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It’s Okay To Be Unsure About What You Want In Life Once In A While

It’s Okay To Be Unsure About What You Want In Life Once In A While

Perhaps it comes with growing up.

Feelings that used to be simple became a myriad of complications. Directions that used to be clear gradually merged, twisted, and dispersed into thin air.

We used to whistle a tune before we head to work and get there feeling refreshed. Now most of the time we just feel numb. Apathetic, even. Work is dull, boring. We operate like a machine, never sparing more effort than what is needed.

Sometimes we feel drained, exhausted. It ceased to be “us”, and became “you” and “me”. You and I say the same things, only they come without the tinge of love or happiness.

We tried so, so hard to be perfect, and now we are lost, unsure about how to go on.

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We got lost when the harsh reality hit us.

Perhaps we lost ourselves when we stopped believing in the beauty of dreams, stunted by the harshness of reality, the burden of responsibility and locked them up with maturity as the jailer. So we started working at a place that constantly fills us with dread with our red, tired eyes staring back at me from the slightly reflective screen as our fingers flash over the keyboard.

Perhaps we lost ourselves when we started to care less about the person we love. What used to be a time to talk and share was filled with arguments or complete silence. We withdrew into ourselves, staring at the dying embers of love because we don’t know how to rekindle the flames anymore.

I am terrified. We are terrified of these gradual shifts in our lives when things no longer seem to make sense. That’s because deep down, we don’t want to give up. We all want to do something and change. We want to live happier, become someone important and create something of value. That is unanimous.

But taking an initiative could be just as scary. Could you live with yourself if what you did and changed, in the end, was a mistake?

To that, I would say boldly – so what?

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Cheers to our mistakes.

Years from now, we will be more disappointed with the things we didn’t do than the things we did. If we don’t have the courage today to explore, dream and discover new things and choose to stay in the depressing cage we are in right now, then what is the point of living?

Remember what got you here in the first place.

Ask yourself: why did you start doing what you are doing now? Is it because you enjoyed the thrill, the challenge of your job? Or is it because it has a decent pay, good benefits, and everyone else feels like you’re the perfect fit for this job?

“Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it’s up to you to know with which ear you’ll listen.” —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

If you started off being passionate about it, figure out what changed and find out how to take it back.

If you are doing something because it was what everyone thinks you should do and you don’t necessarily agree, then take a deep breath, and drop it. Life is too short to be doing what you don’t like.

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Once you decided to do something, do it till it’s done.

“Don’t try. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars.

Commit yourself fully. It is too often that we leave buffer after buffer to make sure we are safe even if we fall. Adult eagles would push their kids down a cliff so they could either learn flying or die. It may sound cruel, but sometimes we need to just close our eyes and learn to take that leap of faith. Whatever it is that you have decided to do, do it cleanly and don’t look back.

It’s okay to be not okay.

Asking for help is often portrayed as a sign of weakness. But who is strong all the time? So many of us mask our insecurities, our fear of being lost and confused with a stony façade and an iron will. Unconsciously, we have pushed the ones who care about us further away with this twisted strength.

But perhaps being weak occasionally is what makes us human. It’s okay to feel unsure about what you want to be. It’s okay to fall and sob. It’s okay to be vulnerable and tender after being hit by a sudden loss.

No one should carry the burden of being strong all the time. So share your story with your family. Shed some tears with your friends. Find your direction with your partner. It’s okay to say “I’m not okay”.

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It’s all about being honest to yourself.

We’ve all been lost and come across crossroads before, not knowing which way is the right way to choose. The thing is, it really isn’t about being right. It’s about being honest to yourself. It’s about doing what you want to do deep inside your heart. It’s about looking at what you have and who you have and be grateful. It’s about being proud of yourself no matter what you chose in the end.

Therefore, there is just one more thing to say –

Good luck.

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Eamon Suen

Student, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Life Is Not Supposed To Be Fair, We’re Supposed to Learn To Live With It If You Want To Be Successful, You May Need To Cut Off Something From Life The Earlier You Understand These Truths Of Happiness The Better Accept Where You Are And Happiness Is At Your Fingertips Your New Habits Will Stick With These 5 Killer Strategies

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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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