Sometimes I think about death - which is hard to imagine - because nobody tells you about their experience about death, and also you have never experienced it yourself. It’s one and done kinda deal.
There’s a lot of things I want out of life, and there’s a lot that I want to accomplish in this life.
I also mentioned this in my post when I turned 30, which was quite a while ago :) - that in my 30 something decade, I want to Do and Contribute: create value.
In order to do that, you need to be your own leader, and not be swayed by others. You need to stand your ground. You are your own commander of how you should act and react. And leaders learn from every situation. And they do that for the good of everyone: they do it to be happy, and do it to create value.
So what are some things that I can do to create value in others’ lives?
They don’t have to be anything complicated or super gigantic.
It’s all about those little steps. Those little actions and decisions, together make who you are, and your contribution to others' life.
1. Give compliments.
Notice good in people and tell them the good things you notice in them. Everyone can do better with some affirmation - after all, we’re all human. We need each other’s support, respect and feel the sense of value.
Compliment others - and let them know how their good qualities create value. It will motivate them.
Worried that they’d just get arrogant? That’s on their court. You can’t control what they do with your kind words. That’s their karma to deal with. You’ve done your part to try your best to uplift their spirit. Leave it at that.
2. Give full-undivided attention.
Because everyone deserves it. Also, it will help you understand them better, and catch signs and meanings, verbal or non-verbal, that you may have missed otherwise.
Remember that 80% of communication is done through non-verbal. When you give someone your full and undivided attention, you are much better equipped to get a full grasp of what they actually want to say. We’re already missing a lot, and also there’s a lot of miscommunication, even when we’re fully engaged in a conversation - because of our assumptions, presumptions, stereotypes, judgement, and opinions. How much are we missing or misunderstanding if we don’t fully pay attention? Believe me - many fights and resentments can be avoided, if we mastered our listening skills, and help the other person feel respected by giving our full energy toward them.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.”
- Stephen R. Covey
When someone is talking, we may be thinking about how to sound smart in our response. Your smart answers may make you look smart for that moment. But how you made someone feel when you give full attention with the intention to deeply understand them will define your character.
And in life, character goes much further than smartness.
We need more of that in the world. We are already so absorbed in our phone and computers. We work on our devices, we talk and communicate on our devices, we connect on our devices, and we even have relationships on our devices (business or personal). An emoji is nice but we are social animals. A smile goes a long way. Smile at a stranger next time you walk down the street.
Smile at your colleagues when you arrive at work. Smile at your family when you wake up in the morning, or come back after a long day. Smile communicates to the other person that you recognize their existence and that it is pleasing to you. Everyone wants to be loved. And to feel loved, they want to be reassured that their existence is pleasant to others. Weather the other person’s existence is really pleasant or not, letting them know that it is pleasing to someone at this moment, will motivate them to be better - and if not, it will at least uplift their energy and mood, which will then transform inside them to emit and spread positivity to others as well. It’s contagious!
4. Make others smile.
Even if it means you look silly, or make a fool out of yourself. Making others happy and putting a smile on their faces is probably the most valuable thing that you can do on a personal level.
Tell them a joke - not something that you find funny about them (that may be counter-productive), but something they would find funny - maybe something about you that is a bit foolish or ridiculous.
Maybe you can leave a little chocolate on their desk - people love it when they receive something - it tells them someone has been thinking about them.
Be creative. Focus on making others smile :)
5. Be honest.
Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself. Don’t pretend to be faster, smarter, nicer (although, try your utmost best to do your best to be nice), richer, more equipped than you actually are. Be you - like you’re naked (personality wise).
Be sincere in your intentions.
In order to be sincere in your intentions, you first have to examine your own intentions, get to know them, eliminate words or actions that had less than pure and positive intentions. People want to get to know you - the real you.
Trust that your authentic self is already enough to create value in someone’s life - even if it is seemingly insignificant as a little smile :)
So give that, and just that - your true self. And create value with what you got!
PS: I think you’d also enjoy reading my other post on What 40-year-old Me would tell 30-year-old Me :)