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If Being Truly Happy is Your Goal, You Should Forgo These 12 Things in Life

If Being Truly Happy is Your Goal, You Should Forgo These 12 Things in Life

To be truly happy is what most of us are trying to achieve, but along the way, things get in the way. What we need to do and where we need to go often get compromised by restrictive ideas that consume our way of thinking. Comparing ourselves too much to what everyone else has done clouds our personal standards and expectations. At some point, everyone needs to consider what it is that makes them happy, completely independent of what has already been dictated to them. Here are seven things you should forgo to reinvigorate your perception of happiness.

1. Jealousy and Envy

It’s easy to watch your friends, colleagues, and even your siblings achieve success and wonder why you haven’t achieved any success on your own. When others do reach new achievements, a pitfall that is often stumbled into is envy. You want the glory that they have. You want the jobs or the fiscal freedom that comes with whatever they’ve got. This consuming emotion doesn’t lead to success. If anything, it will bring regression. You’ll start to reconsider if what you’re doing is enough: Why them and not me?

There is an answer to that question: It’s just not your time yet. But it will come. And it is important to remain focused on your own goals as opposed to the goals of others. Live your life, not the life of your peers.

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2. Working Too Hard

A common phrase that gets swung around is that “you have to work hard to get the things you want”. While hard work is a definite must, there still needs to be a balance in how much hard work you’re putting in. Your mind and body can only put out so much energy in a day. Over-exhaustion can lead to stress-induced injuries and malnourishment. Make an effort to work efficiently. For instance, single-tasking can help you stay keen on your goals. Mitigating your work hours with frequent breaks allows the brain to breathe.

3. Fear of Setting Goals

Are you good enough? Well, that depends. Are you willing to take the steps needed to be good enough? If so, then yes, you are good enough, even if you aren’t there yet. Sitting around wondering if you can do what you want to do has never brought success to anyone. Committing to a list of goals―often illustrated in realistic baby steps―and crossing off each step as you go along will set your barometer.

4. Procrastination

Getting started is arguably the hardest part. We’re often constricted by our fear of not being ready. The reality is that no one is ever entirely ready for their endeavors. But starting along the path allows an opportunity to learn what your strengths and flaws are. Sitting in the chair staring idly at your goal list isn’t going to get you anywhere.

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5. Thinking of Yesterday

We often revise our history in our minds and pretend that we didn’t make the mistakes in the past. In our imaginations, today would be perfect and all of our goals would be achieved and there would be nothing to worry. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are chances to discover something new about ourselves. Overcoming adversity begins with tackling the present day, not dwelling on woulda, coulda, shoulda.

6. Thinking of Tomorrow

The idea of tomorrow can be frightening. Will I be able to finance my goals? My life? Will I have the support system behind me in case I fail at this? All of these concerns are legitimate and should be considered, but not so intensely. Not knowing what’s up ahead can be unnerving, and while it shouldn’t be taken too lightly, there isn’t much you can do. If you commit to your goals, pivot and make compromises as you go along, and remind yourself of why you’re doing what you do in the first place, then everything will be just fine.

Today is the most important day, every day.

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7. Expecting Perfection

Being happy is not synonymous with perfection. Perfection indicates the end of growth. Nothing else can be done, and nothing else can be achieved. Yes, you achieved your goals. Great job! But now what? You’ve done so much to become a goal-oriented person in your pursuit of happiness, you hit those marks, and now that there’s perfection, there’s nothing left to do. A goal-oriented person with nothing to do is not a happy person.

8. Expecting A Perfect Relationship

Love isn’t perfect, either. Relationships―even friendships―require maintenance, work, and balance. There is no such thing as the perfect partner, even though it often seems that way in the “honeymoon phase”. Accept the love that you have, try not to occupy on a person’s flaws, and see them for who they are, what they stand for, and how they are trying to grow. A good partner or friend will do the same for you, too.

9. Expecting A Perfect Body

How often are we forced to buy into ideas of how we’re supposed to look? Where we’re supposed to buy our clothes? What size we should be? These high standards are dangerous sources for stress. It’s hard to ignore them, but it isn’t impossible. Determine your own opinion of yourself, and continue to work towards whatever goals and standards you’ve set for you. Everyone is different.

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10. Not Accepting The Word “No”

One word that has two letters can carry such power. It can defeat you, over and over again. But guess what? You’re going to hear no more often than yes in your pursuit for happiness. And that’s okay. Each no is a forward step towards the yes you’ve been looking for. Don’t take all the no’s personally.

11. Making Excuses

Coming up with lies, blame, and other stories to take the weight off your shoulders isn’t healthy. It leads to delusion. Soon, you’ll start to believe all the excuses you make. Ultimately, you’ll fail to see your own flaws clearly, which stunts your personal growth.

12. Expectations

What are your expectations? Who set them for you? Did you or were these standards set by someone else, like your parents or a series of articles you read in a publication? If they aren’t your own expectations, get rid of them. You won’t be happy if you’re trying to live someone else’s life. Let their expectations be theirs and choose your own.

Being truly happy can happen for you if you learn how to listen to yourself. Distractions, expectations, and double standards are often oversaturating the human mind. These things prevent us from finding peace within ourselves. Our own voices become smaller and more distant. Find your voice, forgo these things, and you’ll be taking huge leaps towards being happy.

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Kyle Hiller

Author, Writer

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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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