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Do These 7 Things To Make Sure Your Life Matters

Do These 7 Things To Make Sure Your Life Matters

We all want to make our mark on this world. But how many of us are actually doing it? Maybe you think you are, or maybe you don’t, but it’s never too late to think about how you can make the world a better place. If you really want to leave a legacy after you’re gone, but you’re at a loss for what to do differently, remember these 7 things.

1. Teach empathy.

Empathy is a lost art, unfortunately. We live in a world where we teach people to be self-absorbed. If you don’t believe me, just look at social media. In essence, a “status update” implicitly says “Look at me! Look at me! I’m important and you’re not!” Not that there’s anything wrong with social media. But when we are so focused on getting attention from other people that we forget to show love and compassion for their pain, then I think it goes to far. So try to reach out to others and recognize their grief and struggles. Help them. Love them.

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2. Spread kindness and positive energy.

People will remember you in one very simple way: how you make them feel. Do you lift them up? Do you make them feel better about themselves? Do they want to spend more time with you because they love your positive energy and outlook on life? Or, to the contrary, do people think you’re an “Energy Vampire” who sucks the life out of others? Do you whine, complain, nag, and repeat your negative “soap operas” over and over so much that you make people want to run for the hills and never come back? Hopefully you don’t do that. But even if you do, you have the power to change. Start choosing new thoughts and words. Make people feel happy that they know you—not the opposite.

3. Teach other people life lessons you have learned.

The older we get, the more we learn. When we are kids, we think we know everything—that is, until we really start experiencing life and eventually realize how little we actually do know. Did you have a phase in your life where you drank and partied so much that you almost flunked out of school? Or maybe you were in an abusive relationship until you woke up and decided to love yourself enough to walk away. If so, take those life experiences and pass down the lessons to the next generation. Heck, it doesn’t even need to be the next generation. Just pass them along to anyone who needs to learn what you did.

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4. Put people first.

Our world values money—a lot. And not that there is anything wrong with money! Everyone loves money! But if you are so consumed with money, or power, or success (or anything else) that you forget how important people are, then you need to re-evauate your life. Treat everyone with love and respect—even your “enemies.” Treat the janitor the same way you would treat the president of the company you work for. Realize that everyone really just wants to be loved, accepted, and affirmed. It’s pretty simple. So live by the “Golden Rule” and do unto others as you would have done unto you.

5. Figure out your passion and do more of it.

Do you love creating art? Do you love writing? Do you love fishing? Whatever your passion is, do it more. You might even be able to find a way to channel it into a career. Perhaps you write in your journal or keep a blog just for the fun of it.  But maybe you can find writer’s classes to teach you how to write that novel you always had in your head. If so, do it. There is nothing more beautiful when passion meets a life purpose. The more passionate people we have in the world, the better it will be.

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6. Spend your money on experiences you will remember instead of on things you don’t need.

As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” In other words, money is wonderful, but you can’t take it into the next world when you die. When you’re gone, all people will have is the memories they created with you. So if you’re using your money to buy huge house just to impress people, then maybe you’re channeling your money in the wrong direction. Instead, maybe you should downsize your house and take your family on vacations. Those are the things people remember, so re-evaluate your priorities when it comes to spending your money.

7. Keep a healthy level of social media interaction.

Sure, it’s great to re-connect with lost friends and keep up with long-distance family members. But if you find that you are literally narrating your life on social media for the whole world to see, then maybe you’ve gone too far. If you’re on vacation with your family in Disney World but you have to stop every 5 minutes to take selfies and upload them to your social media sites, then you are missing the point of a vacation. Instead, be in the moment. Enjoy the NOW. There will be time later to upload those photos. So try to disengage from social media a little bit and come back to the real world more often. You’ll be glad you did.

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Everyone’s lives matter. But if you have a sneaking suspicion that maybe you could change your ways just a little to make sure that you leave a positive legacy when you depart this world, then remember these things on a daily basis. That way, your life will have a positive impact for generations to come.

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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