#3 Be Introspective

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#3

Be Introspective

Perhaps the single most important aspect of personal growth and development – the cornerstone of authentic happiness – is the ability to be introspective. The willingness to observe one’s own emotional and mental processes demonstrates courage in many cases… sometimes, there’s a lot going on in that brain.

The 5 W’s

When making the effort to look within, it’s important to be curious – not judgmental – about the five W’s… Who? What? When? Where? And Why? It goes like this:

Who is triggering me?

What was the behavior?
When did it happen?

Where were we?

Why is it a trigger?

Or

Who are the people of my tribe?

What do I like the most about them?

When do I feel the most supported?

Where do I feel it [in my body]?

Why is it important to me?

You may not ask the same questions about each and every situation. Sometimes, you also want to ask How? How much control do I truly have?

Self Awareness

Introspection develops self-awareness and self-awareness is necessary for growth and development in both your behavior and in your spirit. As we ask questions and seek awareness, it’s important to be an observer, not a judge. If you discover something that you don’t like, ask more questions about how you might change it and take action.

If you get stuck, ask for professional assistance. Sometimes an objective fresh perspective is all that is standing in the way of discovery.

If you’re looking for more joy, for better relationships, and for increased self-awareness, start with the effort to …

Be introspective.

TTAHListen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, or Feedburner

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

 

#7 Develop Your EQ

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#7

Develop Your EQ

You’ve heard about IQ – your Intelligence quotient – for sure. And, unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard about EQ which, is the term for Emotional [Intelligence] quotient. There is a segment of psychological professionals that consider it more important actually, than traditional intelligence.

Defined

EQ was popularized in the mid 90’s by Dan Goleman’s book outlining research by Salavoy & Mayer. It is defined by the ability to “recognize, understand and manage our emotions and to recognize, understand and influence the emotion of others.”

Emotions

When we understand and manage our emotions, we are more likely to direct our thought toward positive affect. Unyielding emotions diminish cognition, impede our decision making skills, and interfere with our ability to communicate effectively.

Development

Very few of us have achieved emotional mastery and so we’re likely to benefit from practicing on a regular basis by doing the following as often as possible.

  1. Be super aware of your own emotions. Know them. Label them.
  2. Consider perspective at every opportunity.
  3. Be curious about how others think and feel.
  4. Stop and think before you speak. Speak intentionally.
  5. Stop getting defensive.
  6. Use your voice with respect and responsibility.

Each of these suggestions are to be used in conjunction with one another in as many situations as you can remember to employ them; regardless of the situation. Indeed, it’s when life presents us with the most difficult or challenging scenarios that we must dig deep and practice, practice, practice.

Emotional Intelligence has been touted throughout corporate environments for almost two decades but it’s not yet taught or developed in schools or traditional environments even though it impacts communication in the most positive ways. EQ is a predictor of success and has been shown to improve mental health overall in research. More self knowledge leads to more happiness and that leads to better life satisfaction no matter who you are. Looking for more happiness?…

Develop your EQ.

TTAHListen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, or Feedburner

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

#49 Do a Science Experiment

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#49

Do a Science Experiment

I know, when I think of this heading / topic, I immediately think of my refrigerator and all of the items that made their way into the far back; the things that are currently growing various forms of mold and each qualify as hazardous substances. They are unintentional science experiments and not the kind I am recommending you try.

As many people – especially your 7th grade science teacher – will tell you, science is cool. From observing and understanding magnetic properties and chemical reactions, basic scientific principles are interesting to observe and promote our sense of wonder and curiosity – two elements that contribute to feelings of happiness.

Some science experiments are magical. There are several here in this YOU TUBE video that will make you the most amazing aunt, uncle, grandma, pop pop, or parent in the world if you can pull them off. Most of them use household items and create rather magical effects – even though they are all the result of science happening.

If you don’t have a scientific background, I recommend that you stick to those things that you can find in books or online. Attempting to mix chemicals without knowledge of their interaction can be very dangerous and there are more than one news reports of people killing themselves because the lit something or mixed something that shouldn’t have been.

Whether you get a book or go online, there are hundreds of experiments that you can do to satisfy your curiosity or perform magic at the next family party. All you have to do is gather a few supplies and practice. Grab a friend, a kid, or a neighbor and surprise them as you…

Do a science experiment.

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

#51 Go to Open Houses

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#51

Go to Open Houses

Here, I’m specifically talking about homes and residences that are for sale and host ‘open houses’ in an effort to entice people that are house hunting.Of course, you may not be in the market for a new place to live but attending open houses can still be a fun activity with benefits.

Decor

One of the most enticing reasons to attend open houses if you’re not house hunting, is to get real time and real people decorating tips. Even when you see a couple of homes in a ‘cookie cutter’ community where the floor plans are all identical – you are exposed to different configurations and design elements that give entirely different looks to the homes.

Model homes are great for professional flavor. They have had the personal touches of interior decorators – in most cases – and offer a well thought out idea of what your home could look like. Going to open houses though, allows you to see what kind of closet space there ‘really’ is… It offers real world visions of a room when three kids and a dog take up space with their belongings.  Yes, these days many open houses are staged and a good real estate agent will have you ‘de-personalize’ the home a bit but, your experience will most likely be more ‘real’ than a model home.

Affordability

As long as you are keeping your visits to homes in your general socioeconomic bracket, you may fall in love with a place and find out that it’s entirely affordable. I’ve heard from real estate agents that a fair number of people who visit open houses aren’t actually in the mindset to move but only curious.

Scouting

Potentially helpful is attending open house in your own neighborhood. It’s always advantageous to understand the housing market where you live. Scouting out sales comps and talking with a realtor who is experienced with homes in your community is a way to be informed about the value of your own home. It’s doing the preliminary homework for selling your house, someday.

Curiosity

You can attend open houses for sheer curiosity as well. Is there an architectural beauty in your town you’ve always wanted to tour? Is there a view in a Penthouse that you’ve often wished to see? Are you simply curious about the outcome of all that construction noise you listened to all summer? Go ahead and walk through the open house. Just be considerate and tell the agent your “just browsing” so that neither of you waste time or breath.

Looking for something interesting and free to do this weekend? Use a realty app or one of those free “Homes” magazines and …

Go to open house.

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

#159 Have Your Palm Read

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#159

Have your palm read

Even if you don’t believe in someone’s ability to ‘see’ into your hand; because … you there is NO way to definitively know for sure! So… just in case there IS something to it… find a palm reader with good reviews and take the plunge – it’s fun!

Palmistry has been practiced for thousands of years and some individuals are very talented in their ability to describe the characteristics about your life and personality based on the composition of your hand. First they look that the fingers and there are assumptions made depending on

The length of your various fingers

The space between your fingers

The thinness of your fingers

The shape of your fingernail

The state of your fingernail

Additionally, the lines in your palm represent a variety of areas; marriage, head, heart, fate, sun, children, money, and health. More information is contributed based on moles, the way lines cross, and shapes that they make. Even the size of your hand matters. The left hand speaks your potential, the right hand about what you’ve done with that potential.

Supposedly, this ancient method of predicting has some merit. Recent science has correlated greater athletic talent in men whose ring finger is longer than his index finger. (I’m so curious to know how many of you just looked at your fingers!). Those men are more apt to be well-endowed and have more children. Those with longer index fingers are more prone to heart disease. Scientists think these elements have something to do with the prenatal testosterone exposure. Go figure!

These ‘palm readers’ are versed in the thousands of years of similarities and perhaps even the results of modern research so they notice and comment on those things that are common across individuals with similar characteristics. They may tell you something that you don’t know… not that it is ‘carved in stone’ but that you may be more prone to something that is indicated across the population with similar individuals.

Having your palm read is just a fun… not too serious activity that you can do with friends, sisters, bridesmaids, a partner, or colleagues. It’s harmless unless you make more of it than is intended. Take it with a grain of salt… kind of like… Blondes have more fun. For some it’s true – for others, not so much.

The next time you want something fun and crazy to do, consider…

Having your palm read.

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

#193 Be Curious

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#193

Be Curious

Have you heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat?” I actually grew up hearing that quite often and never paid much heed to it but I find that many people are hesitant to be curious. The  phrase is credited to an English comedy play from 1598 and I can’t help but wonder if it propagated with the simple intent of keeping wandering children or nosy neighbors in line.

New Things

What we know today is that curiosity is one of the fundamental attributes of happy people in part, because when we wonder, we are apt to try new things and when we try new things, there is more novelty in our lives. Novelty keeps things  new and fresh – boredom is rare in curios people. People who are curious are constantly learning, exploring, or trying new things; expanding knowledge and boundaries.

Empathy

When we are curious about people or perspectives, we ask more questions. People who are curious tend to have more friends and deeper relationships because they have – in their curiosity – developed an ability to delve deeper into the conversations that build emotional intimacy even in platonic relationships. As their perspective expands, they are able to have more empathy; a trait that also leads to more consistent reports of well-being.

Personal Growth

Your talent for and desire for curiosity may determine your capacity for personal growth. Researchers have identified a correlation between the two. It seems like a no-brainer because if we don’t ever wonder who we are, why we are, or how to change – then growth simply won’t happen.

Many of the ideas I’ve written about to make your life happier and more productive have been identified as a result of people being curious… “I wonder what would happen if I….” and then a sense of satisfaction, comfort, and/or peace sets in and you feel happy. Trial and error… not everything we are curious about will be something that we really wanted to know. I knew some friends in high school that were curious about their ability to ignite the gas they personally produced. Yes… they tried to light their farts … it didn’t go well.

Other than that… maybe you don’t need to know that… in most other things, your life will be enriched if you find the energy to …

Be Curious.

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

#219 Drive a Road You’ve Never Driven

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#219

Drive a road you’ve never driven

Untapped curiosity

How many times have you wondered where a road leads? Perhaps it’s a road you pass every day on your way to work, or one close by home that you’ve never had the need to drive. If you’ve lived in the same place for a very long time it’s plausible that you know all the local routes and yet personally, there are still spots I’ve not discovered after 25 years of living in the same location.

Wander

It seems as if we rarely take time to wander. We are so often in a hurry to get from point A to point B that we fail to discover variations in our routes. We develop habits that apply to our driving so much that even that becomes a rote behavior. Consequently, we deny ourselves opportunities to experience our home regions completely.

Great finds

I recently found a great little farm stand that is new to me after driving a ‘new’ road that was always a ‘wonder where that leads’ street. There are times I ‘think’ I know where a road leads but discovered other things there that I didn’t know existed. There’s a road by my home that is one way to get to a nearby town but I typically go there a different way. Recently I took the ‘near my home’ route and found two trailheads to a walking trail that I’ve always been curious about.

There’s an experience of delight with each resounding “oh… that’s where that is…” sentiment when you…

Drive a road you’ve never driven.

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

#224 Go to an Art Museum

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#224

Go to an art museum

Very few of us are actually patrons of art. It seems as though if we aren’t creators or investors, our interest in art is fleeting or sporadic at best. If we live in a major metropolitan environment, it is likely that we were introduced to great art via a school trip where we were perhaps more interested in the time away from history and calculus than in the masterpieces displayed in the gallery.

Intrigue

I went to a gallery once on Rodeo Drive just for kicks but fell in love with the work they were featuring that week. I pretended to be able to afford the $10,000 price tag so that I could learn more about the artist’s technique. I think there’s a part of my psyche that wants to cover my walls in abstract creations full of color and light but my pocketbook doesn’t match my intrigue.

Refuge

And that’s the value of Art Museums… they are buildings full of walls that display a variety of talent; from old masters to new savants. On those days when you need a little inspiration or a pick-me-up, a museum offers refuge in the form of a bench in front of some form of art. It’s a place to step outside of yourself, to imagine another human being with a brush, pallet knife, or chisel in their hand – creating their own vision that became the piece you view. Somehow, it puts one’s own life in perspective via an unusual channel.

Give a little, Get a lot

Many museums are free to enter or only charge a small fee. Frequently they offer reduced entry fees for special professional affiliations (i.e., military, teachers, etc.) and most often for just a little more, will offer annual membership. It’s satisfying to know that your entrance payment keeps these national treasures safe, clean, and in good repair – our history depicted in paint, pen, and stone. Whether it’s curiosity, solace, or inspiration you seek – it’s possible you’ll find it if you…

Go to an Art Museum.

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

#252 Be Adventurous

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#252

Be adventurous

Are you willing to take risks? Try new things? Test new ideas?  Enjoy new experiences? If so… congrats, you are adventurous and I suspect your happiness level reflects as much.

Adventure is about curiosity. Happiness research indicates that when we are curious in our daily life, it may elevate our happy base line. This is great news for people who tend to be glass half empty type of people. Many of us operate from a state of fear and it keeps us locked into familiar positions. When we are curious… i.e., adventurous… we step out of that comfort zone and – in many cases – are pleasantly surprised.

Adventure is personal. For some, it may be bungee jumping. For others, it may be getting on an airplane. It’s the unknown, the uncertain, maybe even the mysterious which, of course is different for us all based on experience.

Taking risks is difficult for some. Start close to your comfort level. Increase by degrees and pay attention to your body which, is uniquely designed to warn you when you are approaching the boundary of risk tolerance. Push lightly – a little at a time – and before you know it, the benefits of being adventurous will be felt.

Adventure helps us grow. When we experiment a little (or a lot), we will have successes and successes grow confidence. Yes, some of those trials will not be as successful as we hope but trying again is being adventurous and each time we try, we open the door to success and the elation that comes with it. There’s a great surge of dopamine that travels with the words “I did it!”.

Stop for a minute and think of something that would feel just a little outside of your comfort zone, or a place you’ve never gone, or a thing you’ve always wanted to do and make plans to…

Be adventurous.

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