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10 Questions to Ask Yourself Everyday

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Everyday

“It is necessary for a man to go away by himself, to sit on a rock  and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?” ― Carl Sandburg

Here are 10 questions that you can ask yourself every day which will help you exercise the art of self-introspection and self-reflection to monitor your progress in life. It is best done at the end of the day before retiring to bed.

1. Am I a little better than yesterday?

You know you are progressing if you are a little better today that who you were yesterday. Instead of comparing yourself with others and falling prey to envy, jealousy and despair, try to become a little better every day.

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2. Have I built my character?

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” – Billy Graham

Your character is what defines you. Build your character upon the principles of truthfulness, humility, meekness and honesty. Character is not built in a day. It is built by daily investments you put in as you go on with your day’s activities. Do your work with integrity. Treat everyone with equality. Keep your words soft, sweet and comforting. Do not do anything, even if it seems petty, that can erode your character.

3. Did I give my best at work?

Did you feel excited about going to work today? Did you put all your heart and enthusiasm into work? If no, find out what is hindering you from doing so and resolve it. A satisfying day at work will elevate you mood.

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4. What did I learn new today?

Learn something new every day. Your mind and your health are the most precious resources that have been bestowed upon you. It is important to keep your mind sharp and supple. Read a book. Learn a new language. Build your vocabulary. Learn something new that you find interesting or useful to you. You cease to grow once you stop learning. Learning is never a waste of time. It will sure fetch huge dividends.

5. Have I made healthier choices?

Your health is your responsibility. Jog, run, or hit the gym; anything your schedule will allow you to. Sparing as little as 15 minutes a day is better than being dead 24 hours a day! Avoiding unhealthy food habits is a healthier choice as well. Reduce the consumption of junk food.

6. Have I protected my planet?

It is your duty to preserve the planet you live on. Do not leave the water running while you brush or shave. Turn off the lights and electrical appliances when not in use. Leave the earth a better place for your children.

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7. Have I expressed my love for my family and friends?

Note the word “express”. It is not enough to think lovingly or merely talk. Express your love and affection both in words as well as in action. Do a little work of love every day. A small investment everyday will reap big dividends.

8. Have I spent quality time with my spouse?

Spend quality time with your spouse. You don’t have to go out on a date every day. Take time to share your day, your experiences and your feelings with your spouse. And listen to your spouse as well.

9. Do I bear any grudges against anyone?

Before you go to sleep, rewind your day and check if you’d had a bad experience with anyone that day. No matter whose fault it was, try to resolve it before midnight. Call and say sorry. Speak it out and resolve the matter. Brooding grudges and malice isn’t healthy for your heart. The anger destroys you slowly. Forgive and let go, make peace.

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10. Am I content with my life?

Be content with what you have. Make happiness your ambition. Mind you, that doesn’t mean you have to be complacent. You need to have goals and strive for the best. But be content with what you have been blessed with. Count your many blessings and life live cheerfully.

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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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