I'm sure we all have heard the phrase "less is more" a time, two or twenty. While I do agree that there are moments where simplicity and clarity make for a better decision/situation, I also have to say it is important to evaluate what you are taking less of. Certain things in life need to have more emphasis and attention placed on them. Now, before I ramble on and probably begin to confuse you I'm going to wrap up this intro and get on to the meat of today's thinking out loud with Amanda!
• Less Talking : More Listening
I remember learning back in my freshman year of college that there was a difference between hearing and listening. Listening is something that takes conscious effort. We have to make the choice to really listen to those we are with which takes the decision to close our own mouths for a few minutes. It also involves us to not already be thinking about what we will say next. Just because there isn't sound coming from our mouths doesn't mean that we aren't still in talking mode. I have done this even myself. There have been times that I am so focused on my next point to make that I completely disregard (not purposefully) what the other has said. I know now that in these instances my time would have been better spent by slowing myself down and actually listening.
• Less Planning : More Doing
I am a definite planner in life, but at the same time I can still understand and appreciate this one. Planning can take away from living in the here and now. At times it is easy to get drawn into trying to dictate our own future that we forget to embrace what is happening in the present. It also can make change harder to accept. When we make a plan we also set a goal and if you're anything like me when you make a goal you don't rest until you reach it. The problem I tend to encounter though is that when life happens I get frazzled because my goal is no longer feasible. Yes, planning is necessary. There are many things that would not happen without a plan and honestly I will always be a planner. However, it's beneficial to form a happy medium. Such as: make a plan, yet also be able to go with the flow.
• Less Complaining : More Encouraging
Something I live by and have mentioned quite a few times on here already is the thought that there is always someone out there who is struggling equally or worse than you are. When we decide to look to these individuals the problems we are facing do not seem as severe anymore. By taking our off ourselves and helping others we also can even get to the point where we forget whatever we were complaining about in the first place. Growing up my parents used to take me quite often to volunteer at the soup kitchen. I was and still am thankful for that because I learned a lot from the experiences I had there. It made the little things I was concerned about not feel as big. There is one Saturday morning in particular that I will never forget. As I was serving food I was smiling and interacting with those who were there. Towards the end when I was beginning to clean up a man who I had served earlier walked over to me. He told me that he just wanted to thank me for being so kind. He told me that he couldn't remember the last time he had a person smile at him and because of that he knew he was going to have a great day. A simple smile, something we all probably take for granted because we multiple times a day, meant the world to him. I think to this exact time and place often because it reopens my eyes - I mean really, what do we have to complain about?
• Less Worrying : More Hoping
Worrying gets us nowhere. It does not have the power to fix a problem nor take it away. All it has the power to do is stress us out more then we already may be or more then we need to. In almost every scenario where I worry I find myself thinking only about the worst possible outcome that could be. Then it becomes very easy to fixate on said outcome and get stuck in a rut. There's a pretty quick fix to eliminating unnecessary worry, think of the best things that could happen - hope.
• Less Frowning : More Smiling
Spending time frowning will not change your mood however putting a smile on your face possibly could. How? Smiling releases endorphins in your body. Endorphins which I have also seen referred to as the happy hormones, trigger a positive feeling in the body. Of course it's not instantly going to make life better, but it could help life your spirits. Also, it takes less muscles to smile then it does to frown. So unless you are trying to give your face muscles a workout…smile!
• Less Doubting : More Believing
Words are commanding tools. What you think and say plays a huge role in the actions you think you can take. If you tell yourself enough times "I can't do it" odds are you won't be able to do it. Now this doesn't go to say that by simply say "I can do it" you will be able to. It is not black and white that way because completing a task or activity obviously still will take effort and work. So now you are probably asking well then what is the point. The point is that saying "I can do it" gets you one step further because you are believing in yourself. You are creating a positive mindset and removing doubt.
• Less Insecurity : More Trust
This is a very hard one for me because my senior year in high school I was bullied pretty bad. After this I became skeptical of everyone. I began to live in fear of being hurt again so I would basically shut down. And I started to let it dictate my life. I would not trust someone until they gave me a reason to. I built up walls and started filtering everything. And I still struggle with it here and there because when I do get hurt I want to retreat to these old ways. But, I have worked too much to free myself of the insecurities my senior year created. What I keep in the forefront of my mind to not go back to that place is that hurt is going to happen and we all experience it. Over time I've learned that it is okay to trust; letting down walls has brought many incredible relationships my way.
• Less Weakness : More Confidence
Confidence is key and can carry you a long way. The only person who should determine the level of trust and belief you have inside yourself is you yourself. We all have everything inside of us we need to be who we are meant to be. It is important to remember that there is a difference between being confident and having a big head/full of yourself. A humble person can still yield confidence.
• Less Ignorance : More Understanding
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Each of us has something to learn everyday. Life happens and things don't always go as planned. At one point or another we all will encounter failure.
• Less Hate : More Love
Far too often I have overheard people not liking others just because their friend doesn't like them. They "hate" them without even taking the chance to get to know the person. Also, books (people) definitely get judged by their cover. I can say from personal testimonies that covers can be deceiving. Give people the time of day and I can guarantee that many will end up surprising you.
• Less Ungratefulness : More Gratitude
Live life with an attitude of gratitude because there truly is so much to celebrate. Don't get caught up in the minor objects/details otherwise you will forever be searching for more. I feel as if this set is very similar to the one above; Less Complaining : More Encouraging. When you find yourself unsatisfied remember all the luxuries you have at your fingertips that others do not.
Wishing you all a happy Thursday!
Questions of the Day:
1) Which is something you think would be difficult?
2) Are there any that you currently try to do?
3) What ones could you use right now?
❤ Nichole ❤