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Starting Today You Can Be Successful In Life…If You Follow These 10 Commandments.

Starting Today You Can Be Successful In Life…If You Follow These 10 Commandments.

A long time ago on Mt. Sinai, the prophet Moses received two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments that were popularized in the Hebrew Bible. Not so long ago somewhere on the World Wide Web, Daniel Wallen, a freelance writer and LifeHacker sick of watching so many people fail at life, felt moved by the spirit and wrote the following Ten Commandments of Success. If you are sick of failing at life, thou shalt read and apply these commandments today.

1. Thou Shalt Find Purpose

  • What do you hope to accomplish in your life?
  • How do you measure the impact of your efforts?
  • Why do you exist?

If you can’t answer those three questions, you need to do some soul-searching to discover your purpose. No matter how hard you hustle, your efforts will be for naught if you don’t have a clear understanding of what would give your life meaning. As John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

2. Thou Shalt Focus

Multitasking may be defined as an inability to focus on the task at hand. You’re welcome to keep claiming you have “strong multitasking abilities” on your resume as most employers haven’t caught up with the reality that most people who multitask are not being productive so much as they’re just doing a lot of things badly.  However, from this day forward, make a commitment to focus on one task at a time with laser-like concentration. We live in overwhelming times, full of time bandits that are ready to distract you from the important work you need to get done. Disable all text and e-mail Facebook notifications, because you don’t need to know that a friend thinks that photo of your dog is precious the very instant it happens. Take a few hours to clean up your inbox and unsubscribe from any e-mail lists that don’t add value to your life (and only check your inbox two or three times a day — if it is an emergency, they will call!). 

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3. Thou Shalt Love Thyself

If you view yourself as a big loser unworthy of a better job, a loving relationship, or a fulfilling life, the odds of you getting motivated and being successful aren’t good.  When you look at yourself in the mirror every single morning, don’t look for your flaws or imperfections (like that insignificant area you keep telling yourself is “pudgy”). Instead, search for your greatest qualities that you think are cute, hot, or handsome and proudly proclaim, “Self? You are incredibly good-looking today!” To achieve true transformation, you must not only believe you are capable of improving your life, but you also must believe you are worthy of an improved life (because you are, duh!).

4. Thou Shalt Not Lust for Money

There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of money because we all need to pay our bills (and deserve the comfortable life that financial security provides), but if money becomes the “end-all-be-all” that dominates your thoughts and actions, you could find yourself performing dreadful work that makes you feel miserable. Tell me which one sounds better:

  • Doing work that provides more money than you need (and fills you with dread) or
  • Doing work that provides just enough money (and fills you with joy) 

If you still choose the first option, then it’s time to sit down with yourself, reassess your priorities and hopefully begin to understand that there’s more important things in life than money.

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5. Thou Shalt Embrace Change

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is just about as silly as it gets. If you have been performing a diet or exercise plan for months with nothing to show for it, could it be time to try another approach? If you are in a relationship that makes you feel stressed out and unfulfilled despite your best efforts, don’t you think it might be time to count your losses? If you have been hunting for a job for many months with nothing to show for your efforts, shouldn’t you consider re-working your resume or broadening your search? It is human to run and hide from change as if it is a boogeyman that will devour our soul, but change is the very thing that is necessary for success.

6. Thou Shalt Not Conform

I wish I could hop in a time machine to see what people said about the Wright Brothers during their aviation experiments. I can see it now…

  • “It will never work.”
  • “What nonsense.”
  • “They are off their rockers!”

Where do you think we would be as a society if everyone conformed to other people’s expectations? Do you think we would have high-speed railway, airplanes, internet access, or video games? Conformity is the enemy of personal growth, so march to the beat of your own drum.

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7. Thou Shalt Believe in Thyself

Doubt is a nagging voice in the back of your head that will do everything in its power to convince you that you can’t accomplish your goals. Before you can achieve it, you must believe it. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t merely give yourself a goal of losing x-lbs, but visualize your goal as if it is already reality. Sit in a quiet place where you can be calm and cool, close your eyes, and picture yourself wearing a hot new skirt or super classy suit. Imagine how confident, sexy, handsome, and happy you will feel. Visualizing your goals today will help you find the courage to make it so in the future.

8. Thou Shalt Stop Comparing Thyself to Others

Stop comparing yourself to other people. Life is not a competition and the only person you are competing with is yourself. Don’t try to out-do your friends or co-workers. Simply aim to become a better version of yourself every single day. Forget about pleasing others and be true to you.

9. Thou Shalt Not Fret Over Failure

Failure is nothing to be scared of. It is a learning opportunity and nothing more. A fear of failure can easily turn into an inability to act. Without action, there is no progress. If you aim to achieve a bold and audacious goal, then it is very likely you will fail several times during the pursuit of your goal. Do not agonize over failing, but do search for ways to improve your abilities and keep trying. An unbeatable formula for success = Try + Fail + Grow. Repeat as necessary until the only option left is success. Click here to check out five great questions to ask yourself after a failure.

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10. Thou Shalt Not Throw in Thy Towel

If you are a purchaser of “lose weight fast” or “get rich quick” products, you are guaranteed to fail at life. True success comes to those who play chess (not checkers). Consistency is the key that will unlock the door to the successful life you desire. Buckle up and enjoy the journey because if you really want it, you need to exercise your patience muscles.

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!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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