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How To Deal With Confusion And Find Success In Life

How To Deal With Confusion And Find Success In Life

The path to success is a long road full of twists, turns, peaks, and valleys. While on this road, you’ll almost certainly find yourself stuck in a quagmire of confusion and be unsure of which direction to turn.

Even though you’ll feel stranded, remember that it happens to everyone; you’re not alone. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll get through whatever problem you’re facing only if you persevere.

If you turn back, you’ll be giving up all the potential success you could have possibly attained had you simply stepped back and assessed your situation. When life throws you a curve ball, you should always heed these pieces of advice in order to properly deal with confusing situations.

Analyze your goals

When you started out on your journey, you most likely had a set of goals you aimed to accomplish. Of course, you were most likely incredibly eager to get on the path toward success that you might not have spent much time actually thinking these goals through.

When you hit a bump in the road, you should always check your premises before forging ahead. Ask yourself:

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– Are my goals practical?

Anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it, but once you achieve your goals, will you be able to put them to good use? Are you studying biology to become a biologist, or because you just like to learn about plants and animals?

Make sure your goals are actionable. After all, once you attain them, you’ll soon set even more goals with even higher aspirations. Make sure that the next step you take will open another door for you to walk through.

– Are my goals realistic?

Will practicing guitar three hours a day really make you world famous? By all means, follow your passion, but you should definitely have a backup plan in case your big dreams turn out to be pipe dreams.

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– Will my goals change?

This is a tough one, because it’s hard to know what your priorities will be five or 10 years down the road. When I was 18, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, and even planned on sacrificing having a family of my own in order to help other children and families who needed me.

When I met the woman who would later become my wife, that all changed. Of course, in the meantime I earned two degrees relating to education that I may or may not ever use. At least I can write, right?

Appreciate your efforts

Every time you accomplish something, you’ve improved upon the person you were the day before. Even if you’re not doing exactly what you thought you’d be doing with your life, you can appreciate the experience you gain on a daily basis.

Think about it: If you’re stuck in a job that you never saw yourself doing, but you’re doing it well enough to stay employed, you must be doing something right. And, of course, you shouldn’t just look to your job to make meaning of your life.

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Look to other aspects of your life, such as your friends, family, and hobbies to define yourself. You might not be on the path you thought you’d be on, but you certainly can consider yourself a success for accomplishing all that you have done in your life.

Try, fail, and try again

Failing at something is not a roadblock. Rather, it’s simply a bump in the road on the path to success. If you treat failure as a roadblock, you won’t get very far.

You never know how close you are to finding success, so you should always keep pushing, especially when faced with the sting of failure. Furthermore, you should redefine your failings as learning experiences.

When you fail at something, you’ve gained knowledge you didn’t have before (even if that knowledge is “Well that didn’t work!”). Take that knowledge with you when you get up to try again, and you’ll be able to attack the issue through an improved perspective.

Find a balance in life

Like I said before, you might find yourself on a path you never thought you’d be on, and you might not even want to be on. You can’t simply pause or restart your life from the last save point, to borrow a video game term. But it’s never too late to start working toward a different path.

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Think of a hobby you gave up a long time ago and pick it back up, even if it takes a little extra effort after a long day’s work. Of course, you have obligations in your life that need to be fulfilled, but you should never completely give up everything you enjoy because life got in the way.

Keep your passion alive, and you’ll find moments to enjoy every day of your life.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr 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

Reference

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