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5 Reasons to Visit India Before You’re 30

5 Reasons to Visit India Before You’re 30

Life is good. You’ve got a solid job, a nice little place to live, and plenty of friends and family around you to enjoy your free time. You even get away at least twice a year to some really beautiful and interesting places.

But, something isn’t quite right. At the back of your mind you know that you should be feeling all of this just a little bit more. You don’t like to admit it, but there are times when you have the sensation that all you’re doing is going through the motions. You chose life, and are pretty much winning at it, but….

What I’m describing above is exactly the kind of life that I was living a few years back. There was no outwardly reason for me to turn my back on the set-up that I had. I didn’t go to India expecting a six week trip to change all that much. It was supposed to be a short intermission between my leaving Barcelona and heading to the bright lights of London to seek my fame and fortune. I never made it to London. And those six weeks turned into six months. India changed my life, and I’ve seen first hand how much of a profound effect it has also had on so many others.

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Here are 5 very unfairly curtailed reasons as to how it could do the same for you:

1. The Culture Shock

Until you get there, you can never fully appreciate what that first initial shock of being in India is like. Even in the most modern, upwardly mobile cities, this is just a different world. And it’s from this jumping off point that you are forced to very quickly reconcile yourself to the fact that we’re a long way from Kansas now, Toto! This chaotic sensory wake up call is something that you must first manage and then learn to embrace as you see for yourself just how much intestinal fortitude you really have.

2. The People

In India, you will meet some of the most welcoming, hospitable, upbeat people you have ever encountered. They love to talk with you about where you come from and oftentimes they will happily provide you with a plethora of information about their particular town and city and all of the best things to see and do there. Locals are also usually very proud of their local religious festivals and are a great source for you to get a better grasp of what is going on and why.

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It is not just the local people either. When you visit India, you will immediately come across legions of other foreigners just like you, all trying to find their way within this madness. Foreigners stick together and there is always somebody on hand to help you out if you need help or advice.

3. The Food

Indian cuisine is about a lot more than just curry. It is a land full of fruits and vegetables that you may never have even seen before and a cooking culture that is unique to every state that you visit and ingrained in the very fabric of each village, town, and city that you’ll stay. And, no, it’s not all really spicy. Of course it can be, if you dare to try, but usually the food served to foreigners is purposely left quite mild so as to not scare us off.

4. Religion and Spirituality

Religion plays a role in society here that pervades every aspect of life, but not in a way that is ever forced on you or made to feel oppressive. You must absolutely respect the fact that you are a guest and conduct yourself accordingly, but the life lessons that you can learn from a distance are absolutely fascinating.

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The stories of Shiva, Kali, Hanuman, and Krishna are exciting, beautiful narratives that define the very essence of life in India, but it is perhaps the underlying sense of spirit beneath all of the often garish representations of the idols that the outsider can most easily connect with.

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand with most people’s daily routines here, making it the perfect place for you to step back from all of the chaos and look to reconnect with your own true Self.

5. The Whole Territory

India possesses beautiful beaches, probably the most spectacular mountain range in the world, vast deserts, incredible architecture, ancient, almost perfectly preserved, holy temples, elephants and tigers, the Taj Mahal, the River Ganga, Bollywood, and cities that will give you sensory overrides like no others in the world. With India being blessed with so much variety it means that you never need sit still if you aren’t completely feeling your current location.

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Just jump on a plane or catch a train to the next destination. India is bound to have exactly what it is that you were looking for. It’s just up to you to find it.

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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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