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8 Habits of Mentally Strong People

While it’s not possible to avoid negative states of mind entirely, some people are better than others at identifying what’s going on in their own head, processing their emotions and then moving on.

By Christina DesMaraisContributor, Inc.com
Getty Images

Think of a time when you’ve felt frustrated, anxious, afraid, angry or heartbroken. It’s a not a place anyone wants to remain because these feelings are uncomfortable. While it’s not possible to avoid negative states of mind entirely, some people are better than others at identifying what’s going on in their own head, processing their emotions, and then moving on. Here are several ways mentally strong people conduct themselves.

1. They don’t ruminate

It’s when you revisit something that bothers you, thinking about it over and over again. Mentally strong people go to the source, fix the problem if possible and then stop stewing about it. They know that continually rehashing any situation is a waste of time.

2. They give strangers the benefit of the doubt

Spend enough time out in the world and you’ll encounter people who do things you wouldn’t — driving badly, speaking badly, or otherwise behaving badly. But there’s always a back story you’re not privy to. Maybe the guy who cut you off in traffic is trying to get to the hospital where a loved one is sick, giving birth, or about to die. Mentally strong people don’t let themselves get annoyed by the imperfections of others.

3. They practice and hone their willpower

The temptation to indulge in the wrong things or to not do the right things is common to all of humankind. Whether it’s fasting, exercising, or avoiding certain situations, mentally strong people understand that nearly every battle is won in the mind.

4. They choose their friends carefully

Drama-makers or negativity-broadcasters are kryptonite for anyone who wants to be solid-minded. Mentally strong people know that these energy vampires ruin a person’s sense of peace.

5. They practice generosity

Miserliness grows out of fear. Mentally strong people don’t worry about not having enough for themselves. They trust themselves to know their future is secure.

6. They’re good at empathizing

In other words, they’re emotionally intelligent and good at figuring out how and why people behave a certain way. For example, mentally strong people can see that the individual who drones on with lengthy stories is really looking for others to validate their worth. Or, they can discern when someone isn’t great at dealing with emotions, and adjust their own responses accordingly.

7. They take care of their bodies

How you feel physically certainly affects how you feel emotionally. Mentally strong people have a habit of daily exercise, are not prone to overindulgence, and are disciplined regarding what kinds of things they put into their mouths.

8. They don’t hold grudges

Just take a look at the bitter people in life. The hurts and grievances they can’t let go of are like a disease that hinders their ability to be happy, productive, confident, and fearless. Mentally strong people understand that with forgiveness comes freedom.

 

S  T  E  V  E  N    R.    G  E  R  B  S  M  A  N                                              Kentfield, CA USA

December  2 0 1 9

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues:

As my next birthday is rapidly approaching in February, I have been pondering how to best celebrate and commemorate this ‘landmark occasion.’

I am immensely grateful for all the blessings that I have been fortunate to have received, and I am deeply thankful to all of you who have been with me on this long journey with your unwavering love, friendship, comfort and support.

I am also keenly aware of the fact that there are so many out there who have tirelessly and bravely served us all, who have not received the thanks and support they so richly deserve.

Therefore, I would like to dedicate the celebration of my big birthday year to the support of our ‘Wounded Warriors’, Special Operations Warrior Foundation (”SOWF”) https://specialops.org see detailed information, many of whom continue to struggle tremendously to heal their myriad wounds and return to a normal life after putting themselves into harms-way in service for us all.  Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a Four Star Charity on Charity Navigator.

We may well think that these heroes are well taken care of by the institutions in which they served. But unfortunately, that is only true in a limited sense, and their need for assistance continues to be great and manifold.

I have this month established an assistance fund with a seed capital in the amount of $10,000, which, with your help, I would like see grow to an initial goal of $75,000 by February, and hopefully beyond that. All funds will be deposited directly with “SOWF”, which has been successfully and faithfully supporting our wounded heroes special needs.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation’s enduring promise to America’s Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Special Operations personnel is to:

(1) Ensure full financial assistance for post-secondary education from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical or trade school, as well as educational counseling, preschool grants, and tutoring to the surviving children of Special Operations personnel who have lost their lives in the line-of-duty and,

(2) Provide immediate financial grants to severely combat-wounded and hospitalized Special Operations personnel and their families.

Accordingly, in place of a grand and costly 75th birthday celebration, I would like to ask you all to help support my Special Forces Wounded Warriors fund with a generous donation of your choice, and which will help us meet and hopefully exceed our funding goal, in support and thanks to the valiant men and women who have dedicated their lives to our safety and security.

To participate, please send any donation in the following manner:

To make a donation:

Let me thank you in advance for considering my request and your generous support for such a worthy cause that is dear to my heart and, I feel is a grand way to celebrate and commemorate my upcoming birthday.  Please email me to insure your donation was received.

With my very best wishes and gratitude, yours,

Steve Gerbsman

Don’t make these embarrassing style mistakes at your company’s holiday party.

By Lauren A. RothmanStylist and fashion expert
Getty Images

Tis the season for festive fashion faux pas at the office. Whether you’re attending your own company soiree or will be someone’s plus one, make sure to keep your holiday inspired ensembles on point. While dress codes have shifted to be more casual at some companies, holiday attire should still be appropriate.

Party invites are out for the season and champagne towers will be high. Consider these events a form of networking for the job you want, not just the one you have. While you mingle with both senior management as well as employees you oversee, avoid making these embarrassing style mistakes.

Don’t be a “Sexy Santa.”

Office holiday parties are not an opportunity to cut your hemline in half or reveal too much cleavage. Guys, this goes for you too. Keep your dress shirts buttoned and pants shouldn’t be overly fitted. Your boss and coworkers don’t need to see you in leather head to toe, baring your midriff, or in excessively platformed high heels.

Do dress like a regular work day, make sure your clothing fits well and is not too tight, sheer, revealing or inappropriate.

Don’t overdress.

If you haven’t been hired to dress in costume, don’t. Leave your Hanukkah Harry and Santa gear at home. Festive inspired holiday wear is different than novelty style touches.

Do wear a red velvet tie or colored outfit like the one below and save your festive onesie to win best-dressed at your neighbor’s Ugly Sweater party.

Don’t be too wacky.

Office jokesters beware. Do not be the person who carries portable mistletoe or wears clothing that lights up like a christmas tree and jingles. Chances are high alcohol is free flowing, do not add to the mix with an obvious flask of eggnog or by wearing a drink guzzler helmet.

Do keep novelty fashion to a minimum and stick to a couple statement accessories. If you must, don a reindeer headband like the one below, or single light up holiday necklace.

Don’t be too flashy.

There is such a thing as too much sparkle. Have fun with the holiday spirit, but there’s no need to pair sequin shoes to a matching dress for an office luncheon. Feathers are fun on sleeves or even on a bowtie but leave the boa at home.

Do opt for fun shoes and jewelry for the ultimate icebreaker while you network your way around the buffet.

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Life is too short to wear boring shoes. 🤩

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During this holiday season, a friend asked who was the most influential person in your life.  Without hesitation I said my “Grandma Sarah”.

Grandma Sarah was a wise woman.  She was born in Greece, grew up in Turkey and emigrated to the US in early 1900’s.  She raised 4 children as a single mother and was an “entrepreneur”, owning four retail flower stores in and around New York City.  Her words and guidance had an effect on all who knew her.

Please see below “Grandma Sarah’s Words of Wisdom, which I continue to pass along to my Grandson and others.

Words of Wisdom from Grandma Sarah

  1.  Go forth into the world with “Bravery”
  2.  Fear NO ONE
  3.  Always do the “Best you Can”
  4.  Have “Ethics and Integrity
  5.  Ask for “Help” in school, in business and in life if you need it
  6.  Live Life – “For the Integrity of your Name”
  7. Always “Support and Love of your Family”
  8. “Have HOPE for the Future”
  9.  Always remember – “Your Name is your Bond” and “Your Bond is your Name”

With loving memory, honor and respect for Grandma Sarah

Real leadership goes well beyond skills.

By Heidi ZakCo-founder and co-CEO, ThirdLove
Getty Images

Over the past seven years, I have learned that when it comes to leadership, nothing beats authenticity.

In the early days of building ThirdLove, I was so fixated on trying to be a “great leader” or a “great public speaker” that I realized I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I would correct myself, be overly conscious of how often I moved my hands, or which words I used to describe certain situations, so that I ended up not channeling my most authentic self.  I came to learn that not only is it OK to speak with your hands, or speak more conversationally, but that those things make you more real, more engaging to the audience, and a more genuinely confident leader.

My perspective has changed about what a great leader looks like–and I believe there are five qualities all great leaders have in common:

1. All great leaders are dedicated to being themselves, rather than “fitting the mold” of what they (or others) believe a leader should look like.

There tend to be fewer female CEOs than male CEOs in the business world.

If you think about what used to be the idea of a CEO, the image that comes to mind is probably an older white male. He probably acts a certain way, does certain things, and over time has created the definition of what a “CEO leader” should look like.

But especially in today’s day and age, leadership is less about “fitting the mold” and more about being dynamic, relatable, and someone other people can genuinely connect with. The more you can put that energy out into the world, the more people you can and will attract.

2. All great leaders say what they mean, and mean what they say.

People have to know that what you say holds weight–and that if you make a promise, you will follow through on that promise. People have to know they can rely on you.

This is one of the qualities we value most in our management team at ThirdLove. I have 100 percent trust that when someone tells me they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it (and do it well). And I have to create that same level of trust with them, following through on my promises to them. Trust isn’t built simply because they or I say the words. It’s built through experience after experience of a promise being made, and then that promise being delivered on.

3. All great leaders can consistently make the right decisions in a timely fashion.

You don’t always have the luxury of thinking indefinitely about how to solve a problem. And most of the time we don’t have all the information we’d like to have but still have to move ahead.

Sometimes, decisions have to be made quickly. One of the things that can frustrate teams and other leaders within an organization is when someone is holding things up out of fear of making the wrong decision. It becomes very hard for people to respect a leader who either can’t make a definitive decision or ping-pongs back and forth between conflicting decisions.

4. All great leaders take the lion’s share of the responsibility.

When a decision goes awry, great leaders never throw someone else under the bus.

The worst type of potential leader is someone who blames other people for what is ultimately their responsibility. In our case at ThirdLove, the buck stops with me and my co-CEO. If one of our teammates or managers makes a mistake, that’s not just a reflection of them, but also a reflection of us–and it’s our responsibility to ask ourselves, and other leaders, what else we could have done to prevent the mistake and do better next time.

5. All great leaders inspire and empower the people around them.

Being a leader is not a right. It’s a privilege.

Every single day, your job is to excite your team, have them buy into the collective mission, and really understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish. And the more your organization grows, it’s not just about the founders or executives being able to inspire, but about your managers, your department heads, even your junior employees being able to do the same.

Being able to communicate why you are all going on the journey together is how you build a team. And the more effectively you can communicate your mission, the more effectively you will be able to hire, scale, and all grow as one.

13 Must-Haves to Help You Pack Like a Boss This Holiday Season

Creating a uniform that fits in a lightweight carry on is essential to surviving the chaos of holiday travel.

By Lauren A. Rothmanstylist and fashion expert
Getty Images

What you pack for a business trip or to visit family at the holidays matters as much as what you wear to travel. Creating a uniform that fits in a lightweight carry on is essential to surviving the chaos of holiday travel. Foolproof ensembles that take you from Thanksgiving dinner to corporate retreat the following week must accommodate layers and accessories as well as shifts in weather and audience.

Packing clients is one of my most requested services. At this time of year, many of my clients in politics are balancing family time with end-of-year campaign stops. What you wear, says a lot about who you are and when you’re traveling you need to effectively project a successful image without your entire closet at your disposal.

I start by shopping a client’s closet for the best pieces that match the dress code of their destination. To be an efficient traveler, you need to be a smart packer. Here are my recommendations on what to pack to stay stylish while traveling.

  1. Mini steamer. Don’t get caught without the ability to quickly release a wrinkle from your ensemble. Small in size and big on efficiency, I never leave home without one.
  2. Packing cubes. Compartmentalize your suitcase with packing cubes to stay easily organized. Separate pajamas from toiletries or business clothes from lounge wear to pack an enviable suitcase.
  3. Travel size beauty and grooming products. Even if you’re checking luggage, buy or create your own mini sized samples of your favorite products that will make your skin glow and hair shine while out of town. If you have hard to manage hair, invest in mini hair tools such as a travel sized curling or flat iron and if you require extra light for applying makeup, pack a rechargeable, portable lit mirror.
  4. Travel-friendly shoes. Lean into the athleisure trend and invest in a dressy sneaker that can be worn day to night. Expect to include one more pair of shoes in your suitcase to transform ensembles for family dinner or work meeting.
  5. Clothes you can wear in layers. Carry a scarf, shawl or pashmina on board in case you are cold or need to rest your head. Pair with your coat when landing in cooler weather.
  6. A third statement piece. This is your blazer or power jacket that will transform any outfit with color, styling, or fit while anchoring your daily ensembles. Men should consider a deconstructed blazer while a ‘jardigan’ works wonders for women (comfort of a cardigan and the look of a blazer). Depending on the duration of your travel, weather and capsule wardrobe, you may need to pack more than one.
  7. A column of color. Choose a base color you can wear head to toe and add your third piece to exude a stylish presence. For maximum crossover, pack hybrid pieces that can easily work day to night. Expect everything to be worn more than once and mix and match with shoes and accessories.
  8. A backup outfit. If you lose your checked luggage packed with your travel steamer and work capsule, don’t despair. Be sure to roll, rather than fold, your clothing to avoid wrinkles or add a versatile, wrinkle resistant ensemble from a travel friendly brand like Argent or Ministry of Supply to your carry on.
  9. Accessories. Add a splash of color in your tie choice, belt a dress or change your jewelry to transform a look. Make a statement and include accessories in your carry-on in case you need to make today’s outfit work tomorrow.
  10. A bag you can pack within a bag. You never know when an unexpected casual opportunity will present itself. Store tech accessories or makeup in a wristlet or cross body style small bag that can double as a casual on-the-go handbag if needed.
  11. An all in one charger. Be a tech minimalist and keep your devices organized and charged with this savvy tool while you’re on the go.
  12. Scented dryer sheets. Pack a couple of dryer sheets to keep everything smelling fresh.
  13. A luggage scale. Unless you’re flying private, avoid baggage fees by weighing your bag in advance.

Win best-dressed this holiday season. If you’re worried you will forget exactly how versatile your capsule wardrobe is, be your own stylist and take pictures to forever record the memory.

We talked to 4 VC investors about the hottest trends in payments and the biggest innovations to keep an eye on

investor payment tech trends 2x1
Payments infrastructure and software is one subset of fintech that’s attracting VC cash.
Citi Ventures; Insight Partners; Bain Capital Ventures; Andreessen Horowitz; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
  • We spoke to investors at Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Citi Ventures, and Insight Partners to learn where they see the next innovations and opportunities in payments tech.
  • Mostly, they’re looking out for ways that payments companies can do more than just process transactions. That may be through add-on services, or even machine-initiated payments.
  • Payments is interwoven into nearly every segment of the fintech landscape, from credit-card processing to online sales, to analytics around consumer behavior.
  • Some unicorns making waves in payments include AvidXchange, Brex, Plaid, Stripe, and TransferWise.
  • Click here for BI Prime stories.

The fintech world is big, and funding is flooding into startups like robo-advisors, neobanks, and alternative lenders.

In the third quarter this year, total fintech funding topped $8.9 billion, a record when adjusted for Alibaba’s fintech Ant Financial’s $14 billion last year, according to CB Insights. Globally, there are now 58 fintech unicorns (startups valued at more than $1 billion).

Payments is interwoven into nearly every segment of the fintech landscape, from credit card processing to online sales to analytics around consumer behavior. Some unicorns that have made big waves in payments include AvidXchange, Brex, Plaid, Stripe, and TransferWise.

While some say incumbents should fear competition from fintechs, many existing companies are partnering with startups. Marqeta, which provides card issuing, and Plaid, which helps startups link into consumers’ bank accounts, have inked partnerships with legacy players like Visa and Wells Fargo.

Incumbents themselves have made bold moves to stay current, like Mastercard’s blockchain for shrimp tracking, or American Express’ startup-focused corporate card launch. They’re also making investments through their venture arms. Amex Ventures has backed Plaid and Stripe; Visa has invested in Marqeta and Finix.

And payments companies are also snapping up ways to expand their services. Earlier this week, payments giant PayPal said it plans to buy Honey, a startup that makes browser shopping add-ons for its customers, for $4 billion, which would be PayPal’s biggest buy ever.

We spoke to four investors at leading VC firms about where they see the next opportunities when it comes to payments.

Anish Acharya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Anish Acharya headshot
Anish Acharya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz

Anish Acharya, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, sees innovations coming not just from payments companies, but from unexpected players into the fintech space.

The Silicon Valley venture-capital firm is known for its early investments in companies like Facebook and Lyft. In the payments space, it has backed startups including Dwolla, payments giant Stripe, and fast-growing cross-border player TransferWise.

READ THE FULL STORY: Uber and Apple are just the start, and eventually every company will want to be a fintech. An Andreessen Horowitz general partner explains why.

Matt Harris, partner at Bain Capital Ventures

Matt Harris Bain Capital
Matt Harris, partner at Bain Capital Ventures
Bain Capital Ventures

Matt Harris is a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, and has helped lead investments in fintechs like micro-investing startup Acorns; AvidXchange, which helps companies pay bills electronically; and payments platform Flywire.

He thinks payments companies need to do more to keep market share, and but that it’s still hard to imagine a world where payments come free.

READ THE FULL STORY: A partner at Bain Capital Ventures explains why payments companies need to do more than just move money to survive

Ramneek Gupta, managing director & co-head of venture investing at Citi Ventures

Ramneek Gupta Citi Ventures
Ramneek Gupta, managing director & co-head of venture investing at Citi Ventures
Citi Ventures

Ramneek Gupta is the co-head of venture investing at Citi Ventures, the VC arm of Citibank. He joined Citi in 2011, and has led investments in companies like payments processor Square, electronic-signature startup DocuSign, and ride-hailing company Grab.

Gupta has his eye on machine-initiated payments, and thinks companies will have to find creative ways to use payments data to make money amid pressures on revenues of simply processing transactions.

READ THE FULL STORY: Citi Ventures is betting on cars that pay their own bills, and its co-head of investing envisions a future where your devices make payments without you

Byron Lichtenstein, principal at Insight Partners

Byron Lichenstein Insight Partners
Byron Lichtenstein, principal at Insight Partners
Insight Partners

Byron Lichtenstein, a principal at Insight Partners, says opportunities are not just about moving money from point A to point B, but also in the using the data found in and around payments.

Insight Partners focuses mainly on growth-stage software companies across verticals from education to social media to fintech, and it has invested in German neobank N26, business expense management startup Divvy, and payment fraud monitoring startup Sift.

READ THE FULL STORY: An Insight Partners principal says the era of ‘dumb payments’ is over, and sees opportunities in using machine-learning to combat fraud