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10 Ways to Tell You’re An Evolved Person

10 Ways to Tell You’re An Evolved Person

We all go through major changes at different times in our lives. The old saying about “putting away childish things” can hit you hard, especially when you don’t feel ready to take the next step. However, once you start moving in a positive direction, you’ll find that it’s not only easier than you expected, but it’s also much more worthwhile than you ever imagined. You’re on the path to success if:

1. You know who you are

So many people drift through life without ever really knowing themselves. A lot of us end up working a menial 9-5, come home, eat, sleep, and repeat every day of our lives, only to wake up at 40 and realize we’ve missed out on what we really wanted to do with our lives. Being self-aware at all times will allow you to understand what you want, and will help you start on the path toward actualizing your goals.

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2. You know what you want

If you know who you are, you’ll figure out what you want out of life. Take the time when you’re young to really figure out what you want to do with your life. You don’t have to follow in anyone else’s footsteps; make your own path. If you waste your youth thinking that you’ll figure it all out “someday,” you’ll end up putting it off until it’s too late. Once you step out into the “real world,” other obligations will take control of your life, and you might never end up doing what you wanted to do with your time on Earth.

3. You’re in control of your destiny

Successful people aren’t just lucky; they’ve planned out their entire life, and know exactly what they want out of it. This isn’t to say that everything will go according to that plan, but the evolved person understands that life doesn’t happen. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t destined to become a billionaire; he made it happen. And it wasn’t just a fly-by-night, get-rich-quick scheme, either. Creating a service that literally billions of people use on a daily basis was no accident. There was careful planning involved, and a lot of hard work and time put into creating Facebook. If he spent his early 20’s at a bar with friends, he would never have gotten where he is today.

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4. Your life is set up by you, and no one else

You’ve earned everything you have to your name. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make much money; having a fridge stocked with more than just alcohol is an accomplishment if you bought everything in it with a hard-earned paycheck. You don’t accept handouts, because you know they’re meaningless. Even if you’re not in the exact line of work you thought you’d be in, you can still come home and say to yourself: “I earned this. This is all mine.” There may be no greater feeling in the world than to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

5. You set and accomplish goals with ease

“Ease” may not be the right word here. The higher your aspirations will be, the harder it will be to attain your goals. However, this doesn’t mean you set the bar low, and it definitely doesn’t mean you stop trying. On the contrary, every day you push harder than you did the day before. By doing so, it becomes more and more routine for you to keep grinding. You also are never satisfied once you complete a goal; instead, you take a short breather and look at what you can accomplish next. There’s always another way to improve, and the evolved person will keep at it indefinitely.

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6. You’ve surrounded yourself with the right people

We all have the friends who we love to hang out with, but who also hold us back from attaining true success. While it’s okay to visit in moderation, hanging out with the same people on a daily basis can severely impede your growth. The saying goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are actually more knowledgeable and driven than you are will give you role models to look up to, and will keep you from becoming stagnant.

7. You’re reflective

The evolved person reflects on his or her accomplishments on a daily basis, as well as over the long-term. Evolved people analyze how they handled different situations and navigated different problems, and if there were any better way to go about their day. They also take stock in their life and decide if they are where they thought they would be five years ago, and if anything in their life needs to change in order to keep improving. By being honest with themselves about where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re headed, evolved people ensure they stay on the fast-track to success.

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8. You thrive on change

Some people prefer to stay stagnant, especially when they find a “sweet spot” in life. Of course, if everyone chose to stay in their comfort zone, nothing would ever get accomplished, and the human race would eventually start to falter. It’s incredibly important that humanity continues to evolve, on the small scale as well as large. Do your part by constantly pushing your comfort zone to its limits. Embrace vulnerability; putting yourself “out there” may be risky, but it will also be rewarding in the long run. And you’ll be making a contribution to the evolution of human beings as a species, which is no small feat.

9. You don’t compare yourself to others

If I looked at a list of “accomplishments of famous people by the age of 30,” I’d want to crawl into a hole and die. I might not be the creator of the “next big thing,” and I certainly am not a multimillionaire, but I have accomplished a lot more in my life than many others my age. But I don’t care about that. The only thing I care about is whether or not I’m better than I was yesterday. If the answer to that question is no, then I’ve wasted precious time that I’ll never be able to get back. Don’t look at what others have accomplished; look at what you can do better tomorrow.

10. You want the best for yourself, and for others

Evolved people care deeply about themselves, and for the people around them. They don’t see life as a competition (see above); rather, they want to build themselves up, and push others to do the same. Evolved people let go of jealousy and animosity, and only look toward the future of humanity as a whole. By seeing all 7 billion of us as one enormous community, we can work toward common goals that ensure our species will continue to evolve long after we have left this Earth.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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