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8 Changes To Make If You Want To Be A Truly Happy Person

8 Changes To Make If You Want To Be A Truly Happy Person

The pursuit of happiness is believed to be one of the basic human rights, but even with all the freedom in the world to pursuit it, a lot of people can’t seem to attain this elusive state of mind. We all get sidetracked by daily problems and goals like putting food on the table, so it’s easy to forget what it takes for you to be happy. True happiness is born out of daily effort, and there are certain lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to get starter down the right path.

1. Stop procrastinating and focus on the present

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Planning and preparation are important if you want to reach your goals, but if you find yourself spending too much time thinking about what you want to do, instead of actually making moves and getting things done, then it’s time to make some changes. You see, once we actually get off the couch and start finishing all those little tasks and chores that we normally put off, we can deal with 80 percent of your to do list within a few hours. Not having to worry about obligations that are beginning to stack up will do wonders for your stress levels, and it only takes a few hours here and there to get most of the work done.

2. Take care of your body

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Our bodies are wonderful little biological machines that can adapt and survive in various harsh conditions, and the way we feel on an emotional level is closely related to how we feel physically. A lot of stress and anxiety comes from being unsatisfied with how we look, but a weak body that lacks proper nutrition will host a fatigued and unsatisfied mind. Common problems such as acne can be resolved with home remedies and a healthy diet, and just a bit more attention to personal hygiene and grooming can make you feel like a million bucks. On top of that, a few running sessions and a few workouts a week will help keep you happy and energetic.

3. Work out what it is that you need to be happy

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

Not everyone has the same vision of happiness, so chasing someone else’s dreams or trying to achieve happiness through a paint by numbers method laid out by a supposed guru isn’t going to get you what you need. You have to write down the top 3 things that you need to be happy, and add several key points that will make each one of your goals happen. Once you start dissecting things in this manner you often find that a seemingly minor problem like getting 2 hours of sleep less per night than you need, can actually be holding you back in different areas, e.g. you can’t focus, your less productive at work, work cuts into your personal time and so on.

4. Free yourself of things and people that keep you down

“Surround yourself with the right people, and realize your own worth. Honestly, there are enough bad people out there in the world – you don’t need to be your own worst enemy.” – Lucy Hale

We tend to get stuck with toxic people, as well as items and tools, that don’t allow us to reach our full potential because we get used to things being a certain way, and change is too difficult and scary. That car that keeps breaking down and costing a fortune to repair, fairly dull kitchen knives that will just about do the job, a “friend” who is only interested in his or her own problems, a partner that sucks the life energy straight from you – these are the things that limit you and cause you grief.  Try to hang out with good friends, cut the bad things from your life one at a time and you’ll breathe much easier.

5. Give up some of your bad habits and replace them with good ones

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” – Steven Pressfield

While certain habits may be born out of necessity, a lot of them are a matter of laziness or indulgence. You may not think of things like eating a lot of junk food or smoking as all that harmful to your mood and emotional health, but it’s when you give them up that you realize how much better of you are off. Each bad habit should be replaced by a good one, e.g. stop smoking and start walking for an hour a day.

6. Let go of the need to “win” arguments

“Convincing yourself doesn’t win an argument.” – Robert Half

Alright, I’ll be the first one to say that arguments are a necessary part of life. They can actually help resolve big issues, but not if you approach them with a “winning” mentality, and not if you start them over the smallest things. In fact, you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you just focus on preventing arguments by effectively communicating with those around you. Once you start preemptively resolving potential arguments, you’ll get upset far less often, and you will have less drama in your life.

7. Enjoy the little moments

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

The old saw about stopping to smell the roses is a real gem, but not a lot of people actually try to apply it in real life. The key here is to make a mental note to stop, take a few deep breaths and focus on your immediate surroundings every time something pleasant happens, or if you are feeling down and want to calm your mind. Perhaps a cute girl or guy smiled at you at the coffee shop, or maybe you had a fun little chat with your friends – savor those moments and let the little wave of euphoria wash over you.

8. Take up something that you are passionate about

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Taking up hobby or devoting a good deal of your time to master a skill has several benefits:

  • Your work prevents your mind from wandering off into the land of self-doubt
  • Being really good at something will make you feel more confident
  • Seeing the fruits of your labor will make you very happy
  • You’ll get to socialize with fun and like-minded people
  • You get to focus your energy on something creative and relieve stress

If you spend just a few hours a week on doing something that you are passionate about, you’ll be able to reduce your anxiety and get a strong sense of accomplishment.

It can take some time, and quite a bit of serious effort to reach a stage in your life where you feel relaxed and content for 70-80% of the time, and can honestly say that you are happy in life. The points covered here will definitely help bring you a step closer to achieving your goal, but remember that knowing is not the same as doing.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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