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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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