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10 Things You Should Say “Yes” to More Often for a More Fulfilling Life

10 Things You Should Say “Yes” to More Often for a More Fulfilling Life

In this busy, fast-paced world of limited time and attention, a lot of us are quick to just say “no.” “No thanks!” “No time!” “Over-booked!” “Not one more thing!” But here are some common “no” areas that you might just want to say “yes” to. They’re worth the time, and they can improve your life.

1. Say “Yes!” to travel.

Any travel is good. It’s a chance to see some great scenery, mix things up a little, maybe even get out of a rut. If you really want to experience some growth and a new perspective, I recommend traveling outside the country (and not just for a touristy vacation).

My eyes were opened when I moved down to Mexico for a semester in college through a student exchange program. Not only did I meet people who talked differently and did things differently, I learned how people looked at things differently. Suddenly your world looks a little different when you’re on the outside looking in.

2. Say “Yes!” to fundraisers.

“Quick!” “Close the door!” “Walk the other way!” “Don’t pick up the phone!” Does this sound like your response to fundraisers? My family hated fundraisers. When we had band fundraisers, we’d buy up all the chocolate so that we could make the minimum quota without having to “bother” anyone else. (And then no one would else would have an excuse to hit us up, too!)

This seemed to work just fine, until now—I’ve realized that I am now a grown adult who is afraid to ask anyone for anything! Just like that chocolate experience, I feel I’m offering something others wouldn’t want—that I’m imposing on them—even though I have wonderful, valuable services to offer!

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Fundraisers are an opportunity to experience the cycle of giving and receiving. When we block ourselves off from participating on either side, we lose the opportunity to practice asking and to practice giving. We lose the chance to offer value and to receive value from others. We are also asking for their help, for their support or we are offering it.

I’m not saying that you should buy things you don’t want or even support every fundraiser that comes your way. But I do recommend giving where you can and participating when you can. And involve your kids in it, too, so they can get comfortable interacting with others while they have you by their side.

3. Say “Yes!” to farmer’s markets, fests, and fairs.

Are you the type to shy away from booths? From getting out and moving among the throngs of people? You’re probably missing out! This is a great way to meet people, bump into old people, and support the local community.

Do you know your neighbors? I’m one of those who has lived in the same town for years and who doesn’t know my neighbor, nor my town. Markets, fests, and fairs give you a chance to get move involved in the community and meet the people that make your town tick. Are you short on time? These city events give you many of the local businesses all-at-once, within steps of each other!

4. Say “Yes!” to talking with new people

As kids, it isn’t safe to talk to strangers. But as an adult, avoidance can cost you some of the most wonderful experiences of your life. People have made friends, found future spouses, and made great business contacts by opening themselves up to people in everyday experiences. Start with a smile—and if you get a smile back—see if you’re inspired to spark something up. Even starting with the weather can turn into a short heart-to-heart exchange that will brighten that person’s day and leave you all fuzzy and happy, too!

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5. Say “Yes!” to volunteering.

Many hands make the work go faster! Organizations can’t function without volunteers, and if you’ve been the solo volunteer for an event, you know how frustrating that experience can be. Money does help the world go ’round, but so do the things that are free.

Besides that great feeling of giving back to somebody or something, consider the other benefits. Many activities and events wouldn’t be possible without volunteers; others would be much more expensive without volunteers. Volunteering can also give you free experience. Volunteer to help with food prep and take some recipes home with you!

Do you miss playing games and other childhood activities? Volunteer at the park district or library to experience them again with new eyes. Don’t have much time? Narrow down your volunteering to an organization that you care about and offer them a one-hour block.

Do you like to do things your own way? Lead up a volunteer effort or create your own volunteer opportunities. Offer free tutoring at the library or offer your time to a local nursing home. Your action may mean the creation of something new and wonderful!

6. Say “Yes!” to the favor.

As in fundraising, you do not want to say yes to every favor. But think carefully before you say “No.” If you can make the time, you can really make a difference in another person’s life, and it will come back to you positively in one form or another. Just as Tracy Lawrence sings, favors are how you “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” In a busy world of multi-tasking individuals with their heads buried in cells and tablets, your time and attention may be the most precious gift you can offer, making the greatest difference. (And you’ll also feel great when you’re in a fix, and you’re friends do the same for you!)

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7. Say “Yes!” to that awkward thing (that pushes your comfort zone)

Of course we don’t want to do it—it’s awkward! If it’s making you squirmy and it’s continuously nagging at you, it’s probably time to take action. You’ll feel better when it’s done, and you’ll have grown in the process. If this thing is a skill that you haven’t gotten yet, practice, practice, practice! And don’t be afraid to get some help from others. Over time, the practice will become a part of you; you’ll become a master, and you’ll be able to help someone else who is struggling with the same thing.

8. Say “Yes!” to listening to your body.

Say “yes” to your body’s needs—it knows best! With all of the new fads, diets, food options, and new chemicals and preservatives out there, we can lose sight of what our body actually needs. Unfortunately, some of the things that we intake are designed to trick and confuse the body. Therefore, a period of detoxing/raw food dieting, etc can be beneficial to refresh your system and re-accustom your body to what it knows is best.

How often do you listen to your body? Look to the thoughts behind your cravings and learn to differentiate between your emotional cravings and physical needs. If you’re feeling thirsty, you are overdue for some water. If your stomach tells you it’s hungry, you’re hungry! If it feels full, you’re full! Every body is different. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for health!

Get to know your body type and what foods and eating patterns work best for you. If you’re craving certain foods, look at the nutritional content of those foods to see what your body might be missing. Also, remember to chew slowly and try not to multi-task while you eat. This will give your body the time and attention it needs to communicate to you what it needs. Don’t neglect the body! Keep it happy, healthy, and satisfied to ensure an enjoyable, fulfilling day!

9. Say “Yes!” to “me time.”

Some of us are very good at giving ourselves “me time.” Others of us are terrible at it! The key is balance. Extremes can ruin your life. The easiest evidence of this is “burn out.” This can happen to parents, workaholics, volunteer-aholics, exercise-aholics (________-aholics), obsessives, and over-achievers. No one wants the “burn out” teacher. No child wants to face the snippiness of the “burn out” mom or dad.

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Putting in lots of hours can look like a great service, but you’re doing no one a favor. Take some time to think about the things that make you happy, just you. Pick at least one—no matter how small—and do it. Frequently! If not every day, every week. Excitement is contagious! So find your passion, let yourself go, and get re-energized with life! You’ll have fun, be happy, and you’ll inspire others in your life to do the same.

10. Say “Yes” to date night.

This applies to everyone. Don’t have a “date”? Take yourself out. I love watching movies by myself. Instead of dragging my partner to my favorite chick-flick, I can enjoy it in all of its mushy glory, minus the mumbling from the seat next to me! Or else invite your friends, your niece, your kids! Take some time out to have fun and show some special attention to the ones you love.

If you do have a regular “date”—girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, spouse, whatever—do not put this on the backburner. It can be the key to a happy relationship. Make it frequent and make it special! Put it in your planner and take your partner out. If money is an issues, go to the park or check out the local free events—or stay in and make dinner together and watch a favorite movie. Sit out on the porch or in the backyard, enjoy a favorite drink/snack, and talk while holding hands/cuddling. Whatever you choose, keep that time sacred. Treat it as an appointment. If you have to miss, make it up to that person, and reschedule immediately!

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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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