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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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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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