Over the years I have come across many wonderful people who have been good hearted, amiable, imminently likeable and even lovable.
Then they manifest a number of ghastly behaviors that leave the people around them completely mystified. No doubt we have faced these situations at some point in our lives and were likely not impressed. Leaving one question in our minds: “why on earth would you do that?” Because it is very clear that they are as unhappy with the results as the other party and yet seem helpless to help themselves.
Not all the time is this caused from mal-intent, sometimes it is a result of:
- not being able to say “no”
- over scheduling or over promising and then not being able to deliver
- over estimating what you are capable of and then hiding in embarrassment.
Sometimes though, it is through an overall lack of awareness that this might be a problem, or that it is inconveniencing someone else. To me that indicates a deal breaking lack of caring.
Here are my top seven traits that I believe are looked for and appreciated the world over – the lack of which makes most of us really crabby (the absence of even one of these is bound to create and perpetuate numerous problems for all concerned.)
Can people count on you, or are you one of the “expect me when you see me” ilk. Generally speaking, we prefer security to the lack thereof, so if we are never sure if someone is going to be there for us or not, gradually we stop relying on them altogether. Guess what that will make you? Redundant. This happens in careers and relationships. The converse is true.
A close cousin of reliability, consistency will get you everywhere. From health to success, if you consider well before making decisions, stand by your commitments and follow through steadily – progress and rewards flow in. Consistent, judicious effort indicates a sincerity and perseverance that is a very powerful recommendation. When it applies to daily life, being consistent creates and builds on a superb foundation that is seen in fitness, good health, great stability in relationships, work and finances.
Not to be confused with martyrdom – a balanced consideration for others in relation to ourselves works wonders in solving tricky problems. To consider the other side of the coin, to make it a way of being for example, if you see someone in need, lend a hand. Something as simple as getting out of the way if you see someone in a hurry, acknowledges our common humanity and makes the currency of life flow much more easily.
Discover what you do not know, and fill the gaps in your knowledge if it will help you reach your goals. Be curious about the people in your life, the people you encounter casually and the world around you – they are integral parts of your life and if you know how it all works and fits together, you are much less likely to make a wrong move.
And now you know what you can do with the wealth of knowledge garnered from the previous trait. Take action many steps ahead of when it actually becomes urgent or even required. For example, if you come across a person or situation that does not add up, take steps to remove yourself or create buffers for the time that it will all implode. Or position yourself for positive situations to happen further down the road.
In circumstances where you have not been proactive or able to see disaster coming, resulting in you crashing and burning – this is okay, as long as you take your medicine and learn something from it. Have the humility and willingness to say: “I was wrong and how can I correct this.” This applies to everything, from picking yourself up after a personal disappointment, or if you have to fess up to a big group of people.
And Above All …… Be Caring
Firstly with yourself, but also with those around you to ensure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot (it’s also important not to surround yourself with people who do and take the burden of their self-sabotage). However, most importantly, if you care, your intention in any situation will be true and appropriate and subsequently, the results will be as you expected and helpful to all concerned.
These are the characteristics of construction and solid progress and they are not difficult to cultivate if you do not already have them down pat. All it takes is a bit of self discipline and forward thinking – and a lot of honesty. When this becomes a way of being though, it is the effortless stitch in time that saves all manner of unnecessary stitches and fixes. You could call it a pre-emptive strike against the vagaries of the world.