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10 Things Every Woman Needs For A Happy Life

10 Things Every Woman Needs For A Happy Life

It is fascinating to read about 900 working women who were asked to record what they had done the day before. Were they happy with what they noted down? Unfortunately, no! They were shocked to see how many things they had done that they hated doing. In other words, they were missing out on happiness. So, read this post to discover 10 things every woman needs for a happy life.

1. Savor happy moments

Instead of worrying all the time and fretting about getting from A to B, try savoring happy moments, feelings and sensations. Worries will do nothing for your happiness.

“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that—thoughts.” – Allan Lokos

Dr. Fred Bryant from Loyola University Chicago is an expert on this, and his book called Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, is well worth reading.

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Why not try to prolong the pleasure on some of the following:

  • Enjoy the smell and taste of coffee or other things you eat and drink. Turning off devices and TV really helps.
  • Concentrate on the here and now.
  • Note what you can be thankful for.
  • Wallow in pleasant memories.
  • Bask in the pride of having achieved a mini goal today.

These happy, savoring moments put worries in their place.

“What worries you, masters you.” – John Locke

2. Discover your favourite exercise

There’s no need to list all the health benefits of regular exercise here. But did you know that exercise can ward off depression and in some instances works better than antidepressants? Study after study shows how endorphins (often nicknamed the happy chemicals) are released in the brain after any type of exercise. Mood is improved and there is a general feeling of happiness. Don’t miss out on this marvellous tonic. Choose a sport you really like and you will be getting a dose of happiness on a regular basis.

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3. Look after your friends

Did you know that the number of social contacts and friends you have affects your longevity, health and happiness? Support from friends in times of stress and the comfort and joy that they can bring are obvious indicators. About 5,000 adults were tracked for nine years in Alameda County (near San Francisco). Results showed that there was a definite correlation between the number of social contacts and healthy old age. Those who lived in isolation died younger.

4. You need a sense of humor

“A cigar may just be a cigar, but a joke is never just a joke.” – Sigmund Freud

Laughing at jokes, making jokes or just laughing at funny videos on YouTube are all ways of making you happier. It is true that you can use jokes to help lessen the pain of trauma, illness and mental stress. That is good for your happiness as humor helps you see the positive side of life and can make you more resilient. Watch this video and see how cancer patients who were happier and had a sense of humor had much better chances of recovery.

5. Reading helps you dream

Reading can inform you, help you fantasize, take you to exotic locations and is a wonderful escape valve. Have a list of books to help you reach your reading goals. We should also never forget to encourage our children to read from early on in life, so that they too will experience the joy of reading for:

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  • Knowledge
  • Entertainment
  • Inspiration
  • Curiosity

6. Find a mentor

Many women in their careers need to have a mentor who can be there to guide, instruct, advise and encourage. This is a much more practical way to progress than admiring an idol from afar!

It is tempting to look for someone with a similar background and experience to your own. If you do that, they will not be so quick at identifying your weaknesses or needs. Try to be transparent about giving feedback on the outcome of their advice. Do not be afraid to tell them if you chose not to follow their suggestions.

7. Get a hobby or interest

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Director of the Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont Graduate University, has done some fascinating work on the study of happiness. He defines a deeply satisfying experience as a state of consciousness (‘flow’), which is the basic ingredient of happiness. One of the best ways of encouraging this state is to have a passion, interest or hobby: sport, art, literature, cooking or whatever. It is while you are absorbed in this activity that you can reach this state of flow. Best of all, you are unaware of time passing while doing it. It is one of the best recipes for happiness.

8. Build your self-esteem

Did you know that there is a part of the brain, the anterior cingulated cortex, that is particularly active in generating all those negative thoughts and all those doubts about your beauty, talents and intelligence? Guess what? In women this part of the brain is actually larger than in men! So there may be a neurological explanation for all those doubts that erode your self-esteem.

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Read the book The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California in San Francisco, to understand more about this. To put it briefly, labels you inherit in childhood tend to stick, your failures take up far too much room in your brain and you end up having problems in building your self-esteem. The best way to combat all this is to start reading about female heroines who made their mark against all the odds. With time you can change your negative way of thinking and start singing your own praises for a change. You can ignore what magazines tell you that you should look like and find clothes that suit your body shape better.

9. Don’t forget loving relationships

Can surgery, sex or money make you happy? You have never had it so good in that you can choose your life partner and there is no obligation to enter marriage or have children, in most countries. Yet women in western society have to do a complicated juggling act to appear beautiful, to be successful at work, in marriage, and parenting, and running a home that meets with peer and family approval. This materialistic attitude forgets one important factor. The happiest women are those who are involved in loving relationships (family, partners or friends). You never worry too much about wearing the right shoes. You are far too involved in something much bigger than yourself.

10. Be grateful

Happy women feel grateful a lot of the time. You may keep a gratitude journal if that suits you. But the main thing is to think that life is a precious gift. Just say thank you as often as you can.

What makes happiness in your view? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Featured photo credit: Personal Excellence /Christine Chua via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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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