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Starting Today You Can Be Successful In Life…If You Follow These 10 Commandments.

Starting Today You Can Be Successful In Life…If You Follow These 10 Commandments.

A long time ago on Mt. Sinai, the prophet Moses received two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments that were popularized in the Hebrew Bible. Not so long ago somewhere on the World Wide Web, Daniel Wallen, a freelance writer and LifeHacker sick of watching so many people fail at life, felt moved by the spirit and wrote the following Ten Commandments of Success. If you are sick of failing at life, thou shalt read and apply these commandments today.

1. Thou Shalt Find Purpose

  • What do you hope to accomplish in your life?
  • How do you measure the impact of your efforts?
  • Why do you exist?

If you can’t answer those three questions, you need to do some soul-searching to discover your purpose. No matter how hard you hustle, your efforts will be for naught if you don’t have a clear understanding of what would give your life meaning. As John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

2. Thou Shalt Focus

Multitasking may be defined as an inability to focus on the task at hand. You’re welcome to keep claiming you have “strong multitasking abilities” on your resume as most employers haven’t caught up with the reality that most people who multitask are not being productive so much as they’re just doing a lot of things badly.  However, from this day forward, make a commitment to focus on one task at a time with laser-like concentration. We live in overwhelming times, full of time bandits that are ready to distract you from the important work you need to get done. Disable all text and e-mail Facebook notifications, because you don’t need to know that a friend thinks that photo of your dog is precious the very instant it happens. Take a few hours to clean up your inbox and unsubscribe from any e-mail lists that don’t add value to your life (and only check your inbox two or three times a day — if it is an emergency, they will call!). 

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3. Thou Shalt Love Thyself

If you view yourself as a big loser unworthy of a better job, a loving relationship, or a fulfilling life, the odds of you getting motivated and being successful aren’t good.  When you look at yourself in the mirror every single morning, don’t look for your flaws or imperfections (like that insignificant area you keep telling yourself is “pudgy”). Instead, search for your greatest qualities that you think are cute, hot, or handsome and proudly proclaim, “Self? You are incredibly good-looking today!” To achieve true transformation, you must not only believe you are capable of improving your life, but you also must believe you are worthy of an improved life (because you are, duh!).

4. Thou Shalt Not Lust for Money

There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of money because we all need to pay our bills (and deserve the comfortable life that financial security provides), but if money becomes the “end-all-be-all” that dominates your thoughts and actions, you could find yourself performing dreadful work that makes you feel miserable. Tell me which one sounds better:

  • Doing work that provides more money than you need (and fills you with dread) or
  • Doing work that provides just enough money (and fills you with joy) 

If you still choose the first option, then it’s time to sit down with yourself, reassess your priorities and hopefully begin to understand that there’s more important things in life than money.

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5. Thou Shalt Embrace Change

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is just about as silly as it gets. If you have been performing a diet or exercise plan for months with nothing to show for it, could it be time to try another approach? If you are in a relationship that makes you feel stressed out and unfulfilled despite your best efforts, don’t you think it might be time to count your losses? If you have been hunting for a job for many months with nothing to show for your efforts, shouldn’t you consider re-working your resume or broadening your search? It is human to run and hide from change as if it is a boogeyman that will devour our soul, but change is the very thing that is necessary for success.

6. Thou Shalt Not Conform

I wish I could hop in a time machine to see what people said about the Wright Brothers during their aviation experiments. I can see it now…

  • “It will never work.”
  • “What nonsense.”
  • “They are off their rockers!”

Where do you think we would be as a society if everyone conformed to other people’s expectations? Do you think we would have high-speed railway, airplanes, internet access, or video games? Conformity is the enemy of personal growth, so march to the beat of your own drum.

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7. Thou Shalt Believe in Thyself

Doubt is a nagging voice in the back of your head that will do everything in its power to convince you that you can’t accomplish your goals. Before you can achieve it, you must believe it. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t merely give yourself a goal of losing x-lbs, but visualize your goal as if it is already reality. Sit in a quiet place where you can be calm and cool, close your eyes, and picture yourself wearing a hot new skirt or super classy suit. Imagine how confident, sexy, handsome, and happy you will feel. Visualizing your goals today will help you find the courage to make it so in the future.

8. Thou Shalt Stop Comparing Thyself to Others

Stop comparing yourself to other people. Life is not a competition and the only person you are competing with is yourself. Don’t try to out-do your friends or co-workers. Simply aim to become a better version of yourself every single day. Forget about pleasing others and be true to you.

9. Thou Shalt Not Fret Over Failure

Failure is nothing to be scared of. It is a learning opportunity and nothing more. A fear of failure can easily turn into an inability to act. Without action, there is no progress. If you aim to achieve a bold and audacious goal, then it is very likely you will fail several times during the pursuit of your goal. Do not agonize over failing, but do search for ways to improve your abilities and keep trying. An unbeatable formula for success = Try + Fail + Grow. Repeat as necessary until the only option left is success. Click here to check out five great questions to ask yourself after a failure.

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10. Thou Shalt Not Throw in Thy Towel

If you are a purchaser of “lose weight fast” or “get rich quick” products, you are guaranteed to fail at life. True success comes to those who play chess (not checkers). Consistency is the key that will unlock the door to the successful life you desire. Buckle up and enjoy the journey because if you really want it, you need to exercise your patience muscles.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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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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