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13 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Life Extraordinary

13 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Life Extraordinary

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to get ahead in life easily and effortlessly no matter what is going on around them? These people are amazing entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, leaders and even motivators. What is more interesting is that they are often not the most talented, hard working or smart people around. Yet, somehow, they achieve much more than the rest of us. What is it that makes their life so extraordinary? How can someone’s life even be extraordinary all the time?

Khalil Gibran says, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” The key to success isn’t complex. Rather, it is the cumulative effect of simple daily habits that bring success. If you are ready to live a truly extraordinary, you should follow the example of extraordinary people and do those simple things that perpetuate success and help make your own life extraordinary.

1. You must be more confident.

Do away with shyness. You are an extraordinary person and you should know that. Confident people have a marked assurance about them that just gives them an edge. Understand your own competences and the value you provide. Be at ease with who you are in full knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. Act in ways that convey that understanding to others without being arrogant to display confidence. Also, work out, dress better and use power poses like standing with arms outstretched to boost your confidence and appreciate yourself more. These are signs of confidence.

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2. You need to watch who you allow into your life.

Pay attention to who you allow into your life. Your energy levels grow or diminish based on what you are doing, who you are doing it with and or who you are surrounded with. If the people you allow into your life or surround yourself with zap your energy, deplete it and leave you exhausted, remove them from your life. However, if the people you allow into your life energize you and make you feel fired up and ready to go, cherish them and tap into their positive vibe to achieve more and live happier.

3. You must tell the truth.

The truth can be scary and difficult. But, when you tell the truth you not only set yourself apart from the majority, but also set yourself free to live without worry of contradicting yourself. You don’t have to remember what you said to whom. You earn a reputation as an honest person and people pick up on that and follow your example. They become more truthful to you. Start telling the truth today and never stop. Tell the truth to yourself and to others. Tell the truth when it is easy to do so and when it is not. Tell the truth to underscore you are serious about living an honest, extraordinary life.

4. You should practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about paying attention and staying aware of the world around you. In our fast-paced life, more people need to stop rushing through life, multi-tasking and start paying attention and noticing the world around us. Just slow down and appreciate your immediate surroundings. Focus on your responsibilities and experiences and respond to them with an objective, compassionate and non-judgmental attitude. You will find mindfulness helps you better respond to all of life’s experiences with calmness, sobriety and hope, even when those experiences are painful.

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5. You need to allow change.

Change is inevitable. From the day you are born to the day you die, you will encounter change severally. People marry, switch careers, re-locate to another city and even move overseas in the course of time. Give yourself permission to feel all of the emotions that come along with change. Deal with any signs of resistance that threaten to obstruct or hinder your progress, such as foot-dragging and inertia. Keep in mind the wise words of Anatole France, “…we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

6. You should smile and laugh more.

This is probably the simplest and easiest one to add into your life right now. Truly extraordinary people seem so happy because they chose to be. They are optimists. They focus on the brighter side of life instead of wallowing in the negatives of life. Recognize that a well-led life is full of humor and humor is the flipside of tragedy. Laugh and smile more in life. Laughter not only makes you look younger and more attractive, but also has numerous health benefits like lowering your stress levels. Besides, smiling and laughter is contagious. It infects others and makes their lives brighter too.

7. You must forgive and move forward.

We have all been hurt or offended at some point and will be hurt and offended in the future. Learn to forgive whenever you are hurt, otherwise the weight of unforgiveness will weigh you down. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened. It also does not mean the other person will change her behavior. Rather, it means letting go of the anger and recognizing there is no point in allowing resentment to dominate your life. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Let go and move forward. Start from a clean slate and you will enjoy a truly happy and extraordinary life.

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8. You must love what you do.

“Do what you love; Love what you do.” That was the unofficial work mantra of Steve Jobs. He preached and advocated love for your job passionately, attributing it in part to his success. He is quoted saying, “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.” If you can’t find what you love, at least start loving what you do. Focus on the little good things about your job like your workmates and do your best every time. You just might leave a notable mark in this world.

9. You need to seek help and guidance.

Nobody knows everything, which means you can’t do everything completely on your own. The sooner you learn this, the better. You will need help, advice, support and guidance along the way. People who lead extraordinary lives understand this fact and are not afraid to seek help. They are keen on learning new things and know seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of respect for other people’s skills and knowledge. Ask for help, advice or other information respectfully whenever you need it. Make sure you express your gratitude afterwards. You will be better off after it.

10. You need to sleep enough.

You don’t need to work extra hard to lead a happy, successful life. Instead, you can just work smarter. That includes sleeping enough to give your body and mind enough time to rest and recover so that both can function optimally. Get enough sleep each night—seven to eight hours, at least. You will wake up the next day refreshed, energized and ready for the day ahead. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re killing your productivity, killing brain cells and killing your chances of success without even knowing it.

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11. You need to show unexpected kindness.

A simple act of kindness (even to an animal) is a powerful force that can dramatically alter anyone’s perception and experience in life. Show kindness without expecting anything in return. Acts of kindness prove you care. When you care, people notice. And, when people notice, it is an opportunity to make a positive difference in this world that is mad-dogged with intolerance, impatience and aggression.

12. You should give genuine feedback and compliments.

Give genuine feedback and compliments to others, even those you only interact in passing. Express your sincere appreciation for what they do. This simple habit has a ripple effect that opens doors for you to receive similar feedback, which helps you know how you are doing in your own life and areas you can improve. People instantly like those who like them and genuinely want to help and support them. Words like “thank you” and “good job,” therefore, can pay you back tenfold.

13. You must have fun.

Just have fun, generally. Learn from Sir Richard Branson who believes that if you have fun and do good then success will come. We are only human. You need time off, fun and excitement in your life to blow off some steam and stir up your creative mind. Besides, success is not an overnight thing. You might as well enjoy your way to where you want to be.

Featured photo credit: Adib Roy via flickr.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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