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7 Ways To Stop Your Life From Becoming as Clichéd as a Hollywood Movie

7 Ways To Stop Your Life From Becoming as Clichéd as a Hollywood Movie

Each time I watch a Star Wars movie, I am taken back to my childhood. I can remember lying on the carpet, in front of the television watching it and getting lost in its “space world”.

Last weekend, as I sat down to watch the latest Star Wars movie for the first time, my thoughts were filled with the anticipation of years of build up, the wonder if it would live up to my expectations and that feeling “Am I in for another “Phantom Menace”?

I vividly remember walking out of the theater with a smile as large as a rainbow after the rain. It was all that I had hoped it would be. Thinking back on the experience, I now realize that during the movie, I found myself able to recite the lines before they were spoken, and easily able to predict the outcome before it happened.

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As I took in the drama, action, and the inevitable lightsabers, it felt like I had watched this same thing many times over, all before I had watched finished watching this latest version.

Did you know that Hollywood utilizes only a handful of themes to produce all of its movies? Neither did I. This led me to wonder about my own life. Is my life as predictable as a Hollywood movie that anybody watching could recite its lines as they happen and guess how it will end before it does?

The short answer? Maybe. You and I both know that we tend to live our day-to-day lives on autopilot. How then, can we prevent this from happening?

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1. Live Each Moment As If It Was Your Last.

I know that this sounds cliché, so bear with me. Imagine a world where you know you aren’t going to wake up the next day. If you knew that, what would you do with your time? Would you watch television? Play video games? Sleep? Spend time on Facebook? Or would you find a way to do all the things that you want to do, but haven’t accomplished yet.

2. Take Risks.

Risks are scary. I get that. As far as I am concerned, living a risk-free life is scarier. Risks will make you feel alive. You don’t need to scale a mountain or jump out of a plane if that isn’t your style, but make sure you do take some risks that are more to your style.

3. Don’t Procrastinate.

By procrastinating you are only cheating yourself out of what you are truly capable of doing. How will you ever know what you can accomplish in life if you continually say, “I’ll do it tomorrow”?

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4. Do The Opposite of What Is Expected

How many times have you heard that you are predictable? Me too. That all changed when I decided to make a conscious effort to change the way I react to situations or come up with solutions. Not only will you take others by surprise, but more importantly you will surprise yourself.

5. Let The Bad Guy Win

We all have a voice inside our heads that tells us what to do and what not to do. Usually, this voice keeps us out of trouble. However, tragically, it can prevent us from becoming great. Occasionally let the other voice win and see where it takes you.

6. Don’t Spend Your Life Chasing The Uncatchable

How many movies have you watched where one person spends their entire existence in pursuit of something, only to:

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  1. Finally catch it and live happily ever after
  2. Be unable to catch it and live happily ever after

Pay special attention to number 2. Your life is not dictated by anything, nor should it be. Spend your life, in pursuit of YOUR life.

7. If You Can Win The First Time, Then Win. Otherwise Don’t Be Afraid To Lose.

I can only speak for myself, but winning is amazing and losing, well, isn’t. When given the option of winning or losing, I will always choose to win. There are times when this isn’t always possible. Occasionally, we must lose. If you do, be sure to embrace it wholeheartedly. Use your failures as an opportunity to grow even better. Keep trying and you will eventually win. But, don’t be afraid to lose what wasn’t meant to be.

If, after all of this, you still feel the need to model your life after a movie, at least pick something that people would enjoy watching. Something like Star Wars (minus the prequels).

Featured photo credit: Pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Joel a Scott

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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