Having a better life can be achieved through implementation of 3 helpful tips. The first tip is simple and only takes seconds to do. While on her way to work only a few weeks ago, Sheila pulled into one of two lanes at a fast-food chicken place close to home. She was in a huge hurry, but her stomach was talking. Traffic had been heavy that morning and because the two drive thru lanes were merging into one, Sheila wasn’t so sure about letting another car in front of her. Deciding to be nice, she waived the driver to get into her lane. When Sheila approached the window clerk, she discovered that her bill had been paid for by that driver. It only took seconds for that early morning driver to become a hero in Sheila’s eyes.
In many of my classes, I remind people that it takes only 7 muscles to smile and 28 muscles to frown. Many of our faces need to stop working overtime. Start smiling at strangers, look into their eyes and say, “Hello”. Try to show you’re friendly and care about their welfare. There’s a virtual parallel between our attitude toward strangers and our overall level of happiness. True happiness shows in everything we do.
I’m not suggesting it’s better to be outgoing than being introverted or expend tons of extra energy trying to brighten another person’s day. In no way am I advocating for friendliness that’s disingenuous. However, if you think of strangers as being a little more like you and treating them with kindness, respect, and eye contact as only you would want to be treated, you’ll probably notice some nice changes in yourself.
As I start each day, I ponder on my second tip – Thankfulness. I reflect on who or what I should be thankful for. First, and foremost, I thank God for the day and then think of people to thank. To me, gratitude and inner peace go together. All of us have other people we need to thank. Those people could be friends, family members, teachers, people from work, a mentor, maybe someone who gave you a break, or people from your past that helped shape your success. As you think of people to be grateful for, remember it could be anyone. It could be someone who allowed you to merge into traffic ahead of them or someone who held the door open for you.
The whole point is to move your attention toward gratitude. If you reflect on gratitude each morning, it will remind you to focus on the good in your life. I know how easy it is to slip into various forms of negativity throughout the day. Afterall, stuff happens all day long. I personally ponder on the people who have helped me in my career and quest for success. Then because of the help those people gave me, my mind moves toward gratitude. Then a smile and nod bring me back to reality and I realize appreciation for their help. Suddenly, my day is back on track. Thankfulness really works. Try it.
My third tip is to become a better listener. Remember, God gave you two ears and only one mouth. That is a hint to listen twice as much as you talk. Can you imagine the conversation if all of us had two mouths? We would never stop talking. Before you jump into any conversation, let the other person finish their sentence, even if interrupting keeps you from forgetting what you want to add. Listening to another person without interruption will reward you. Most people aren’t good listeners because they’re waiting for their turn to talk and sometimes without any gap in between.
Women are better listeners than men. Men have lots to learn about listening. Slowing down your responses and becoming a better listener aids you in becoming a more peaceful person. Not only will becoming a better listener make a patient person, it will also enhance the quality of relationships with others. You’ll have more friends, and they’ll respect you more for your stellar listening skills. Everyone loves to talk to someone who truly listens to what they are saying. Listening is truly an art form that all of us can achieve if we talk after we’ve first listened.
Want to have a better life? Take a few seconds of your time each day to make someone else’s day happier. Be thankful for the part others have played in making your life better and don’t forget to use your listening ears everyday so you can help others to have a better day.
See you next time.
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D.J. Says, 2820 Andover Way, Woodstock, GA 30189
D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.