By Laura Dickey
Do you know why good foundation is important? Gardeners could tell you how essential the soil is to how well things grow. Builders could tell you how important foundation is to build a sturdy house that will last for a long time. Education (at least high school) is a an essential foundation for every single person today. And family (of course) is a grounding foundation for most people.
It isn’t impossible to have a great life if you start off with poor foundation. After all, there are many people who have built themselves up from nothing, created a solid foundation for themselves and have become very successful and happy.
Whether you’re talking about being a good employee, good father/mother, good sister/brother, good friend, good citizen or good human, your foundation determines if you will succeed, how well you will manage all the aspects of your life, and how easy it will be for you. Today I want to share with you a couple of things that are part of a good foundation in life.
This year is all about sharing hope for me. Hope is one portion of your attitude. You can choose not only to have a positive or negative attitude, but you can also choose to live with or without hope. Your attitude and your underlying, unwavering hope in the future can make you stand out at work as a great employee, it can help you work through relationship challenges and it can give you the strength to make the right choices in your life. Choose to see the options in your life, the potential of your life and encourage others with your life!
A good foundation in life is based on your willingness to keep growing and learning. The world is moving and changing quickly. One of the best decisions you can always make for yourself is to choose in favor of learning something. Devote 10 minutes a day to reading a book that can help you be better at your job or in your relationships, attend or listen to seminars and speakers who can help you have better relationships and daily spend time journaling and meditating or just being quiet. Knowledge is power, no doubt about it. But if we base all our decisions on the knowledge that people had in 1491, the world would still be flat. Not only do we need knowledge, we need to keep gaining knowledge (and applying that knowledge) and continue to grow throughout our lives.
Every day I see the news or I talk with someone, I’m convinced what a difference it would make in the world if we would all communicate a little better and more frequently. Be respectful, do your best to reply to emails and calls within 24 hours, include all pertinent details the first time, be honest, don’t hide things, and don’t talk for hours when it could be said well in 5 minutes. Make a conscious effort to choose words that will uplift and assist others, not words that will tear them down or hurt them. Say yes more often, even if it means saying “yes you can have the chocolate, after you eat the vegetables” or “yes I will pull up that report, can you give me guidance on this project I’m working on” or just say yes with no conditions! Don’t be afraid to ask for help too! That’s as big a part of communicating as sharing is!
Above all else, and all the time, love. Love does what words can’t and goes where people can’t. Love is in sharing a smile with a stranger, being considerate with family and friends, being attentive at work and making decisions that support the environment. It doesn’t have to be February 14 for you to be loving. Love should be something we do all the time. Love should be our first thought, not revenge, being fair or fearing failure. If you’re living, growing, communicating and acting in love, you’ll build a solid foundation for your future thoughts, friendships, decisions and actions.
These are just a few of the parts of you that make up your foundation. I mentioned that your foundation determines how balanced you stay when life throws you curve balls. The great thing about it is that no matter who you are or who you’re with, you can improve on all of these areas of your foundation. You’re in control of setting up a firm foundation now for the rest of your life. Whether you’re 6 or 66, you can still build a foundation of hope, growth, communication and love. How much improvement you make to your foundation is dependent on you and only you.
I encourage you to take one action that will help you improve your foundation in each area this week. Pick up a book on communication, show love to a stressed child or partner, and share hope with a discouraged friend or coworker, these are just 3 ideas to get you started. The more you put these ideas into practice in your life, the easier and more second nature they will be, and more balanced and stable your life will be. I would love to hear what transformations happen as you work on these!
Laura Dickey is passionate about sharing hope and empowering individuals, families and businesses to live balanced and successful lives. When she’s not writing or supporting others in their life journeys, she loves to organize, read, be creative and take walks. Read more about Laura here.
Photo credit: Susanica