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10 Things You Should Say “Yes” to More Often for a More Fulfilling Life

10 Things You Should Say “Yes” to More Often for a More Fulfilling Life

In this busy, fast-paced world of limited time and attention, a lot of us are quick to just say “no.” “No thanks!” “No time!” “Over-booked!” “Not one more thing!” But here are some common “no” areas that you might just want to say “yes” to. They’re worth the time, and they can improve your life.

1. Say “Yes!” to travel.

Any travel is good. It’s a chance to see some great scenery, mix things up a little, maybe even get out of a rut. If you really want to experience some growth and a new perspective, I recommend traveling outside the country (and not just for a touristy vacation).

My eyes were opened when I moved down to Mexico for a semester in college through a student exchange program. Not only did I meet people who talked differently and did things differently, I learned how people looked at things differently. Suddenly your world looks a little different when you’re on the outside looking in.

2. Say “Yes!” to fundraisers.

“Quick!” “Close the door!” “Walk the other way!” “Don’t pick up the phone!” Does this sound like your response to fundraisers? My family hated fundraisers. When we had band fundraisers, we’d buy up all the chocolate so that we could make the minimum quota without having to “bother” anyone else. (And then no one would else would have an excuse to hit us up, too!)

This seemed to work just fine, until now—I’ve realized that I am now a grown adult who is afraid to ask anyone for anything! Just like that chocolate experience, I feel I’m offering something others wouldn’t want—that I’m imposing on them—even though I have wonderful, valuable services to offer!

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Fundraisers are an opportunity to experience the cycle of giving and receiving. When we block ourselves off from participating on either side, we lose the opportunity to practice asking and to practice giving. We lose the chance to offer value and to receive value from others. We are also asking for their help, for their support or we are offering it.

I’m not saying that you should buy things you don’t want or even support every fundraiser that comes your way. But I do recommend giving where you can and participating when you can. And involve your kids in it, too, so they can get comfortable interacting with others while they have you by their side.

3. Say “Yes!” to farmer’s markets, fests, and fairs.

Are you the type to shy away from booths? From getting out and moving among the throngs of people? You’re probably missing out! This is a great way to meet people, bump into old people, and support the local community.

Do you know your neighbors? I’m one of those who has lived in the same town for years and who doesn’t know my neighbor, nor my town. Markets, fests, and fairs give you a chance to get move involved in the community and meet the people that make your town tick. Are you short on time? These city events give you many of the local businesses all-at-once, within steps of each other!

4. Say “Yes!” to talking with new people

As kids, it isn’t safe to talk to strangers. But as an adult, avoidance can cost you some of the most wonderful experiences of your life. People have made friends, found future spouses, and made great business contacts by opening themselves up to people in everyday experiences. Start with a smile—and if you get a smile back—see if you’re inspired to spark something up. Even starting with the weather can turn into a short heart-to-heart exchange that will brighten that person’s day and leave you all fuzzy and happy, too!

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5. Say “Yes!” to volunteering.

Many hands make the work go faster! Organizations can’t function without volunteers, and if you’ve been the solo volunteer for an event, you know how frustrating that experience can be. Money does help the world go ’round, but so do the things that are free.

Besides that great feeling of giving back to somebody or something, consider the other benefits. Many activities and events wouldn’t be possible without volunteers; others would be much more expensive without volunteers. Volunteering can also give you free experience. Volunteer to help with food prep and take some recipes home with you!

Do you miss playing games and other childhood activities? Volunteer at the park district or library to experience them again with new eyes. Don’t have much time? Narrow down your volunteering to an organization that you care about and offer them a one-hour block.

Do you like to do things your own way? Lead up a volunteer effort or create your own volunteer opportunities. Offer free tutoring at the library or offer your time to a local nursing home. Your action may mean the creation of something new and wonderful!

6. Say “Yes!” to the favor.

As in fundraising, you do not want to say yes to every favor. But think carefully before you say “No.” If you can make the time, you can really make a difference in another person’s life, and it will come back to you positively in one form or another. Just as Tracy Lawrence sings, favors are how you “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” In a busy world of multi-tasking individuals with their heads buried in cells and tablets, your time and attention may be the most precious gift you can offer, making the greatest difference. (And you’ll also feel great when you’re in a fix, and you’re friends do the same for you!)

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7. Say “Yes!” to that awkward thing (that pushes your comfort zone)

Of course we don’t want to do it—it’s awkward! If it’s making you squirmy and it’s continuously nagging at you, it’s probably time to take action. You’ll feel better when it’s done, and you’ll have grown in the process. If this thing is a skill that you haven’t gotten yet, practice, practice, practice! And don’t be afraid to get some help from others. Over time, the practice will become a part of you; you’ll become a master, and you’ll be able to help someone else who is struggling with the same thing.

8. Say “Yes!” to listening to your body.

Say “yes” to your body’s needs—it knows best! With all of the new fads, diets, food options, and new chemicals and preservatives out there, we can lose sight of what our body actually needs. Unfortunately, some of the things that we intake are designed to trick and confuse the body. Therefore, a period of detoxing/raw food dieting, etc can be beneficial to refresh your system and re-accustom your body to what it knows is best.

How often do you listen to your body? Look to the thoughts behind your cravings and learn to differentiate between your emotional cravings and physical needs. If you’re feeling thirsty, you are overdue for some water. If your stomach tells you it’s hungry, you’re hungry! If it feels full, you’re full! Every body is different. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for health!

Get to know your body type and what foods and eating patterns work best for you. If you’re craving certain foods, look at the nutritional content of those foods to see what your body might be missing. Also, remember to chew slowly and try not to multi-task while you eat. This will give your body the time and attention it needs to communicate to you what it needs. Don’t neglect the body! Keep it happy, healthy, and satisfied to ensure an enjoyable, fulfilling day!

9. Say “Yes!” to “me time.”

Some of us are very good at giving ourselves “me time.” Others of us are terrible at it! The key is balance. Extremes can ruin your life. The easiest evidence of this is “burn out.” This can happen to parents, workaholics, volunteer-aholics, exercise-aholics (________-aholics), obsessives, and over-achievers. No one wants the “burn out” teacher. No child wants to face the snippiness of the “burn out” mom or dad.

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Putting in lots of hours can look like a great service, but you’re doing no one a favor. Take some time to think about the things that make you happy, just you. Pick at least one—no matter how small—and do it. Frequently! If not every day, every week. Excitement is contagious! So find your passion, let yourself go, and get re-energized with life! You’ll have fun, be happy, and you’ll inspire others in your life to do the same.

10. Say “Yes” to date night.

This applies to everyone. Don’t have a “date”? Take yourself out. I love watching movies by myself. Instead of dragging my partner to my favorite chick-flick, I can enjoy it in all of its mushy glory, minus the mumbling from the seat next to me! Or else invite your friends, your niece, your kids! Take some time out to have fun and show some special attention to the ones you love.

If you do have a regular “date”—girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, spouse, whatever—do not put this on the backburner. It can be the key to a happy relationship. Make it frequent and make it special! Put it in your planner and take your partner out. If money is an issues, go to the park or check out the local free events—or stay in and make dinner together and watch a favorite movie. Sit out on the porch or in the backyard, enjoy a favorite drink/snack, and talk while holding hands/cuddling. Whatever you choose, keep that time sacred. Treat it as an appointment. If you have to miss, make it up to that person, and reschedule immediately!

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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