Once in a while, we need to step on the brakes of our busy lives and just stop to think about whether we’re on the right track. I’m not just talking about career, but rather life in general and the personal relationships we share with others and the world around us.
As Matthew Broderick’s character famously said in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”Ferris Bueller
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Here are 10 things you should do right now.
1. I’m Sorry
Apologize to someone you’ve done wrong, but were too embarrassed to admit it.
It doesn’t matter whether the bust up was big or small, who was right or wrong. By apologizing first, you may get an apology in return as well and you’ll both feel better.
2. Meet Your Neighbors
They’re probably very nice people, your neighbors.
I’m not suggesting you go over and ask to borrow their stuff. Just introduce yourself and get their names, find out if you have kids the same age, what they do for a living. You never know; you could become friends.
“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.” – The Simpsons, A Streetcar Named Marge
3. Read International News
You know that thing called the world? There is a lot of stuff going on, both good and bad. Find out what is the top story of the day in other countries and compare it to your own country’s top story.
USA – cnn.com
UK – bbc.co.uk
Australia – theaustralian.com.au
Canada – nationalpost.com
New Zealand – nzherald.co.nz
India – indianexpress.com [english]
China – chinadaily.com.cn [english]
4. Think About A Tin Of Fruit
Think about the process involved in getting a tin of diced fruit into your pantry. That tin may have cost you a few dollars, but consider all the effort and human teamwork involved.
Someone planted a seed that grew into a fruit tree, and tended to the plant to make sure it grew healthy enough to bear fruit. A person or machine picked the fruit off the tree, transported it to a processing facility and washed it and got the bugs off. Next it could have been transported to another location were the fruit was sliced and put into an aluminum tin.
That tin had a process of coming into being as well. The aluminum was mined out of the ground using massive machines and trucks, transported to smelters, melted and formed into the right shape and transported to various locations to finally end up at the fruit processing facility.
The tinned fruit now has label slapped on the side of it. There was a process involved in creating that label as well. A person at a marketing or graphic design company spent hours, days or even weeks designing the label. A separate company may have printed the label and shipped it to the fruit processing facility.
Next, the fully packaged tin cans of fruit are bundled together and sent to your local supermarket, possibly originating from another country, where it was unpacked and put on the shelf ready for you to buy.
Phew! That’s the abbreviated process for a can of fruit. Now imagine what goes into making your smartphone. Don’t have a brain hemorrhage though.
5. Goodbye Facebook
Tell your friends you won’t be on Facebook for a week and block the website and uninstall the App. See how much more productive you’d be or whether you’ll call a friend to catch up.
I know most people won’t do this, but I did some months ago. For the first few days, I felt liberated and it was a good feeling. By the end of the week, I was eager to catch up only to discover I didn’t really miss much at all.
6. Consider Your Dreams And Aspirations
Write down your dreams and aspirations. Then write down what your dreams would have been 10 years ago. Are they the same or different? If they are the same, ask yourself why you have not achieved your dreams yet and what steps would need to be taken to realize them.
If you have realized your dreams, you’re better than most of us. Perhaps, though, you didn’t reach high enough. Will you update your goals?
7. Get A Good Nights Sleep
Vow to go to bed 1 hour earlier tonight and get up at the usual time tomorrow morning. See how much better you feel during the day. But don’t spend that extra hour lying in bed thinking about what goes into making a smartphone. Use that extra hour to actually sleep. Clear your mind of chatter and allow yourself to drift off.
8. Be Grateful
The Dalai Lama said,
“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others.”
If you always focus on what you don’t have, you will be constantly unhappy. Instead, be grateful for what you have and you will be attract positivity, opportunity and success.
9. Start A New Project Or Finish An Old One
You know what I’m talking about. You probably have something that springs to mind. It might be something to do around the house, in the garden, sitting in the shed. Maybe it’s a web-based project you haven’t had the time to get off the ground. Make a start, or take steps towards completing it.
10. Take Responsibility For Your Own Actions
Do this now and forever. You are the master of your destiny. You are the only person in control of the actions you take and the words you speak.
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