“Realize what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold.” ~ William Moulton Marsden
Trying to discover your life’s purpose can be frustrating if you don’t know where to start. It all begins when you know there is more to life and more to who you are. You are that person who can go out there and make a difference in the world by finding purpose and being on the right path. You have everything you need right now for that discovery. In this post you will discover your purpose by taking action steps that will help you get there. See this as a mini course because when you’re done reading (and writing), you will have discovered things about yourself you probably didn’t think of as important until now.
Do what makes you unique
Your uniqueness often means to non-conform with the rest of the world. Find your own strengths, passions and values. Walk away from what seems conventional and follow you heart, blazing your own trail.Advertising
Use your own guidance
Get in touch with your feelings how you feel when you’re doing something? This may be in your job, when doing a task or hobby. When do you lose track of time? What are you doing? Keep a notebook handy or use your phone to record these moments. Because feelings are the key to doing what you love (or don’t like). Do the things you love more often by being conscious of how you feel when doing something.
When you were a child, what did you dream of doing when older?
(Before other people crushed this idea) Create quiet time because we are about to go back to when your imagination would go wild and create images of you doing amazing things. What was it that you told everyone you wanted to be? What did you love to do? Where did you love to go?
What do you really love to do?
No seriously, have you ever asked yourself this question and answered honestly? Do it now.Advertising
Ask yourself what you’d do if there were no limitations.
What if I told you there were no limits – only the ones you keep placing on yourself stopping you from moving forward. For this exercise create two columns on a piece of paper, with your main goal at the top. In the first column write down a list of ways you WILL complete the goal; the second column is for all the things that stop you from reaching the goal. BUT you don’t need to write anything there because every time you do think of something that will hold you back just shout “NEXT!” Then write another way you CAN get there. Then execute.
What gives you the greatest feelings of value, importance and satisfaction?
This question speaks for itself, but instead of just writing it down I’m going to ask you to lie down or sit somewhere comfortable and visualize a scenario or a few where you have felt valued, important or satisfied. Hopefully this will shed light on what you ought to be doing more often!
What is one great thing you would dare to dream if you could not fail?
If your dream is to make a big change in the world for the betterment of humanity, what makes you think you can’t. Try getting to the core of your fears then work on eliminating them one by one. Here is something that will help you: How To Live Your Dream And Overcome Fear.
If you had all the money in the world what would you do?
Make a list, kind of like a bucket list, and see what amazing things you would be doing. Where would you go? What kind of lifestyle would you live?
Do you have beliefs that are holding you back?
Is there something you really want to do but have limiting beliefs that are holding you back, because you don’t believe you are good enough? Your beliefs may seem real when in fact they’re something you have learned to accept even if they’re not true. Maybe you have a talent you don’t think is good enough. Maybe you think you won’t have enough time. Maybe you don’t think others will care. Whatever the case it’s time to step back and take a look from a different perspective and answer these questions:Advertising
- What would I have to believe in order to do something I am passionate about?
- What ideas would I have to believe to follow my heart?
- In order for me to find my purpose how do I believe that?
Make a list of 10 goals you would like to achieve within the next three years, in the present tense. Select the one goal from that list that would have the greatest positive impact on your life. Make a list of everything that will move you toward your goal. Determine how you will measure progress and success in achieving this goal. Write it down. Take immediate action on at least one thing.
“The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.” ~ Richard M. DeVos
Featured photo credit: Michael Chen via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 21, 2019
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:
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.
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.
You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.
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.
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.
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.
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,
“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.
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.
More Articles About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace
Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com
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