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4 Important Things You Lose In Life And Why You Should Be Grateful

4 Important Things You Lose In Life And Why You Should Be Grateful

Losing things is often painted with negative connotations. As humans, we tend to hold onto things in all areas of our lives — our jobs, relationships, friendships, and even our control over situations.

But is this healthy in terms of our wellbeing and overall happiness? Living in the present moment is the best way to obtain a happy and fulfilling life, which means we have to let go of the past and lose things in life in order to grow as a person.

While it’s sometimes difficult, we should never think negatively about changes we face. In fact, we should see them as opportunities to grow and seek new and interesting paths. Here are 4 important things to lose in your life that will expand your mindset, perspective, and ultimately help you become a better person.

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1. Losing Your Direction

Most of us get to a stage in life when we question our motives, our past and present actions, and our true happiness. When we go through this, it can feel extremely overwhelming, sometimes depressing, and we feel lost about what our life purpose really is. Perhaps you question your direction of career or feel you’ve missed out on pursuing your dream because you’re too old. What we need to remember is that it’s these times that are actually there to help us figure out our true path in life; whether we’re on the right one or if we need to find something different.

When we fall into negative situations, they are there to show us that we need to rethink, readjust, and walk down a more suitable and happy road. Don’t ever think that you’re a failure because you haven’t figured it all out yet — everything happens at the right time and it’s these moments in life when we lose direction that we are being told to reprogram because a different path may be more beneficial to us.

If we don’t lose direction every now and then, we don’t get the opportunity to grow, change, and pursue avenues that could lead to ultimate happiness.

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2. Losing Touch With Others

While having many people in our life can bring a great dimension to our wellbeing and happiness, we often hold onto those relationships that no longer serve us. Sentimentality can cause us keep certain people in our lives — they remind us of the good times, they were an intrinsic part of our lives once or shared happy memories. However, over time we change and grow as people — our tastes, attitudes, dreams, and directions in life can change either subtly or dramatically and this can mean drifting away from once-important people.

As sad as this may feel, losing the (what seems like) never-ending connections with our friends can be a valuable life lesson. It teaches us the importance of quality over quantity, it helps us let go of those that don’t bring any growth into our lives, and it can show us that the past is the past but we’re now living in the present.

Holding onto past, fading relationships only stunts us in our efforts to simply be in the present. By losing touch with people and letting them go, we are able to cherish what they contributed rather than feeling a sense of negativity and sadness that they are no longer a bigger part of our lives.

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3. Losing Yourself

Life is all about losing ourselves, changing ourselves, and growing according to our ever-evolving experiences, mindsets, and perspectives. Change is inevitable, but sometimes we can hold onto our old selves, perhaps even wishing we were how we used to be.

The reality is that there is no fixed us. We are constantly adapting to an ever-changing world and our changes are just a sign of progression in this journey of life. To lose yourself means experiencing and opening up to different experiences, such as travelling, studying, moving abroad, or changing careers, and marching head-on into your fears and coming out the other side. Everything we do that challenges the way we think and view the world allows us to lose a small part of our old self and create a new, improved person. This constant evolution allows us to truly find our happiness.

4. Losing Control Over Things

Uncertainty is a fear that most of us have. By dealing with this, we tend to try and control situations or even people. While we’re young, we believe we have much more control in life than we think, but as we get older and we gain more life experiences, we realise that most things in life are out of our control. Life is constantly changing and nothing really stays the same. This means we can either adapt to the changes or they float out of our existence.

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While sometimes we desperately hold onto things such as relationships, jobs, and general life situations, this only serves as a trap that keeps us locked in our comfort zones. When we’re in this space, there is little room to grow or seek other opportunities that we’d otherwise ignore or be unwilling to pursue.

For example, imagine you’re made redundant from your job. While this is initially seen as a bad situation, you come to realise that if you were truly honest with yourself, you weren’t really passionate about your job anymore and this “bad” situation that was out of your control is actually giving you the opportunity to find a job much more suitable and enjoyable — which you may not have done if the redundancy hadn’t happened.

Embracing the fact that you have little control may seem like a scary thought, but it’s these times that open up opportunities for us that we wouldn’t ordinarily take or pursue.

So never be afraid of change and losing things in life. While it may sometimes seem like life is against you in these situations, they are really just amazing opportunities in disguise.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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