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Sad Signs You’re Getting Old (Mentally)

Sad Signs You’re Getting Old (Mentally)

There’s a new kid at work. He’s probably 10 years your junior; tall, dashing but stern looking. HR’s introducing him to everyone in the office and as they introduce him to you, you’re taken aback and quite appalled to know that he’s your new manager.

With that stinging sense of betrayal from your own company that you have shed blood and sweat for during the past 10 years and only to be let down by seemingly poor judgement by management of hiring younger people to take up senior roles, you finally say, “pfft, i’m not taking instructions from this guy”.

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Sadly, signs like these are proof that you might be getting old. It’s also probably the first sign of a crack which management are trained to look for and maybe that is why “Mr. Fresh Face” has set foot in the office. Harsh but very realistic, here are some signs that you can avoid so that you can stay ahead of your peers and stop becoming old:

1. You Can’t Be Bothered With The Basics Skills Anymore

A good scenario of this could be that you started out as a skilled animator and then have risen to division director after 10 years of hard work. However, being so caught up with managing your team, you have neglected the basic skills that got you where you are in the first place. By neglecting your basic foundations, you lose track of the technology advances now required to get the basic job done. And the last thing a boss would want to face is admitting to their staff, that you have lost track of today’s technology advances.

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2. You Are Paranoid About Everything

When we get older, it is natural to be wary of potential problems as life long experiences have chiselled us into a hardy bunch. But it becomes a problem when it turns into paranoia. For example, when you’re travelling, not being open to new adventures for fear of all the possible bad scenarios that can happen is just a sign that you are not willing to experience new things anymore and definitely one of the signs you’re getting old.

3. You Don’t Listen To Anyone Anymore

By ditching the art of listening, you are entirely missing out on chances to learn new information. By tuning people down, not only do we send a message that we are selfish, we are also lying to ourselves about how much we already know about the world we live in (of which, in fact, we know very little) and thus, we omit the opinions of others.

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4. There Aren’t Anymore Goals to Pursue

At the top of your mind, state a current goal that you are pursuing. If the answer is that there aren’t any, it’s a good sign that you have allowed your mind to degenerate and wither.

Like Steve Jobs had mentioned before, “We are here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”

Without a goal or purpose in life at a later age, our minds will turn less sharp, making it harder for us to change our mindset.

5. You Are Unable to Control Your Emotions

Having control over our emotions is the single most important factor of having a healthy social life and in turn a happier life. If we are unable to keep our emotions in check, it’s a sign that we are on a downward spiral to “lonely-ville” where people tend to avoid us due to our inability to acknowledge that our short fuse is keeping everyone at bay.

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By keeping our emotions in check with different methods such as taking a step back and thinking postively, taking a deep breath or even meditating instead of losing our temper quickly, we will avoid going into pointless heated arguments with our loved ones. Just remember, that our emotions can affect the rest who we rely on to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Featured photo credit: Depressed ElderlyIsmael Nieto via unsplash.com

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Lim Kairen

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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