Chapter 5 Life Skills and Attributes
After the devastating tragedy of last Friday in Melbourne’s CBD, we of Melbohemian, would like to express our love and support for those directly affected. We empathise with the friends and families of those whose lives were taken early……..our thoughts and prayers are for you.
Life Skills and attributes. PART 1
These are the FOUNDATION BLOCKS of freestyle living
If only the driver had had these skills the world might be a different place today.
Empathy comes from self-awareness. It is the ability to appreciate what another person is feeling. There is a link between empathy and caring: to feel someone else’s pain is to care and validate that person’s pain. It shows understanding and sympathy. It is selfless.
“Givers” have this skill whilst “takers” have limited or none. The opposite of empathy is antipathy, and is shown by people who don’t care about anyone but themselves or their situation.
Empathy is a very important life skill. If empathy hasn’t come naturally or been taught, it can be improved with practice. However it absolutely requires the prerequisite skills of being able to LISTEN, HEAR and UNDERSTAND with an OPEN MIND. A person who is strongly empathic is often a “great person to talk to”, good negotiator, carer, councellor, often acting for, and on behalf of the person who has the problem.
Having empathy with a person who has directed a complaint at you, can often bring a quick resolution to that complaint, opening channels of negotiation that were previously closed.
For example using the phase or something similar “ I understand how you must feel. I would feel that way if I were in your shoes…..let’s see what I can do to help you….”
The complainant feels validated, and usually the emotion is diminished from the complaint, allowing it to be resolved.
Empathy is all about emotion and feelings. Some people are HIGHLY sensitive to other people thoughts and feelings, almost experiencing it as a vibration, resonance, or 6th sense. Sometimes known as Empaths, these people pick up on very subtle and strong resonances around them literally feeling them as their own , affecting their own sense of wellbeing. Being an Empath and working in a highly demanding emotional and caring environment can be overwhelming and exhausting. I have personal experience of this. Working in my profession as a dentist, I cared wholeheartedly for the well-being and comfort of my patients whilst they were with me. I used all my skills to reduce anxiety and treat them painlessly. I literally took on feelings. Treating very nervous patients was exhausting and whilst I was highly successful at it, it burnt me out. Other colleagues of mine, seemed to deal with nervous patients without it affecting them at all.
It was only when I realized what I was doing that it all made sense. Since then I have had to limit my time in dentistry and diversify into other things that don’t involve 9-5, 24-7 empathy.
Empathy is also the keystone to making moral decisions. Different people can have different morals, but empathy will allow them to make moral decisions based on their own belief system.
So in short empathy is seeing and feeling a situation from the other persons point of view. In this digital day and age it is very important to get into the habit of using empathic skills when using the internet or phone for written communication, i.e.
How is the person going to feel when receiving and after my text/email? The questions I always ask myself before writing are:
What day is it?
If it’s a Friday I will tend to start with “ I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend” Or “I hope you are at the end of a good fulfilling week and looking forward to a lovely relaxing weekend.”
How might this person be feeling right now?
Are they well, happy……or might there be something going on in their life at present?
I always want the person to feel uplifted in some way having read my text, so I always finish with good wishes for their wellbeing of course.
In this way, over a period of time, hopefully they will associate my name with an uplifting feeling.
Empathy demands Honesty
Honesty comes form the core, and starts with you. To be truly self-aware you need to be honest with yourself. It’s amazing what untruths you can tell yourself to excuse bad habits or behaviours, but in the search for true contentment and happiness you have to be confrontingly honest with yourself and accept who you really are. Only when you accept what is , can you continue to grow and become who you really want to be.
Honesty is not “for show”, but is “on show” And it often has to be demonstrated for one to be accepted as being honest.
Are you an honest person
Integrity is doing the right thing no matter what whether it is beneficial to you or not, or whether anyone notices or not. Honesty and integrity should go hand in hand. For example, are you the sort of person that would hand in a lost wallet complete with all it’s contents undisturbed?
Are you also the kind of person who if you knock and dented an unoccupied car in a car park and weren’t observed by anyone, would you drive away, or would you stop and leave a note with an apology and your insurance details?
I’ll bet it’s more difficult for most to answer the second question with integrity, as it could lead to personal financial repercussions and pain, whereas the first situation alleviates someone else’s pain and difficulty, and would make you feel good about yourself, your honesty and your integrity.
Why is integrity important? Because it leads to TRUST and trust is one of the most basic powerfully strong and valuable beliefs a person can have.
From honesty and integrity comes credibility and authenticity. You are seen to be exactly who you are.
You live your truth and speak your truth. Your beliefs come from your heart/core. You have experienced your truth. With this comes powerful emotion and strength of character. When you become authentic to yourself you become truly credible to others.
Personal credibility is a powerful attribute to have. People will seek you out, be willing to work with you, ask your opinion.
It is very different from digital credibility. Unfortunately digital credibility is getting more and more complicated and difficult to prove. Increasingly more open to fraud. Also, sadly, it seems to be becoming more important to our modern lifestyle, than personal credibility; so often “the computer says no.”
RESOURCEFULNESS AND SELF RELIANCE
These are life skills and attributes which bridges the gap between this chapter and the next. A “boot in both camps,” if you will.
I touched on this in an earlier chapter. It is my belief that the last generation’s belief system of “work hard, save hard, pay off your debts and retire,” life model, is outdated, irrelevant and darn right dangerous for up coming generations.
A “job for life” is rare, if it exists at all. Pensions have to last so much longer, and trying to save realistically for them, is yet another fallacy and stressor in this already stressful world.
I believe we have to be resourceful and self-reliant in all aspects of our lives. This involves taking full responsibility for the decisions we make and the way we choose to live. CHOICIQUENCES!!!
So in order to plan for your freestyle lifestyle you have to look for different streams of income, the most valuable being passive income, ie money coming in despite not “working.” Have you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad? Then you should.
Use your talents, set up a web business, take responsibility for investing your own money, invest in yourself with education and further skill sets that could bring you income streams. Pay off expensive debts if you can, such as credit cards, or consolidate them onto your existing mortgage if you have one. I have chosen to pay minimally off my mortgage and not stress to pay it off as fast as possible(which is contrary to what a lot of people are doing) as this is a “relatively cheap” debt to have with potential big gains and possible future income streams. It is my intention that my ongoing passive income streams will cover mortgage payments in the future. I emphasize again here that it is not my place or intention to give financial advice. I am merely expressing my own point of view, my truth.
And then there is downsizing and uncluttering…….Am I sounding like a broken record? Don’t worry once you have surfed the rapids downstream and are living freestyle in your pool of calm comfortably, you can upsize again! I’m only relating how to get there!!!
Next Chapter 6 Life Skills and Attributes Part 2
The BUILDING BLOCKS of Freestyle Living