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10 Feelings You Should Never Take For Granted

10 Feelings You Should Never Take For Granted

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ― Helen Keller

How lucky we are as human beings to have the ability to feel. Emotions make us human. They allow us to relate, care and connect with everything on the planet in ways that other creatures cannot. Sure, feelings can sometimes leave us sad, but all in all, that is part of living the human experience. Feelings make the human experience as beautiful and ugly as it is. Don’t take them for granted. Give yourself permission to feel from today! Start with these 10 key feelings you should never take for granted in life.

1. Falling in love

Falling in love is a wonderful feeling. Nothing is quite like falling in love and being loved right back. Never take that feeling for granted. It’s a life-changing experience. Do whatever it takes to keep love alive.

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2. Losing someone you love

The feeling of losing someone close is deeply sad and meaningful. Never take it for granted. It helps you understand how fleeting life is. You learn the importance of appreciating those you love when they are still a part of your life. Too often, we don’t give much thought to the people and things we love until they are taken away. Talk, laugh, cry, and share quality time with loved ones daily, including your wife, husband, kids and parents.

3. Loving yourself

The feeling of loving yourself and being at ease, content and confident about who you are is deeply satisfying. It gives you a firm grounding in this world and should never be taken for granted. Nurture and protect it by practicing more self-love. Reassure yourself daily that you are beautiful, intelligent and wonderfully made. After all, you cannot love and care for others if you don’t first love and care for yourself.

4. Companionship

If you have at least one person you feel completely connected to, whom you talk to and share your most personal life details without fear or shame, don’t take that for granted. Many people today are lonely and lost, even when surrounded by others, because their connections lack depth. Reach out to friends, neighbors, relatives or supporting organizations that offer companionship, or adopt a pet if necessary, to enjoy that feeling of connectedness and companionship.

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5. Heartbreak

Heartbreak can sting at any age. When it stings, it affects the same part of the brain that is affected when you feel physical pain. Don’t take heartbreak for granted, or try to numb yourself to the pain of a broken heart, or swear to keep off of relationships forever. Instead, allow yourself to feel sad if that’s how you’re feeling. Draw lessons from the experience and give yourself time to heal. Time really does heal all wounds, even though you might doubt that at the time.

6. Satisfaction for a job well done

There is a sense of deep satisfaction that washes over you when you know you have given something your best shot and done the task to the best of your ability. Don’t take that feeling for granted. It is a powerful motivator that boosts your ego and helps you aspire for more. However, don’t dwell too long on your successes. Take pride in the things you do, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem, and keep moving forward.

7. Pride for showing kindness

Whether you show kindness to another human being, or an animal or pet, there is a special, warm and fuzzy feeling of pride in the act that sweeps over you. Savor that feeling and the connection you make in the process. It gives meaning and value to your life and makes both you and the other person truly happy. Just don’t show kindness expecting something in return. Show genuine kindness and it will beget genuine kindness.

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8. Enjoyment of a sumptuous meal

One of the most delightful pleasures of life is to sit and enjoy a delicious, full-course meal, especially when surrounded by loving family and/or friends. Don’t take that feeling for granted. Enjoy a sumptuous home-cooked meal and drink down a glass of fine wine to your full pleasure. Many people don’t get to enjoy that for different reasons ranging from health complications to the high cost of a decent meal.

9. Relief for releasing a full bowel

Ah, that feeling of rushing to the toilet and releasing a full bowel. Priceless! It makes you feel lighter and truly relieved. Don’t take the feeling for granted. Many people go to the toilet and constipate!

10. Success!

Success doesn’t come easy. You put in the hard work. You sacrifice your sweat and blood. You endure pain and hardships. In the end, you come out a winner. You become the champion! That is a glorious feeling. Cherish it when it comes. Winners are more likely to continue winning because they have tasted success and know what they are capable of.

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Featured photo credit: Mo Riza via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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