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30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young

30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young

Life is short. There are very few people in this world who won’t wish for more time when they are lying on their deathbeds. The biggest regrets people have revolve around experiences, relationships, and happiness.

At 80, we will wish for the ability to travel and move more like we could at 60. At 60, we will wish to be spry and energetic like we were at 40. And at 40, we will want to relive our glory days like when we were 25. But why do we wish for these things? It’s because very few of us will ever fully experience what life has to offer: a life full of abundance, beauty, and unlimited experiences.

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Age is a state of mind; being young is relative. There are 70-year-olds who look and feel like they are 50. And there are 40-year-olds who look and feel like they are 60. Your mental, emotional, and physical health will determine how well you age and how ‘old’ you feel. Young can mean age 22 or young can mean age 52, it’s all about how you feel about yourself.

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With that said, there are many life experiences that are best done early in life. The reason is that the more time you can spend doing these things, the more you will appreciate and enjoy your life.

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30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young:

  1. Make yourself a priority. If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will. You have to be number one. All things in your life stem from your happiness. Be someone who makes you happy!
  2. Enjoy the small things. Take walks more often. Stop and look at a babbling brook. Sit in an oversized chair at Barnes & Noble and read a great book. Observe an elderly couple holding hands. Life is made up of these small and seemingly insignificant things. They aren’t insignificant. Be sure to take the time to appreciate them.
  3. Get outside. Being outdoors is good for you. Soak in the sunlight, get those endorphins kicking, and enjoy the beauty that nature offers.
  4. Be confident in who you are. Every person is unique and special in their own way. Understanding this early in life is critical. Be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to let the world know it.
  5. Take calculated risks. Life is a series of risks and rewards. Be smart with your risks and understand the consequences.
  6. Focus on the present. Worrying to a certain degree about your future is normal, but don’t overlook the power of being in the present moment. You can’t change the past, but you can control what you do right now.
  7. Stop caring about what people think of you. Fear of criticism is one of the most destructive fears known to humanity. It can debilitate you to the point paralysis. Learn early in life that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. It really doesn’t. And besides, people are too worried about what you think about them to care about you!
  8. Remember that people are good at heart. Being a lifelong cynic can and will make your life an uphill climb. Recognize that people are inherently good and you will embrace relationships in a far greater capacity.
  9. Be a positive person. Make being positive a habit early in life. Your success in life will come from your thoughts and your thoughts can be either negative or positive. Only you can control which you choose.
  10. Let go of negative influences. Avoid bad situations, unhealthy relationships, and people who make your life worse. Letting go of a good friend who is going to drag you down is a difficult yet intelligent decision. Failure to do so can negatively affect where you end up in life.
  11. Surround yourself with positive people. Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And it’s completely true. If you want to be a success, hang around with successful people. If someone has what you want, you can do what they do, and get what they’ve got.
  12. Worry less. Worrying about that big test is normal, as is worrying about that possible job promotion, but when you begin to worry excessively, it can become a real problem. Worrying can lead to stress and anxiety, which can become disorders and negatively affect all areas of your life.
  13. Learn from your past but don’t dwell on it. Being caught up in your past can lead to stagnation and the inability to progress in your life. Understand that life is just a series of events and move on. You can change the future but you cannot alter your past decisions.
  14. Travel. Most of you want to travel the world, see new things, and meet new people. But statistics show that the average mother in the U.S. will start a family at age 25, meaning that your travel options will become quite limited for a number of years after you start having children. And even if you do tell yourself that you’re going to travel, most of you won’t. Don’t put it off. Get out there and see the places you desire most.
  15. Learn a new language. In this day and age, knowing a second (or third) language is no longer just a hobby, it can help you in your career. Being able to communicate with people from multiple cultures not only makes good business sense, but expands your personal growth.
  16. Overcome some of your biggest fears. Your fears will haunt you for your entire life if they aren’t dealt with. Do you really want to go through life being deathly afraid of flying? Do you want the fear of public speaking to control you? Of course not. Take these challenges head on and early on and overcome them.
  17. Experiment. Life is chock full of experiences. Try new things. Get out there and fail often. Learn from your mistakes. You only get one chance at this life. Get as much in as you can.
  18. Appreciate your parents. As children, we adore our parents. As teens, we ignore our parents. And in adulthood, we take them for granted. Knowing that they did the best possible job they could raising you will help you appreciate them. Make a phone call right now to tell them so.
  19. Stay close with the important people in your life. Most of you will lose contact with childhood friends, college buddies, and past coworkers. But chances are that you’ve made some great friends along the way. If you’ve found that you’ve lost touch with someone who was important to you, reach out to them and try to reconnect. People who you consider important are few and far between, so do your best to keep them in your life.
  20. Remember that you do not know it all. It’s a given that teenagers believe they know it all, but as an adult it’s important to recognize how little you know. Make learning something new part of your daily routine. Started at an early age, you will be amazed at how much you can learn in a lifetime.
  21. Listen to your parents. As crazy as it may seem, they have much more life experience than you and do know what they are talking about. Take the time to listen to their stories. They have more wisdom than you believe.
  22. Face the bully. Most of you have had a bully in one shape or another in your lifetime. Do not let your fear control you. The best way to handle any bully is to confront them. Most are cowards hiding behind their size and/or power. Confronting them will get their attention, and in many cases, their respect.
  23. Give unconditionally. Understanding the sheer power of giving unconditionally can shape the course of your life. Learn this early.
  24. Working too much. Working yourself half to death throughout your 20s and 30s may seem like a great idea for rising up the corporate ladder, but remember that those are your golden years. Make time for the things you are most passionate about while you are healthy enough to do so.
  25. Develop good habits. The outcome of your life will be based on the decisions you make. Making good decisions comes from having good habits. Educate yourself on how to start adopting positive ones and removing the negative ones.
  26. Find what you excel at and begin to master it. Spending years languishing in uncertainty is the fastest way to living an average life. Find where your strengths meet your passions and become great at them. Don’t be a jack of all trades. Be the master of a few.
  27. Spend as much time with your children as possible. If you lose your time with your children, you will never get it back. Embrace this time with all your heart. Being a parent is the single most important job on the planet. And do not mistake time for quality time, there is a huge difference.
  28. Learn to be grateful. This is easier said than done, but being appreciative of what you have can make the difference between a life of wanting and a life of contentment.
  29. Start a business. Don’t spend your life only knowing what it’s like to be an employee. Start your own venture, whether it be mowing lawns or running Internet security, try your hand in business. Lessons in entrepreneurship cannot be learned in a classroom. Real world experience will prove invaluable.
  30. Be crazy. Well, not literally. Do something wild and adventurous. As you grow older, you will begin a career, and/or settle down and start a family and will be less inclined to let it all hang out. Be bold and daring. And have fun with it!

While it’s never too late to work on your personal growth, getting these things done early in your life can truly make the difference between a life lived on your terms or a life lived on someone else’s.

Make it yours!

Featured photo credit: Bahman Farzad via flickr.com

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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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