Words of Wisdom By Audrey Marlene

Know Yourself

Do you truly know yourself? How do you perceive yourself? We cannot master our lives until we truly know ourselves. We have a tendency to look in the mirror and see the physical self and get stuck in the superficial aspect of who we are. There is no mirror for our inner self so it is important to understand your attributes, character and capabilities that define you.

  • Are you proud of who you are?
  • Are you satisfied with the person you have become?
  • Do you recognize some areas for improvement?
  • Do you know your strengths as well as your limitations?

    Stop for a moment to think about your level of self-understanding. Get to know the real you. As you begin to realize the amazing person that you are, your confidence will soar. You can understand better why you make the choices you make and work to improve them. You will understand the depth of your intellect and how highly capable you are. You will recognize the courage within and find the strength to face the challenges of life. Your life will have more meaning and you will slowly move toward a state of happiness in your life.

    Learn To Say "No"

    It is important to understand that you don't have to give in to everyone's requests all the time. Let's face it, saying yes to someone's request feels good. It gets us liked and we feel as if we are indeed helping. However, some say yes out of guilt or just out of habit and find themselves overloaded with work that prevents them from getting ahead with their own tasks.

    Now there are some people who only say "no". They carry an irritated disposition and "no" very readily flow from their lips. They most often do not have a helping hand to offer. This kind of person can be perceived as unpleasant.

    You must learn how to say "no". If it is abrupt you will be perceived negatively. The best way to handle a request is to ask for some time to think about the requested task. Assure the person you will get back to them. This gives you the opportunity to examine the task and your schedule to see if you can fit it in. Then you contact that person and humble decline. Let that person know that you would like to be considered for future tasks but at this time you would be unable to do a thorough job because of your schedule.

    Once you have made some progress with your schedule and you feel you can add something extra to it, let it be known. In the meantime, be careful not to overload your life. This can cause enormous stress, anxiety and retard your efforts.

    Remember you can politely say "no" and leave the door open for future engagements with others.

    Never Exaggerate

    I have found that people who exaggerate carry a lot of emotional insecurities, therefore, they tend to embellish their stories to make themselves look more important or seem more interesting to the person(s) listening. When one has low self-esteem and low self-confidence their subconscious compensates for these feelings by triggering these kinds of behaviors.

    When the insecure person exaggerates, they feel better inside, not realizing they are only reinforcing the dishonesty and insecurities while keeping the self-misperception alive. The exaggerator very seldom recognizes how they are perceived by the people listening and the stories can grow bigger or more colorful with each episode.

    When one exaggerates it is a clear statement of their emotional state as well as the limited width and breath of one's awareness. The person who exaggerates can be perceived as someone who lies easily and may not be easily trusted by others. This can ruin one's reputation personally and professionally.

    The shrewd person errs more to the side of understatement than overstatement. The wise person maintains a silent confidence that influences others and wins friends.

    Do a self analysis today. Do you see yourself as an exaggerator? If yes, how do you think you are perceived by others? How do you think this helps to strengthen your inner self? How does this help you personally and professionally?

    Know Your Biggest Strength

    We often hear that we ought to find our passion in life and when we do, success will follow naturally. Some folks search high and low trying to find their passion but I believe that the best way to do so is to determine your biggest strength.

    Stop for a moment and make a list of all the things you are good at. If you are not sure, get some outside feedback from family, friends or coworkers.

  • Think about the areas in which you excel.
  • Think about the areas where you seem to naturally gravitate towards.

    Focus on each item on your list and settle on the one that you feel is your biggest strength. Only you know what it is. Sometimes you may have to write down you weaknesses first to be able to identify your greatest strength. Once you've figured it out, develop it. At times it may be necessary to take a course, attend workshops, or go back to school. Be prepared to do whatever it takes to cultivate and promote your biggest strength.

    Don't discount your weaknesses when thinking about your strengths. Sometimes your greatest weaknesses can become your greatest strength. Sometimes when one feels weak in one area of life they have a tendency to over compensate in those areas and find themselves slowly developing them to the point where they can become the biggest strength.

    Your biggest strength can be the guiding force in your life. It can lead you to finding your passion. It will be the core of your success.

    Do you have a Life Plan?

    Do not live your life by chance but by foresight and planning. However, planning your life does not necessarily mean only planning for a career.

  • It means planning time to get to know yourself and deciding what is important to you.
  • It means planning time for travel and learning the world around you.
  • It means finding time to read and learn from those who have gone before.
  • It means planning time for family, friends, laughter and fun.

    Lifetime planning may seem so distant but making a long-term plan for the next 25 years and breaking it down into smaller goals of 5 years, 1 year, 6 month, 1 month, and present day can give you a better sense of direction in life. As you decide on what you want out of life then your professional life can naturally be planned around your life's plan.

    Begin by taking a snapshot of the ideal life for you. Don't be afraid to think big. Think about all the things to love and enjoy doing and know exactly what you want. With this in mind you are better positioned to create a business/career plan. But keep in mind that this plan has to be flexible because chances are you will be revising your Life Plan over the years.

    Do a life inventory to see where you are at this present time in your life. Be honest with yourself as your contemplate.

  • Are you satisfied with your life?
  • Do you travel the world as much as you hoped for?
  • Do you make time for family, friends, and fun?
  • Are you able to spend time alone to reflect, learn, and grow?
  • Is your career moving in the direction you hoped for? Do you look forward to getting up in the mornings to get your day started?

    Avoid Talking About Yourself

    When in conversation with someone and you begin to talk too much about yourself, most often the underlying reason can be out of shame or vanity. If you carry shame you can come across as critical of self, which shows how emotionally vulnerable you are. If you begin to brag about yourself it's a sure sign of arrogance, which is a definite clue of one's insecurities.

    When you talk about yourself, whether for vanity or shame, it is unbefitting for the person(s) listening. You may even notice that some people tend to avoid having any in depth conversation with you. Talking about you can turn other people off quickly.

    True we are social creatures and we feel the need to communicate with other people in order to maintain healthy relationships. However, when communicating, especially in social situations always remember that socializing is about making others feel comfortable and not having the focus on you.

    The most important thing to remember is to remain positive while presenting yourself with confidence and pride. When you are silent yet confident, you maintain a mystique about you that arouses the curiosity of others who most often would want to learn more about you. They may begin to ask questions about you. This is your cue to talk about yourself. However, be brief and always showcase your best.

    Trust Your Intuition

    Intuition is having the perceptive ability of instinctively knowing something without having prior knowledge. We sometimes call it our "gut feelings". According to Albert Einstein "the only real valuable thing is intuition." It is a special gift from God that we must learn to trust each day as we actively attempt to accomplish our goals and dreams.

    There are times when you have an important decision to make and your intuition disagrees with your cognition. What do you do? Do you ignore your intuition?

    When you ignore your intuition you are sending subconscious signals that you do not trust your intuition. Because your intuition is located within the subconscious, this creates mistrust of the intuitive ability. Your doubts and fears take over and in time you stifle that voice within, which can save you years of bad choices.

    When making decisions, you must learn to depend on your intuition to guide you! If there is a conflict between cognition and intuition, allow the intuition to win. It is a resource that needs to be tapped into more often. Once you have allowed your intuition to make the decision then allow your logic and reason to follow up with the research. When this resource is used, you will experience advances in many areas of your life. You will move steps closer to achieving your goals.

    As you use your intuition more often, just like a muscle, it becomes more fine-tuned and stronger and you will be able to depend on it more frequently. You will be able to allow it to guide you into making better decisions and turn away from making bad ones. Begin today to open your heart and mind enough to trust your intuition!

    Importance of Listening

    Many people spend too much time talking and less time listening. Becoming a good listener is not a simple task. For many of us this is much easier said than done. However, the art of listening can improve your business, career, relationships, and your overall life in ways you cannot even imagine.

    Some people listen only for their turn to speak. That is the extent of their listening ability. If you are one of these people you are guaranteed to lose out on many important details that can advance your goals.

    Being a good listener means:

  • Feeling good about youself so you are not competing to get your story told or to be heard.
  • Giving up the need to control the conversation.
  • Genuine interest in what someone has to say and hearing the words that are spoken.
  • Processing the information attached to the words while maintaining eye contact.
  • Getting a feel for what the person is trying to say.
  • Getting clues and insightful information ahead of time.
  • Using the information said to get a sense of who is speaking, how they perceive a situation, their reasoning ability, their fears, their wit, their open-mindedness, and their objectives.
  • Listening to what is implied. This can give you many insights into the person who are dealing with.
  • Looking for something worthwhile in what is being said and respecting the speaker’s point of view even though you may not agree.
  • Building a relationship of trust with the speaker by paying full attention to what is being said.
  • Questioning why the speaker is sharing with you this information and how you can help.

    Whatever your goals are in life, becoming a good listener will only advance your cause. A good listener is like a magnet that draws others to them more easily than someone who dominates a conversation. Remember that success requires the ability to build relationships and being a great listener one sure way to build relationships.

    Develop Healthy Relationships

    Life is all about relationships. There are relationships with coworkers, classmates, friends, parents, children, siblings, the hairdresser, or even the banker. Make it a point to develop healthy relationships with everyone.

    With each opportunity to be part of a relationship with someone, no matter in what capacity, develop it. I'm sure you are quite familiar with the proverbial "don't burn your bridges behind you." This is something we must all consider carefully. Sometimes we are quick to judge or quick to anger and ruin relationships along the journey of life. You may rationalize "I'll never see that person again". Wrong! You never know when you may have to cross over those same bridges again.

    In the game of life, you seek to advance and make progress. You have defined goals and ambitions. However, if you do not learn to develop healthy relationships or people skills, this can be your demise. This one area can sabotage your progress.

    Examine how you interact with others. See how you relate to the people you come in contact with. If you have learned the art of developing good relationships, continue to work at it. If you have identified behaviors that could potentially sabotage you in developing relationships, seek help to remove these behaviors from your life.

    Learning to develop good relationships enables success in life. No one is perfect yet we expect perfection in every situation we encounter. Be patient in your dealings with others. Remember the golden rule, treat people as you would like to be treated.

    Once you can cultivate and develop healthy relationships with people, you will be amazed how life flows more smoothly. You will have less stress in your life, people will want to assist you more, and you will be a happier person. Your efforts for achieving you goals will advance more rapidly when you can master the art of developing healthy relationships with your fellowman.

    Begin today to implement these Words of Wisdom in your life and experience the transformation.

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