There’s no discounting the fact that we’re living through some crazy times. With political upheavals, game-changing social media movements and chaotic world events, there’s a lot going on.
I’m not about to overlook the tremendous opportunities that exist these days, but with spring cleaning right around the corner, I’ve been focusing on this question: How can we live well in these crazy times?
1. Don’t add to the craziness. Be civil to those with whom you disagree. Balance your heart and your head so emotions don’t outweigh reason.
2. Separate fact from opinion. Don’t get excited about things that either aren’t true or are wildly exaggerated to get attention. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."
3. Act with integrity even when others don’t. Just because others are behaving badly doesn’t mean you should too.
4. Slow down. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that you accomplish more of real importance by slowing down. Speed is necessary at times, but make sure you’re not chasing rabbits when you could be tracking the big game.
5. Eat slower. A friend’s father-in-law was a doctor, and when asked what was the most important thing a person could do to improve their health, he said "Chew more."
6. Get enough sleep. Lack of sufficient sleep is a major influence on poor health, both mentally and physically.
7. Read for education and entertainment. The best novels aren’t just engaging, they teach us something about the world and about ourselves. In addition, read about current events and personal development to keep well-rounded.
8. Limit your news intake. Being saturated with more of the same, day in and day out, can be fatiguing and frustrating. Be informed, but not inundated.
9. Exercise. It’s as simple as that.
10. Have deeper conversations with friends. Go beyond, "How’s it going?" to "What are you thinking?" Move past the superficial and really connect.
11. Take a trip. The best way to enlarge your perspective is to travel abroad. But if you can’t, for whatever reason, visit a new state or spend time in a museum.
12. Be civil.
13. Be kind.
14. Count your blessings every day. To be precise, list at least three. No matter how bad it gets, there are always things to be thankful for.
15. Spend less than you make.
16. Invest more in experiences and less in stuff.
17. Live intentionally. Be specific about what you want to accomplish each day. Don’t sleepwalk through your life.
18. If you can’t take action to deal with something, don’t worry about it. And if you can, then do it and stop worrying!
19. Tell people you love that you love them. You’ll rarely regret telling someone that you love them, especially when you no longer have the chance to do so.
Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an "idea studio" that seeks to motivate and develop leaders in and outside of business. He’s the bestselling author of books like Fred Factor and The Potential Principle and a noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and company change. He holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Check out any of his excellent books, his video series, "Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People," or his website, marksanborn.com, to learn more.