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10 Signs Your 30s Are Going to Be Awesome

10 Signs Your 30s Are Going to Be Awesome

Hey—now is the time to stop dreaming and start accomplishing. Time to grow up and get going. Your exciting 20s will soon be gone and your practical 30s will start.

Your 30s are a special time: There are complications but there are achievements. There are challenges but there are winning moments. There are clichés but there is newfound organization and clarity.

One thing is for sure. If you have the right attitude, your 30s will be wonderful. It’s the phase of life where your personal growth will see its peak. The mistakes you made and the experience you gained in your 20s will only polish you.

Here are 10 signs of happiness and why you should celebrate and welcome your wonderful 30s with sparkling smile on your face.

1. You don’t care as much what other people think about you

In your 20s you rebelled against everything—even things you secretly liked.The message was: stop trying to guide me. You told your folks that you weren’t a teenager anymore. You started making your own decisions about what you want from life in life. There were a lot of things you wanted to say “no” to.

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If that describes you in your 20s, it’s a good sign that you’ll stop seeking approval from other people so much in your 30s. In fact, you’ll find that you have to stop. If you do, you’ll be an independent and confident person in your 30s. Maybe you’ve made your share of mistakes but you’ve learned your lessons.

2. You finally figured out what your dream job is

If you’re not happy in your late 20s with your job or the way things are turning out in your career, it’s pretty normal. Maybe you weren’t clear back in college about the academic path that would resonate with you, or you discovered your passion late. Or maybe you landed a job just because you managed to impress the interviewer. You wanted enough cash to pay the bills, go out, and enjoy your twenties. Eventually—finally—you figured out what/where you actually want to be professionally.

You’ll now strive hard to make that dream come true in your 30s. You’ll learn to plan your career moves and settle for nothing less than your ideal job.

3. You actually care about 401(k)s and savings plans

In your late 20s, you start to repent some of that impulse shopping you did, or the money you exhausted on booze and weekend getaways. Your dream assets are used to be a fancy bike, limited edition designer jackets, high heel stilettos, or a Louis Vuitton collection. Now you want to buy a beautiful house or your dream car. But are running out of finances.

That’s why you’ll plan your 30s fantastically. You’ll be financially more stable by saving a huge chunk of your income to support your dream asset. Maybe you’ll even learn how to manage a 401(k) or buy a retirement plan.

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4. You stop kidding around

You’ve started avoiding clubbing, partying and binge drinking on weekdays. You’re not in the mood to upset your boss with hungover mistakes or with drowsy eyes the next morning.

You are settling into a life track. You now make sure to do certain things (read: partying) only on weekends. Or even better, you decide to spend your weekends doing more interesting things. Once you hit your 30s you’re going to rock in your professional life.

5. You figure out health is the way to wealth

Even in your 20s, with all the fun and bingeing, you might start getting concerned about your waistline. But hitting the gym or jogging every day still looks like something for losers.

Sooner or later though, you’ll start thinking about making your workouts fun. You’ll want to be more fit only because you love your body. Weekend hiking, swimming, sports like baseball, rugby, or roller derby—they all start to sound amazing. You’ll be much more creative about how you exercise in your 30s!

6. You’ll be wise and responsible

Falling short with finances for your dream asset, major considerations on relationships or extending your family, not fitting into your sexy outfits—all these things may have started worrying you but are actually good for your 30s!

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You will slowly but steadily stop draining your pockets. You will do your laundry regularly rather than buying new underwear every month. You will learn to cook yourself healthy meals to avoid extra calories and save some money. You’ll be wiser and responsible winning hearts of your loved ones.

7. You’ll see that hobbies and a career can go hand in hand

Your job, your bills, and your responsibilities have started taking a toll on you. So you’ll look back at that list of passions which everybody suggested to drop since they didn’t earn you money.

You’ll pursue your hobbies, educate yourself about the technicalities, take classes if necessary. Whether it’s a simple hobby like painting, gardening, or learning to cook a new cuisine, or something thrilling like paragliding, mountaineering, or learning a new dance form, you’ll be smart enough to manage your career and at the same time not to leave behind your passion.

8. You’ll see that life is what you make it

Are you like, “Holy crap, I’m gonna turn 30 soon and I’m freaking out because I still haven’t left behind the younger, sillier me”?

Don’t you worry about it! Your 30s will teach you to embrace life. After all, you’re in the realization phase of life. You’ll accept life for what it is (and what it isn’t). It’s only you who can make it interesting and productive. Your life will be what you make it.

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9. You’ll reap the rewards of true friendship

You are a friendly person and love to be surrounded by good people. You’re investing in new friendships and hanging out with new people. You’re really there for them through thick and thin.

Good job! Friendship is not only about emotional satisfaction. It also brings a lot of advantages. You’re not only having exposure to different personalities in the world but also are building a huge network which is essential today. You’ll be a better “people person” in your 30s with a lot of positive connections.

10. You’ll travel the world for insights

You’re traveling east and west, north and south. You’re exploring the world by visiting different countries, looking at nature, experiencing cultures and getting to know people.

Great! You’re only adding to your personal library of knowledge and insights. You’ll be able to understand life and its values. You’ll get a clear picture of your life in your wonderful 30s. A better person, a better parent, a better employee/employer. And more importantly,  you’ll be a better soul.

Conclusion: You might feel like you are going to have terrible years ahead because you’re on the verge of turning 30! But the good news is you’ll actually feel otherwise.

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You will tantalize yourself, you’ll know yourself a little more, you’ll learn to appreciate yourself and also you’ll learn to teach yourself lessons at times. If this is not enough to keep your spirits high while you’re stepping into a new decade, then just keep adding to your already-rich experiences.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.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!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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