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10 Harsh Truths That Will Help You Grow

10 Harsh Truths That Will Help You Grow

In the game of life, if it often seems like you’re on the losing end of things, you’re not alone. Life can be one giant conundrum filled with ups and downs. When you feel like you’re experiencing more downs than ups, sometimes it helps to get a little tough love once in a while. That’s why we put together this list of 10 harsh truths that will help you grow.

1. Life isn’t fair.

Life will hand you lemons, often when you least expect it. The sooner you embrace this harsh truth, the better prepared you’ll be to handle tough situations that are sure to arise.

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2. The first step is always the hardest.

Let’s face it: changing bad habits is tough. Research proves it. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So if you want to change something, start with baby steps. Take a small action–any action–and grow from there.

3. Good things usually don’t come quickly.

Great accomplishments in our lives normally don’t come easy. And if you think about it, would you have it any other way? There’s a basic psychological principle called instant gratification, which means that we expect to get rewards instantly. But sometimes you need to fight the impulses your brain throws at you and trust that the journey you’re on is the right one.

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4. Not everyone will support you along the way.

In life, there’s no shortage of doubters, haters, and pessimists. Overcoming this harsh truth is simple: don’t listen. Choose to stick with your guns, trust your instincts, and forget about people who don’t support your goals and passions.

5. You can’t always be in control of everything.

Listen, letting go is hard, especially if you’re a go-getter. But if you want to continue to grow, there are times when you need to relinquish your control on everything and let things unfold how they’re meant to be. This doesn’t mean your mentality for everything should be “wait and hope.” You can still strive for greatness, but put the work in and then let go with complete faith that the universe will make things right for you. You’ll be amazed at how well it works.

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6. You can’t accomplish great things without taking great risks.

Here’s another harsh truth many people have trouble grasping: if you don’t take risks you will have a lot harder time accomplishing what you want in life. People who truly change the world are the biggest risk takers. They’re the ones who are willing to put everything on the line and fail for something they believe in. And they treat each failure as an opportunity to grow and get better.

7. You may be better off without some of the people you currently care about.

This one is tough to hear, I know. But chances are, there’s someone in your life you care about deeply who is holding you back. That’s not to say you should give up on the people you love. However, there comes a time when you need to make the tough decision to say no to people who aren’t helping you grow.

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8. Death is a part of life.

Nothing can prepare us for the earth-shattering pain of losing a loved one. The harsh truth of life is that it’s a viscous cycle. However, there’s something you can do to make losing someone you love a lot less painful: make them a part of your life right now. Don’t put off making that phone call or paying a random visit to a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. Treat every moment with your loved ones as if it’s your last, and you won’t have any regrets.

9. You are the only thing holding yourself back from greatness.

Often we get so caught up hoping for the next great thing that we don’t realize what’s unfolding right in front of our faces. Don’t hold yourself back with negative thoughts. Instead, focus on the positive things you have going in your life. Choose to be happy right now.

10. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Suffering is part of life. But here’s the cool thing: it makes us stronger. There’s a randomness to how the world works that’s really hard to understand. We see evidence of this every day, and it can really make you question the future of mankind. How you choose to view the world is up to you. Just remember, the truth, however harsh, will set you free.

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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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