A Good Life Needs Good Friends

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Where do you place your friends on your list of priorities? Most of us don’t put as much planning and thought into our friendships as we do other parts of our lives, until something happens to make us question them. Part of living a good life is having good personal relationships. Our friends deserve our commitment and attention and should hold a special place in our lives.

In this season of thanksgiving, take time to show your appreciation for friends that take a genuine interest in your life; are givers and not just takers; are loyal; are positive; appreciate you for who you are; and are open, honest, and real. Good friends are hard to come by. They know you and still like you! Take time to develop your friendships. Life is a lot more enjoyable when you can share it with your friends.

Misplaced Expectations

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Very often, we rate our relationships on how much we agree, how alike we are or how much the other person fits in with what we expect of them. We shy away from relationships where the other person ‘never listens to us’ or ‘never takes our advice’. We cut ourselves off from people who do not hold us in the position that we think we should have in their lives. We become disappointed because our expectations are misplaced.

People rarely behave the way we want them to, and that’s ok. We must learn to accept others for who they are. When someone lives up to our expectations, that’s great, but we must remember that they are under no obligation to do so, and they are by no means of less value to our lives because they don’t.

Here a few things that we think are equated to a ‘good’ relationship, but maybe we need to reconsider: they do not have to agree with us; they do not have to be like us; they do not have to fit into our idea of who they should be.

Everybody has something remarkable about them, and every relationship has something to offer. When we learn to love and respect someone for who they really are, we can truly appreciate them.

Collaboration

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Have you ever heard the saying ‘two heads are better than one’? There are many scriptures in the bible that speak about teamwork: two are better than one Ecl 4:9-12, iron sharpens iron Pro 24:17, are just a couple of the most well-known.

Many successful people have been able to achieve their goals because of strategic partnerships, mentoring, and teamwork. Even a small business becomes more efficient when they can team-up with others of the same vision. Collaboration is evident to us every day, from music and film to fashion and food.

Collaboration, teamwork and partnership is needed in all areas of our lives. No one person has everything they need to succeed. We have been designed to work together. If you are trying to do everything on your own, you will never find that missing piece to the puzzle that will bring success.

If you have been hurt in the past, and have made a decision to go it alone, you are doing yourself a disservice. Just like the body needs all parts to function at its best, we need each other. Our society has lead us to believe that others do not want to share information, and if they do, it is only for their own advantage. This has led to a hoarding mentality where people have become reluctant to help and support others. This mentality is seen in all types of relationships from business to parents. In reality, successful individuals and organizations have learned that they can help themselves by helping others.

In order for us to lead successful lives we must master the art of collaborating, trust and teamwork. When we help each other, we help ourselves, and open doors that we would never have arrived at on our own.

Feel free to leave comments and questions below.

First Impressions

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Do you wonder what people think of you when you first meet? Why go through the trouble of changing someone’s opinion of you after you’ve met, when you can present the best you to them in the beginning.

Although we say not to judge a book by its cover, we can’t help but formulate opinions when we first encounter people. First impressions are important and we need to take full advantage of this opportunity. When we meet a new individual, the amygdala and posterior cingular cortex activate in our brain. These two areas process the information we receive and analyze them based on their importance. Then combines them into one final score or value, which we call a first impression. This influences how we chose to orient ourselves towards the person.

You never know who you are going to meet as you go through your day to day lives, so always be your best self. Be calm and confident. Dress appropriately for whatever situation you will be in, but also express yourself in some way. Smile! It puts people at ease, spreads warmth, and makes you more approachable. Have a positive attitude and be open. Lastly, be kind and polite. The best way to gain respect is to show it.

Feel free to leave comments or questions below.

Take Care of your Relationships

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Who supports us when we struggle? Who comes to our aid when we’re in trouble? Who truly loves us? Who encourages, motivates and challenges us? Most of us would respond to these questions with “our family and friends.” We all can agree that the people who we are in relationship with fulfill these needs. Yet so many of us neglect our relationships. As a result, we make life harder for ourselves. We end up struggling with loneliness, low confidence, or even with the idea that we are on our own and have to do things all by ourselves. This does not have to be the case. We are made to communicate, to be social. Relationships are vital to living a happy life. Relationships are our main way of giving and receiving love.

There is a common misconception that our relationships, once established, will take care of themselves. The reality is that we need to take time to nurture and strengthen the bonds and ties we have with those around us. Whether the relationships are personal or business related, we need to work at sustaining them. God has put within all of us something that is beneficial to someone else. When we begin to share what we have, we will also have the space to receive what God has put within others to share with us.

Feel free to leave your comments or questions below.

Compassion

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You may wonder what you could do to make the world a better place. How can you have a positive effect on others? How you can help? Well the answer is simple. Show compassion. The definition of compassion is, the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. It means to acknowledge the issues and problems of others, and having the intent to relieve some of their stress. It’s to comfort, to care, and to understand. Compassion literally means to suffer together.

Compassion is vital to our humanity. It strengthens all of our relationships, from friendships to marriages, from family bonds to co-workers. Showing compassion can and often is a difference maker in people’s lives. It reminds them that they’re not alone and that their well-being matters. Furthermore, being compassionate is hugely beneficial to yourself. It physically makes you feel good. Compassion activates circuits in the brain that induce pleasure. When activated, these circuits are strengthened and cause lasting increases in self-happiness.

A little compassion goes a long way. Some ways of showing more compassion are: to take greater notice of your co-workers and those who you come into contact with on a daily bases; encourage and display more positive contact with others; welcome more authenticity and open communication; take on the perspective of others.

Begin with self-compassion. It will be difficult to have compassion for others if you don’t first have it for yourself.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions.

Building Relationships in the Workplace

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Hey everyone! It’s Monday and we are beginning another work week! How do you feel about going in to work today? Are you excited about the possibilities open to you, or are you dreading walking through those doors? How ever you feel, this blog is to help you enjoy your work environment just a bit more.

The relationships you have at work can have a huge impact on your productivity. Studies show that having good working relationships encourages more engagement and satisfaction in the workplace.

Be positive. We all have ‘off days’ from time to time. Sometimes we don’t understand why a person acts the way they do. Try to listen before you judge. There may be coworkers who are carrying some kind of emotional baggage that is displayed through their behavior. They may be snapping at you, but really their problem is nothing to do with you. Your positivity will be contagious and set a tone within the work environment. Be the one who brings light and help to dispel the negativity of others.

Be an active listener. We know how important it is to be a good communicator, but did you know listening is just as important as talking? Customers, colleagues, bosses and business partners respond better to people who really listen to what they are saying. This builds trust which is so important in any business relationship. Listening leads to more productive conversation. Try listening more, but stay away from gossip!

Set Boundaries. Friendships at your job are great, but not when they begin to get in the way of your productivity. A boss or supervisor asking for something every 30 minutes will impact your efficiency (and probably get on your nerves). Don’t be afraid to be assertive and make sure to set structure in place that works for you.

Good working relationships are like keys – they open the doors to opportunities in the workplace.

Have a productive week! Leave your questions and comments below.