This is a guest post by Nader Mowlaee
It goes without saying that we are living through unprecedented times. But we’re all tied up together in this thing called life. Think of each other as bees of the same hive. When one bee is hurt, the entire hive suffers. It goes the other way too; when one bee thrives, the whole hive prospers. So I’m here to discuss how growing as a single person will help grow your community and improve their quality of life.
It’s not difficult to wake up nowadays and feel like life is awful on all fronts: our jobs are stagnant, our government is letting us down, and our physical and mental health has been neglected. All of this makes us feel like we are not fulfilling our true potential, and we are unhappy as a result. Sure, we are not going at it alone, and this happens to everyone. But, how can we change it?
We can change it by bettering ourselves. Yes, we can help our communities grow and prosper by improving our own lives. It will take lots of work, but fortune favors the courageous. If we believe in ourselves, we will reach our personal life goals and become the best version of ourselves, therefore positively and holistically affecting our communities and the people in them.
1. Compete With Yourself and Root for Everybody Else
Wait, what? Aren’t those two things at odds with each other? When we focus on ourselves, don’t we want to win at the cost of others? Or have to forget about them and their interests? Well, no. What individuals do for themselves will impact the collective.
No, this does not make you a victim, and you will still have control over your life at any given time. Instead, this is about how you manage that control, which determines whether you change your circumstances. Begin to take responsibility for your life because when you take ownership of it and stop competing with others, you will have more autonomy, and you will start working on yourself. You will therefore begin making progress.
2. Eliminate Distractions and Stop Distracting Others
We are spending a great deal of time looking down at our phones, regularly checking the news for the latest updates on the pandemic, the economy, and the job market fluctuations, or what the politicians are deciding for us. This has turned into a strong habit of mindlessly doing things on our phones, and trying to manage these habits or changing them seems impossible.
Whatever your go-to distraction is, start monitoring it so you can be more mindful of where you waste time the most. When you get caught in the same habit and want to feel better, go for a walk or do a workout. Exercising releases hormones that make you happy; they release stress and help create a positive mental attitude. A happier and less distracted version of you is a much better member of your community, family, or tribe. Be in-distractible.
Never attempt to solve a problem with the negative or distracted mindset; go for a short walk or a workout and then go about solving the problem. Chances are your anxiety will be alleviated, your mood will be happier, and you will have more focus than you did before you walked or exercised.
3. Face Your Fears and Avoid Spreading False Fears
We are surrounded by legitimately scary things these days, from the virus spreading and endangering our lives to the economy looking as unstable as a house of cards. There is no denying any of that. Chances are you know someone who’s been negatively affected by these circumstances, and that puts fear into you and the people near you. That’s understandable.
There is something that will not help and will likely additionally hurt the situation we are in: spreading false facts that add to our fears, as well as our fear avoidance. So if you are overwhelmed by whatever you have faced today, attempt to meditate, perform breathing exercises like Box Breathing, or perform some form of a physical exercise before reacting to what stressed you out. You will be in a better mood, less impulsive, and more grounded in reason than emotion.
Lastly, accept this fact and spread the truth that it’s OK to fail, sometimes on a massive scale. We are human. Gather your focus, spread love in your community, and stop being afraid to work hard and fail. Doing the work is how you will succeed as an individual, which will, in turn, help to grow your community.
About Nader Mowlaee:
Nader is a career coach who believes you can get everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. He is inspired by motivating confidence in engineers and helping them take calculated actions to move forward towards their career and life goals. His mission is to enable engineers to break away from their fears and create the ideal lives and careers they desire. You can learn more about Nader through his LinkedIn account.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share about how you help grow your community.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success