Giving and Receiving Advice

It’s easy to tell someone else how to live their life but challenging to apply the same advice to our lives because we are often too close to the situation.

It’s also easy to get opinions from others who tell us what they think we want to hear, but such advice is not beneficial in the long run.

It is better to seek the guidance of those who are wiser and more experienced while using discernment to evaluate whether the advice they’re giving is useable, workable, and realistic.

Good advice comes from those who speak the truth even when it hurts.

Good advice will be fair.

Good advice will improve the situation while providing a positive solution or direction.

Practice Makes Perfect

Deliberate practice is a necessary ingredient for performing at your best.

The more effort you put into something, the better you become at it.

We are quick to give up on our relationships, professions, and personal growth because we can’t see beyond instant gratification.

Consider the athletes who must fully participate in a team practice when they’re not on the starting lineup. Practicing prepares them for the opportunity.

Those who perform at their best put in the work and take responsibility for their errors and mistakes.

Be observant of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and identify what can be adjusted to produce better results.

Whatever skills you lack, enhance them through training and consistent practice.

Recognize where a problem may exist, refine your skills, then try again.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a never-ending chase.

While it’s reasonable to desire something better or more exciting, don’t let your desire for what others have bring about dissatisfaction with what you already possess.

When we are not secure with who we are and what we have, we psyche ourselves into believing that acquiring certain things will bring us greater acceptance.

In reality, we end up spending money we don’t necessarily have to please people that are not impressed.

Putting up a false fa├žade based on what we think others are impressed with reveals the insecurities within us.

It’s your perception of you that matters most. Trying to see yourself through the eyes of others is wasted energy.

When you start to accept who you are, you’ll attract others that reinforce your empowering beliefs.

Give Back

Our blessings are to overflow to others.

Those with knowledge and resources should be generous with those in need.

Some conclude that people are needy through some fault of their own, but this kind of reasoning makes it easy to close our hearts and hands to those who are in real need of help.

Let’s not invent reasons for ignoring people in need. Instead, we are to respond to their needs in the best way we can.

We should help others because it is right, not because we’ll benefit from it personally.

Be Thankful

Ungratefulness is a common human fault. When we feel passed by, overlooked, or forgotten, it comes as no surprise that we appear ungrateful.

Refusing to see how fortunate you are and overlooking your blessings lends itself to self-centeredness. Even the homeless man has it better than someone else in this world.

We run into trouble when we become so consumed with what we don’t have and fail to open our eyes to all that we do.

If you want to receive more of what pleases you, be thankful for what you already have and let others know how much you appreciate them.

When we are thankful, our lives will show it.

Never Give Up

People often give up after a few half-hearted efforts and conclude that a solution is not available.

Don’t forsake future rewards because of present pain.

It’s easy to throw your hands up in despair when faced with difficult situations, but pursuing anything in life that’s important to you takes faith, focus, and follow-through.

It is also tempting to give up on people or situations that haven’t changed for many years, but what seems unchangeable can occur when given new purpose and direction.

Facing Reality

You can view life for what it is or what you pretend it to be, but reality keeps going no matter what you do.

In our everyday practice of conscious living, we continuously alternate between at least two realities: material/spiritual, subjective/objective, seen/unseen, and inner/outer.

To mature in your perception of reality, you must be open to change, understand your limitations, embrace otherness, and be willing to encounter the unknown.

If you are satisfied with what you have and like in your reality, then strive to maintain it.

Otherwise, take action and change the reality of the situations that don’t appease you.

Life’s Manual

An instruction manual is provided for most things on the market today.

However, many of us never take the time to read it. We look at the illustrations or specific items of concern then set it aside.

Think about it. How many times have you driven your car and had no idea what all the buttons operated?

How many times have you put an item together that had pieces leftover and differed from the finished product on the package?

The same applies to our personal and professional lives.

Many of us want to know how our lives are going to play out, but we fail to obtain the necessary knowledge to move us into action.

Transformation in our lives requires being intentional and putting forth the effort.

If you are unable to identify your purpose and need something to help guide you along the way, there is a manual of life. Start there.

If you are not meeting your goals or desire something different, there are plenty of books available, people available, and training available to help move you forward.

It all starts with you.

Failure is Success in Disguise

Failure is producing undesired results.

Success often comes from knowing you had to go through something to get where you are.

Who you are, is revealed by what you do on subsequent attempts.

All success comes at a price.

There is no success without the risk of failure.

No reward without effort.

No opportunity without criticism.

Those that succeed never stop trying until they reach their goal.

Failure is not something to fear because everything we do has a lesson behind it.

It is rare for us to fail. We only choose to stop trying.

Our failures in life are not missing the mark but missing the lesson along the way.

Being Humble


 

Humility gives a more accurate perspective of oneself and the world.

Some people think that humility means putting oneself down, but humility is not self-degradation.

It is a realistic assessment of who you are and what you represent.

Don’t write off someone who challenges you.

There may be truth in what is said.

Receive the message with humility while carefully thinking it over.

If you discover there’s room for improvement, take the necessary steps to correct the behavior.

When you are humble, you understand your limitations.

Understanding Your Purpose

A person without purpose will keep changing direction and traveling in circles without ever arriving anywhere.

Without direction, an empty life is unstable and vulnerable to temptation.

Don’t be misguided by your purpose.

Your greatest accomplishment may be helping people accomplish great things.

Similarly, your greatest failure may be preventing others from achieving greatness.

When you understand your purpose, you can help others find meaning in their lives.

Common Distractions

Things that make you go hmm.
  1. Talking to a person with bad breath.
  2. Wearing loud perfume or cologne.
  3. Doing multiple things while driving.
  4. Uncontrollable children.
  5. Use of cell phones in the wrong environment.
  6. Public intoxication.
  7. Stepping on gum or animal excrement.
  8. Spitting in front of someone.
  9. Littering.
  10. Failure to give someone your full attention.
  11. Foul mouths and inappropriate references.
  12. Choice of attire.
  13. Personal hygiene.
  14. Rudeness.
  15. Bad manners.
  16. Bad drivers and rubbernecking.
  17. Smoking in closed confinements.
  18. Chewing with your mouth open.
  19. Talking with your hands.
  20. Nosiness.
  21. Gossip.
  22. Spilling something on your clothing.
  23. Inconsiderate comments.
  24. Broken promises.
  25. Social media.

Know Your Worth

It is not uncommon to rely on the approval of others to establish our value.

Whether in a relationship, friendship, or employee capacity, we tend to gauge our worth on words and responses that feed the ego.

When you operate from the heart and know that what you do is done with pure intentions, you limit the control a person has over you through their words and actions.

We all fall short in various areas of our lives, and it is tempting to try and change who we are for the satisfaction of another.

Doing so creates a false sense of contentment.

Our worth does not hinge on our earthly possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness, or public opinion.

Our internal makeup speaks volumes about our worth.

Maturity Isn’t Defined By Age

Society has come up with its idea of a maturity timeline such as:

Sixteen to obtain a driver’s license.

Eighteen to leave the nest and enter adulthood.

Twenty-one to purchase alcohol.

Twenty-five to rent a car.

In reality, does this define maturity?

Age doesn’t always correlate with maturity.

Life experiences can boost one’s maturity level at a rate of increase that is dictated by social influences, family upbringing, personal desires, and a host of other factors.

There are also a bunch of old fools.

The fundamentals of maturity involve the ability to deal with problems immediately, the ability to learn and grow from past experiences, the ability to accept fault for one’s actions, the ability to maintain a level head, the ability to maintain a positive attitude, and the fortitude to grow in wisdom.

The Scale Is Not Always Balanced In Relationships

It is rare to find a relationship that is equally balanced at all times.

Since people have different needs when it comes to giving and receiving, communication is vital in gaining an understanding of those needs.

There are times when we give a lot and receive little or nothing in return, and there are times we receive more than what we are putting into the relationship.

As long as reciprocity outweighs sacrifice, the relationship maintains a balance.

Many conflicts in relationships have something to do with power and control.

We all desire to have some control over our lives and the direction it will go, but this often lingers over to us trying to control others.

Respect comes from mutual regard and appreciation for one another, not by forced obedience.

Know How to Pick Your Battles

Life involves a series of challenges and choices. It only makes sense to choose your battles wisely.

We often get hung up disputing insignificant things when there are more important matters that beg for our attention.

No matter how well-meaning you are in fighting the battles you think are of paramount importance, sometimes the battle is won when you back up and let situations run its course.

By doing so, you will be far more effective in getting your point across.

Fighting battles for the mere challenge is a waste of time and energy.

If the world came to an end today, would those battles have the same significance?

If the battle is not beneficial in some way, and the stakes are high pending the outcome, avoid the conflict altogether.

Life rarely goes the exact way we may have in mind, and there will always be people who disagree with you or do things differently.

Reevaluate your priorities and understand that there will be battles not worth arguing over, battles you can’t do anything about, and battles that are frankly none of your business.

Honesty is the Best Practice

In our quest to be accepted by others, we often abandon what we know is right.

There is no amount of rationalizing that can justify dishonest practices.

Entering into this type of engagement will only lead to a bigger problem in the end.

You can navigate through life either impressing people with lies or influencing people with the truth.

Seeking truth transforms us.

Some people think they will get what they want through dishonest practices so they’ll flatter, deceive, and lie to the point of affecting their very core.

This type of behavior can cause you to lose sight of who you are and your ability to relate to others.

When you engage with lies, you engage with fear.

Check Your Attitude

A quick temper spreads fast and can cause you to take unimportant events too seriously.

For example, road rage, someone racing to be first in line, or encountering disgruntled people throughout your day.

Although these types of situations can make your blood pressure rise, you must remember that your inner attitude doesn’t have to reflect your outward circumstance.

We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude towards it.

It’s the attitude you choose that shapes your personality.

Practice What You Preach

We all lead by example. If you preach it, make sure you live it! When you take it upon yourself to share a message or give advice, those who receive it will look for its effectiveness in your life. Unless it has changed you, your message will carry less value in changing them. 
 
As you think of others who need to apply what you are hearing or reading, check to see if the same application fits you. Apply the lessons to your own life first because our faults are the ones we often see in others.