Preserve yourself so your actions matter.
- With the holidays upon us, remember that doing too much sometimes takes more away from those we love when we are not focused on giving with intention. Preserve yourself by offering quality time to your loved ones, maintaining personal balance through doing what is reasonable, and giving out of a genuine spirit. Giving poorly from exhaustion and demand takes away from what matters to you and to those you love.
Accept and receive with Grace.
- Genuine gratitude allows you to embrace when others give to you. It is about accepting others when they give of themselves to you. They are not martyrs . . . they are loving you. There is no shame in receiving. As a matter of fact, the giver feels valued that you have so graciously accepted what they have to offer. Most people really do want to contribute, especially if they see someone they love in need.
Build trust with those around you.
- Trust gives life to your family, your community, and your organizations. Building trust can come through conversations that build others up, speak well of them, aim to appreciate the good things around you, being willing to listen, and still offer truth. Sometimes trust comes in following through on small, simple actions. Understand what others need in order to gain that trust. And make it real to them in some way.
Break through a barrier that will enable you to embrace others different from you.
- Be willing to get honest about what keeps you from accepting others as they are, then find out how you can break through that barrier. Maybe it is something simple like inviting someone to dinner to learn more about them without any motive to change them. Strike up a meaningful conversation based in curiosity so you can really open up to seeing them. Sometimes just looking someone in the eye and smiling at them is all it takes to open you up to seeing others the way they want to be seen.
Do something fun together without planning ahead.
- This does not have to be living large. Just be in the moment and adventure together. Free yourself of plans for a short time, and embrace the spontaneous to see what transpires. It doesn't have to be big--play Pictionary or Charades at dinner. At work, surprise your colleagues by turning a meeting into a game. Bring delight and surprise to those around you. Get creative with this one.
featured co-writer Kristi Brown Garcia