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7 Ways to Think and Stay Young

7 Ways to Think and Stay Young

The old saying goes, “You’re only as young as you feel.” But we live in a tough world. How can we possibly keep a youthful outlook on life when we have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a roof to keep over our heads? While it’s true that we’ll certainly never be able to relive the carefree days of our childhood, we can live our lives to their fullest potential, and in doing so stay as fresh and invigorated as we were when we were young.

1. Keep good friends around

Keeping good company will keep you socially happy and healthy throughout your life. On the other hand, nothing will drag you down more than socializing with people who hold you back from your full potential. Ironically, surrounding yourself with people who are intent on moving forward in life will keep you energized and make you feel as if you’re always in your prime. It’s when you find yourself surrounded by toxic friends who live in the past that you realize you’re not getting any younger, and you’ll start to feel as if the best days of your life have passed you by.

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2. Continue learning

Saying someone is “old-fashioned” is just a nice way of saying their behind the times. If you get into the mindset that you’re “too old” to learn something (like how to use Windows 10 or an iPhone), you’ll certainly feel that you’re past your prime. We live in a world in which education and knowledge is literally at our fingertips, and it’s never been easier to pick up a new skill or hobby. Make it a habit to learn something new every day, and you’ll continue feeling sharp and ready to take on the world. Soon enough, you’ll be showing your children tips and tricks on the iPhone 6!

3. Enjoy the little things

When we were kids, we jumped in puddles, rolled down hills, and ate snowflakes falling from the sky. I’m not saying you, as a grown adult, should do these things habitually (except eating snowflakes; you’re never too old for that). But you should never overlook the small things in life. Celebrate your good hair days. Feel victorious when you hit every green light on the way home from work. Actively look for things to enjoy in your life; no matter how much may be going wrong, there will always be something to smile about if you look hard enough.

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4. Exercise

Nothing will make you feel old more than not being able to physically do something you were able to do when you were younger. The saying “it’s like riding a bike” is a misnomer; if you haven’t ridden a bike in years, you might remember how to keep your balance on it, but you probably won’t make it more than a mile or two before you start to feel the burn. Do your best to get to the gym as much as possible, especially as you get older. Your body will continue to get more and more fragile as you age, but you can still stay in as good a shape as you possibly can.

5. Keep laughing

You’re never too old to get a case of the giggles. Just watch any sitcom outtake clips on YouTube for proof of that. What’s the point of living if you’re going to take life too seriously? Just because you have obligations in life that you might not really want to take care of doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way. Like I said before, look for the little things in life to enjoy, and don’t suppress the raw emotion that a hysterical situation elicits within you. Never let yourself get to a point that you can’t let go and fall into hysterics every once in a while.

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6. Don’t take guilt trips

Everyone makes mistakes. Constantly harping on yourself for missteps you’ve made in the past will drag you down and keep you from attaining your full potential. And when this happens, you lose precious moments of your life that you’ll never get back. Of course, this leads to a vicious cycle in which you continue to look back on your past in a negative way, and in turn become depressed about your future. You should definitely learn from your past mistakes, but don’t let these mistakes ruin your future as well.

7. Remember when you were young, and pass it on

When my father and grandfather tell stories of their youth, I see a twinkle in their eye showing they remember these days that happened forty to sixty years ago as if they were yesterday. It’s not so much that they’re pining for their youth, but that they’ve carried these cherished memories with them for so long and are able to bring them back to life by relaying them to me and my sister. You don’t want to tell these “back in my day” stories as if you’re disgruntled at how things have changed, but instead you want to pass on the fun activities you did as a child so a new generation can experience them as well. When you see your kids and grandchildren enjoying a pastime you remember enjoying back in your youth, you’ll instantly be transported back to the time in your life when stickball and fishing was all you had to worry about.

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Featured photo credit: Tercera Juventud / DiNo via farm9.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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