Encouragement.

Why is it beneficial to be encouraging of others in their day to day tasks? I’m not talking about their specific work or school-related assignments but the little things they do every day that makes our lives a little better. Think of your friend who smiles at you when you are having a tough day. Think about those challenging days when a parent offered encouragement and reassurance that you could make big things happen if you put your mind to it. This is what the world needs a little more encouragement towards better things and a little less weight behind negativity.

It starts with me. A better world starts on a personal level more trust in others, a better believe that people are generally good, and a little more effort to listen to each other.  Sounds pretty easy right? It isn’t as easy as it sounds to trust others when we hear all the bad that could, has or is happening around us. It’s a challenge to see others as good when we lie to each other and even ourselves about the reality of the situations we live in daily. It’s hard to listen when we want to be heard, to be recognized, to be understood. We want so much from others but are at times unwilling to give to those we want to listen. Three simple steps to a better world that sound so easy, but are so hard to commit to.

Acknowledging that we can change the world in three steps is encouraging and a direction we can all get behind. If you start to look outward at what you can give to others you’ll see more easily all that others are giving to you. Life is a great maze that we all navigate a few feet at a time, why not be brave enough to trust others to help us forward, speak good words to each other, and listen a little better to those who need to be heard.

So who agrees that it starts with me?

Together.

Tonight I finished watching the Netflix series, Russian Doll. Warning, possible spoilers ahead if you haven’t finished the series. The lead character in the series Nadia begins a series of loops where she struggles to find a safe way to navigate life, eventually finding herself cautious yet still struggling to move forward in life. She eventually meets Alan on an elevator and shares a unique moment that leads to a friendship of shorts leading to an understanding that they need to work together to help the other move forward a better person.

This process takes some time as they struggle to better understand each other, find balance in their friendship, and take some time apart to realize that friendship is a challenge accepting even when the other person might demand you get lost. After an extended time, they recognize the benefit of working together to free each other from past baggage and move forward together as friends into the unknown.

Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes due to the fact that we all bring different pros and cons together at the table as friends. Our strengths and weaknesses become well known to others as we spend time together and dare to share the truest parts of ourselves as the friendship grows from the first contact to extended years of experience. We know that having true friendships can benefit us if we are willing to trust our friends and welcome them in when we need them most and vice versa we need to be ready to be a friend who can listen at times, speak at others, and just be there for brunch on an odd day when opportunity knocks,

Some are fortunate and have the ability to easily make friends and build lasting relationships in a short time. Others might struggle to find real common ground with others and hold back on trusting their friends with heavy thoughts and feelings out of fear of oversharing and scaring away friendship. There are friends who are a mixture of these two types where one party is vastly more open and another is a better listener who shares smaller pieces back that are solidifying pieces of the friendship.

We are great as individuals, we can accomplish great things on our own, and nobody should tell you otherwise. Add any number of friendships and you will be strengthened by others and aided in your day to day conquests by supporters who believe in you too. Alone we can do many things, together we can do anything.

Why.

What is your why? Why do you do things that way you do them? Why are you willing to face adversity to reach your desired destination in life. These are thoughts I’ve had before when I hear about someone with a big dream that seems to be a bit more than they probably can bite, chew, and swallow. Meaning I’m not sure why they really are doing things the way they are doing, I’m probably not alone in wondering about these things.

As a youth in central Utah, I used to sell corn on the side of the road next to the high school every fall for a few summers. My Father, Grandfather, and I would go pick the corn then we’d park the truck on the side of the street and I’d sit there till the sun went down or I’d sold all my corn for the day. I learned a few interpersonal skills with people and how to sell products to folks which is a benefit to me to this day. One of the most memorable experiences for me was trying to sell a bag of corn to a man carrying a giant cross across the USA who stopped through our little town on his way to California.

I asked him about his cross and why it had a wheel on the bottom. Man, “It’s designed to make the walk easier as I carry it.” Me, “Why are you carrying that thing? Don’t you think it would be faster to leave it behind?” Man, “Yes, it would be easier, but I want to show everyone that I can carry this heavy cross from New York to California.”  Me, “Ummm, okay, but why?” Man, “I told myself if I could do this, I could do anything.” Eight or Nine year old me didn’t get it then but have never forgotten it to this day. This man had a purpose to walk across America with a heavy wooden object, and I hope it helped him see he could do anything. I did, however, sell him some corn to fuel his trek.

To this day I see and hear about people who are setting out for challenging journeys as adventurers, entrepreneurs, athletes, and scholars. I can’t always relate to nor understand their vision for choosing the challenges they have decided to claim. I can confirm that choosing a challenge that people don’t understand can be a catalyst to the greatest adventures of one’s life.

Share your why with others, and enlighten them on your vision. If they doubt you or don’t understand that is okay. They might catch a vision similar to yours one day, and take off on their own journey fueled by nothing more than why.

Speak up.

Speaking up can be a challenge no matter who you are in a uncomfortable situation. The ability to say what you need to when it’s needed to be said is a tactful gift that few have. A few thoughts on sharing the hard truth.

First off, use your words wisely. Say what needs to be said, don’t beat around the bush when delivering the message but be tactful with the way you say it. People may not appreciate you speaking up and saying what needs to be said at first but will respect you for having the gumption to say it.

Second, keep your message simple and filled with the truth. Allowing the discussion to be built around fluff and misinformation can deteriorate the trust you share with the person you are conversing with. Keep the message as lengthy as it needs to be but not too long. Use clear words that communicate the message effectively without question, use strong statements that effectively relay your message without belittling the person you are talking to

Thirdly, be mindful not to back your communication partner into a corner. When giving a hard message it’s essential to deliver a clean message with the intent to help not harm the other person. Giving others clear options will be a safe bet to avoid emotional defense and rebuttal from another. Although you clearly know where you want or need the conversation to go have options for another than can effectively lead them through the desert to the oasis that is your desired resolution.

Is this an easy skill to learn? Not really. Is it a good way to become a better communicator? Yes, say it as it needs to be said, use your words wisely, share the simple truth of your message, and keep the trail ahead open with options that lead your communication partner to a clear understanding of your desired outcome. You’ll fumble a few times until you get the hang of delivering the hard message, but once the message is delivered and you can breathe a sigh of relief it’ll be easier to relay the next time around.

Charisma

We’ve all heard it before that someone who has Charisma when they speak or when they’re doing something they’re doing it in a very charismatic way. This can draw people to others and make it much easier for them to follow someone who’s energy they are attracted to. This energy can be harnessed to enact great change around the world.

The energy we carry when we are speaking with others while sharing our vision for the world around us can create a change for the better. We know there are energies can go one of two ways. One that helps build societies into a better place, another that leads to division and frustration. More of us need to remember to use your influence for bettering the places we live. Dare to lead others to a better place, even when the odds are stacked against you.

One thing I know is that we can use our voices and actions to elevate ourselves and others to a better place. When sharing your opinions with others speak better of those you know, those you don’t know yet, and even those who have wronged you. Is this an easy task? No. Will this change your outlook on the world? Yes, for the better.

Every day, you are sending messages to others. Your messages share your true self by using verbal and nonverbal cues. There are times it’s hard not to share negativity with others, but when you share simple positively charges messages you are opening the doors for more goodness to be known to those who need a little extra light.

One of the best things that we can do for ourselves and for those around us is live our truest happiest lives. Living a genuine life enables you to be more charismatic each day, and share the best of days with charisma in each move we make.

Change.

What does change mean to you? A change of scenery? A change of pace? Changing your style? Changing the world? Changing yourself? Change is an ever constant companion no matter where you go. It enables us to grow and adapt to the world around us that never sits still.

Recently I’ve seen the #tenyearchallenge all over social media, and it has had me thinking back to ten years ago and how different the world is. The first iPad was introduced in 2010, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest were all still being developed. I used a blackberry primarily for tweeting song lyrics, liking posts on Facebook and playing brick breaker.

My interests were slightly different back then too. I enjoyed the outdoors, as long as it was in the evening or late at night after working on the farm. I enjoyed writing, sappy love songs, and poems for no reason. My fashion choices have improved, and that’s all I want to say about that.  Telling jokes, and sharing moments with friends is just as important to me then as they are now.

Adventure, Business, and happiness were all things I wanted ten years ago too, I have been on many adventures around the world since then, experienced different cultures, and meeting new people who I am blessed to call friends. Worked in startups, knocked doors and learned different branches of business during the past decade. I’ve found happiness in doing the things I enjoy most, in my own way and at my own pace.

Acknowledging that every year will be filled with new changes is a great way to prepare yourself for the unknown. We don’t know what lies ahead for the world we live in, trends come and go faster than we can anticipate. What matters most is that we can adapt as the change comes knowing that we’ll be okay learning as we go.

Mortality.

One thing I know for certain is that one day I will die, I am very aware of my own mortality. I know that this sounds a morbid sentence to begin a short essay with but it’s something that we all are aware of. A simple reason to bring this up is I believe that we need to live each day as if it were our last. Our days can be spent doing things that we enjoy doing that will benefit ourselves and the lives of others, please don’t waste your hours doing things that you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Now that the heavy stuff is out of the way here are a few creative ways to live each day as if it were the best last day you will have.

  • Smile more for no other reason than you are happy to be where you are at that moment. There is a real satisfaction that comes with being happy at the moment and being grateful for the company you are with.
  • Try something new today that you’ve always wanted to. If you don’t do it today the opportunity to try the something you’ve been wanting to do might not happen again. If you’ve always wanted to skip around your office for the hell of it do it, If you’ve wanted to take up improv join a group and test out your skills, if you’ve ever wanted to say something you’re afraid to say to someone you need to catch up with say it(tactfully). Just don’t miss out on trying new things today.
  • Have a karaoke session in your car to all your favorite songs. Don’t miss out on those high school hits you sometimes hum while thinking back on the old days. Press play and start singing. If you are by yourself that’s great if you’re with a friend or two that’s even better!  Don’t be shy, just belt out those show tunes!
  • Keep your area clean, cleanliness creates happiness and happiness makes the world a better place. At work, home, your car, or the great outdoors do your part by keeping places clean and taking the initiative to do so keeps you active and thus happier.

In the end yes this is serious, you don’t know how many days you have left, but make those days count. The list above is just simple ways that you can enjoy life more and live each day as the best day ever. Don’t spend your days living in FOMO, live a life that never misses an opportunity.