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Remember These 9 Things When Life Gets Rough

Remember These 9 Things When Life Gets Rough

John Lennon once famously said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” in his song “Beautiful Boy” And indeed, a lot of times, life doesn’t exactly turn the way we foresee it to. It seems like everything is going fine, and all of a sudden the panic button strikes. You find everything tumbling around you. Life and the idea of it being a beautiful journey, don’t click together. For many of us, life becomes a daunting task and with every breath, it appears we’re trying to evade the never-ending sequence of melancholies.

But is life really all about dealing with every new problem flung upon us? Can’t we escape the pain and suffering, popping in front of us, in different forms? The answer is no. You may have to face hurdles frequently in life. But it’s totally upon you to let those hurdles make your life rough or go on living life as a beautiful journey. How? Well, you have to remember the following nine things when life gets rough.

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1. If you believe and work for it, everything is possible.

You may think of it as a cliché, but if you keep the faith and work hard for your cause, you are destined to achieve. Your dreams may be pretty big and you may feel you’ll never make it. But what’s the point in always whining and fearing things won’t go well, before you’ve even started? If you work hard, you’ll surely move ahead. If things don’t seem to go well, remember what Christopher Reeve told us: “Once you choose hope, anything is possible”.

2. Life is very short.

Stevie Wonder said “Time is long and life is short”. This is exactly how life is. It is very short for us to achieve all the things we’d ever wanted to. Remembering this thing will help us in many ways in our life. Since life is short, you don’t have to achieve each and everything you look around. You may not be able to achieve a certain few things and that’s fine, you were not supposed to do everything. And, there’s no point in worrying too much about this short life, feeling miserable even when the slightest of problems appear. Constantly worrying about and over-analyzing things in this short life won’t help you much.

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3. Failures are the pillar of success.

Keep this thing in mind that Michael Jordan said: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” You don’t have to succeed in whatever you pursue all at once. More often than not, you’re bound to fail in your first attempt. Don’t be heartbroken and quit. Although you didn’t succeed, you certainly learned a thing or few in the attempts you made towards getting the job done. So work hard and with more determination next time. You’ll surely get to the finish line.

4. When one door closes, another opens.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” This is what Alexander Graham Bell said, and it portrays how most of us think when something has gone wrong. Remembering this thing will certainly help most of us if things aren’t working well. We’ll never achieve all the things we wanted in life and sometimes, something that has gone, is gone for once and forever. There’s no point in making own life miserable, remembering the same thing over and over. It’s better to have a keen look over what positives we can find in life and embrace the beauty of life with the newly opened door.

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5. There’s no short-cut to success.

One of the common things that makes our life rough is that we want to achieve so many things in a very limited time. But believe me, it won’t work out that way. You may have learned about or even read the books like “Learn to play guitar in a week” or “master Spanish in three days”. But, you may have already experienced it, such things will never work out. The fact that help us to attain some skills or provide some knowledge can’t be denied but what they sell you, claiming to make you an expert in such a limited time, just will not work out. Same is the thing with life. Your biggest dreams will take a long time to be fulfilled, sometimes even all your life. So forget about building Rome in a day.

6. Avoid constant comparison with others.

You may find your salary far less than others. Your friend always scores better grades than you. Your sister is more beautiful than you. We are always making such comparisons. Sometimes, we make the comparison with people at the top of the trade, like comparing our guitar skills with Eric Clapton. It’s one thing to be motivated by the success of others and set a mark for ourselves to reach. But always comparing with others and feeling worthless is not just good at all. What you need to remember is that everyone has got strengths and weaknesses, and you may not make it to the top or you’ll take a little more time. There’s lot of competition out there, so it’s better to take a realistic approach to life, improving gradually with every stride.

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7. Life is a journey, not a destination.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And, it is a very important quote to remember if we want a happy and prosperous life for ourselves. A lot of times, we imagine ourselves at the end of the road, when we have achieved everything. But when we are trying to walk along the path, we don’t have much motivation for it. We are constantly thinking about the glory and the prize. But what you should remember is that honors are just what others offered to you, experience is what you really garnered for yourself. This way, we’ll enjoy life at every step and even the most arduous tasks seem easier to complete.

8. Don’t worry about what others think.

It’s a common problem for most of us that we are always conscious of what others think of us. This is a big hurdle for us, preventing us from fulfilling our dreams and enjoying the life. We want to do a new thing, but the thoughts occurs to us “What if I am not successful?”, “How shall others react when they know about it?” and “Will it really make them happy?” You don’t have to live your life pleasing others all the while. What others think about you just doesn’t matter. If you’re always held back by such things, you’ll never be able to get through a task and fulfill your dreams.

9. Nothing lasts forever.

Life is full of ups and downs. It doesn’t always work out how you had planned. What to do when such cases arise? Remember “Nothing lasts forever.” Not even your worries and troubles. This may not exactly help you solve the problem, but it will most certainly help you move along in the darkest of times. If you just can’t get things happen how hard you try, what’s the point worrying? And if, you can do something about it, why to worry after all?

Featured photo credit: Thumbs up for 4 day weekends via flickr via flickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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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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