It’s time for one of those lists of things to do to improve how we present ourselves and are perceived by others.
Because it’s March. It’s the quickening month. Famous for gusty winds and the restless stirrings of new life.
For me, it’s typically an agitated time, probably for the reasons above.
So I thought I’d anchor things in a list.
Here’s how to have a positive impact:
- Know who you really are
- Be your own best friend
- Be curious
- Be consistent
- Be intentional
- Know that a complaint is always a failed request
- Look for the best in others
The truth is that we are each an incidence of embodied consciousness, which means that we each have access to infinite wisdom and potential – as well as the opportunity to feel and experience the physical world. So we are doubly blessed! The great teacher Yogi Bhajan reminds us that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and whilst our human experience is mortal, our spiritual existence is eternal. It’s a useful perspective – and it helps to calm down and treat ourselves and others with greater kindness.
And that is important. We all learn from a very young age to be kind to others. But we frequently don’t learn to show ourselves the same kindness. When we’re having a bad day we can become vituperative self-critics. If we were to imagine that the way we sometimes speak to ourselves is actually being directed at another we would be horrified. Paying attention to our own inner critic in order to censor it rather than be censored by it is an important habit.
So is curiosity. It’s the single most useful trait that has got me out of many a social hole. The reason is that I have long understood people love to talk about themselves and their experience, so I’ve learned to ask questions. Now there is no need not to be able to strike up a conversation – and leave a positive impression with most of the people I meet.
In contrast consistency is a habit that I have only recently got my head around. Before this I would flit from one thing to another in my endless quest for creative fulfillment. “I’m a free spirit!” my ego would opine, while my true free spirit would long for some kind of mooring to stop the feeling of flapping about in the (March) wind. A daily practice of journal writing or meditation or exercise no matter what can greatly help in this regard – and promote consistency in other habits too.
Being intentional is a whole different thing from setting goals – although often the two are referred to interchangeably. To be intentional is to suffuse all of our actions and behaviours with the same attitude. So while your goal might be to make new friends, your intention to be self-aware, kind, curious and consistent will guarantee that people will constantly be attracted to you.
(NB. If you’d like to spend this 3 May 2019 in the beautiful north Wiltshire countryside with me and other lovely journal writers setting our intentions for summer, drop me a line asap to email@example.com)
Once you’ve attracted your new friends, you’ll want to keep them sweet. So rather than complaining, you’ll want to be clear on what you desire so that they can play their friendly role in helping you achieve it. As social beings we are truly motivated by serving and pleasing others, so lets get ahead of the game by making clear requests up front rather than bitter complaints after we’ve been disappointed.
This is linked to looking for the best in others, and assuming that people do generally wish to be helpful and kind. When we have this outlook it makes it easier to make requests, and to show our gratitude.
In fact gratitude, appreciation and clarity are the most effective buffers against the mad weather of life, and these 7 habits of positively impactful people really help bolster them.
Take up your journal and ponder each of the 7 items above – and see how you can keep your hair on this March.