Tools For Survival In the Modern World

Situations I’ve Discovered Require Tools

  • Navigating difficult people
  • Stress from work
  • Aging
  • Coping with medical issues
  • Sorting through stuff in order to determine what matters most
  • Discovering how to talk to people (all people)
  • Managing dark and dangerous thoughts
  • The unexpected, the reimagined, and the unintended

Tools For Living

The best tool is a good friend; a friend whom you can trust and call upon. This friend will not judge or question your loyalty. A friend can get you through some pretty rough stuff. Be sure to nurture good friendships, they’re hard to come by.

Food & beverage of your choice, are another great tool. It doesn’t have to be a gorging session or drinking your way into a drunken stupor. I’m talking a nice meal with someone you care about, a dinner party, a destination meal, fresh veggies from your garden, a nice glass of red or white . . . you get my point. Something to look forward to; something to take your mind off whatever it is that is troubling you. Escaping for the moment isn’t bad as long as you eventually deal with whatever it is you need to deal with. Stepping away helps you put things in perspective.

Learning how to be a good communicator is a tool that will pay off in spades. I know I have repeated this repeatedly, however, it’s worth repeating again: learn how to be a good listener. It’s an invaluable tool. Listen intently with your entire being. In addition, validate, repeat back key thoughts, share, confide, show interest, be objective, be generous, provide feedback when asked, and lean in. Authenticity is key when communicating; people will see right through you otherwise.

Developing a thick skin is essential for survival. There was a time when people kept most of their thoughts, feelings of contempt, resentment, rage, etc. to themselves; then along came social media. Now someone thinks a sideways glance to their ex was salacious and suddenly it’s all over Facebook or worse, Tik Tok. You need to be able to let it roll off your back and ignore it. Not easy, but if you spend the time to cultivate this practice, you will be a whole lot better off.

The ability to walk away when you are exposed to toxicity. A healthy self-esteem comes from looking out for your own well-being. Part of survival is having the ability to say “no more” or “I’m done.” It may be difficult while you’re in the thick of it, but you’ll be glad you did it when you discover how much better off you are or how much better you feel.

Laughter is a tool I often forget to use. Humor and the ability to lighten things up is part of living a happy and healthy life. I (we) take life far too seriously. Do not apologize for injecting levity into a situation or conversation. I told a joke at lunch with about 15 people last week. I noticed many were laughing, but two or three people had a very serious look on their faces. I immediately thought, oh no, I should apologize. The thing is, if they’re uncomfortable with your sense of humor, it’s more than likely a reflection of them and their biases than you. Don’t apologize, if they can’t handle your humor they can either tune you out or confront you; most people will never have the nerve to do the latter and that’s not your problem. I’m still learning this lesson.

Being authentic and true to yourself is less a tool and more a way of being. It’s necessary for success with relationships and real happiness. I truly admire people who are comfortable in their own skin.

Talking about reaching into your toolbox has become cliché. That’s unfortunate, because in fact, if you have worked hard to come up with healthy and useful ways of dealing with difficulties in your life, you should be able to call upon these “tools” without feeling that your methods are being discounted by others. If this works for you, by all means use it. “Whatever works” is cliché as well, but truth is truth. At the end of the day you want to feel good about yourself and sleep well; you will awake a stronger, healthier, more optimistic you.

What makes me equipped to share these thoughts with you? The answer is simple: life experience, hard work, and the desire to pay it forward. I took an elective course at University entitled: Living Skills; the best three credits of my educational career.

My Inspiration

I am working on a life coaching project — two individuals coaching one another. It’s early days, but eventually I’ll be writing about it. Our recent conversations inspired this blog. My coaching partner shall remain nameless. Peaked your interest . . . hmmm, you’ll never find out who it is.

“The only person you should strive to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.”

— Matty Mullins

By CP

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959. I've lived in several different places, but this is the first time I have resided overseas. My career has gone in multiple directions; however, education is my passion. My Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University has opened many doors and for that I am grateful. Writing has become a pastime I enjoy and hope to further pursue. The future holds no limitations and I am keeping all of my options open. I have landed in Portugal and there is a vast and beautiful world to explore.

2 comments

  1. Reminds me of “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz I think? #1 Be impeccable with your word, #2 Never take anything personally, #3 Never assume anything #4 Always strive to do your best…. words to live by … imho

    Like

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