1.  APPROACH EVERYTHING AS A BEGINNERFeng Shui Store - Feng Shui Shop

Coming to terms with the fact that you never actually know anything (even if you do technically know a lot).

It doesn’t matter how much you know, or how much you think you know.

There is always more to be learned about everything.

There’s always another language, another software, another life lesson.

When you take on the identity and mindset of an expert, you become more close-minded in your approach to everyday situations and problems.

You assume instead of asking, close yourself off to learning more about a topic, and are often underwhelmed and let down by your experiences because of your own pre-conceived notions.

A beginner’s mind, on the other hand, opens you up to seeing new opportunities you may have otherwise missed, more fulfillment in day to day activities and a well rounded zest and excitement for life.

Approaching everything as a beginner is a practice in mindfulness and keeps you both humble and hungry.

  •  You let go of the need to always be right
  • Develop a willingness to learn from unlikely teachers
  • You’re more aware of the present moment
  • You’re always open to learn a new skill or expand your knowledge on a topic
  • You lead with curiosity as opposed to preconceived assumptions
  • You’re more aware of the present moment
  • You’re always open to learn a new skill or expand your knowledge on a topic

To be clear, a beginner’s mind does not mean dumbing yourself down, especially in rooms and situations where you need to speak up.

Its about not becoming so enthralled and impressed with your own know-how that you confine yourself in a way that shuts out the prospect of new possibilities, opportunities, and experiences.

 

2) LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND, NOT TO RESPOND

Listen with the intention to understand rather than to just get your own point across.

You know when you’re in a heated argument with someone and you constantly see their response forming on their lips before you can finish getting your thought out, or even better, they talk over you and barely let you get a word in.

Listening is one of the most basic principles of human interaction.  Still, we yell and scream over each other in the heat of the moment, interrupt each other mid sentence as if to say, “what I have is important” and default to attempting to disprove our counterpart instead of seeking complete comprehension of where they’re coming from.

When we close ourselves off to understanding the perspectives our our peers, we make the assumption that our point of view, voice, and experiences are the only ones that are valid.

When, in all actuality, there is an incomprehensible amount of experiences that are had in this world.  Neither is more or less valid than the other – just different.

You can become a better listener by:

  •  Practicing empathy (see below).
  • Waiting until the person is actually finished speaking before you add (or even start thinking of) your own response.
  • Taking a deep breath before answering to gather your thoughts and process everything that was said.
  • Summarize what was said aloud – This gives the other person the chance to correct your understanding of the situation if need be before adding your perspective.
  • Taking a deep breath before answering to gather your thoughts and process everything thing that was said.
  • Take mental notes of body language and changes in tone.

At the end of the day, everyone just wants to feel like their voice is heard and understood.  As a wise man once said, “Never miss an opportunity to shut up.”

 

Related:

Tiny Changes to Make Your Life More Enjoyable

3. HAVING AND SHOWING EMPATHY

Empathy could quite literally be the answer to most of the world’s problems.

Not all, but most.

Treating others how you want to be treated.  Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes without first passing judgment.  Allowing your own point of views and thought patterns to be challenged without resistance or backlash to the challenger.

All of these things embody the spirit of empathy, which is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

If you don’t want to be pre-judged or profiled based on your race, gender, sexual preference etc. -plain and simple – don’t do it to someone else.

If you don’t want to be paid less than your coworker who you’re equally yoked with as far as skill, education level, and experience, show others that same respect and grace when you, yourself, are in a position of power.

I guess empathy isn’t so much of a habit than it is a muscle.  A muscle that needs to constantly be stretched and exercised in order for it to grow and get stronger.

It’s like any learned craft or skill – practice makes progress – not perfection.

The ability to really harness and act on empathy comes from your own level of self awareness.

Being aware enough of your own presence that you know when to speak and when to listen, when to take a stand and when to back down, and when to challenge and let yourself be challenged.

Empathy means acknowledging and confronting the privileges you’ve been afforded in this life – whether you asked for them or not – how they benefit you, hurt others, and how you can use your voice to uplift.

Some ways you can build your empathy muscle are by:

  • Making friends outside of your normal peer group.
  • Listening instead of assuming.
  • Never minimizing the experiences of others – Even if you’e never experienced anything remotely close to what someone else has, it doesn’t make the experience invalid or any less real than your own – it just makes it different.

The same way sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. are learned – so is empathy.

A lot of our irrational biases and fears have been passed down to us from generations before that.

 

But as one of my favorite sayings go “its not your fault if you’re fucked up. Its your fault if you stay that way.”

4.  THE HABIT OF AUDITING YOUR HABITS

A habit of some of the most successful people is that they are able to pivot when need be.

They are never too comfortable to get uncomfortable and course correct at a moments notice.

This means consistent self reflection, streamlining what works, getting rid of what doesn’t, and creating the most effective, productive, and fulfilling daily routines possible.

Even the best of us can get comfortable and set in routines that aren’t serving us a s well as they could or should be.

The constant habit of self auditing and examination of routine makes certain that your daily performance aligns with the goals and intentions you’ve set for yourself.

How to self audit:

  • Use a habit tracker
  • Use a mood tracker – Take note of when you feel the most energetic and when you feel most lethargic
  • Take note of your most productive and unproductive times – What are you doing (or not doing) during these times? What time of day is it? ect.
  • Ask yourself reflective questions – When is it easiest for me to enter into a flow state? – Do I feel fulfilled and progressive? – In what areas of my life am I excelling? – Which areas could use improvement?

Because we’re creatures of habit, good daily rituals are vital when it comes to designing our ideal lives.

Our habits ultimately make up the foundation of who we are.

Well established, habitual actions can outrun (a lack of) motivation any day, eliminate procrastination, set the tone for steadfast self discipline, and promote deeper connections with the people in our lives.

Our habits ultimately make up the foundation of who we are.

Jodie xxx

MySweetBlossom.com
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