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10 Ways to Tell You’re An Evolved Person

10 Ways to Tell You’re An Evolved Person

We all go through major changes at different times in our lives. The old saying about “putting away childish things” can hit you hard, especially when you don’t feel ready to take the next step. However, once you start moving in a positive direction, you’ll find that it’s not only easier than you expected, but it’s also much more worthwhile than you ever imagined. You’re on the path to success if:

1. You know who you are

So many people drift through life without ever really knowing themselves. A lot of us end up working a menial 9-5, come home, eat, sleep, and repeat every day of our lives, only to wake up at 40 and realize we’ve missed out on what we really wanted to do with our lives. Being self-aware at all times will allow you to understand what you want, and will help you start on the path toward actualizing your goals.

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2. You know what you want

If you know who you are, you’ll figure out what you want out of life. Take the time when you’re young to really figure out what you want to do with your life. You don’t have to follow in anyone else’s footsteps; make your own path. If you waste your youth thinking that you’ll figure it all out “someday,” you’ll end up putting it off until it’s too late. Once you step out into the “real world,” other obligations will take control of your life, and you might never end up doing what you wanted to do with your time on Earth.

3. You’re in control of your destiny

Successful people aren’t just lucky; they’ve planned out their entire life, and know exactly what they want out of it. This isn’t to say that everything will go according to that plan, but the evolved person understands that life doesn’t happen. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t destined to become a billionaire; he made it happen. And it wasn’t just a fly-by-night, get-rich-quick scheme, either. Creating a service that literally billions of people use on a daily basis was no accident. There was careful planning involved, and a lot of hard work and time put into creating Facebook. If he spent his early 20’s at a bar with friends, he would never have gotten where he is today.

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4. Your life is set up by you, and no one else

You’ve earned everything you have to your name. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make much money; having a fridge stocked with more than just alcohol is an accomplishment if you bought everything in it with a hard-earned paycheck. You don’t accept handouts, because you know they’re meaningless. Even if you’re not in the exact line of work you thought you’d be in, you can still come home and say to yourself: “I earned this. This is all mine.” There may be no greater feeling in the world than to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

5. You set and accomplish goals with ease

“Ease” may not be the right word here. The higher your aspirations will be, the harder it will be to attain your goals. However, this doesn’t mean you set the bar low, and it definitely doesn’t mean you stop trying. On the contrary, every day you push harder than you did the day before. By doing so, it becomes more and more routine for you to keep grinding. You also are never satisfied once you complete a goal; instead, you take a short breather and look at what you can accomplish next. There’s always another way to improve, and the evolved person will keep at it indefinitely.

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6. You’ve surrounded yourself with the right people

We all have the friends who we love to hang out with, but who also hold us back from attaining true success. While it’s okay to visit in moderation, hanging out with the same people on a daily basis can severely impede your growth. The saying goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are actually more knowledgeable and driven than you are will give you role models to look up to, and will keep you from becoming stagnant.

7. You’re reflective

The evolved person reflects on his or her accomplishments on a daily basis, as well as over the long-term. Evolved people analyze how they handled different situations and navigated different problems, and if there were any better way to go about their day. They also take stock in their life and decide if they are where they thought they would be five years ago, and if anything in their life needs to change in order to keep improving. By being honest with themselves about where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re headed, evolved people ensure they stay on the fast-track to success.

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8. You thrive on change

Some people prefer to stay stagnant, especially when they find a “sweet spot” in life. Of course, if everyone chose to stay in their comfort zone, nothing would ever get accomplished, and the human race would eventually start to falter. It’s incredibly important that humanity continues to evolve, on the small scale as well as large. Do your part by constantly pushing your comfort zone to its limits. Embrace vulnerability; putting yourself “out there” may be risky, but it will also be rewarding in the long run. And you’ll be making a contribution to the evolution of human beings as a species, which is no small feat.

9. You don’t compare yourself to others

If I looked at a list of “accomplishments of famous people by the age of 30,” I’d want to crawl into a hole and die. I might not be the creator of the “next big thing,” and I certainly am not a multimillionaire, but I have accomplished a lot more in my life than many others my age. But I don’t care about that. The only thing I care about is whether or not I’m better than I was yesterday. If the answer to that question is no, then I’ve wasted precious time that I’ll never be able to get back. Don’t look at what others have accomplished; look at what you can do better tomorrow.

10. You want the best for yourself, and for others

Evolved people care deeply about themselves, and for the people around them. They don’t see life as a competition (see above); rather, they want to build themselves up, and push others to do the same. Evolved people let go of jealousy and animosity, and only look toward the future of humanity as a whole. By seeing all 7 billion of us as one enormous community, we can work toward common goals that ensure our species will continue to evolve long after we have left this Earth.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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