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The Life Secrets That 8 Self-Made Billionaires Want You To Know

The Life Secrets That 8 Self-Made Billionaires Want You To Know

As the world’s richest man, I feel I’m somewhat of an authority on the subject, so listen up.

Okay, just kidding. But I do have some quotes from some of the most successful people of our time explaining their perseverance, struggles, and triumphs. This group of highly successful business owners and entrepreneurs all have words of wisdom to impart on us all pertaining to integrity, innovation, and courage. Regardless of our ambitions in life, we should all take a minute to listen to what they have to say.

1. Jeff Bezos talks about standing alone

The founder of Amazon has offered his advice in the past, but none of his words stand out more than the following:

“I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.”

It makes sense: If your ideas were easily understood, everyone would have them, and they wouldn’t be multi-billion dollar ideas. There are a few ways to go about being misunderstood. One, you must find a way to connect your extravagant ideas to everyday life (which Bezos clearly has done, knowing how many people would rather order from Amazon than step foot in the mall). Two, you must be able to explain your ideas clearly. Though your thoughts may be pie-in-the-sky, you must keep yourself grounded.

2. Sara Blakely wants you to make mistakes

No, not so she can keep the success all to herself. This businesswoman wants you to not be afraid of making mistakes.

She says “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”

Think of it like this: If you try one hundred different ideas, ninety-nine of them might fail. But if just one of those ideas is a $10 million idea, you earned $100,000 for each idea you came up with, even if the vast majority of them failed. That’s not a bad return on investment at all.

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3. Michael Bloomberg can never lose a dare

The former mayor of New York City seems intent on proving people wrong.

“To a contrarian like me, constant advice not to do something almost always starts me quickly down the risky, unpopular path,” he says.

My mother is the same way (except she’s no billionaire, unfortunately). Any time someone told her “we can’t do it that way,” she would respond with “why not?” and proceed to complete whatever task she had set her mind to, and do it her own way. It might not make her incredibly popular with her peers and colleagues, but she can go home every day knowing she’s made her own mark on this world in some way or another.

4. Warren Buffett talks simplicity

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

Here freakin’ here. The self-made billionaire is talking about wasting time placing blame and becoming complacent, which only serves to dig us deeper into a rut. Instead of all of this, Buffett advises we keep pushing forward, and not dwelling on past mistakes or shortcomings. By letting go of this excess baggage, we are better able to focus on the task at hand, as well as issues that may arise in the future.

5. Larry Ellison talks lack of privilege

“I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.”

In that short sentence, Ellison sums up a lifetime of hard work. He earned everything he ever owned, and because of that, never grew to think he was owed something by the outside world. Especially in today’s age, many of us feel like the world owes us something, when in actuality it’s the other way around. Acknowledging that the world only owes us that which we give back to it is the first step toward becoming self-sufficient and successful.

6. Bill Gates wants you to listen to the critics

It might be hard, but hearing what you’re doing wrong is the first step toward changing up your approach to make it more successful.

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“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” Gates says.

Imagine if nobody ever told you your ideas were terrible? You’d wake up one day at 60 years old wondering why you never accomplished anything. Though many critics (read: trolls) exist simply to bruise your ego, most critics want to see you succeed, and will offer advice on how to get there. Even though it may be hard to hear about your shortcomings, listen to the naysayers, and use their comments as a springboard to success.

7. Elon Musk wants you to strive to be the best you

“Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

Along with Gates’ suggestions, entrepreneur Elon Musk wants you to be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you constantly think you’re the best at something, you’ll never get any better. If you acknowledge you have a lot to learn, you will start on the path to learning it. And as you go, you’ll realize you still have more to learn, and will keep going down that path. The minute you stop and think you know it all is when you truly will fail.

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8. Mark Zuckerberg thinks you should be yourself

The founder of Facebook, and one of the youngest billionaires in the world, says “I think that people just have this core desire to express who they are. And I think that’s always existed.”

Of course. It’s so simple. Be yourself! Why didn’t I think of that? In all honesty, so many of us actually don’t think this way. Almost anyone I could ask would rather be doing something else than the job they’re currently stuck in. Even my friends who make good money didn’t see themselves doing what they’re currently doing. Sure, you have to pay the bills somehow, but you should never give up the passions you have in life in exchange for the almighty dollar. The most successful people in the world got there not by following the dollar; they got there by following their dreams, and the money followed them.

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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