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If You Always Play It Safe, Are You Really Living?

If You Always Play It Safe, Are You Really Living?

In life, we have to make many decisions. From what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, what we are going to do today and sometimes we have to make a decision that can impact our lives drastically. We may need to make a crucial business decision, choose whether we stay or leave a certain relationship or even have to make a decision that could impact someone else’s life. We reach a crossroad and whichever decision we choose will put us onto an entirely different path.

Today, I found myself at a crossroad. I wasn’t really given much time to think about it and had to come up with an answer on the spot. I had a choice between keeping my 9-5 or jumping on a plane to Cambodia. I didn’t even give it a second thought, I quit my 9-5 job. Now some people may think that quitting my full time job was reckless. I am not telling everyone to go ahead and just quit their job, but before you judge, hear me out.

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Learning from your past

One thing I learnt while I worked in Recruitment, was that if you are great at what you do, make sure to make yourself known. Even if you aren’t looking for another role, you never know what could happen around the corner. If other recruiters/headhunters know about you, when a role pops up they feel you would be a great candidate for, you will be the first to know about it. If your company’s competitors know who you are, when they are looking for quality staff, guess who they’re going to contact first?

In saying this, I wasn’t particularly looking to jump ship. I had actually turned down multiple job opportunities this year alone. I was however always open to hearing about what was out there. This worked out in my favor big time. I am a firm believer of the law of attraction. You attract what you think. If you have good thoughts, good things and good people are drawn to you.

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Funnily enough as the words ” I am resigning” came out of my mouth. My phone had buzzed with a job offer. I was just thinking to myself, I really shouldn’t resign if I haven’t got anything secure lined up. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Synchronicity is the universe showing signs, guiding you in the right direction.

Making a decision

I could’ve played it safe, kept at my secure job and helped make someone else’s dreams come true. I won’t get into the logistics of it all, but bottom line is that I used to love it. I used to be motivated and passionate. Lately, it literally sucked the life out of me. It ate at my soul.

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I think I would much prefer to jump on a plane, go and meet the Buddhist monks, awe at the beauty of the temples, wander through the rainforest and soothe my soul by doing yoga and meditation everyday. Get away from the rat race we find ourselves in and be centered.  Ground myself, feed my soul and nourish my happiness, so I can come back and kick goals again. This trip is much needed. I believe it is important to take time out to do things that soothe your soul.

I think back to past relationships, when I was indecisive about whether I should stay or go. I was comfortable, it was what I knew. Leaving was so scary and unknown. I couldn’t imagine life without them. You know the drill. Do I regret leaving any of my exes? Hell no. To think of the opportunities, the growth, the experiences I have had that I would not have otherwise experienced, if I had stayed with any of them. It definitely rings true, when they say that life begins outside of your comfort zone.

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Look at anyone successful in business, do you think they got to where they were without taking risks? They took a risk to start a new venture, they took a risk to follow their dream. Do you think they played it safe? Now there is a difference between being reckless and taking risks, but I truly believe that if it gives you a chance at happiness, you should take the risk and just go for it.

Don’t have regrets

Life is short and happiness is priceless. If you fail, well you actually didn’t because you learnt something along the way and maybe next time you know better. And if you succeed? Oh, imagine that. So if you stay in the job that you hate just so you have security, if you stay in the relationship that doesn’t bring value to your life because you are scared to be alone, if you continue to do what is easy instead of starting that awesome business idea you have because you might fail. Is that bringing you happiness?

So the real question is, if you play it safe, are you really living?

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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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