Positivity, growth, communication, diversity – four words that are particularly meaningful to me. I have not only used them on the title page of my blog, I have also adopted them as my personal slogan. In fact, I have written them on top of my Curriculum Vitae, hoping that they will advertise me well. They mark the banner to my daily experiences and sum up the core of my life philosophy. Why have I chosen those four words, you wonder?
A job recruiter from Tesco Bank once asked me how optimistic/positive I would rate myself from 0 to 10. Without hesitation, I claimed a straight 10. He was quite surprised by my confident answer, though, he also admitted that my character profile had already indicated strong optimism (prior to the interview I had been asked to complete this online personality questionnaire). The job recruiter inquired about the source of my positivity. I told him that my optimism stemmed from previous hardship in my life. Through my negative experiences I have learned to value life, to seize the day, and to live in the moment. I embrace life because life is good.
Welcoming life with a positive mindset is beneficial in a lot of ways. For one thing, it increases your strength; in fact, when your positivity climaxes, you may even find yourself convinced that you could conquer the world. For another, positivity boosts your resilience, preparing you to handle any challenges on your way. Above all else, maintaining a positive mindset nourishes your wellbeing and happiness. This is not just me talking from my experience. Science similarly suggests that a positive attitude shields against adversity in life better than a negative mindset. I totally vouch for this, and to be frank with you, I cannot stand negativity because it is too dark, drowning, and devastating. Of course, not everything in life is always good and fun. I acknowledge that there are times of loss, disappointment, and despair. Yet, once you surrender to hopelessness, your spirit will be depleted, stopping you from carrying on. This is why I prefer sticking to positivity as much as possible, especially because positivity fuels me with a sense of worthiness, gratitude, hope, empowerment, motivation, and content.
Life would be boring without diversity. Imagine a lack of diversity: we would be caught in dull repetition, running into a dead end of our earthly existence. We need diversity in our daily activities as, otherwise, never-changing routine would suck us into a black hole of stagnation and boredom. We benefit from diversity among us – the people, the community. If we were to be all the same, we would run around as bland copies of some human blueprint. Now, you would not want this, would you? The world is supposed to be a colourful place painted by the diverse people that inhabit it. The more we encourage diversity, the more we will be able to learn from each other.
I have no clue where to start with this one. Communication entails so much, and you can find it everywhere. Being fundamental to survival, communication manifests the most beautiful root of human connection. At the same time, communication can easily turn ugly when it is abused, neglected, or maintained poorly.
We are communicators in every second of our life as we send messages through every verbal and non-verbal act. Despite this, only a few of us can pride themselves as efficient and successful communicators. I cannot count the number of times when miscommunication has caused me unnecessary arguments, frustration, anger, and general dissatisfaction. Miscommunication unfolds in two ways: on the one hand, it is inevitably bound to occur when either involved party remains silent or ambiguous; on the other hand, it is oftentimes caused by the way a message has been conveyed – I can only stress that soft skills are key for good communication.
In the past, I was betrayed by the misconception that it is better to say nothing instead of voicing my true opinion in situations of disagreement. I thought that withholding my thoughts and feelings would save myself the trouble of a dramatic scene or a fight. Looking back I can say that decisions against an open communication have certainly never benefitted me. I have therefore become a strong advocate for seeking an open and honest communication with people.
Do not be afraid to voice your opinions, feelings, and thoughts. Allow others to understand you, for they cannot read your silent lips. While doing so, remember to remain respectful towards other parties, however. Also, be aware that a good communicator is not the equivalent to an eloquent talker. Instead, good communication requires you to listen and observe attentively too. Communication is not an I; it is a We. Most importantly, successful and effective communication is build from consideration, care, and constructivism.
Communication is a fine art that, when done right, strikes a perfect balance between reading incoming information, asking questions, and conveying a message. The good news is that you are born with all the equipment needed to start communicating with the world. The ‘only’ thing left for you to do is to learn and refine your communication skills throughout life.
I cannot tell you how much I love the word growth. I guess it is the concept behind the letters G-R-O-W-T-H that makes me so inclined towards it. Every living thing grows. Even non-living entities can go through some kind of growth, for example, mountains, rivers, communities, institutions, or the economy. Growth equals development, transformation, and change. Growth is dynamic in nature, and without it, life would stop moving too.
It is especially personal growth, both indirect and direct, that I am fascinated by. Indirect growth comes from experiences that fall upon us, with some higher force telling us to ‘just handle them’. I am talking about breakups, heartbreaks, the loss of friends and family, the loss of a job, budgeting bottleneck, or unexpected hits on our health. We do not schedule these things into our calendars, instead, they surprise us at the most inconvenient times (I mean, is there ever a convenient time though?). We are then forced to confront these inconvenient circumstances in some way or another. The truth is though that facing tough times marks the essence to personal growth. We might not notice our growth immediately, however, in hindsight we realise how marginally misfortune has shaped us.
We can also guide our personal growth more directly. The best way to go on about this is by setting specific goals. Having goals is easier said than done, I am aware. Not seldom do we struggle with achieving a certain goal because we lack discipline, incentive, courage, or something else. But challenging yourself is exactly what leads to growth. It is all about deliberately leaving your comfort zone, stepping out into the wild safari of the world. Growth cannot be accomplished without learning, and, in turn, learning does not occur without exposure to new experience combined with some form of self-reflection. Ultimately, by striving to become a more mature version of yourself every day, personal growth is guaranteed.