Placing energy on relationships – both friendships and primary relationships – is an investment. Worldwide studies over several decades reveal that the quality of our relationships is one of the most reliable predictors of our overall well-being.
The grass isn’t greener on the “other side.” It’s greener where you water it.
A complaint is the antithesis of gratitude. It’s an inherent way of saying: reality is what it is, but it SHOULDN’T be!
Which makes as much sense as being in the freezing cold and saying: it shouldn’t be cold.
Unless it’s a revelation for you that “communication is the key” to relationships of any kind, it’s not useful without context on how to communicate in a healthy way.
Here are details on just a few things I’ve learned from my personal communication failures:
- Fear of consequences or aversion to uncomfortable conversations has led to worse consequences than the discomfort I thought I was protecting (one of my most glaring deficiencies).
- Body language, tone, and attitude (HOW you say what you say) are as important as the message itself (WHAT you say).
- A conversation at a time when one or both parties are not the best versions of themselves could be the difference between understanding/growth and a relationship-damaging outcome
- l must be able to articulate your argument or feelings in a way that makes you feel heard. If I don’t, you’re not ready to hear what I have to say. The reverse is also true.
David Burns’ insightful book “Feeling Good” reminds us that labeling ourselves is both self-defeating and irrational. We are complex, constantly changing organisms that will never fully fit one label – and even if we do that would soon change.
A useful analogy is to think of ourselves more like flowing rivers than statues.
A great Software Engineer could be five times more efficient and effective than an average developer with the same years of experience. Deciding who is the best fit for a job using arbitrary requirements like “years of experience” is an attempt to commoditize human performance.
Although it’s harder to measure, try having a dialogue with those you consider hiring by discussing their capability and motivation to do the job, based on their relevant accomplishments and interests, not their education, years, or any other metric that doesn’t predict performance.
When we look at past pictures of ourselves, we may feel disappointed if it seems that we used to be better looking, more fit, or generally superior to today. But at the time those pictures were taken, we probably didn’t consider ourselves to be our most stellar incarnation.
You are likely a better, smarter, and more experienced version today than you were previously. Remember that today is one of the “good old days” we’ll look back on.
[I wrote a song about this called “Good Times Are Now”.]
Success is extremely personal. Each of us has ideas on what it looks like. The simplest definition is: getting, doing, or becoming what you hoped for. The most critical step then is to define that in a way that’s most meaningful to you.
As obvious as that sounds, it’s common for people to claim that their goal is to “lose weight”, when in reality they want to add muscle, or lose fat, or look great naked. If that’s what success means to you, own it.
I have an extraordinary before and after picture of a woman who went on an intense fitness and nutrition regimen. The change is hard to believe. Even harder to process is the fact that her weight is the same in both pictures. If success meant losing weight, she failed. But in fact, she had a personal goal to “look great in a bikini.”
A donkey that’s hungry and thirsty stands at equal distance from hay a few feet to its left, and water to its right. Not being able to decide whether to eat or drink first, the donkey dies of hunger and thirst.
Death by indecision is an extreme analogy. But a reminder that you can have both when you see the bigger picture and plan properly. So many of us are fortunate enough to live in a world of “and” not “or”. Think it through but then commit to taking action. Don’t be an ass.
When you consume a lot and are in learning mode, whether via mentors, books, lectures, seminars, or podcasts, there are better and worse ways to internalize what you learned.
One thing that helps me turn a chunk of new knowledge into something immediate and actionable is to ask these two questions: Based on what I just learned…
- What will I commit to start or stop doing?
- What perspective have I gained that converts to valuable advice?
The “close door” button on elevators isn’t connected to anything. Pushing it does absolutely nothing.
We often believe we have control over circumstances that we don’t. This can work against you. We might blame ourselves for outcomes which were never under our control. That’s just as true for the outcome of a product launch, the stock market, to how our children turn out. Of course you influence these things. But there are far more variables that lead to the outcome for you to assume full responsibility.
Next time you’re placing blame on yourself because of an unwanted outcome, try to look for the (many) other factors that have contributed to it.