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9 Inspiring Books To Get You Back On Track When You’re Lost

9 Inspiring Books To Get You Back On Track When You’re Lost

There comes a point in all our lives when we are completely lost. No matter what we do or how hard we try, nothing seems to work. There is confusion everywhere and it seems like there is no way around it. This happens to all of us at some point, and it’s during these times that we need some outside intervention to shake us up and get us out of our state. If you are ever faced with such a situation, read any these nine evergreen self-help books to get yourself back on track.

1. The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau

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    “As a general rule, if you don’t know what to do at any given day, spend at least some of your time helping someone else.”

    In this book, the author challenges you to challenge the status quo and make your own decisions for life. He constantly emphasizes how dangerous it is to live the conventional life and urges you to build your own “army.” However, one thing Guillebeau has done exceptionally well is to pinpoint the two questions we should ask ourselves when we do anything: “Why should I do this?” And, “What will happen if I don’t?” Answering these will clarify many great responsibilities for you.

    2. High Expectations Are the Key to Everything, Michael Bergdahl

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      “If you are going to compete and you hope to win, always go into the competition expecting to win and the outcome can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

      If you are ever lost in life due to the high expectations of yourself and others, then this book has good news for you. The author says, “We are better people when we expect more of ourselves. And we help others become better when we expect more of them.” Think about it. The core idea of the book is to help you set higher expectations, dream big and make huge goals, because to reach to the top, you have to set high goals and expect more from yourself than anyone else.

      3. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

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        “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”

        This book should be your top priority to find the answers to many questions in life. It has all the life lessons — from death, regret, and family, to emotions, fear, aging, money, love, marriage, culture, forgiveness, and many more. Morrie, the old professor with his great wisdom on life explains to Mitch, his lifelong student, about all life’s blissful and painful experiences when they meet every Tuesday.

        4. Warrior of the Light, Paulo Coelho

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          “Warriors of light often ask themselves what they are doing here. Often they find their lives meaningful.”

          You can’t go wrong if you consider this as the manual of your life. No matter which point of your life you may be stuck on, this book will clear all your doubts. Highly recommended for all the warriors of life.

          5. Who Will Cry When You Die, Robin Sharma

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            “Get up early. There is something very special about the first few hours of morning.”

            These wisdoms from “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” are the simple rules for reaching one’s true potential. These are the simple yet potent ideas for improving the quality of our life and how we can use simple daily rituals to stand apart from the crowd.

            6. The Magic, Rhonda Byrne

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              “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

              This is the book you need in times of absolute crisis. Often we forget to be grateful when everything is going to plan, but we are lost when everything goes wrong. And the main thing this author reminds us of is to be grateful for what we have. Those who are grateful for something will gain even more, but those who are not will find they lose even that they already have.

              7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

              The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

                “Start with the end in mind.”

                The above quote is just one of the seven habits described in the book but this habit alone is enough to take you from where you are to where you want to be. In life, at all stages, you’ll be lost, defeated and ridiculed. But when you have the end in mind, you will know that these stages are not permanent. These are just the tough times you have to pass in order to achieve the next milestone.

                8. Choose Yourself, James Altucher

                choose yourself

                  “Being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.”

                  Welcome to the “choose yourself era.” If you have ever stepped back because of fear of others or external validation, then this book will definitely help you take that first step forward before you even finish the final page. The author challenges authority at every stage and asks you to make your own path rather than depend on others for approval. He explains in great detail what it means to choose yourself: to not to keep waiting, fail fast, learn more, succeed like hell, break the rules and make it happen.

                  9. The Speed of Trust, Stephen R. Covey

                  The-Speed-of-Trust-Stephen-Covey

                    “Once you create trust — genuine character and competence based trust — almost everything else falls into place.”

                    Covey places emphasis here on one quality that makes all the difference: trust. He writes that when you go to work, your first responsibility should be to build trust. In everything you do, from relationships to the professional sphere, trust has its effect. And if you have ever stepped back, this might be one of the reasons. Working on building trust can really open many doors for you.

                    Featured photo credit: On the road via picjumbo.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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