Your best life is waiting, why not get out of your own way and live it?
Learn How To Communicate Effectively:
We all know that words can heal, comfort, connect, motivate, trigger and infuriate, which is why using them wisely is a skill developed by the masters. Still effective communication is not just about using the right words, it’s also about timing, tone, intention, eye contact, listening, and follow-up. When sitting down to speak with someone about an important topic, share thoughts and feelings as clearly (and calmly) as possible while doing your best not to blame or criticize your companion. Make enough space for your companion to speak, ask questions, clarify when necessary, and most essential is showing them that you respect their own thoughts and feelings, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them.
On a Personal Note: Think about the ways in which you speak to yourself throughout the day.Are you constantly putting yourself down, reminding yourself of your mistakes or swearing that you “missed” your chance to find success, love or whatever else it is that you ache to experience? Our thoughts become our mantra and mantra’s dictate our actions. Not liking yourself not only keeps you locked in a prison of negativity and insecurity, it can be dangerous. If building confidence on your own seems like an uphill battle, get yourself a coach! Find a trusted mentor or counselor to help you along.
Learn To Reach Out
We live in a busy world and life gets in the way of great friendships and partnerships. Still, a “thinking of you” text or email–or even an old-fashioned card sent snail mail–can do wonders when it comes to making those in your life feel loved and appreciated. Try saying hello to coworkers, following up with a friend who seems down in the dumps, and remember that your partner and loved ones still appreciate open displays of affection even if they “know” you care.
On a Personal Note: There’s no doubt you can soldier through anything, but the truth is that you don’t have to. Allowing friends and loved ones to be there for you, lend a helping hand, and offer words of wisdom and support is often the gift that keeps on giving. Not only might you walk away feeling lighter, your relationship will feel deeper, and those around you will have a better understanding of what you are going through ( and are less likely to jump to conclusions about your mood or going MIA).
Learn How To Disagree
Everyone is a culmination of a unique set of life experiences and has a filter all their own. What this means that even the most similar pair will have moments when they don’t see eye-to-eye. There are those who fight to “win” and others who flee the second things get heated. Then, of course, there are those who have learned not only to pick and choose their battles, but also how to separate their ego from someone not sharing their viewpoint, how to draw a boundary without throwing a punch, and finally how to agree to disagree on topics that don’t have a direct impact on their lives.
On a Personal Note: Think about the thoughts, feelings, values and ideals you hold dear to your heart. Now, why are they important to you? How do they enhance or hinder your life? How attached are you to them being “right” for you, and “right” for everyone else? If you find yourself needing everyone in your vicinity adhering to your personal life structure and moral code, you’re approaching your space with the same mindset as a dictator and likely leaving others feeling suffocated and devalued.
Build a Strong Foundation
Going with the flow is fine when everyone wants to watch the latest Clooney flick while you vote for Batman, but when you’re staying silent while boundaries are crossed and pretending not to be offended by the comments of your catty coworker, you are doing little more than allowing resentment to poison your spirit and inadvertently condoning inappropriate behavior.
On a Personal Note: Playing the blame-game is a lot easier than sitting down and accepting that no one else is responsible for our feelings, our actions and reactions or the words we choose to speak, but just as your partner should be held accountable for flying off the handle, so should you be.
Get To Know Who Is In Your Life
While it’s never something we want to think about, houses burn down, partners leave, jobs are lost, accidents happen and loved ones pass away. Worrying about these things happening day in and out will soak your days with salt, but ignoring them won’t make them any less plausable. Live for today and enjoy it, but give yourself a chance at a more stable future by putting money into your savings, building your skill-set, keeping your network strong, maintaining healthy and mutually supportive relationships and taking care of your life business like a responsible adult.
On a Personal Note: If you have made it to your third decade, it’s likely you have some baggage, a few insecurities, and even a skeleton or two. Welcome to the club. There are those who manage to pack and discard their extra loads on their own, and others who need a little help. If you find that you have habits, thoughts, feelings or addictions (to love, rejection, drugs, alcohol, sex, self-abuse, etc.) love yourself enough to reach out to a professional who can help you work through them. You deserve to live your best possible life and that’s possible with the right skills and training. Taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health is your right, and your duty.
Get To Know Who Is In Your Life
How well do you know your loved ones? What kinds of hobbies do your friends have? What is your partners favorite movie? Where does your best friend enjoy going to rest and renew? Asking meaningful and thoughtful questions shows those in your life that they mean something to you, and why wouldn’t you want to know those you profess to care about as well as you can? So, the next time you ask how someone’s day was, look them in the eye and show interest in their answer. I’ll bet they blossom.
On a Personal Note: How well do you actually know yourself? When was the last time you checked in to find out who you are, what you enjoy, and what you value? What is your favorite way to relax? Where do you stand on the political fence? How have your values and ideologies changed since receiving more information and experiencing more life?
Accept What Is Happening Right Now
How many times have you sat there, angry, that you’d made different career decisions, that your body looked different, or that your last relationship didn’t progress the way you had hoped it to? The sooner we accept the circumstances in our lives–as they are right now–the sooner we can start to change them. Trying to change the past is a fools hobby, and wishing is for birthday cakes and dandelions.
Let It Go
It’s nice to think that we all can forgive the hurts of the past, but the reality is that some situations are just too painful to wash away with the F-word. Since “forgiving” often implies that we are saying what was done was “OK”, many of us hold onto the pain and anger of the past as a way to show that we will never offer the other person or situation that kind of pardon. Holding onto anger for your ex, your parents, or a painful situation will only infect your ability to be happy in the here and now (triggers that make you look unstable to new partners, birthdays that are spend crying over a painful childhood, etc.) You deserve better. Accept that it happened, grieve for it, state that the situation was not ok, and then remind yourself that you will not allow anything or anyone to stand in your way of your best life, including you.
Choose To Be Happy
There are always going to be reasons to be annoyed (that person in front of you in Starbucks likely won’t thank you for opening that door and your coworker who annoyed you 10 times this week will likely be a repeat offender) but is getting triggered and offended by every slow pedestrian or a perpetually grumpy boss really worth existing in a state of misery?
What is your secret “Happy” Skill?
(Photo from Andre D’ienes)