Category Archives: Life Tips

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Life?

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: Pedro da Silva @pedroplus – unsplash

Have you ever met someone who says “I’m the queen (or king) of procrastination? Maybe you have. I know I have. Maybe that person is you. At any rate, I think we are all guilty of procrastination to some degree or another. What is it about procrastination that, even though we don’t like to do it, know that it won’t help us and will even cause us stress, causes us to continue putting off doing what needs to be done? Are we suckers for self-inflicted punishment?

Procrastination is so common that it is almost cliché and yet, it is so destructive. In the business world probably millions of dollars are lost each year due to a failure to get things done on time and a failure to address people problems. In government organizations, procrastination is often ignored or swept under the carpet as problems are not dealt with.  All kinds of problems – health issues, relationship troubles, financial problems, and business or work related issues can be traced to procrastination. It really is the grand thief of our well being and happiness.

Procrastination – The Life Sucker

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Time?

Time is so precious and we don’t get more of it, only less as it goes on. When we procrastinate, we are actually stealing time from ourselves, by keeping ourselves in a “holding state” where we constantly think about what we have to do, but don’t do. As long as we are there, we can not use this time thinking about and doing other things that are more productive and could benefit us. Time spent on fretting about when, how and where to do something as well as going through all the emotions of what will people think, say and do is really wasted time.

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Peace of Mind?

Having that black cloud of knowing we have to do something ( a particular task) and not really wanting to do it is certainly not conducive to peace of mind and wellbeing. It is stressful. It weighs on us and nags at us constantly until we finally make a decision about doing something. Procrastination comes in and hounds us like a tiresome and uninvited guest who won’t go away.  Certainly, peace of mind is worth more than having to go through this.

Is Procrastination Stealing Your Money?

Procrastination can actually be robbing our money. Each time we”forget” to return non-desired goods to the store for a refund, each time we fail to follow up on financial mistakes or fail to budget when we know we should – all of these and many more tasks not done can cost us untold amounts of money simply because we neglected to be disciplined. All these neglected tasks can add up over time and will show up in our pocketbook.

Is Procrastination Affecting Your Relationships?

Procrastination can make relationships suffer and even make them dissolve. Neglecting to keep in contact, forgive, have that difficult conversation, apologize – all these are relationship destroyers and relationships that are “on the line” have a time limit. Each time we fail to think less of the person or people we are in a relationship with and more about our own ego puts another nail in the coffin of the burial of the relationship. Procrastination, where relationships are concerned, is self-centeredness, plain and simple.

Is Procrastination Stealing Opportunities from You?

Think about all those times you said no or shied away from an opportunity. Maybe you felt it wasn’t the right time. Maybe you felt you weren’t good enough or that you would be rejected. Maybe you were scared to dive in. Maybe you wanted to wait to have more money. What if you had said yes? How might your life have been different? Sometimes procrastination – holding off on opportunities in the hopes of a better (or more convenient) one will come along – can shut the door completely for us and we will never know how things might have been.

So many opportunities are lost, so many things are never done because we were waiting for the right time, the most convenient circumstances and the right belief about ourselves and our abilities. Today is the day and someday is not a day on the calendar. Don’t steal from an old person – that old person may be you in the future.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

An article in Psychology Today: 9 Reasons You Procrastinate (and 9 Ways to Stop) suggests the following reasons for why we procrastinae:

We tend to “throw compassion to the wind” and not do what we should do

Procrastination is rooted in not being kind to ourselves. The more we put off doing what we know we should do, the more we keep ourselves in bondage to this task hanging over us like a black cloud. Who wants to live under a black cloud of things that we know we should do but keep putting off?

We may have learned to procrastinate from role models.

We learn by what we see and what we experience and from those around us. We mimic them, either consciously or unconsciously and if our role models and people in our circle of influence are regular procrastinators, there is a strong chance that we will be as well. It might be a good time to find new role models who get things done and reap positive results.

We don’t think we will be good at the task

Sometimes we just lack the confidence. We may just presume .with absolutely no evidence to back our theory up, that we are not able to do what we need to do.  One good place to start would be to not compare ourselves to others and assume that if we put our mind and elbow grease to it, we can do it.

We may be biased against doing a particular type of task.

For some reason, we may have a negative view or prejudice towards doing a certain task and we use this prejudice as an excuse. We may see the task as an annoyance and attack against our personal views. We could begin by being open to trying and possibly learning from the opportunity. It may be that our viewpoint was off.

We may have difficulty estimating time

The stereotypical student is good at miscalculating time, which is why many of them study for exams or finish projects at the very last minute. but students are not the only ones – many of us are guilty of setting inaccurate timelines, imagining that we have more time than we actually do to finish a task. We also fail to factor in the unexpected detours we need to take.

We tend to think short term rather than long term

We can tend to be slightly myopic when it comes to what is important, focusing on the hear and now rather than on the long term impacts and benefits or consequences. Not cultivating a mindset of getting to business and getting things done may have less than desirable consequences down the road of life.

We may have a perfectionist bent that hinders action

Perfectionists- gotta love them! Unfortunately waiting until everything is perfect – the perfect timing, the perfect circumstances as well as the opinion that a task has to be done perfectly will keep a person in the starting position only. In fact, they will never start and the job will never get done (by them). A suggestion would be to let go and be more flexible – allow for mistakes.

Conditions such as depression or anxiety may cause us to be inactive

These conditions can be debilitating and can hold a person prisoner to moods and ways of thinking. Tasks can be overwhelming to them. Apart from seeking out proper treatment, breaking down tasks into manageable sizes can help these people accomplish tasks.

We may have an intolerance towards leaving our comfort zone

Often we procrastinate is due to the fact that accomplishing a task such as calling someone or confronting someone, firing an employee can take us way out of our comfort zone. It can actually terrify us to the point that it paralyzes us. We somehow believe that we are physically or psychologically in danger. The best cure for fear is action, not inaction.

The Takeaway

Let’s call a spade a spade. Procrastination is a thief!  It can steal our money, our peace of mind, our opportunities and attack our relationships. Procrastination is sacrificing the future on the altar of the present. There are reasons why we procrastinate and, for the most part, these reasons are founded in the excuses we make and the beliefs or perceptions we have or tell ourselves. Perception is not reality; itis perception. Beliefs can be changed.  Taking action is the cure to procrastination.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her at livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

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25 Quotes On The Power Of Daily Habits

Category : Life Tips

Photo credit: Drew Bearner @drew_bearner – unsplash

Everything we do adds to everything we have already done in our life. Like adding layers to a layer cake, we accumulate the moments that have come before, to give us the present that we are living right now. Our moments of time compound themselves to give us the results we have in the different areas of our lives. We see this truth in our finances, in our professional lives, in our relationships, in our health and just about every area of our life.

It’s all about momentum. Achieving good results requires building consistent momentum over time. If we keep up with the good habits consistently over time, we will begin to see our finances improve, our relationships improve, our health improve and our professional life improve. However, distractions or loss of focus can easily make us lose all that we have worked hard to build. Bad habits are not hard to do; they require no effort at all and they are so easy to slip into. And bad habits also deliver bad results.

So how do we get the momentum? Well, first we have to be thirsty for change in our lives. We can use a particular time or event to decide to make changes or we can gradually make changes day after day.  The key is wanting to change and staying on the path day in and day out.

Here are some inspirational quotes. I hope you will find them inspiring:

(1) “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Stephen Covey

(2) “If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.” John Maxwell

(3) “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – John Dryden

(4) “Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit”. – Darren Hardy

(5) “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit”.  – Aristotle

(6) “In a nutshell, your health, wealth, happiness, fitness, and success depend on your habits”. – Joanna Jast, Hack Your Habits

(7) “A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit”. ~ Desiderius Erasmus

(8) “A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time”. ~ Mark Twain

(9) “Every grown-up man consists wholly of habits, although he is often unaware of it and even denies having any habits at all”. ~ Georges Gurdjieff

(10) “Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them. And you don’t have to keep them, either. They keep you”. ~ Frank Crane

(11) “Good habits are worth being fanatical about”. ~ John Irving

(12) “The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones”. ~ Somerset Maugham

(13) “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”. ~ Vince Lombardi

(14) “Habit is a man’s sole comfort. We dislike doing without even unpleasant things to which we have become accustomed”. ~ Goethe

(15) “Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become”. -Hal Elrod

(16) Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Rohn

(17) “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good”. -Malcolm Gladwell

(18) “Successful people are simply those with successful habits”. -Brian Tracy

(19) “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking”. -Albert Einstein

(20) “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs”. -Zig Ziglar

(21) “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine”. -John C. Maxwell

(22) “Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact… It turns out that choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You’re not born this way, you get this way”. -Seth Godin

(23) “The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”. -Samuel Johnson

(24) “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude”. -Colin Powell

(25) “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out”. -Robert Collier

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Diana Lynne loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 

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How Being “Flexible” Will Change Your Life

Category : Life Tips

 

Photo credit: Fabien Bazaneque @fabienbazaneque – unsplash

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape – anonymous

There a good many of us who really don’t like change and we certainly don’t like to have our plans or our routines interrupted. It can even make us feel somehow insecure when the things we are used to doing or the way we are used to doing them suddenly change. Adversity: illness, children growing up and leaving the nest, best friends moving away or having to move can all be unsettling at the least and even traumatizing in the extreme.

And then there is our personality or our temperament. Some of us may be more rigid than others. Some of us don’t deal well with conflict or “messy” personalities at work or school. Some of us panic if things change too much in our environment. Others prefer to crawl into their “cave” rather than have to deal with difficult situations. So here is the question:

Flexibilit requires an open mind and a welcoming of new alternatives – Deborah Day

How Flexible Are You?

That is a tough question, isn’t it?  How we perceive ourselves is not necessarily how others perceive us. Maybe we think we are flexible and open-minded and adventurous, but those around us might not share that opinion. Here are some questions to consider and they are far from exhaustive:

  • How do you handle adversity?
  • Do people consider you easy to work with?
  • Are you open to other (different and opposing) opinions?
  • Do others consider you to be flexible and adaptable?
  • Are you approachable?
  • Do others consider you to be open-minded?

On a scale on 1 to 10 (for each one), how would you rate your flexibility? Did you pass the test? Just something to think about.

By definition, being flexible means being able to bend without breaking. In our relationships, that is certainly true; if we don’t “bend” a little, something will break, usually the relationship.

Flexibility is the key to stability – John Wooden

The Importance of Being Flexible 

There are a number of positive outcomes from being an “adaptable/flexible” person:

1. It Increases the Trust that Others Have in Us

When we are able to adapt to new situations or changing circumstances, it is reassuring to others when we are able to flow with the change and not ball up in panic. Others will see us as a stable ship that is not tossed every which way by the changing winds. They will put more trust in someone they can count on to be present and stable no matter what happens.

2. We May Receive More Personal and Professional Recognition for Our Flexibility.

Adaptability ( another word for flexibility) is a tremendous asset in the business world and just about anywhere. People who tend to take things in stride receive more respect and recognition from others simply because they admire and value the quality of being able to adapt. Furthermore, people appreciate the thoughtfulness of someone who is willing to yield and help others in a pinch rather than remaining focused on their own wants and needs.

3. It Helps Us to Adapt to the Ups and Downs of Change More Easily

Being a flexible or adaptable person helps us to take life messiness with a grain of salt. With this skill or trait, we are not bound by our perceptions or thoughts, but we can adjust the way we think and change our expectations accordingly. the ups and downs of life or the hills and valleys will not have as much of a devastating impact on us because we accept and move forward.

4. It Gives an Opportunity for Growth -We Learn from Adapting)

Having a flexible approach to life can teach us many things. When we are open-minded and willing to learn, we gain new understanding and open the doors to new opportunities which may have been closed if we remain rigid in inflexibility (stuck in our ways). The more we learn, the more we grow and the more we grow, the more adaptable we become.

5. We Become Better at Taking Initiative

Being an adaptable person also means that we are more willing to take risks and open up conversations. We are more willing to try and more willing to fail. It becomes a lifestyle eventually because by taking initiatives and risks, we become more confident and empowered. It is liberating and exciting. Being a flexible person willing to try new things sets us free from being locked into the same old, same old.

6. We Develop an Increased Capacity for Creativity

Increased creativity goes right along with a flexible mindset.  A flexible person is not held down by “the way we have always done things” and are open to new ideas and creating new ways of doing things. More and more organizations are seeking out people who are creative and willing to explore new possibilities.

7. We Develop More Confidence in Ourselves and Our Abilities

As stated earlier, having a flexible mindset can help us to be more confident in ourselves and abilities. This confidence comes from being willing to let go of our routines and step out of our comfort zone to explore new zones. The more we are willing to try and fail, the more we will develop our confidence.

Problems dissappear when we are willing to become flexible – Roxana Jones

The Three Important Questions

1. Who is important?

2. What is important?

3. What is the ultimate goal?

The Who

Problems most often involve people. We are stuck with people whether we like it or not. And conflicts are usually the result of one or both people (or groups) being unwilling to budge on a matter. Since people are usually involved and we are a “people” too, maybe we should look there to see what we may need to change or see differently. In any situation with people, there are questions we need to ask:

Who is involved and important?  Are we looking at the person or the situation? Who is directly or indirectly involved with our choices, attitudes, behavior etc.? In every situation, who is being served: family members, customers, colleagues? Weighing in on who will be impacted helps us to have perspective.

The What

The second question to ask is What. What is happening? What is going on?  Now that we have established the “people” part of the situation, we need to deal with the nature of the problem.

What is the real situation?  Is it urgent or important or both? Setting priorities can help us decide when to put our foot down and when to let it go. Are there creative options that can involve others and help them feel that they have a say?  Evaluate the situation and decide what is important.

What Is the Goal?

In every situation, there is a goal, whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes people may have a different perspective on the goal or different goals altogether. So, really, this step is about establishing what the common goal is -what are we aiming for the long term? What are we looking to preserve, strengthen, improve or grow?  When we put anything or anyone into a long-term perspective, it becomes easier to be less concerned with holding our position or hanging onto routine or tradition. We can let go and flow.

Can We Be Too Flexible?

We can certainly be overly flexible and this can have a negative impact around us. Simply put, when there is too much flexibility, things don’t get done, expectations don’t get met, people lose trust and confidence and direction are lost. Ultimately, people get annoyed, frustrated and even hurt by too much adapting and compromising. Flexibility is a fine line.  When do we flex and when do we hold the line? We need to set limits, have boundaries and some semblance of structure and direction. Then, once these are in place, we can use our judgment as to when to bend and when to hold tight.

The Takeaway 

Flexibility is really a non-negotiable in today’s world. Everything changes and will continue to change. And we can’t always expect that everything will fall into our neatly packaged way of how things should be done. Flexibility is, at its core, a survival skill- we cannot get along in life without it. If we do not develop this skill, we will fall prey to the winds of life and be a victim of change and adversity.

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Diana Lynne loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

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Get Amazing Results From Consistent Daily Discipline

Category : Life Tips

 

Photo credit: Hello I’m Nik @helloimnik – unsplash

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln

When people hear the word discipline, it can conjure up some less than savory memories from the past. Often the word is associated with orders and punishment. It is unfortunate that this is the image people have about discipline because discipline, especially self-discipline is actually very beneficial and can change the course of our lives in ways we may never have imagined. It can become one of the greatest blessings we can ever have.

We all have areas in our lives that we would like to see improve. We may have bad habits that are holding us back or causing problems. We may have insecurities or fears and, for some reason, believe that these cannot change. Maybe we are struggling with people and relationships or maybe we are having work issues or trouble finding a job. It all comes down to how we think and what we choose to do about it.

Thomas Huxley, who wrote four volumes containing a total of 1,000 success principles was once asked which one he felt was the most important one. He said:

“Do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not”.

He elaborated by saying that without this principle of self-discipline, not other success principles would work. Whatever you want to change or accomplish in life, it is self-discipline (daily habits repeated over time) that will take you where you want to go. And it really doesn’t matter what it is that you want to achieve; this is the formula. Thoms Edison said regarding discipline:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”.

One of the reasons that discipline leaves a sour taste in our mouths is that most of the time discipline was imposed on us externally, but was often not an internal decision. We may have felt that we were not in control of our decisions, nor in control of the consequences. Discipline began in our homes as children, then was transferred to school discipline and finally, after years of being used to discipline, we come to expect discipline in our adult lives at work, for example. The problem is that we become so used to being “managed” and having our time and priorities managed that we have difficulty managing our own priorities. and time.

‘The place between your comfort zone and your dream is where life takes place”. – Helen Keller

Motivation

In the past, our motivation to be “disciplined” may have been fear of consequences, fear of getting bad grades at school or even fear of losing out. As adults, we may fear losing our jobs or being somehow excluded, isolated if we do not “hold the line”.  Other people are determining our priorities for us.

Positive motivation can come from what we determine is important or gratifying to us. True self-discipline is born out of having vision, goals, and determination to achieve something or change things in our lives.

3 Levels of Motivation

According to authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward in their best selling book Launching a Leadership Revolution, there are three levels of motivation which we move through. The authors describe these motivations as hunger (p. 33).

1. Material Things

The first level of motivation refers to those things which “excite our senses” These material things serve as stimulators to our brain in order to build up our reason as to why we would decide to discipline our selves. they give us a goal to work toward, something that is visible and tangible. However, our focus should not be on the things themselves, but rather on how they can motivate us to change and grow.

Sometimes, the authors point out, this “material thing” can be about raising money for a worthwhile cause. It is really about having a goal to work toward rather than gaining material possession.

2. Recognition and Respect

Both recognition and respect are often lacking in society today and people crave them. We long to be appreciated and noticed. too often, however, we end up being noticed for what we have done wrong or for how we have fallen short in the view of others rather than noticed for who we are or what we have accomplished. So a source of motivation can be to be recognized by others: bosses, teachers, parents, the community, our peers.

The authors point out that the deeper level is that we seek and are motivated to earn respect. This respect can translate into proving to ourselves that we can “do it” or proving to others that they were wrong about us for criticizing or doubting us. Whatever the reason, a desire to be recognized and be respected by those we respect can be a strong motivator to change and grow.

3. Legacy or Purpose

The authors state that the third and most profound level of motivation is legacy or purpose. This is a higher level where we go beyond ourselves and our own desires to “sacrificing for a greater good” (p. 39)  and making a bigger impact in the world around us.

We do not determine our purpose, we detect it – Viktor Frankl

It is really about living lives that count for something. Deep inside us is a driving motivation to know that what we do and what we will do makes a difference.

Every man should be embarrassed to die unless he accomplishes something great in this world. – General Douglas MacArthur

How To Develop Self-Discipline

Author and leadership speaker, John Maxwell gives 3 steps for developing self-discipline;

1. Start with Yourself

Often we like to wait for circumstances or other people to change before we decide to change. But, really, the only want that we can change anything is by first changing ourselves on the inside. Once this inward groundwork started, the effects will begin to have an impact on those around us. We certainly can not expect others to discipline themselves – that is their choice and their job.

2. Start Early

Everything worth doing is worth being done early. However, many of us may have gone off track for a long time. But it is really not too late. Every day is a new beginning and we can change tomorrow by beginning today. It has been said that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but that the next best time is today.

3. Start Small

Little steps and changes made consistently over time will yield amazing results. Don’t fixate too much on what things look like today, but rather imagine how they could be several years from now.  We tend to overestimate what can be accomplished in a year and underestimate what can be accomplished in 5 years by small things done on a regular, even daily basis.

John Maxwell gives 10 tips on how to organize your life:

1. Set Priorities

Your time and your priorities belong only to you. If you don’t set your priorities, if they are not clearly established, then it is certain that other people and obligations will set them for you and you will find yourself responding to what other people say is urgent, but which is not important to you.

2. Place the Priorities in Your Calendar

I am preaching to my self here.  Priorities need to have a place in our calendar, in our day planners and on the refrigerator calendar. Unless they are visible, they will get buried under all the mess of emergencies and busyness of life.

3. Allow a little Extra Time for the Unexpected

Life is full of unexpected things- some good, some not so good. After priorities have been set and given a place, we can allow for some of the ups and downs of life to come in. Life happens, but when we know where we stand on what ia important, we can meet the messiness of life with a smile and a wink.

4. Do Projects One at a Time

Focus on the job until it is done to avoid all those half-completed jobs that eventually never get done. Do them now and get them done. You will feel much better this way than having the “must do'” list hanging on your shoulders. Yes, some of us can multi-task and are proud of it, but how much more satisfying is it to do it and then check it off your list?

5. Organize Your Workspace

Some people thrive in messiness, but organization can not thrive too well or long in disorganization. A clear workspace makes for clear thinking and also less wasted time since you don’t have to spend extra time looking for what you need. Prepare what you need ahead of time and give each item its place.

6. Work According to Your Temperament

Are you a night owl or an early bird? Do you prefer working in total silence (and solitude) or do you prefer having a lot of activity or noise around you as you work? When are you most productive? Your temperament for productivity should be an important consideration for planning your work.

7. Use Your Drive Time for Light Work and Growth

It is amazing what you can fit into drive time. Rather than listen to the unproductive radio garble, you can use this time to build a better you. Some people can fit in a good personal development book or listen to educational audios such as language audios while they are driving. Imagine if you drive a lot, you could learn a whole new language during your drive time.

8. Develop a System that Works for You

What works for you? How do you learn and in what circumstances do you function best?  If you have a vision of what you want to do, you can find a way to fit it into your schedule in a way that works best for you.

9. Always Have a Plan for the Minutes Between Meetings or Appointments

The snippets of time spent waiting for appointments or between meetings are excellent opportunities to use for building a better you, for planning, for organizing what you need to organize or doing any number of little things that need doing.  Having a book with you for such times as this can be used to fill this time with educational or inspirational information. You could begin learning to read in a new language.

10. Focus on Results, not Activities

Sometimes we get too caught up with the little details of the present and take our eyes off the bigger picture – why are we doing what we are doing? We create habits to develop discipline and we maintain discipline in order to obtain results and that is where we need to focus. Like driving, it is good to look far away and know where we are going rather than up close and not see where we are headed.

The Takeaway

Discipline, truly motivated self-discipline, can be a transformational activity. In fact, it is really the only thing that people can do to transform their lives. We can “live quiet lives of desperation” (Henry David Thoreau) or we can thrive and come alive, grow and excel.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

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Simplify Life With No Regrets

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: Siora Photography @siora18 -unsplash

“It is a preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” —Bertrand Russell

Life is really very simple, but people make it seem complicated. What do we need, really? We need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, clothes to wear, a warm place to sleep and shelter, people to love and a reason to live. These are what we need. What we want and what we like is a whole different story. We tend to spend our lives trying to get what we want, as much as we want, and as often as we want. We live in this crazy mix of trying to satisfy our wants and deal with the desires and emotions of others at the same time.

The problem is that we are so easily distracted and influenced by what is around us. We see, we like; we like, we want. And we are also deathly afraid of letting go of what we have. We accumulate problems (people problems, financial problems, health problems) and we accumulate “stuff” that we don’t even need, but we think we need. We have a lot of trouble discerning between what we actually need and what is only a want. So life gets messy. It gets overloaded with “stuff”, overloaded with people problems, and overloaded with busyness.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates

All That Baggage!

There is a lot of baggage that we carry around with us – baggage that has accumulated over the years. We hang on to old hurts, failed expectations, failed relationships and regrets. We hold on to objects that bind us to the past. Some of us call these souvenirs, memorabilia or keepsakes. Nostalgically we hold on to these cards, treasures, trophies and other objects of our past and we carry them into the future with us. I have been this person myself.

We also carry around ourselves – everything that we have done or said, everyone that we have impacted positively or negatively, Our baggage includes all our emotions, our fears, and our worries.

Added to all of this baggage is the “stuff” we buy and collect for various uses. It is the “stuff” we have in our homes, our cars and very commonly stashed away in the basement or the garage. Our closets become full of clothes we never wear and our kitchens full of gadgets we rarely use.

“Simplicity is not about deprivation. Simplicity is about a greater appreciation for things that really matter.” – Anonymous

Step 1: Let It Go

Let go of the past. It may have been beautiful or it may have been sad or anything in between, but just let it go. You are no longer there. Keep the memories and learn from the past, but don’t live there. I have been that person who holds on to all the birthday cards, the trophies, and souvenirs in a treasure chest, but I realized that I no longer live there. and no longer need to hold on to them  “just in case”. I have had to let go of friendships that no longer had any life and say goodbye to people who have passed on. It is what it is and it is finished.

What is done is done and what was said can not come back. Make peace with what you did or did not do in the past and move on. Forgive those who need to be forgiven, even if that is you – have you forgiven yourself? Do not hold on to regrets for what you didn’t do; today is a new day – why not begin?

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all. “ — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Step 2: Decide What Is Important

What is important to you in your life? Who is important to you? If you were stuck on a deserted island who and what would you like to have with you? Who or what would you like to have around you at your deathbed?

How important is time to you and who are you giving your time to? Are you giving the best hours of your life to those you love or are others demanding your time of you? Do you spend your time doing things that are reflective of your priorities or are you caught in someone else’s time table? Are you in control of how your time is spent and who does your time really belong to? Like a precious gift, your time is yours to give or to keep. In fact, time is really all you have and soon, it will be gone.

Decide what you want to do with your time on earth and who you want to spend time with. It is yours to give. The absolute worst thing that could happen is to arrive at the end of your life knowing that you wasted the time you had doing the things that were unnecessary with people who didn’t really care about you rather than do what you truly cared about with the people who mattered most to you.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

Step 3: Ditch the Junk

What is holding you captive? Is it all your “stuff”? Are you tied ball and chain to things?  Do you think you “need” all those things? What if you sold them? What could you do? Where could you travel to? Who could you help? Things require maintenance, upgrading, and replacement – all of these require our time and attention. Do you really want to dedicate your time to “stuff”? Do you really want to work more hours at one or two jobs to finance and maintain “stuff”? The “stuff” does not care about you, so why should you care about it?

Ditch the excuses too. I know that I am speaking directly to the “pack rats” among us (we love you too).  If you are not using it or haven”t for years, it is highly unlikely that you will need to in the future. Forget about the “I’ll keep it just in case I need it’ excuse. No, you won’t!  Get rid of the junk! Forget about the nostalgia excuse: “Oh I’m keeping it because it reminds me of.. or my sister gave this to me”. Sorry! The past is the past and accumulating all these things will just stress you out and give you more work and less space.

“Don’t make the process harder than it is.“ — Jack Welch

Step 4: Resolve to Live Simply

Take control of your time and your space again. Do not let intruders or thieves come in to rob you of these. Things – possessions ( which are not either beautiful or useful) will rob you of your space, your peace of mind and your money. They will also steal your time from you because you have to work to pay for them. The advertisements, the flyers, and pamphlets, not to mention the lure of shopping centers, all try to grab our attention, our time, and our money.

Turn off and tune out the distractions. These are the voices, or should I say the useless noise that tells you what you should have, what you should buy and what you should pay attention to. Honestly, who cares what the “noise” thinks? These distractions will also rob you of your time. Think about social media. Have you ever calculated how many minutes are spent on social media in a day? And for what? Nothing except time wasting useless information.

“Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed”.   – Confucius

Step 5: Reconnect With New Habits

Start a new way of living with new habits. Reconnect with people and spend time with them. Reconnect with real food and real meals – the slow food movement. Reconnect with your environment – the natural one. Reconnect with the wisdom of the past and a simpler way of living. Reconnect with books and the classics.

Realize that you do have choices and it is your life. The world will try to convince you of what you need to have and do, but the world is all about money and profit, not your well being. The whole economic system is dependant on people following the mainstream path and contributing to it economically. It is not about freedom; it is about economic slavery. But you do not have to follow that path, you do not have to believe the lies of the economic system. True freedom is knowing what bondage is and choosing not to be enslaved.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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25 Inspirational Quotes

Category : Life Tips , Success

 

Are there days when you need a pick-me-up? Are there times when you feel like nothing is working out or projects are taking longer than you thought or would like? Do you have dreams that you would like to see happen but you are not sure if they ever will? Do you sometimes wonder if everything will work out?

We all have these questions from day to day. We make plans, we dream, we get up, we live our day and we go to sleep. Sometimes we just need a little inspiration to remind us of who we are and what we can do if we really believe we can. Sometimes we need some inspiration just give us an extra push in the right direction and maybe even change the direction of our life. Here are some quotes to inspire you.

(1) Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.” —Walt Whitman

(2) Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” —Maya Angelou

(3) I arise full of eagerness and energy, knowing well what achievement lies ahead of me.” —Zane Grey

(4) A No. 2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.” —Joyce Meyer

(5) My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – Jack Layton

(6) Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen. – Wayne Huizenga

(7) You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life. – Zig Ziglar

(8) When you learn something new, especially something that’s not connected to your day job, it can be inspirational and life-changing.
– Norah Deay, How To Become The Go-To Person

(9) The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. – Steve Jobs

(10) May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.
Irish Blessing

(11) Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now – unknown

(12) Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

(13) It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.

(14) Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. –Maya Angelou

(15) It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison

(16) Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt

(17) It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius

(18) Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. –Teddy Roosevelt

(19) I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

(20) If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles. – Wayne Dyer

(21) If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you. – Les Brown

(22) Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Francis of Assisi

(23) Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. — Dale Carnegie

(24) I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. — Stephen Covey

(25) Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. – Denis Waitley

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Diana Lynne loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 

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25 Empowering Quotes On Overcoming Fear

Category : Life Tips

 

Fear is that great enemy that holds us back from doing what we want to do, from doing what we know we should do or could do. It is that little voice that whispers in our ear and tells us about all the things that could go wrong. The sidekick of fear is doubt. Doubt makes us question ourselves and even question our worth. Together they imprison us in our minds and keep us in an agitated state enslaved to their message.

Fear robs us of our identity and our humanity. It tells us that we are not who we are and that we can not do what we were born to do. Fear seeks to turn us from bold lions into cowering mice. When it comes right down to it all fear really is wrong information and a distorted view of reality.

Here are some empowering quotes on facing fear to help, encourage and inspire you.

(1) “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”  Eleanor Roosevelt-

(2) “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter”. Francis Chan-

(3) “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”. Dale Carnegie-

(4) “Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.”
— Unknown

(5) “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford

(6) “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
— Rosa Parks

(7) “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

(8) “If you’re not willing to risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot be your best. If you cannot be your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else is there?” – Les Brown

(9) “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius

(10) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” -2. John 14:27

(11) “Fear has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” – Zig Ziglar

(12) “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”— Franklin D. Roosevelt

(13) “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 –

(14) “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
— Rudyard Kipling

(15) “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

(16) “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller

(17) ” What is a fear of living? It’s being pre-eminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good”. -Maya Angelou

(18) “Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” -W. Clement Stone

(19) “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here”. -Marianne Williamson

(20) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” – Timothy 1:7 - (my personal favorite)

(21) “Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.”
–Babe Ruth

(22) “We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” –Marilyn Monroe

(23) “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”– Gandhi

(24) “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
– Joseph Campbell

(25) “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life abundantly You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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Face the Fear

Category : Life Tips

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood – Marie Curie

Fear is that great enemy that holds us back from doing what we want to do, from doing what we know we should do or could do. It is that little voice that whispers in our ear and tells us about all the things that could go wrong. The sidekick of fear is doubt. Doubt makes us question ourselves and even question our worth. Together they imprison us in our minds and keep us in an agitated state enslaved to their message.

Fear robs us of our identity and our humanity. It tells us that we are not who we are and that we can not do what we were born to do. Fear seeks to turn us from bold lions into cowering mice. When it comes right down to it all fear really is wrong information and a distorted view of reality.  What do we fear really? People fear a lot of things, some of which are:

  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of bugs, snakes, and spiders
  • Fear of closed spaces
  • Fear of the dark
  • Fear of getting a disease
  • Fear of blood
  • Fear of violent weather
  • Fear of dying

When we look at these closely, it appears that these fears come as a result of what we think could happen and of not having control over the situation – being confronted with it and not being able to overcome it. And what is our typical response? We avoid these things. Typically we will try to control our environment so that we avoid having to come into contact with the “scary beasties”, we stay away from hospitals because that is where blood and diseases are or we avoid planes and elevators, for example. There are also many adults who need highlights to avoid sleeping in total darkness.  In so many ways we try to control our fears by avoiding them.

Action cures fear; inaction creates terror. – Bear Grylls

There are other fears as well:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of succeeding
  • Fear of our emotions
  • Fear of what people will think or do (fear of man)

We fear the unknown, and we fear what people will think about us.  We hold back from speaking up and giving an opinion or an idea simply because of how we think that other people will react. What we are really afraid of is rejection: rejection of our ideas and rejection of us. Somehow, we tend to think that other people are more intelligent, more gifted, have better ideas or are more competent than we are. “Who am I to speak up and offer suggestions or think that my ideas are worthwhile”? we may think. We can also be fearful of what we could accomplish if we actually tried it.  Fear of succeeding can also be a terrifying fear.

With integrity, you will have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. – Zig Ziglar

The Nature of the Problem

As Marie Curie said, “Nothing is to be feared; it is only to be understood“. Often when we are unsure of a thing or don’t understand it, we become fearful of it.  Lack of knowledge and information can bind us and cause us to freeze up. Then, instead of taking action, which could help us to overcome the fear, we prefer to not act, not take the step that could free us and give us confidence.

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. Knowing what must be done diminishes fear. – Rosa Parks

The problem is that we listen to to the voice of fear which is rooted in lies. Yes, situations may scare us and even terrify us, but, at the end of the day, they are only situations and situations have a time limit, an expiry date. The voice of fear reminds of all the reasons we can’t, or we shouldn’t be brave. It tells of all the things that could possibly happen and wants us to believe that doing nothing, avoiding situations, freezing up at the thought of even trying is the only recourse we have. In fact, the voice of fear wants us to remain helpless victims of our circumstances.

The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror. – Joyce Meyer

Fear is also either rooted in the past or in the future. Usually both. Our past experiences and traumas resurface and affect our present abilities to make decisions and take action in the present. Likewise, our fear of what may or will happen in the future can handicap our willingness to move forward. For example, past experiences in certain situations with certain people may have convinced us that we are incapable, incompetent or unable to learn. then we carry these lies into our present and allow them to paralyze us from taking any forward steps. We may think that anything we try is not worth it or will not work anyway, so why try.

Walking Into the Fear

 “Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear” – John 4:18

Three things are immediately apparent in this verse:

  1. Love and fear are diametrically opposed
  2. Love destroys fear
  3. Love is more powerful than fear

From these three observations, we can plainly see that fear is weak – it is a pitiful weakling, It is spoiled and wants attention. When it is confronted, it has no power and what confronts it is love. If we are rooted in love, it is impossible to be paralyzed by fear. The Bible also says that God is love; he is the source of all love. Fear is the enemy of love and the enemy of God.

Love is powerful and with love on our side, we can confidently and forcefully confront fear, recognize the lie that it is and,  “cast it” out of our life. We do not have to live as slaves to fear and its chains. We do not have to listen to its pitiful lies or its “temper tantrums”.

Some Concrete Things We Can Tell Ourselves:

  1. Fear is a lie
  2. Fear robs us of ourselves and our identity
  3. Fear robs us of our future
  4. Fear destroys relationships
  5. Fear destroys dreams
  6. Fear uses our past to persecute us

None of this is to suggest that we will never feel fear. Fear is a feeling, an emotion and it will grip us at times. But fear is also a negative emotion that is rooted in lies. Courage is feeling the fear and doing what we fear doing anyway. Courage recognizes fear for its true colors and defies it, calls it out. Fear is an attack on ourselves and our true identity and when we buy into its lies, we do things that are destructive, time wasting and hurtful to others. We see this pattern all over. People hoard money for fear of losing it. They control people in relationships for fear of losing the people they are in a relationship with. Fear is destructive and debilitating.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. – Eleanor Roosevelt-

The True Identity of Fear

The voice of fear is nothing more than a ruse. Together with doubt, it insidiously debilitates people, convincing them that they are victims, powerless to accomplish anything, change anything or be anything. It messes with our minds and causes us to think that its voice is our voice and our thoughts. The voice of fear does not want people to succeed or be happy.

Overcome and Be You

The good news is that you don’t have to listen. You may feel afraid, unsure, doubtful or inadequate, but you do not have to stay there. Identify the enemy and call him out. Do it anyway regardless of how you feel. The feeling you will get from moving from inaction to action, from saying no to the fear and advancing on it as David did to Goliath will be amazing. It will empower you and boost your confidence. Courage is one step away from victory.

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Diana loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Awesome Biblical Quotes About Money

Category : Life Tips

photo credit; Anthony Abruzzo @anevab26 -unsplash

Money problems are probably the biggest complaint people have after health problems. Sometimes we are in so deep (with debt) that we figure there is no way out so we may as well live with it. We tell ourselves that it is a normal part of life, a necessary evil. After all, pretty much everyone we know has some kind of debt. There are reasons we get tripped up with money and never seem to have enough of it to pay our bills and climb our way out of debt.

Money management really comes down to our understanding of what money is – where it comes from and what it is for.

Quotes

(1) Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 5:10

(2) Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.- Romans 13:8

(3) Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.- Proverbs 13:11

(4) No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.- 6:24

(5) Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. – Proverbs 10:4

(6) You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.- Revelation 3:17

(7) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. – Luke 12:33

(8) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. -I Timothy 6:10

(9) Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?- Luke 14:28

(10) Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.- Proverbs 13:11

(11) Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! – Proverbs 13:11

(12) If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat! – Proverbs 20:13

(13) Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.- Proverbs 21:17

(14) Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. – Proverbs 23:4

(15) Income from charging high-interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor. – Proverbs 28:8

(16) Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring. – Proverbs 11:28

(17) Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.- Proverbs 11:24

(18) In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.- Proverbs 23:5

(19) There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.- Proverbs 11:15

(20) It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend. – Proverbs 17:28

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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How to Have More Confidence With People

Category : Life Tips , Success

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again”.
Og Mandino

If we are honest, most of us would say that we lack confidence in some areas of our lives. Sometimes we don’t feel that we are good enough to go after the job position or career that we would like. Maybe we feel that we don’t have the smarts or the ability to do so. We compare ourselves to others who seem to be much better than we are at relating to people and seem to have it together academically. Some of us may prefer to stay at home in our cocoon rather than go out and face people and have to speak with them.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one”.
Dale Carnegie

Some of us dread speaking to others or socializing with them because we are afraid of what people will think of us. There are those of us who are so terrified of speaking with someone of the opposite sex for fear of looking like a fool and being rejected. Lack of confidence can hold us a prisoner of our own mind and prevent us from being all that we can be and doing all the things we would like to do.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”. – Marianne Williamson

In his book How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People. author Les Giblin deals with this very issue of confidence and explores how to go about developing the confidence we need. The first section of the book is entitled: Making human Nature Work for You and I would like to focus this post on this point.

Les Giblin states that ” one of the big reasons people lack confidence in dealing with others is that they do not understand what they are dealing with”. He adds that ” We are always unsure of ourselves when we are dealing with the unknown”. (p.xxii) The key to success with people is understanding people; not just being able to get along with them. According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology regarding success:

85 percent of success is due to personality factors, to the ability to deal with people successfully”.

More people fail in the job market for a deficit in people skills than competence. More people are fired for their inability to deal with people than for their professional (technical) skills. Most of our “personality” problems are really people problems – our skill in dealing with people. Many people will categorize themselves as shy, timid, reserved, self-conscious or uncomfortable in social situations when, in fact, the reality is a deficit in people skills. People are here to stay; they are not going away. We all have to deal with them whether we want to or not. So it is better to hone the skills and use them to our advantage.

Some Human Nature Basics

There are four “facts of life”, author Les Giblin points out, to know about people:

  • People are all egoists (all of us are).
  • We all care more about ourselves than anything else in the world.
  • All of us want to feel important and “amount to something”.
  • We all crave approval from others so that we can approve of ourselves.

So being egotistic is actually normal even though this trait was scorned in the past and people who were considered self-centered were told to just stop being “like that”. Today we know that our ego helps us to self-preserve. In fact, we cannot be altruistic or sympathetic to others if our basic ego has not been “filled”, so to speak. We must first take care of ourselves. Jesus said to his disciples:

“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”

If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, then it is clear that we must first love ourselves (self-esteem, healthy ego).

Share Freely

We all have human relations potential and so much relational wealth to share. All around us people are starving for the need to feel important and to count. People are famished to be noticed and appreciated. So the fastest way to get better at people skills is to understand what people are looking for and share the goodness. Les Giblin highlights Three ways we can do this.

  1. Be Convinced that Others Are Important

It is a choice of attitude. We simply decide once and for all that everyone, no matter who they are or what they are like or what they do (or don’t do) has importance. Dr. Rhine of Duke University stated:

“Our treatment of people depends on what we think they are, as does our treatment of everything else. No other way would be intelligent. Our feelings for men depend on our ideas, our knowledge about them”.

2. Notice Other People

Generally, we tend to notice only that which is important to us and since people crave being noticed, we are actually paying them a big compliment by noticing them; it makes them feel important. The opposite is also true – when people ignore us (ie: pay more attention to their cellphone, their computer or other activities going on) we tend to feel as if we don’t matter very much to that person.

Les Giblin suggests ” Turning the spotlight on everyone”  and also treating each person as an individual in a group. Even a small amount of attention will be enough to make a person feel like he is important.

3, Don’t Lord It Over People

We all have the need to feel important and this often comes through loud and clear in our conversation. Some of us, in an effort to feel important, prefer a monologue to dialogue and preaching over listening. Whether intentional or not, the fact is, we want to make a good impression. We want people to acknowledge our presence, but the best way to create a good impression is to show another that we are impressed by him.

Opinions and being right don’t really matter much and are not even the point of conversation. We don’t have to win every argument and we don’t need to let people know that they are wrong. When we focus on ourselves being right and correcting others, then we are once again putting ourselves in the limelight and not sharing the goodness.

The Takeaway

Understanding the basic nature of people – the need to feel important, noticed, appreciated and focusing on meeting these needs helps us to take our eyes off ourselves and our insecurities. Most, if not all of our people skills insecurities come because we choose to highlight them and avoid honing the skills that would make social interactions smoother and even more enjoyable. All areas of our lives will benefit from “turning the spotlight” on others.

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Diana Lynne enjoys travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

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