16 TINY STORIES OF REGRET THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU LIVE
Ten years from now, it won’t really matter what shoes you wore today, how your hair looked, or what brand of clothes you wore. What will matter is how you lived, how you loved, and what you learned along the way.
Deep down you know this already, right?
Yet today, just like the majority of us, you are easily distracted and derailed by the insignificant.
You give too much of your time to meaningless time-wasters.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR THINKING WHEN YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE SITUATION
Let me share a quick story and a powerful lesson with you…
“There’s a vivid, beautiful, priceless piece of art hanging right in front of you. It’s sophisticated and detailed – a painstaking labor of deep devotion and love. The colors and textures are like no other – they soar and dip, they shine bright and leap right out at you! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the tiny, dark housefly that has landed on the edge of this masterpiece. Why would you choose to do such a thing?”
She cracked a half smile in my direction and then shifted her gaze down to the ground.
“Look,” I said, “the point here is that there’s no possible way to be 100% certain about anything in this world. Life, like good art, is sophisticated, complex and unpredictable. So you’re left with a choice: either appreciate it and look for the beauty in it, or focus on the worst and dwell on it.”
GOOD RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT ACCIDENTS
After studying more than 3,000 couples in his Love Lab over the last four decades, Dr. John Gottman has discovered that the most important issue in marriage is trust.
Can I trust you to be there for me when I’m upset?
Can I trust you to choose me over your friends?
Can I trust you to respect me?
5 GREAT REMINDERS THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK
“This morning, nearly five years after my husband’s passing, a beautiful couple and their three kids knocked on my front door. The man smiled and said, “Your husband was my heart donor. He saved my life. Not a single day has gone by that I don’t pray for him and think of you. Thank you!”
This is the opening paragraph right out of an email I recently received from a course student named Colleen (I’m sharing this with her permission). She goes on to admit that she couldn’t see any positive sides of her husband’s death, until she was staring at them on her door step. “It doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it certainly changed the way I think. I feel like a small piece of my broken heart has healed.”
And the truth is, it happens just like that. Although Colleen’s experience is unique, and somewhat extreme, at some point life slaps all of us with a good reminder that shifts our perspective. Personally, I have been slapped with several of these reminders over the years. And today, I want to pass a few of them along to you…
8 PROFOUND LESSONS INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS TEACH US
Our intimate relationships teach us more than about the hearts of the ones we love. They teach us about ourselves. There is no greater people growing machine than that of love.
Our culture often views love as some fuzzy thing that gets passed around and makes you feel warm inside. But as all of us know, this happens only part of the time. The other part is full of anxiety, confusion, and frustration.
Having problems in our relationships are inevitable. Even our soulmates cause issues sometimes. According to John Gottman, couples disagree on unsolvable never-ending issues 69% of the time.
MAKING YOUR LIST, CHECKING…WHO IS HOT OR NOT
When you are walking around a Christmas holiday party or swiping faces on your phone, you probably have some idea of the type of person you find attractive.
As you swipe away, you are seeking certain traits – physical, mental, social – you desire. Other traits, you say “fuck no.” Maybe you have a list of these traits, or maybe you just know it when you see it.
Either way, you have evolved to desire specific traits. The melting pot of your childhood, teenage, and adult experiences have sculpted and resculpted which traits you find attractive and which ones you find repulsive.
THE 6 FACTORS THAT DETERMINE WHO YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH
During one of my bro moments, a buddy and I were checking out a bachelorette party and choosing who the sexiest woman was in the room. At first we agreed on basic body types and symmetries. We both liked fit, tall women, but soon we started disagreeing. I liked the Latina girl with almond-shaped eyes, a longer face and proportioned boobs and butt. My friend couldn’t stand longer faces. He was attracted to the blond with a round face, massive boobs and no butt.
These conversations happen all over the world in all types of languages, regarding all types of genders. Some girls go for guys dressed in leather, while others go for Mr. Business Suit. Some guys like dangerous girls who are adventurous, and uninhibited, while another guy likes them reliable, soft-spoken, and boring. Eventually everyone agrees to disagree on who is hot or not.
But why on earth would we have a difference of opinion? Isn’t the ultimate driver reproduction? If that’s the case we would fall in love with potential sex partners of the opposite sex with good genetic fabric, health, wealth, high social status and potentially strong parental qualities.
THE STORY OF US: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAPPY AND UNHAPPY COUPLES
Every relationship is bound in the pages of stories. There’s the chapter when you sat alone in a romantic restaurant because John was late for date night. Or the countless nights your wife puts on her “no sex” sweatpants to tell you she’s off limits.
Our lives and our relationships are constantly narrated by the storyteller of our minds. This narrator is either going to write a miserable love memoir, or the best damn romantic novel in existence (despite the dark times).
All relationships, happy and miserable, experience regrettable incidents. According to John Gottman, 90% of the time couples misunderstand one another, leaving the plot of love ripe for a dark tale. I’m not talking about the 50 Shades of Grey dark tale; I’m talking about the story that no one wants to read.
2 BIASES THAT MAY BE HURTING YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Researchers Elizabeth Robinson and Gail Price found that couples in unhappy marriages tend to underestimate the number of positive interactions in their marriage by 50%. As Dr. John Gottman explains, every couple has a “Story of Us Switch.”
When the switch is turned on, couples tend to look back on their early days fondly. When they talk about the tough times they’ve had, they glorify the struggles they’ve been through, drawing strength from the adversity they’ve survived together.
When the switch is turned off, however, couples tend to look back on their early days with resentment and blame. For some of these couples, the Story of Us Switch may seem stuck in the off position.
THE COST OF UNEXPRESSED NEEDS IN FINDING LOVE
If you have an anxious attachment style, you may have experiences that make you feel like a burden in close relationships, so you hide your needs. Unfortunately, this positive intention backfires. You end up feeling resentful for always giving and never getting. Then you get angry and start fights. Even over the little things.
One of the best ways to improve your relationships is to recognize and honor your relationship needs.
Now, this doesn’t mean calling your partner 20 times in an hour. This means understanding that if your partner is unwilling to meet your needs for intimacy, emotional availability, and security, then you’re going to be unhappy.