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34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

Time is the currency of life—we have a certain amount of heartbeats with which to savor it.

In today’s hectic world, it’s also more scarce than ever. We watch the clock in a meeting, waiting for the hands to move so we can go home. When a deadline approaches, we wish for more hours in the day. We squander what time we do have on mindless pursuits like binge-watching the latest show on Netflix, scrolling through Twitter, then later feel guilty or not spending enough time with our kids.  

When we don’t have a connection with the flow of time, we lack purpose. We move through our days aimlessly. We feel worse, and our personal and professional lives suffer.

But when we adjust our relationship with time and find our center, we can take ownership of our commitments and our lives. 

Here’s how to stop time and live in the moment:

1. Real Gratitude Takes Time

Gratitude is good medicine and is always time well spent. It helps relieve stress and build positive energy, and it gives us great perspective on life.

Every day, you should take some time out to be grateful for what you have. Here’re some ideas for you:

40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

2. Nature Is Our Guiding Light

In nature, things move with the sunlight and the seasons. Society artificially compresses time. Tapping into nature’s rhythms will connect us with life around us and feel more energetic and productive.

3. There Is a Time to Hustle and a Time to Chill

If you’re hustling 24/7, it wreaks havoc on your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s crucial to carve out down time to slow down and breathe.

Bring a blanket and book to the park, or take a long walk without your phone.

4. Anxiety Is Mostly a Waste of Time and Energy

Worry steals joy and negatively impacts decision-making. It’s understandable to often feel overwhelmed by life’s unknowns, but spending all day worrying about something that “might happen” is a waste of time and energy.

Acknowledge the frightening thoughts, and move on to the task at hand. This anxiety coping mechanism can help:

Anxiety Coping Mechanisms That Work When You’re Stressed to the Max

5. Discover What You Want

Make a list of all the things you want to do, including exercise, personal time, family time, reaching, yoga etc.

Take a look and make sure it reflect your desires for self-care. If you did these things, would you feel calmer and happier? If so, add them to your calendar and prioritize them.

This guide can help you discover what you truly want:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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6. Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be a Grind

Exercise isn’t about quantity—it’s about quality.

Are you focused? Can you breathe into and slow down that bicep curl? If so, then a few solid reps do the trick, and you can move on with your life and use the extra time to read a book or take a nap.

7. We Need Space to Digest Thoughts and Emotions.

When you aren’t digesting your thoughts, you create a backlog of mental suffering that keeps you from being present with your friends and family.

To fix this, allot time to process your feelings. A hike in nature is a great time to work through that emotional turbulence, in turn allowing you to be more present for the rest of your life.

8. Sitting Is the New Smoking

Numerous studies are linking a stagnant lifestyle with a high rate of mortality. Get up and move around frequently throughout the day to improve your body’s functions and overall sense of wellbeing.[1]

9. Meal Time Should Be Ritual Time

Our ancestors spent hours preparing meals and enjoying them with loved ones. Today, we scarf food down in our cars in between meetings.

We should return to seeing mealtime as an opportunity to slow down and nourish our bodies, absorb nutrients, and relax into the digestive process.

10. Cut the Fat

We all have people in our lives who sap our energy without giving back. Draw boundaries and take your time back.

If you aren’t sure how to get rid of these toxic people, take a look at this:

15 Effective Ways Clever People Handle Toxic People

11. Family Time Means No Distractions

Instead of multitasking on work emails when you’re with your family, give them your all.

Walk the dogs together or have dinner without devices. Work to get in quality time with your family every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.

12. Communication Isn’t What It Used to Be

Today, the vast amount of our communication is electronic. But it’s important to interact face-to-face to really connect.

Wake up and pay more attention to your in-person communication, focusing on things like body language and eye contact. See how much better you feel.

13. Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Not all time is created equal. There are times of the day, times of the week, seasons of the year, and even eras in your life when you need to lean into things and devote more hours to your career or projects.

So plan your day for maximum productivity and leisure time.

14. Mix up Your Workspace

Work can suck our time and prevent us from properly caring for ourselves. If you rearrange your workspace a bit, you’ll give yourself more room to think outside the box.

Spacial awareness cues our bodies to stay more awake and wires our brains to work more efficiently.

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15. Daydreams Give You New Insights

It’s healthy to daydream, but it can also become disruptive.

Time debt has us constantly catching up on yesterday’s thoughts. Block off some time to think about a trip you’d like to take, and imagine the sights, sounds, and textures.

Building positive and productive daydreaming into your life can be therapeutic and inspiring.

16. Trading Time for Money Is Limiting, but It’s a Necessary Evil

Modern society puts a dollar amount on our time. Can you do a project online to earn more money on the side and buy back some of that time?

Ideally, you create a gig where your passive revenue matches and then exceeds your bills. You can use that income to bank money and buy a better future for yourself, or you can choose to chill out and garden all day.

This article may inspire you to think differently about time:

How to Gain More Time Like Making Money

17. Music Is the Space Between the Notes

Music would drive us crazy if there is no space between the sounds. Yet that’s how we live our lives—nonstop motion, never slowing down.

Pick an instrumental track you love and make some space to sit with it. Then see if you can sync your breathing with the song’s cadence. If you master this, you can learn to slow down in your regular life.

18. Our Time-Saving Devices Are Actually Draining It.

We created technology to help us save time and energy, but constant alerts, reminders, and notifications take us out of the present.

Take a hard look at your relationship to technology and see where you can cut back.

19. Don’t Let Social Media Become a Tick

I get it. Social media is a way to feel connected to your world and in the loop. But checking it can become a social tick that completely removes you from the world around you, and it’s time to break the habit.

Have a social media blackout day in order to reset.

20. Five Deep Breaths Can Help You Think More Clearly

Set a timer for every 30 minutes. Whenever it pings, stop what you’re doing and take five deep breaths down to your lower abdomen.

Focus on slowing the inhale and holding for a second at the top of the breath. Then make a long, deep exhale.

When you train your body and mind to press pause and nourish your breath regularly, you feel calmer.

21. Many Big Life Decisions Are Made Under Duress, Slow down and Stop Reacting

If you think through your history of big decisions, you’ll realize how many you made when you were stressed and under the gun.

You make better decisions when you’re calm and collected. If you breathe deeply to your core and focus your energy on staying in the moment, you’ll see reality more quickly and make a smarter choice.

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22. The Sun Isn’t Your Enemy

Given the negative effects of UV exposure, sun has gotten a bad rap lately. But we all need sunlight to trigger vitamin D synthesis and balance our neurotransmitters. Make a concerted effort to spend time in the sun to reap the benefits.

23. Give Yourself a Break

Take a 5-minute break once every 25 minutes. Get up and stretch, or do some squats—whatever gets your blood flowing.

Listen to your body and let it decompress. Practicing this throughout the day will keep your oxygen pumping to give you more energy.

24. Sleep is Crucial

In today’s busy world, there’s less time to build recovery into your schedule. But sleeplessness makes us tired, weary, moody, less enthusiastic, and unfocused.

If you stay in this state for too long, you’ll start to see negative effects on your career, relationships, health, and mood. Try giving up caffeine to reinvigorate your sleep life.

25. Bed Time Is Sacred

The bed should be only for sleep and making love, but we often use it for other things like eating, watching TV, and doing work.

Take all those activities and move them elsewhere. When you stare at a screen in bed, you’re compromising your sleep schedule.

26. Quality Time in Low Light Is How Our Ancestors Lived for Generations

When the sun went down, our ancestors would wind down by candlelight or hang out around a fire. The darkness signalled our brains to start shutting down and prepare for sleep.

We need the darkness to reset. Every night, take a few minutes before bed to slow down in the dark.

27. If You Need Help, Ask for It

Enlisting help is not easy—many of us are control freaks. But not being able to get help is exhausting, and not asking for help will lead to burnout.

Look at your day and see where you’re spending time on menial tasks you don’t need to be doing. Let people help you.

This article is a great reminder for anyone who is reluctant to ask for help:

Afraid to Ask for Help? Change Your Outlook to Aim High!

28. We Spend an Average of One Hour per Day in Our Cars

The time we spend in cars is crunching our spine, tightening our hips, collapsing our posture, and slowing down our metabolism.

To counter the negative effects, keep your body engaged and postural muscles active.

Use your car time productively, like by listening to an audiobook or catch up with your mom on the phone.

29. A Vow of Silence Is Therapeutic

We live in a world of noise, and we spew endless energy on wasted words.

Take a few days to be more mindful about your conversation, and avoid saying anything that is unnecessary—you’ll be shocked how much more time you have.

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30. Books Can Take Us out of Time and Space

Books give us information, insight, and knowledge, and take us to new places. All the most successful people I know are avid readers.

Today, pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read and get through at least 30 pages. Relax into the experience and know it’s time well spent.

31. Enjoy a Moment with a Neighbor

Back in the day, we used to be close to the people who lived in close proximity to us. Today, it’s just a quick smile or wave as we pass in the driveway.

Making an effort to connect with the people around you will make you feel less lonely and improve your mood.

32. Traumatic Events Carry a Heavy Weight in Our Mental Timeline

Trauma imprints on our cells and stays with us throughout our lives.

When you experience an uncomfortable feeling that’s associated with a harsh memory, close your eyes and follow your emotions in. It may be uncomfortable, but when you breathe into the area, you and heal your past.

Try these steps to let go of the past and move on:

10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

33. You Can’t Get Back Lost Time

Although there’s no use crying over spilled milk, there certainly is an opportunity to reflect and see how you could have avoided that incident for the future. There is always a lesson in your mistakes you can learn from:

10 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Reading My Past Journals

34. Creativity Takes Our Minds off the Clock

Sometimes it feels like you have no control over when inspiration hits. But this isn’t entirely true.

Through meditation and diaphragmatic breathing, you can engage the right hemisphere of your brain and foster creative thinking. This way, your creative juices spring up naturally, and before long, you’re in a timeless flow state.

Everyone can be creative, here’s how to rejuvenate your creativity:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

The Bottom Line

We aren’t going to be around forever. Make the most of now.

Thinking about death shouldn’t make you depressed. It should help build enthusiasm for the time you have here—to optimize it and savor every moment. What can you do right now to positively impact your legacy on this planet?

Featured photo credit: Barbora Polednová via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Well.org: Are You Sitting Too Much?

More by this author

Pedram Shojai

An author, filmmaker, and founder of a health and wellness platform at the cross section of health, environmentalism, and conscious capitalism.

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment 6 Mental Exercises For Busy People To Calm the Hectic Mind

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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