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10 Chances Unhappy People Refuse To Take

10 Chances Unhappy People Refuse To Take

Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. And to succeed in this journey, you have to be brave enough to take some chances. Are you sick and tired of feeling down-in-the-dumps? If so, watch out for these 10 chances unhappy people refuse to take.

Take a chance on making a difference.

“I’m just one person! What could I possibly do to make a difference?” This defeatist question will halt your progress in its tracks. Yes, you are just one person, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of leaving a mark. You know who else was “just one person?” Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Alexander the Great to name a few. The history books are full of individuals who dared to take a chance. Be bold in your aspirations and unwavering in your efforts.

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Take a chance on helping people.

“I have so many problems. How could I help another person when I don’t have all of my ducks in a row?” I know it’s tempting to look at your problems and assume you’re in no position to help another person, but it’s just not the case. There is something “wrong” with everyone (and anyone who says otherwise is a pathological liar, or possibly a robot). Can I tell you a dirty secret? The articles I write here at LifeHack (like the one you’re reading right now)? I tend to write things that I need to hear myself. Does this make me a fraud? I don’t think so. I like to think it makes me human because it allows me to put my thoughts into words that you, the reader, will be able to relate with. In other words, never assume we self-help writers have it figured out; most of us are figuring this stuff out the hard way. And if I can help people despite my flaws, so can you. You’re not perfect, you never will be, and you know what? That’s totally okay because you are perfectly human just like the rest of us.

Take a chance on an imperfect idea.

How many projects have you given up on because it wasn’t “good enough?” Listen: there is no such thing as “good enough.” You invented this silly little non-existent benchmark in your head, so get over it and deal with the fact that nothing can be (or ever will be) perfect. Does this mean quality doesn’t matter? Of course not. The easiest thing to market is a useful product or service that helps people solve a specific problem. The more useful it is, the easier it will be to sell. Simple equation, right? But forget about this whole “perfection” thing because it’s nothing but a pipe-dream. Make it as good as you can (and make it better as time goes on).

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Take a chance on being yourself.

Why are you trying so hard to fit in? Conformity isn’t something to strive for–it is something to avoid. Forget any pre-conceived notions you have of how you should think, feel, or behave. Phonies can be detected from miles away, so the only person you are kidding is yourself. As Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

Take a chance on patience.

You know what’s really discouraging? Spending all of your time pursuing a huge goal that requires so much time and effort that victory appears to be light-years away. Yes, aim high in your aspirations, but make sure you pave the road to Victory with as many tiny victories as you can. Forget about losing 50 lbs (just lose the first 5). Instead of aiming to write a book, just write the first chapter. You don’t have to impress that cute waitress with witty banter yet: just tell her hi! Obsessing with the end destination will leave you sick-and-tired-of-every-thing before you can say “burn-out.” Knocking out a bunch of small victories on your way to success will offer you the motivation to keep moving forward.

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“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Take a chance on changing your surroundings.

Who says you have to live in the same place for the rest of your life? I know moving is one of the most terrible, inconvenient things ever. But would you rather live through temporary inconvenience or a life-time of regret? Take an honest look at your community calendar, take a drive through your downtown area, consider the people you’re connected to, and ask yourself, “Is there anything here for me?” If you have no good answer to that question, it’s time to move on. Just because it’s scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

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Take a chance on meeting new people.

If you could make new friends in elementary school, you can make new friends now. Look for clubs, groups, or meet-ups with people just like you. A life without friendship and socialization can make for lonely days (as someone who became a hermit for about half-a-year when he decided to pursue self-employment, I feel qualified to say this). You have nothing to be afraid of. People have a desire for human companionship just like you do, so I have no doubt there are people in this world who would be thrilled to have a healthy dose of you in their life.

Take a chance on forgiving the past.

As much as you might wish you could change the past, it’s just not going to happen. Regret is one of the nastier emotions you’ll ever experience, so please understand, I know this isn’t as simple as “just getting over it.” But whatever you did, no matter how wrong it might have been, cannot be undone. Stressing out over something you can’t fix is the opposite of productive. Just because you messed up doesn’t make you stupid, worthless, or a “bad person.” It just makes you human. Everyone messes up sometimes and life’s greatest successes are not exempt from this rule. The difference between long-lasting success and dismal failure is simple-in-theory but complex-in-practice: how do you react to a mistake? Do you learn from it, move on, and grow? Or do you beat yourself up, learn nothing, and repeat history over and over again? Forget the past and live in the present, because that’s where progress happens.

Take a chance on trusting your intuition.

Did you ever have a teacher tell you something like, “Never change your answers on a multiple-choice test!” They told you that because our first instinct tends to be right. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If a person or place gives you a bad feeling, be weary. Just because intuition doesn’t always make sense doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust it.

Take a second chance as much as necessary.

Never become discouraged, even when things aren’t going your way. You can have as many chances as you need to find fulfillment and success in your life. Isn’t it wonderful that every new day is like a clean slate, yet another opportunity to better yourself? I think so! Tell me what you think in the comments. Also, if you have any words that might be useful for unhappy people reading this, please share them below.

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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