Considering we have been communicating since we were born, by crying and yelling, in the beginning, to get our message across, to slowly learning the words to do the same, you would think, we would have mastered it by the time we reach adulthood. How right yet how wrong that logic is?
When you think about it, communication is one of the first skills we learn. We have been talking and conveying our thoughts for our whole lives, yet, it becomes harder to effectively communicate as we grow up. There’s just something about communications that’s harder than it should be for us.
Of all the skills we develop as leaders and professionals, communicating is one that many people fail in. We frequently miscommunicate, bypass the point, cause an unintended reaction, or avoid a messy discussion altogether. As a result, not communicating holds us back.
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”
How many times has it happened that you have had a great idea, an obvious solution, known the answer to the question that’s worrying everyone, but haven’t voiced your thoughts? When you have difficulty putting your thoughts across, you choose not to speak at all. While that saves you from discomfort in that particular moment, it only harms you in the long run.
You might never stand out from your colleagues, even though you have better ideas. You might never be taken seriously because you don’t speak when it is needed. You might miss opportunities because you were too afraid to put in your two cents. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no.
“Communication is the solvent of all problems and is the foundation for personal development.”
Following up on the previous quote, when you speak out, you get feedback. When you get feedback, you understand whether your idea is brilliant in reality or just your head. You learn how to implement it or learn where it falls short.
While not speaking out means your ideas will never fail, it also means that you will never learn and you will never grow. Hence, it will stump your personal development.
Apart from that, it is really a solution for most problems – personal as well as professional. Many times the things that are bothering you can be easily solved with communication. Putting up boundaries, being open to discussion, raising objections, apologizing, a lot rides on words and how you put them.
“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise, you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
You communicate to be heard, to be understood; so if you use words that aren’t that common while speaking, then you are going to be getting nowhere. Try to keep your dialect as simple as you can when conveying something. Try to think of the least qualified person in the room, if even they can comprehend what you are saying then you are doing great.
This also applies to exaggeration when we are trying to sell an idea that isn’t great. We might succeed in selling it now, but no one is going to believe it when you actually do have a great idea.
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
-Sydney J. Harris
This goes hand in hand with not using big words when putting your thoughts across. If it is a meeting with people from different departments, then chances are that not everyone is going to be familiar with the jargon of your sector.
While using jargon and technical mumbo-jumbo will help make you sound intelligent, it won’t help you put your point across. Try to communicate your information by finding a balance between speaking in layman’s terms and including enough to make you sound authoritative.
“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”
-William Butler Yeats
This is more applicable in professional life, even though it has an influence in personal life as well. When you are in meetings or business setting, not everyone is going to have the same expertise as you. While you might think in the terms of statistics, it might mean nothing to the person who thinks in the terms of profit margin. This is where it is important to learn to put your messages in a more understandable dome. If you have ever been into public speaking, then you will know that it helps you with being tactful about what you say, how you say it, and it is received.
In personal life, you might be able to look at a situation logically being at the outside of its direct impact radius, that does not mean you can put it as it to someone who is clearly in the center of everything. This helps no one, instead, it has the power to ruin, something that could have been easily solved. Sometimes you have to use your knowledge to help you navigate a situation without quoting your knowledge.
Communication might not be your strength, but it isn’t something that can’t be developed. Read books about communicating effectively. Basically, sound confident when you speak, try being concise with your words. Think about what you need to put across and mould your words to that. The words you choose should not be based on you but on the listener. Simpler the dialect, better it is perceived – fewer chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
When you start reading more, listening to more than just words, and writing down your thoughts – it becomes easier to communicate. To be able to give, you should learn how to receive. Communicating is a skill that is a necessity. You need to be able to put yourself out there to be seen, to be heard, and to be understood.
10 Quotes to Inspire and Guide Those Living with Chronic Pain
Living with chronic pain isn’t easy. The many ways we adjust to life with chronic pain become second nature, although the aches and inflammation are ever demanding. The good news is, life is giving and we can find inspiration all around us to keep hope alive and move forward.
Here are some quotes – from well-known authors to real-life chronic pain sufferers who have shared their stories with To Better Days – to inspire and guide those with a chronic illness.
Chronic Pain Quotes for When You Need…
- “I’m not perfect, but if there are any points given for caring about people with every fiber of your being and giving life all you’ve got every day, then I suppose I have a shot.” – Jack Welch, business executive
Living with a painful condition is hard, but when the people we care about need us, it’s a bit more encouraging to get up every day – to be the parent or partner or friend that life calls us to be. Being optimistic within these relationships and through our pain points to just how strong we are.
- “Time is not a cure for chronic pain, but it can be crucial for improvement. It takes time to change, to recover and to make progress.” – Mel Pohl, author of A Day without Pain
Progress and recovery look different for everyone – and giving yourself time to heal both physically and emotionally is crucial. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself, and to be proud of every step you take forward, no matter how small.
- “Back pain really affects your lifestyle, but there are also things you can do to relieve your pain, and those are worth looking into too.” – Daniel, To Better Days customer
Living with pain means that we are always making adjustments to improve the quality of life. Sure, you may have grown used to your routine of pain management, but if there is something new that can help relieve your pain then it’s worth your while to try it. Take it from Daniel, who recently tried To Better Days Active Patches and found they helped him.
- “I’ve always felt a huge connection to the earth and have witnessed the side effects of Western medicine, where patients sometimes take as many meds for their meds’ side effects as they do for their actual problems.” – Carole, To Better Days customer
Managing chronic pain often includes medication. Before you know it, you’re taking new meds for the side effects of your original meds. Carole reminds us that natural medicine can also be effective in treating an affected area.
- “Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J. Fox, actor
For example, your tennis elbow may not keep you off the court forever. If it’s physical therapy that could help, then that’s worth trying.
- “If you have some kind of pain, speak to somebody about it. You might be able to find support and they might be able to share their knowledge and advice about how to protect your body.” – Calvin, To Better Days customer
Sometimes our instinct tells us to keep our pain to ourselves. After all, we’ve been living with it for so long, what could be done about it now? You never know what information someone might have that could help you to heal, whether you’re looking for emotional support or tips for tendonitis pain relief. Speaking up could help you find the support system you need, whether it be emotional or physical.
- “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda, author
It may take a great deal of effort to hold your chin up some days, but finding something to smile about will warm your soul and motivate you to keep moving forward.
- “You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other and you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.” – Elizabeth Taylor, actress
On the days that it takes an hour to get out of bed, we may grit our teeth just to do it. It doesn’t have to look pretty. What’s important is that we do it.
- “I had learned quickly that life doesn’t always go the way I want it to, and that’s okay. I still plod on.” – Sarah Todd Hammer, author
Life looks a little bit different for everyone, especially for those of us living with chronic pain. We make adjustments to cope with our pain, as needed – and that’s okay! Your life doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.
- “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” – Bob Marley, musician
Our pain shows us many things: our resiliency, our ability to stay optimistic and the incredible reach of our emotional and physical strength. When we really need to dig down and find our strength, it is always there for us, time and again.
If chronic pain is bogging you down, refresh yourself with a look at these quotes. Remember that you are not alone in your pain and solutions are out there. Keep plodding on, as Sarah Todd Hammer does. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep going.
You Give Your Best Even When You Are Not Perfect
Perfection is something that we often chase. We forget that being the best versions of ourselves is what matters, rather than being perfect. If you cannot be there for yourself and others in the time of need, then perfection means nothing.
I love looking at quotes and sayings. It is a great way to gather wisdom in just a few words. It also is a piece of people’s experiences. One thing that I have noticed in most quotes and sayings about being perfect is that “I am not perfect” is often followed by how people are the best otherwise.
Like they might not be perfect, but they still care a lot about people. They might not be perfect and might make mistakes, but they reach where they have to be. People care, people love, people learn, and people grow; you don’t have to be perfect to achieve these things. Here are some quotes that show you how being perfect has not been everything for many people.
- “I’m not perfect, but if there are any points given for caring about people with every fiber of your being and giving life all you’ve got every day, then I suppose I have a shot.” – Jack Welch
- “I make mistakes every day. I’m not perfect in my behavior, but I want to be, and that’s what God is after, a heart that wants to be.” – Joyce Meyer
- “I will make mistakes, after all, I am not perfect, but I will do my best to make them up to you. I would never hurt you intentionally. I would not give up on you, so I hope you don’t give up on me. Sincerely, The Person that Loves You.” – Carlos Salinas
- “I’m not perfect; no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I think you try to learn from those mistakes.” – Derek Jeter
- “People are not perfect… very often the relationships that are strongest are those where people have worked through big crises, but they’ve had to work through them. So the challenge to us is to work through that.” – Patricia Hewitt
Perfection looks different for everyone. We are all unique, and we have our own perspectives. Like different tastes in things, our idea of perfection differs too. Something that seems perfect to you might not be for someone else and vice versa. Learn to realize that it is okay to not fit into the idea of someone else’s “perfect.”
I talked about “why should you stop being hard on yourself” in my last post. I talked about how it was okay to be ourselves, to put ourselves first, to make mistakes, to have a bad day, and to not be perfect. When we try to be perfect, we often tend to lose out on things and experiences. We get so wound up in achieving something that might as well be unachievable, and forget to live.
“When renewing our hearts, we must be gentle with ourselves; after all, no one is perfect. At the same time, to really make positive changes, we must be honest, so we can avoid repeating mistakes.” – Ellen Miller
Chasing perfection is a futile attempt. We often chase perfection so that we can stand tall in front of society. The opinions of other people affect a lot of people, and that is usually the driving force. We want to prove ourselves to others – it can be someone who said we couldn’t do this, or it can be someone we want to be proud of ourselves. What we don’t realize is that everyone is struggling to do their bit. Everyone is under the pressure of being perfect, the irony being, none of us are.
Yes, you do not have to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop giving your best. Always striving for the best is what keeps us on the path to perfection. Perfection is a mindset rather than an actual milestone. Strive for it, and you will always work hard to achieve it, meaning you will keep bettering your skills. Have it as an end goal, and you will miss out on all the learning.
Here are a few advantages of not chasing perfection, I have talked about them at length, but let’s take a quick look:
- You Feel More Happiness and Gratitude
When you stop chasing perfection, you give yourself a chance to feel happy about yourself, your work, and your efforts. Gratitude is a feeling that helps you stay humble. When you are humble, you are pleasant to work around, and you don’t let your pride or ego ruin your hard work.
- You Get an Optimistic Outlook on Life
When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life.
- You Start Feeling More Confident
Giving up on the notion of ‘perfection’ lets you develop confidence in yourself and your work. So, after a little wait, when you do go for betterment, you will know that you can do it, and that will help you move faster toward your goal.
- You Strive to Achieve More
When you are content enough with your current accomplishment is when you can look at it objectively to understand how to be better.
- You Feel Content
When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations, tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going.
Actions matter more than the need to be perfect. You can think about being perfect and achieve nothing. You can work on your “imperfect,” and you will be closer to achieving perfection. We often don’t venture out of our comfort zones because we fear failure. Our fear of failure and fear of not being perfect stops us from trying new things.
“Probably the biggest thing you can do for yourself when you are trying to learn a new skill is to give yourself permission to be imperfect. You are going to make mistakes when you first start, and you may find that you goof up in embarrassing times, but that is no reason to not see it through.” – Adrienne Stevens
You can stay holed up with the fear of failure, but remember, when you do not do anything, it is a failure anyway. When you try, you have a chance of success. What’s the worst that could happen? You failing is not the worse, it means you tried something, and it didn’t work. Now you can eliminate that process and work on something that can and will work.
“Wanting to always be perfect and procrastinating on tasks you see as challenging for fear of failure to achieve perfect results is a recipe for physical and emotional problems.” – Brian Karr
Our lives aren’t perfect, but we all have the chance to make the best out of it. Life is full of opportunities, and we need to learn to embrace each new thing that crosses our path. Our mindset is what makes a day good or bad, to begin with. We can choose for it to be a good day and eventually a good life, or we can choose to dwell on our imperfections and forget to live.
Instead of chasing perfection, remember to strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.
If you date back the quotes and all the sayings over time, you will realize that perfection isn’t what makes something worth learning and worth doing. People who have learned heaps and have tons of experience often tell you that it is okay to not be perfect, but you have to always give your best.
Life is about striking the perfect balance between the things we do and want to do, because nothing is perfect, and there is no point crying over it. As long as you focus on the best version of yourself or the best that you can do, you can be your own definition of perfect.
The Best Stephen Covey Quotes to Inspire You
Stephen Covey is the author of the best selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Like his books that have inspired many people, his quotes continue to inspire many more. I have noticed myself going back to his quotes again and again.
The wisdom he imparted continues to help and will continue to do so in the future. Here are some of his quotes that I am sure will inspire you to take charge of your life.
Life and Habits
Our life is the byproduct of the habits we inculcate. This is why people stress on creating good habits and getting rid of your bad habits. Identifying the habits that are causing harm to you is the first step in getting rid of them.
“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” -Stephen Covey
“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom. The power to choose, to respond, to change.” -Stephen Covey
“Our character is basically a composite of our habits because they are consistent. Often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.” -Stephen Covey
“Courage is not the absence of fear but the awareness that something else is more important.” -Stephen Covey
“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” -Stephen Covey
Our goals are what give our lives purpose. We spend a good part of our lives trying to achieve goals. Goals are as important for survival as our basic necessities are. We might not realize it but our goals are what keeps driving us forward in our lives.
Having goals isn’t enough, you need to find ways to achieve them and doing so needs a lot more than the decision to have them. They are like children – everyone can have them but nurturing them is what makes it all worthwhile.
“To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.”
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” -Stephen Covey
“Make time for planning; Wars are won in the general’s tent.” -Stephen Covey
“Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” -Stephen Covey
We often have a lot of things that we would like to do – some short term and some part of our long term goals. There are only so many hours in the day. Knowing how to dedicate those hours to goals that actually matter is very important to achieve success.
Everyone has the same hours given to them in a day and how we spend those hours defines what we are going to achieve. You see many people working non-stop yet some of them succeed while others don’t.
“Once you have a clear picture of your priorities that is values, goals, and high leverage activities, organize your life around them.”
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” -Stephen Covey
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smiling, nonapoloegetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.” -Stephen Covey
Living life on integrity is important to lead a life with no regrets. It is the practice of being honest, being honest leaves no chance for guilt to seep in. Having strong moral and ethical principles and values and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to them is what makes the society – we live in – what it is!
“To the degree people recognize and live in harmony with such basic principles as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty, and trust, they move toward either survival and stability on the one hand or disintegration and destruction on the other.”
“When you make a commitment to yourself, do so with the clear understanding that you’re pledging your integrity.” -Stephen Covey
“Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.” -Stephen Covey
“We judge ourselves by our intentions. And others by their actions.” -Stephen Covey
“Your commitment to achieving what matters most will become the foundation for tremendous accomplishments and contributions. You will become the change you seek to make.” -Stephen Covey
Though there are many qualities that contribute to a person’s success, one thing that stands out is that successful people are always hungry for new and deeper knowledge. And to this end, they will always make time to learn, whether it is a new skill, discovery, ideology, or anything that satiates their never-ending curiosity.
“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”
“The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.” -Stephen Covey
“We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles.” -Stephen Covey
“Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it- immediately.” -Stephen Covey
“Unless you’re continually improving your skills, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.” -Stephen Covey
Synergy and Relationships
How we deal with people – in personal as well as profession capacity – sets the tone for our relationships with them. Not caring about other people isn’t exactly the way to lead a well-rounded life. Personal life is as important as professional life. In our hunger for success, we often seem to forget that.
“Synergy is not only the answer to human conflict; it is also the principle that underlies the creation of every truly new thing in the world.”
“In relationships, the little things are the big things” -Stephen Covey
“Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It’s the mighty result when two or more respectful human beings determine together to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.” -Stephen Covey
“If you put good people in bad systems you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.” -Stephen Covey
“Synergy is the very essence of the family. Every family member contributes a different flavor to the mix.” -Stephen Covey
“You and I together are far greater than we are alone.” -Stephen Covey
Our attitude toward different aspects of our lives is a clear representation of what holds the most importance to us. Our way of thinking dictates how we go about something. Having a good attitude is half the battle won as far as going far in something is considered.
“What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”
“We GET results based on what we DO, and what we DO depends on how we SEE the world around us.” -Stephen Covey
“A disciplined person follows values stemming from their source — the self.” -Stephen Covey
“Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.” -Stephen Covey
“To think we’re in control is an illusion. It puts us in the position of trying to manage consequences.” -Stephen Covey
When stuck in life, going back to quotes that have earlier stuck a cord with you is a good idea. I hope Stephen Covey’s words move you as much as they did me.
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