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Why We Say What We Won’t Do (but Still Say It Anyway)

Why We Say What We Won’t Do (but Still Say It Anyway)

Every day we say a lot about what we want and will do.

“I want to pet a cat.”

“I want to buy a house for my parents.”

“I don’t want to be single anymore.”

“I will love you no matter what.”

“I will work harder in the future.”

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    It’s easy to make plans for the future. And we make resolutions all the time. Consider that a full 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.[1] And that a vast majority of relationships (plus many marriages) end as well with break-ups or divorce. The best intentions and the best-laid plans generally speaking end in failure.

    No one intended to lie

    In general, people make these kinds of promises or resolutions with the best intentions. They don’t want to fail; if anything, they want desperately to be right, to improve themselves, and to make their friends and family happy. So even if a resolution doesn’t work out, when they utter them, it’s far from a lie.

      People often speak without thinking. They say what comes to mind, but without really thinking it through. And what usually comes to mind is wishful thinking – the ideal result, not what’s possible and practical. It’s tempting to fantasize about a beautiful and perfect future: a good romantic relationship, to have the approval and respect of your parents, and to have a successful career.

      But how to get what you want is not always clear to you in the moment you utter it. It’s hard to see beyond just the easy, idealized image. The challenges you may come across, the disappointments and sadness you may face – none of that is anywhere to be seen in a daydreaming mind.

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      Wishful thinking often end in crushing disappointment

      The problem is this. Wishful thinking and fantasies will only end in disappointment if you don’t follow through. You disappoint your friends, your family, your boss, and – most importantly – yourself. This can really take a toll on your own psyche and sense of self-worth.

            At a personal level, you’ll have so many unfulfilled dreams and goals. This is an incredibly common situation for people everywhere. As a teenager, you might have dreamed of what your life would be like as an adult: happily married and with a successful and high-earning career by the time you’re 25. But these are two seriously challenging goals that take planning and effort. Many people find themselves alone and in a dead-end job – rather than a career – wondering where they went wrong.

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                On an interpersonal level, making empty promises is hurtful and damaging to relationships. Friendship and healthy family relationships are built on trust. People who want to be your friend take you at your word and expect you to follow through. If you tell your friends that you’ll “be there for them,” but never pick up the phone, they will be hurt and no longer want to hang out. The same is true for family or even professional relationships. You might find it tempting to tell your boss that you’ll finish a major project “by the end of the week,” without considering whether this is plausible. If you are unable to complete the task in the timeframe that you set, it’s not easy to regain your boss’s trust.

                Keep what you want to yourself

                It’s vital to be clear about what you want. Notice when people around you are prone to saying “I want ___” and “I don’t want ____.”

                Kids are very prone to saying all their wants out loud, partly because they don’t have the independence and resources to get it themselves. This is why children and young people are often vague about what they want in the future. They have lots of wants without a concrete plan on how to get them.

                This is one of the challenges of being an adult. As you gain the practical ability to provide for yourself, and as you learn from your mistakes, it’s more and more important to be clear about how you plan to get what you want.

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                  Practice visualizing plans to attain your goals. For example, you might want a pet – everyone shares pictures of their dogs and cats on Instagram! But before you go out to adopt one at the shelter, make sure you visualize all the things you have to do to take care of your pet. Pet-ownership involves: cleaning up after it, house-training it, taking it to the vet, walking it, buying it food, and making sure that it gets plenty of stimulation and exercise.

                  If you want or need a car, think about how much you need to save to purchase the car, the cleaning and maintenance costs, how to pay for regular car insurance, parking costs, et cetera.

                    If you really want something, don’t just say it. Plan for it and do it. Create conditions that make what you want inevitable. Do small things consistently and make it a habit. You’ll amaze yourself and your friends if you constantly work on attaining your goals. Read more about how to follow through your goals here: Why I Can Be the Only 8% of People Who Reach the Goal Every Single Time

                    It’s easy to make or break promises. Set yourself apart from others by being reliable, deliberate, and thoughtful. Match your intentions with planning and action, and you’ll find that you’re happier with yourself and that your relationships are enriched.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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                    Brian Lee

                    Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                    Published on January 27, 2020

                    30 Essential Core Values for Living the Life You Want

                    30 Essential Core Values for Living the Life You Want

                    The weather will always change. Technology will always change. Trends will always change. We will always change.

                    In a world that is constantly evolving and taking new forms, it can be somewhat overwhelming trying to make sense of this thing called life.

                    One of the things that rarely changes in this world though and what can provide a guiding light for you throughout your life is your core values. This article will provide you with a core values list of 30 incredible values to adopt and use when all else seems to be changing.

                    What Are Core Values?

                    Core values are principles or beliefs that you hold most dear and that are of central importance in your life. When everything around you is changing, when the world is difficult to understand, and when you are riding up and down the emotion rollercoaster, your core values will always be there for you.

                    Why Are Core Values Important?

                    Core values are important because they act like a compass to help you lead the amazing life that you want, no matter where you find yourself in this world.

                    Not only that, having the right core values can improve your decision-making, your productivity, your achievements and perhaps most importantly, your ability to love and be loved. They’re kind of a big deal. And it isn’t just us saying this, studies[1] have shown core values to have a whole host of other benefits.

                    30 Best Core Values to Live by

                    You might already have a few core values in mind or in your heart which is great. If you need some more ideas or haven’t really thought about your core values until now, here are our 30 favourite core values that you can adopt right now.

                    1. Acceptance

                    The ability to accept what you can control and what you can’t control. Being able to understand that on some days you are the hammer, and other days you are the nail. With acceptance as a core value, you can build either way and be happy while doing it.

                    2. Adaptability

                    Life is going to throw you curve ball after curve ball and if you aren’t ready for them, you are going to strikeout. Your life and the life of those you surround yourself with are far too complex to confine yourself to one mould.

                    Be adaptable and ready and willing to change when you need to.

                    3. Awareness

                    Awareness is one of the best core values that you can adopt. Period. Awareness means paying attention to yourself, to others, to the world around you, to emotions, to situations. It means being able to see everyone and everything clearly – most importantly yourself.

                    4. Balance

                    There are going to be times when you need to sprint in life, and other times when you are going to need to slow down. The yin and the yang.

                    Balance is one of the most important core values in many ancient cultures because it reflects nature for what it truly is: perfectly balanced and able to bend, rather than break.

                    5. Calmness

                    As well as being a sublime state of mind, many people forget that calm is a simple decision to make.

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                    You can be calm in any situation should you allow yourself to be. No amount of angry drivers, long queues or frustrating technology can penetrate you when you adopt calmness as a core value.

                    6. Community

                    Every one of us is a social creature, whether we believe it or not, and community has been a key core value for us as a species for thousands of years.

                    We are hard-wired to socialize; to eat, drink, gossip, laugh, tell stories, share ideas, give and receive amongst ourselves. Community also enhances the effect of other core values on this list, such as creativity.[2]

                    7. Compassion

                    Compassion is taking the time to understand the suffering of others and hopefully, being able to do something about it. There is a lot of struggle and suffering that can be alleviated in the world; with a core value like compassion you might be able to do help your fellow humans in some meaningful way.

                    8. Creativity

                    With technology taking most of the administrative jobs, creative people are going to be leading us into the future.

                    Someone who cherishes creativity is able to think up new and big ideas, see things that other people can’t and see the world around them through their own lens, not somebody else’s.

                    9. Discipline

                    Discipline will lead you to the life that you want, should you adopt it as a core value.

                    “Discipline Equals Freedom” is a term popularised by ex-Navy Seal Jocko Willink, and what it means is that if you can be disciplined in the right things, you will be free in the right things too.

                    Discipline to workout means more freedom in your body as you age. Discipline to save means more freedom with your time and money in the long-term. And so it goes…

                    10. Empathy

                    There is perhaps no greater value on this list that will connect you deeper to not just the closest people in your life but to complete strangers too.

                    Practising empathy requires the understanding that other people have a nagging voice in their own head, just like you do. That they have a worldview different to yours based on their experiences. And that’s ok. It’s not easy to adopt empathy as a core value, but it is certainly worth it.

                    11. Freedom

                    Freedom comes in many forms and that is why it is one of the ultimate core values to have. The freedom to choose, freedom to speak, freedom to live on your own terms, freedom to love and be loved.

                    If freedom becomes a core value of yours, watch how your life changes for the better.

                    12. Gratitude

                    Gratitude provides a powerful perspective shift whenever you feel yourself get into a rut.

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                    You can become grateful for the big things like having shelter, food and great people in your life. You can also become grateful for the small things like the cup of coffee that you just drank or the soft sheets on your bed.

                    13. Happiness

                    Happiness is a powerful core value and is not just restricted to your own happiness but also friends and family.

                    When happiness guides your decision-making rather than superficial things like money and status, you will find yourself in a much more satisfying position than if you chase other people’s idea of happiness.

                    14. Health

                    They say that a healthy man has a lot of dreams and wishes whereas a sick man only has one – to be able to get out of bed.

                    Health is the precursor to every other core value on this list; if you don’t have your health, you can’t do much else until you do. Because of this, health has to be a core value in your life.

                    15. Humility

                    Humility

                    is the antidote to arrogance and selfishness and is a value to adopt if you want to keep your feet firmly on the ground. It is said that you are never as good or as bad as people say you are.

                    Humility recognizes this and keeps you moving towards your goal, no matter what anyone else says.

                    16. Innovation

                    The act of innovation involves taking one existing thing and making it better. Although images of whacky car designs and complicated technology can spring to mind when thinking about innovation, it doesn’t have to be that grandiose.

                    Simply seeing something small and making it better in your own life is enough to make a world of difference.

                    17. Knowledge

                    Knowledge is power. Not power in the 14th-century medieval banker-sense but in the power to change your own life-sense.

                    Knowledge about yourself, others and the world allows you to understand everything that you see a bit better. When you see things for what they are, you can act accordingly and get to where you want to be.

                    18. Leadership

                    It take guts, determination, confidence and humility to lead. All of these qualities are both rare and admirable and are the reason why leadership is such an excellent core value.

                    The future is dark and unknown but also full of hidden treasures. We need someone to lead us, will it be you?

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                    19. Love

                    It can be argued that all of the core values on this list can be tied together by the one, all-encompassing value of Love.

                    When you value love deeply and try to show it in everything that you do, you make your world and the world of others a much better place.

                    20. Moderation

                    Forget this diet, that diet, eating there, eating then, working out before coffee or always in the afternoon. It’s all noise that works for some people some of the time – moderation is the key.

                    Not acting in moderation can also have some damaging consequences, especially for your health.[3] What works well for all people is everything in moderation.

                    Of course, life should be fun too so even ‘everything in moderation’, should be in moderation.

                    21. Peace

                    Peace is another core value that takes years of practice to perfect. However, its rewards are boundless with both the journey and destination full of rewards.

                    Peace enables clear decision-making, freedom in thoughts and actions as well as providing a deep understanding of the special life that you live.

                    22. Purpose

                    Purpose can be doubled up with ‘meaning’ as these are two values that provide the drive in any endeavour that you might pursue.

                    Purpose is what gets you out of bed every morning, it is why you sacrifice what you sacrifice and often entails something bigger than yourself. If you don’t have a purpose, it is unlikely that you will find much meaning in your life.

                    23. Responsibility

                    Nobody likes having to take the dog on a walk, having to clean the dishes or do things that they are reluctantly responsible for. However, responsibility can actually be an awesome way to add meaning and value to your life.

                    When other people depend on you and you fulfil your role as provider, not only are they better off but you get the satisfaction that comes along with it too.

                    24. Service

                    Similar to the responsibility point above, when you adopt service as a core value, you will have very little time to wallow in any self-pity, anxiety or existential angst because you will be busy making the world a better place.

                    Funnily enough, by serving others, many people find that they themselves are internally served with feelings of satisfaction and contentment.

                    25. Spirituality

                    Of course, there is the importance of physical health, mental health and emotional health, but spiritual health is just as important.

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                    Spirituality has nothing to do with religion, it simply means taking the time to listen to your body, to watch your thoughts, to connect with and appreciate the world and the universe that you find yourself in.

                    26. Trust

                    Trust is a core value on this list because it requires many other difficult skills that also help to develop you as a person.

                    To be able to trust and be trusted, you need strong relationships, an ounce of risk, a healthy dose of vulnerability and a smidge of humility. All of this creates a recipe for a very positive life with trust at the centre.

                    27. Understanding

                    Understanding comes from a place of acceptance of what is, not what should be or could be. It is the ability to recognise someone else’s viewpoint without trying to change it. It is learning that it is useless to fight against the way the world is and other people are, and to learn to dance with them instead.

                    28. Wealth

                    Not in the monetary sense but in the ‘having everything that you need sense’. Someone who is truly wealthy possesses great relationships, plenty of freedom, a life filled with joy as well as many of the other values on this list.

                    Adopt wealth as a core value and it will act as a magnet to other incredible things.

                    29. Wisdom

                    Contrary to popular belief, wisdom does not come with age but rather, experience. There are many young people with more wisdom than the oldest people that you know. What makes someone wise is their ability to see broadly and clearly, to use good judgement and to be decisive when necessary.

                    Wisdom is something that we all should seek.

                    30. Wonder

                    The final value on this list is wonder and it is the ideal place to finish.

                    Wonder is thinking about the possibility of what comes next, dreaming about how you and things could be better, pushing your own boundaries and what you think you are capable of each day.

                    Wonder is practical dreaming, and you should start right away.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Now you have a good idea of some of the core values that you can adopt, it’s time to not only decide which ones you like the best but also integrate and use them in your daily life.

                    Core values are designed to guide your decisions in your most difficult moments. Now you have everything you need to go and live the life that you want to live!

                    More About Self-Discovery

                    Featured photo credit: AndriyKo Podilnyk via unsplash.com

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