Everyone has days that aren’t so great. Some people have lives that aren’t so great. What would it be like if the annoyances and problems you face went away? Can you even imagine it? More peace, less stress, greater happiness…who doesn’t want that?
If you want to change how things are going for you at work or at home, the change starts with you. You may suspect that already, but you probably don’t know what that really means.
I’m going to break it down for you with three key ways to see huge changes in your life.
1. Take responsibility for everything you’ve done to create the situations in your life that are troubling you.
For example, if you have problems with a coworker—what did you do to help create that situation? I get it; in your eyes, that person’s just nasty to be around and filled with negativity. So how is that your fault?
Here’s how you may have contributed to the situation: Are you talking behind that person’s back? Are you helping to fuel the negativity around that person? Do you dread interacting with him? Do you snap at him in response to something he said—something that wouldn’t have bothered you if someone else said it?
How you choose to see your coworker—or anyone else in your life—makes all the difference in how you experience your relationship. No one is perfect, and everyone has at least some redeeming qualities. If you choose to look for and focus on those positive qualities, you’ll start to see that person differently. When you make that shift, your behavior will start to change. And when your behavior starts to change, the other person will pick up on it and change with you.
For all you know, the person you have negative feelings toward has them for you, too. He or she might sense your animosity. It’s not fun to be the recipient of negative thought and energy, as you know, so can you blame that person for feeling the same way? When you stop giving it out negativity, you’ll stop getting so much of it in return.
Which leads me to my next point.
2. You have to give away what you want to have.
This may seem counterintuitive, but it works. In the act of giving away something, you create positivity in your environment. You’re being generous, you feel good, and others can see it. That starts a change similar to the one I talked about above.
If you want more happiness and peace in your life, give it to others. When you walk into a room radiating joy and calm, it changes the mood of everyone else.
Imagine walking into a meeting you know may be stressful. If you go in with a smile on your face, others will see you’re not worried about what’s coming. And, if you’re not worried, they think maybe they don’t have to be worried, so they relax a little. If things start to get heated, don’t buy into it. Be the force of happiness and peace in that room. Help everyone feel heard. Be empathetic to their concerns, then offer solutions.
Underneath it all, people react negatively because they’re scared. If you help bring peace and happiness to them, you’ll change how everyone in that room reacts during that meeting. And those people will remember it—they’ll see you as an ally, someone they want to work with. They’ll come to expect meetings with you are calm and maybe even fun! Thus, you get happiness and peace returned to you.
By the way, this works for EVERYTHING. Whatever you want more of—love, money, quality time with your family, etc.—give it away.
Life is all about giving…and receiving. Which takes me to my final point.
3. Be a good receiver.
If you decide you want more of something in your life, then you’d better be able to take it when it comes! If you want more money, what would you do if a stranger walked up to you and handed you a $100 bill, no strings attached? Could you take it?
Many people actually freak out. They don’t feel they can accept the gift. They don’t feel they’re worthy of it, whether that’s because of who they’re afraid they are on the inside or because they didn’t do anything to earn it. And sometimes they feel it needs to go to someone who really deserves it, perhaps a person in real need.
Do you see the theme here? Really think about their responses. Learning to receive requires you to get rid of all those fears and doubts about yourself that you’re not worthy, not good enough, can’t take what you didn’t earn, or don’t deserve it.
If you can’t accepts gifts—of any type, physical or just acts of kindness—then you can’t have what you want. You must learn to receive.
When someone gives you something, even if it’s just a compliment, it’s their choice to do so. By not accepting it, you’re not honoring them or their gesture to you. Just say thank you and be grateful.
Going after what we want in life seems like it should be an easy process. “I want Z, so I have do W, X, and Y to get there.” Having a plan for getting where you’re going is important.
What’s just as important is figuring out what’s getting in your way and what you did to contribute to it being there.
When you start to change those habits, when you learn to see life as a beautiful exchange of giving and receiving, the world opens up because you opened up.