Saturday

15 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone At All (But You Think You Do)


Many choices we make in life—ranging from what we do, to how we conduct ourselves, and who we interact with—are subject to prying questions and commentary from those around us. Family members, friends, and even total strangers, it often seems like everyone has an opinion on the things we do, no matter how small or insignificant those things might seem to us.
Sometimes people go so far as to ask you to explain yourself for the decisions or choices you make in your own life. You might feel obliged to respond, but some things are really no one else’s business and you don’t owe anyone an explanation at all for the following 15 things—though you think you do.

1. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR LIVING SITUATION.

Whether you are cohabiting with your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, crashing in different motel rooms across the country, or living with your parents for a while when you are past your twenties, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone for who you live with and why if you don’t want to. If you are fully aware of your living situation, then it means you have your own reasons for being in that situation that are nobody else’s business.

2. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR LIFE PRIORITIES.

You have your own ideas about the things that would make you and your loved ones truly comfortable and happy, which is your main priority. Since we are all unique individuals with different values, dreams and aspirations, your core priorities will be different from the next person’s. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for what you determine is your core priority in life. That is your personal business not other people’s business.

3. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN APOLOGY IF YOU ARE NOT SORRY.

If you don’t regret your actions, still think someone is wrong about something or don’t care much for their forgiveness, you don’t have to apologize. Many people are too quick to offer apologies and try to mend wounds that are not yet ready to be mended, which only serves to aggravate the wound and bring more problems. You really don’t have to apologize if you are not sorry or your side of the story hasn’t been heard.

4. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR REQUIRING ALONE TIME.

You might worry that you will come across as “rude,” “anti-social” or “aloof” when you cancel plans or other obligations because you need some time alone to reboot, unwind or just enjoy a good book by yourself. However, spending time alone is a completely normal, natural and necessary practice that more people should adopt. Take your alone time confidently because you don’t owe anybody an explanation for it.

5. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE YOUR AGREEMENT ON THEIR PERSONAL BELIEFS.

Just because someone shares their personal beliefs passionately doesn’t mean you have to sit there and nod in approval to everything they say. If you don’t share in their beliefs, it is unfair to yourself and to the other person to suppress your own thoughts and feelings and pretend you agree with them. It’s okay and better to disagree with them gracefully instead of bottling up your disapproval and frustrations.

6. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE A YES TO EVERYTHING THEY SAY.

You have a right to say no whenever there is no compelling reason to say yes. In fact, the most successful people in the world are those who have mastered the art of saying no to everything that is not a priority. Acknowledge other people’s kindness and be grateful for it, but don’t be afraid to politely decline anything that takes your focus away from your core goals and priorities. That’s how to get ahead.

7. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE.

You might be slender, plump, tall, short, pretty, plain or whatever, but you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone for why you look how you do. Your physical appearance is your own business and you are obligated only to yourself. Physical appearance shouldn’t determine your self-worth.

8. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR FOOD PREFERENCES.

There are certain foods that you just don’t like at all for different reasons, including taste preference and health issues. You don’t have to explain to anyone at all why you prefer certain foods. Your food preference is a matter that is best left to you. If anyone pesters you about why you are eating (or not eating) certain foods, shrug it off and just say you feel better eating (or not eating) those foods.

9. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR SEX LIFE.

As long as it happens with another consenting adult, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for where, when and how you conduct your sex life. You can wait for marriage, try one-night stands or experiment with same sex encounters to your heart’s pleasure and still not have to explain your sexual preferences to anybody.

10. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR CAREER OR PERSONAL LIFE CHOICES.

Sometimes circumstances force us to choose between work and “having a life.” The decision is not always easy and you might end up choosing work, not because you don’t care about your family or social life, but because you are working on something that will give you security in the future. Either way, you don’t owe others an explanation for choosing a career over your personal life (or vice versa) as long as you are confident about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

11. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL VIEWS.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Catholic, Protestant or Muslim, that is your own personal choice. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you are what you are and believe what you believe. If someone can’t accept you for who you are, that is their personal dogma—not yours.

12. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR BEING SINGLE.

Whether you are single by design or by default that is nobody’s business. Being single is not a personality disorder. You are free to be in a relationship or not. Besides, you are far more than your relationship status and singlehood is just one of those social labels no one should really care about.

13. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE A DATE JUST BECAUSE THEY ASKED.

Someone might be nice, good looking and you may even be a little interested, but you don’t owe them a date just because they ask. If you feel deep down you don’t want to go on that date, then don’t. You may offer a reason for declining, but keep it brief and stick to your decision.

14. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR DECISION ABOUT MARRIAGE.

Whether or not you choose to get married and have kids or stay unmarried and be childfree, that is your own personal decision. Even your mom who is dying for grandchildren should understand that marriage is a personal decision and not suited for everyone. She should respect your decision about it no matter how hard it is to swallow.

15. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP CHOICES.

Sometimes people make inappropriate commentary about your romantic relationship(s), which is really none of their business. You might overhear comments like you are not the “perfect couple” or you should find someone else. However, you are not answerable to anyone but yourself for your relationship choices. Live your life and never, ever leave or stay in a relationship just because someone else says you have to. Make your own mistakes if you must, but learn from them always.
PS: Welcome to also connect with me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WillemTait or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/willemtait

Wednesday

7 Easy ways to keep your word and make good life agreements

Part of the art of successful living, successful working and successful relating depends on learning how to make good agreements and either keep them or change ones that aren't working. Many relationship issues rise out of conflict about agreements.
1
See agreements as contributing to your vitality and energy. Many of us approach agreements as something that someone else is making us do. This approach keeps us from making clear agreements and contributes to our breaking of agreements. Learn to see when an agreement is necessary and how to proactively create agreements that you want to make, how to make agreements that are important to you. When you learn that making and keeping agreements is in your own best interest and when you learn how to do so easily and successfully, you will notice your life working better.
2
Think carefully before you make an agreement. It is much easier to not make an agreement than it is to get out of one you no longer want to keep. An agreement is anything you have said you would do, or anything you have said you would not do. Typical agreements that we need to make for our lives to run smoothly range from mundane things like "who does what" to important agreements about relationships.
3
Make the right agreements. Make only agreements that you believe in: agreements that you want to make and keep, agreements that your whole body/mind says "yes!" to. If you don't have your whole self behind the agreement, whether it's your child's sports game or attending the annual shareholder's meeting, why bother? Agreements that are unimportant to you, but that you make anyway, have a tendency to come back and haunt you later because some intuitive person will perceive that you are not really there, or because something will stop you from keeping them.
4
Make agreements only about things that you have control over. For example, you can't control how you feel but you can control how you express your feelings. It's also not helpful to agree to do something or be somewhere, if you know that you have something else planned or aren't going to be able to do it.
5
Make it safe for yourself and others to speak freely about any facts or feelings that are relevant, as you are formulating your agreement. Share any significant facts that will impact your ability to keep the agreement. Share your feelings, specifically:
  • Anxiety, fear, nervousness
  • Irritation, anger, aggravation, resentment
  • Discouragement, sadness, resignation
  • Excitement, happiness, exhilaration.
6
Keep tossing your agreement back and forth until it feels right to both of you.


7
Write your agreements down. Taking them out of your mind and putting them on paper frees up more of your creative energy. It helps you remember them, and minimizes the chance of conflict later over what exactly the agreement was. Use the following format to formulate your agreement:
  • We agree that ______________________________ (who will do what by when).
  • We agree to make any change in the agreement by direct communication, mutually agreed upon.
  • If failure occurs, we agree to review the reasons and identify our learning edge, doing our best to take 100% responsibility and avoid blaming.


PS: Welcome to also connect with me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WillemTait or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/willemtait


9 Things That Happy People do

Happiness. It’s the term thrown around more often than any other term when people are asked what they are looking for in life. A loving partner, a fun high-paying job and endless world travel are also amongst some of the most common answers, however all of these are preference-based means to the one ultimate end, which is happiness. Being so sought-after, I thought I’d comprise a list of common traits that seem to be found in happy people -and I’m talking about the genuinely happy people, and not just those who appear to be so on the surface.
By compiling this list I’m not suggesting that these are the only keys to happiness, I’m simply shedding light on some common characteristics I’ve come to find.

1. Love Themselves For Who They Are

On the surface this may sound incredibly egotistical, but by it I simply mean that they are truly comfortable in their own shoes. They accept and embrace themselves physically, they maintain their true character traits regardless of whether or not they receive approval and they work to make the best of the human experience they are living -rather than wallow in what others would define as weaknesses or shortcomings.

2. See Relationships As An Extension To, Rather Than The Basis Of The Human Experience

Relationships, whether friendly, familial or romantic, are certainly one of the greatest parts of the human experience. However, far too many of us let their presence or absence, and even more so the value we attribute to them dictate our overall happiness in life. I’ve found that genuinely happy people tend to find complete contentment within themselves, and see all relationships as the awesome extension to their self-content. It’s often when we are not looking for others to fill a particular void, or to make us feel a certain way, that most of the truest and most-valuable relationships are formed.

3. Embrace Change

Life is a constant lesson and happy people tend to be well-aware of that. Not only are they always open to change, but they truly listen to suggestions, respect and consider all opinions and take criticism constructively rather than offensively.

4. Celebrate Rather Than Compare Themselves To The Accomplishments Of Others

Jealousy is a killer, and as Gary Allan once said, “You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” We are all capable of accomplishing anything in this life and are the only ones that are going to find the drive within ourselves to do it. Rather than observe and compare to those who have accomplished, the truly happy tend to celebrate it and use it as motivation to accomplish things within their own lives.

5. Never Dwell In Being A Victim

We’ve all been the so-called ‘victim’ to several things in life. Whether it be an unexpected break-up, getting fired from a job, or even something as serious as the recipient of domestic abuse. Truly happy people tend to be those who choose not to dwell in it. They choose to let the victimization strengthen them, rather than wear it as a badge of weakness or as the thing that makes them consistently worthy of receiving sympathy.

6. They Live In The Present

As fun as reminiscing about the past or fantasizing about the future can be, nothing will ever be done in anything but the present and happy people tend to realize that. Not only do they realize it, but they tend to use it as motivation to make the most of it. In addition to being motivating, presence can also come in handy for truly appreciating those moments of relaxation, allowing yourself to be truly in them, rather than projecting future concerns into them.

7. Trust That Everything Happens For A Reason

This can very easily be paired with the choice to not be a victim, but happy people tend to trust the process and existence of everything in their life. They know that nothing is ever too big to handle and choose to embrace what life is currently throwing at them rather than cowering at the sight of it.

8. They Don’t Let Money Dictate Their Lives

Nobody is denying that in this world right now we all need money to exist, and as a result many of us spend the bulk of our lives doing things that help us earn it. What I’ve found to differentiate happy people is that they don’t let money be the ultimate dictator in their life. They still make sensible choices within their means, but they never let money: A) prevent them from pursuing a so-called “risky” passion, B) be the factor that is blamed for why their life is so miserable, C) complain about how little they have. There are creative ways to do everything in this world, and seeing money as only being possible to make in the standard ways is the most crippling thing to that creativity.

9. Look Within For Solutions

One of the most powerful realizations a genuinely happy person will often operate based on is “change starts within.” The empowerment that comes as a result of not only realizing this but even more so in using it as the backbone to everything in life can be quite remarkable. There are thousands of books, mantras, techniques and practices out there that can all help us to find solutions to so many things in life, but they all require one thing to truly be serviceable: the consciousness to support them.
PS: Welcome to also connect with me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WillemTait or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/willemtait