We titled our blog and social media sites “justabitfurther” as it tends to get mentioned a lot when we’re out on the trail. Now, what’s following isn’t something I wouldn’t normally blog about, given we’re sharing about our adventures in nature.
But, that phrase keeps lingering in the back of my mind. It got me questioning, how does “justabitfurther” apply in life?; what does it look like?
In today’s world, does the concept of going “justabitfurther” even exist?
I think for most of us, living tends to keep us pretty busy. Between work, family, friends, taking the kids to soccer(insert sport/activity of choice), there’s not a lot of time to go “justabitfurther” in anything.
So, is “justabitfurther” related to time and effort? OR is it maybe a component of something bigger; better?
Maybe “justabitfurther” isn’t doing more, but in reality it’s being more.
The million dollar question is – being more what?
I suspect it’s many things, but perhaps one small part of it is being more in our relationships with others:
Here are five things that might help:
1. Learn To Listen and Understand
“You never listen.”
Children say it to parents; we say to our spouses; friends to each other. Thinking about it, they’re probably right – people are always too busy focussing on themselves to listen. Mouths are flapping too much and too loud to actually think!
Everyone wants to be heard. Sad thing is, many if us never get the chance; can never get “a word in edge wise.” Or when we do, it seems we weren’t really heard or listened too.
The solution is simple: connect with people by listening and understanding.
You and I were born with two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.
Makes good sense to listen twice as much as we talk. Focus on what’s being said and do your best to understand.
People will love you for it!
2. Trust Other People
Easy to say that; always tougher to do!
ALL relationships – family, work, friends, you name it – require trust at varying levels.
Having no trust means worrying about what others are doing, thinking and saying when you’re not around. Maybe it means always holding people at arm’s length; not letting people get close. Sounds like a big waste of energy to me!
How are you and I to have a relationship based on that?
One thing I’ve noticed is there are no guarantees in life, unless you’re talking about death and taxes.
At the end of the day, you can never really know whether someone’s going to hurt you or not. Sometimes we need to trust and move forward. Might you get hurt – maybe. But, maybe you’ll get a far greater benefit from the relationship than you ever expected.
3. Be Honest About Your Wants
We have all felt disappointed because someone didn’t act as expected? But, maybe there are those instances where we set ourselves up for disappointment.
How often do fail to tell others what we want and then blame them for not reading our minds.
When you want something – or want to share something – be honest about it. Expressing your desires might feel uncomfortable, but it gives the other person a fighting chance to give you what you really want.
4. Be A Giver
I’ve never been in a relationship that sucks the life out of a person. Although at times I’m sure Lynn thinks about trading me in. But our nature does tend to make us selfish. Which for the most part is Ok. It’s alright to gain something from other people: positive emotions, knowledge, gifts.
The problem is, you can’t just take and take in relationships. If you’re not giving back, is there any reason for people to stay around you?
That’s why investing yourself into relationships is the best. Make people feel worthy; give them the gift of your undivided attention; make time for those who really matter.
Giving value is the best way to be appreciated by the people around you.
5. Let Go Of The Need To Be Right
I like to be right. Many times I’m not, but I do like to be right. And I really like it, if someone tells me I’m right. Sound familiar?
But, what happens if someone disagrees with us or we disagree with them? If we disagree with a person, do we get angry? What if we disapprove of something, do we judge?
Have you ever gotten unsolicited advice from someone who thinks they know best. How does that feel?
In short, being right feels good; being wrong feels bad.
But when you think about it, nobody likes being told what to do. And like the first point, people want to be heard and understood, not lectured. So, unless someone asks specifically for advice – just listen and do your best to understand.
When dealing with other people, let go of the need to be right.
Accept other people for what they are, right or wrong, and they’ll love you for it.
Maybe what I’ve talked about doesn’t apply to you, and if it doesn’t, hey that’s alright.
I guess the point is, take a look at yourself. Your wants and needs; your relationships with others in your life. Only you know how well you’re doing.
I have noticed though, we do live in a”me” world. My guess is, we’ll have a tough go connecting with others if all I’m focussed on is me.
But, maybe working at listening and understanding of where people are at; to letting go of the temptation to judge; to being a giver – not a taker isn’t such a terrible thing after all.
Just a thought.
Anyhow, looks like I have a fair bit of work ahead of me.
Wish me luck!