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No Truly Happy Person Feels The Need To Stand In Front Of A Mirror And Recite That She’s Happy. She Just Is.

No Truly Happy Person Feels The Need To Stand In Front Of A Mirror And Recite That She’s Happy. She Just Is.

Be honest. When was the last time you laughed so hard that your ribs began to ache? Or better yet, when did you last find yourself sitting in quiet contentment, looking at something beautiful or nothing in particular? When you answer a question about your life to a friend do you find yourself altering the story to make it seem happier, while a peculiar sense of unease builds in the pit of your stomach? We all want to be happy. When we’re not we still want to convince our friends, family, and ourselves that we are because, in our society, happiness is equated with success. What happiness is truly, however, is completely transcendent of all worldly acquisitions, feats, and delusions.

Deluding Yourself Won’t Bring You Happiness

Have you ever felt down on yourself because when you look back and find you have everything that you said you wanted all of those years ago, you still don’t feel fulfilled? Do you shake it off and say to yourself, “I’m happy. Of course I’m happy”? Or maybe you say it in front of a mirror, put on a happy face, and try to further convince yourself. Here is a secret; gratitude may increase happiness but delusion won’t. “No truly happy person feels the need to stand in front of a mirror and recite that she’s happy. She just is.”[1] If you’re truly content with who you are and what you have, then you shouldn’t need to convince yourself or anyone else that you are. You’ll feel it above all else. Beware of trying to convince yourself that you’re happy just because you believe you should. If you aren’t happy it’s because you’re neglecting a key aspect of yourself and it’s calling out to you.

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Gratitude and Affirmations vs. Delusions

You may feel that using gratitude and positive affirmations are important ways to increase your happiness. You’re right. These tools are wonderful for helping you gain a more positive outlook on life and helping you achieve a greater level of contentment. The difference between using these and using delusions has to do with honesty. Always be honest when you go through your practice of gratitude and self-affirmation. If you lie then they cease to be an effective spiritual practice and will instead lead to greater suffering.

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Love and Happiness

Think about what love means to you. Does it mean pain, attachment, or loss? Real love means none of these things. The negatives that we associate with love don’t actually come from love but from a sense of attachment to an object or a person. If you feel an unhealthy sense of attachment to something, whether it be a person, a house, a job, or even just an idea, you may often feel unhappy when those things fall short of your expectations or when they’re lost. It’s important to redefine love as something pure and unalterable. You may hear different spiritual practices, such as Buddhism, talk about love in the context of love for all living things and its ability to make us unbelievably happy. This should be a long-term goal for all of us, however, for those living in the west, it’s hard to contemplate loving every living being when we don’t even love ourselves! For this reason, it’s important that to become a happier person; you learn the art of self-love. A sense of peace, happiness, and universal love will invariably follow.

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Self-Love

It’s important not to confuse the concept of self-love with egocentric behavior. It’s easy to tell the difference because self-love is unbiased, unconditional, and totally accepting. To love yourself is to accept your brightest day and your darkest night, to see your biggest success and your hardest fall with total impartiality. In western culture, many of us are programmed to believe we are only as good as our achievements. To be truly happy, you need to disregard this foolish propaganda. This all may seem very difficult to you, but if you’ve chosen to read this article, then one assumes that you are looking for a very true sense of happiness. And for the true seekers, happiness is always within reach. So how do you start? Here are some ideas:

  1. Write a list of things that you wish you could change about yourself.
  2. Next to it, write a list of things you appreciate about yourself. This will help you achieve an unbiased view of who you are and where you are in life. Using this unclouded view, you can learn to accept and love yourself and to change the things that you can’t accept.
  3. Put aside some quiet time. Why is this so important? It’s important because most of us spend too much of our day worrying about everything other than our own spiritual well-being.
  4. Take some time to meditate, draw, journal, or just sit quietly with a cup of tea. When you make this a daily habit you’ll begin to feel more comfortable being alone with yourself and more peaceful throughout your busy days.
  5. Spend time with the people who love you. One of the best ways to remember your own self-worth is to be around friends and family; people who make us feel loved and accepted.

Don’t Be Afraid of Major Life Changes

Sometimes people find stillness only after a storm that rocks the foundations of everything they thought they knew. If you’re stuck in a pattern of delusion and unhappiness in your current life situation, then your life situation may just need to change. Change is frightening to many people, but it’s necessary. Remember that the true enemy to happiness isn’t change, but stagnation. The only person who knows whether you are happy or not is you. Don’t deny yourself happiness by incorrectly assuming that you already are. You should never settle for inferior contentment; instead go out, embrace the adventure that is your life, and be happy.

Featured photo credit: Unslpash via pixabay.com

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Reference

[1] The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

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Marina Richter

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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