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Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much a heart can hold.
-- Zelda Fitzgerald
 

 

The MONTHLY Motivator - December 2018

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Ten simple improvements

Here are ten quick, simple things you can do that have the power to greatly improve your experience of life. You likely have experience with each one, and know what a positive influence these improvements can have, so look at this as a useful reminder. The simple improvements included here don’t require any money, or specialized skills, or resources. You can implement these improvements simply by choosing to do so, simply by adjusting your attitude, your outlook, your approach to life. You’ll reduce your levels of stress and anxiety, increase your effectiveness, and pave the way for a richer, more fulfilling life.

1. Forgive. What’s happened has happened. Carrying a grudge will not make anything better, and it imposes a continuing burden on you. Forgiveness gets you past that. Forgiveness frees you to focus on positive possibilities for the future rather than on rehashing the pains and conflicts of the past. Forgiveness does not mean that what happened was okay. What forgiveness means is that you’re able to be bigger than someone else’s misdeed. You’re able to move forward without being weighed down by resentment. Forgive, and be free to live your most positive, fulfilling life.

2. Admit when you’re wrong. In fact, be thankful to those who point out your errors because when they do, it gives you a chance to make improvements. Everyone makes mistakes. You’re going to make mistakes. Some of them may be embarrassing. Even when they are, you’re better off acknowledging them than trying to deny them or cover them up. Position yourself to learn from the mistake, to grow stronger, more competent, better informed because of it. Are you concerned that you’ll harm your image by admitting your mistakes? Actually, it’s very much the other way around. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone knows it. When you stand up and own your mistakes, people will respect you for doing so, and can actually develop more confidence in you as a result.

3. Respect the opinions and perspectives of others. You can often learn much more from someone who disagrees with you than from someone who agrees with you. And when you get past the issues on which you disagree, you’ll find there are many things you have in common. Whether your differences involve politics, religion, work and career matters, or family issues, don’t let those differences intensify into hatred. Instead, seek value in your differences with others. Make the effort to understand the reasons behind the differing opinions that other people hold. Allow your own opinions to be challenged, and respond with a well-reasoned defense of them, in a respectful and generous tone. When you expect for understanding to increase, and act on those expectations, you’re much more likely to make it happen. And that’s a whole lot more productive than constantly fighting.

4. Include other people in many of the moments of your life. Sure, it’s good to have time alone when you can think, focus, and work with no interruption. Yet in modern life it’s become too easy to isolate yourself. You have a deep-seated need for frequent, rich and meaningful connection with others. So make a point to foster such connection. Ask for help from others, and offer your own help. Enjoy engaging in real conversations, face to face, and make attentive listening an important part of those conversations. Spend quality time in the presence of others, time when you don’t feel like you have to rush off to whatever is next.


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--Ralph Marston

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