I never use while some of them I use on occasion. Which ones did you find easy?

TULLY: I thought that “selfie” was really easy.

DOUG: My sign for selfie was a little bit different than yours. I did it by pushing the button on the camera, but our concepts are almost the same. It felt easy because it’s almost like following common sense of what we do organically.
TULLY: What was the most difficult word for you, Doug?

DOUG: I think the most difficult word from the list was “photobomb.” “Photobomb” was a bit of a challenge. I asked others in the community how they sign it, and we had all different versions, and so we’ll see what the comments are. Some people agreed and disagreed, but this is the one I chose. You could also change it depending on whose POV you are presenting: am I taking the picture or am I the one in the picture doing the “photobomb?” So it brought about quite a hot discussion about which way to sign “photobomb.” Which of these words do you never use?

TULLY: I never use “five-second rule.”
DOUG: When you’re signing with your friends, and food falls on the floor, what do you do?

TULLY: Well, we just do it, we don’t sign it. Food drops on the floor, we get it just in time, that was sort of my translation.

DOUG: For “five-second rule,” we don’t say it figuratively, right? We don’t say “five-second rule,” we sign it in a different way. So the food dropped on the floor and I got it just in time. There are different ways to say “just in time,” too. We have different signs to express that concept. What do you think of “onesie?”

TULLY: I never use that word. I think it’s a popular word now, I mean it’s popular in fashion, but I just did, “I put on one item.” That was my sign.

DOUG: I went to pajamas. Like you said, it’s sort of a new term for me, I guess I’m behind in fashion. I guess I’m going to have to catch up with my reading.

TULLY: So, let us know your opinion. If you have your own signs for these words, send us your video.
AFTER THE SHOOT, we realized that the conversation was only beginning. When Douglas showed his sign for “photobomb” to his peers in the Deaf community, a discussion ensued and his sign was not accepted. He wrote me the following week to explain.

“It was deemed awkward because ‘photobomb’ is technically an action with several different possibilities,” he wrote. “ASL is non-linear — a sign can incorporate several dimensions — temporal, spatial and numeral. For example, if a person is photobombing a crowd of people, this would require a different sign as opposed to a person photobombing another individual. This person also could photobomb within the foreground or in the background, which again would impact how the sign is executed. This also brings to question who the subject is — the person being photobombed, the photobomber or the photographer. The other challenge with the sign I presented is the fact that it involves too many moving parts at the same time, a violation of the grammatical rules of ASL. This is an example of how the democratic Deaf community breathes life into signs. My point is this: the sign I presented during the shoot at Hopes&Fears is only the beginning of a dialogue of an actual sign. In time, there will be a wholly accepted sign for the word photobomb.”

Until then, the dialogue continues.


Resolutions don’t happen in a vacuum…

This is especially true if you are in a relationship. At the very least most require support from those around us. And, at most, they require their active participation. To wit, the resolutions of others become your resolutions as well (and vice versa) if they require you to participate in order to be successful.

Last year, for instance, my wife decided that one of her resolutions would be for us to have monthly date nights. As parents with a young child, it is important to get some time to connect one-on-one outside of the house. Well, unless her plan was to go out alone, that is a resolution that could not happen without my active involvement. It had to be one of my resolutions too.

I wanted to have friends over for dinner once a month. Well, unless my wife was on board with such a plan, it couldn’t happen. In effect, my intention became a resolution for her as well.

And even those things you think are just for you — to exercise more, to eat better, to meditate — may not be able to be successful without our partners actively supporting those efforts and allowing us the time, space, and resources to achieve them. Accountability helps here too. If those around you know them you are more likely to be held to the goal.

This is all to say that you should be making and considering your resolutions in the proper context. Make sure to discuss them with those around you and that they have a chance to buy-in to them where needed. Find out which ones of theirs will involve you and plan accordingly. Only then will they have a true shot at being successful.


Unexpected friends

You may not have anything in common.  On paper it might seem you’d never be friends. But you just… “click.”

How does that work?  Well one of the reasons is vulnerability.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable helps the other person to trust you, precisely because you are putting yourself at emotional, psychological, or physical risk. Other people tend to react by being more open and vulnerable themselves. The fact that both of you are letting down your guard helps to lay the groundwork for a faster, closer personal connection. When you both make yourselves vulnerable from the outset and are candid in revealing who you are and how you think and feel, you create an environment that fosters the kind of openness that can lead to an instant connection — a click.

Vulnerability is also the element of clicking you have the most control over and can therefore use to improve how often and how deeply you connect with others.

There’s a heirarchy of vulnerability in the types of communication we have, each one being more open and more likely to lead to a solid connection:

  • Statements with no emotional content: “How are you?”
  • Share information, maybe personal information, but no strong opinions or emotions are involved: “I live in New York.”
  • Statements show opinions, but they’re not core beliefs:“That movie was really funny.”
  • Emotionally based. It’s personal, says something deeper about who you are and is focused on feelings:“I’m sad that you’re not here.”
  • The most emotionally vulnerable level. Peak statements share your innermost feelings. “…feelings that are deeply revealing and carry the most risk in terms how the other person will respond.” These statements are rare, even with people we are very close to: “I guess at heart I’m terrified I’m going to lose you.”

Does this really work? Yes.

What makes people connect quickly and deeply is the emotional, personal form of information exchange that promotes feelings of understanding. You can even use it to accelerate the creation of bonds with strangers. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions.

Arthur Aron, a psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, is interested in how people form romantic relationships, and he’s come up with an ingenious way of taking men and women who have never met before and making them feel close to one another. Given that he has just an hour or so to create the intimacy levels that typically take weeks, months, or years to form, he accelerated the getting-to-know-you process through a set of thirty-six questions crafted to take the participants rapidly from level one in McAdams’s system to level two.

(You can read some of the questions used here.)

But how effective can this be really? In under an hour it can create a connection stronger than a lifelong friendship.

What he found was striking. The intensity of the dialogue partners’ bond at the end of the forty-five-minute vulnerability interaction was rated as closer than the closest relationship in the lives of 30 percent of similar students. In other words, the instant connections were more powerful than many long-term, even lifelong relationships.

Having online daters discuss controversial and taboo subjects like STD’s and aborton is more effective in building a connection than “safer” topics:  Instead of talking about the World Cup or their favorite desserts, they shared their innermost fears or told the story of losing their virginity. Everyone, both sender and replier, was happier with the interaction. Click points out that studies have shown self-disclosure promotes sexual satisfaction and relationship/marital satisfaction. It even helps online daters:

… members who made an active choice to share more personal information about themselves in their profiles and in communication with others were more likely to experience success in the dating process.

It even makes us feel closer to computers. When Harvard students interacted with a program that opened up to them (it admitted feeling guilty about crashing so often) they liked it more and felt it was more helpful.

This concept resonates with a lot of people. In fact, one of the most popular TED talks of all time is Brené Brown‘s presentation on vulnerability.