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5 Baneful Blessings that are Real Life Mentors

5 Baneful Blessings that are Real Life Mentors

No matter how much you are being plunged into all those earnest advises about life by the so-called experts, nothing can rescue you than Life itself. You must have cursed Life several times; when things have gone wrong, when you were not happy, or even you may have cursed someone just a second before he did something you never expected of him. Think for a moment and you will realize that all these real life baneful things changed you from what you were in the past.

Don’t react to my advise, but contemplate it, and see if you agree with the five baneful blessings of life that Life throws our way but become real life mentors.

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1. Rejection

There are moments in life when you, your work or even your thoughts have been rejected by someone. You very well know the pain you might have gone through because of rejection. And yet, there was a lesson in that rejection: self-belief. It was what you did after the hopeless moment of rejection that matters most in life. Many famous people, like Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Paulo Coelho, have outgrown these baneful rejections. If the thoughts of previous rejection reflects a more strong individual in you now, Life has mentored you well.

2. Solitude

The state of living alone or feeling lonely is considered the worst condition in life. The fear of seclusion makes you go awry. In your upright busy schedule you try not to be left alone. Even the small time that is available during weekends is spent socializing with others, or watching TV, in spite of knowing the fact that all the best things available in the world had been conceptualized in a moment of solitude. Think of a time when life must have thrown you in seclusion, when you met your fear. You might be alone, all scared and afraid to do a certain thing by yourself. For example, when you entered a new college and had to leave all your school friends behind, or when you started a new job where there were no familiar faces. And yet you did your best and learned important lessons of life. Nothing can take the place of what solitude can teach you in life.

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3. Inferiority complex

The lack of self-worth or doubt in your abilities is the worst kind of situation you might go through in life. This inferiority complex might have crept in each of us at several points in life. The earliest sign of it in your life could have been when your parents criticized you for not living up to their expectations in school, in any competitive exam, or in your social circle. This baneful thing has taught you several lessons which are otherwise elusive. You learned the way to dress, the way to express yourself, even your updated knowledge about current affairs is a way to come out of this dogma of inferiority. This feeling of uncertainty about your weaknesses makes you focus more on your strong points. Self-confidence was the thing Life trained you in.

4. Altercations

We all try to dodge angry or heated arguments with our near and dear ones. You don’t wish to get hurt by others, and you don’t want to hurt them in return. But no matter how careful you are, altercations happen. And the worst thing is that you don’t feel as dreadful during an altercation as after it’s over. These altercations are a way of purging your sulking heart. They bring out all the pent up emotions that must have been stored in the past. And most will agree that an altercation reveals the true identity of the people involved. That is why lovers are brought closer and enemies become more distant after confrontations.

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5. An insidious clique

This is the most common way in which life teaches us a lot. You must have been surrounded by certain insidious or cunning people who depict themselves as your well-wishers. Initially they even might have convinced you to think so. But gradually you were able to see their true colors. Those that belong to this insidious clique will try to use you in the best of their opportunity until you realize they are just here to bring more harm to your life. Such a kind of group of people exist in your life to enlighten you more about Life; it helps to ensure you enter the outside world less gullible.

Having read the five baneful things, do you feel that any one of them acted as your life mentor or changed you from what you were in the past? If the answer is yes, and if the change was positive, you could very well rejoice for being a good learner and can say aloud the beautiful lines of a poem by H W Longfellow:

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Let Us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Featured photo credit: Seascape/Marie Lespecier 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

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