A system for preparing and presenting your best self

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Photo by Constantin Wenning on Unsplash

Back at the end of February this year, I was let go from my job. Over the course of the following 8 months, I applied to 30–40 jobs. Out of those job applications, I was invited for three job interviews. I had to decline one because I already had full-time employment. But with the other two job interviews, I received job offers.

I don’t have any hard facts to back it up, but I can say with reasonable confidence that when I get a job interview, I think of myself as an odds-on favorite to get a job offer. It’s happened to me before too — when I was applying to co-op jobs, I would get one, maybe two interviews a term, and then get a job offer right away. …


Four lessons for conquering fear and achieving success

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Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

When I first started making a full-time salary, my parents encouraged me to stop renting and to purchase a condo. Purchasing a condo, I thought, was an investment I wasn’t ready for. What if I lose my job? What if the condo had assessments billed to tenants? What if I didn’t want to live in that location anymore? What if mortgage rates increased?

These thoughts went through my head as I met with the bank to get a mortgage, went with a realtor to look at different apartments, and eventually signing the papers to become a homeowner.

And you know what? If I had to go through the process again, I would. …


Why reading fewer books helps you to read more books

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I used to be a perfectionist when it came to reading books. I would choose a book to read and damn it, I would read the book, word for word, page by page until I finished. Only then would I turn to the next book to read.

Whether the book was an incredibly quick read, or if the book was a tome that read like a professor lecturing you, I would, sometimes painfully, read the book. …


Four reasons why you should schedule regular catch-up sessions for your social life

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Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

I was once good friends with an incredibly intelligent and ambitious individual from my high school. We’re not friends anymore, a mistake I regret, but before we lost touch, my friend had a fantastic idea I have since incorporated into my life. My friend said we should schedule it into our calendars. Every month, on a specific date, and a time that worked for both of us as we were in different time zones (for example, a weekday evening time), we set up a recurring meeting to call each other and catch up.

Every month, we would call each other and catch up on all the things that happened in our lives in the past month. If either of us were busy, we could cancel or reschedule. If we had nothing to talk about, we kept the call short. …


A counter-intuitive strategy for brainstorming ideas

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Photo by Dstudio Bcn on Unsplash

James Altucher swears his life changes every six months from one single practice. That practice? Writing down 10 ideas every day.

What kind of ideas? Business ideas? Book ideas? Money ideas? Yes. All of the above. The important thing is not to worry about what kind of ideas. The point is to get into the habit of generating ideas and practicing your idea muscle. Your brain is just like any other muscle — the more you work out by generating ideas, the more your brain grows.

Ever tried to write down 10 ideas before? Go ahead, I’ll wait here as you try it now. Think of ten ideas to improve your business. Or think of ten ways to be a better employee. Or ten movie ideas you would pay to watch. You can get to five ideas fairly quickly. But when you get to the seven idea, you start to sweat a little. Why is it so hard to come up with ideas? By the eight idea, you are really ‘sweating’, trying to get to that last repetition of the idea workout. …


“…therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”

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Photo by davisuko on Unsplash

I remember the first time someone quoted George Bernard Shaw to me. I was in a Toastmaster meeting, and I had introduced a table topic idea that likely most members (some having been a member for many decades) had never seen before. It was fun. It was challenging. It was risky. But it worked out and became one of mine (and many members) favorite table topic.

After delivering one of my favorite table topics, my evaluator stood up and repeated the following quote:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. …


Six (non) rules from Germany Kent

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Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Germany Kent is an American print and broadcast journalist. Kent has authored ten nonfiction books including The Hope Handbook Series, best-selling written work The Hope Handbook, and the critically acclaimed book You Are What You Tweet, a national bestseller. But you don’t care about Germany, do you? You care about what she can teach you about winning (or not winning) in life.

Here are her six (non) rules:

Do the easy things in life

Between doing hard things, and doing the easy things in life, always choose the easy ones. Moving weights from one place to another? Nope, sit on the couch and binge Netflix. Pick up a book to read? Nah, let’s play video games instead. …


Four secrets for becoming a more confident speaker

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Photo by Rots Marie-Hélène on Unsplash

At work, my boss asked if I could give a presentation on giving and receiving feedback. I had just read No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyers and wondered out loud to my boss whether radical transparency would work at our workplace. She was all for it, but the rest of the workplace needed some convincing.

After agreeing to give a presentation, I looked at where I had time in my calendar, and how much time I would need for the presentation. At first, my boss had suggested 30 minutes, and I thought that was a solid amount of time to talk about what I learned, role-play a scenario, and then have time for questions and comments at the end. Then, my boss suggested that if I could, I could also do it in 15 minutes. …


How to take care of yourself while working from home

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Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, my workplace emailed saying that in a couple of weeks, they would have an event called “self-care”. It’s three weeks where you note down activities where you care for yourself and at the end of the three weeks, you submit the spreadsheet full of activities and how much time you spent on each, and you can win prizes.

Part of me thought, wow this is fantastic, my company is helping workers focus on themselves. Another part of me thought, wait, why aren’t people focusing on themselves?

I remember when I first started working as a pro, I took my work seriously. I would work, come home, eat dinner, and then turn on my work laptop, almost automatically, to continue to work. When some deliverables and presentations were a little off, I would take the time to fix them. I had this weird philosophy that any work that passed through my eyes and hands had to be better after I passed it on. Now there’s nothing wrong with this kind of approach — it helped me get promoted multiple times. But the approach also made me a workaholic. Working all the time exhausted me. I woke up early to fit in emails. I stayed up late at night to work on deliverables. I wasn’t exercising. I was not investing the time to cook and eat healthy food. …


Four rules for giving and receiving feedback

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Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash

While reading No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer, I was struck by a story of Erin doing a presentation to Reed’s company, Netflix. Erin was walking around the audience during a group activity when she was stopped by one individual who provided her with some honest feedback. She told Erin that when Erin asked questions to the audience, she appeared to be choosing mostly white members of the audience, and not giving equal opportunity to other non-white members. …

About

Wang Yip

Author of the amazing Essential Habits. Inspiring others to live better lives through personal development, work and creativity. www.wangyip.ca

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