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11 Places of Happiness We’ve All Been To

11 Places of Happiness We’ve All Been To

We all want to be happy, and, like most things in life, the journey there is more important than the destination. If you’re looking for a reason to smile, there are some common places of happiness we all share, although each is for a different purpose. If your life is getting dull, these are the options. Use each responsibly, and at your own risk, though, because too much of anything is usually a bad thing.

1. The Past.

clock_by_farnk05 lifehack versability

    My alarm clock got tired of being hit…

    The past is filled with happy times if you know where to look. You can get a quick smile refresher from looking back, but if you dwell too often on the past, you’ll miss a lot of what’s going on around you in the present. Keep in mind that thinking about the past won’t bring it back; enjoy what you have left instead of lamenting what you lost.

    2. The Future.

    Joon and I were talking about this the other day; your dreams can become reality, but whether it’s because they’re premonitions or because you’re driving yourself toward your dreams is debatable. It’s OK to dream about a perfect future, but it’s more important to take actionable steps toward building that future – otherwise it becomes a carrot on a stick, and your life becomes a revolving treadmill.

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    3. Fairy Tales.

    clock_in_the_cup_by_ann_nick-lifehack Versability

      Think Midas has problems…Ever hear about Bastet’s Chronos Touch?

      Every so often we all fantasize about the alternate reality of our lives. Maybe you imagine sleeping with a co-worker or friend you’d never make a move on in real life. Perhaps you pretend you’re a secret agent instead of an accountant. Whatever you’re into, it’s OK to have your head in the clouds, no matter what anyone tells you. Dreamers built this world – never forget that!

      4. Home.

      Home is where the heart is. Some days you want to just bury yourself under blankets and relax at home. We all need time to ourselves, and your home is the place to do it. Just make sure you wander out every so often. It’s easy to connect to the real world while disconnecting with everyone else around us.

      5. Stuff.

      Many people seek relief from material possessions, but they aren’t always a bad thing. A stuffed animal or body pillow, for example, is a perfectly suitable temporary outlet for emotions or when you just need to cuddle. Inanimate objects can cheer you up, but don’t depend on them entirely. It still takes human connection to find true happiness.

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      6. Friends.

      Sadness with Friends

        Women…don’t fall asleep in public…it doesn’t end well IRL…

        Friends – how many of us have them? It’s important that your friends keep you happy. It’s not that you don’t occasionally need a reality check (and it’s OK to be around people who are sad), but you don’t want to fill your life with people who are constantly bringing you down. Just remember that you’re ultimately responsible for yourself, and don’t throw away your own goals and dreams for your friends.

        7. Family.

        a_woman_s_touch_by_huggybear lifehack

          Yes, honey…I’m aware you’re used to being the controversial one in a mixed-race relationship, but times have changed…

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          Blood is thicker than water; your family should always be your main source of happiness. If something’s wrong with your family, it’s a good idea to look into it. These people provide comfort, and, unlike everyone else in your life, your family will always be your family, no matter what. If you can’t talk openly and honestly with your family, you’ve got problems.

          8. Romance.

          Sometimes you need a confidence boost. If you’re already in a relationship, it’s OK to lean on your partner for happiness every now and again, but you need to be happy on your own as well. Single folks are worse off; investing emotions into intimate or romantic encounters when you’re single can cause some major crashes.

          9. Pets.

          a_dude_and_his_rad_dog_by_lonefirewarrior-lifehack versability

            Get a dog, they said…women will think he’s cute, they said…

            The only thing that can possibly make you happier than family is a pet. Pets don’t care about any of the dumb things going in your life, or how much money you make, or about any of the random things people judge you by. Pets are as close as you’ll get to unconditional love. Just treat them right, because if you don’t, I’ll hunt you down (and so will many other people on the internet).

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            10. Consumerism.

            Buying something for yourself or other people is a great way to perk up with a quick smile, but don’t go overboard and directly tie your happiness to what you can buy. Tying your sense of self-worth to your financial situation is never a good idea, because when you’re unstable financially, you end up unstable emotionally at a time when you most need happiness.

            11. Nature.

            monument_valley_i_by_matthieu_parmentier-lifehack versability

              Babe…why did we walk out into the middle of the desert to look at the sky? I can see the sky from my room…

              Sometimes what you need is to get away from the rat race. It’s possible to spend so much time working that you forget what it is that’s really important to you. When things get to hectic, don’t be afraid to pull out and head out into the woods. Backpacking, hiking, and camping are some of my favorite ways to get in touch with nature and remember life’s not so bad after all.

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              Last Updated on April 11, 2019

              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

              I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

              I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

              Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

              How Communication Skills Help Your Success

              Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

              Create a Positive Experience

              Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

              When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

              What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

              Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

              As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

              Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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              Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

              Help Leadership Skills

              It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

              Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

              As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

              Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

              If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

              Build Better Teams

              Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

              In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

              If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

              When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

              Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

              There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

              Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

              1. Listen

              Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

              Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

              People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

              Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

              Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

              2. Know Your Audience

              Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

              Here is a good way to think about it:

              Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

              You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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              3. Minimize

              I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

              He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

              Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

              State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

              The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

              4. Over Communicate

              So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

              What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

              Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

              Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

              Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

              There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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              5. Body Language

              The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

              When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

              In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

              When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

              Conclusion

              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

              Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

              There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

              Now go communicate your way to success.

              More Resources About Effective Communication

              Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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