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50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

Do you ever have those moments in your life where you realise you’ve been doing the same things repeatedly for days or even months? Almost as though you’re on auto-pilot? That’s no way to live life; life’s about opening up your world to new experiences! It’s about adventure, even in the smallest form of the word. Lori Deschene, founder of Tiny Buddha, has 50 ways you can start living a more fulfilling life today:

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” ~Unknown

Maybe you feel stuck. Or bored. Or frustrated. It’s not that you don’t like the life you live, it’s just that you suspect there’s something more. Some greater sense of meaning or excitement. New connections. New adventures. New possibilities.

The truth is those possibilities are always within your reach. You may not be able to quit your job or develop new skills by osmosis; but every day contains within it countless opportunities, all dictated by the choices you make.

Some of those choices may seem inconsequential when you face them. They’re the little things, after all. Why not do it how you usually do? Why not stay in your comfort zone when it’s just so comfortable there?

Do it for the possibility. The possibility that if you make one minor change you may set the stage for major fulfillment. Sometimes even the smallest shift in thinking or doing can create the biggest opportunity. Here’s how to get started:

GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD

1. Challenge your beliefs about what you can and can’t do. Maybe you are a good leader.

2. Challenge your ideas about how things should work. Sometimes when you decide how thingsshould be you limit your ability to be effective in the world as it actually is.

3. Have a vision session. Write in a journal, create a video, sketch—anything that lets you explore what excites you most.

4. Look for opportunities in a tough situation. Avoid a victim mentality, and opt instead for a “ready for new beginnings” attitude.

5. Remove something from your life that doesn’t serve you to make room for something better and new. You never know what you might let in when you let something go.

6. Commit to something you always say you’ll do but always fail to start—and then take the first step right now.

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7. Turn your focus from something don’t want to something you do want. This allows you to shift your energy from complaining to taking action.

8. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Positive energy creates positive results.

9. Identify the blocks that keep you from breaking a bad habit. Anytime you improve your habits, you pave the path for personal excellence.

10. Forgive someone if you’ve been holding a grudge. Removing that block will open you up where previously you’d shut down.

GET OUT IN THE OPEN

11. Walk to work and open your eyes. You may find a gym you want to join or an organization where you’d like to volunteer.

12. Talk to someone while waiting in line and ask what they do. You don’t need to wait for a specified event to network.

13. Make an effort to connect with people you pass—smile and make eye contact for a little longer than usual. Being even slightly more open can open up your world.

14. Learn a new skill. Start taking piano lessons or karate classes.

15. Say yes to something you always talk yourself out of—sing karaoke or take a kickboxing class, even you’re afraid of you’ll feel embarrassed.

16. Take a walking lunch. Walk around your neighborhood for a half-hour with no destination in mind, and then eat at your desk when you return. You never know what will happen when you get out without a plan.

17. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or ASPCA chapter.

18. Start something you always assumed it was too late to do. Take gymnastics, learn guitar. If it moves you, get started today. It’s never too late.

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19. Take up urban foraging—the act of foraging for “free” fruits and vegetables around your city (where harvesting is sanctioned). According to worldchanging.com, “It saves money (free food!), it reduces waste (all that fruit isn’t rotting on the ground) and it builds community (…by forcing interaction between strangers…).”

20. Join an adventure club to try new activities, like white water rafting and rock climbing, and meet new people at the same time.

GET IN WITH PEOPLE

21. Offer to help someone else. Sometimes it’s the best way to help yourself, and not just for the warm fuzzy feeling it provides. You never know what you’ll learn through the process.

22. Carpool to work. This gives you a chance to get to know coworkers better—good for socialization, and possibly good for your career.

23. Compliment a stranger on something you notice. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and it’s a great way to start a conversation.

24. Take pictures of things you find interesting that other people might not notice. When you’re trying to frame the smiley face of leftover food on your plate, people will naturally want to ask what you’re doing. (I know this from experience).

25. Do something you enjoy alone. Go to a museum or read a book in the park. You’re more accessible when you’re not engulfed in a crowd, making it easier for new people to approach you.

26. Wear an interesting T-shirt, something funny or nostalgic. You likely won’t get through a day wearing a Gem or Alf shirt with at least one conversation with someone new!

27. Move one of your friends into a new pool. Take one from the “we keep things light and casual” pool into the “we share our dreams and confide each other” pool. Research shows people who have five or more close friends describe themselves as happy.

28. Bring enough lunch to share with other people at work—particularly childhood favorites. Nothing bonds like shared nostalgia.

29. Pay attention to other people’s body language and expressions so you can offer assistance when they seem to need it.

30. Help someone else get out of their comfort zone. You just may set the precedent that you challenge each other in your friendship.

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GET INTO YOUR WORK

31. Show up a half-hour early or leave thirty minutes late. You’ll get more done, you may impress your boss, and you might open yourself up to opportunities for growth, particularly if your coworkers aren’t around.

32. Speak up in a meeting, even if you don’t feel confident or you’re afraid you’ll be embarrassed. Your ideas can only take shape if you put them out there.

33. Hold your meeting outside. People work and engage differently in new environments, particularly when they can feel sunlight on their faces.

34. Hold a meeting standing up. This will most likely make it shorter, meaning you’ll be more efficient and create more time to work on something else.

35. Create a business card that speaks to what really matters to you, like Meng Tan’s “jolly good fellow” card.

36. Start learning a new language. The more people you can communicate with, the more valuable you become, particularly for work that involves traveling abraod. Only six percent of the world’s population speaks English.

37. If you don’t work in your dream industry, volunteer within it. This allows you to be your purpose now, even though you don’t have the job; gain experience; and make valuable connections.

38. Find a mentor. Ask someone who does what you’d like to do for tips.

39. Attend a networking event or conference that’s big in your industry. Collect at least ten business cards, and follow up with emails the next day.

40. Consider one of these creative ways to turn everyday situations into opportunities.

GET CAUGHT IN THE WEB

41. Check the Craigslist Community section for activitiesevents, and classes—and then send at least three emails today. Don’t wait.

42. Start a group at Meetup.com to connect with like-minded people, or join one that already exists.

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43. Ask on Twitter if anyone can offer you tips to move forward with your dream.

44. Learn to cook one tweet at a time. @cookbook tweets entire recipes and instructions in 140 characters each.

45. Learn how to do anything that interests you on eHow, Instructables, or wikiHow.

46. Have a “friend trade” day on Facebook. Introduce your friends to one of yours, and ask them to do the same.

47. If you blog, find other bloggers in your niche and email them to introduce yourself.

48. Search WeFollow.com to find the most influential people in your niche, then initiate contact them through Twitter or email.

49. Become a host on Airbnb if you have a room to rent; it’s a great way to meet new people and earn a little extra cash!

50. Join the TinyBuddha forums to seek help and help others who need it. (Or subscribe to tinybuddha.com for more tips to live out loud!)

There’s a lot of information here—way more than you can tackle all at once. But it’s more about quality than quantity. Even just one small change can have a ripple effect into every area of your life. Of course it’s up to you to decide what’s possible.

How do you open your world to new possibilities?

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) and Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. She’s also the co-founder of the eCourseRecreate Your Life Story: Change the Script and Be the HeroFollow @tinybuddha for inspiring posts and wisdom quotes.

50 Ways To Open Your World To New Possibilities | Tiny Buddha

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2019

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is a reminder of why I am so drawn to leadership as a topic. Whenever I think it is impossible for me to be more impressed with her, she proves me wrong.

Earlier this week, a former marine suggested that he had been in a long-term sexual relationship with the Senator. She flipped the narrative and used the term “Cougar,” a term used to describe older women who date younger men, to reference her alma mater.

Rather than calling the young man a liar, or responding to the accusations in kind, she re-focused the conversation back to her message of college affordability and lifted up that “Cougar” was the mascot for her alma mater. She went on to note that tuition at her school was just $50 per semester when she was a student. Class act.

But by the end of the week, news broke that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, another contender for the presidency, had a heart attack. Warren not only wished Sanders a speedy recovery but her campaign sent a meal to his staff. She knew that the hopes of staff, donors and supporters were with the Senator from Vermont and showed genuine compassion and empathy.

To me, she has proven time and time again that she is more than a presidential candidate: she belongs in a leadership hall of fame.

What makes some people excel as leaders is fascinating. You can read about leadership, research it and talk about it, yet the interest in leadership alone will not make you a better leader.

You will have more information than the average person, but becoming a good leader is lifelong work. It requires experience – and lots of it. Most importantly, it requires observation and a commitment to action. Warren observed what was happening with Sen. Sanders, empathized with his team and then took action. Regardless of the outcome of this election, Sanders’ staff will likely never forget her gesture.

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You would have had to work on a political campaign in order to appreciate the stress and anxiety that comes with it. In this moment, staff may not remember everything that Warren said throughout the lengthy campaign, but they will remember what she did during an unforgettable time during the campaign.

If this model of leadership is appealing, and if you are searching for how to up your own leadership game, read on for six characteristics that good leaders share:

1. Good leaders are devoted to the success of the people around them.

Good leaders are not self-interested. Sure, they want to succeed, but they also want others to succeed.

Good leaders see investing in others just as important as they see investing in themselves. They understand that their success is closely tied to the people around them, and they work to ensure that their peers, employees, friends and family have paths for growth and development.

While the leaders may be the people in the spotlight, they are quick to point to the people around them who helped them (the leaders) enter that spotlight. Their willingness to lift others inspires their colleagues’ and friends’ devotion and loyalty.

2. Good leaders are not overly dependent on others’ approval.

It is important for managers to express their support for their teams; good leaders must be independent of the approval of others. I explained in an article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, that:[1]

“While a desire to be loved is natural, managers who prioritize approval from subordinates will become ineffective supervisors who may do employees harm. For example, a manager driven by a need for approval may shy away from delivering constructive feedback that could help an employee improve. A manager fearful of upsetting someone may tolerate behavior that degrades the work environment and culture.”

In yet another example, a manager who is dependent on the approval of others may not make decisions that could be deemed unpopular in the short run but necessary in the long run.

Think of the coaches who integrated their sporting teams. Their decision to do so, may have seemed odd, and even wrong, in the moment, but time has proven that those leaders were on the right side of history.

3. Good leaders have the capacity to share the spotlight.

Attention is nice, but it is not the prime motivator for good leaders. Doing a good job is.

For this reason, good leaders are willing to share the spotlight. They aren’t threatened by a lack of attention, and they do not need credit for every accomplishment. They are too focused on their goal and too focused on the urgency of their work.

4. Good leaders are students.

In the same way that human beings are constantly evolving, so too are leaders. As long as you are living, you have the potential to learn. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you think you have; you can always learn something new.

I have the experience of thinking I was doing everything right as a manager, only to receive conflicting feedback from my team. Perhaps my approach was not working for my team, and I had to be willing to hear their feedback to improve.

Good leaders understand that their secret sauce is their willingness to keep receiving information and keep learning. They aren’t intimidated by what they do not know: As long as they maintain a willingness to keep growing, they believe they can overcome any obstacle they face.

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As both masters and students, good leaders read, listen and study to grow. They consume content for information, not just entertainment purposes. They aren’t impressed with their knowledge; they are impressed with the learning journey.

5. Good leaders view vulnerability as a superpower.

It means “replacing ‘professional distance and cool,’ with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure,” said Emma Sappala in a Dec. 11, 2014, article, “What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable” for Harvard Business Journal.[2] She went on to note the importance of human connection, which she asserts is often missing at work.

“As leaders and employees, we are often taught to keep a distance and project a certain image. An image of confidence, competence and authority. We may disclose our vulnerability to a spouse or close friend behind closed doors at night but we would never show it elsewhere during the day, let alone at work.”

This rings so true for me as a woman leader. I was raised believing that any show of emotion in the workplace could be used against me. I was raised believing that it was best for women leaders to be stoic and to “never let ‘em see you sweat.” This may have prevented me from connecting with employees and colleagues on a deeper, more personal level.

6. Good leaders understand themselves.

I am a huge fan of life coach and spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant. In addition to her hit show on the OWN network, Vanzant has authored dozens of books. In her books and teachings, she underscores the importance of knowing ourselves fully. She argues that we must know what makes us tick, what makes us happy and what makes us angry.

Self-awareness enables us to put ourselves in situations where we can thrive, and it also enables us to have compassion when we fall short of the goals and expectations we have for ourselves. Relatedly, understanding ourselves will allow us to know our strength. When we know our strengths, we will be able to put people around us who compliment our strengths and fill the gaps in our leadership.

Final Thoughts

Being a good leader, first and foremost, is an inside job. You must focus on growing as a person regardless of the leadership title that you hold. You cannot take others where you yourself have not been. So focusing on yourself, regardless of your time or where you are in your career will have long term benefits for you and the people around you.

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Further, if you want to become a good leader, you should start by setting the intention to do so. What you focus on grows. If you focus on becoming a better leader, you will research and invest in things that help you to fulfill this intention. You will also view the good and bad leadership experiences as steppingstones that hone your character and help you improve.

After you set the intention, get really clear on what a good leader looks like to you. Each of us has a different understanding of leadership. Is a good leader someone who takes risk? Is a good leader, in your estimation, someone who develops other leaders? Whatever it is, know what you’re shooting for. Once you define what it means to be a good leader, look for people who exemplify your vision. Watch and engage with them if you can.

Finally, understand that becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. You must continually work at improving, investing in yourself and reflecting on what is going well and what you must improve. In this way, every experience is an opportunity to grow and a chance to ask: ‘What is this experience trying to teach me?’ or ‘what action is necessary based on this situation?’

If you are committed to questioning, evaluating and acting, you are that much closer to becoming a better leader.

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Featured photo credit: Sam Power via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Why Good Managers Overcome the Desire to Be Liked
[2] Harvard Business Journal: What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable

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