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10 Reminders That Some People Are Happier with Less than What You Have

10 Reminders That Some People Are Happier with Less than What You Have

Usually when we find ourselves struggling and going through difficult times, we tend to focus mainly on the negative sides of our own life. In order to become happy again, we have to shift the focus back and see all the great (and little) things that are going on around us. Sometimes it helps to realize that there are some people out there who are going through even more challenging times in their lives while having even more limitations, and yet, they find ways to live a life full of joy and happiness. Look around and find somebody who is happier with less than what you have and learn to appreciate all the little things again!

1. Someone is happy to be single.

Breakups are tough—we all know that! The feelings of losing a loved one is terrifying and a lot of people then start to worry about ever finding a great match ever again. The feeling of being single again sucks. Whenever you are worrying about being alone, and you just desperately feel like you need somebody else for a fulfilling life, it might be a sign to shift your focus again!

There are people out there who really enjoy being single! Just embrace the fact that you can use this time to “find yourself”. And although this might sound cheesy, take a moment and really evaluate that thought. You can go to new places and go for new experiences without worrying about anything or making compromises for a while.

A lot of people out there have never really been single for a long period in their life, and you should not miss out on this invaluable opportunity. These people have not invested enough time into themselves to even be able to live a healthy relationship  They do not know what makes THEM happy. How could you attract and be part of a great relationship when the relationship with yourself is not flourishing in the first place?

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Don’t go into a relationship with a half-empty glass. Use this time to go for crazy adventures and experiences. Live wild! Find out what excites you! Find what you love to do and THEN look for somebody to share it with!

2. Someone is suffering from a serious illness.

There are stories of people out there who suffer from serious illnesses and yet keep a happy face. It seems that in the face of death/illness you begin to reevaluate what is important in your life. You begin to be thankful for the things you DO have going for your life and you value human connection and bonding more again. Maybe you should also learn from these examples and appreciate the fact that there are people caring about you, wishing you only the best. In the end these are the most important things in life anyway.

3. Someone is not having all his limbs.

Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs. Still he fully enjoys his life. He travels the world, publicly speaks to thousands of people and inspires endless amount of souls by giving them hope when they’ve lost it. Doesn’t his story alone put all your petty problems into perspective? Doesn’t this convince you how you can achieve more with even less? It does for me!

4. Someone is failing even bigger than you.

Steve Jobs got fired from his own company and fell into a severe depression right after that. If you think you have been failing big time, think about how it would feel to spend years of your life to build a huge number one company, and then see it taken away from you by the very same people whom you build it up with.

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Although this might sound sad and depressing you also have to think about what Steve Jobs said about this situation AFTERWARDS (see Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address at 6:00). He ended up really enjoying the new limitless environment he found himself in. He could start anew and be creative without boundaries again. From this “big failure,” great new projects came to life. In the time Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, he started a new computer company called NeXt and also created Pixar (Toy Story 1995)! And he even got rehired at Apple too. So I guess good things CAN come out of situation which might look helpless in the first place. Maybe your challenging situation is one of these too!

5. Someone lost more money than you have.

Walt Disney wasn’t always known for Mickey Mouse and happy places. Walt Disney once had a ill-performing film studio that sounded like a joke-telling telegram company. When the mogul first started out in the Hollywood/cartoon business, he was pretty terrible. Disney originally created the “Laugh-O-Gram” corporation in Kansas City, Missouri that was forced to file for bankruptcy after just two years due to investors pulling out of the company.

By the end, Disney himself was suffering because of the company so he to start anew in California. And Walt Disney is just one case of famous (and successful) people who lost a lot of money on their path to success. The key is that they kept going and you should too! 

6. Someone is making less money than you.

There will always be people making more money than you do. Period. But it is not about how much money you make; it is about how you use the money you have. There is a difference between having resources and being resourceful. You might think you need more money to feel happy about yourself, but I guess you are just not using the money you have effectively enough.

There are people out there making less money than you do and still manage to live a full and abundant lifestyle. There are endless possibilities out there, but oftentimes, we tend not to see them. Sometimes we simply need to shift our focus and look at the problem from another angle. Instead of owning a costly Ferrari (if you wish to do that), why not rent one for certain weekends?

Instead of trying to make more money to travel more, why don’t you cut down on your expenses and responsibilities, or even move to another country where the conditions are more in your favor? Oftentimes we forget that the things we think we need are more than often just self-made boundaries we put in our own way. It’s less about having and owning things, and more about experiencing and living life! Be creative and doors will open!

7. Someone is not working his dream job.

Happiness is not about working your dream job! It is about aligning your daily actions with the vision you have in your mind. There are a lot of people out there who work a “bad” job and still are proud and happy about it. They put in a lot of effort and even over-deliver and love everything about it. Because oftentimes, not only is WHAT you do important, but furthermore, HOW you do it, which determines your overall happiness. These people learned to love every step that is necessary to get them to their greater vision in mind.

If living their dream requires them to sit during their off-time in an office job for some months, these people are willing to do it and they even love to do it, because they know that it brings them closer where they want to be. They might learn new skills they can use in the future. Or they might even learn some spiritual lessons, like accepting their current life situation and not resisting it, so they can experience more inner peace. Or they just do it for the sake of doing it, so they can put a little bit of money away each month. The saved money will then allow them to take the leap in 1–2 years from now. Either way it serves a purpose!

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8. Someone has no idea who his parents are.

You might not like your parents from time to time. You don’t feel aligned with their world view or how they handle certain things. Sometimes, you may also wish they would just disappear.

But there are people out there who have no idea who their parents are. They grew up alone and without support, safety and guidance. So your parents telling you how you should live your life might be a curse for you, but somebody else would have loved to feel some kind of connection and parental support! They would have loved to be able to go to somebody and get some elderly advice.

Sometimes, parents tend to be a little bit too “protective” with their advice though. They want you to do what they think is best for you. But the cool thing is: you don’t have to. Just appreciate the fact that they try to do whatever they can to make you happy. Sometimes they cannot express it in a way that is helpful for you or even appropriate. Sometimes what they think is good for you might not match your idea of living a happy life. Just be thankful that they care about you, love them and then do your own thing!

9. Someone cannot afford going to school.

You might tell yourself that school sucks. But there are a lot of people out there who would LOVE to be able to get the education you are getting there. You might feel like it is a waste of time, but for a lot of people, it would be a blessing. You might feel like it is boring to learn new things, but some people might get a rush out of exploring new things and learning new stuff. Maybe you can awaken your inner explorer again and feel the happiness which comes from learning something new!

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10. Someone has no WIFI.

Be happy you got today’s WIFI password! Not everybody else has!:)

Featured photo credit: savannchan via flickr.com

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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