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11 Places of Happiness We’ve All Been To

11 Places of Happiness We’ve All Been To

We all want to be happy, and, like most things in life, the journey there is more important than the destination. If you’re looking for a reason to smile, there are some common places of happiness we all share, although each is for a different purpose. If your life is getting dull, these are the options. Use each responsibly, and at your own risk, though, because too much of anything is usually a bad thing.

1. The Past.

clock_by_farnk05 lifehack versability

    My alarm clock got tired of being hit…

    The past is filled with happy times if you know where to look. You can get a quick smile refresher from looking back, but if you dwell too often on the past, you’ll miss a lot of what’s going on around you in the present. Keep in mind that thinking about the past won’t bring it back; enjoy what you have left instead of lamenting what you lost.

    2. The Future.

    Joon and I were talking about this the other day; your dreams can become reality, but whether it’s because they’re premonitions or because you’re driving yourself toward your dreams is debatable. It’s OK to dream about a perfect future, but it’s more important to take actionable steps toward building that future – otherwise it becomes a carrot on a stick, and your life becomes a revolving treadmill.

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    3. Fairy Tales.

    clock_in_the_cup_by_ann_nick-lifehack Versability

      Think Midas has problems…Ever hear about Bastet’s Chronos Touch?

      Every so often we all fantasize about the alternate reality of our lives. Maybe you imagine sleeping with a co-worker or friend you’d never make a move on in real life. Perhaps you pretend you’re a secret agent instead of an accountant. Whatever you’re into, it’s OK to have your head in the clouds, no matter what anyone tells you. Dreamers built this world – never forget that!

      4. Home.

      Home is where the heart is. Some days you want to just bury yourself under blankets and relax at home. We all need time to ourselves, and your home is the place to do it. Just make sure you wander out every so often. It’s easy to connect to the real world while disconnecting with everyone else around us.

      5. Stuff.

      Many people seek relief from material possessions, but they aren’t always a bad thing. A stuffed animal or body pillow, for example, is a perfectly suitable temporary outlet for emotions or when you just need to cuddle. Inanimate objects can cheer you up, but don’t depend on them entirely. It still takes human connection to find true happiness.

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      6. Friends.

      Sadness with Friends

        Women…don’t fall asleep in public…it doesn’t end well IRL…

        Friends – how many of us have them? It’s important that your friends keep you happy. It’s not that you don’t occasionally need a reality check (and it’s OK to be around people who are sad), but you don’t want to fill your life with people who are constantly bringing you down. Just remember that you’re ultimately responsible for yourself, and don’t throw away your own goals and dreams for your friends.

        7. Family.

        a_woman_s_touch_by_huggybear lifehack

          Yes, honey…I’m aware you’re used to being the controversial one in a mixed-race relationship, but times have changed…

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          Blood is thicker than water; your family should always be your main source of happiness. If something’s wrong with your family, it’s a good idea to look into it. These people provide comfort, and, unlike everyone else in your life, your family will always be your family, no matter what. If you can’t talk openly and honestly with your family, you’ve got problems.

          8. Romance.

          Sometimes you need a confidence boost. If you’re already in a relationship, it’s OK to lean on your partner for happiness every now and again, but you need to be happy on your own as well. Single folks are worse off; investing emotions into intimate or romantic encounters when you’re single can cause some major crashes.

          9. Pets.

          a_dude_and_his_rad_dog_by_lonefirewarrior-lifehack versability

            Get a dog, they said…women will think he’s cute, they said…

            The only thing that can possibly make you happier than family is a pet. Pets don’t care about any of the dumb things going in your life, or how much money you make, or about any of the random things people judge you by. Pets are as close as you’ll get to unconditional love. Just treat them right, because if you don’t, I’ll hunt you down (and so will many other people on the internet).

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            10. Consumerism.

            Buying something for yourself or other people is a great way to perk up with a quick smile, but don’t go overboard and directly tie your happiness to what you can buy. Tying your sense of self-worth to your financial situation is never a good idea, because when you’re unstable financially, you end up unstable emotionally at a time when you most need happiness.

            11. Nature.

            monument_valley_i_by_matthieu_parmentier-lifehack versability

              Babe…why did we walk out into the middle of the desert to look at the sky? I can see the sky from my room…

              Sometimes what you need is to get away from the rat race. It’s possible to spend so much time working that you forget what it is that’s really important to you. When things get to hectic, don’t be afraid to pull out and head out into the woods. Backpacking, hiking, and camping are some of my favorite ways to get in touch with nature and remember life’s not so bad after all.

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              Published on September 23, 2020

              6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

              6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

              I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

              If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

              What is Negotiation?

              First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

              Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

              In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

              Places We Negotiate

              I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

              1. Work/Business

              This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

              When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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              In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

              Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

              2. Personal

              I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

              I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

              Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

              3. Ourselves

              You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

              I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

              Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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              Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

              Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

              We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

              My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

              If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

              As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

              6 Negotiation Skills to Master

              Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

              Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

              1. Preparation

              Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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              It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

              For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

              After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

              2. Clear Communication

              The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

              If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

              3. Active Listening

              Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

              If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

              4. Teamwork and Collaboration

              To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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              If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

              When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

              5. Problem Solving

              Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

              Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

              From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

              There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

              6. Decision-Making Ability

              Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

              Conclusion

              There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

              Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

              More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

              Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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