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34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success

34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success

Most of us make the mistake of pursuing external signs of success without doing the hard internal work first. We also mistakenly believe that external success is the path to internal success (happiness, fulfillment, etc). The truth is that it often works the other way around.

Here are some principles to help you prepare internally for external success:

1. Love what you do

Don’t wait to find the thing you are passionate about. Bring your passion to what you are doing today.

2. Always be learning

Do not subscribe to the belief that you are done with learning when you graduate high school or college. See every situation as an opportunity to learn a valuable life lesson or skill.

3. Be a decision maker

Be decisive. Be at peace with the decisions you make. Be courageous in accepting responsibility for your decisions.

4. Become self-reflective

Observe yourself. Take time to reflect on your inner motivations for what you do.

5. Don’t hold grudges

The longer you hold on to a grudge, the more you empower the person who hurt you. Reclaim your power by letting go of anger and bitterness.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Learn perspective. Don’t waste an ounce of energy on anything that is petty or insignificant.

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7. Be a person of your word

Do what you say you will do. See your tasks and projects through to completion. If you can’t, don’t make up excuses.

8. Don’t be afraid to play to an empty house

Do your work with joy and enthusiasm, even when you think no one is noticing or watching.

9. Work three times as hard

If you’re not giving it all you’ve got, it’s probably not worth doing.

10. Pray or meditate

Find a higher purpose. Success without a higher calling will be unsatisfying at best.

11. Wake up early

Want your day to be more productive? Wake up early.

12. Focus on the why

Clearly define your “why.” Your “what” and your “how” will follow.

13. Stop comparing yourself to others

Live your life rather than yearning for someone else’s.

14. Stop self-sabotaging behavior

Are you telling yourself and others that you are not worthy of success by your actions? Change your behavior and start telling a different story.

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15. Watch who you hang around with

Stay away from negativity. It will suck the life energy out of you.

16. Start a mastermind group

Find a group of like-minded individuals so you can encourage each other on your paths to success.

17. Practice mindfulness

Always be mindful of the present moment. Take a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence.

18. Express gratitude

Never tire of being grateful. Take a deep breath and smile.

19. Grow a thick skin

Learn to graciously accept criticism. Learn to positively deflect mean-spiritedness.

20. Practice empathy

Learn to identify with people on a deeper level. Spend an afternoon talking to people at a homeless shelter. Take a friend going through a difficult time out for a cup of coffee and give them your undivided attention (i.e. turning off your smartphone).

21. Trust in the process, not your feelings

You’ve plotted a long-term path to success but you don’t feel like doing it today. Don’t be tempted to quit or take short cuts. Trust the path. Get up and get to work.

22. Spend less than your earn

Learn to manage your money. Create a budget before the month begins and stick to it.

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23. Learn deferred gratification

Do you really need to upgrade your smartphone today? Do you just have to have that new car? Probably not. Wait until you can afford it.

24. Decide what you want your success to look like

Visualize your success. Do you like what you see? How can you tweak your vision to something you will be happy with? The visuals we usually associate with success is money falling from the sky, flashy sports cars, nice clothing and accessories, and a gorgeous woman or man at your side. Is that what you want?

What if success was more about having the freedom to pursue and strengthen the relationships that matter the most to you? To have the resources to help the less fortunate?

Don’t simply assume success is what you see in popular culture. You get to decide.

25. Decide ahead of time what you will do if you fall short

Will you quit? Will you do a course correction? Will you double down? Will you seek help? Decide ahead of time.

26. Read great books

Read educational books. Read non-fiction books. Read fiction books. Read inspiring autobiographies. Read spiritual books. Read children’s books (to your kids and to yourself). Find the great stories that will inspire your own story.

27. Practice affirmations

This will help you overcome self-sabotaging behavior. Speak them aloud.

28. Exercise your body and your mind

Along with physical exercise, play strategy games and do mental exercises that will challenge your brain.

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29. Develop you ability to observe and read other people

Learn to observe people. Become interested in their interests, likes, and dislikes. Listen to them. You will eventually learn to anticipate their needs.

30. Be other-centered

Always think about ways you can add value to others. Banish the question “What will I get out of this?” from your thinking.

31. Be givers

Give joyfully of your time and resources. Take the time to mentor a person in your field, to volunteer, and to financially support a worthy cause.

32. Stop complaining

Don’t complain about how terrible your life is, even when times are tough. You life is not terrible, you are simply going through a terrible time. It will pass.

33. Find a mentor

Identify a person who has achieved external and internal success. Ask them questions. Learn their story. If you do not have personal access to this achiever, follow his blog or podcast. Read her books. Watch his YouTube videos.

34. Hold on to relationships that keep you grounded

Never lose sight of the relationships that matter most. No matter how successful you get, you will always need the love and support of family, friends, and people you respect. Besides, success will be no fun unless you can share it with them.

Featured photo credit: Freedom via flic.kr

More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths 34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success 15 Signs You Are Too Busy And Should Stop 60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

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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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