Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

100 Ways to Improve Your Relationships

May 10th 2010

Relationships are not easy but they are absolutely worth every ounce of effort you put into them.  They are the most rewarding area of life and the one thing that lasts despite all other things.  With the fun I’ve had in writing several 100 lists and my recently released ebook on “Building Better Relationships“, I knew the next 100 list would have to be about relationships.  My ebook is about relationships in general and doesn’t get into romantic relationships, so neither does this list.  These items can be used to improve any relationship and there easily 100 more things that would be more specific to romantic relationship, which I have not going into.  So here it is: 100 ways to improve your relationships!

  1. Make breakfast for someone in bed
  2. Send someone a hand written thank you note for something they did
  3. Leave a message or note telling someone what you appreciate about them
  4. Make time commitments that are realistic and possible
  5. Ensure you do everything you can to meet your commitments
  6. Don’t take promises lightly, be honest and keep themimprove your relationships
  7. Turn the TV off and have a real conversation
  8. Upgrade your communication style
  9. Talk about what you both want out of a relationships
  10. Find a chore you can do with another person
  11. Offer to do a regular activity together
  12. Buy groceries together
  13. Go Shopping together
  14. Organize a meal out with someone for friends
  15. Go camping together
  16. Take a road trip together
  17. Have a staring contest
  18. Have a picnic together
  19. Schedule 10 minutes everyday to talk (with NO distractions)
  20. Be spontaneous and energetic
  21. Spend time researching great relationships
  22. Learn from relationship masters
  23. Read biographies of great relationship builders
  24. Buy and read books on relationships
  25. Put your relationship time BEFORE work, overtime or choresrelationships
  26. Buy and gift a simple gift that reminds you of that person
  27. Keep in touch with friends at least monthly even when living afar
  28. Actually phone in person your facebook friends
  29. Limit your online friends lists to those you want to be friends with
  30. Don’t make lame excuses for things, be honest
  31. Use encouraging positive words instead of negative or critical responses
  32. Learn some cellphone etiquette and shut your phone off once in a while
  33. NEVER be negative or critical in an email – its too dangerous and easily misinterpreted
  34. Be a “yes” type of person when doing things for others
  35. Learn to say “no” to keep your priorities in check
  36. Teach someone how to do something
  37. Exercise together
  38. Make friendly competitions for achievement
  39. Support each other in your actions / challenges
  40. Take up a new hobby together to build a common interest
  41. Never eat alone
  42. Take and print photographs of activities together
  43. Ask for help when you need it
  44. Opening share your beliefs and values
  45. Stick to your beliefs and express why
  46. Know your moral principles and stick to themT
  47. Share your spiritual personality
  48. In challenging situations, ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”
  49. Learn behavioral models (like DISC) to communicate better
  50. Learn personality models (like Meyers-Briggs) to apply personality tips
  51. Be willing to have those necessary and crucial conversions
  52. Create your own bucket list, share it and do many of them together
  53. Improve your telephone skills
  54. Give a gift that is more than a purchased item
  55. Give genuine compliments on a regular basis
  56. Surprise someone with a kind act towards themrelationships and friends
  57. Have conversations where one of you actively listens and ONLY repeats what you heard in your own words
  58. Share your spiritual beliefs with each other
  59. Pray together
  60. Take up learning a new sport together
  61. Take responsibility for your own happiness in the relationship without burdening or expected the other person to do that for you
  62. Tell one another why and how they make you a better person
  63. Identify and compliment anything you see them improve
  64. Be gracious and quick to give an apology
  65. Forgive one another quickly and completely
  66. Stop complaining and start appreciating
  67. Laugh together
  68. Cry together
  69. Serve others
  70. Conquer a fear (like heights or fear of a certain animal) together
  71. Never participate in gossip
  72. Don’t share private relationship information that deserves to be kept private
  73. Be spontaneous with activities and have fun
  74. Never try to change someone else, change yourself instead
  75. Avoid blaming others
  76. Take time to think about your relationships in order to improve them
  77. Make relationships priority and make time to work on them
  78. Set some goals and work specifically on your relationships
  79. Expose your vulnerabilities
  80. Socialize with friends of friends
  81. Compromise to resolve disputes
  82. Be generous with expenses and money
  83. Live below your means so you can save money and prevent money stress in your relationships
  84. Be humble, not boastful
  85. Take a weekend retreat together
  86. Attend a relationships course
  87. Put your self in other people’s shoes to gain perspective
  88. Keep in touch often
  89. Value what you have in each relationship and be grateful for it in conversations
  90. Highlight and recognize every person’s specialty
  91. Avoid assumptions by voicing questions and paraphrasing
  92. Value your own time and don’t waste other’s time
  93. Use humor and don’t take things too seriously
  94. Building relationships takes time so be patient
  95. Change things up with variety and by getting out of your comfort zone
  96. Have empathy and express it
  97. Study and improve your body language
  98. Listen to music together
  99. Tell the truth (in a kind way) even if it might be hurtful
  100. Put the level of effort in, that you want to get out!

Do you have more to add?  Please add them as a comment for others to enjoy as well.

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 30 Comments »

Affilliate Program for my eBook

April 16th 2010

I’m happy to announce today that I have opened up an affiliate program for my new eBook – Building Better Relationships

Affiliate Program – What is it?

This affiliate program is a way for you to share in the profits from a great eBook as well as a way for you to help me get the word out for this new book.  My affiliate program is managed by ClickBank and it literally only takes a few minutes to sign up and you could immediately be earning 50% of any sales just by having it linked from your website as an article, a review, or an advertisement on your site.

Recommended Affiliate Steps

Step 1: First of all, the best way to encourage your readers to purchase anything is to first purchase it yourself and then provide a review page where you outline that product and recommend it.  Obviously this will work for my eBook as well and I’ve you to start as an affiliate by purchasing it and reviewing it for your readers.  You don’t have to purchase it of course, but that is the most effective way for bloggers to promote another product.  I know you will get the value you expect out of the eBook at its low price and what is even better, is that you can make that back after just 2 affiliate sales.

Step 2: Sign up as an affiliate at Clickbank.  All my instructions for how to do this are in my new affiliate page for the ebook. Signing up literally only takes a few minutes!

Step 3: Create your hoplink that tracks your affiliate sales from your review page and you will earn money for each sale.

Step 4: You can use ads on your site to promote the eBook as well and earn even more by offering this book to all your site visitors.  You can choose what kind of ad to use, from large sidebar boxes to several sizes of banner ads.  They are simple to ad to your side on widgets, in specific posts or by adding them to your theme so they appear on every page.  Many plugins for wordpress also exist for managing in post ads if you prefer to do it that way.  Again, my affiliate page for the ebook has advertising images you cna link to and the code is there for you to easily copy and paste into your site.  You simply will set your username in place of the XXXX codes to properly allow Clickbank to track that the sales are from your account.

Additional ClickBank Benefits and FAQ

  • ClickBank costs absolutely NOTHING as an affiliate and only takes minutes to sign-up
  • They have a low payout option in paypal set at only $10, so you can cash out for EACH sale from this ebook since you will earn $11
  • Additional HopAds can be added to show random (or keyword based products) on your side from a variety of vendors

Leaderboard Ad - eBook Building Better Relationships

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 4 Comments »

My eBook Released! Building Better Relationships

April 2nd 2010

Do you have relationships you want to strengthen?

We all strive for relationships to be improved somewhere in our lives and that is what this eBook is for.  It’s a guide to explore how you can begin to build better relationships today and get much more out of them in your life.  Relationships are the single most important things that impact our lives and affect our health, mindset and happiness.  This book explores the different aspects of relationships and how you can quickly and easily put specific actions and behaviors into place to break old negative relationship habits, and to form new healthier, stronger, more meaningful relationships.

View the eBooks page for more info on Building Better Relationships and hopefully, future eBooks as well.

Three Methods to Learn

Learning is obviously the main topic here at learnthis.ca and there are many ways to go about it and each person has their own learning styles.  There are three main styles of learning:

  • Auditory (learn best by listening and hearing)
  • Visually (learn best by seeing and observing visually)
  • Kinesthetic (learn best by feelings, hands on and direct involvement)

Because of these styles, I wanted to make sure they all exist in this eBook as well to ensure it is useful to ANYONE.  And that is why this is so much MORE than an eBook.  It includes:

  1. The eBook itself to read ( it is 38 pages with over 13000 words)
  2. Not everyone learns or enjoys reading.  Some of us are audible learners or have more time available to listen than to read.  That is why there is also a full MP3 audio recording of the audio book read by the author, Mike King!  You will gain access to download the mp3 audio with the PDF upon purchase.
  3. The best way to change habits and to make improvements is to actually take action!  That is why this book includes a 3 page workbook to help you assess your relationships and ensure that you reflect and plan specific actions to make the most of your relationships.

I’ll be updating my eBooks page on the LearnThis.ca site here with reader’s quotes and referrals for the book so I’d be happy to include any links or references from readers if you purchase it.  I’d love to hear your thoughts, would great appreciate any promotion you can help me with and I look forward to the reactions from this Book.  It was a joy to write and even more to learn from and put it into action.  I have a lot of work to do as well, as relationships are certainly not easy, but absolutely worth every second of investment.

Get The eBook, the Workbook AND the MP3 audio version all for one low price!

View my eBook page here for ordering Building Better Relationships and future eBooks.


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Only $22 US

PDF, Workbook and MP3 Audio

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 13 Comments »

Giving ALL you have…

December 23rd 2009

Whenever you talk about giving in today’s modern and mostly selfish society, people immediately think of their possessions and physical belongings and gifts to give. Well those are not what I mean by this title at all. In fact, this article is in response to a wonderful list of gifts from the article, The True Essence of Giving by a regular reader, Jonathan at Advanced Life Skills.  Please go take a look at his article right now which gives some perspective to why I felt this story has some relevance.

A Friend that Gave it All

My story is of a friend I had that was always giving everything he had.  It didn’t matter what kind of circumstance he was in, he always seemed to bring so many great things to a situation, a conversation or a friendship.  I got together with him and other friends from time to time for some discussions, games or a meal and he always stood out to me in that he lived with no desire for all the stuff, possessions and things that are so desirable by today’s standards.  He led what seemed to be a simple life but I now think it was far from it, which I’ll explain below.  He just didn’t care about all that stuff the rest of us have.  He had a run down car that barely got him around, a simple house and very basic possessions.  He never had new ‘things’ to talk about and really just never seemed interested in any of that.  What I see now is how much of these other things in life and our possessions really PREVENT us from giving all we have.  I could see that he was always fully engaged in conversation, laughter and communicating with people because nothing else caught his eye and distracted him.  I’ve met no one like that before and that particular trait stood out to all who knew him.  You might say if was his charisma or his magnetic personality but really I think it was because he was always giving you everything he had in that moment.  All the things from Jonathan’s list linked above…

Anyway, he traveled a lot for missions giving his time and energy to those in much more need than him around the world.  His love for others and to serve God enabled him to give so deeply and passionately.  I never understood giving in this way until hearing his stories of giving in shattered 3rd worlds where there seems to be little hope.  The beautiful thing with giving from the heart, and especially in 3rd worlds, is that any gift from the heart is immediately recognized and valued sincerely.  People (and especially children) who don’t experience much joy in life get a little piece of happiness and hope when someone gives them their attention, a smile, or some time to play with them.  These are gifts from the heart and they are the most valuable gifts you can give.  Looking at how to love someone else and provide them something on the spot and in the moment is the greatest gift and I’m afraid loosing its perceived value against our society of stuff.

So, let me explain my comment about living simply from above.  Our high standards society in 1st world nations has a different definition of simple if you ask me.  It would state that simple life is less stuff and this is really only partially true.  I also see simple in the WAY we react to everything around us.  A simple life is actually more complex and more difficult because there is a far deeper understanding of oneself and one’s awareness and present moment in order to keep our interactions simple. This is especially true in a complex and distracting environment.   There are literally thousands of advertisements and distractions every single day that train us to think all those things will make our lives simpler when in reality they just mess it up more.  Its easiest to just go with the flow and experience all those distractions every single day.  To avoid all that is tough, and its certainly not simple. In fact, its more acceptable to be distant and distracted every moment of our lives and we willingly join in competition to express how busy we are all the time.  None of this helps learn to give though, for that, we need to eliminate distractions and look at the things we have to give others from our heart.  We must enhance our ability to focus on people instead of stuff, to be fully present with others regardless of the distractions.  This will generate a more fulfilling life and it enables a person to give more from the heart.

A journey into the unknown… . I don’t really know where or when I will end up, and it doesn’t really matter. It will be an adventure, an epic journey, a time of soul-searching and of praying, of exploring and learning and sharing – a time of drinking Life to the fullest.
–Quoted from his blog

OK, back to the story. Well, my friend decided to ride his bicycle across west Africa to experience his favorite place on Earth to its absolute fullest and he headed out to do so.  He wrote about his journey about how he was impacting people daily with his incredible giving spirit and how much joy he was experiencing as a result.  He literally created hundreds of smiles from strangers every day and great friendships with the people he’s met and stayed with along his way.  Before he was able to complete his bicycle journey, however, he was struck and killed by a vehicle on one of the highways.  His Earthly years may have been short, but his impact and influence left behind is great.  I always remember his giving spirit and he’s one of those people you think of that is just larger than life.  All of those fond memories are memories that are tied to the authentic giving he was always able to do from his heart.

What kind of gifts do you think of when you hear about a gift from the heart?  Who have you learned the essence of giving from?  How do you come across to others in your giving?  Spend some time thinking of your own stories and memories about giving this Christmas and do what you are meant to do at Christmas, give from the heart!

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 10 Comments »

How to Free Yourself From Gossip

December 21st 2009

The Dangers of Gossip

Gossip is one of the most common problems in the workplace as well as in relationships.  The biggest problem with it is that most people don’t even realize when a discussing takes a turn towards gossip and even worse is that they don’t realize the impact of gossip. Well gossip is a relationship killer and it happens much more frequently than you might want to believe.  Gossip is basically anything that could be seen as a negative spoken about one person to another when they are not there to hear it first hand.  It could be something very simple with zero intent to harm them and it could be as harsh as an intentional slander of someone’s character.

There is nothing good about gossip and it usually hurts the person under gossip and the people involved in sharing the gossip.  There are risks in having the person find out about a person sharing gossip (gossips) as well as the pain and hurt to that person of whatever negative information is spread.  There are many additional dangers of gossip:

  • stress to those involved
  • hurt feelings
  • destroys teamwork
  • destroys the desire for people to share any meaningful vulnerabilities
  • prevents communication that requires trust by encouraging people to keep their mouth shut
  • creates undeserved reputations

Your Own Choices Around Gossip

All of these dangers should be enough to convince anyone to avoid gossip, unfortunately, they are not.  Gossip is temping and often encouraged by the behaviors of people.  Gossips welcome all new gossip and they often turn those who don’t participate in their gossip into their own victims of new gossip. Its often easier to participate than to risk becoming a victim and for many there is also an attraction (for a multitude of reason) to participate for their own reasons.  Gossip is selfish and usually malicious in that it downplays or attacks someone else (whether subtle or obvious) to make the gossips look better in comparison.  This is exactly why its so destructive because it destroys so much in oneself, let alone the victims of gossip.  It destroys your character and puts you into a position where you can’t be trusted.  The power that gossip gives is very temporary and usually short sided which ends up coming back negatively to the gossips.  The most common of these methods is when gossip turns around and the people involved in gossip then become victims of gossip themselves, often within the same group destroying any bonds the gossip might be falsely or temporarily created anyway.  Other consequences of gossip are getting caught, building mistrust, false relationships, spreading untrue rumors and many hurt feelings and people left in the wake of gossip.

The great thing about gossip is that it really is very easy to free yourself from it if you can chose to avoid it and learn a few techniques to help identify it, handle it and stay clear of the problems caused by it.  So how is that done?

Identify Gossip

Many times gossip is quite obvious and undisguised.  It could be as simple as people asking questions about what you heard or know or thought about someone else or their actions.  It could sound like the following:

  • Did you hear what Frank said to Sally?
  • You wouldn’t believe what I heard John did this weekend?
  • I heard that Gerry…
  • Did you see Lisa’s new boyfriend?

All these do not necessarily lead to negative gossip but they are obvious conversations about other people and should be very easy to identify in a conversation or start of one.  Not all gossip is as easy to recognize as this, unfortunately, and sometimes it is much more disguised.  It might even happen when talking with a friend or colleague when the conversation started about simple facts or positives about someone else and shifted to negatives or problems about that person.  If you are not talking about how to help that person, support them to resolve their problems or some other positive action when discussing others, its quite likely its turning into gossip.  Basically, if you are talking about someone else, you need to really stop and think if you are doing it to help them or not.  If your not, its gossip and there is no need for it.

Influencing Gossip

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21

Since gossip is so powerful it has a great influence on others and so it must be battled through positive influence in response.  There are a number of actions you can take against gossip.

Ignore it:

  • Avoid people who talk gossip and don’t give any opportunities for them to spread it
  • Simply leave the room or conversation when gossip starts
  • Don’t respond to questions about opinions on others or other gossip traps
  • Ignore gossip and don’t engage in any gossip based conversations

Prevent it:

  • Never start any of your own gossip
  • Change the topic whenever a conversation leads to gossip
  • Refuse to listen or respond to any gossip you are faced with
  • Hide any hurt feelings or dramatic reaction to gossip.  This fuels the gossips to continue as its often what gossips want to generate.

Confront it:

  • Politely say that you would prefer to talk about that person when they are present
  • If you know the source of gossip, go and confront them immediately and calmly tell them you do not appreciate them talking about you and that it causes hurt feelings whether intentional or not.
  • If you hear someone start some gossip, offer to go to that victimized person with the gossiper right away to discuss it.
  • Simply respond to gossip, “Would you like to have someone share that about you without you knowing?” and walk away.
  • State I don’t like talking about other people because I don’t like them talking about me.
  • State that you don’t talk about others unless its to help them or support them
  • State that you don’t want to talk about others negatively unless they are involved in the discussion
  • State that you don’t want to talk about others negatively unless they are involved in the discussion

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 32 Comments »

Breaking Bad Communication Habits

August 31st 2009

Communication is an area that we can forever improve on and its an important area for anyone interested in personal development.  With my recent discovery about Appreciative Inquiry and looking more carefully at how to employ a new method of communication, I’ve realized there is much we do in communication that is based on habits.  These habits are often harmful and promote bad communication styles.  Most of us are trained to be advocates in our communication, that is one who argues there case, pushes what they want and seeks to find approval of that communicated message and to find followers doing so (Oh ohhh…, that might include a few bloggers then as well!).

The One Communication Mistake We All Make

There is one mistake everyone makes from time to time in the way they communicate.  This is when we send our message instead of communicating in a way that ensures our message is in fact received.  This happens when we are impatient or not considering the other person’s perspective and we simply think that making our voice heard and our message sent is in fact communicating.  Well, it is not.  Communication is all about how you actually deliver your message and so you cannot simply send your message without knowing it is actually received.

Don’t make the mistake of sending your message simply to get your ideas out without regard for others.  Keep your ego at bay when you want to be heard and consider whether it is an appropriate time for the receiver as well as you to communicate.  Remember, if they are not going to hear it, then it isn’t worth saying.

Getting Past Being Right

The next mistake often made in communication is that of having to be right.  Many of us just love to be right and it is a conversation and healthy communication killer.  If you do not stop to listen to other perspectives and accept new ideas in the way you communicate, this having to be right habit will surface often and it a tough problem to break.  Trust me, I know from experience.  I can’t say I’ve broken this habit myself but its something I’m much more aware of and I do notice it and stop myself often.  If you simply state that you disagree AFTER listening to another person’s angle and actually ensuring you understand it, you can still debate things in conversation but if you have a habit of telling someone else how they are wrong, you can immediate kill the conversation.

Criticism

Criticism for some people is very easy and its often the first thing on your mind when you hear other people’s ideas.  I think this is closely related to the bad habit of having to be right and this one comes more subtle but even more dangerous because often it isn’t even founded in anything.  Being critical and voicing it often comes very easy to most.  Its a way to express creative ideas but unfortunately, when it is delivered as critism, it is often a power trip for a creative mind to show their creative powers over another’s idea.

All three of these bad communication habits lead to adversarial communications and they can harm your relationships with other people.  Be aware of these in your conversations and look to eliminate these bad habits by replacing them with good communication habits.  Listen more than you speak, try to actually understand what others are telling you before debating it and don’t tell them they are wrong or make generalizations about people with words like always and never.  Keep your criticism at bay and do your best to keep conversations going by showing interest in others, inquiring more about what they want to talk about and by staying open minded of other’s ideas.  These steps will help you practise good communication techniques and can lead you away from the bad habits that bring upon adversarial communication.

criticism

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 23 Comments »

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