post written by: Marc Chernoff

11 Things Everyone Needs You to Know


11 Things We All Need You to Know

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”
-Bob Marley

A silhouette of a human being stands before you.

Perhaps an old friend.  Perhaps a neighbor.  Perhaps a perfect stranger, like me.

Here are 11 things we all need you to keep in mind…

  1. You never really know how much the people around you are hurting.  You could be standing next to someone who is completely broken inside and you wouldn’t even know it.  So never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.  And remember that there are two ways to spread light in this world: You can either be a flame of hope, or a mirror that reflects it.  Be one of the two every chance you get.  Read The Four Agreements.
  2. The most important trip you will likely take in life is meeting others half way.  You will achieve far more by working with people, rather than against them.  Giving someone else a voice, and showing them that their ideas matter, will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the both of you.
  3. Relationships don’t create happiness, they reflect it.  Happiness is an inside job.  Relationships are simply the mirrors of your happiness; they reflect it and help you celebrate it.  They are mirrors because they are a perfect reflection of your thoughts and beliefs.  To reflect means to encourage you when you feel weak and challenge you when you feel strong, thereby returning you to your center.  And to celebrate is to share the natural ease and joy of living from your center – of living in the now with clarity.
  4. Compassion comes back around.  The son who tends to his chronically ill mother, ignoring his own exhaustion; the neighbor who gives a helping hand, even as his own needs go unanswered; the one who donates a couple dollars to someone in need, even if she has to break her last five dollar bill to do it.  Maybe you don’t hear the names of these unsung heroes in the news, but surely the universe hears their names and treats them accordingly.
  5. Timing is everything.  There is a time for silence, a time to let go and allow your friends to launch themselves into their own destiny, and a time to cheer for their victories, or help them pick up the pieces, when it’s all over.  Read The Friendship Factor.
  6. Actions are the loudest form of communication.  What you do speaks so loud that others will have a hard time hearing what you say.  So practice what you preach or don’t preach at all – walk the talk.  And remember that there is often a major gap between what someone says and what they do.  Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
  7. A healthy relationship keeps the doors and windows open.  Plenty of air is circulating and no one feels trapped.  Relationships thrive in this environment.  Keep your doors and windows open.  If a person is meant to be in your life, all the open doors and windows in the world won’t make them leave.
  8. People are more what they keep silent than what they say.  Pay attention to their quiet gestures.  If you cannot understand someone’s silence, you will have a hard time understanding their words.  Read The Definitive Book of Body Language.
  9. What others say and do is often based entirely on their own self-reflection.  When you have people speaking to you who are angry and upset, and you nevertheless remain very present and continue to treat them with kindness and respect, you place yourself in a position of great power.  You become a means for the situation to be graciously diffused and healed.  A Zen teacher once said, “When somebody backs themselves into a corner, look the other way until they get themselves out; and then act as though it never happened.”  Allowing people to save face in this way, and not reminding them of what they already know is not their most intelligent behavior, is an act of great kindness.  This is possible when we realize that people behave in such ways because they are in a place of great suffering.  People react to their own thoughts and feelings and their behavior often has nothing directly to do with you.
  10. Sincerity is giving without expectation.  Good character and true friendship is all about how a person nurtures another person who is vulnerable and can give nothing in return.  So when you have been through tough times and come out the other side, look around you.  The people still standing beside you are your true friends.
  11. Not every relationship is meant to last forever.  Some people aren’t meant to stay in your life.  Some people are just passing through to bring you something – perhaps a lesson you need to learn, or memory that makes you smile years later.  When the time comes, it’s okay to let go and move on with your life.

Photo by: Tommaso Guermandi

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42 Comments

  • Yes, great post! Living last 5 years of my life as a brand ambassador of hope. Never knew before that little encouragement could bring miracles in someone else’s life. Thanks for spreading hope online 24×7 :-)

  • I really hope you put all of your thoughts into a book some day. Your positivity and words of wisdom have given me a lot of strength this past year

  • Yet another inspiring post that resonates loud to me. Thank you for your words of hope.

  • Thank you for this post. One of the most difficult things for me is dealing with other people who are negative in some way or another, whether they are angry, depressed, etc. This is good advice as always.

  • So inspiring… I love every point.

  • Great post, very inspiring. But what happens when you keep giving and giving and eventually you are tired because all they (the people around you) do is take and take. This is what I’m dealing with now, and it’s so hard.

  • Each of these points resonates with me, thank you.

  • Great list!

    Number 11 on the list reminds me of what Dr. Wayne Dyer says…”Some people will enter your life in Act 1 of your life and stay throughout your life. Others will enter in Act 3, Scene 5, and leave in Act 5, Scene 1. Learn to detach from people, places, and situations and allow life to flow.”

    Cherish the people in your life and know when it’s time to let go. Some people may not be in your life forever. Don’t take it personally.

  • Thank you for your many posts. I am just starting my business as a Life Coach. I plan to pass your information to my clients. WHEN you publish a book, I will give it as a gift to all I care those I care about! May you continue to have your creativity enhanced. Thank you for sharing!

  • Love this site, your postings always come right on time. Definitely sharing!!

  • love this post as well. Marc & Angel, would love to see a compilation of your greatest motivational quotes you refer to when you have to. thx for your post.

  • #11 speaks loudly to me. I’m working on moving forward.

  • It is a great idea about a book of thoughts, as Debbie K. said. Have you ever thought about it? I am sure it would become one of the favorite books of many…

  • Amandah, I follow Wayne Dyer, too.
    That saying reminds me of what I tell myself regularly: Some people were meant to be a memory. Enjoy them while you can, and then let them go.

  • very nice.

  • Good book recommendation in this post. I have read and continue to read The Four Agreements; I bought it a very long time ago and found it to be one of the best written books. I still own the book, I don’t loan it out because if the reader likes it they won’t give it back. Instead, I’ve bought several copies and have given them as gifts. Every one should read this book.

  • I never grow weary of reading the lists posted on this site. They’re always so motivational and uplifting, not to mention a source of inspiration for my own writing and how to live.

  • Good Advice Department
    September 19th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Your practical tips for productive living read like they came out of my mouth! Thanks for the positive reinforcement.

  • This is great! I love all of these. =) So inspiring!

  • Marc & Angel,

    Thanks again for another great article!! I have been battling with many of these issues most of my life as many probably do as well… Recently going thru many changes one of them being a seperation from my boyfriend of 7 1/2 yrs. This took place due to the fact that our home life was not a “HAPPY”- “POSITIVE”- “HEALTHY” one!! I have 2 children from a former marriage & day after day the “NEGATIVITY” got too “OVERWELMING”!!! … I subscribed to your article several months ago via referral from somone I consider a good friend. Without the introduction to You & Angel & the constant support & positivity of my friend I don’t think I could have pushed “FORWARD”.. Ultimately it was a decision I made after many years of considering my alternatives. I am very “GLAD” I made the decision to do just that “MOVE FORWARD” & let go… :)

    Thank again,
    Aila

  • Hi,
    I certainly appreciate your awesome postings, I always find them uplifting.
    And as an artist photographer I enjoy the visual imagery that goes along with emails too.
    Best to you both,
    Lu Anne Tyrrell

  • My favorite: Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

  • #6, #9, #11 really calling out to me today.

  • Another great and insightful post. thank you! It’s sometimes hard to not be reactive when people are angry, depressed around you. Keeping in mind that most of the things they do have nothing to do with you but more like reflection of their minds and that they are also suffering really helps me see things more clearly.

  • You are my life guru!!!
    Thank you so much “perfect stranger!” (Lol!) :)

  • I really liked this one: “A healthy relationship keeps the doors and windows open.”
    In my relationship, I strive to love my man ‘loosely’. When I told a friend this, she laughed, ‘cos it sounds promiscuous or something (!!), but no , what I mean by ‘loving him loosely’ is to love him fiercely but with freedom. I want him to know that he is massively loved and also has all the freedom in the world… I think that is a good way to love.

  • Marc and Angel-Please Write A Book With All Your Thoughts And Wisdom. Think Of All The People You Would Help,It Would Be A Better And Nicer World Too Live In. Also I Think People Would Learn To Love Themselves And Understand Others In A New Way!!!!!! Your Post Always Sets The Tone For Day. A Positive One And People With Positive Thoughts Are Hard To Find These Days.

  • Thank you again! Everytime I open my email and see one from you, I suddenly feel calm and happier, before I have even read what you have written.

    I’m struggling to move on from the past and while days are sometimes great, there are still days I feel I can’t go on. Reading this site is making it a little bit easier.

    I only wish I had found this site a few years back and followed it then!

  • @ LeeAnne…..I understand exactly where you are coming from..I too am dealing with exactly the same thing. People who continue to selfishly take all that you give…it can be exhausting..and there is no other alternative but to keep giving….since thats all I know to do.I have tried to be a little selfish but have been unable to feel fufilled in this act

  • Oh boy, I need to keep all of this in mind. Regards on a another great set of reminders for living life productively.

  • Wow! This is such an amazing post. It makes me feel very guilt about how much I focus on myself sometimes during social situations. For all I know, the person smiling right in front of me could actually be in pain and needs my help - to rescue them.

    The piece on relationships being a reflection is well-modeled by the two of you. I have to admit I wish my girlfriend would team up with me on my blog.

    Marc how did you talk her into it? :D

    Keep up the great work, this one impression is enough to keep me coming back, time and time again.

    Best,
    TJ

  • I’d love to have your book too. :)

  • I always look forward to reading your posts, they ground and centre me. I lived #1 and as so broken, outside appearances, I looked fine but was broken. Number 4 I’ve lived, for my son has turned around and cared for me, which brings tears to my eyes.

    Because of your site, which played an instrumental part in my healing, you gave me the strength to continue to press on. After nine months of healing from being clinically depressed, I’m now employed again and couldn’t be happier, thank you!

  • Nice job with this post :-)

  • I also think you should compile all these posts into a book.

  • Excellent post. I would rather say experience. I like the 11 point and its very true that many not aware of.

  • I really hope you guys write a book. I would buy it and buy one for all my close friends and family. It would help so many people and touch so many lives. Thank you for everything.

  • All I can say is thank you. Every one of these is right on the money. Especially #1. I am a living example of this great lesson.

  • As a teacher at an alternative school site, I will do well to remember all of these when I interact with my students — particularly #9.

  • Marc and Angel, please let us know if you have plans to be book authors :) I noticed Debbie K. mentioned that she would be interested and several others expressed the same. I would love to be able to have a book of “marc and angel” to keep on hand. I hope you’ll consider it.

  • This post couldn’t be more perfect. I want to share it with everyone I know and then some. I am now subscribing to your blog! Love, love, LOVE!

  • Marc, I applaud you for a remarkable piece. Thank you for your refreshing insight.

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