155: Social Media Blackout

155: Social Media Blackout

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Social Media is so pervasive in our everyday lives. We don’t even notice now how often we are checking it. We are looking through Facebook posts from friends, checking our favorite person’s tweets, and looking through the latest photos of those we like on Instagram or Snap Chat. The question becomes, how much time do we actually spend in social media rather than building a social experience.

Every year, Kyle Reed takes a break from Social Media for Lent. For me, social media is a platform that allows me to rant and debate. We both noticed that it creates a set of bad habits. We would reach for our phones during meals, while we were sitting with friends, or even during movies. It tends to take us out of the moment and lessens the experiences we should be focused on. Our works suffers, our relationships can become strained, and our overall well-being can be affected.

If we were to drop social media for a time we would notice a couple of very specific changes. We would be more productive at work. Our relationships might get deeper as we would be forced to visit or call our friends to hear about their lives. Our conversations would get more engaging as we would be forced to do more than post and walk away.

Rohit sees some social media users as procrastinators. Not procrastination as in just putting something off until later. It is more of a self-comparison type of procrastination where you see others doing things you wish you were doing so you do everything you can to show the best parts of your life to others. “You challenge your reality” is the way Rohit puts it. While there is no such thing as “your reality,” there is your belief about reality and I think this is what Rohit was trying to point out. When you look at the snippits you see from friends and family doing great things on social media and you have those moments where you wish you were able to do what they were doing, you almost feel compelled to let them know that you are doing equally fun or different things. What we often forget in these moments of life envy, is that we are only seeing a split second of a day that people choose to allow us to see. The rest of that person’s day could be boring, or stressful. We only see what others allow us to see in that very specific moment.

 

154: Behaviors of Introverts and Extroverts

154: Behaviors of Introverts and Extroverts

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Introverts and Extroverts both have different lifestyles. Introverts are more at home by themselves while Extroverts love being in more social environments. Each has their own strengths, but opportunities come more often the more social you are. Each person must decide how they want to live, but what we are trying to explore is “where does being an Introvert become an excuse?”

I have been an introvert most of my life. It started at a young age when I moved around a lot. When you don’t have a chance to develop social skills, it becomes easier to be an introvert. I preferred hanging out with people only into the same things I was into, or preferred being alone. This can be very lonely and detrimental to a person’s development.

Over the years, I did learn how to be more of a chameleon. I learned to blend in with people from all walks. This was more of a coping mechanism for me. I was able to go into a group setting and strike up a conversation with anyone. It made it possible to go into any situation with no anxiety. No matter who was at a gathering, I was able to model my behavior to theirs. I noticed that I had more friends and found better opportunities in those moments of being an extrovert.

Extroverts will find more opportunities from being open to social experiences. They feel comfortable holding a conversation with people and being in larger social settings. I find it much easier to learn from the experience of others in these settings as well. However, Extroverts have a hard time being alone with their own thoughts.

One thing we all believe is that there should be a balance in our lives. In the event of the extreme on either side, it is important to develop the opposite side. Introverts should work on expanding their comfort zones so that they can find more growth and opportunities. Extroverts should learn to be at peace with their own thoughts and emotions for the same reason. It allows them to learn more about themselves and grow on a personal level beyond the surface level stuff.

 

153: Healthy vs Unhealthy Competition

153: Healthy vs Unhealthy Competition

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Humans are competitive by nature. We want to improve on ourselves, and on those who came before us. Competition is what has gotten us to where we are. We often mistake unhealthy with healthy competition.

There are several main facets to unhealthy competition. One example is when people want to get their piece of the pie. By this, they are trying to make sure they get some of the attention because they view success as a limited commodity. They try hard and compare themselves to others. However, in doing so are quick to lose heart because they are never good enough. It turns into a negative to see someone else successful when you view yourself as being just as successful, but you don’t get the same level of attention you perceive them getting.

The next unhealthy display of competitiveness is someone who always competes just to thump their chest. When you see someone constantly talking about how they are the best and no one can compare, they are not doing it to be the best. They are just competing to be viewed as the best. We see this is athletes today. When an athlete blames the team and doesn’t look to where he/she needs to improve, it often breeds negativity within the team. The rest of the team feels negativity and resentment to the person thumping his chest and they lose the will to perform to their best.

The next unhealthy competition habit is found in the “One Upper.” The “One Upper” is the person who always has a better story. They always did something just as amazing or just slightly better. You tell a story, but they come back with a similar situation but did something better. No one likes to involve these people in conversations.

Healthy conversation lifts you up and is focused on improvement; Either improvement of self, or improvement of others. If you are trying to be the best version of ‘you’ that you can be or trying to lift others up to make the team successful, you are on the right track. Competition that drives you to be better without losing who you are in the competition is healthy. In leadership roles, your success is shown in how you drive healthy competition. How can you make the team better. If you end up pitting team members up against each other to where negativity forms, you breed unhealthy competition. Instead of lifting one person up and telling others to be like that person, try pointing out the successes of everyone on the team. This will breed a healthy teamwork environment and keep competition healthy.

 

152: Our Top 9 Life Hacks

152: Our Top 9 Life Hacks

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There are several ways in which we can make our lives easier, more productive, and all around better. We call these things life hacks. They can be something simple that affects our health, or could be deep and profound that affects our emotional wellbeing.

The first Life hack is meant to affect your meals and health planning. Take some time on your day off to plan and prep your meals for the entire week. Get some Tupperware-enough for all three meals for every day of your work week. It will be easier to plan healthier meals, you wont have an excuse to go to fast food when your time is limited, and you might even save some money in the long run.

The next life hack is in keeping a food journal. After a meal, take stock of how you feel. This will help you in understanding how food affect your body, and your mood. If you are able to keep that in mind, you will find yourself making healthier food decisions, and will think about the after effects of the stuff you put in your body.

A quick tip to make your day more efficient is the 60 second rule. Think about the tasks in your day-to-day life. If a task will only take 60 seconds, do it now. Don’t put it off. You will get more done, and you will be less likely to get overwhelmed at the end of the day. Sort your mail on your way back from the mail box. Set out your clothes for the next day if you are traveling. If it is a simple task that won’t take long, just get it over with and out of the way.

One great hack is prioritizing your day. Make a list of all your important tasks. Compare each item on the list to the others, ranking them by importance and urgency. It will help you set your priorities where they should be.

If you want to start your day off on a positive note, start your day with positive music and positive messaging. Write yourself some positive uplifting messages that your read first thing. Post them on the door or on the bathroom mirror. Just post them somewhere that you will see them right away. When you get your shower and get your day started, turn on positive uplifting music. Put away angry negative music. It sets your mind in a negative position. Prep your day the night before so you don’t throw your day off with a negative feeling of being rushed.

If you want to find ways to help others feel happier, take notes about what brings them joy. For me it is simple, video games, burgers, and Chicago deep dish pizza. For Rohit, it is anything Mariner’s baseball. For Kyle it is shots on air. Keep notes of what makes your friends and family happy. You can then go back to that list for gift ideas, and things that will help you get them into a better mood if they are feeling down.

If you really want to enjoy something new. Immerse yourself in the ‘thing.’ Rohit loves everything flying. He goes to flight museums, finds free flight lessons where you can sit in and learn about how to fly. Being an open person, he also talks to pilots while waiting to take off so he can talk shop with them. Get passionate about something and then immerse yourself by learning all you can about that thing.

To stay organized with your events, we recommend having a shared calendar with your loved ones. You can put in all sorts of events and plans. If you have parties you want to go to, birthdays to remember, meals to cook, bills to pay….put it in your shared calendar so you and your loved one can also plan their schedules accordingly. You will both then be able to see when you need to make more time for each other and how to avoid having to let someone down because you forgot an event.

There is one great life hack that will help you manage your emotional state. Keep an emotion journal when something causes your emotions to change. Write down the things that affect you in a negative way. This will help you gain perspective on the things affecting you in a negative way. It forces you to look at the emotion and the event causing it and analyze it. Why am I letting this affect me in a negative way? You will find yourself less affected by negative situations.

 

151: There’s Freedom in Forgiveness

151: There’s Freedom in Forgiveness

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It is the hardest thing in the world to forgive someone who has wronged us. We fill ourselves up with the negative feelings left over when someone fails us or hurts us through their words, actions, or inactions. Holding grudges can breed distrust, creates animosity, and prevents us from moving on. While we know it is important to forgive, how do we forgive someone and move forward?

Many religions and philosophical beliefs discuss the importance of forgiveness. Having been raised in a Christian home, we were taught about forgiveness as one of the foundational beliefs of our faith. The problem is, no one tells you how to forgive. What steps do you take to forgive? How will you know that you have succeeded in forgiving?

In this episode we explore the importance of forgiveness, some of the situations we have found ourselves in where forgiveness was needed, and how we moved on. When I was recently wronged, I found myself slipping into anger and animosity towards the person who had wronged me. I felt angry and let the feeling build to the point where my health was affected. My blood pressure was up, I had to struggle to keep my voice level and my words controlled around this person. It took me a few days to realize that this person wasn’t feeling any of the anger that I was holding. Hell. He wasn’t even aware that he had done anything wrong.

It was at this point that I realized that holding onto the anger didn’t really hurt him at this point. It wouldn’t make the situation better and wouldn’t change his attitude. It was a hard pill to swallow. I was keeping the negative feelings alive for me and hurting myself in the process. It was at this point that I realized that in order to forgive, I had to confront the issue I had with this person and let go of the anger that had built up. At this point, I decided to let go of my anger, give voice to my concerns and then walk away from the situation.

Letting go of the anger meant accepting that what had happened could not be undone. It meant that I had to understand where my feelings were coming from. Holding a grudge over something, no matter how big or small only hurts you in the long run. The person you have a beef with may never even know that you are angry with them. To truly let go, write your thoughts down and organize them. Express them and then walk away from the feelings. You have voiced them. You are free from them and it is up to the offending party for how they take your feelings and behave moving forward.

Once you have let go of your feelings, you must be careful not to let them back in. If another situation comes up, you don’t want the negativity affecting how you react with someone else. In terms of relationships, you don’t want to start seeing everyone else as possible offenders to the point where you can never fully trust someone. Don’t forget the past but put it into context. The wrong that was done was done then, by someone else, at a different time is not necessarily going to happen with the next person to come into your life. You are free to grow past grudges and bad times. Then you will truly be able to be free from the negativity of that one negative experience.