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One Interaction

People can make sweeping judgements based off of one interaction. Try to catch yourself before this happens in your life.

If you let yourself go with the flow of feeling, it can be easy to make broad statements about people that are unlikely to be even vaguely accurate.

It’s too easy to have one bad interaction with a foreign national and then say all of them are like that. Our mind tries to protect us from all of the similar bad plants, animals, people, etc. The nuance that this is one bad person, or even one bad situation involving that person, is hard to sift out.

If one politician says something you don’t like, you might say something charged about all politicians, without proof, experience or knowledge.

Remember too, this works both ways. When you are arguing for or against something, you are representing a host of people that look, sound, are titled, or are in a club just like you. Those others will get smeared by the same brush used to tarnish you. Try not to give people the opportunity to associate you with negative things.

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Get Moving

Movement is very beneficial to your body and mind. Rivers flow, winds blow, seasons change and the world is renewed through movement.

So move your body more today. Think different thoughts. You don’t have to accept them as true but try sitting with those thoughts for a minute or two. Move them around in your mind. Look at the ideas from different angles. Stretch yourself to understand the idea even if you don’t accept it as your preferred thought.

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Seek And You’ll Find

If you choose to believe people are bad, you’ll look for evidence of it. And you’ll find it. Sometimes it’s one anecdotal event or word. Or you might bend words or slightly misinterpret actions to fit your desired perspective.

You can also look for the good in people.

As everyone holds good and bad characteristics, looking for the good ones may make life more enjoyable.

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Thought Smile

What thought always brings a smile to your face? Is it a future dream, a childhood moment, a time of pride from sports, school or family or simply a fond memory of watching clouds float by?

Whatever it is, be sure to overuse it. Think of it often and enjoy the smile. Like kindling for a fire it can enable a warm and enjoyable environment.

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A Well Fought Battle

Play to win! But play a great game. A well fought battle is far better than a hollow victory. If you feel you earned it, it will taste much sweeter. And any loss will be easier to absorb.

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Update Your Thinking

Sometimes we hold on to our thinking from 20 years ago and believe it serves us well – like a worn out old shirt. Or we don’t even notice that we haven’t adjusted anything in 5, 10 or 20 years.

Should a 35 year old think about life the same way their 15 year old self did? Maybe. But why not put those thoughts and ideas through a little rigorous testing and see if they can withstand the scrutiny. Come at it from different angles.

Are you clear in your thinking? Have your values shifted at all? What is your highest and most important value? When you were five it might have been that your teddy bear was the most important thing in the world. Now it may be your spouse, child, parent or dear friend.

You may have thought the idea of free everything was brilliant. However now you understand the multiple levels involved in the phrase, “There is no free lunch.”

Remember that shifting your views can be uncomfortable. Growth and change can create discomfort. But stick with it. You don’t have to change your thinking, but do be honest with yourself about your thoughts and values. It may surprise you that your thinking has evolved. Or maybe more so that it hasn’t.

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Push Through

Sometimes you want to give up, shrug it off or let go of the dream. But don’t.

You need to push through your mental and physical barriers. It may be hard. You may try to convince yourself that it is not worth the time or effort. But double down on the effort, push through harder than ever before.

Think of how it will feel to win, to succeed, or to make your dream come true. Hold that positive thought in your head. See the positive outcome rather than any negative one. Just having a go and having that experience will be a positive moment in your life. Cherish it.

When you feel low and want to go, stay and fight. Make yourself proud of your self-discipline and courage, regardless of the actual result.

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Hear Say

It is incredible how situations can spiral out of reality. People hear and then say their version. Not the identical story. We accept the words and context that we want, that are most convenient or suit us. Then we adjust everything in our minds, mixed with our own views. Then we send it back out into the world for someone else to interpret.

It’s a fascinating process. It really should be a skill taught in primary school and then again at higher levels. Our world is based on communication and it seems many people are more interested in influence than communication.

Hear Say. But assess it first.

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