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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, 2019

                    How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                    How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                    Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

                    In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                    Step right up, don’t be shy!

                    Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

                    The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

                    Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

                    Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
                    So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

                    A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

                    Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

                    Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

                    When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

                    Culturally Conditioned

                    We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

                    I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

                    The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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                    Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

                    Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

                    Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

                    1. Broadens Your Network

                    After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

                    2. Improves Your Communication Skills

                    I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

                    Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

                    3. Continually Learning

                    So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

                    Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

                    4. Increases Self Confidence

                    Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

                    Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

                    So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

                    How to Talk to Strangers

                    Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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                    1. Say Hello

                    Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

                    Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

                    Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

                    2. Ask About Them

                    Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

                    You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

                    As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

                    3. Just Do It

                    One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

                    When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

                    Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

                    4. Don’t Take It Personal

                    One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

                    When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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                    5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

                    I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

                    One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

                    6. Detach

                    A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

                    Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

                    7. Share Your Stories

                    Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

                    To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

                    So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

                    8. Give a Compliment

                    Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

                    When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

                    9. Relax Your Body Language

                    If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

                    When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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                    If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

                    10. Practice, Practice, Practice

                    Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

                    Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

                    After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

                    The Bottom Line

                    As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

                    There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                    Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

                    Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

                    More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

                    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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