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12 Steps To Building The Ideal Lifestyle

12 Steps To Building The Ideal Lifestyle

The ideal lifestyle is possible. Everyone can live the way they want… and in fact, they do. Because the way you live now, regardless of whether you like it or not, is what you chose to live like.

And you realize that mostly when you compare yourself to others, or when you do things you don’t want to do (the job you don’t like, different tasks and commitments). It’s when you see the bigger picture and understand this is not the way you want to live that you become aware of the fact that you can actually live better. So then you ask yourself: “What do I want my life to be like?” and “Who do I want to be in it?”.

And that itself is the first step towards your journey to the ideal lifestyle. It’s not about perfectionism, not at all. It’s about not having to work something we can’t stand, do things we don’t want, miss opportunities, lack time and sleep and so on.

It’s about enjoying life more, doing what you love, becoming someone you can be proud of, doing things for others and actually spending more time with your loved ones, creating things, giving and sharing… and simply being happy and contented with every day of your life.

1. Define the ideal lifestyle

For a start, ask yourself those two questions: “What do I want my life to be like?” and “Who do I want to be in it?”. Answer them in the best and most honest way possible, because this will be your definition of what you want in life and who you want to become, and will eventually become your reality after some time.

An important thing you don’t want to miss is accepting the idea that you need to become someone else in order to live another kind of lifestyle. Many people thing what could they improve in the outer world and tend to forget that many inner changes will happen too that are often more crucial. So be aware of that and embrace the qualities you need to build to become that person.

2. Eliminate the unnecessary

Without doing this, you can’t go any further. Because there are many things in your life right now that are preventing you from moving on. They may be people, thoughts, events, habits and so on. What you need to do is to eliminate them because they don’t have a place in your ideal lifestyle.

I don’t want to repeat myself (I’ve already written about it in a previous post), so here are the things that hold you back.

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3. Find what works best for you

Now that you have eliminated the unnecessary, you can make another step in your personal development. And this is the time to try and fail as much as possible. What I mean is, you need to find what works best for you. And the best way is to try as many different things as you can and preferably fail many times. Because there is no better teacher than experience and once you fail at something, you will know whether or not it’s for you and if it’s worth working on it.

Experiment with everything.

You will eventually find our which is the best sport for you, the foods that give you energy and boost your metabolism, the best time during the day for personal projects or working, the habits you need to establish, how you want to look, talk and behave and so on. You may decide that waking up at 5 a.m. is just not your things and although it’s connected with productivity and most successful people do it, you’re just more productive around lunch, or in the evening. So listen to your instincts in this case and do what’s best for you.

Test different sleep patterns, working hours, behavior, motivation strategies and so on. Find your thing and stick to it.

4. Build a few keystone habits

A keystone habit is a habit that provokes a chain of other activities that are good for you.

Getting up early for me is connected to a morning ritual with a healthy breakfast, a quick workout and a positive start of the day. This usually includes reading affirmations out loud and writing something. Going to the gym every day helps me stay on track. It’s followed by alternating hot and cold showers and staying motivated for the rest of the day. The earlier you build such habits, the better. Once you make them stick], everything else will improve too. So work on them now and concentrate on other things later.

Here are the best habits you can start implementing now:

  • working out;
  • meditating;
  • eating healthy;
  • getting up early;
  • planning your day from the night before;

They are proven to work wonders and it’s very important to stick to them no matter what. Just make them lifelong habits and do the certain thing even if you’re on a vacation, even after you’ve had a bad day, even when everything seems pointless.

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5. Find you passion

This can happen by listening to your inner voice, focusing on the things you enjoy doing, and trying new things.

The point is to not only find it, but also embrace it, get better in this things and make it an essential part of your daily life.

That will brings you such happiness, contentedness and purpose that you’ll never doubt it’s your thing.

6. Make it your job

Here things get a little harder as you’ll need to work on your passion as you’ve probably never worked before in your life. But the difference this time is that you’ll be doing something you love, so you can’t really call it working.

If you want to become a writer, write every single day, whenever you can. Try to improve your writing at the same time and find ways to promote your work.

If you are a gym freak, master your performance in the gym. Shape your body. Learn everything in this niche and get a certificate. Become a personal trainer and help others achieve the body you want. This way you’ll communicate only with people willing to improve themselves and will spend most of your days in the gym. Maybe open one of your own one day.

If the only thing you want is to become good in picking up girls, then practice that and master it. Read everything you can. It’s pure psychology so find out what you need to know about human behavior, how the brain works, confidence and so on. Practice it daily by talking to every girl you meet. Become overconfident and able to impress every girl you speak with. Then when you can consider yourself great in doing it, start teaching others how to do it. Make a blog, give ideas, train other shy guys how to get out there. Make videos, share advice. Speak in the 21 Convention one day.

I gave 3 totally random examples because I wanted to show you how absolutely everything in this world can be mastered and turned into something prosperous. Once you find what your passion is, work hard on it, dedicate time, energy and effort, believe in it every single day, you’ll manage to make it your job.

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And this will be a dream job. One that perfectly suits an ideal lifestyle.

7. Decide what time you want to spend working

Arrange things in such a way that you’ll be able to work every second week, a few hours each day, or 4 days in a week. It could be anything.

But this, of course, will be after you’ve worked hard enough and long enough (a year or so) and have turned what you love into a business.

8. Travel often

Traveling is one of the best things you can do in life. It’s important to make it something you’ll do at least once or twice a year. Preferably every 2-3 months. Most people usually travel to get out of reality and forget about their problems. But you’ve build such a lifestyle that has a great reality and you don’t want escape from it. Traveling is just because you don’t want to get stuck, to miss out on the beautiful things the world has to offer. You will refind yourself too while doing it, learn a lot about other cultures and see the beauty of life.

This way your life will never be sedentary and you’ll never get bored.

9. Have hobbies

Find out other things you enjoy doing and dedicate time to them every now and then.

10. Be always on the go

Never miss an opportunity to learn something new. No matter who you are now and what your income is, you always have what to learn.

Don’t neglect your spiritual and mental world. Meditate, read good books and find inspiration.

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11. Always be open for new things

Try to do something new and something you fear a few times a month.

It may be approaching strangers, bungee jumping, public speaking, dancing, visiting new countries, trying new sports, etc.

Each of them will be an amazing experience and will make your life even more exciting.

12. Give and be grateful

Giving is the best investment and can make you way more contented than buying new stuff. So be able to give as much as you can, be it advice, help, encouragement, money, stuff you don’t use and need.  Volunteer or give for charity. Also never forget to be grateful. Each step of this journey should go along with appreciation. Everything you have, even when it’s not more, is amazing and a big reason to feel deeply grateful. Express that feeling everyday towards the things, people, events and stuff in your life.

You see, building the ideal lifestyle may take some time, but it’s not impossible. Actually anyone can have it. They just need a burning desire to achieve all that, willingness to sacrifice, patience and a strong belief.

Eventually, they’ll understand it’s all worth it. And enjoying the journey is one of the things that make the ideal lifestyle such a sweet experience.

Featured photo credit: Slow, Mikael Tigerström via flickr.com

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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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