I’ve received so many great pieces of advice over the years, from family and friends, from great books, and from wise people. Recently, I sat down to make a list of the key pieces of advice that I wanted to pass along to my children. Part of my role as a parent is to fill in the gaps that they don’t learn in school.
As the list grew, I found some of the items to be very useful and some perhaps not so useful. A handful of them rose to the top of the list, though. Here are two really useful pieces of advice that have served me very well in many different aspects of my life. They’ve helped in growing my finances, my career, and my personal relationships. Hopefully, you will find some value in them, too.
First, make a conscious effort to be happy at all times and be nice to others too. Over the long haul, people gravitate toward others that they perceive as being happy and pleasant and gravitate away from people who are negative. If you make a conscious effort to be kind and helpful to as many as require your support or just help to keep a smile on their face regularly, the net benefits will really add up over time in the form of better relationships with people and a stronger social reputation. This can open doors for you with regard to getting the top-paying job you have always wanted, promotions, or business deals that others would struggle to find.
But for you to make others happy and smile, you should be the first to be a happy person. Happiness is a choice and it can be achieved even when you are under affliction. No one can force you to be happy. What are some of the tactics that will keep me smiling and remain nice to people? You may be asking. Well, I try to keep several things in mind that naturally make me smile and I think about them regularly, particularly when I see or meet other people. Thinking about hugs and smiles from my little seven-month old daughter Osivela sends a contagious smile to my face really quickly and I can draw on that in mixed situations to mask any uncertainty I might be feeling. On the other hand, if I don’t have something nice to say about others, I don’t say it. I usually try to think of something nice to say, though, but sincere. Sometimes, when criticism is called for or asked for, I give it, but I include the positive aspects as well.
Second, you are the average of the five people you associate with the most. Make a list of the five other people you associate with most in your life and consider a particular trait shared by all of those people, and then rank the five people on that trait. Most of the time, you will be right around the middle of that list if you included yourself on it. In other words, our performance and our life is in many ways dictated by who we spend our time with. We become like the people we associate with the most. Thus, the best way to improve yourself is to make a conscious effort to associate with people who are strong in a particular area where you want to improve. If you want to be a business leader, hang out with people having strong business leadership traits. If you want to be the best in your profession, associate with the best in your field of specialisation. If you want to be frugal, hang out with the frugal people, not the big spenders.
Have a blessed weekend as you make a conscious decision to succeed in your finances, career and relationships based on the relationships you cultivate. n