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24 Life-Changing Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

24 Life-Changing Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Everyone has those moments in life when you stop and evaluate where you’re at and where you’re heading. Most of the time those evaluations come because of a simple but powerful question. These types of questions can change our lives, turn us in another direction and open our minds to new experiences and people. Here are some life-changing questions that you might ask yourself one day:

1.Where will I be in 5 years if I keep heading in this direction?

Are you doing the things you want to be doing and becoming the person you want to become or are you heading in another direction?

2.What if today was my last day?

Would you waste your time playing games on your phone and commenting on your friends Facebook posts or would you actually call your friends and set up a lunch. Would you be more active or would you just relax. How would your day be different if it was your last one?

3. Do I volunteer enough?

Helping others is one the greatest things we can do. But do we set apart enough time for it? Do we donate to charities or volunteer at shelters, do we help strangers open the door when their arms are full? Service is good for all parties involved.

4.Do I want to have children?

Whether you decide to have children or not, both decisions will have a great impact on the rest of your life. Children are a big responsibility. Some people would prefer to adopt, others to not have children. There are many routes to take. The one you choose will depend on the goals and desires you have for your life.

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5. Should I finish my education or figure out what I want to do first?

Some people prefer to take time travelling or working before going to school. They focus on discovering who they are and what they have a passion for. Other people make the decision to finish their education and work towards finding a career. Yet others choose to forgo school and jump into a career. Each choice will help you learn about yourself, it just depends on the route that works best for you.

6. Do I see myself being married or would I be ok with a committed relationship?

Some people prefer to get married, others find that a committed relationship best suits them. It’s a choice that for some people is clear but for others it could depend on their situation in life or the person they are with.

7. Should I have plastic surgery?

Whether it’s health related or personal preference, this is a big decision for a lot people. Changing your physical appearance isn’t a little thing. Whatever your reasons for doing it, make sure you know it’s what you want.

8.Do I want t o settle down or have the freedom to move around?

Is buying a house the right move for you or do you want the freedom to travel and pick up and leave whenever you want? I’ve been in both situations in my life. Right now my husband and I are renting so that we can up and move if an opportunity presents itself. Other people prefer the security of a permanent home.

9.Am I who I want to be?

What kind of person have you always to be? Are that person? Or are you way off the path you thought you would be on? Do you still want to be that person or have things changed for you? All these questions can help you figure out who you are and who you want to become.

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10. Am I happy with my career choice?

Choosing a career can be hard for some people, for others it’s a no-brainer. Once you break into your desired field, you might find it’s not what you expected. Then you have to decide if you just push through it and hope for the best, if you change careers or if you should go back to school.

11. Should I ask my boss for a raise?

This can be really hard for some people, but what’s the worst that could happen? Your boss could say no. But it lets them know that you are serious about your job and that you’re working hard to move up.

12. Have I experienced enough of other cultures?

The world is full of people who have different traditions, cultures, languages, etc. You’ll find those differences all the way across the ocean and even down the street. Go out and learn about other people.

13. Am I dating/married to/committed to the right person?

Whatever type of relationship you are in, you need to make sure that the other person is the right one. Encourage open communication between the two of you and make sure you are both heading in the same direction.

14.Am I living with a positive outlook and passion for life?

Life should be exciting. You should be doing things that you are happy doing and that you have a passion for.

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15.Are the people in my social circle a positive influence on my life?

You are a reflection of the people you spend time with. Do they encourage you to be a better person or do they bring you down? This can be a hard change to make, but sometimes we all need to reevaluate the type of people we consider our friends.

16. Am I living a physically/mentally/spiritually healthy lifestyle?

Your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing are all your personal responsibility. Take care of your mind, body and spirit. Do things you enjoy doing that will help keep you healthy in all aspects of life.

17. Do I take time to stop and enjoy the simple things around me?

Small but important things happen to you every day. Take the time appreciate and acknowledge them.

18.What would I change if I saw the world through a child’s eyes?

Children see things through innocent eyes. They notice things adults tend to miss. Try to see what life is like through their simple eyes and maybe you’ll notice a few more things and be grateful for a lot more.

19. Have I set money aside for an emergency?

Money is something that you have to have but never seem to have enough of. Make sure that no matter what, you are budgeting so that you have money put away for a rainy a day. You never know when that day will come, but it always does.

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20. Am I financially prepared to retire?

So many people are focused on what they need now that they forget to prepare themselves for the future. One day you will want to retire, make sure you do everything you need to financially so that you can.

21. How much money do I waste a month on worthless or meaningless things?

My husband and I re-budgeted when he got a new job and found out that we were spending around $4000 a year on fast food. We were shocked. My husband was still in school so our finances were a little tight and yet we were wasting all that money on cheap burgers. We started spending the money on groceries instead of eating out and found out that we saved around $3000 a year. I understand that sometimes you just need a Dollar Menu. But, when you’re trying to save money and stick within a budget, you need to plan ahead and be ready so you can save money.

22.  Am I spending enough time with the people I value the most?

Life is short. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you. Make sure that no matter how busy you are with work, school or other activities that you make time for the people who really matter.

23. Have I accomplished the dreams and goals I’ve set for myself?

Whatever point you’re at in life, you should have been able to accomplish some or most of your goals. Achieved goals don’t just fall into your lap; you have to actively pursue the things you want. Work hard and make things happen for yourself.

24. How have I improved as a result of my experiences?

Every experience you have, whether good or bad, becomes a part of you. What you learn from those experiences is up to you. Take what you can from them and become a better person because of things you have gone through in your own life.

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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

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