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30 Things You Should Never Give Up If You Want To Be Happy

30 Things You Should Never Give Up If You Want To Be Happy

On our quest for happiness, there are many things we must give up. But there are many things that you should never give up if you want to be happy. Here are just a few, in no particular order.

1. Don’t give up taking walks in the woods.

Breathe deeply. Listen to wind. Let the trees embrace you. There is something deep inside us that longs for Mother Nature. Go for a visit.

2. Don’t give up doing things that scare you.

A seed only grows by breaking out of the shell and venturing into the unknown. The unknown scares us, but it is where we must go to grow.

3. Don’t give up being kind.

We only achieve true fulfillment when we grow and contribute to a cause greater than ourselves. There is no greater cause than sharing kindness with others.

4. Don’t give up sleeping under the stars.

Every once in a while, get out to a place where the stars shine and fall asleep under their glory. You’ll remember a wonder that humans have known for thousands of years.

5. Don’t give up speaking the truth.

Your truth is a powerful force. It will serve you when you honor it. Each time you let it speak, it grows stronger. Let it guide you.

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6. Don’t give up forgiving.

Forgiving is the key to healing. Insisting on remaining hurt is choosing vengeance for the past instead of healing in the future. You cannot have both. Forgive so that you can return to peace.

7. Don’t give up asking for help.

We can get confused and think asking for help is weakness. Asking for help can be a major strength. Include other people in your plans and dreams. You are creating opportunities for others to connect and share their kindness with you.

8. Don’t give up talking to strangers.

All of my best friends were once strangers. Great conversations and possibilities await.

9. Don’t give up lip syncing to your favorite songs.

You’re a rock star.  Happiness is a fist pump away. While you’re at it, maybe you could sing a little, too.

10. Don’t give up touching your toes.

According to my 75 year-old yoga teacher, “You are as young as your spine is flexible.”  Stretching releases massive energy stores and fuels happy rushes of life. Take it slow and easy.

11. Don’t give up hoping.

Hoping for what? It really doesn’t matter. If you want to be happy, never give up hope that things can change. You can always learn from your mistakes and improve.

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12. Don’t give up investing in yourself.

If you’re not investing in yourself, what are you investing in? You are still investing your time, energy, and money into something. Make sure you intentionally choose your investments, or your time, energy, and money will be gone, and you may not be happy with the results.

13. Don’t give up smiling.

If you want to be happy, smile. Smile at yourself in the mirror (it certainly beats scowling and putting yourself down). Smile at people in the grocery store.  Smile at the guy who just cut you off. See what happens.

14. Don’t give up connecting with the people you care about.

When you care about someone, care for the relationship like a precious plant. Keep the weeds out and water it consistently. It will grow with your effort and love.

15. Don’t give up meditating or praying.

Whether you are religious, spiritual or atheist, it doesn’t matter. Developing a practice of awareness and connection to that which is greater than you, however you define it, puts things in perspective. Those who want to be happy go within and listen.

16. Don’t give up moving your body.

Move your body with finesse. Let it sweat. Let it run out of breath and find it again. Let it climb trees and skip and play. It was designed to move. It is happy this way.

17. Don’t give up dreaming improbable dreams.

Improbable is not the same as impossible. Improbable requires innovation, imagination, motivation, facing fears, and busting your butt‒all good things.

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18. Don’t give up loving yourself.

Whitney Houston got one thing right. Learning to love and accept yourself is a lifelong pursuit. When you learn to push past shame, judgement, and fear, happiness follows as you see all the wonder that is you.

19. Don’t give up expressing gratitude.

We have a tendency to focus on the things we feel are lacking in our lives, so that is what we see.  If you want to be happy, break this tendency by actively seeking out the blessings in your life.  Then take it a step further: express your gratitude aloud. The more often you express it, the more often you feel it and the happier you will be.

20. Don’t give up making new friends.

It becomes harder to make new friends when you become an adult. That doesn’t mean you should give up. Keep putting yourself out there and stay open to the new people who come along.

21. Don’t give up trying new things.

“Oh, I could never do that!” This is the siren of surrender. Happiness is found on the edge of cliff as frequently as it is found in a hammock. Try to find happiness in things you’ve never done, and it will be there.

22. Don’t give up getting in shape.

How happy do you feel when you give up on your body? Getting back in shape requires one thing: consistency. Happiness comes when you consistently insist that your body is still worth it.

23. Don’t give up looking foolish.

The fear of looking foolish is probably the greatest cause of unhappiness. Most people have no idea how happy they could be because they won’t risk looking foolish. Making peace with looking foolish is a key choice to achieve more and find happiness.

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24. Don’t give up feeling excited by rainbows.

If there comes a point in your life when seeing a rainbow doesn’t give you even a little jolt of giddy wonder, expect three ghosts.

25. Don’t give up having something to look forward to.

Set goals and make plans a few months in advance that will give you something to work for and anticipate with joy.

26. Don’t give up napping.

A little afternoon nap can change your entire outlook. Recharging your batteries with a 20 minute nap can boost your productivity for the rest of the day.

27. Don’t give up holding hands.

The need for love & connection is hard-wired into our brains. The act of holding hands is so simple yet so profound. Never give it up if you want to be happy.

28. Don’t give up arts & crafts.

There’s a reason why many of us avoid the arts. Brene Brown found that of the adults in her research who reported experiencing a significant shaming event in their lives, 50% of those events involved creative expression. Don’t give up your creative voice. It still waits for you‒with a box of crayons and some pipe cleaners.

29. Don’t give up dancing.

At a dance in high school, a friend laughed and yelled over the music, “You dance like a duck!” There is something vulnerable about dancing. And yet, happiness is still found on the dance floor.

30. Don’t give up skinny dipping.

I have never gone skinning dipping with a frown on my face. Ever. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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