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15 Signs You’re Doing Well In Life Even Though You Don’t Think So

15 Signs You’re Doing Well In Life Even Though You Don’t Think So

Let’s face it, sometimes life feels like it’s falling apart at the seams.  Perhaps you’ve lost your job, or your marriage just ended, or you failed to pass an exam and now you are simply feeling helpless and defeated. Winston Churchill once said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm.” Today I want to remind you why, even though you may be feeling a bit like a failure, you are most definitely not.  Here are 15 signs that show you are doing well in life even though you don’t think so!

1. You’ve lived and learned

No one said life was easy and while the bumps on the road may hurt, the ride is definitely worth it.  Think back to your failures and defeats. You must know they were all for a reason and part of a grander plan.  Each difficulty has led you to where you are at today, each trial has molded you into the magnificent, resilient, person that you are. Continue to move forward in faith, hope and love, knowing that each experience has taught you what you need to become who you were born to be.

2. You have a comfy bed to sleep in

I’ll never forget an interview done on NPR a while back. A young Haitian mother told her story. She had little ones that constantly wondered when they would be able to eat and go to school like all the other kids around them. What impacted me the most about this story was their sleeping arrangements: they all laid on the dirt floor, and at night if it rained everyone would have to get up, grab whatever was left of their “bed” and move to a dry spot.  This story gave me a whole new appreciation for my bed and I hope it does the same thing for you!

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3. You strive to be better

The fact you are feeling a bit down because you haven’t achieved what you want to achieve shows you are trying. In the grand scheme of things, you always strive to be better and for as long as you continue to do that, happiness, success and love will come – just don’t give up. Einstein once said: “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.” Hang in there and never stop striving to be all you can be!

4. You have/had a job

Whichever way you look at this one, it is still a win-win situation for you. If you have a job: kudos! Keep at it and know that you are richly blessed.  If you recently lost your job, don’t fret! You’ve gotten a job before, you can get one all over again. Perhaps this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to do something you truly love to do. Keep searching, keep hoping, and know that you can accomplish the seemingly impossible if you work hard and believe you can.

5. Knowledge is at your fingertips

In this day and age, you can learn anything and everything you want. Knowledge is truly at your fingertips! Since knowledge is power, seize that power and let it assist you in the pursuit of your dreams. Take advantage of all the “learning” opportunities that come your way.

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6. You have food to eat

Sometimes a bit more than you should! Food is such an overlooked blessing, yet if you miss it for a few hours you start feeling the necessity of it. Take the time to enjoy your next meal, whatever that is, savor each bite and remind yourself that happiness is found in enjoying the simple things of life, such as eating a piece of pie.

7. You have the power to choose

Aristotle once said: “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”  Need I say more? Claim your power to choose.

8. You’ve experienced love butterflies or something like it

Ahh! To be in love…to feel your whole body literally react to that moment when you simply steal a glance from the one you are infatuated with. Experiencing such a natural, basic and simple, yet passionate moment will give you memories that will last a life time. You are beyond blessed to have experienced such a sublime moment!

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9. You have clean water

This one should not be overlooked. Do you ever watch Bear Grills and all his desperate moves to get just a few ounces of muddy water? There are also people who aren’t going without water because they have a survival show, but instead because it is their harsh reality. Around 783 million people do not have access to clean water around the globe. Be thankful and fully aware that you are doing well in life even if you don’t think so.

10. You have a dream

Whatever your dream is, it’s yours. You have the ability to embrace it and create it. Don’t give up on dreaming or on your dreams. They are what life’s best things are made up of.

11. Your happiness is real

You have the power to choose happiness for your life in everything you do and in every circumstance.  Your happiness is defined by whether or not you are able to discern and seize an opportunity to feel happy. It may be something as simple as enjoying the laughter of a child.

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12. You have clothes to wear

And sometimes too many options, which trumps your productivity, but that is another subject. The bottom line is, you don’t have to go naked through the streets or poorly dressed. You enjoy the blessing of being properly dressed for every occasion and have the ability to shield your body from the elements. Really, life would get very cold without clothes.

13. You have the ability to forgive

Can you imagine what this world would look like without forgiveness? Never mind the world, just your life! Imagine how bogged down, bitter and unhappy you would be if you did not have the ability to forgive other’s mistakes as well as your own. It would make it nearly impossible to live and most definitely a nightmare to move on with life when difficulties arose. You have the unique gift of forgiving and moving on.

14. You believe in something greater than yourself

For all the times you were so caught up in your own little world and drowning in a kiddie pool version of life’s problems, you’ve had the ability to step back and realize that you have something greater to live for than yourself.  Whether it is God, your family or friends, you can believe that your purpose is to achieve something that will be for the greater good or to simply bring honor to your God.

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15. You have the opportunity to build global friendships

In today’s day and age, your best friend can literally be five thousand miles away yet you can still experience the beauty of that friendship. You have the unique capacity to be acquaintances with one person in almost every country of the world, something no other generation before the 1900’s was easily able to do. As far as I am concerned, your global ability to make friends is definitely a sign you are doing well in life, even if you don’t think so.

Featured photo credit: binpage via pixabay.com

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Sarita King

motivational warrior!

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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