Advertising
Advertising

On Average People Can Only Withstand 25 Seconds Of Direct Questioning On Their Life Plans

On Average People Can Only Withstand 25 Seconds Of Direct Questioning On Their Life Plans

Picture those moments when you have been directly questioned about your life goals. You have a plan, you have a vivid idea in mind of where you are setting out to be, you are confident in your plan, and you are ready to proceed with determination.

But are there things you have forgotten? Are there parts of your plan, structural parts, that first need work, so that if, or when, you come into such lines of questioning, you can confidently withstand them and feel just as determined with the success of your idea afterward? There may be some reasons that we feel the pressure when confronted by questions of our life plans.

Advertising

Define your goals

Studies show that most people, when thinking about their goals or life plans, can only withstand a number of seconds of questioning before they trail off into evasiveness, silence, or mumbling self doubt. What this indicates is that there has not been a strong plan, or a strategy put in place to achieve their goals.

Studies also show that most times it is the question “How will you fund this idea?” or “Where will you find the money for this venture?” that unravels the confidence in the person’s idea. This is the point where, upon further thought, the realisation dawns that there needs to be a powerful strategic breakdown for the plan in order to achieve the goals. The problem here is that many people mistake goals for strategies, when they are not the same thing. In order to achieve our goals we first need to define them.

Advertising

Support your goals

We then need to find ways to support those goals. This is called strategy. Without this in place we cannot clearly understand the progress of our goals, or tweak them as is necessary on the journey to achieving them. When you differentiate between goal and strategy, you begin to understand that strategy is a form of problem solving. The problem being that we are trying to work out how to reach the goal.

Unfortunately, some people think that they have defined a good strategy, when really they are listing tactics and ideas for how the proposed goal will be met. However if these tactics are not strongly proactive in achievement, they are merely activities, and not strategies at all.

Advertising

A strategy needs to be a direct, firm plan of attack that can be carried out and tested along the way to ensure its success. Strategy is action. Further goals can then be added to the plan of attack to ensure that progress is made.

Succeed with your goals

Many people are also privy to social proof bias. This is when we enlist an idea, or continue down a certain route with an idea, because this is what other people think or do. We are contoured by the actions of others and how we think we should proceed, and so we might now know exactly what it is we want to achieve because we have automatically linked our ideas to those of others.

Advertising

Instead we should evaluate the plan based on our own ideas and desires. We should approach our goals with our own values in mind, and use a strategic system whilst using our own ideas to get the desired result we truly want. Use the ‘5 whys’ and continue to ask yourself why you want this, why this is your life plan, why you thought of it, why you will continue to endeavor with it, why you will succeed at it, personally and for your own good reasons.

Strip back the idea until you have found the root cause, the reason you wish to create both goal and strategy, and formulate your ideas surrounding this interrogation. Should you then be asked about your life goals, nobody will be able to shake your progress or fundamental idea.

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

More by this author

25+ Quotes That Bring You Inner Peace To Face With Every Challenge What Is Lactose Intolerance And What To Do If You Have It Nutritionists Say Granola Bars Are Just Dressed Up Junk Food Researchers Explain Why People Often Feel Disappointed In The Dating World 3 Effective Home Remedies For Annoying Eczema

Trending in Communication

1The Gentle Art of Saying No 217 Ted Talks for Kids to Inspire Little Minds to Do Big Things 310 Toxic Persons You Should Just Get Rid Of 4Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts 5Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

Advertising

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

Advertising

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

Advertising

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Advertising

Read Next