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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

                    What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                    What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                    When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                    Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                    It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                    While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                    Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                    What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                    How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                    It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                    People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                    “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                    In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                    Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                    As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                    When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                    It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                    What are Interpersonal Skills?

                    Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                    In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                    From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                    For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                    Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                    How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                    There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                    There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                    Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                    I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                    Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                    “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                    Don’t overlook introspection.

                    While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                    Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                    When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                    Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                    “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                    The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                    The Bottom Line

                    You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                    Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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