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People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths

People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths

The expression “the truth hurts” is one we are very familiar with. We resist telling the truth to ourselves and to others because it is painful to face a reality that is different from the comfortable worlds we create for ourselves. Eventually, these worlds will fall away as reality intrudes. Don’t be afraid of reality. Use it to your advantage. Here are nine harsh truths that will allow you to see the world more clearly and offer you the opportunity to live more powerful and authentic lives:

1. You are not the center of the universe

We tend to think people care about us and our needs as much as we do. They don’t. They care about themselves and their needs.

Opportunity: Use this to your advantage. Dale Carnegie in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” Ziz Ziglar puts it even more plainly when he said “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”

2. Achieving your goals will be harder than you imagined

It always is. Whether it’s losing weight, starting a new business, writing a blog, raising a family, you will encounter this truth.

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Opportunity: I once heard this advice about exercising that will change the way you approach life difficulties: “When you think you can’t do another rep, or take another step, go a little further. It is those little extra steps that make all the difference.” When you feel like quitting, go a little further. This is where breakthrough lives.

3. The things that matter most in life are spiritual, not physical

It’s easy to accumulate things in order to feel like you have accomplished something. Most rich people (the honest ones) will tell you that it only makes a difference in the short term. It’s harder to grasp the spiritual, or immaterial. They cannot be collected, hoarded, bought, or sold. These are love, respect, passion, morality and empathy. These things are all about relationships. In the end, relationships are all that matter.

Opportunity: Learn to appreciate this truth and you will be freed from materialism. You will be happy when you have a lot and when you have a little. You will learn to cherish the important relationships in your lives.

4. You will always have critics

You could be the nicest person on earth, someone out there will not like you for who you are, what you do, or what you stand for. You simply cannot be all things to all people.

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Opportunity: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Focus on your natural strengths. The people who appreciate these will form a strong tribe around you. Caveat, the number of your critics will increase but this will be a sign of success.

5. If you are not failing, you are not living

We tend to like to play it safe. We don’t like to fail. We don’t like being vulnerable to rejection. The most successful, happiest people have failed multiple times. The harsh truth is that you cannot achieve the tangible and intangible signs of success if you are not willing to fail.

Opportunity: Don’t be afraid of failure. Consider every setback as a step toward success. You will be released from the invisible chains that keep people from trying new things or daring to pursue a dream.

6. In order to receive, you must give

One of the quickest paths to unhappiness is hoarding. It is hard to give away the things we value. But if we hoard, the thing we cherish will lose its value and will instead become a burden.

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Opportunity: Lighten your load. Give of your resources, time, and self. You will be cured of your spiritual obesity.

7. People will hurt you

It may happen intentionally or unintentionally. It still hurts. They may say something unkind, steal from you, lie to you, spread rumors about you, be difficult coworkers or bosses, etc.

Opportunity: Don’t be tempted to strike back. Show grace to this person. Forgive them. Your example will give them an opportunity to transform their lives. You will also experience more peace in difficult situations.

8. You do not control every part of your reality

Things often do not go the way we expect. There are always unanticipated problems or blind spots you just could not anticipate.

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Opportunity: Become more flexible and nimble. This will keep you from getting stuck.

9. You will die.

We all know it but nobody says it quite that bluntly. We pretend that we have all the time in the world. You don’t. Every second is a precious, limited resource. Not only that, for most of us, we do not know when death will come. When it does, it will likely be a painful experience.

Opportunity: Stop procrastinating. Live. Learn. Love. Know that suffering and pain are a part of life. You will become more resilient and even joyful in the face of suffering. The unimportant will be stripped away. It will sharpen your focus on what matters most.

May these truths be a starting point for a life that is authentic, loving, rich, and fearless.

May they “set you free.”

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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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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