Have you ever seen a really happy little baby? Aww, juiciest cheeks and the biggest grin with the most contagious laugh. How can you see them and still be angry? I hope you can’t. I just can’t help but laugh and smile too. Even though I don’t get their joke.
Here in part 3, I want you to keep that baby and that contagious laughter in your mind as you read the next unconventional behaviors to get us on the path to a more fulfilling and well-rounded life in the series.
Keep thinking, “I am as contagious as a happy laughing baby”. “I am as contagious as a happy laughing baby”. “I am as contagious as a happy laughing baby”.
1. More Personal Interaction with Family and Friends:
It is a time honored tradition to spend time with family and friends during the holidays, weddings, graduations, and even funerals. We come together and talk about “old times” not realizing that we have let far too many work appointments and other things get in the way of creating new memories. We look at photos and talk about those who have gone on. Those of us with lots of friends and family, tend to take them for granted and forget there are many people who don’t have family and friends living nearby or in some cases not at all. Like the last surviving sibling.
People have relocated for work or are alone due to the loss of a loved, tomorrow is not promised to any of us. The question has been asked, who on their death bed said they wish they spent more time working? Even Ebenezer Scrooge changed. Taking the time to enjoy your friends and family. When you put everything before your loved ones, how can you expect them to be there for you? They can leave you during your time of need wondering where so-and-so is and why they have not come see about you.
To live a more fulfilling and well-rounded life, call those friends and family members you haven’t spoken to, for whatever reason. Reaching out and reconnecting will be great for you and them. All during the year be in close touch with those who have no family. You may not have many biological relatives, but there are friends we may be close to like biological kin. Work on developing at least one new friend a month. New people, new perspectives, new ideas, and best of all – new memories. There’s no time like the present to work on strengthening your relationships and increase your quality of life.
2. Revive the Art of Handwritten Messages:
Technology has made staying connected much easier, but much more impersonal. In the technology age communication has become emails, tweets, likes, shares, and text messages. Do you remember having friends and family over to barbeque, to watch the game, family movies night, or just for the enjoyment of good conversation and company? What about reviving the wonder through the lost art of sending handwritten notes and letters? A hand-created gesture shows the time you put into the right expression, your thoughtfulness, effort, and your love for them. Everyone loves to know others have taken great care and time in sending such a personal message. As time has passed and one day you go back through your box of memories, find that special handwritten note and the initial feeling of love comes flooding back to you all over again.
3. Volunteer More:
The proverb says it is better to give than to receive. Another proverb – a person may forget what you have done, but they won’t forget how you made them feel. Feelings are powerful and everyone’s are different. For a more fulfilling life, work to become that wonderful person that makes others feel special. By the act of donating your time and putting someone’s needs before your own can make all the difference in the receiver’s life. You receive too. The feeling of knowing you met the need of another is its own reward. Every good deed doesn’t need to be broadcast; donating blood to the local blood bank, sorting donate clothes to a local charity, donate your time tutoring youth, or a companion to the elderly.
Supporting others during their time of need, seeing the appreciation for your contribution big or small is priceless. What a way to make a powerful impact. Not only are you meeting a need you also get to enjoy a sense of accomplishment and pleasure that can only come from sincerely giving of yourself. Look at all you gain by volunteering: boost in your self-confidence, introduction to new experiences. Learn new skills, make new friends, and the inner joy that comes from the feeling of being a good human-being. Pick a cause that holds special meaning to you. Something positive you believe in.
Need some suggestions on ways to give back visit:
- Volunteer with an organization like Friends Of the National Zoo (FONZ)
- Help assemble SHARE packages at a distribution center
- Volunteer to answer the phone or cook a meal for your local fire department
- Be a Candy Stripper at a hospital or nursing home
- Start a neighborhood watch or Home Owner’s Association (HOA)
- Parents and Teachers Association
… and many others.
4. Learn from Other by Listening:
Let’s face it, as brilliant, educated, and intelligent as you are, you don’t know everything and can always learn something new when listening to someone else. Younger people from older people as well as the older generation learning from the younger generation. Now this does not mean you have to agree with what they say, just respect their right to say it. There are times we should be quicker to listen and slower to speak. In some cultures, the wisdom of the elderly carries much weight, but to get the knowledge the youth must listen to gain the very beneficial nuggets of life experience that only time can give to a person. Why learn the hard way if you don’t have to? And you don’t always have to if you heed sound teaching. There’s a lot we can learn from each other. The key to making this work is to listen with open minds and without passing judgment. Really try and see it from the other side.
We know this to be true or people wouldn’t still be quoting philosophers, academics, and scholars. Do they know something we don’t? Maybe, but we have to take the time to not only listen, but hear what is being presented for our learning. Who knows there may be some misfortune, pain, and heartache you missed out on all because you remember the advice of a trusted friend, family member, teacher, or a stranger. Also, it’s quite helpful in changing one’s life.
Ok glad you are still with me through the first three of the four-part series of Behaviors for a More Fulfilling and Well-Rounded Life … look out for the final part in this series. If you missed part 2 in the series click here.
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