Welcome to another Zoe Listicles, where every week, I will summarize a few ideas that will help you live greater, love better and laugh more.
This week, I would like to specifically share 5 ideas that helped me change the way I see life and love; which eventually improved the way I lived and loved.
Let’s get into it!
- Memento Mori: This Latin phrase which translates to “remember that you will die” is a timeless maxim used by many Stoic Philosophers like Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus to live life to the fullest.
To them, the act of meditating on our own mortality can help us extract the full value of that day, invigorate life, and create priority. Here’s what Marcus Aurelius said in his famous Meditations, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”
By constantly putting death in front of his mind, he treated each day as a gift, and reminded himself constantly to not waste any time in the day on the trivial and vain.
- Be Aware of Your Partner’s Emotional Bids: The easiest way to transform your relationship according to relationship expert John Gottman is by engaging on your partner’s bids.
In his book 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work, he defined bids as emotional requests made by your partner throughout the day (it can be as simple as asking for a back rub or seeking help to do stuffs). When you fulfilled these bids, you are investing in his /her emotional bank account.
When stress and conflict strikes; your partner’s emotional bank account will safeguard you from nasty breakup. So every day, make sure you are filling your loved ones’ emotional bank account by being aware of your partner’s emotional bids and responding it in the right way.
- The Danger of Goals: According to Mark Manson, goals are dangerous because the meaning they provide when you’re working towards them is the meaning that is taken away once you achieve them.
Thus, it is important to have a deeper reason for your goals and re-evaluate them every once in a while. According to Mark Manson, the best two reasons you can have are:
A) Make sure it solve problems (finding ways to make the world a better place)
B) Help others (when your goal made a difference in people’s lives, it became meaningful)
- See Beauty in Everything: Let’s face it, life can be nasty and harsh. With all the problems happening in the world and in our own life, it’s not that hard to feel depressed.
But if we wish not to be exhausted and jaded by the harshness and negativity that surrounds us, we need to practice what Marcus Aurelius did on his Meditations 2000 years ago: see beauty in everything.
This basically means to find poetry in everything- even in the mundane or the morbid.
For example, think for a moment, what had to happen for us to be here, on this planet, at this moment. Whether it was a God (or gods) that brought us here, or an inestimable accumulation of evolutionary accidents, both are equally humbling and wondrous. Ponder on all this and ask yourself how does that make you feel?
By trying to find grace and harmony where others can’t see, you will find joy.
- What Is Your Love language?: According to Dr. Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages, there are 5 ways people can communicate/ receive love:
A. Words of affirmation- using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for taking out the garbage.” Not- “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The flies were going to carry it out for you.”
B. Gifts- a gift says. “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”
C. Acts of Service- Doing something for your spouse that you know they would like: cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.
D. Quality time- by which I mean, giving your spouse undivided attention. Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off- talking and listening.
E. Physical touch- holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse are all expressions of love
When we communicate the preferred love language of our partner, your loving actions will have a bigger impact on his/her emotional bank account.
When we fail to communicate the preferred love language of our partner, he/she may not even perceive your acts of love as acts of love.
Thus, making sure that you are using the right love language to communicate with your partner/ loved ones is probably one of the best investment you can make in your relationships. You can use this quiz to discover your loved one’s love language.
If you like this article and would like to get my article faster, you can click the subscribe box below. Every week, I will directly send my latest articles to your inbox and by subscribing to my list, you will receive my newest Ebook, Zoe Life.