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10 Reasons You Should Talk to Strangers

10 Reasons You Should Talk to Strangers

‘Remember, Don’t Talk To Strangers’, my mum would always tell me before I went out to play.

There were never really any strangers on my street though. We played in a cul-de-sac. If someone you didn’t know came wandering through – the whole street would peer out of their windows like an ogre had come for a stroll through.

If I saw a stranger – even the parent of a friend from school – I would put my head down and keep walking. Strangers were the enemy, the unknown and the reason bad things happened.

For many of us, it was a golden rule of childhood. Duck, dive and avoid strangers. Saying a quick ‘Hello Mr Roberts’ before diving in to the back of the car, or turning the corner.

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Following us in to adulthood, we still don’t take the time to even acknowledge strangers. Sitting silent on train carriages, firmly fixed on our smartphones and tablets – avoiding slight eye contact.

Yet, beyond that smart phone, bestseller and awkward glance – is a world of opportunity. Countless lessons to be learned. The solutions to all of our problems and the next best friend.

Here are the 10 benefits of disobeying that golden rule, and how talking to strangers can make your life a whole lot better:

1. Faster Commutes

Talking to strangers can be the entertainment you need to pass the time on the boring commute to and from work. It’s like real life Facebook updates in front of your face. Start a conversation, about absolutely anything, and watch your commute fly by. Just make sure you don’t miss your stop.

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2. Improved Networks

Talking to strangers provides endless opportunities to enhance your own personal and professional networks. In today’s world of who you know, not what you know – the person on the bus could be your greatest asset.

3. Better Confidence

Talking to strangers can help you overcome fears and confidence issues you never thought possible. Approaching strangers, or just turning your head and talking to someone sat next you can be extremely liberating. It will take you past the crippling fear of being judged and make it routine. You’ll be amazed at how much carry over this has to other parts of your life.

4. Become More Assertive

That added confidence could also make you more assertive. The more relaxed you feel talking and sharing with someone you don’t know – the easier it is to address problem situations. Instead of saying ‘Just leave it’ when a colleague wrongs you or restaurant over charges you, you have the assertiveness to fix the problem.

5. Be A Better Listener (And Ask Better Questions)

Talking to strangers allows you to perfect two important life skills: asking questions and listening. Talking to strangers isn’t all about you talking. But about asking them questions, learning from them – and listening wholeheartedly to their answers.

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6. Create Stronger Connections with People

Talking to strangers allows you to practice connecting with people on a personal level. Asking questions, listening and appreciating the time you have with someone. In the world of social media – where we connect with more people, but see them less – this is an important skill to hone.

7. Relatable Advice

Talking to strangers allows you to draw off the experiences of others. Think of your encounters as short, living biographies. There is a lot to learn from the stories of others: their ups, downs, failures and successes. Chances are, their advice is a lot more applicable to your life.

8. Fresh Perspectives

Talking to strangers can be a kick in the backside. It can take your old views on something and completely shatter them. There is always someone out there who knows more about the subject than you, and getting their views can turn yours around in no time – thus expanding your mind, and your own knowledge.

9. Unexpected Ideas

Talking to strangers can provide you with endless inspiration for old problems and generate new ideas. Off the cuff remarks, insane social commentaries, day-to-day problems and general chitchat can be the spark you need to send your creativity in to overdrive.

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10. Random Acts of Kindness

The greatest aspect of talking to strangers is this: it gives you the power to make someone smile from ear to ear, each and every day. You are able to give out that small compliment, the piece of encouragement or buy someone a coffee – that could turn a strangers day around completely.
And, if you’re lucky – maybe someone will do the same for you one day.

Featured photo credit: Gustavo Gomes via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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