Work on your playbook for life. In Living By Design, Part 9 of the Phil in the Blanks podcast, Dr. Phil explains why you should only deal with the truth. And, find out how to use the ego and greed of others to create your path to success.
Living By Design Playbook 2023
#14: You Must Deal Only With The Truth
Denial is for suckers and losers. You must resolve to never, ever fail to acknowledge if you have a problem or are in some kind of toxic situation that is draining your very life energy. We have all done it and painfully learned that problems don’t get better with time. If there is a problem festering in any part of your life, personally, professionally, romantically, socially, or family-wise, you have to acknowledge it and create an action plan for dealing with it.
Pretending that everything is okay and that there aren’t any problems, when there are, is a fool’s folly.
If you are in a toxic marriage that is emotionally barren or perhaps even abusive, that circumstance will drain you dry, and that is not something you should allow to happen. If you have a relationship with a friend in which you feel as though you are being used, failing to deal with it will just drain you of important energy and build resentment that is not fair to you or the friend.
Deal with the truth, and do not allow yourself to exist in toxic circumstances that will bleed you dry. You may think that you don’t know what to do about a problem, and you may be right, but denying its existence is not helping. Admit that it exists, put it on your radar screen and your to-do list, and resolve to start making some progress.
#15: You Must Recognize And Use The Ego And Greed Of Others To
Create A Path To Success
You may remember me saying that most, if not all, people’s favorite topic is themselves. That is not just an idle observation; it is powerful knowledge that you can use to your advantage in advancing yourself and your agenda in this world. We tend to believe that someone is telling us the truth, not based on the validity of their message but, instead, because we feel liked by them. You can use this dynamic to your advantage. If you want acceptance and you want your opinion or point of view to be heard and well-regarded, you can create receptivity by being sensitive to your listener’s ego.
I’m not telling you how the world should work; I am telling you how the world does work.
Whether you’re talking about your boss or the man you’re trying to get to marry you, you have resident power over their perception because you understand how to increase your credibility and persuasiveness. This may sound highly manipulative because, well, because it is. Again, I am describing human nature, and this point is just as sure as the sun coming up in the morning.
This is powerful knowledge because you can use it to change the acceptability of you and your message, and possessing this knowledge can ideally inoculate you to falling prey to the reality. I make no apology for sharing this reality with you. You can use it to create acceptance and allies in support of goals that advance your agenda without victimizing anyone along the way. Again, it is the use of the tool, rather than its misuse, that I advocate here.
#16: You Must Pick Your Battles And Never Let Your Opponent Have Control
Never put yourself in an untenable position by picking a battle that you don’t need to fight and don’t know with great certainty that you can win. If it is a fight that can’t be won, it is a battle that you should not fight. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and sometimes you just play a delaying game and stay afloat until conditions change. And be careful where you shine and when you shine—timing is everything. Let your opponents think you’re on their side until you are ready to declare otherwise. The element of surprise can be one of the most powerful in your arsenal. Learn how to “be” one of them, as far as they know. And when you do decide to step up and claim your position, make certain you do not outshine your boss or your mate or make his or her life more difficult with your position.
-Be clear about what constitutes a win
-Make every effort to control the time, place (public or private), and modality of the confrontation
-Play to win and win decisively
-Know your opponent’s hot buttons
-Do your homework and amass facts, not just opinions
-Never suffer an outright defeat by admitting you are wrong
Do not go off half-cocked, do not shoot from the hip, do not get into a conflict just to vent your anger or frustrations, and do not pick a fight you can’t win in the first place. Violate any of those principles, and you will lose power in your relationship, socially, professionally, personally, or otherwise—power that you may never regain.
Win Without Fighting
The real key to understanding conflict, however, is knowing how to win without fighting at all. Let others have the “ugly showdowns.” This means never getting pulled into interactions that are unbecoming to you. Seriously, battle is not the place to play out your frustrations. No one goes through a battle, a conflict, without at least getting dinged up. Therefore, every battle you can let someone else fight instead of you is just that many more battle scars you can avoid. Across time, that can become significant. Support others, encourage others, but don’t always be the one who leads the charge. Generals in the army don’t survive long enough to become generals by charging every machine gun nest there is.
Let others have the “ugly showdowns.”
Always consider the risk-to-reward ratio when you’re picking your battles. A real-world example of this is letting your spouse take on any conflicts with your mother-in-law. You carry much more risk in this scenario than your spouse does. Your mother-in-law has to forgive her child—but you? Not so much. You’re not her baby—she doesn’t have to forgive you, and you might end up catching one too many daggers if you enter into a tête-à-tête with her. It’s hard to unring that bell, and you could permanently damage your relationship. So let your spouse lead the crusade in a mother-in-law scenario. The point is, stay above the fray whenever you can. Remember, this life is a marathon, not a sprint, so stay focused on surviving for the long haul.
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