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20 Things You Need to Stop Doing

20 Things You Need to Stop Doing

Life is short. It may feel like it takes forever sometimes, but the reality is that you live, and a short time later, you die. It happens so quickly, many people don’t even realize they had a life until it’s already over. If you don’t want to be one of those people who looks back on their life with regret, here are some things you need to stop doing immediately:

1 – Stop Doubting Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. Success starts in your mind, and if all you’re doing is putting yourself down and predicting failure, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of doubting yourself, think positively. Not only will you be happier and more successful, you’ll spread it to everyone around you. Get some tips to help you think more positively with this lifehack.

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    2 – Stop Being Negative

    Now that you’re done doubting yourself, stop doubting others. You don’t like when people are critical of you, so stop being critical of others. Think about how you make other people feel – even if you have good intentions, people don’t like hearing negativity. Stop saying negative things in negative ways and learn how to criticize without causing offense with this lifehack.

    3 – Stop Procrastinating

    I don’t feel like procrastinating right now – I’ll do it tomorrow. When you procrastinate, you remain stagnant. Whatever you’re putting off doesn’t go away; it stays in front of you like a carrot on a stick. Take the carrot, resolve the problem, and move on. You’ll be much happier in the long run. Don’t wait – learn how to stop procrastinating with this lifehack.

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    4 – Stop Being Mean

    It’s completely possible to step on someone’s toes without meaning to – it happens all the time. There’s no need to pile on by purposefully doing mean things, so make a conscious effort to stop being mean. If someone wrongs you, let it go. There’s no need to seek vengeance unless that’s the type of person you want to be. Learn how to stop being mean with this lifehack.

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      5 – Stop Eating Out

      Eating out is the biggest waste of money. Every so often it’s nice to treat yourself, but eating out for every meal is the quickest way to drain your bank account. Learn how to cook at least a handful of foods you enjoy: It’ll save you money, keep you healthier, and occasionally impress people. Improve your cooking skills with this lifehack.

      6 – Stop Being Lazy

      Lazy people are annoying – it’s like pulling teeth getting them to do anything. If I can’t do something as simple as going to a movie with you without having to factor in an hour of convincing you to get your lazy butt out of bed, I’d rather go alone. People have enough trouble motivating themselves; don’t make your friends and family waste their valuable energy motivating you as well. Tired of being lazy? Learn how to stop being lazy with this lifehack.

      7 – Stop Complaining

      We all have problems, and sometimes we need to vent to someone. That’s acceptable, but pay attention to how often you’re venting. If you have a friend you always vent to but never talk to about happy subjects, from that person’s perspective, you’re a Debbie (or Donald) Downer. We all love helping our friends and family, but when all you get from someone is negativity, it’s easier to cut them off than help, especially if they’re always complaining about the same things. If you must complain, learn how to complain successfully with this lifehack.

      8 – Stop Being Selfish

      If you only think about yourself, you’ll soon find yourself by yourself. Stop for a minute and think about how your actions affect other people – did you take the last cup of coffee from the break room? Refill it! Do you live with others? Don’t drink out the milk carton. We share this world 100% of the time, so every action you take can affect other people. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re selfish, learn how to spot selfish with this lifehack.

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        9 – Stop Wasting Time

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: time is the most valuable resource we have. Don’t waste your time on unproductive things. If you want to explore the world’s dark corners, that’s great. I still associate with people who have not-so-kosher careers, but I don’t hang out with those people at the expense of my own short- and long-term goals. Learn more about how to stop wasting time with bad friends with this lifehack.

        10 – Stop Watching TV

        I won’t stand on a moral soapbox about why your television set is a tool of the devil. I love TV shows, and I think we’re experiencing a Renaissance of quality content. The problem is that cable television is a dead medium. Those of you still tuning in regularly are holding back the progression of entertainment technology. You’re keeping cable on life support and encouraging providers to price gouge on internet. Stop ruining it for everyone and cut the cord already: learn how to live without a TV with this lifehack.

        11 – Stop Making Promises

        Always under-promise and over-deliver. When you make a promise, you’re adding responsibility to your plate that, despite all your best intentions, you may not be able to deliver on. More often than not, your promise is an absolute (i.e “I promise I’ll always love you”), and only Sith deal in absolutes. Instead of making a promise with your words, simply be there when people need you, and exceed their expectations with your actions. Learn more about promises with this lifehack.

        12 – Stop Being Complacent

        It’s cool to listen to people’s opinions; the problem comes when you follow everyone’s advice at the expense of having your own independent thoughts. Just because someone tells you to do something doesn’t mean it has to be done. Just because something is a law doesn’t mean it has to be followed. There is a difference between a just and an unjust law, and sometimes you have to shake things up for the greater good. Stop following and become a leader with this lifehack.

        13 – Stop Being a Pushover

        We live in a capitalistic society in which everyone’s trying to sell us something. There are scores of scientists whose only job is to figure out how to drain you of all your time, money, and other resources. Everyone’s looking out for themselves in one way or another, and you need to do the same. Stop putting yourself out because you’re too shy to say no. If you’re a pushover, learn some confidence tips and tricks with this lifehack.

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        14 – Stop Listening to Haters

        No matter what you want to do in life, there’s always someone around to tell you why it can’t and won’t work. I can come up with millions of reasons Twitter won’t work, and yet it’s one of the most popular social media sites on the web. My opinion didn’t stop Twitter’s success any more than it convinced Kobe Bryant to quit the NBA or Josh Hartnett to stop acting. Why would you let someone’s opinion stop you? Stop negative people in their tracks with this lifehack.

        15 – Stop Being Wasteful

        You don’t finish your meals, and away food instead. You leave the faucet running when you brush your teeth, pouring precious water down the drain. You drive places you could easily walk, burning gasoline (a non-renewable resource). You are wasteful, and it needs to stop. Follow the lead of large, respected corporations and go green with this lifehack.

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          16 – Stop Littering

          The only thing I hate more than wasteful people are litterbugs. Litterbugs are my least favorite bug, and there are more than you’d think. If you’ve ever thrown even one piece of gum, paper, candy wrapper, cigarette butt, etc on the ground, you’re a disgusting litterbug, and you should be ashamed of yourself. There are over 7 billion people in the world – if each person only throws one “innocent” piece of garbage on the ground, that’s 7 billion pieces of garbage littering a world in which nobody “did it”.

          Your one decision makes a HUGE difference, and I will not allow you to blow it off and walk around with your head held high. You’re a litterbug, and it needs to stop immediately. You don’t get a lifehack for this one, you filthy animal. Just stop – you already know how.

          17 – Stop Taking Everything Personally

          People get offended about the strangest things. Take Kendrick Lamar’s now-infamous verse on “Control” this summer: he called out a list of a dozen rappers he thinks he’s better than (and he’s right). The internet went crazy, and rappers all over the industry rushed to their mics to record a response. The thing is, all K-Dot said is he’s the best rapper. Everyone took it personally, and that’s exactly what he was going for. The lesson to learn from this is that not everything is about you, and if you’re easily upset, someone will use that to their advantage. Stop being so sensitive and learn to manage the people who bother you with this lifehack.

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          18 – Stop Talking

          Sometimes it’s best to just STFU – especially in relationships. I can’t even count how many times I created an issue that didn’t need to be an issue simply because I opened my mouth. Even if what you want to say is important, just shut up and ride it out. You can say more with your actions than words, and you can’t listen when you’re talking. Discover the perfect ratio of listening to talking with this lifehack.

          19 – Stop Ignoring Signs

          I sometimes think I’m mystical because I see signs other people don’t… like the speed limit. People like to look for divine signs telling them what they should be doing. I’m no fan of imaginary deities, but I wholeheartedly believe the path is there if you know where to look. It’s up to you to recognize and interpret the signs for your own life. Stop letting life pass you by, and learn to read signs with this lifehack.

          20 – Just Stop, and Breathe…

          No matter what you’re doing in life or how your day is going, there’s always room to just stop for a moment and just breathe. Try it right now to celebrate getting through this list of everything you’re doing wrong. You’ve been a great sport…now stop…breathe…and move on…

          Can’t move on? Learn 4 Unconventional Solutions for Getting Stuck

           

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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.

          More Articles About Effective Communication

          Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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