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Confront These 10 Inconvenient Truths Today for a Better Life

Confront These 10 Inconvenient Truths Today for a Better Life

Improving your body and life isn’t a quick, easy or magical process. There is no pill, strategy or tactic that can replace hard work. If you want success, you need to confront these ten inconvenient truths today.

1. Education does not begin or end in a textbook or classroom.

If you’re not willing to wrap your head around that simple fact, the Real World will eat you alive.

2. Agonizing over the past accomplishes nothing.

If you are already in a situation that cannot be undone, then what is the point in stressing out about it? Your time would be better spent hustling forward in the direction of a better future. Look at every new day as a fresh opportunity to improve yourself.

3. People pleasing is an exercise in futility.

I hate to break it to you, but there are certain people who won’t care about you, no matter what you do. And besides, if a person likes you for a phony version of yourself that bears no resemblance to the authentic person you are, why bother? As Amanda McRae said, “It is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.”

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4. Affirmations are helpful…

I love affirmations. They are a great way to keep your goals fresh on your memory and remind yourself of what is most important to you. Just in case you’re curious, here’s one of my favorite affirmations of late (you’re welcome to borrow it if you want to):

“I am loving, mindful, deliberate, and strong.”

I aspire to behave in a way that reflects those four traits every single day, whether it is in the form of writing an article like this or coaching a personal training client. When I feel overburdened with stress, or lose sight of my purpose, I repeat this affirmation until I get back on track.

I would recommend coming up with your own affirmation that expresses what kind of person you would like to be, or how you hope to add value to the world. You could write it down in a place you’ll see it regularly, and say your affirmation out-loud a few times as soon as you wake up to get your head in the right place at the top of every morning.

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5. …but affirmations are pointless if they aren’t accompanied with consistent hustle.

All of that said, it is delusional to think you can “affirm your way” to the future you desire. If you want success, your positive thoughts must be accompanied with positive action.

6. You might be a sheep.

The temptation to conform is no doubt heavy, but remember that everybody you admire thought outside of the box (and probably broke a lot of the norms prevalent in their society while they were at it). Martin Luther King Jr., the Wright brothers, Gandhi, and even Jesus Christ would have accomplished nothing if they resigned themselves to the self-defeating belief of, “Oh well, I guess that’s just the way things are.”

We don’t need more spineless conformists in this world; we need more brave, creative original thinkers who aren’t afraid to be authentic and swim against the current, no matter what “society” has to say about it. Dare to be different, because the world needs the unique gift only you can offer.

7. Effort trumps “luck” every time.

My mom is a walking, talking example of “effort” because she illustrates how important it is for success. Below is a single sentence summary of how effort works:

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If you want to be successful, you must put forth a high level of effort for a long period of time (if this isn’t true, then you’re probably not thinking big enough).

What does this have to do with my mom? She is ALWAYS winning free tickets to concerts, football games, Nascar races, wrestling matches, and so on (if it’s a sport, she likes it). A lot of people call her lucky, but they’re totally missing the point. It’s not luck, it’s effort. She loves to listen to a local classic rock radio station that does contests and giveaways very frequently. They usually go something like, “If you’re caller #9, you win tickets to see this super fun thing!” Instead of saying, “I’d never win,” as 90% of people do, she picks up the phone and dials in… every. single. time.

Does she lose a lot? Well, yeah. But since she’s putting forth a higher level of effort than other people, she just so happens to be wiping the floor with them. Even if you drop the ball or fall on your face while you’re pursuing your goal, it’s nothing to freak out about. The more shots you take, the better your odds of winning. Are you going to take your shot today?

8. If you wouldn’t say it about another person, then you shouldn’t think it about yourself.

Would you ever tell a person you love that they are a stupid, fat, ugly loser who can’t do anything right? Of course you wouldn’t, because it would be an inconsiderate and nasty thing to do. Despite how mean it would be to say things like this to another person, I bet you subject yourself to self-defeating beliefs just like this every single day. Personal growth and transformation cannot happen from a place of self-hate; success happens when you can love and accept yourself as you are, even the flawed or messy parts (hint: believe it or not, these could be the very same things that make you special).

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9. Success is reserved for action-takers only.

The best self-help book or article in the world cannot help you if you’re not willing to implement the material in your life; otherwise, you are only wasting your time.

10. It’s not all about you.

Wanna know my biggest pet-peeve? People who assume everything is about them.

Just because a person doesn’t want to hang out with you, doesn’t mean they don’t like you; it probably just means they are exhausted from dealing with people all day and need some time to re-charge.

Just because a person doesn’t answer a text, doesn’t mean they are ignoring you; maybe they’re busy with their kids, at work, a creative project or one of the 1,000,000 things that are more important than answering texts as they come in.

Just because a person doesn’t go on a date with you, doesn’t mean you are unattractive, unappealing or doomed to be alone; you’re just not a good match, and you’re fortunate the other person was honest enough to not lead you on.

I know truth hurts sometimes, but somebody had to say it.

I hope applying these ten inconvenient truths helps you achieve success in business, fitness, relationships or whatever your goal might be. If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to your friends on Facebook or Twitter, and then tell us how you’re going to take action in the comments.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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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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