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10 Things You Can Learn From World’s Highly Successful Individuals

10 Things You Can Learn From World’s Highly Successful Individuals

We all dream of becoming a successful person one day. This specific thought of “becoming a successful individual” has been instilled in our minds ever since we were children. And as we grow up, it seems that our main focus, or target narrows down to this particular concept. We try hard to achieve our goal. We really try hard. But is it really that hard to become a successful person?

Why is it that we see a certain group of people as highly prosperous, while others are considered unfortunate? In order to flourish, you live, make mistakes, and you observe others. The good thing about observing others is, if you are surrounded by that group of successful people, you are likely to have the opportunity to pick their brains. Well, here are 10 skills to aid anyone in becoming a successful person. If you can follow these rules, one day your name will be up there in the ‘hall of successful individuals’.

1. They teach you empathy.

First thing you require is empathy. “To be a great leader is to be a great listener instead of a talker”, says Gary Vaynerchuk, a CEO. In an article The Most Valuable Skill Every Recruiter Overlooks, he writes about the number one skill every employee needs to have. He says, it is not about being organized– the secret lies in being empathy. Empathy provides room for friendship, understanding, rapport, and host of other things that help to build real and lasting relationships within a company.

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2. They want you to “steal” from the greats.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Great artists copy. Great artists steal.” One of the users of Quora, a question-answer based online forum, believes so too. In a recent thread on Quora, Martin Armstrong said that it actually helps to get attached to a great person, whom you look to as a role model. He states, “If you want to be successful, you must learn to steal!” It is not like stealing every idea or every concept from your “model”, but to follow them, to figure out what your model does to make them successful. Follow their footstep, and it will lead you to a path where you have a better future.

3. They teach you to be self-disciplined.

In order to be successful, you must learn the art of self-discipline. Why? Because “without self-discipline, success is impossible”, according to Lou Holtz.

As Brian Tracy, top sales training and personal success authority, and author of more than 60 books, explained in his article, Successful People Are Self Disciplined self discipline is vital in order to prosper in life. Disciplining oneself is a hard task. But it is achievable. And through personal discipline and perseverance, you can obtain any skills.

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4. They wish to be a charismatic person.

Being charismatic can add a great advantage to your life. You don’t have to look like Barbie or Ken, you don’t have to be Richie Rich, and you don’t have to be Dexter– if you have the ability to make people love you naturally, then you have a good chance of becoming successful. Another Quora user, Michael Graham, has written that charismatic people are easily recognized even if they are broke, unintelligent, foolish, and unattractive. According to him, a charismatic person can successfully make other people feel better about themselves, and they have an extraordinary ability to inspire trust around them, amongst other skills.

5. They make you understand that schools don’t guarantee success.

Getting first hand experience rather than depending on what others teach you is often a smart move. In simple words, it’s a faster approach, and a highly effective way to learn things for yourself. Gaining higher education is good. But it can sometimes be overrated too. Erika Andersen wrote an article titled Do You Really Need To Go To College? She wrote about whether a college certificate is essential for success. All in all, success totally depends on you, and you only.

6. They encourage single-tasking.

We all know how much we look up to a person who multi-tasks. Whether that person is your official boss, or your own family member, or your best friend– regardless, we all go, “Oh look! That person is so successful in life because that person does so many things at the same time. What genius!”

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Wrong. In fact, people who multi-task are not being more productive at all. Dr. Jim Taylor of University of San Francisco wrote an article called Multitasking is Out, Single Tasking is In. He elaborated on the fact that single-tasking requires more focus and attention, which eventually makes a person more committed, focused, and disciplined. And these factors play a key role in making one successful.

7. They teach you how to turn hurdles into opportunities.

We face different kinds of obstacles in different stages of life. Many take this as a negative sign. But if you stay negative throughout your journey, you will never reach your destination. Be positive. Survive the storm, turn your hurdles into opportunities. Atul Pradhananga, for example, believes that success lies in how we perceive the obstacles, how we react to them, and how we keep our composure during those times.

8. They make you an expert in saying “no”.

If there is a problem, or something you are disliking, be honest, and say “no”. “No” is a negative term, but if you can master the art of politely saying “no, thanks”, it will be better for both you and your people. Remember, individuals are not emotionally attached to you, so they would prefer honesty over dishonesty. A review by Harvard Business found that part of success lies in saying “no”. It is believed that people who always say “yes” to everything are either afraid to say “no”, or not sure of what they want. And these kind of people usually don’t success in life.

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9. They want a sense of humor.

Success needs three bones: wishbone, backbone, and funnybone” – Unknown.

Forbes magazine published an article on 10 Reasons Why Humor Is A Key To Success At Work. There, they mentioned how tasteful humor is important in a workplace. The majority of people tend to take everything, including themselves, seriously. This article focuses on the differences between a very serious workplace, and an office where humor plays a role of some sort. Humor can make people feel encouraged and comfortable, which is a marvelous art. People who can make a person laugh without hurting that person can tackle any situation, and thus can become successful in life.

10. They teach you patience and confidence.

Besides acquiring a sense of humor, another very significant skill to become successful is having patience, and confidence. Success doesn’t come overnight. It requires plenty of time. You can not simply stop in the middle of the route and give up. You need patience. You also need self motivation to keep you going. And you need confidence. Research shows that a confident person is willing to learn new things and experiment. Therefore, in order to be successful, one must learn to project confidence.

There are no shortcuts to success. Becoming a millionaire by buying lottery tickets can happen once in a million times. So there’s no point in wasting time in buying lottery tickets, and praying for a jackpot. Go out there, move with the pace every successful person is moving with, make mistakes, learn from them, teach yourself skills, and conquer the world. No, don’t do that. Just conquer your world, be successful, and be content.

Featured photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr.com

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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