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5 Simple Actions That Make a More Fulfilling Life

5 Simple Actions That Make a More Fulfilling Life

Despite our differences, we all share a common desire to live a fulfilling life. It’s one of the things that make us humans — well, human. As social beings, we crave for meaning in everything we do. We want to get the most out of our experiences and so we intentionally seek purpose in things we go through.

The question here is: what does a fulfilling life look like to you? Is it one where you’ve got a lot of money for everything you want and need? Or is it where you have the best relationships with the people you love and those around you? Or is it a life of peace, wellness, and contentment? The following are five helpful tips that will help you create a happier and more fulfilled life.

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1. Live in the moment.

Our physical body resides in the present, but from a mental standpoint, things don’t often go this way. Even though we are physically here at this very moment, most of our thoughts drift far away to the distant past or the imagined future. Because of this, we’re losing connection with the present moment — with the important “NOW.”

Psychologists believe this is the reason why so many people feel like they’re trapped in the past or scared of the future. It’s also the reason why we may feel like days are so short, or that we’re always running out of time. What we fail to notice is these small moments that make up our memories — this is our life. It’s what happens now that should be your greatest concern. What happens now has the greatest impact on who you will be.

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2. Don’t follow the herd; tread where your heart takes you.

The world needs more brave people who can stand up for their own decisions — people of principle and determination who are willing to dig in their heels because they know that it’s the right thing to do. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Nikola Tesla who stood up for their own beliefs and made great things happen.

We all lead different lives. Each one of us has his own desires and needs. To live fully and become the best version of ourselves, we must discover where our true passions lie. Follow your own path; work with your core purpose; be a ray of light in this otherwise blindingly dark world.

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3. Acknowledge different forms of success.

In our money-driven society, it’s quite a common misconception to measure success by how much you make, how big your house, or how nice your car is. Money is important — no need to argue about it. However, there are other forms of success that prove more valuable. Success in relationships, health, and career are better source of happiness and fulfillment than financial wealth.

4. Learn how to use obstacles as compasses.

What stands in the way becomes the way. The things we call obstacles are not things we must “overcome.” These are things that will point us to the right direction; in other words, they are our pathways to success and fulfillment. Great things come before a turning point — people often encounter difficulties before they achieve success. The next time you have problems, try to see them as a compass, and use it to achieve what you want.

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5. Aim for progress not perfection.

On the surface, both progress and perfection are good things; however, one of these two things breeds fear and undoing, while the other cultivates confidence and creativity. Can you guess which is which?

It’s simple. While aiming for perfection is really admirable, it’s not always good. Perfectionism can be paralyzing, and most of the time, it only leads to fear, avoidance, and undoing. Because you want to make something “perfect,” you fear for flaws, so you avoid doing the task because it creates so much stress — ultimately, it will make you abandon the work.

Progress on the other hand allows you to make mistakes; it emphasizes that there is no need for utmost perfection as long as you make progress every day. And this is really good. As you gain progress, you feel better, more confident, and more trustful of your skill — which leads to more happiness and fulfillment.

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Armela Escalona

Freelance Writer

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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