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5 Reasons Why Youth is a Time of No Regret

5 Reasons Why Youth is a Time of No Regret

It feels like you have absolutely no control.

Authority is a challenge, friends are a double-edge sword, many of the stuff you are learning seem pointless and relationships are this messy thing you can’t quite figure out. Everything is too confusing; too real; too huge. You are no longer a kid neither an ‘adult’, or whatever that means, but responsibilities keep piling over your shoulders.

People say it is a phase and that it will pass: ‘things will get better’, ‘you will understand it when you grow up’. But the truth is that when you are in your teens, words don’t really matter. They aren’t YOU, right? How could they possibly know? Well, my friend, the thing is that we were once young.

We all have been stupidly wrong and been too proud to admit it. We also thought we found our soul mate and later had to cry ourselves to sleep. We all said “You are my best friend”, and we all thought we could achieve anything in life. And we survived. Even better: we learned.

There are many things you don’t appreciate until they are gone, people say. Your youth is one of them, and I want you to understand and realize how precious this time is. It might not be the best —or maybe it is-, but it is definitely not a time to regret but rather a period to embrace on its plenitude.

Why?

1. People that Failed You Will be Replaced by Better Ones

After twenty five years on earth, I can state that human relationships are messy and confusing. There is no way you can deny that.

We all have had ‘best friends’ who eventually became strangers and that first, amazing love that, well… might not have turned out that well —if it did, congrats!

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When you are younger, friends are a huge pillar in your live. They are your gang, your pack and the people whom you most identify with. You probably share common interests, hobbies and, after all, you are growing up together. But the truth is that your expectations and interests will get in conflict all the time with others. Others who, the same as you, are trying to find their place.

Figuring out how to make relationships —of any kind- work is tough. For a teenager who is just realizing about all the social rules and norm, is even harder. I can’t think about all the fights and troubles and struggles I have been through with all the people I have met. But I learned something: Time will teach you about betrays and lies, but also about how incredible some people are.

Yes, you will get really hurt during the process, as everybody else. And you will hurt people even if you don’t want to, just because what you expect and what others might expect always creates tensions and conflicts. Just think about how many people live in the world right now. It is impossible to not get out there and find a jerk. That is pure statistics. But all that, all the messy friends-drama that seems overwhelming now, will help you to discern among the people that are worth trusting. And not only that, it will also help you to know yourself and realize what do you stand for; what are your values.

Some friends and lovers will be gone forever, but other will stay with you for the rest of your life.

2. All the Stupid Things You Did, You Won’t even Remember Them

In youth we learn; in age we understand. — Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

You failed a few courses. You lied to your parents. You got drunk. You fought with your friends. You embarrassed yourself in public. You were rejected. And you are still with us, right? Great, because I have good news for you. Even if you don’t believe it, all those things will make you stronger; they are part of the person you are today.

Somehow, everything converges at some point creating that person you find in the mirror every morning. You might like or dislike that person, but that is who you are, indeed. The thing is: there is no point on looking into the past. You can’t change it! So if you don’t like who you are, try to do better. Change. Learn from what happened.

I know it is hard to see the value of all those stupid and embarrassing moments, especially when those things seem like life-changing events. But life is way too long, my friend. At some point, all those things will be just faded memories. A great exercise to relieve some stress about all the problems you have right now is ask yourself this simple question: Will I remember this in twenty years? Or even ten years. Do you remember the fights you had in your childhood? Because I am sure you had a few, or that you did something that annoyed your parents.

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If the answer is no, well, what is the point on overthinking it? In twenty years, who will remember that?

3. What Others Think about You Doesn’t Really Matter

We all have suffered the pressure of ‘what will they think about me if…’ Probably you are still worried about that sometimes. Maybe it is the way you dress, what you do, how you behave, with who do you hang-out… Thousands of things.

Let me share a secret with you: If you think carefully, you will realize that we spend our lives judging. It doesn’t have to be a bad kind of judgement, but we do it simply because that is the way we organize our reality. If you see something, let’s say a person acting weirdly on the street, you apply what you know making a judgement of value.  And most likely ten minutes later you will forgot about it.

It works both ways. I know that trying to prove yourself all the time as a unique individual is tough. There are many confusing things happening at the moment. I know it because I have been there, of course. But the truth is that nobody cares. Or almost nobody besides your parents, who are praying for you to grow up already. But the rest of the human beings are way too busy with their own problems to pay attention to you. And besides, they have been teenagers too. With time you will be more and more aware about this, and all those worries will go away. And you will also realize that if somebody spends too much time criticizing you, a) they are jealous, or b) their lives are so meaningless that their best way to kill time is look at what others are doing.

Do you really think their opinion matters? Do you really believe that what anybody thinks about you is something worth worrying about? Hell, no. It doesn’t.

It is your life and your decisions, and if you do something wrong, well, let it be your mistake and not others’ fault.

4. Your Teens is Great Period to Explore Yourself

You won’t get another chance to be so free. Believe me. Yes, being an adult has some perks like economic freedom, no parents and so. But those advantages come with a price: the price of reality. Soon you will start feeling the pressure of getting a real job, finishing school, settle down, blablabla… It might seem far away, but trust me, it will be here before you know it. And, hey, I am not saying that being an adult is not cool. It is pretty awesome, but you will miss something. Do you know what is that something?

It is the ability to dream and be yourself. Is the chance to say ‘f*** the world, I am going to do this or that’. It is the energy to do crazy things and staying up late and live life full-time. You have the rush of youth, and that is a gift that will only last a few more years.

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It might not sound like much but, Gosh, you have no idea how much I miss all that. You don’t have to worry about bills or taxes or payments; you can just enjoy time with friends and make plans and dream about all the things you want to when you grow up.

Don’t give up on that. Hold on tight to those things, seriously, because one they are gone you will miss them.

A lot.

To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth. — Pearl S. Buck

5. Youth is Not the Greatest Time of Your Life

This is probably the greatest gift. Yes, being young and crazy is great, but the best part is that it is not over. Eventually the ‘lost’ sensation will fade and life will slowly start to make sense. You will then experience the OMG-I’m-getting-old feeling, and it is okay. We all will have to go over that. But what comes next is also amazing and it will be part of who you are, the same way that all the things you have experience before.

Casy Neistat mentioned on one of his videos that “You spend you twenties figuring out what you want to do and your thirties doing it”.

You will step-by-step start to trek a more profound path that leads to understand yourself and what do you want to do with your life, and all that wouldn’t have been possible without those crazy years full of ‘regrets’. It all converges together and you only have to look at people around you or even people that you admire:

Their youth shaped part of their lives today.

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Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art. — Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

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You don’t have to live scared of all the mistakes you are doing. You don’t have to give up.

Soon, all that will be in the past and the best way to don’t let that settle down is not look back but look ahead to be the person you want to be.

You only have to open your eyes and be ready to surf the wave when it arrives.

Don’t regret your youth: embrace it and learn, because more incredible things are coming.

Featured photo credit: Brooklyn Morgan via unsplash.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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