Advertising
Advertising

20 Pieces of Life-Changing Advice You Can Actually Learn From Your Daily Life

20 Pieces of Life-Changing Advice You Can Actually Learn From Your Daily Life

Only 24 hours, yet so much goes on in that time span. You go about your day, going through the boring and often dramatic events. How often do you stop to realize that each hour of your day is packed with life-changing wisdom? Sure, there are the big events that punch you in the gut. The lessons from those are hard to ignore, but there are also many mundane things that happen in a day that also have a lot to teach you, if you become aware of them.

1. You have the opportunity to make a difference in the world and in yourself. Make the day meaningful.

Waking up Every morning you are given another chance to think about your purpose in life. Before you get out of bed, take a moment to realize that you have been given the gift of a brand new day. How can you make it meaningful?

2.  Breathe your way to a calmer, healthier, happier life.

Breathing. You do it all day but unless you’re a regular meditator, yogi, or tri-athlete, you probably don’t pay much attention to your breath. Yet, breathing is the source of life. Learning to breath properly can relieve anxiety and stress, prevent illness, improve your sleep, help you manage your pain, lower high blood pressure, promote weight loss, and has many more benefits.

3. Start the chain reaction of positive tasking.

Make your bed. If you’re a neat person, making the bed is something that’s easy for you. But if you are the type of person who rushes out the door at the last minute, making the bed is the last thing you think about. It’s time to re-think that. There are many lessons in the making of your bed. Didn’t your mother tell you, “The way you make your bed is the way you sleep in it?” I never understood what that meant but I knew there was profound wisdom in it. I’m sure “sleep” was a metaphor for life. So listen to your mother, if you want to have a smooth life, make your bed.

Advertising

4. Most things are not as bad as you think they are.

Washing the dishes. Did you know it takes only one minute to wash a pan, two knives, one fork, a cutting board and a bowl? See for yourself. Time it. Instead of turning your back on that stack of dirty dishes in the sink, invest a minute and wash them. You’ll feel so much better if you do. Don’t make things worse than they really are.

5. Smaller problems are much easier to manage than larger problems.

Not putting your things away. Piles are easy to accumulate. Clothing, paper, bathroom towels, whatever your piles may be, your piles say a lot about you. It’s easy to accumulate piles in our private homes, no one sees them, but you should. Is that really how your want your life to be? One big stack of piles? It’s much easier to put away one towel, one t-shirt, or one piece than it is to put away a huge stack of them. Take care of things when they are small.

6.  Be considerate of others.

Arriving on time. You start out on schedule but soon things get in the way. The dog pukes, you can’t find your cell phone, and the baby needs a diaper change and before you realize it, you’re twenty minutes late. People are waiting for you either at a meeting, a restaurant, or at the airport. As they wait, the negative comments about your tardiness start. Is that how you want others to view you? Set aside extra time for things to go wrong because it is most likely they will.

7.  Dress for success

Getting dressed. Every morning you have a small portion of time set aside to pick out how you want to present yourself for the rest of the day. This simple (or sometimes not so simple) task has a lot riding on it. As much as we don’t want to believe it, it’s true. People are judged by the way they look. It’s that first impression when you walk in the room that says, “Here I am.” Your clothes are your opportunity to make your personal statement. How do you want to present yourself to the world?

Advertising

8. Start your day caring for your health.

Eating a healthy breakfast. You probably pop a pod into your coffee machine and grab a power bar as you are running out the door. It can’t be avoided; all the experts and studies say it is true. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It’s also the most time-consuming when you have the least amount of extra time. It can’t be denied, how you eat breakfast says a lot about you.

9.  The power of habit can transform your life.

Brushing your teeth. You may not realize it but besides a fresh, minty mouth you have just engaged the power of habit, a pattern that shapes every aspect of your life. A pattern that you also have the power to transform many areas of your life. If you can brush your teeth everyday at the same time, you can accomplish anything you want to.

10. Judge others favorably. You never know what battle they are fighting.

Driving, riding the train, or taking the bus. These are the times that someone will surely upset you. People will bump into you, cut you off, take the seat you were going to sit it, and not hold the door open for you. Transportation usually brings out the worst in people. This is your opportunity to not get bothered by other people’s bad manners. You are the one who will suffer. Your day will be ruined because they didn’t even notice they bumped into you, cut you off, or took the seat you were going to sit in.

11. Your moods are contagious. Share positive energy.

Walking into a room. Whenever you walk through the door of a meeting, your office or home, you have the chance to determine how you want people to respond to you. The energy you give off, is the energy that will come back to you. Moods are contagious. Bring positive energy into a room.

Advertising

12. An organized life is a calmer life.

Time management. Stay on schedule when possible. It’s easy to become distracted by your devices. Our beeps go off all day. Facebook, Instagram, and Vines are magnets that draw you away from your tasks. Either shut them down when you’re working in something important or glance at them and then get back to work. Don’t get hooked by them. If you are knocked off your work track, get back on it.

13. Respect other people’s opinions even when they differ from your own.

Conflict. It’s rare that two people will agree on most topics. Conflict is everywhere. It happens at work, home, with family and friends. Disagreeing isn’t the problem (although most people think it is). The problem is in not giving value to the opinions of others.

14. When you master your emotions, you master your life

Anger. This is one emotion that is sure to pop up sometime during the day. How you deal with your anger says a lot about who you are as a person. How well do you manage your emotions? Do you speak nasty to the waitress who messed up your lunch order? Do you have a harsh reaction if someone says something insulting to you? Anger can be a destructive emotion if not managed properly.

15.  Love your body. Take good care of it.

Exercise. Going to the gym, yoga or spin class is a statement saying that you love yourself. You are saying, I care about my body and my health and I want to take the best care of myself that I possibly can.

Advertising

16. A healthy social life is pure happiness.

Social Activities. Lunchtime or dinnertime with friends or family is a soul-full intimate experience. It warms the heart. Take time to surround yourself with the warmth of family and friends. They are there to support you, encourage you, and love you no matter what.

17.  Speech is a powerful tool.

Your words. Watch your words carefully. They can be daggers or cheerleaders. You can crush the spirit of someone or make them feel like they can conquer the world. Taste your words before you spit them out. Words are your thoughts coming to life. It’s your choice. Do you want to show that your are nice or nasty?

18. Your thoughts become what you are. What you think, you believe.

Your thoughts. All day, it’s just you and your thoughts. Do you sound like your best friend or the high school bully? Negative thinking is an easy pattern to fall into. It is also a harmful one. Your thoughts are your reactions to everything that goes on in your life. Treat them with extreme caution. Negative thoughts damage your happiness.

19. Touch someone’s soul with your kindness

Random Acts of Kindness. It’s the little things in life that matter most. Hold a door, smile at people, buy someone a gift, and don’t forget to call your mother. Kindness touches the soul of another person. Everyone has a battle they are fighting. Your simple act of kindness soothes someone else’s pain. You have reached the highest level of your spiritual self. Your life has meaning.

20. Each day is filled with endless opportunities to show people how much you care, appreciate, and value them.

Show people you love them Everyone knows how to tell someone “I love you” but do your actions match your words? Are you showing someone how much they are loved? The day is filled with many opportunities to cook someone you love their favorite meal, go out of your way to help someone in need, or simply being by the side of a crying friend.

Live awake and aware to the lessons of of your day. They have a lot to tell you.

More by this author

18 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate 12 Ways To Deal With Stubborn People And Convince Them To Listen 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD If You Love Someone Who Has ADHD, Don’t Do These 20 Things 10 Small Habits That Help You Maintain A Long-Lasting Relationship

Trending in Communication

1 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 2 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 3 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need 4 What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship 5 7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

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:

Advertising

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

Read Next