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15 Things People Who Love Their Lives Do Differently

15 Things People Who Love Their Lives Do Differently

I think pretty much everyone’s ultimate goal is to be happy and love their lives. But how many people really do? If you ever come across the lucky few who genuinely do love the life they are living, you might think, “What are they doing differently?” If that thought has ever crossed your mind, here are 15 things that these people do, that you can too…once you make the decision:

1. They know that life is short.

It might sound cliche, but people who love their lives know that every moment is a precious gift. They frequently have their mortality on their minds, not in an obsessive way, but in a way that reminds them to live each day to the fullest and not take a single thing for granted.

2. They aren’t demanding of other people’s attention.

If you’re happy and love the life you are living, there is no need to be the constant center of attention. People who love their lives tend to be self-confident, and they don’t need everyone falling at their feet to feel good about themselves.

3. They are wise with where they spend their money.

Happy people who love their lives realize that being impulsive or careless with their money will have negative consequences. They think before they spend. They budget and make sure that they never go into debt, because that would cause unneeded stress.

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4. They are in touch with their feelings.

Part what is so great about life is loving other people and feeling our emotions deeply. While they can’t guarantee that their emotions will always be good, people who love their lives allow themselves to feel and express emotions. They realize that feelings are part of life and they don’t repress them.

5. They claim their own power.

In other words, they don’t let anyone control their world. For example: if someone says or something nasty to them, they don’t let it ruin their life. They change what they can, accept what they can’t, and let the negative emotions flow through them so they don’t let other people control how they feel.

6. They roll with the punches.

Life never goes the way we expect. People who love their lives know this. They know that the unexpected can happen, but they don’t let it stop them from being happy. They simply shift gears and find another direction.

7. They know how to control their actions.

Some people think their actions are a result of some outside force. How many times have you heard, “She made me yell because she said something stupid!” No. No one makes you yell but you. Yes, people can make you angry, but what you do with that anger–and how you channel it into action–is another story. People who love their lives know this.

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8. They take responsibity for their actions.

No one is perfect. As I said in #7, happy people know that they control their actions. However, sometimes they make mistakes. If they ever temporarily lose control and behave in a manner that may have hurt someone (or isn’t productive), they apologize. After they apologize, they change their behavior.

9. They turn their passion into a career.

You have probably heard people say, “Do you what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Many people agree, but they don’t know how to make it happen. People who love their lives know that there is a way to turn any passion into a money-making opportunity.

10. They know they have the ability to control their thoughts.

Most people think that their thoughts control them, instead of vice versa. That isn’t true. At any time, you have the ability to choose a different thought. You might not believe it at first, but the more you replay a positive thought over and over in your head, the more you will start to live it.

11. They only associate with positive people who lift them higher.

Happy people don’t like to be around negative people. They get drained, and would probably rather be home reading a good book alone than be around any negativity. No one likes complainers, so people who love their lives only surround themselves with other positive people.

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12. They enjoy being with people and being alone.

Being social is fun, but being alone also has its benefits. People who love their lives are able to incorporate both into their lives. They don’t necessarily lean to either extreme; they tend to have balance.

13. They are confident in the choices they make.

They have the ability to step back and logically analyze the choices presented to them. They think before they act. They look at the possible consequences of each choice. Once they make a decision, they are confident about it. Even if it doesn’t turn out as planned, they can change courses fairly easily and happily (see #6).

14. They know how to be a positive influence on others.

People who love their lives know that their life is an example for the world. They know that other people are watching them, and they try to be the best they can be. They only want to spread happiness and joy, and to model good behavior.

15. They love themselves.

This is not narcissistic love (narcissism isn’t really self-love at all). What I mean is that they genuinely like who they are. In other words, if they were someone else, they would probably be friends with themselves. They think they’re pretty cool.

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If you don’t love your life, don’t give up hope. There are always changes you can make to become happier. These 15 things are just the start to being happy and loving your life. Why not try a few of them today?

Featured photo credit: Happy hipster girl making photo with retro camera on city street via shutterstock.com

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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