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5 Reasons Why You Should Let Go Of Things That Won’t Make You Happy

5 Reasons Why You Should Let Go Of Things That Won’t Make You Happy

With every cliché that has been said about happiness, as well as the handful of films and literary pieces that it inspired into creation, it is clearly one of the things people yearn for and go great lengths to achieve. Some take one day at a time, while others take on full-blown transformations synonymous to their definition of happiness.

However, there are many who view happiness as some form of finish line that not everyone is lucky enough to reach. What they don’t realize is that happiness isn’t always about the destination. More often than not, it is in the trip itself where you find what you’re looking for and that anyone can make it there.

But here’s the thing. Sometimes, before we get to the first step of our quest for bliss, we are confronted with major building blocks that we can mistake for happiness. For instance, having a job may make you feel content, but if it’s a job that you don’t exactly like doing, is it really worth calling a source of happiness? The harder part is that it’s difficult to call futile things as they are, much less let go of them completely especially if they have become an integral part of your comfort zone. But hey, don’t they also say that life begins right outside it?

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So to get you started on your road trip to happiness, here are five reasons you should let go of the things that don’t make you happy now, because guess what? They probably won’t make you happy in the future either.

 1. A healthier you.

If you think that your unhappiness doesn’t have an impact on your well-being, think again. In a study conducted by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, it is stated that constant exposure to stress, especially as early as childhood, can inflict harmful effects on a person’s brain and other systems of the body. This can cause a person’s stress hormones to jump faster than normal. Even worse, he or she might develop heart-related ailments. Stress caused by negative emotions can affect bodily functions and aggravate diseases that a person already has, even a common cold.

On the other hand, stress is almost always inevitable, but it pays to channel it to constructive ways. You can start by simply being enthusiastic and positive about a stressful situation. You should also seek support from family and friends so that you don’t carry the whole weight of your burden. However, if you’d rather spend time alone, you can channel your stress through relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, or even painting.

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2. Better relationships.

More often than not, it is those who are close to us that can sense if we are upset or if we are in a good mood. However, there are some who would rather deal with their issues alone that they tend to push people away. While isolating yourself for a while can be helpful, deliberately refusing comfort or help from, say, your partner or a close sibling can cause strain on your relationships.

Instead of figuring out the solution by yourself, consider reaching out to a loved one or a trusted family member. You don’t necessarily have to ask for advice; if it’s only a sympathetic ear you need, the people who truly know you and care about you will respect your choice. However, if you find your relationship going through the adverse effects of negative emotions, you can always seek professional help such as marriage counselling.

3. A thriving career.

One of the most common but downplayed symptoms of unhappiness at work is mentally holding on to the weekend for dear life and wishing you could delay Monday’s arrival.  Such a scenario might be easy for some to shrug off and just get along with work, but if you have a serious case of procrastination, it’s time you do something about it.

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Being stressed at work is all right as long as you still get the satisfaction of doing your job the way you did when you started. Whether it’s the corporate ladder you chose to climb, or started your own enterprise, or pursued your calling in the arts, it’s important that you are genuinely happy about your work. Otherwise, you risk doing half-baked tasks and recording a poor performance–all of which can severely affect your career.

Find ways to rearrange your work routine that will help you accomplish more tasks faster and smarter. If all else fails, you might want to consider quitting, because there is no point in staying in a job that you don’t look forward to doing.

4. A strong bond with your kids.

If your partner is on the front line of your domestic stress absorption committee, your kids come in as close second. For instance, you had a long day at work and you’re welcomed by your son badgering you to play with him. While it’s possible that you’ll give in the first few times, it’s also possible that you won’t when you become more and more tired in the office. On the other hand, if you have any inkling that your unhappiness affects your relationship with your children, take some time to look into the situation and see what you can do to avert a potential crisis.

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Exposing kids to stress can influence them to develop anxieties at an early age and have a conflicted relationship with you. What’s worse is if they develop an unhealthy point of view with having kids of their own in the future. So before you put your kids at risk of such behavior, take it upon yourself to foster between you and them the kind of bond that overlooks stress—a loving one.

5. Life is short.

Not everyone gets a chance, let alone a second one, at things, such as literally and figuratively having a life. If you take into account the reasons listed above and your future, you have more than enough reasons to let go of the things that make you unhappy and pursue what your heart is telling you to. Besides, sticking up for something that doesn’t make you happy only prolongs your agony.

But here’s a fact–you never know how much time you’ve got on your hands. The question is, are you really going to let whatever you have slip by just because you’re too busy griping over things that don’t even make living worthwhile?

Letting go of things that you’ve become used to can be really tough. However,  if you want to be truly happy, you need to let go of the good things to make room for the better ones. Just think—if you don’t see yourself doing something in the next five years, why do it at all? But if you’re searching for happiness and you have your loved ones in tow, don’t settle for things you know are holding you back.

Featured photo credit: surfer via megahdwall.com

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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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