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30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young

30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young

Life is short. There are very few people in this world who won’t wish for more time when they are lying on their deathbeds. The biggest regrets people have revolve around experiences, relationships, and happiness.

At 80, we will wish for the ability to travel and move more like we could at 60. At 60, we will wish to be spry and energetic like we were at 40. And at 40, we will want to relive our glory days like when we were 25. But why do we wish for these things? It’s because very few of us will ever fully experience what life has to offer: a life full of abundance, beauty, and unlimited experiences.

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Age is a state of mind; being young is relative. There are 70-year-olds who look and feel like they are 50. And there are 40-year-olds who look and feel like they are 60. Your mental, emotional, and physical health will determine how well you age and how ‘old’ you feel. Young can mean age 22 or young can mean age 52, it’s all about how you feel about yourself.

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With that said, there are many life experiences that are best done early in life. The reason is that the more time you can spend doing these things, the more you will appreciate and enjoy your life.

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30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young:

  1. Make yourself a priority. If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will. You have to be number one. All things in your life stem from your happiness. Be someone who makes you happy!
  2. Enjoy the small things. Take walks more often. Stop and look at a babbling brook. Sit in an oversized chair at Barnes & Noble and read a great book. Observe an elderly couple holding hands. Life is made up of these small and seemingly insignificant things. They aren’t insignificant. Be sure to take the time to appreciate them.
  3. Get outside. Being outdoors is good for you. Soak in the sunlight, get those endorphins kicking, and enjoy the beauty that nature offers.
  4. Be confident in who you are. Every person is unique and special in their own way. Understanding this early in life is critical. Be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to let the world know it.
  5. Take calculated risks. Life is a series of risks and rewards. Be smart with your risks and understand the consequences.
  6. Focus on the present. Worrying to a certain degree about your future is normal, but don’t overlook the power of being in the present moment. You can’t change the past, but you can control what you do right now.
  7. Stop caring about what people think of you. Fear of criticism is one of the most destructive fears known to humanity. It can debilitate you to the point paralysis. Learn early in life that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. It really doesn’t. And besides, people are too worried about what you think about them to care about you!
  8. Remember that people are good at heart. Being a lifelong cynic can and will make your life an uphill climb. Recognize that people are inherently good and you will embrace relationships in a far greater capacity.
  9. Be a positive person. Make being positive a habit early in life. Your success in life will come from your thoughts and your thoughts can be either negative or positive. Only you can control which you choose.
  10. Let go of negative influences. Avoid bad situations, unhealthy relationships, and people who make your life worse. Letting go of a good friend who is going to drag you down is a difficult yet intelligent decision. Failure to do so can negatively affect where you end up in life.
  11. Surround yourself with positive people. Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And it’s completely true. If you want to be a success, hang around with successful people. If someone has what you want, you can do what they do, and get what they’ve got.
  12. Worry less. Worrying about that big test is normal, as is worrying about that possible job promotion, but when you begin to worry excessively, it can become a real problem. Worrying can lead to stress and anxiety, which can become disorders and negatively affect all areas of your life.
  13. Learn from your past but don’t dwell on it. Being caught up in your past can lead to stagnation and the inability to progress in your life. Understand that life is just a series of events and move on. You can change the future but you cannot alter your past decisions.
  14. Travel. Most of you want to travel the world, see new things, and meet new people. But statistics show that the average mother in the U.S. will start a family at age 25, meaning that your travel options will become quite limited for a number of years after you start having children. And even if you do tell yourself that you’re going to travel, most of you won’t. Don’t put it off. Get out there and see the places you desire most.
  15. Learn a new language. In this day and age, knowing a second (or third) language is no longer just a hobby, it can help you in your career. Being able to communicate with people from multiple cultures not only makes good business sense, but expands your personal growth.
  16. Overcome some of your biggest fears. Your fears will haunt you for your entire life if they aren’t dealt with. Do you really want to go through life being deathly afraid of flying? Do you want the fear of public speaking to control you? Of course not. Take these challenges head on and early on and overcome them.
  17. Experiment. Life is chock full of experiences. Try new things. Get out there and fail often. Learn from your mistakes. You only get one chance at this life. Get as much in as you can.
  18. Appreciate your parents. As children, we adore our parents. As teens, we ignore our parents. And in adulthood, we take them for granted. Knowing that they did the best possible job they could raising you will help you appreciate them. Make a phone call right now to tell them so.
  19. Stay close with the important people in your life. Most of you will lose contact with childhood friends, college buddies, and past coworkers. But chances are that you’ve made some great friends along the way. If you’ve found that you’ve lost touch with someone who was important to you, reach out to them and try to reconnect. People who you consider important are few and far between, so do your best to keep them in your life.
  20. Remember that you do not know it all. It’s a given that teenagers believe they know it all, but as an adult it’s important to recognize how little you know. Make learning something new part of your daily routine. Started at an early age, you will be amazed at how much you can learn in a lifetime.
  21. Listen to your parents. As crazy as it may seem, they have much more life experience than you and do know what they are talking about. Take the time to listen to their stories. They have more wisdom than you believe.
  22. Face the bully. Most of you have had a bully in one shape or another in your lifetime. Do not let your fear control you. The best way to handle any bully is to confront them. Most are cowards hiding behind their size and/or power. Confronting them will get their attention, and in many cases, their respect.
  23. Give unconditionally. Understanding the sheer power of giving unconditionally can shape the course of your life. Learn this early.
  24. Working too much. Working yourself half to death throughout your 20s and 30s may seem like a great idea for rising up the corporate ladder, but remember that those are your golden years. Make time for the things you are most passionate about while you are healthy enough to do so.
  25. Develop good habits. The outcome of your life will be based on the decisions you make. Making good decisions comes from having good habits. Educate yourself on how to start adopting positive ones and removing the negative ones.
  26. Find what you excel at and begin to master it. Spending years languishing in uncertainty is the fastest way to living an average life. Find where your strengths meet your passions and become great at them. Don’t be a jack of all trades. Be the master of a few.
  27. Spend as much time with your children as possible. If you lose your time with your children, you will never get it back. Embrace this time with all your heart. Being a parent is the single most important job on the planet. And do not mistake time for quality time, there is a huge difference.
  28. Learn to be grateful. This is easier said than done, but being appreciative of what you have can make the difference between a life of wanting and a life of contentment.
  29. Start a business. Don’t spend your life only knowing what it’s like to be an employee. Start your own venture, whether it be mowing lawns or running Internet security, try your hand in business. Lessons in entrepreneurship cannot be learned in a classroom. Real world experience will prove invaluable.
  30. Be crazy. Well, not literally. Do something wild and adventurous. As you grow older, you will begin a career, and/or settle down and start a family and will be less inclined to let it all hang out. Be bold and daring. And have fun with it!

While it’s never too late to work on your personal growth, getting these things done early in your life can truly make the difference between a life lived on your terms or a life lived on someone else’s.

Make it yours!

Featured photo credit: Bahman Farzad via flickr.com

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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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