#324 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

If it is not life changing, a national security issue, or harming anyone – why not just … let it go? How many ego wins does one person need to feel big or secure?

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#324

Let someone else be right

Or, I could say… let go of trying to prove your point. I know for some people – this will be a big challenge. You know – our ego simply gets in the way at times. Ok, maybe more than ‘at times’… and it’s necessary to realize that’s all it is – an ego.

I’m not sure the proportion, but a HUGE percentage of arguments escalate simply because someone is determined to be – right. We need to win. When both (or all) parties in the conversation determine that ‘they’ must prevail, it is likely that someone will eventually be verbally beaten into submission; ending the exchange with feelings of defeat and a sense of failure because they were unsuccessful proving their position.

I ask … “why?”

If we have the knowledge, or perhaps proof to substantiate our point… why must we shove it down the proverbial throat of those who don’t know? Or, perhaps have a valid – but different – perspective? Why is it so necessary to demonstrate the lack of knowledge in someone we converse with?

If it is not life changing, a national security issue, or harming anyone – why not just … let it go? How many ego wins does one person need to feel big or secure? If absolutely necessary… Google it and quietly validate the question/answer for yourself but keep it close… allowing someone else to believe what they believe; assuming it doesn’t overstep the above referenced boundaries.

I wonder how many challenges you’ll save yourself from if you were to …

Let someone else be right.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#328 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Are you able to share a piece of yourself? Do you have an hour a week to make a difference in someone’s life? Perhaps they could use a friend.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#328

Befriend someone

Do you know someone who doesn’t have a big social circle? Do you know an older person who is lonely or actually… alone? Are you aware of someone who recently experienced a traumatic loss? Is there someone in your environment, at work or at church, who appears to be alone more often than not?

Are you able to share a piece of yourself? Do you have an hour a week to make a difference in someone’s life? Perhaps they could use a friend.

While carving out an hour from  your week may seem cumbersome or downright impossible, imagine bringing a summer of sunshine to someone else’s grey cloudy life. Imagine that someone chooses to live – actually makes the decision to stay alive – because you take an hour from your week to share kind thoughts and a little light. Imagine that someone counts the hours that pass by until your presence graces their path again next week.

Maybe it’s a kid who doesn’t have anything to go home to… or a widower who is tired of eating alone night after night. Your kind gesture to behave in a friendly manner to this person who may feel isolated and alone could mean the difference between a life of loneliness and a life of hope.

Be mindful of the people in your periphery. Pay close attention and then offer your friendship. It’s free to give and relatively cheap to maintain. The benefit is amazingly measurable when we take the time to…

Befriend someone.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#331 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

People stop being random subjects in our space and we begin to notice their humanity. When we pay close attention we can discern worry, joy, hesitation, and humor in people’s facial expressions and body language.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#331

People watching

Whether we are in an airport, on a train, standing in line, or sitting on a park bench… we are likely to be watching the people surrounding us. Sometimes we are absent mindedly observing, not paying any particular attention. Sometimes we are sitting there unwittingly passing judgement. Sometimes we are trying to ascertain the life story of an individual, couple, or family in our sight line; curious to know if our observations have any merit.

People watching can help you develop mindfulness habits; tuning into the acute details of your environment. People stop being random subjects in our space and we begin to notice their humanity. When we pay close attention we can discern worry, joy, hesitation, and humor in people’s facial expressions and body language. An astute observer can decipher how an individual identifies (by the way they dress, condition of fingernails, jewelry, makeup, hairstyle & color, etc.), their self-esteem (do they stand tall with confidence or crouch small with insecurity?), their emotional state, their level of ‘niceness’ (do they smile back or hold the door open?), and perhaps even their level of extroversion.

The big caveat of course, is that what we see isn’t always what it IS.  Some people are experts at hiding their truest feelings. Some people walk through life ‘faking it until they make it’. Some people have developed defensive personas for their public engagements. While we can’t know ‘for certain’ without checking our assumptions, we can definitely hone our perception skills by taking the time to pay attention to details when we are passing time in public and …

People watching.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#333 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

At the very least, taking a cycling class at your local YMCA or an intermediate yoga class at your resident studio is forward progress; if we aren’t growing – we will die

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#333

Take a class

What do you want to learn? Is there a hobby or a language that you’ve coveted an interest in? Is there a craft or a skill that you’d like to develop?

From JoAnn Fabrics to Home Depot; from community colleges to community centers; learning opportunities abound. Perhaps you’ve wanted a new wreath for your front door or a fresh tile backsplash in the kitchen… you can learn to do that. Maybe you’ve wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL) or the history of the Vatican… you can learn that too!

Some travel organizations such as Road Scholars offer combined adventure and education in their group itineraries. Or, you could teach English and travel through organizations such as TEFL. That’s a little more involved than taking a class but it most certainly offers an amazing ‘learning’ opportunity.

At the very least, taking a cycling class at your local YMCA or an intermediate yoga class at your resident studio is forward progress; if we aren’t growing – we will die – just like every other living organism on this planet. Seek to find momentum in the advancement of your knowledge at all times…

Take a class.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#340 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

By the time we are adults in our own homes, raising children, working jobs, and trying to maintain our relationships – the list of ‘should’s’ is longer than the day is long. We are striving to meet demands and expectations which have piled up through the years, without questioning…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#340

Turning should into could.

From the moment we become aware, rules guide us. We learn about standards, values, and expectations before we learn to talk. These elements become the list of ‘should’s in our life.

I should make my bed every morning

I should eat breakfast

I should finish my dinner

I should do my homework

I should be nice

Etc.

These should’s establish the base from which our life is guided and some of them are quite central to ‘who’ we are.

The problem with should’s is that many of them fail to make sense outside of the environment in which they were originally established but we continue to hold on to them.

One of my favorite stories is of a woman who began preparing dinner one morning while her mother – who was visiting – sat in the kitchen to keep her company. The woman was readying a large roast for the crock pot. She cut a healthy slice from each end, threw them away and placed the roast in the pot. Her mother, looking wide-eyed questioned the action “why would you throw away perfectly good meat?” The woman, looking perplexed at the inquiry explained “that’s what you always did…”. With a stout laugh, the mother quickly responded, “but honey – that’s because my pot was too small.”

This story exemplifies the all-too-familiar behavior that many of us are affected by from day to day.

By the time we are adults in our own homes, raising children, working jobs, and trying to maintain our relationships – the list of ‘should’s’ is longer than the day is long. We are striving to meet demands and expectations which have piled up through the years, without questioning their validity for this period of our lives, this day, or this hour.

Of course, we all have responsibilities and obligations that are important to us and we want to accomplish them. However, instead of commanding yourself to do something because you SHOULD…. First examine where it is coming from.

Are you taking down the curtains and washing them because it is important to YOU? Or is it something your mother did because she lived on a dirt road and the windows were open all spring?

Are you making a casserole for your sick neighbor after work today because that’s what the other gals who are at-home moms did? Or because you want to help your friend?

Are you saying no to lunch with a friend because you ‘should’ stay home and get the laundry done?

Rephrase your ‘should’ to ‘COULD’.

I should do the laundry today instead of having lunch with my friend.

I COULD do the laundry today instead of having lunch with my friend.

When you rephrase the thought with COULD… does it have the same pull?

When you use the word COULD – your brain understands it as if you are CHOOSING something rather than engaging in a behavior which is expected.

The psychological difference is dynamic. You’ve created CHOICE in your life instead of an expectation that is not authentic to you just by …

Turning should to could.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.