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What I love and have learnt before hitting 30

What I love and have learnt before hitting 30

They say you don’t start finding yourself until 30. Well I’m not quite there yet but I’m half a year away. If someone had told me this 5 years ago I would’ve told you that I learnt to love myself and knew who I was.

Maybe they were right though, age is simply just a number and we all know people that seem much older than they are and older people that we would think would know better. In saying this, I do feel like things somehow make more sense than they did ten, five or even a year ago. Throughout my personal journey, here is what I have loved and learnt before hitting the ripe age of 30.

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The realisation that every heartbreak endured made me who I am now

As much as some of the events in the past were things I would rather not live through again, looking back, I now see how those events have strengthened me and made me a better person. To be honest, it sucks that we have to go through pain and loss to grow, but at the end of the day, evaluating who we are right now to the person we were before any of those circumstances happened, I have to say I wouldn’t change a thing.

Watching the people around you follow their dreams

It makes my heart sing to see the people I care about do things that feed their soul. When someone can jump out of their comfort zone, break from the norm and go after their dreams, it literally brings me to a loss of words. Being around the age of 30, most people are settling down with kids and families if they hadn’t already or chasing after goals they had always dreamed of.

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At this age, most of us have been through some painful break ups so It takes a lot of courage to open up to someone again and be vulnerable. It also takes a lot of determination to chase after a goal when it comes to your passions. It makes me so happy to see my loved ones find someone that truly makes them happy and also to see them take that risk and chase their dreams.

You realise that the best time spent is enjoying the simple things in life

Gone are the party days. Hangovers hit you harder than they used to and your whole weekend is wasted feeling sick or unproductive. Give me a campfire, a good restaurant, an amazing home cooked meal, a few beverages or some amazing company and I am set.

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It is so much better for your pocket, your health and your soul. Gone are the days of hitting the clubs until daylight, hating on yourself for the money you had spent and the headache the next day. If I do find myself out, I almost always regret it the next day and who wants to feel that?

You understand that people come and go from your life and you start to see who really is genuine

I have had so many friends that were always around and the moment a boy stepped into their life or a new career progressed, I am the one getting ghosted. I have also had friends in my life that have been there for me single, taken, broke, successful and through thick and thin.

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I don’t give my heart easily but I can easily determine who is there to fill a void or if you are someone that truly wants to form a bond and genuinely care how I am. They are the people I want to keep in my life. There may not be many but quality is always better than quantity.

You realise that life can be taken away from you any moment

In my eyes, 30 is still quite young, there is still so much more to live. Yet I haven’t even hit 30 and I have lost so many friends and family unexpectedly. Some of them I feel were taken too early. It just makes me realise that life can be gone at any moment. So yes I will say what I think, do what I want and make the most of the time I have.

I have learnt that the little things are what matters. I spend most of my downtime chasing waterfalls, going on picnics, lying on the beach, hiking, exploring, learning more about others and just spending time with genuine people. I always try to let the people in my life know just how much they mean to me. Maybe because I haven’t done in the past and never got the chance to tell them and now I feel I have to let everyone know just how much I appreciate them. I don’t know but it can’t be a bad thing right?

Life is a journey. It is never about the destination. We sometimes forget that and forget to appreciate what we have now and who we have now. Age is just a number. Life is a constant learning curve. I must say as messed up as it can be, it is also the most beautiful blessing.

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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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