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20 Lessons You Can Learn About Habits

20 Lessons You Can Learn About Habits

It is the habits we adopt that make us who we are and guide the way we live our lives. Therefore, particular habits tell particular things about a person, hence the matter of habits needs to be taken seriously and the right kinds of habits should be adopted.

When it come having habits, people have different habits and different people adopt them at different times in life. Therefore, there are always different sorts of discussions concerning habits and their adoption. I’ll cut to the chase and will tell you the 20 lessons which you can learn about habits.

1. There is no shame in starting late.

The first thing that you will have to do away with pertaining to habits is the shame of starting late. You must never feel ashamed no matter when it is you are adopting a habit. If you wish to get into the habit of exercising or anything else, then you need not feel ashamed regarding starting it in a later part of life.

2. Small changes are easier to start.

If you are pursuing a particular habit, then instead of causing a holistic paradigm shift in your life, the wise way would be to start by making small changes. If you wish to make exercise a habit, then you need to start by moving around in the house, taking small walks and then make a routine out of it.

3. Small changes are easier to sustain.

In addition to making the start easier, small changes also help in sustaining the path and ensuring continuity. When you do things bit-by-bit, it gives you encouragement and from there you only move forward.

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4. Incremental changes add up to huge changes.

When you bring drastic changes suddenly into your life, you are not able to cope up with them for long and as a result, you quit. On the other hand, when the changes are gradually increased, the result is that these small changes combine to give a holistic effect causing a greater change in your life, thus making it possible to stick with the habit.

5. Build trust in yourself.

Habit is something which is initially not in your routine, but with consistency, you achieve excellence in it and make it a part of routine. This excellence and regularity can only be achieved if you think that you have what it takes to adopt the habit. Therefore, before pursuing or making anything a part of your life, build trust in yourself and think positively.

6. Energy and sleep matter a lot.

No matter whatever kind of habit you wish to develop, it is directly or indirectly related to your sleep and energy levels; therefore, in order to stick with your habit and be consistent in it, you need to achieve better energy and sleep levels.

7. Don’t go for excess.

The difference between a habit and obsession is the intensity. Therefore, never ever be excessive in your habit pursuit; rather, keep it moderate and make it a part of your life—not your whole life.

8. Strike balance between your heart and mind.

For something to be a habit, it is imperative that both your heart and mind accept it. If there is a conflict between the two regarding acceptance, then that thing won’t become a habit and if you force it, it will never stay for long. Therefore, pertaining to habit, try striking a balance between the two.

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9. Dedication is the key.

Developing a habit requires that you believe in your habit and then pursue it with dedication. Therefore, if something attracts you and you enjoy doing it, make sure to accompany it with dedication if you wish to make a habit out of it.

10. Set higher standards.

If you wish to reach the roof then aim for the sky; similarly if you wish to develop a habit of running a mile daily, then you need to aim for 2 miles a day, and then you will end up running one mile.

11. Dealing with disruptions in routine is a learned skill.

If you think that in order to develop a habit, you will have to disrupt your routine, then think for a while and you’ll come to know that all your life, you have been adjusting things in your routine and you have quite a mastery of this skill.

12. Have powerful motivations.

When developing a habit, there will be factors that will hinder you during the process; therefore, to overcome them and continue with habit, make sure that you have powerful motivations that keep you going during the whole course.

13. Don’t make exceptions.

When developing a habit, and something comes up so you make an exception, then let me tell you that it won’t be an exception; rather, you will begin a routine of making exceptions and your habit will go to the sidelines. Therefore, stay committed and don’t make exceptions.

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14. Habit is the reward—it’s not a chore.

Most of the people think that habit is a chore, and when they achieve consistency and regularity in this chore, they will earn some reward for it. Although there can be rewards for habits, the actual the formation of habit itself is a reward and not a chore.

15. How you deal with failure is key.

In formation of habit, you will definitely fail at one point or another; however, it’s your attitude and how you deal with failures that matters, and not the failures themselves. Therefore, develop a positive attitude when dealing with failures, and you will see continuity follow in your habits.

16. Define your breaks.

When you take on making changes slowly, then within those changes, you will definitely take breaks. Therefore, before starting the change process, identify the breaks you are going to take and then don’t take a break other than the ones you have set.

17. Be kind to yourself.

In your habit-formation process, don’t make things hard on yourself. Take them slow and step by step; this way, you won’t put your body or mind into undue pressure, hence better chances of longer and quicker habit formation.

18. Do it in a group.

If your habit is something which can be done in a group, then do it in group-form. Groups of people help each other in sticking with the activity, hence the group provides benefit to all.

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19. Make them fun.

Above all, the easiest way of making something your habit is to add the element of fun into it. When you make it fun, you enjoy doing it, and when you enjoy doing it, and then you keep on doing it.

20. Keep an eye on the end goal.

In order to make sure that you know why you are undergoing habit formation, keeping in mind the end goal can serve as a great motivation factor and give you a clear picture of what waits ahead in the form of fruit of your efforts.

Now it’s your turn!

What kind of habits do you have? How did you form them? What kind of difficulties did you face? How did you overcome them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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