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7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself To Know If You’re On The Right Track

7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself To Know If You’re On The Right Track

Being “on the right track” can mean completely different things for different people. But regardless of what characteristics you want your life to have, the same basic questions apply to everyone. Answer these seven questions honestly, and you’ll have your answer as to whether you’re on the right track or teetering off course.

1. Am I enjoying myself?

Enjoying life isn’t the only priority we should have. For example, enjoying life a little too much can lead to reckless and irresponsible behaviors. However, a much more common problem people have today is not making time for enjoyment. If you’re not careful, jobs, bills, and various obligations can end up occupying most of your time. In this case, we begin to break down like a car that has needed an oil change for too long. If you’re consistently busy, you may want to consider consciously planning out time for enjoyable activities. If we don’t do this, our minds often compensate with less healthy enjoyable activities, like eating junk food or gossiping just to blow off steam.

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2. Am I spending time with people I can learn from?

We know we want people around who have things in common with us – people who make us laugh, people we can relax and spend time with. But it’s also important to have people in your life who can teach you something – someone who is advanced in some area of life that you are not. Many of the most successful people in the world cite personal mentors as crucial to their success. And while it may not always be fun, certain people can challenge us in ways that catalyze our personal growth.

3. Am I feeling healthy?

With the exception of accidents, health issues are not strictly physical issues – they often accompany an underlying psychological problem, and/or an unhealthy lifestyle pattern. This is especially true for chronic illnesses. While we can’t immediately heal ourselves from disease, we can pay close attention to health issues that are developing in us and try to address them and understand where they came from.

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4. Am I making compromises?

Compromise can be a positive thing – like something you do with a friend when deciding what restaurant to eat at. However, compromise can also be an insidious bad habit that keeps people unsatisfied, while pulling them away from who they really are. If you frequently ignore your intuition, you can easily fall off the right track. For example, feeling like you need to relax, but instead going to do favors for a friend. Or on a broader scale, feeling the urge to pursue a certain career, but being coerced by others into a safer route.

5. Am I doing what I’m good at?

While research shows that practice is the most significant precursor for success, we all have innate skill sets and particular interests that we naturally drift toward. If you are constantly pushing yourself to be better at tasks that don’t come natural to you, or that you don’t enjoy, you can begin to slip off the right track. If you allow yourself to explore things you’re good at (whether in a career or otherwise), you’ll be happier and you’ll be more equipped to help others.

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6. Am I procrastinating my life away?

This is perhaps the easiest and least noticeable way to go off the right track, which makes it especially dangerous. It’s very easy to let ourselves believe in the “one day” lie: one day I’ll start exercising; one day I’ll spend more time with my family; one day I’ll start my own business. But if you don’t mean today, these things will probably never happen. Instead, you can begin taking small actions each day to bring about the changes you want. As long as you accomplish a small task, you’ll be moving toward a goal.

7. Am I following my heart or my ego?

It is often very difficult for us to tell whether we are doing, saying, and believing things because they are true, or because our egos tell us they’re true. Our egos can mislead us in countless ways. For example, you can think you’re beginning a new relationship because it makes you happy, when in reality, it’s because you feel the need to compete with an ex. If you have a hard time distinguishing between following your heart and following your ego, consider this: Your heart will lead you to genuine contentment and simple satisfaction, while your ego will chase fleeting happiness that depends on external factors.

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Featured photo credit: flickr/ kris krug via farm2.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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