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How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!

How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!

    Introspection, and self-actualization are two thought processes that are very unique to the human species. You may be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to discover your potential is to somehow keep track of your progress as well as your thoughts in various instances of life.
    The reason that blogging happens to be the perfect medium for recording such ideas is that it’s much more than just a journal. Blogging offers some invaluable bonuses that writing in private does not provide.

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    It’s been just over a year since I’ve started blogging, and the benefits that have come from this experience can only be summed up as priceless. Blogging has been a wonderful way to share and explore a topic that I am very much passionate about.

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    Bonuses of Blogging

    1. Track progress. Your blog’s archives serve as a time machine into the chronicles of thought that you have etched onto the internet at some point in time. This is an excellent way to see how you differ between now and then. You’ll easily see the things that have helped you to make progress in your life, and repeat this action to multiply your positive results.
    2. Get feedback. The audience that your blog attracts will inevitably comment on your writing, thoughts and ideas. They’ll ask you thought provoking questions, as well as offer meaningful advice and constructive criticisms. All wonderful tools to further improve your own life.
    3. Share knowledge. You have a gift. You are now in possession of a life, a brain, and your experiences. By sharing your knowledge with the world, you are helping people shave time off their learning curves, avoid detrimental mistakes, and make life altering decisions. That’s a lot of power to have.
    4. Meet like-minded people. Birds of a feather flock together, and your cast of hawks will surely make their way to you. Through almost magnetic means, blogging has the possibility to connect people in marvelous ways. Once you meet like-minded people, the possibilities of your journey in life being connected are endless.
    5. Running Resume. Your blog is serious business. It has the power to completely sway someone’s opinion about you. It fulfills the needs of lurkers everywhere who Google you to see what kind of person you are. Show them your best. (If you’re looking for work this is extremely important.)
    6. Family Links. Not only can the whole family get involved in blogging, but you’ll also be leaving a trace for generations to come. Your great-grandchildren may just be curious about what lifestyle you led, and they’ll have your archives to answer their questions, and possibly guide them through life.
    7. Creative pastime. Instead of absorbing heaps of knowledge from the TV or mindless internet browsing, you will have a focused outlet to express your creativity. You’ll be passing time with more purpose than you did before, and you’ll find it to be a great way to escape boredom.
    8. Stay sharp. When you have a blog, you will notice that you’re constantly on the look out for article ideas, no matter where you are. This is a great skill to develop because it helps you to become more observant, and therefore more interesting in other facets of life.
    9. Make money. While most people will not make a decent amount of money via their blog, there are some that have gotten rich, and even more that make a full-time income blogging. This allows you to have a ‘job’ that can be performed anywhere in the world with a laptop and internet connection.
    10. Develop writing skills. Practice is the only way to improve on the art of writing. Writing blog posts provides a very fun and engaging medium in which to practice.

    How To Start Blogging

    If you haven’t started blogging yet, or would like to give it a shot, I would recommend going directly to the source. WordPress.org provides an excellent platform that is easy to set up, and has a large library of blogging tips within their codex. Or, if you don’t want to be bothered with hosting and installing software yourself, try their hosted service at WordPress.com.

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    Once you’re set up, feel free to look at lifehack.org’s very own 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger, as well as Darren Rowse’s Problogger for additional tips. You should be able to get started within a few hours.

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    Can you think of other ways that blogging can make 2008 your best year ever?

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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

    Reference

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