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5 Simple Rules For Getting The Most Out Of Life

5 Simple Rules For Getting The Most Out Of Life

Life moves at a frantic pace, and while we’re all working hard to squeeze the best out of our lives, it can be easy to overlook some of the simpler techniques that we all have at our fingertips.

1. Embrace novelty and enjoy the results.

Do something completely new on a regular basis. The shock of a new experience will remove you from your comfort zone, energize your mind and even help you gain new objectivity on familiar or difficult aspects of your life. Regularly trying your hand at new skills, such as learning a foreign language or picking up a new musical instrument, is also a great way to keep your brain engaged, active and healthy. And of course, you’ll also be adding new strings to your bow at the same time. Two for the price of one!

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2. Learn to appreciate each and every moment.

Mindfulness (the practice of paying close attention to your place, thoughts and feelings on a moment-by-moment basis) is an incredibly simple way to get more out of each and every second and, by extension, ensure you’re getting the most out of life.

By using easy mindfulness techniques, you’ll be shutting out the constant barrage of noise for a short while and enjoying the value of each moment. The results might surprise you. Though Mindfulness traditionally deploys techniques such as meditation, getting started can be as easy as closing your eyes for 2 minutes and focusing inwards on your breathing, or on the sounds in the environment around you.

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Once you’ve tuned in to the value of each and every moment, you’ll be able to enjoy more of what life has to offer. What’s more, taking a more mindful approach to life is free, can be done anywhere, and doesn’t require any fancy tools or expertise. To get started, all you need is a willingness to embrace who you are, where you are, and what you’re feeling. What could be simpler?

3. Travel, but don’t go far.

As the old saying goes ‘travel broadens the mind,’ but travel is also a state of mind. A readiness to embrace new sights and sounds, however close to home they might be, is a simple and fun way of expanding your appreciation of the community to which you belong. Sure, it might be great to jump on a plane to somewhere exotic tomorrow, but that isn’t always an option. Making a trip somewhere new, even if it’s only an hour from home, is a simple way to expand your horizons. Stop making excuses, and start planning your trip!

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4. Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you.

How do you decide whether you’re actually getting the most from life? A chuckle and a large pinch of salt would be a good start. When we are laughing, we are more relaxed, and everything in life seems a little easier.

Even when life feels too busy, hard, or plain ridiculous, we all possess the capacity for laughter. Whether it’s a joke, a video featuring ridiculous animal behavior, or just seeing the funny side of a difficult situation, you owe it to yourself to make sure that your life features a regular dose of laughter. Go on; get more from life! It all starts with a smile.

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5. Be generous. It’s good for you!

Giving your precious time to others is good for your health and happiness. Recent studies have shown that the simple process of volunteering time, skills and goodwill for a deserving cause can bring distinct benefits to the giver as well as the recipient. So by being more generous, you could be better off too. And if you’re healthy and smiley, you’ll have the time and energy to ensure you’re getting the most that life has to offer!

None of these 5 simple rules need take up much of your time, but each of them will ensure you’ll be on the road to getting the most from your life.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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