So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed). -Dr. Seuss, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”
We all want to succeed at what we do, whether in school, at work, or in our relationships. But sometimes, we get so caught up in wanting to succeed or fearing we won’t do so that reaching the moment of achievement seems impossible. Are successful people just luckier? Did they get a head start in life? Maybe, but more likely they simply step carefully, as Dr. Seuss advises, and learn from the lessons life offers. Here are 10 life lessons successful people always keep in mind.
1. Slow and steady wins the race
According to author Travis Bradberry, we can easily think we’re winning at life when we’re busy, but busy doesn’t necessarily mean productive. In fact, the more balls we try to juggle, the more we wind up dropping. Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? The hare assumed, incorrectly, that the key to getting ahead was to be quick like a bunny, but the tortoise—and the hare’s own cockiness—caught up with him in the end, and he lost. Slow down, take your time, and remember that a job worth doing is done well, not quickly.Advertising
2. Conquer your fears
FDR probably said it best: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” All too often, the fear of failure rather than any lack of ability keeps us from succeeding. We worry about what others will think of us or how they’ll judge us if we don’t get a promotion or go to graduate school. Remember when you were learning to ride a bike? No matter how many times you fell and scraped your knees, you got back on. This rule applies to almost everything we do.
3. Learn from your mistakes
Let’s extend the bike-riding metaphor a bit here; not only did you get back on your bike because you conquered your fear, but also because you had to figure out what you did wrong in order to correct it. Maybe you turned too quickly or tilted too far to the right when trying to balance. Without the persistence of trial and error, you’d never have gotten it right.
Mistakes aren’t failures. They’re opportunities to learn. When you make a mistake, pause, reflect on what you did, and try things differently each time until you finally succeed.Advertising
4. Always exude confidence
You’ve probably heard it said that it’s better to strike the wrong note confidently than to strike the right one without confidence. I learned this from the twelve years I spent studying music. As a pianist, my greatest fear was striking that jarring note that would ruin the entire piece and send my audience fleeing the recital hall wishing for Beethoven’s deafness. As a result, when I practiced in front of my teacher, my family, or my friends, I’d always press more softly on the keys when I got to the point in the piece I felt least confident about, and this always made it sound worse—like I was playing dead air, which I basically was. I had to remind myself (or be reminded by others, more often) that playing well didn’t mean playing perfectly. If I played with feeling and with confidence, no one would notice one out-of-place sharp amidst the flats. When you make even your mistakes confidently, you show others that you don’t measure your entire self-worth by one single mistake.
5. Learn from others
Some of the most successful people get to the top not by climbing over others, but by cooperating with them. Part of cooperation involves listening to and learning from others; this includes admitting when you’re wrong or when you don’t know the answer to a question.
Formal authority doesn’t magically grant you superior mental acuity.Advertising
While I’m flattered when my students assume I know everything about the subject I teach because I’m standing at the front of the room, occasionally I won’t know the answer to a question. When this happens, I usually promise to find the answer before next class, and when I do, the result is mutually beneficial. I’ve learned something while teaching my students, and they respect me more for acknowledging that we never truly finish our education; there’s always something more to learn.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
According to Travis Bradberry, “anyone who makes you feel worthless, anxious, or uninspired is wasting your time and, quite possibly, making you more like them.” Surround yourself with people who energize you, who make you smile, and who support you in all of your endeavors. We feed off of the emotions of others, so if you want to absorb positive energy, spend your time in an environment that exudes it.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
Each of us has a unique set of talents and abilities. Some of us are writers, some are teachers, some can fix cars, and others can take a computer apart and reassemble it in ten minutes. If you find yourself saying things like “She’s married; he got a promotion; they have four kids and a summer home in the south of Italy,” stop and realize that these are the benchmarks of their success, not yours. Focus on the things you have and what you can do, and then cultivate your own talents.Advertising
8. Be a trail-blazer
In his oft-quoted poem The Road not Taken, Robert Frost writes, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Succeeding in life often means blazing a trail for others, boldly going where no man has gone before, as the mission of the Starship Enterprise reminds us. It can be scary to be the first to try something; think of how Neil Armstrong must have felt when he first stepped onto the surface of the moon. But without that one small step, we’d never have made the leaps and bounds we have made in space exploration.
9. Take time for yourself
Since successful people know that being busy doesn’t always equal productivity, they recognize the importance of taking time to recharge their batteries. When you overwork yourself, you perform poorly because your mind is less sharp, so you’re more likely to make mistakes and wind up taking twice as long to complete whatever task you need to accomplish.
10. Do what you love
There’s nothing more fulfilling than taking pride in a job well-done, especially when it’s a job you love. While money is a basic necessity without which we can’t pay bills and sustain ourselves, money, as the Beatles remind us, can’t buy love or happiness. In order to truly succeed in life, you need passion: passion in your work, passion in your relationships, passion in your hobbies. You won’t ever become the next Julia Child if you hate cooking because you won’t put your whole heart into it, so find something you love to do, and do it!
How do you succeed in life? Have any other tips? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Featured photo credit: High Five via pixabay.com
Last Updated on April 9, 2020
10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness
Do you ever secretly wish that you could achieve more with your time? You are not alone. Most people want more from their lives but simply don’t know where to start.
The good news is that learning to accomplish greatness in your life is totally possible if you learn to study other successful high achievers.
Find out what sparkling new patterns you want to implement in your own life by studying what real high achievers do in the round up below.
1. They Know What They Want.
That seems pretty obvious, but if you don’t have a clear goal, dream or desire in mind, how will you know when you’ve gotten where you wanted to be?
Successful people have clear goals and a clear vision for how to get there.
For example, Albert Einstein remained obsessed with the big questions and problems of physics, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do: he wanted to answer the questions and solve the problems that no one else had been able to. And guess what? He did just that.
High achievers dream specific, plan smart, and confidently strive toward success.
2. They Focus on Their Goals.
Once achievers know what they want, they are tenacious and focused on forward progress toward their goals. They don’t run over people or deliberately hurt people to get what they want, but they do stay focused on the end goal in all their interactions and daily tasks.
Elon Musk, with a net worth of $21.2 billion, is considered revolutionary. Some might have seen his plans to totally reinvent transportation methods, including fantasy-like transportation methods in outer space, a little silly. But Musk proved them all wrong by staying focused on his goals with hawk-like attention to detail. He spends hours and hours at the office focusing on his goals in order to achieve them.
3. They Are Passionate.
It’s very helpful when reaching for a big goal to not just get excited by it, but to truly be passionate about it.
High achievers often talk about how much fun they are having, or say that they would do what they do even if they weren’t getting paid (and in the beginning, they probably weren’t). That’s the kind of passion and positive outlook you need to achieve your highest goals.
Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft, began his successful career early in life by simply being excited about things like video games and computers. You can be like Gates too. Identify your passions and pursue them in your career.
4. They Don’t Procrastinate.
Some of the things we have to do to meet our goals or achieve our dreams are not very easy, but high achievers are able to focus on what needs to get done and actually do it instead of living in a world of dreams. They have a plan and they can follow it starting right now.
Even though you may not be into arts, you must have heard of Vincent van Gogh, one of the most influential artists of all time. He is a perfect example of someone who not only dared to dream, but also dared to act.
Instead of procrastinating or staying in a rut, he made a choice to pursue art and dove in head-first. Although he only worked for about ten years due to a tragically short life, van Gogh produced an estimated 900 paintings and more than 1,000 drawings.
If you want to get more out of your life, then stop dreaming and start taking actions today, not tomorrow: How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators
5. They Create Their Own Opportunities.
True achievers know that they don’t have to be stuck in a box – they can create their own story through hard work.
Brené Brown is a respected social researcher and increasingly popular speaker and author. She has been hosted on Oprah. She has written and published a slew of popular self-help books, and she has one of the most-watched TEDx talks in history.
Interestingly, Brown didn’t start her story in a glamorous way. In fact, many social sciences professionals scoffed at her unusual methods of research and her passion for the topic of vulnerability and shame. Brown, however, continued forging her own path until she reached her destination: greatness.
Brown is a striking example of a person who knew what she wanted and paved her way into her own story of success with dedication. High achievers know that nothing good comes without hard work. They are willing to create their own opportunities and don’t expect to be handed cookie-cutter dreams in life.
6. They Have Positive Attitudes.
Studies of high-performing students find that the happiest students are those who excel most academically. The same holds true for adults in business and in life.
If you have a good attitude, enjoy what you’re doing and remember that setbacks are temporary, it’s a lot easier to be successful. Without negativity, there’s nothing to hold you back from achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.
A positive attitude also helps people to think of what they are doing as important, which is a great way to stay motivated and working toward a goal.
Jim Carey, the famous comedian and actor, began looking for gigs as a teenager. At age fifteen, he performed onstage and completely disappointed the crowd with a less-than-successful first performance. Carey ultimately succeeded, though, by maintaining a positive outlook. He is known for visualizing success, staying positive, and continuing to work hard.
7. They Have a Team They Can Count On.
High achievers know they can’t do everything themselves. There’s a time very early on when you can go it alone, but even the smallest startups need help. It’s actually easier for a company‒or a dream‒to grow more quickly if there are more people engaged in making it work.
Your team could even be one or two trusted individuals who have your back when things get hard. Stephen King, an iconic author, submitted one of his first novels, “Carrie”, to more than 30 publishers. He received rejection after rejection and even threw his manuscript in the trash. His wife was his team; she pulled the manuscript out of the trash and asked him to try again. “Carrie” was a hit and became a springboard to a successful writing career spanning more than 50 bestsellers.
High achievers are able to foster great relationships and build teams that can help them achieve what they want even faster. They tend to have an eye for talent and are good at attracting the right people to their teams.
If you want to be a better leader, these tips can help: How to Master Your Management Skills and Build a Strong Team
8. They Take Time for Themselves.
Amid all this hard work, multitasking and big dreaming, high achievers know they need to take care of themselves too. Getting sick in the middle of a major launch isn’t good for anyone.
So a lot of stories you read about people who’ve had a lot of success will note that they eat well, exercise regularly, try to get enough sleep and even occasionally take time away from the office to refuel.
Emma Stone, a highly esteemed actress, is open with the media about her struggle with anxiety and stress. She reportedly practices self-compassion, meditation, and self-kindness to take care of herself.
Successful people know that sacrifice is often required for success, but they understand what they need to do to keep their bodies and minds performing well.
9. They Don’t Bad-Mouth Others.
High achievers know better than to burn bridges. They practice the advice that you shouldn’t say bad things about others, and they usually listen more than they speak.
They also tend not to compare themselves to others or get envious. They’re so focused on what they want to do that they don’t stop to look around at what others are doing.
10. They Never Quit.
Tyler Perry, an accomplished director, writer, and performer, faced early failures in both his personal life and professional life. Perry pushed through these personal challenges and dealt with failure after failure with his first production. Finally, his production gained momentum, and he is now successful because he never gave up.
High achievers are tenacious, sticking to their plans and goals as long as they need to in order to get where they want to be. If they didn’t stick with it, they wouldn’t achieve anything.
Success and achievement are not just for the people mentioned above — they are for you, too!
Unlock your future by finding your passions and goals, and working hard. Pay attention to what other high achievers around you are doing, and follow suit.
Before you know it, you will be creating your own famous success story.
More Tips About Achieving Success
- 50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn
- How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life
- How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life
Featured photo credit: Fabrizio Verrecchia via unsplash.com
|||^||Forbes: Elon Musk|
|||^||Met Museum: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History|
|||^||Harvard Study: Because I’m Happy|
|||^||CNN: Emma Stone opens up about ongoing battle with anxiety|