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10 Questions That Prove You’re Doing Better Than You Think

10 Questions That Prove You’re Doing Better Than You Think

Life can be a roller-coaster of an adventure with highs and lows that rock your emotional being. I know it’s easy to fall into the trap of agonizing over things beyond our control, and to be totally honest with you, that very thing has been my activity of choice over the last month. Long story short, some unexpected bills and other unfortunate circumstances have added a significant amount of stress to my life, so I’ve been guilty of playing the, “Why me?” game myself. But the reality of the situation is this: stressing out over things beyond your control will not make your problems go away; it will make them a lot worseAnd the more I think about it, the more I realize I have a lot to be thankful for that I’ve been taking for granted. Do you have stressful, negative thoughts that you can’t get out of your head? I’m sorry to hear it and I know the feeling, but you’re doing better than you think. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it. Just ask yourself these ten questions.

1. Are you reading this article?

If so, you have a valuable tool at your disposal. The power of the Internet is limitless. You can learn about anything you desire, connect with old friends, explore job opportunities, search for support communities, and network with people all around the world.

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2. Can you go outside without fear of death?

Car bombs and mass shootings are a regular event in some countries, so be happy you have it so easy.

3. Did you eat something today?

One out of eight people in the world are suffering from hunger, so be thankful that you’re not one of them.

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4. So you’re stressed out about what to do with life?

Good. That means you’re ambitious and won’t settle for whatever life hands you. Channel your nervous energy into positive action, because consistent hustle always wins.

5. Do you hate your job?

At least you have one unlike the 11,500,000 people who are currently unemployed in the United States. If you have dreams of self-employment (and enough savings to support yourself), I’m sure an unemployed person would be happy to trade places with you so that you can pursue your passion.

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6. Is there a roof over your head?

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad I’m not at risk of shivering in the cold when winter comes.

7. Did you fail at something recently?

Failure is the most effective teacher you’ll ever meet, so be happy you learned a lesson. Stop looking at failure as a bad thing and see it as a learning opportunity. Improve yourself in some way every time you fail and eventually, you will become so developed that the only option left is success.

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8. Are you mad because your pet ate, destroyed, or pooped on something?

Before you answer that question, think about how happy your pet has made you over the years and ask yourself, “Would I trade that feeling for the world?” Didn’t think so. Yelling at it won’t make you feel any better, nor will your pet understand what all the ruckus is about, so just shrug it off. Live alone and feeling lonely? Adopt a pet and you’ll likely end up with the most loving and loyal companion you’ll ever meet.

9. Could you stand up right now if you wanted to?

Movement should be an expression of joy and thankfulness. You have working limbs and a body that can carry you wherever you want to go in this beautiful world. The next time you catch yourself putting off exercise, think about all the people in the world who are confined to wheelchairs. Some people don’t move because they can’t, so move because you can.

10. Are you feeling a little better about life now?

If this article made you thankful for things you’ve been taking for granted, I challenge you to make a list of every specific thing in your life that you’re happy about today. I would bet my bank account that you’ll discover you’re doing better than you think. What are you thankful for right this second? Tell us in the comments and you just might make somebody’s day.

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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