Each one of us has several opportunities to talk about ourselves every day. What you say and how you say it can determine how others see you, and even how you see yourself.
One opportunity to talk about yourself comes at work. As an extreme example, you might explain to your boss about something you accomplished, or alternately you could refer to mistakes you made or challenges you face. Your boss, or your co-workers, might see you differently in each case.
The same holds true with friends, or even your spouse or partner. If you constantly make jokes at your own expense, for instance, the repetition may lead people around you to view you negatively. At best, they might decide you have a self-esteem problem. At worst, they may come to believe the bad things you say.
And, of course, the most important person you may talk to yourself about you is you. If you make a mistake, you might mutter to yourself ‘That was dumb!’ or you might say, ‘At least I tried!’
How you think of yourself can’t help but be influenced by the things you tell yourself about yourself. If you constantly think about how klutzy you are, for instance, you will start to think about yourself as klutzy. It might even lead to behavior that causes the belief to come true.
There is a reason that self-affirmation is recommended as a way to start your day. Your thoughts have a way of coming true, and positive thoughts can lead to positive outcomes. Similarly, negative thoughts can lead to the reverse.
When evaluating a location, everything from an entire city to a single backyard, different people use different criteria. In your mind, what makes a place beautiful?
There are many ways of assessing beauty. As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Specifically when it comes to a location, there are many ways of appreciating a space.
The classic understanding of beauty, that is, aesthetically pleasing, comes to mind. But even then, “aesthetically pleasing” might vary from individual to individual. Is a neatly trimmed lawn beautiful? How about an unusual building?
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss a related question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’
A person might find utility beautiful. A space that is perfectly engineered to match its function could be considered appealing.
Alternately, you might find that the closer a place is to its natural state is the most appealing. Thriving plants and animals, along with fresh air and sunshine, might be most beautiful to some.
A different way of looking at beauty might be in how welcoming a place happens to be. You may find a place more attractive if you feel more at home or at ease when you are there.
In your mind, what makes a place beautiful? How do you make the places where you spend time to be more appealing?
There is more to do in this world than there is time to do it. As a consequence, you will have to neglect some things. But what?
There are many strategies for setting priorities. For instance, there is a plane with urgency on one set of axis, and importance on the other. You sort tasks appropriately, and go from there.
However, one way of looking at the events in your life is from a negative point of view. That is, instead of thinking of what things you want to include and what you want to do, instead think about what you are willing to neglect in favor of other things.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’
After all, there is not enough time in the day to do everything. No matter how efficient you are, no matter how little sleep you need, you won’t get to everything. You can, however, choose which things get skipped.
An advantage to viewing life this way is that unimportant yet enjoyable things don’t get skipped. There may be activities or tasks that might not make your top ten list of things to do, but your life would be poorer without them. Conversely, something might seem more pressing and yet you can make do without it.
Are there things in your life that you simply don’t want to do without, even if they might not seem to someone else to be “must do” activities? Are there things that you know you can neglect?