Take a walk.

How much time would you say you spend doing something “just because” you can. One thing I enjoy doing “just because” is walking, without a real destination or plan, just letting my legs take me places for the hell of it. It’s not because I have nowhere I’d want to see, it’s because walking with no particular destination allows me to spend more time in thought as I go.

Having a clear head for me is a full result of walking daily for at least thirty minutes. The days when I’m feeling down, annoyed, or upset about life are usually made clear by taking a walk to think things through. Based off my experience walking is a good avenue to seeing many things new and old, but also cleaning the weight of the world we know.

I work in a mildly high-stress environment, where anger due to misunderstanding is never far away. When I take a break I usually try and walk around the building to relax and think of simple things such as the mountains, my dog, jokes that I’ve heard, of the happiest times I have with friends and family.

Taking a walk “just because” is what I enjoy doing to reset and prepare myself for the next wave of discussions I will have with others. It prepares me to be a better listener, a more patient teacher, and a better friend to those I will be communicating with. I’d recommend this to anyone who works, period. Just taking a little personal time to breathe and reset can not only impact your day at work but can change your everyday happiness level.

We all know about and talk about happiness, we all are aware of what others have done to become happier people. How often are we happy? What are we doing for us that makes us happy? Personally, taking a walk for the hell of it makes me happy.

What makes you happy? Why don’t you think about it while you take a walk?


Acknowledgment.

Have you ever sat down to rest after completing a hard task at work or around the house and breathed a relaxing sigh of relief that the task was complete? Then looked back on your work and hoped that someone would see the good work that you have done? Have you ever hoped that someone will ask how the project went or how you are feeling now that you’ve completed the task? Are you looking for someone to acknowledge you for your efforts to provide that refreshing phrase we all need from time to time when we’ve poured our energies into a seemingly impossible project?

If you said yes to any of the above then you are not alone. These moments can define how we see our work and the progress we are making as an individual or professional. Acknowledgment is extremely satisfying feedback when it is given with praise and rewarded with non-verbal confirmation. Each human seeks this reassurance to know where they stand in the eyes of others, as individuals it’s good to know our efforts in friendship are paying off and trust is being built. In day to day, professional work feedback and acknowledgment are essential in finding your footing with where you were, where you are now, and what direction to continue going to make the biggest impact in your field.

Feedback can be rough to receive at times because much of feedback is either watered down and fluffed to not hurt your feelings or overly blunt and tactless upon delivery. There is a fine balance between what we want to hear and what we need to hear to allow for the best opportunities for growth. Acknowledgment throughout the process allows us to see the good in our efforts and allows us to have real-time feedback as we go.

I’m not saying that you should hold someone’s hand each step of the way. What I am encouraging you to try during a larger task is to have scheduled check in’s every few days or once a week to follow up on the progress of a task at hand, offer praise where it is due then offer constructive feedback that allows for reflection and direction towards the desired end goal. Having these quick pow-wows should allow for a trusting relationship between two people who might be family, friends, or manager and employee.

These sessions of acknowledgment and direction can be used for personal evaluation too. Following up with yourself creates personal accountability that will help you see your strengths and weaknesses and help you realign your goals to your desired destination. Is it easy to hold yourself accountable with challenging goals? Nope, but you’ll be happier because of your perseverance to the finish line.

Take a moment today, write down 5 things you are good at, that makes you a good person, and that encourages you to keep doing you. Acknowledge yourself for the good you bring into the world and know that you’re great. See where you might need to tweak your behavior to make life a happier place for you and see where you go from there.

Adaption.

Change can be a hard thing to adapt to, what was now isn’t, and life may seem a bit off balance until new becomes normal. Most of us are in a state on constant change, where technology, shifts in culture, and lifestyle choices are never the same for very long. A strong skill that many of us have naturally learned and flowed with is the ability to be adaptable in times of change.

The attitude of adaption is an internal understanding that although what is around us might change, we find the best way to look at the situation and change our routines to enable us to move forward with limited frustrations. Being able to adapt to new things easily isn’t always sunshine and no challenges, being adaptable means you understand what is happening and you work through it. The process you take may be externally noticeable to others via verbalizing your frustrations. For some, this may be an internal frustration that can affect your attitude, keep you distracted, or result in unprecedented rebellion against the change at hand. Some might even experience a mixture of the two, outspoken frustration with behaviors that might not be complementary to adaption in the situation.

Some live with day to day adaptions that become more natural after extended periods of adaptation to a process or event. Learning to be adaptable is a challenging experience that can be a frustrating one, I personally have had to learn to adapt to many different things for day to day living. When I was young I wanted to be just like everyone else doing everything the “normal” way that I saw in everyday life. I tried and failed hundreds of times to do things the way that I was told by others yet failure was never far away. My loving mother never gave up on me learning to do things in my own way, she encouraged me to always have my own way of doing things. I slowly but surely added a bit of my own flair to day to day tasks, still fumbling as I went yet excited to accomplish many new things I was learning.

I was raised with an attitude of adaption. My parents knew that the world will never be a place that would fully adapt to people like myself, I needed to understand how to adapt everyday tasks without fear of failure, and an aptitude of being positive with any challenge that I was faced with. These challenges have always been my choice to accept the challenge and learn or decline the opportunity to grow, its always been up to me.

We are the masters of our own ability to adapt to change and new experiences. Being uncomfortable is a good thing while learning, it helps us grow and reach for the best method to use from that moment on. Being willing to adapt isn’t a cakewalk, but accepting that adapting with a good attitude will make life an easier journey than avoiding the natural change that comes our way.

Legacy.

What do you want to be remembered for? Your ability to smile through challenges, kindness towards others when it is needed most, your zest for life? or your work ethic? There are countless things to be known for and remembered by. Each day we are forging experiences that will be used by others to remember us by when they think back on us.

Each of us can look back and remember someone who was a light in the darkness, or a stain on the situation. There are also those who we have forgotten entirely due to the fact that they weren’t key players in the experiences we think back on. These are facts of life we will be remembered for the things we have done, or forgotten entirely by some.

When I think about the legacy others are leaving for me to remember I think warmly of the experiences I’ve had at wrestling tournaments watching my father coach others through successful defeats of their opponents or comfort and coach them through defeats they suffer themselves. My father as a wrestling coach taught me how important it is to show up ready for anything, to be prepared for any outcome, and to recognize the opportunities for growth in any situation.

Being taught how to look at opportunities doesn’t mean that there won’t be hard losses that take some time to work out. However, during these times you can stand tall, recognize the struggle will pass, and you can still look your opponent in the eye and shake their hand knowing that the next match there might be a different outcome.

One thing to remember is these challenges aren’t always against other people, we can agree that some of the hardest matches we will face against are the battles fought within, against ourselves. We are our own challengers more often than most will want to admit. However, there are many who are the strongest, kindest, happiest people we know who’s championships are won without anyone seeing the event happen.

Your legacy can be a variety of many things. Successful businesses, holding public offices, works of art, tales of travel, or being known as a mentally strong person who has balanced many things and smiled through the hardest days. Be confident and know that you are great, you can always do better but today, you’re great as you are your legacy is still being written.

Limit.

There I was climbing with people I barely knew, climbing a route I’d never researched, testing moves I had never used, and loving every moment of the struggle or wiggle as I climbed to the top of the route. I was afraid to fall, afraid to embarrass myself in front of strangers and climbing gurus. Yet when I fell no one laughed, no one shouted you can’t do it. I only heard encouragement from my new friends and alternate moves that I might be able to try using to move a little farther up the route.

After what seemed like an hour or so I had wiggled, pulled, and pushed my way to the top of the route that earlier had me second guessing my willpower and abilities. I was grateful for that moment when I reached the top to look down at my friends and celebrate that moment with them when I had climbed the toughest climb of my young passion for climbing.

Many of us have heard the phrase “you can’t do that.” or “you won’t make it.” by others who doubt our skills, abilities, and willpower. (Perhaps by others who doubt themselves because they tried, failed, and gave up instead of finding a way to complete the challenge in their own way.) They look at us and set limitations for us that we haven’t thought to set for ourselves. These assumptions can cripple goals, deflate confidence, or fuel the desire to accomplish lofty goals even more. I’ve been affected by both mindsets personally,  there are countless people who have limited me based off my looks, not my abilities.

These moments when we feel limited or helpless are heavy times. They can defeat us before we even begin our journeys, these moments are pivoting moments that can define you. These moments when the fight is the hardest, you have the option to allow those who limit you to win, to tell you what you can and can’t do, resulting in a type of learned helplessness.

An attitude of I can’t is a quicker destroyer of lives than an attitude of instead of doing it your way and the way you might think I should do it let me show you how I’m doing it. Some might say this behavior and attitude are dangerous because what if you fail and prove those who limited you right? I say that failure is a guaranteed step between you and the outcome you desire. You alone set your limits, how far you decide to go is entirely up to you. Just do your best, stretch a little as you go, and indeed you’ll step outside of the limits they set for you and reap the reward of true freedom in your own comfort zone.