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Answer These Riddles and You Will Find the Answers to Life

Answer These Riddles and You Will Find the Answers to Life

Looking for deeper meaning, trying to find patterns in everything, eager to answer life’s riddles—it is this curiosity and hunger for knowledge that has gotten us to where we are now as a species. We have built an advanced civilization by coming up with solutions to problems, and even though we may be somewhat complacent at this stage of our history, there are still a lot of little questions that every person needs to answer throughout his or her life in order to find that unique brand of happiness that will be slightly different for each of us.

As I am a big fan of the Socratic method, I will play a benevolent Riddler and give you a list of brain-teasers that, when answered and understood, will help you come closer to finding answers to much deeper issues. Oh, and trust me, learning how to apply any of this knowledge in real life, day to day, will be the true challenge you’ll have to face. There will be enough space between each riddle and its answer to allow you to think it over and do some guessing before you scroll down, so take your time.

Riddle 1

Journey without it and you will never prevail, but if you have too much of it you will surely fail.

Journey

    Answer: Confidence

    While there are plenty of those who lack the confidence to stand up for themselves and seize opportunities, there are also plenty of people out there who overestimate their abilities and bite off more than they can chew. To ensure a reasonable level of happiness in life and achieve as much as you can, you have to live between these extremes and learn to strike the right balance between the different values that you govern yourself by.

    Riddle 2

    Poor people have it. Rich people need it. It can make you or break you.

    Rich vs poor

      Answer: Adversity

      Steel is hardened by being exposed to the roaring fires of a furnace and then cooled down, and so too is the human spirit hardened by adversity. The rich and privileged lack it and often become spoiled, with a warped view of reality and a childish ignorance of the ways of the world. However, if a person faces numerous hardships without the ability to cool down and recover, his or her spirit can be broken or they can become bitter and jaded. You need to live through some tough times to get a respect for life and hone those survival skills, but remember that there are also those whose hardships have taken them to a dangerous place—beware of such people.

      Riddle 3

      Everyone wants more of it to feel special, yet the more you have of it the less special you feel.

      Feel Special

        Answer: Knowledge

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        Ah, to be young and foolish is a wonderful thing. You think you know everything, that you are indestructible and have life all figured out, then as you get older and wiser, and delve much deeper into certain subjects, you suddenly realize just how much more there is to know. It can take people an entire lifetime to truly master a skill or acquire detailed knowledge on a topic, and there are just too many skills and topics for any one person to cover in several lifetimes. Understanding this makes you humble, and it also makes you question people who think they have all the answers.

        Riddle 4

        If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you haven’t got me. What am I?

        Sharing

          Answer: Secret

          Some people fail to grasp the true importance of secrets. From a moral standpoint, they help you avoid lying, but at the same time allow you to protect your privacy and the privacy of those close to you. There is an urge to gossip and spread interesting information that we as humans are born with, but it has to be controlled. Little facts that only a few people know help strengthen the bonds of friendship and love between them—protecting someone’s secret in this day and age is nearly as brave and noble as protecting them from a wild animal.

          Riddle 5

          You can only have it once you have given it.

          Giving

            Answer: Respect

            One of the most misunderstood concepts out there, respect is asked for yet seldom given. Some even try to take it by force or buy it, but if you are unable to show others respect and treat them as equals you will never be able to truly earn their respect. People respect bravery, intelligence, skill, talent, compassion and physical and mental strength, and these things cannot be faked.

            Riddle 6

            Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out?

            Candlelight in darkness

              Answer: Stop imagining it

              There is something to be said about the destructiveness of self-fulfilling prophecies that people regularly impose upon themselves. When every hint of trouble is immediately viewed as a disaster and any attempt at remedying a situation is brushed aside with “What’s the point? It will never work,” then what chance do we stand when things really go bad? It is important not to give up before the battle has even begun, and to avoid taking yourself to that dark and lonely place all the time. A little positivity and determination will go a long way.

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              Riddle 7

              What is always coming but never arrives?

              Coming Soon

                Answer: Tomorrow

                Procrastination is born out of laziness and the fear of making changes, and it is the biggest dream killer out there. If you keep rescheduling important things for tomorrow, Monday or next month, you’ll stay in the same place as the world keeps moving on without you. Some 20-30 minutes here, an hour or two there, it’s not much time to invest in bettering yourself and if you keep doing it every day you will reap huge benefits. Don’t wait for tomorrow, do what needs to be done right now.

                Riddle 8

                 At night they come without being fetched. By day they are lost without being stolen.

                Mostly at night

                  Answer: Doubts and fears

                  That old piece of advice given by our elders: “sleep on it”, is as simple as it is absolutely brilliant. At night before sleep we are at our most vulnerable, even if we have someone to hold tight. Those nagging doubts come creeping in, our insecurities and fears start eating away at our mind, and that self-critical voice gets a bit louder as the room goes quiet. However, after a good night’s sleep, as we wake up and let some sunshine into the room, get some fresh coffee and tasty food in our system, those troubled thoughts seem miles away. This is a much better time for talking things over, making big decisions and important phone calls.

                  Riddle 9

                  A prison you feel safe in, yet never quite happy. Whenever you try to leave, it only grows bigger.

                  Prison

                    Answer: Your comfort zone

                    The feeling of safety we get when we hide in our little comfort zone is a false one, and the lack of initiative will eventually lead to us feeling miserable. In order to improve we have to be willing to try new things, throw ourselves into uncomfortable situations and learn to cope with them over time. As we become comfortable with different situations and become proficient in a variety of additional skills, that comfort zone will keep expanding, and we will constantly need to keep running beyond its edges.

                    Riddle 10

                    If you break me I do not stop working; if you touch me I may be snared; if you lose me nothing will matter.

                    Clockwork mechanism

                      Answer: Your heart

                      Letting someone get close, reach in and touch our heart is an exhilarating and frightening experience at the same time. There are plenty of people out there, more than enough for everyone to find a great match. In fact, you may find a good match several times over, and just as your heart breaks it will also mend and be ready to be touched again. However, if you lose that empathy that makes you a decent human being, life will become bleak and meaningless, so keep your heart somewhere safe and nurture it.

                      Riddle 11

                      It starts off light and easy to bear, yet the more you carry it with you, the heavier a burden it becomes.

                      Heavy burden

                        Answer: A guilty conscience

                        We sometimes make rash decisions, especially when we are young and full of raging hormones, and even when we know we did wrong we manage to rationalize things and convince ourselves that we did nothing wrong or that we have no choice. The thing is, you can only keep justifying your actions for so long before your conscience starts eating away at you. This is why many people living a dangerous lifestyle, be they thugs or soldiers and cops, burn out and turn to alcohol or drugs. Abide by a code of ethics you have adopted at all times, and you will stay in good mental health.

                        Riddle 12

                        I do not listen to reason, but I hear every siren’s song and will try to steer us towards the rocks if you let me take the wheel. Who am I?

                        Siren

                          Answer: Ego

                          When you let your ego take over it’s very easy to take offense at the slightest insult, start shouting matches with people, try to show off and injure yourself at the gym, bite off more than you can chew and ruin relationships. It is only concerned with preserving your perceived social status and will quickly turn you into a drooling Neanderthal, and this goes for both men and women. When you walk out of the house it’s best to leave your ego at home – you don’t have to prove anything to anybody as long as you have a good sense of self-worth and are surrounded by people who understand and respect you.

                          Riddle 13

                          One by one we fall from heaven down into the depths of past, and our world is ever upturned so that yet some time we’ll last.

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                          Fallen angel

                            Answer: Dreams and aspirations

                            The way we see ourselves will change over time, and some of the dreams we had and the goals we set will be left behind. However, as our worldview and personality changes, new dreams and aspirations emerge, which is a perfectly normal and healthy part of maturing. We are not giving up who we are, we are just evolving into an improved version of that same person, and knowing this allows us to let go of the past.

                            Riddle 14

                            A mile from end to end, yet as close to as a friend. A precious commodity, freely given. Found on the rich, poor, short and tall, but shared among children most of all. What is it?

                            PENTAX Image

                              Answer: A smile

                              This simple little thing really becomes a precious commodity once you get older. A lot of people suffer from anxiety and depression, and most of us spend a good part of the week under constant stress. We forget to smile sincerely, from the bottom of our heart like the carefree children we once were. This is why time spent with close family and friends becomes so precious. We need to remember how to open our eyes to the beauty and hilarity of the world around us, and smile more.

                              Riddle 15

                              We hurt without moving. We poison without touching. We bear the truth and the lies. We are not to be judged by our size. What are we?

                                Answer: Words

                                Our words can have an incredible effect on others. They can cause pain and sorrow, bring joy and laughter, make people uncomfortable, educate or offend. A lot of people don’t really think about the words they use, but we should all choose our words more carefully. Just a few inappropriate words uttered in the wrong moment can change our lives forever, and it is up to us to learn to communicate more tactfully so that we can dictate the outcome of such situations, rather than let our emotions get the better of us.

                                Spend a few minutes pondering these riddles and try to think about a moment in your life that could serve as an example for any of the points covered here. Feel free to dissect each of the riddles and come back to them again after you’ve had them running around in your head for a day or two.

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                                Ivan Dimitrijevic

                                Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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