Everyone has room for some improvement when it comes to our daily routine. Life seems never to stop. Seriously, can we just pump the brakes a little? A day turns into a week that turns into a month that grows into a year. We never seem to have time to apply changes to our lives, or do we. Here are five moves to consider.
Slow down. Life is not a race. For my competitive friends, this is a challenge. I have never been a competitive type, more of a sharing kind. Some of us need to have that bragging right. And there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is within moderation. Winning makes us feel good. That sense of accomplishment raises our self-esteem. But like everything else, we must manage our downtime. Otherwise, we will crash. Take the time to learn how to relax.
Listen to what others say. When we converse, a lot is happening. Not only do the words matter, but how we say them affects their interpretation. Body language is another crucial aspect that we need to target. And please stop thinking of the next thing to say. If we are preparing our following answer, then we are not fully listening. It’s a bad habit that is not fair to us or the conversation at hand. Give the person talking the attention needed.
Never assume you’re right and others are wrong. Our first assumption should look at how both views are correct. Two opposing views can be accurate. Suppose we wrote a superb article, but our editor kicked it back, stating that it didn’t fit the format required. As frustrating as this situation may be, take the time to assume that the editor knows how to do their job. Ask for a format reference to avoid future mistakes. Perhaps a company policy changed, and we didn’t get the memo. Never assume that either side is wrong. A superb article will not fit every specification. That’s life.
Stop sharing every thought and opinion. Ouch, that sounds harsh. Right? It is, but there is a simple reasoning behind it as well. We find ourselves in the company of two or more friends, and somehow the conversation no longer includes us. The fact that the conversation is happening in front of us is a sign that the information shared is not private, but that does not mean that the interaction isn’t. Sometimes we try to engage ourselves in everything around us, and we miss the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scene of two people reuniting. Think of it as a person who is always trying to sing along but never listens to the sound of the music. Some conversations are for observation.
And finally, love yourself. We affect more people than we realize. On June 25, 2020, I had a friend post a picture of my Navy retirement. I gave my thanks for sharing because “Hey, it’s cool he was thinking of me.” But I was more moved by the kind words that he received on his page for sharing that picture. Everyone watches us, and they listen to what we say and how we vocalize it. Talk about an invasion of privacy. But it’s not a bad thing. As humans, we are often looking for guidance. Are we going in the right direction? Do we meet or exceed the expectations of those around us? These are simple questions that we need to answer every day. We are role models. Some of us are good at being a role model, and some are not. It is for this reason I work towards being a “daily professional.” I want to be that person who professionally performs everyday tasks. I’m still working on my expletives. Hey, it an excellent skill that only a few know how to appreciate fully. But seriously, you are a valuable asset to this world. High five yourself in the mirror every morning if you have to. But, love and appreciate yourself. You are needed.
There are more great caveats I could include. But, for this Friday blog, these were the ones I wanted to capitalize on it. We are superstars in our peer’s limelight. What we do and say matters? Having fun and being professional go hand in hand. Enjoy being in the presence of others and listen to the music of friendship. Life will change as we get age, and we must change with it.