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12 Things That Happen When You Say Yes More

12 Things That Happen When You Say Yes More

Have you ever found yourself sitting quietly in a group of friends and realized that you’re the one who has nothing to say? Or you have the Sunday Fear because, just like every Sunday, you have to go to work tomorrow? Deep inside you know that you’ve got something offer, you believe it, even — but you have no idea how to start discovering that secret version of you, the potential you have, the key to the doors you’ve so far been unable to unlock.

As a human, you’re the only creature on the planet capable of actively developing yourself. Every time you do something new you grow and however rich life has been so far there is so much more to come as long as you give yourself a chance.

Saying yes opens a door for something new to happen and if saying yes becomes a habit far fewer opportunities will slide by unnoticed. In fact, saying yes more will leave you with so many options that you’ll also have to say no more, but let’s concentrate on the glass half full. The things you say yes to are the things that happen, the memories you create and the experiences that will make you who you are, and as soon as you begin you’ll find yourself on a journey that will shape the rest of your life.

Here are the 12 things that will happen when you say yes more.

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1. You become more interesting

It might take a little time, but when you have a different experience to talk about every time you catch up with your friends not only do you have new tales to tell, but as time goes on you will become more rounded, articulate and knowledgeable. Not only will your friends wonder what happened to you, but slowly they’ll become infected with your enthusiasm to do new things.

2. You realize the kindness of strangers

Stranger danger is a cold war myth. You’re a stranger to most people and you’re not so bad, so give everyone else the benefit of the doubt. Saying yes will mean you find yourself in brand new surroundings with people you’ve never met before, and more than likely you’ll need some help at some point. Just when you’re feeling down and feeling like maybe this yes thing wasn’t such a good idea, something good will happen and it’s likely to come in the form of a helping hand. Strangers are just friends waiting to happen and if you approach life with gusto, see color in the grayest of moments and start to push your limits you’ll be amazed at who you meet.

3. Your confidence skyrockets

Remember the last thing you said yes to? And the the one before that? Of course you do! You’re still alive — in fact, you feel more alive — and suddenly you’re not just waiting for opportunities, you’re creating them. As saying yes to cool stuff becomes second nature you’ll talk to more people which in turn will lead to new offers and ideas. You’ll feel less scared than ever before, more willing to take risks and as your field of vision opens up your eyes will shine brighter.

4. Failure becomes OK

There will always be moments when you’re scared to fail or that people tell you that you’re not en route to success, but even when your latest adventure doesn’t quite come off you’ll be better prepared to dust yourself off. What other people classify as failure shouldn’t matter to you because this is your life and you can do what you want with it. Saying yes is just as much about putting yourself in a position to accept that not everything goes perfectly, but that this is still OK. Success isn’t owning a big house and a fancy car, it’s waking up each day knowing that you’re going to give this your best shot.

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5. You get better at everything

You’re rubbish every time you do something new, unless you have some freakish talent or aptitude, in which case, now and then you’ll get lucky. But on the whole, you’re not going to be an expert when you try out a new activity or skill. But keep on plugging away and you’ll learn more, you’ll improve steadily and eventually your discipline will reward you. One day you’ll look back and laugh at how bad you were at the beginning, just as someone hands you a medal or you cross the finish line with arms aloft. Remember, not being able to do something does not mean you’ll never be able to do it.

6. You discover new-found creativity

OK, you’re fully into doing mode now. You’ve become pretty good at taking chances but now and then you’ll have to get creative. Whether it’s making a yes list, coming up with a one-off project or even setting yourself a huge adventure to complete, the extra purpose you’ve created for your actions will offer motivation and direction. Suddenly you’re starting to design life as you want it to look, and that means grabbing hold of your dreams and splashing them over paper. ‘I wish I could do that’ becomes ‘Let’s do that!’ and all of a sudden you’ll be doing something so unique your former self couldn’t have imagined it. That’s creativity and you’re an artist of life; keep painting!

7. You feel more healthy

Living life on your own terms comes with its downs but your ability to take charge and take or create new opportunities has done wonders for your mind and your body. You’re more positive, which means you challenge illness or inactivity as soon as it presents itself. You’re in a stronger position to help others which always makes you feel better, and physically you’re more confident — especially because now you know that if you wanted to, you could run a marathon, even though you haven’t started training yet. Crucially, looking after yourself and knowing when to say yes to rest will preserve the energy you need for the next big thing.

8. Asking for things becomes easier

It’s not always simple stepping out of the box but if it’s taught you one thing, it’s that you’re OK with being vulnerable. There’s no shame in feeling lost or in need of help and just as you’d step up to assist someone if they asked for your help, you become more confident that it works in the opposite direction too. Maybe you’re cycling through a foreign country and a storm is coming in — just knock on the door of a local farm and ask if you could sleep in the barn (they’ll probably end up giving you a bed, a meal and a shower too). Perhaps you’re fundraising for a charity, organizing an event or need help moving to a smaller place (because who needed room for all that stuff anyway?!), just reach out and others will help, especially because now you have a good reason to be asking.

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9. You start to enjoy Mondays

You only used to hate Mondays because you hated your job, and if all of this saying yes has taught you anything it’s that you no longer have to accept a mediocre life. Without a doubt that means that you don’t have to spend the majority of the week doing something you have no love for. You’ve worked out an escape plan despite a few people around you saying that ‘you definitely shouldn’t give up everything you’ve worked for’ and, your game strengthened by all the things you learned between points 1 and 9; you’re ready to take things to the next level. There is a way to make a living doing something you enjoy and yes, it’ll take some time and work, but you’re ready for the struggle. It’s not like that job filled you with joy anyway. One day you’ll wake up on a Monday without a looming malice stirring in your belly — that’s the day you know you made it.

10. You have to learn how to say no

Life got epic and busy, but now you’re in a position where you’ve opened up so many doors you simply can’t take them all at the same time. You’re also being approached by others asking your advice — yep, you’ve now gotten to a stage where you’ve done so much that people are coming to you for help — but this takes time, too. You have a hunch that maybe if you carry on saying yes to everything that sure, you might not get any sleep, but that’s OK. But it’s not: sleep is the best medicine you have. S

o you have to learn to say no sometimes, after all, every time you say yes you also say no by default to pretty much everything else. Knowing what’s right and wrong comes down to instinct, and this has been honed (and will continue to be so) by all of the yeses you’ve said so far. You know what’s good for and not so good as well, you just have to decide on the Big Yes for any given moment and protect your investment in that by saying no to the rest.

11. The world starts to make sense

It didn’t use to. Remember when you were a kid and you thought your twenty-five year-old teacher was a fully blown adult, totally sorted in every way? And then you got to twenty-five and realized you were still figuring everything out? Well, that doesn’t ever change. There will always be questions we can’t answer and part of understanding what makes this world revolve is accepting that we don’t have control of everything. But we are capable of influencing our own decisions and the happiness of the people around us, and nothing matters much more than how you make others feel when you go through life. The longer we spend on this wonderful planet the better we get to know our place in it, and the value of that place is multiplied by your willingness to learn and experience as much as you dare.

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12. Things just work out

They do, they really do. You have to trust in this fully to get the most out of life, to turn disappointment into opportunity, to let heartache run its course and doubt evaporate into hope. The process of saying yes to so many things has meant that you’ve broken down barriers, learned more about yourself and started to help others too. Sometimes it feels like you’re totally in control but now and then life throws you the most unfair-seeming curve balls which you can’t escape from. Who knows why we’re here but if we can accept the best of life we should be able to accept the worst of it, and moving on to the next good moment will happen in time, especially when utilizing the most positive habits.

For the last ten years my personal motto has been to say yes more, and it has changed my life unimaginably. Of all the benefits, learning and experiences that came along with each yes, it’s worth noting that in the face of an increasing virtual, dislocated world, nothing worthwhile happens without people. Our ability to communicate, inspire, help and be helped and to share with others will paint the picture of our lives, one we only get to see in full when we look back right at the end, on our last day.

Let’s make this time we have here count, for us and those around us. Make life memorable. Say Yes More.

Featured photo credit: DaveCornthwaite//www.davecornthwaite.com via davecorn.smugmug.com

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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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