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Answer These Riddles and You Will Find the Answers to Life

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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 July 20, 2021

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                Warming up

                                If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                Stay hydrated

                                Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                Meditate

                                Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                2. Focus on your goal

                                One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                4. Understand your content

                                Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                5. Practice makes perfect

                                Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                6. Be authentic

                                There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                7. Post speech evaluation

                                Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                Improve your next speech

                                As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                • How did I do?
                                • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                • How was the flow of the speech?

                                Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                Reference

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