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17 Things I Wish I Did Before Turning 35

17 Things I Wish I Did Before Turning 35

Did we do all the things we had hoped to do? Are we where we had hoped we would be? Life is a series of choices, so have no regrets. But we can always imagine!

17 things I Wish I Did Before Turning 35

  1. Travel alone to a far away country
    If you have never done this before, you should. Traveling alone is an entirely different experience than traveling with a friend. Challenge yourself. It might not be comfortable at first, but you will reap rewards you are not even aware of yet.
  2. Get rid of toxic relationships earlier
    It seems like such an easy one! But sometimes we don’t do the thing for ourselves that we know is best. It can be hard. But consider your relationship with yourself – consider caring for yourself, the way that you would expect a friend to. Then love yourself enough to cut toxicity out of your life. Now.
  3. Put my own needs before anyone else
    We often barge through life doing what we have learned, or what is expected of us. Sit with yourself a while. Find out what you need. Then be unapologetic going after them, or for putting yourself first. Not all the time, balance is everything. But find out when you need to put yourself first, and just do it.
  4. Violate unnecessary rules Rules were made to be broken! Just kidding. But the rules that are made for your life are often made by others. Consider them. Are they really what is best for you? If not, break the rules. Make your own, that work for you, and stick to them instead.
  5. Say no firmly
    This does not make you a monster. If people are not listening, and you do not wish to proceed, just say no. Practice this. Practice makes perfect. Know your rights. In time it will not feel uncomfortable at all, you will simply be taking a stand for yourself, and reaping the rewards.
  6. Care less about what others think
    Practice this too! You are the only person that should be concerned with your choices. Forget the rest.
  7. Take the class you always thought about
    Remember that painting/ pottery/ hip hop class you always thought about taking because it would be SO fun? Do it while you have the time.
  8. Study abroad
    Before family or any kind of responsibility comes into the equation, look into studying abroad. You can learn invaluable things about the world and forge lifelong friendships. This is a life-changing opportunity so take it if, and while you can.
  9. Try a risky career move
    Ever had a business idea you wanted to go gangbusters with, and only needed young craziness to actually pursue it? Go for it.The worst that can happen is that you will fail. But at least you would have given your nude modelling career a go, and had fun in the process!
  10. Listen to my heart
    Listen to your heart, instead of your head. See where it takes you.
  11. Plan a dream holiday with all of my best friends
    Although we can still try and do this throughout our lives, making memories like this can set the precedent for the future. Do it early. Do it as much as you possibly can.
  12. Trust myself
    Easier said than done. But again, practice makes perfect. If we perfect this in our twenties, we are setting the standard for the years to come.
  13. Play music
    Sing in a band! Have fun! Not only will you meet people and have a great time, you can learn about a new world, and gain confidence through performance.
  14. Do everything your parents told you not to
    Well, at least one. See where your own path takes you. Learn to trust yourself.
  15. Take the road less traveled
    We do this subconsciously sometimes when we don’t even realize it. Try to get off the beaten path in your earlier years, at a time when you might not have anyone to care for but yourself. (But always tell someone where you’re going.)
  16. Fall in love with the right person
    We all know the fun stories of the bad boys or girls. But practice falling in love with the good person. It will propel you toward happiness, and fill you with decency and peace that you deserve.
  17. Love your past, as part of you
    Remember that our pasts make us who we are! So whatever happens, the journey you took brought you right to this moment. And it’s never too late.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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