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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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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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