“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself” Walter Anderson
Losing someone you love through changes such as: death, divorce, relationship demise, or miscarriage, is a painful and emotional experience. The experience of loss is a life challenge that happens to all of us and for most of us, it happens more than once in our lives.
I remember the first time, in my early twenties when I lost someone I loved. He decided that he didn’t love me and that we needed to move on. I was devastated and didn’t know how I would survive the pain.
I did survive and in fact as a result of that break up I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I went and lived overseas for number of years. Though I didn’t think so at the time he ended up doing me a big favor.
The loss of my parents was another life test that threw my world into chaos and pain. I remember thinking the same thing as I did when I was going through my relationship break up in my early twenties, “How am I ever going to survive this pain?”
Well, I have survived and as a result of these losses in my life I have become emotionally stronger and resilient. I believe that it is these life challenges that provide us with the opportunity for personal growth and to learn some of the most important lessons in our lives.
“In school you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you are given a test that teaches you a lesson” Malcolm X
I love the quote from Malcolm X as he explains so well how we are taught our lessons of life – we have to be tested to learn the lesson. Losing someone you love is a test of life and you have no control over the challenges that life throws at you. What you do have however is the power to control your response to these life challenges.
Here are 7 valuable things that I learned as a result of losing people in my life who I have loved deeply.
I would like to share these learnings with you to encourage you, to live your life to the fullest, to chase your dreams, to deal with the curveballs that life throws at you, to seize the moment and to treasure the gifts of life, love and laughter.Advertising
1.Live Your Life to the Fullest As It Can Change In A Blink Of An Eye
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable”. Helen Keller
My father and mother died within 3 days of each other and when they died my life changed in a blink of an eye. From from that day I realized just how precious life is. How important it is to live in the moment, to be present and not to wish away your life.
If you have a dream but you are too scared to go for it –don’t wait for the right time, as it never is the right time, just do it. Find a way and go for it. My priorities also changed and I realised that I needed to get clear about what was important in my life. For me it was my family and my friends who were most important in my life. Following my dream, to be a writer, speaker and coach became the most important thing for me to do in my life. I knew that I had to follow my dream because I didn’t want to look back at my life with regret and wished I had given it a go.
Life is too short to have regrets! Embrace life, take the time to make memories and cherish the moments you spend with the people you love. Get your priorities sorted and know what is important to you.
2. Appreciate And Show Gratitude As People Matter More Than Anything
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance” Eckhart Tolle
The people you surround yourself with – your family and friends is your treasure chest. They are more important than all the money, the power or fame, the cars, the clothes, the houses, the boats, or the overseas holidays you may have.
All these material things you gather, your fortune and your power are easy to get and easy to lose. The people in your life who love and support you, once you lose them you cant get them back.
Always show your love and appreciate those you love in your life. Remember that the people you touch with your appreciation and gratitude will bring great joy and enrichment to your life. Don’t be afraid to show your love and affection to people. Take the time to make the phone call to a friend you haven’t seen in ages. Don’t let your pain and despair isolate you from people. Make the time to nurture and grow your relationships. You need the energy of others to help you heal.
I realized this lesson very early on in my journey. I could not have survived the loss of my parents without my family and my friends.
3. Healing Is A Process – get to know the process and don’t rush it!
“And so I wait. I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to me feet once again – so that I can start a new path, my own path, the one that will make me whole again.” ― Jan Canfield
Loss hurts. We may feel anger at being left by the person we love, we may feel despair, sadness and be fearful about our future.
What we are feeling is very real and you need to go through the process and feel your grief. Accept that it takes time to heal and that here is light at the end of the dark tunnel. You just have to get through the dark tunnel. You can bury pain deep within you and think that you are coping and you can get on with life. But, I guarantee that if you don’t acknowledge and deal with your emotional pain, it will find you. The hidden layers of pain will erupt back into your life with such force you won’t know what has hit you.
Another important part I believe of the healing process is Forgiveness. This is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you have been rejected and and betrayed by the one you love.
The negative thoughts that come with your anger and pain are soul destroying. The more you hate and despise the person you have lost, the less likely it is that you will heal.
Forgiveness does not happen overnight. It is a process that takes time and patience. However, when you free yourself of negative thoughts and behaviours, you become more empowered to strive to live a life that is full of hope, optimism and happiness.
Always be kind to yourself. It took me a long time to learn to be kind to me and to make time for me. If I had spent more time looking after me, sharing my pain rather than trying to be strong all the time – my healing would have been a less bumpier journey.
4. Use Your Power Of Choice – choose to live a happy life and choose to be hopeful.
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” Dalai Lama XIV
We cannot control the bad things that happen in our life, however we can control our reactions to these challenging events through our Power of Choice.
Essentially how we live our life is determined by how we choose to live it.
When we step into using our Power of Choice we are actively seeking solutions to deal with the challenges we have to face. Using our power of choice empowers us to recognise how we can move forwardAdvertising
.To move forward we maintain our hope for a better future and with hope comes a happy life. A very simple recipe to life however we can sabotage this recipe to living a happy life by not trusting ourselves to step out of our comfort zone.
Choose to turn your loss and pain into a life learning journey, where the result for you is, you have become stronger, more empowered and live a more enriched life.
5. Find You and Your Purpose in Life
“When you lose something in your life, stop thinking it’s a loss for you… it is a gift you have been given so you can get on the right path to where you are meant to go, not to where you think you should have gone” Suze Orman
Each time I have lost someone I loved either in death or a relationship break I have learned so much about me.
For me, having a life purpose gives my life meaning. Don’t waste your energy on what is not important. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Don’t be overwhelmed by the journey to find your purpose in life – it is a big journey.
Make a plan and take action – don’t give up. Set realistic and achievable goals and take one step at a time.
Celebrate your successes – each time you achieve your goal no matter how small or how big, celebrate it and share your successes with those you love. Happiness comes when you know what you are doing, believe in what you are doing and love what you are doing.
The pursuit of your happiness is all about you living a meaningful life and when you find your purpose in life, you increase your happiness by 200 percent.
6. Don’t Let Your Past Rule Your LIfe Now And In The Future
“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the future” Jan Glidewell
Your past is your opportunity to learn the lessons you need to deal with your present life.Advertising
Let go of your regrets in life, make peace with your past, accept it and move on. Look for opportunities for self-discovery and learn how to trust and believe in you.
You are not what happened in your past, you are whom you choose to be now and in your future. Become the strong empowered resilient person you desire to be. The person who looks forward to the future and is living a happy fulfilled life.
7. Don’t Run Away From Life – stay strong and embrace its unpredictability.
“Running away from your problems is a race you will never win, so just face them head on, and overcome them.” – Unknown
Life is a strange and amazing journey, full of painful experiences and beauty. Running away from the challenges life presents to us is not the answer to dealing with life. When you run away the only place you can go is nowhere!
The pain, the discomfort and the challenges of life will follow you where ever you go. It is ok to fall apart for a little while but only for a little while.
Unpredictable hardships in life are inevitable and when we overcome these hardships and meet them head on – we grow stronger, become more resilient and our life flourishes. Spend time on you, developing your strength and your resilience. Get prepared for life and be adaptable and flexible
. Remember that everything that happens to you is a life lesson – embrace life and never forget how precious the moments in life are.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen”. Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Last Updated on December 2, 2018
7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience
When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.
You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:
1. Connecting them with each other
Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.
It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.
2. Connect with their emotions
Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.
For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.
3. Keep going back to the beginning
Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.
On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.
4. Link to your audience’s motivation
After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.
Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.
5. Entertain them
While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.
Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.
6. Appeal to loyalty
Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.
In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.
7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation
Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com