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15 Essential Life Truths You Need To Live By

15 Essential Life Truths You Need To Live By

There’s almost no end to popular sayings and advice to live by. Often the most profound life truths are summed up in what most would consider mundane platitudes and clichés. Irrespective of the banality, these messages can teach us essential lessons to help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives if we follow their wisdom. Here are 15 truths to help you live your best life yet.

1. We create our lives with the choices we make.

“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, you can make a different choice.” Wise proverb

boat on water

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to control; number one: we have no control, and number two: we do. The problem with the former is that it strips us of our power of choice, while the latter option gives us unconditional access to paths of awe. When broken down, the distinctions in our lives comes down to what we choose.

    These choices can come in different shapes and sizes. We may make choices about various topics such as our careers, our income, our friends, our environments, and our beliefs. Ultimately, though, what we choose to focus on at any time is what controls our lives and our destiny, and each new day is a new opportunity to choose how your life will unfold.

    2. Your feelings are guideposts to your truth.

    Abraham-Hicks has a wonderful philosophy: “Negative emotion always means the same thing, every single time; my thought or behavior is moving in opposition with who I really am and what I really want.” Consider this: caregivers of small children are guided by them by paying attention to their emotions, and pet owners can tell any range of emotions by the way their pet displays their feelings. You, too, know when something feels great or feels crappy. Be true to your feelings. They exist to show you the way.

    3. If you want to be loved, first love yourself.

    “You will be loved and respected only if you love and respect yourself.” Paulo Coelho


      For many people, the task of loving themselves is a difficult one. Without forgiveness, broken relationships and disillusioned expectations sometimes create barriers to experiencing love. The truth is, no matter how much people may love you, unless you are able to love yourself, you will not be able to acknowledge or accept the love of others. Take time to learn the truth of who you are: you are love.

      4. You teach people how to treat you.

      Tony Gaskins stated Life Truth #4 like this: “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” I think this is a great metric when considering not only what we may be teaching others, but what we value for ourselves. Use this standard to take inventory for yourself and ask the question, “Is what I’m showing others what I wish to be conveyed?” If not, wouldn’t now be a perfect time to begin a new lesson?

      5. Find purpose in all that you do.

      hangingon

        There’s a quote that’s attributed to Mark Twain which I love: “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
        “Purpose” is a word whose meaning often eludes many people, but without it they may find themselves feeling lost and confused in life. And while “purpose in life” is a meaningful goal, in order to truly enjoy life’s intricate details, one must live each moment with purpose. This means giving complete attention to each task, each conversation, and each thought. This is the secret of the truly happy.

        6. Spend more time looking for a solution than dwelling on the problem.

        “You are not a problem solver, you are a solution finder.” Abraham Hicks

        Our culture has assigned the title “problem solver” to someone who resolves issues. Unfortunately, many people spend so much energy considering the problem (“Why didn’t I get what I wanted?”; “How did this terrible thing happen”; etc.) that there’s little room to consider a solution. When addressing life, family, or relationship issues, ask yourself the question: “Will time spent considering the problem help me in this moment?” If not, find ways to shift your focus to improving things for the future.

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        7. We become what we behold.

          There’s a reason why we have ratings on our movies, video games and albums: not everything is suitable for every audience. We believe this because we’ve read study after study about how impressionable we are (especially as children). If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people and/or resources. If you want to be timely, study the habits of timely people. Visualization and focus on your loftiest goals will eventually lead you to become that.

          8. Don’t take things so personally.

          I always liked the saying, “What others think about me is none of my business.” This is not the same as someone who says, “I don’t care about your constructive criticism.” Let’s face it: we all have room for improvement, but a great way to drive yourself mad is to take every comment, criticism, or critique personally. People will reveal their characters to you based on their values and beliefs; you don’t have to make them yours.

          9. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

          “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” George Bernard Shaw


            If you spend any time at all studying business experts, they’ll all tell you the same thing: don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes, they attest, are the building blocks to massive success. Thomas Edison, when asked how he felt about his early failures with one of his inventions famously said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If you adopt the philosophy of learning, you’ll only have lessons, not failures, to look back on.

            10. Know that the sun is always shining behind the clouds.

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              I don’t always love flying—especially when the clouds are thick with rain. When the wind tosses the plane and the clouds create turbulence in the ascent, I often close my eyes and pray that I arrive at my destination safely (so far, so good.)

              What I do love, however, is that no matter what the weather, once the plane clears the clouds the sky is calm, the clouds are peaceful, and the sun really is shining bright in the sky. I like to remember this truth on days when I’m feeling down or scared or things look like they might get ugly. No matter what clouds may be in your life, the same sun shines bright for you.

              11. There is freedom in learning to be flexible in life.

              “When you struggle against this moment, you’re actually struggling against the entire universe.” Deepak Chopra

              Life is not predictable. Someone’s going to run late, some important item will be forgotten, something will be lost, and at the end of the day, the show will still go on. Those who learn to “go with the flow” enjoy more satisfaction in life than those who spend time lamenting about what “could have been.” Why struggle against the entire universe? Take a lesson from Leo Babauta and follow these practical steps for learning to go with the flow and being flexible. It could mean the difference between a great life and a stressful one.

              12. Each day is precious. Cherish the time you have.

              “Never pass up the chance to say ‘I love you’ because tomorrow is never promised.” Unknown

              I’m nearly the age my mother was when she passed away twenty-eight years ago. While it doesn’t have the same affect on me now as it did when I was a child, I try to live every day in reflection of the fact that none of us is promised another day on earth. Even if you were to outlive Jeanne Calment, life is short. Cherish the time you have while you still can and fill it with every wonderful thing your heart desires. After all, isn’t that what life’s about in the end?

              13. Build and maintain quality relationships.

              “The quality of your life is in the quality of your relationships.” Tony Robbins

              beckster-ames

                What’s life without other people to share it with? Relationships are what make life the possible, adventurous journey that it is. And any person who has lived a quality life will be quick to credit their relationships along the way. The good news? You probably already have people in your life who you love and cherish immensely. The great news? Today’s a great day to remind them how much they mean to you.

                14. Do what you can to take care of your body.

                “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

                amesjump

                  Cardiovascular diseases killed nearly 17 million people in 2011

                  ; that is 3 in every 10 deaths. Of these, 7 million people died of ischaemic heart disease and 6.2 million from stroke. Most contributing factors to disease are preventable, and benefits of taking care of one’s health not only directly improves your life, but your continued existence can serve as a support to your loved ones.

                  15. Stay curious and you’ll never be bored a day in your life.

                  Take a lesson from children: they’re always eager to play, eager to learn, and eager to do. Sadly, somewhere along the line many of us lose this sense of wonder and “grow up” and out of our natural state of curiosity. But when you’re able to maintain that sense of interest and intrigue, you are not only resistant to boredom, but you set a course for a life of bliss and improved mental ability. So what do you want to discover today?

                  origin_4028043294 always be curious

                    Featured photo credit: http://mrg.bz/FLVVPJ via media.lifehack.org

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                    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                    Posture

                    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                    Facial Expressions

                    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                    2. Relax Your Face

                    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                    3. Smile More

                    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                    4. Hand Gestures

                    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                    5. Enhance Your Handshake

                    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                    Final Takeaways

                    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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