Advertisements

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson # 32
Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.

How well do I listen instead of letting things come right out of my mouth? A long time ago this was extremely hard for me to do. I usually never heard what was being said and was always the one talking. I am more aware of my lack of communicating back then and have worked hard to try and fix this little indiscretion. However, this is not an easy task and takes some dangerous practice and in my case patience along the way. These five things helped me become a better listener and improved the way I communicate effectively with others.

1. I listen so that I can learn.
If we are always talking are we anything? To be able to learn efficiently you need to be able to listen to what is said. I started to recognize this and began practicing this in conversations, and I could not believe all the exciting things I learned about other people around me. I am sure that I would not have known if I was the only one getting a word in that conversation.

2. Ask questions
I never used to ask questions. I always thought that asking questions was a weakness and many times I either pretended to know what was talked about or would take over the conversation. Pretending to know what is going on absolutely does not work, and more than likely you will end up looking ridiculous. Asking questions shows a person that you are interested in what is said and not only that you will learn something that you did not know before and that is ok.

3. Make eye contact
If you want to show someone your undivided attention make eye contact with them. Eye contact was also a hard one for me to do because I was shyer and for some reason, eye contact was hard for me. Doing this makes the conversation more enjoyable and exciting. You are taking the time to acknowledge what is said and making eye contact shows that you are genuinely interested in the discussion.

4. Don’t Interrupt the other person talking.
Interrupting conversations was something that I always did, and I honestly did not understand how annoying it was until I started focusing on changing the way I listen. Not only is this rude but it shows that you are not valuing the other person in the conversation. Being able to stop interruptions in conversations is genuinely a hard habit to break and if you do accidentally innterupt make sure to apologize.

Why is it a good idea to be a good listener?

1. Listening can be a confidence booster.
People love a good listener merely because they are hard to find and being able to do this will make you certainly feel right about having this talent.

2. Acceptance
When you listen, you are accepting the person that is involving you in the conversation. Not only are you receiving them they are also accepting you by telling you what they think is essential.

3. Connection
As humans, we need relationships and listening can create a deep connection.

So the next time you are finding yourself in a conversation take a back seat and listen to what is said. Take time to listen, and you will undoubtedly learn something new about that person. When you get a chance to ask a few questions about what is being discussed make sure to keep good eye contact so that the speaker knows that you are engaged. Last but not least remember not to interrupt the one that is speaking so that you can have the opportunity to listen to all that is being said. Listening is a talent that few have and that many want to have around them.

Advertisements

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #31
Trust is earned by many deeds.

Honesty is the best policy. We have heard this statement time and time again but what happens if you have broken that policy and need to repair the damage. Breaking trust is a hard lesson to learn, and it takes lots of time and patience on both ends. Know that if you work hard and stay diligent the trust you once had can be rebuilt and in many times become stronger than it once was. Here are six ways to restore the faith that was thought to be lost.

1. Be Honest.
It might be hard, but please be honest. Not only with yourself but also with the ones that have been affected. The gig is up, and it is time to get real. The more real you are, the better it will be to mend those broken fences.

2. Show You Care.
The actions that you do will speak louder than the words that you use. By showing action to someone, you are indicating that you care and are committed to fixing the problem. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t act. The action also takes time and effort on your part, and that lets the other person know you are trying.

3. Respect
Respect is earned and not just given. Respect takes hard work, and if you want the same respect, you must work for it especially if you have been dishonest. One way to earn back trust is to think about how to restore what was lost and take the time to work on fixing things. It will not happen overnight and takes a lot of time, but it is well worth the effort to show the person you care how much respect you have for them.

4. Transparency
Be an open book. Honesty also involves you being honest with yourself. If you are hiding things, you are not honest with those around you. You need to be able to be comfortable in your skin and be comfortable with those around you to know who you are and being transparent lets the other person see a side of you no one else does.

5. Take the situation seriously.
Do this by sincerely asking for forgiveness and giving a sincere apology. If you don’t take the situation seriously for what it is, then you show that your commitment to fix what you have done is not there.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
People are not perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Just know that whatever happens, you can always do better after making a mistake. Don’t judge yourself harshly and think that you need to. Being dishonest to someone can take its toll, and it is better to learn from the mistake and move forward never making a mistake again.

Trust is a very fragile thing when it comes to dealing with relationships. When trust is broken remember to be honest from here on out to rebuild what was lost. Show you care by working hard to fix the damage that was caused. Be honest with yourself and others so that they can see the best of you. Take the situation seriously and carefully as it will be in a very fragile state for a while. Always know that you are going to get through this and see that you can take a bad mistake and make it into a great future by learning the lesson that it taught you.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #30
It’s important to you that money not be important.

How much do I value money? This is a question that I must sit and ponder because I have lived without money and I have lived with money. Money is nice to have when it comes to surviving and being able to take care of myself but it is also valuable to not have too much money and not be able to use it wisely.
I grew up with very little money. I was the poor kid at my school and it always seemed as though there was never enough money. I was also never taught to save money or spend my money wisely. As an adult, I have learned very hard lessons about money and can honestly say I am in a good place because of those hard lessons that have involved money in the past. Even though I do value money and like to be able to have money around me I try my best to not let it get to my head. The best way to not let my money control my life instead of focusing on controlling where my money goes is to focus on those things that don’t involve money. The money will always come and go but these 5 things will always be something I can value more than money.

1. Life Experiences.
I have had the joy of having some great life experiences that money could never buy. Most of my experiences have happened with my husband and my kids. I am truly grateful for these moments and these experiences teach me that there is more to life than the amount of my paycheck.

2.Good Health of Yourself and For The Ones You Love.
This is truly priceless. I have had some health scares in the last 10 years and I am happy to say that I am in perfect health and doing well. I also can thank my lucky stars for the great health of the people that I love dearly. Sickness can be a very scary thing and be able to have the ones you care about healthy makes that want for more money not as important. Value good health because most of us take it for granted.

3. Being Self Sufficient
I love not being dependent on people and I have been this way most of my life. If you are able to get your finances together and get the debt paid down the less you will be dependent on others. Being financially independent gives you nothing but freedom and freedom is amazing.

4. Growing Into Who You Want to be.
instead of focusing on the money all the time take some time to find out who you are. I have done this the last 8 years after a huge financial collapse that my family faced and it has helped me grow into someone that I can be proud of and it has also helped me develop my relationships better. Instead of focusing on the money focus on how you want to live your life and who you want to be.

5. Being Thankful for What You Have.
This is a big deal. I was able to learn this lesson when my husband and I hit our rock bottom. I soon realized that even though I could not go do certain things or buy what I thought I wanted I did have a roof over my head and food on the table and when you don’t have enough money to live that makes all the difference in the world.

Money can make our lives easier this is true but at the same time if we are not able to respect the money we can also suffer. Live the life you want but don’t forget the important things that make life worth living.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #29
There is no security in life only opportunity.

When an opportunity arises, do you take it? I know that there were many times in my past where I was scared to take a chance and instead I held myself back. I soon began to realize that waiting around for the safety net was not going to get me where I wanted to be in life. Are you waiting for an opportunity to come knocking on your door? Instead of waiting here are ten ways you can grab yourself some opportunity today.

1. Challenge the can’t do attitude.
People who play it safe tend to have the I can’t do this attitude. Mostly out of fear of failing. All this will do is hold you back so instead of saying I can’t start replacing it with I can.

2. Vision
Vision is essential when getting what you want out of life. Vision keeps you focused and motivated to want more. Never lose sight of your what you want and work on it every day.

3. Commit to change.
Commit to making a change in your life. The difference does not have to be drastic it can be as simple as getting up 20 minutes earlier every day to work on what you want to make that change. Once you commit everything you are working on becomes more of a reality.

4. Forgive and move on.
If you are harboring unhealthy feelings toward someone get rid of them now. Harboring these feelings is energy that is wasted and instead use it for the greater good. These feelings might be justified but they are not healthy for you and that is all these emotions are doing is hurting you. Forgiveness gives you peace.

5. Find what is holding you back and fix it.
If something is keeping you from getting what you want to find out how you can change the situation. Making small changes can make a big difference, and you will start to see the results you are looking for in your life.

6. Open your eyes.
Look around you, and sometimes the answer will be sitting right in front of you. Many times we go throughout our lives and don’t even bother to look around and see what is surrounding us but if we are more open to the things that are around us abundant opportunity will be found.

7. Learn something new.
Knowledge is power, and if we can take a little bit of our time to learn a new skill, then we are only making ourselves closer to what we want to obtain. You don’t just jump into something without learning a little about it first.

8. Help someone
You never know where things will lead if you help someone that is in need. Maybe this person has something they can help you with as well. Always take the time to lend a helping hand.

9. Work hard
Hard work pays off, and you should never have anything handed to you. If everything is given to you how do you expect to appreciate the things that come your way? Working hard for your goals keeps you grounded and more aware, so you don’t lose them.

10. Socialize
This one can be hard for many of us and can create crazy anxiety but know that this can be a great asset and will benefit you in the end. Get out and socialize. Get to know new people and places many times the people you meet and the places you see can hold great opportunity options for what you are working so hard in life.

There is always an opportunity around every corner and today is the day so make sure to grab yours’s the next time it comes around.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #28
Think about your own mistakes rather than blame on other’s faults.

Why do people like to play the blame game? When I received this paper a couple of weeks ago, I sat back and took a long hard look at the times that I have played the blame game and what if anything it has done for me and the situations that I was involved. The answer to this question is that playing the blame game has done nothing constructive to any of the circumstances or relationships that were required. Nothing good has ever come out of me just blaming someone or something for any negativity in my life, and so I have decided that I am going to work hard at controlling how much of the blame game I will be playing and make sure that this game doesn’t negatively affect the things in my life.
Why does the blame game become so toxic? To blame someone or something is destructive rather than constructive. Blaming others rather than taking responsibility for your portion of the issue won’t help you or the situation better your circumstances. If you blame others for the problem than you don’t have to take responsibility for your part of the issue at hand and that will always be a recipe for disaster.
I grew up in an unstable home and for many years that haunted me with feelings of blame. I felt like I was a victim and was continually blaming the adults that allowed me to grow up in the situation I did. Last year I finally realized that it was time for me to stop blaming and take control of my life. One thing I noticed was when I was angry and condemning those that did not do their job I wasn’t happy. I could not find my joy, and all the blaming distracted me from moving forward in my life. I had to stop blaming even though some of these things were out of my control I had to let go and realize that we are here to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

There are four wrong ways of thinking when we are playing the blame game and all of these thoughts I had throughout my life.

1. Something is wrong, and I need to find blame in something or someone else for this situation. I feel this is a hard one to recognize because sometimes I feel like the responsibility can be justified. Even though the fault is warranted does not mean it is right to decide to place blame.

2. This person doesn’t deserve respect as a human being. I realize that we are all human and therefore we will all make mistakes and had to sink this one in when getting rid of my blame. The focus should not be about the person who has done me wrong so much as the person is controlling the way I think and act.

3. It is ok for me to treat those that hurt me poorly. I can do so anyway I want. There is no peace when you find yourself hating someone or something all the time. Letting go is the best medicine for this, and you will find happiness by knowing you have done your part.

4. I don’t have any responsibility for the problem, and if I admit this than I have to accept my responsibility and I would deserve the same treatment, I am giving. There are always two sides, and each side will have there own thoughts and actions. Even if you didn’t start the problem but the way you handled it was not the best. Life and people can be very frustrating and remember to take the higher road you will feel better in the end.

If you are experiencing conflict and blame here are ways to settle the blame game once and for all constructively.

1. Be willing to accept your part of the problem.
When there are disputes and problems, there is usually more than one creating the conflict. It is better to take the responsibility and try to make amends on your end. If the other side wants to accept their portion and help make things right tremendous and if not then you did your best.

2. Don’t lose respect for people.
There are some pretty cruddy people in this world, and they have made some horrible decisions in life. Being able to understand that you are not there judge and jury makes it easier to move forward. Always know that there is room for improvement.

3. Be more forgiving
I will be the first one to admit it is tough for me to forgive. I have grown up to be a person that has a shell of protection, and if I overlook, it weakens that shell. I started trying to excuse years ago, and I will say that it creates peace I never had growing up. All the anger and resentment I kept inside was a big green monster, and it kept me prisoner for quite some time. Only in the last few years have a finally been able to forgive and move forward. Forgiveness is hard, but it is well worth the work that goes into making it happen.