“When people are like each other, they tend to like each other.”
—Tony Robbins, American author, philanthropist and life coach
Image from the Jane Goodall Collection
Did you know that humans and chimpanzees share about 96 percent of the same DNA? Perhaps this is why we enjoy documentaries on these special creatures. When we observe them, we see numerous ways we are alike, such as in the care and nurturing of baby chimps.
Regarding human-to-human interactions, we often operate out of the Birds of a Feather Flock Together idea. At the same time, we can be very focused on where and how we differ as reasons to avoid, dislike, and even hate one another.
How would looking for the similarities and common characteristics and traits of others be the source of more friendships and closer communities in your world?
“I’ve been afraid of people playing their life away with too many toys.”
—Ray Bradbury, late American author and screenwriter
Image from Unsplash by Jelleke Vanooteghem
Take a trip down Memory Lane and look at the toys you played with as a child. For me, the top three were a used sled for winter, a banana-seat bike for the rest of the year, and of course, a pimple ball for all sorts of games we would invent.
I vividly recall that before the age when I could venture out with friends, my mom would give me a bucket of water and an old paint brush. I would express my artistic talents on the sidewalk before the summer sun erased all traces of my work. It was like an Etch-a-Sketch without the cost!
Fast forward to today and look at the toys you and your children or grandchildren play with. How many are digital? How many can be and are often used alone, instead of with friends or family?
Where would taking more of a “The Best Things in Life are not Things” approach help you lead a simpler and more satisfying life?
“Don’t close the book when bad things happen in your life. Just turn the page and begin a new chapter.”
Image from Unsplash by socialcut
Did you know that the average Social Security payout for retirees is just 29 months?
Although most of us think of retirement as our “Golden Years,” and while we continue to hear of all sorts of fantastic new medical breakthroughs to extend the quality and length of life, this statistic is shocking. But it improves considerably when three critical factors are present:
Friends, family, community
Financial stability – a nest egg
A future-oriented mindset
The level of engagement and overall life purpose can diminish with retirement. Retirees often find much less meaning in life and a reason to get up in the morning when their vocational years are over.
What relational, financial, and mindset factors can and will you put in place to keep writing each new exciting chapter in your life for many more healthy, and happy years to come?
“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
—St. Francis of Assisi
Image from Unsplash by Darren Bockman
Who are the people in your world that light up your life?
Take a minute or more to make a list of these special people, and note the qualities and characteristics they exhibit that caused you to put them on your list.
On the flip side, note the individuals in your personal and professional communities that cast shadows over your world and reduce your aliveness and life satisfaction. What are their specific behaviors and attitudes that cloud your world?
Beyond spending far more time with the first group and less with the second, how can and will you personally bring more sunshine to those around you, for the benefit of all?
This effort will almost certainly attract many more sunbeams from others who also desire brighter days.
“One aspect of a successful relationship is not just how compatible you are, but how you deal with your incompatibility.”
—Daniel Goleman, Founder of the Emotional Intelligence Movement
Image from Unsplash by James Hose Jr.
Did you know that in western cultures, over 90 percent of people marry? Healthy marriages are good for the couple, and for their children. Unfortunately, 40-50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.
During the courting/dating phase of a relationship, compatibility is a key element to the initial connection. Over time, partners begin seeing aspects of one another they were a bit blind to during the “show only your best side” phase.
Goleman and other experts on successful marriage point to numerous success factors – see the list below – that help marriage stand the test of time.
Respecting each other’s differences
Sharing common values
Open and honest communication
Being fair and respectful
Having a sense of humor
Demonstrating appreciation and gratitude
Honesty and integrity
Sensitivity, compassion, empathy
Seeing your marriage as a partnership and working as a team
Forgiveness for your partner and yourself
On this Valentine’s Day, consider having a discussion with your partner regarding this list. What efforts can and will you take to make your relationship more successful and fulfilling?