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5 Tips for Making Your Own Path in Life

5 Tips for Making Your Own Path in Life
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We all want to live a life that we love. A life that is uniquely our own and feels right to us. But making your own path in life isn’t easy, especially if that path involves doing something different than the norm.

Many people falsely believe that they have to do things a certain way. They have to go to a good school, get a good job, settle down and have a family and live their life the same way that everyone else does.

But that simply is not the case. You can make your life whatever you want it to be. It can be different than what everyone else wants.

When you start your journey of creating your own path in life, you may feel lost. You may not really even know what you want to create, just that you want something else.

These 5 tips can help you on your journey to creating a better, more unique life that you love.

1. Follow Your Intuition

Intuition is our innate inclination towards a certain behavior. Basically, it is your instincts. Have you ever felt so strongly that you knew something was right, even if the answer was unclear? That’s your intuition telling you what it wants.

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Generally, your intuition will guide you in the direction that you need to go. Follow your instincts on what you feel is right or wrong for you in your own life.

It can be hard to hear our intuition at times, especially if you are not in the habit of listening to it. But developing a deeper relationship with yourself will help you to hear more clearly your intuition and make more informed decisions, even if they don’t seem to be based on logic.

Following this intuition can lead you down a path beyond your craziest dreams. This is a practice that takes time to develop but if you keep looking for what your instincts are telling you, then you will be well on your way to creating your own life and living it your way.

2. Don’t Follow Everyone Else

You don’t have to be like all of the other fish in the sea. Just because everyone is swimming one direction doesn’t mean that you have to follow.

Give yourself permission to do something different. To take a chance and do what everyone else doesn’t want to do.

You never know where life will take you. And that can be a wonderful thing. But if you keep going with the flow like everyone else, chances are you are all going to end up in the same place. And it probably isn’t where you really want to be.

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Don’t feel like you have to do things just because everyone else is doing them. It’s that old cliche you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but just because your friends jump off a cliff doesn’t mean that you have to.

Do your own thing. And don’t care what other people think. Follow your own desires and create your own path. That’s the only way you will find out what you truly want out of life.

3. It’s OK to Be Scared

Fear is a natural human emotion. We all feel it once in a while. Some people may seem more fearless than others, but deep down they feel the fear too.

And it’s OK to be afraid of creating your own path. No one said you had to be the bravest person in the world in order to live your dream life. But you do have to be willing to face your fears and go for it anyways.

The reality is, the fear will always be there. Even as you grow and adapt to new situations, there will always be something new or different that scares you.

You can’t let those fears hold you back from going after what you want. If you do, you are going to have a really hard time finding the life that you want.

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So don’t let those fears stop you. Be scared for a moment and recognize the fear, and then take a risk and take some action. That’s the only way you will move forward.

4. Have a Safety Net

If you are just starting out on finding your own path in life, it is a good idea to have a safety net to fall back on in times of struggle. It’s going to be hard to create a life that is all your own. So you need a safety net in case things get really bad.

Before you start working on finding your own path, whatever that may look like, make sure that you have the support you need on your journey. This could be financial support, a place to live, friends and family to rely on, or just a plan of action so that you don’t get lost.

Preparing for these things in advance may take some time, and it can be hard if you want to just jump into your journey right away. But taking the time up front to develop your safety net will only be beneficial in the end. Having a plan to fall back on can make creating your own path in life a little less stressful.

5. Don’t Give Up

If you truly want to make your own way in this world, the one thing you need to remember is to never give up. Even when things get hard and seem too difficult to bear, don’t give up.

Pursuing anything that you want in life is a noble quest, but keep in mind that there will be struggles. There will be times where you fall and don’t want to keep going. But the rewards on the journey are far greater than any stumbling blocks you may come across.

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So whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep working towards your dreams and keep creating a life that is uniquely yours. You will be so glad you did.

Conclusion: Life is Yours for the Making

Don’t let fears, insecurity or what others want hold you back from making life on your own terms.

Follow these simple tips and start implementing them into your daily life. Then decide what you want your life to look like and start slowly working towards creating that.

You can make your life into whatever you want it to be. You have the power to create your own path and be different. It won’t be easy, but hopefully, these tips will help you along the way.

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Melanie Kernodle

Copywriter + Content Strategist

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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