5 min read…
We read a lot of self-help tips and some stick to our minds more than the others. We start applying them in our lives and the real pleasure is when we see them working.
With the help of books, some practice, and a lot of good people around me, I integrated a few lifestyle changes that have improved my life. Here are 4 of those habits. They worked for me and hopefully, they’ll do for you too.
1. There is your truth and my truth. There’s rarely ‘The Truth.’ This has saved me a lot of trouble. We all have opinions and perspectives, and with that come differences. Once I’ve accepted this, I find myself arguing less.
When I meet a friend, if our difference in opinions is manageable, I compromise or talk about it. If too many factors don’t suit, instead of saying “he is a bad person” or “I don’t like him”, I simply accept that our wavelengths don’t match and distance myself. This way, I don’t resent or dislike anybody. It is a matter of accepting them the way they are.
There are probably a lot of books that share this opinion, but it was best emphasized in What the Buddha taught, by Walpola Rahula.
2. Stop fretting over the small stuff. 9 out of 10 things you are scared of, won’t happen. We spend so much time worrying about what people think of us. Have you ever realized how often you think of somebody, and even when you do, how long it lasts? It’s totally not worth it.
In his book How to stop worrying and start living, Dale Carnegie teaches us how to overcome worries. One strategy that’s worked for me is –
In any given scenario, find out what’s the worst that can happen and accept or think it’s already happened. Next, assuming the worst has already occurred, ask yourself the question – “how can I reduce this damage?” Then, start fixing it; do the damage-control.
I’ve successfully tried this more than a few times, and it works like a charm. Another tried and tested method is to keep your mind and body busy enough to have no room for worries. We tend to overthink our worst-case scenario but the reality is not even close to our imagination. Overcoming worries isn’t as hard as it looks.
“Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.”
3. How do you apologize? I say sorry either when I own a mistake or when I put a relationship ahead of the topic of argument. In both cases, the apology is a means to an end. So, it is important to do it the right way.
As a rule of thumb, I don’t prefix an apology with an if. “If I said something wrong, I am sorry”, “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” – When you do this, you put the blame back on the other person; you don’t own the mistake. It is like saying “You shouldn’t have been hurt by what I said, you are wrong. Anyway, I am sorry.”
I vaguely remember reading this on Quora a few years ago. When you have decided to apologize, there’s no right or wrong. Just say you’re sorry and don’t try to justify your actions.
4. A ‘thank-you’ is more than gratitude. I have repeatedly written about thanking the right way. The trick is to always include a little detail of what makes you thankful. Was it the surprise, the thoughtfulness, or how helpful the favor or gift was? Be specific.
I should thank Scott Adams for sharing this in his book How to fail at almost everything and still win big. This works almost instantly. When I thank someone and give a good reason for it, people reciprocate to gratitude. It is a win-win.
Making these small habitual changes is like investing in good stocks. Profits multiply. Do a cost-benefit analysis, you’ll find it’s worth the effort.
We hope you liked this post. What is your ONE takeaway?
– Kavi & Ninja