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Success Advice

3 Questions to Stop Asking for Greater Success & Happiness

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We’re often told that asking the right questions is critical to our success, but an equally larger (or bigger) factor can often be asking the wrong questions – or else the right questions at the wrong times. These are questions that seem to have merit but actually derail your focus, motivation, and productivity.

If you feel like you’re struggling to find answers in your life, then one easy place to start is by eliminating these 3 questions:

1. “How Do I…?”

Many years ago, a young speaker was working as an intern for his mentor. He wanted to be as successful as his mentor, so he worked his tail off, trying to build up his skills and abilities as a speaker. At least once a month, he would ask his mentor this question: “How do I become as great a speaker as you are?”

Every single time, his mentor would give him the same reply: “You’re not ready.” This continued for a few years – much to the frustration of the young speaker. Then one day, the young speaker was fed up and told his mentor,“I’m coming for you. I’m going to be better than you are.” At this moment, his mentor replied: “Now you’re ready.”

The point of this short parable is that asking “how” to do anything is often a way of avoiding true commitment. Obviously, there is a time and place for learning how to do something, but the first step is to commit to the outcome – even before you know how you’re going to do it.

For example, if you find yourself constantly asking how to grow your business, then chances are that you’re not actually doing enough. After all, when you’re doing everything you can to reach a goal, your most common question will be a retrospective one – why an experiment did or didn’t work. Commitment is the first step. Once you’re committed to doing anything – from building a business to getting in shape – you will always figure out a way to get it done.

“If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

2. “Is This My Passion?”

Surely, you should want to find what you’re passionate about, right? After all, that’s one of the common suggestions for being happier and more successful. The thing is, passion and fulfillment typically come AFTER the hard work that leads to success. In his book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” Cal Newport illustrates this through a bunch of research and also this now well-known story…

In 1975, Steve Jobs co-founded Apple. However, at the time, Jobs was passionate primarily about spiritual retreats and meditation, not at all about computers or business. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple because a great opportunity came along at the time to sell assembled hobby computers, and Jobs wanted the extra income.

Now, of course, Jobs went on to love what he did, and in his famous Stanford commencement speech, he emphasized loving what you do. But like so many others, he grew to love what he did because over time and with diligence he became great at it, was recognized for that greatness, and was afforded the opportunity to change and improve the lives of others.

None of this is to say that you should spend your life doing things you hate, but please don’t hold off on doing something just because you’re not sure if it’s the thing that you’re most passionate about. Get started, become great at whatever it is you do, and success, happiness, and even passion will follow.

3. “Am I the Right Person to Do This?”

Sure, we all have some innate skills and characteristics. Some of you might not have the physical characteristics to lead a basketball team to a championship or have the training and talent to be a world-champion chess player.

However, apart from a fairly narrow range of circumstances, this is one of the most limiting questions you can ask. In effect, you’re using your past to limit your future. The truth is that none of us are “perfect” for any task, business, or project, but if you’re committed to making it happen, then you’re absolutely the right person.

I was an attorney for many years before my wife and I started a food manufacturing company, 2 magazines, and a nutrition company. I promise that my time in law school didn’t prepare me for any of that.

Likewise (but much more poignantly), John D. Rockefeller had no business becoming an oil magnate or one of the richest people in history. Born to a father who sold elixirs as a traveling salesman, he became a bookkeeper at the age of 16 and decided to start a business at the age of 20. From there, he went on to dominate the oil industry.

You might not yet believe that you have it in you to be the next great entrepreneur, writer, celebrity, or politician. That’s OK. Belief comes with experience and success, which all starts by never asking this question in the first place.

“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.” – Henry Ford

Get Moving

As much as anything else, letting go of these questions is all about getting out of your own way and getting the ball rolling. All 3 of these questions are common forms of resistance that can stop or stall your progress, even though they seem like reasonable questions to ask yourself.

There are always more things to know and learn, and there will always be more questions to ask. Nonetheless, the wrong questions will take you on long detours off the path to success.

Your turn. What questions have stalled your progress, and what better questions have you replaced them with?

Jeremy Hendon grew up in Georgia, practiced law for a bit, and then built several companies - from food manufacturing to magazines to health and nutrition platforms. Jeremy has developed apps with 500,000+ downloads, co-authored multiple books, and had his products featured on national TV. He’s still an entrepreneur, but also regularly speaks and consults about crafting marketing stories and messages that resonate, sell, and evolve in the digital age. You can find him at jeremyhendon.com or at curious.show.

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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