Who should we turn to learn about life and how to improve it?
Jesus, Buddha, Anthony Robbins or Eckhart Tolle?
But for today I´d like to turn to an unlikely individual named George Costanza.
If you didn´t watch TV in the 90:s (or might have missed the recent Michael Richards-scandal) you might be interested to know that George was one of the four in the main-cast of the megahit sit-com “Seinfeld”. For nine seasons the series revolved around these four friends and their dating-life, jobs, hair-brained schemes, grudges and everyday life.
While the other three friends in the group – Jerry, Elaine and Kramer – often had success George was always bit down on his luck. Well, actually he was a more like a walking disaster. Like Woody Allen on steroids.
Nevertheless, there is a lot to be learned from guy like George. Here are 10 lessons learned from George Costanza.
1. Social proof is nice
In the episode “Bizzaro Jerry” George gets invited to an secret club filled mostly by female models.
By having a picture of Jerry´s new girlfriend in his wallet and then pretending it´s his pretty but dead ex-fianceé. George “accidentally” drops the photo in front of one female regulars at the club when she´s at work.
Previously she wouldn´t have paid much attention to him but she now sees George in a new light since he has been socially proofed.
Social proof is when something or someone has gotten the approval of someone else. That´s why the posters for the new hit-movie always says “# 1 at the box office!” or the cover of books have an approval by Oprah or maybe it says “15 million copies sold world-wide!”.
It makes the rest of us go: “Well, if Oprah or that many people liked it, then it must be something good about it…”.
For more on the very interesting topic of social proof I recommend Robert Cialdini´s book Influence.
2. Improve your self-esteem
Perhaps the most interesting quote I´ve heard Brian Tracy is this:
I believe that 90% of the problems in the world is because of poor self-esteem.
Poor self-esteem is fueled, for example, from negative self-talk. Tracy often recommends affirmations to better this situation and from what I have read they seem to be effective. Although it might take a while and persistence for them to begin to take effect.
I´ve only experimented with affirmations a little – I´m in no way an expert in using them – but find them to give a pretty good result. Nothing earth-shattering, but they are easy and quick to do and can help you change patterns of thought. But you have to say them out loud with enthusiasm and feeling. And a lot of people swear by them. Affirmations alone won´t get you where you want though. The words and thought must be followed up by action.
3. It´s a problem if you think it´s a problem
One of the big on going issues about George is that he´s going bald and how it makes him less attractive. I think the big issue here is that George so fixated on his baldness that people pick up on it. If you are going bald or perceive something to be very negative about your appearance then it´s a problem if you think it´s a problem.
If you are ok with it, people in general will be ok with it. Or rather, they won´t think about whatever the issue might be. That said, I hear a totally shaved head is quite fashionable these days.
4. Drop your grudges
In the episode “The Apology” George wants an apology. A few years ago George was at a New Years party. George was freezing and wanted to borrow a kashmir-sweater. But the host said: “No, I don´t want to have the neck hole stretched out.” And everybody at the party laughed.
When George learns that the host is going through the 12-step program and is apologizing to the people he has wronged in the past George sees his chance. But the guy calmly and mockingly says that he doesn´t need to apologize.
George is fuming, screaming and becomes angrier and angrier throughout the episode (it ends with him screaming at a Rageoholics Anonymous-meeting).
The point: don´t hold on to grudges, they don´t hurt the one you are holding them against very much. Realize that you are only hurting yourself and drop that old baggage.
6. Sometimes coffee isn´t coffee
In one hilarious scene (episode “The Phone Message”) George and a woman is at the end of a date. It´s midnight and they are sitting in his car.
She: Do you want come upstairs for a cup of coffee?
George: No thanks, if I drink coffee this late at night, it keeps me up.
She: Well, ok, good night…
George: Take it easy.
End of date.
Sometimes a cup of coffee isn´t a cup of coffee. Words are only a small part of communication. Being open to using common-sense and experience and not just listening to words in a straightforward, logical fashion can help you improve your communication skills. And prevent situations where a bad time is had by all.
7. Do the opposite
In one episode George´s life turns from a series of disappointments and disasters to a string of successes. How does he do it? By doing the exact opposite to what he has been doing all his life. Smiley.
When you start reading about personal development it´s a bit like that. You realise that difference between you plus the majority of people and successful people isn´t just that the successful ones are working harder. They are doing something else than the rest of us.
And a lot of these things are really counter-intuitive. Personal growth isn´t always doing the exact opposite of what you´ve done before. But it´s and trying out beliefs and methods that isn´t “common sense” or what most people might do.
It´s taking a leap of faith and sometimes keep doing things for a period of time – not just over the weekend, but for months – until you get that first success and you realise, not just on an intellectual level but an emotional too, that this stuff really work and that you can really change.
8. It´s up to you now
George is constantly his own worst enemy. He´s a grown man who blames his parents, his job and all kinds of people for his misfortunes. But really, he´s just sabotaging for himself time after time.
In the intro to part one of the tv-series “The Power of Myth” Joseph Campbell says:
“Where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves…”
To really change your world you have start by changing within. But that can´t really get going before you take responsibility for your own decisions, actions and life.
9. Embrace positivity
While George – and many others – burrow deep down in the cold and damp blankets of negativity one simple way to change your life is to do the opposite and embrace positivity. Since other peoples mood and behaviour towards at you largely is a reflection of your own mood and behaviour towards them replacing negative and neutral thoughts with positive ones can have a dramatic effect on everything in your life.
One way to do this is just to drop the negativity when it arises in your mind. You cut that thread of thought and start thinking about something else. Another is to make a habit of appreciating the people, experiences and things in your life every day.
By Henrik Edberg
Article Source: ezinearticles.com