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7 Invaluable Lessons From World-Class Achievers

7 Invaluable Lessons From World-Class Achievers

Becoming hugely successful isn’t easy. It requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. While some people are gifted with specific abilities that give them an advantage over the rest of us, they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if not for their drive and commitment to excellence. Think of the people you idolize; it’s more than likely they exhibit many of the same traits. They all live by certain maxims which guide them to use every moment they have as a chance to do better. Follow these words of advice, and forge your own path to success:

1. Stay disciplined

Among many other achievements, Benjamin Franklin is well-known for crafting, and adhering to, a strict schedule every day of his life. Successful people understand how important each moment they have on Earth is, and never take a second of their time for granted. They wake up early, and hit the ground running. They rarely take time off, and even if they’re vacationing, they still find time to exercise, read, or partake in an activity that will further their skills in some way. World-class achievers treat their bodies as finely-tuned machines, programmed to strive for success at all times.

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2. Set daily goals

Swami Vivekananda said it best: “Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.” Successful people know there is no time to lose if they want to be the best they can be. But they don’t go about bettering themselves haphazardly. They set goals on a daily basis in order to focus their attention on increasing their abilities. They also focus on addressing their weaknesses.

3. Keep moving

Thomas Edison believed that “Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait.” In other words, though patience is a necessary virtue, it’s not necessary to sit around doing nothing while you wait for your efforts to pay off. Instead, you should focus your energy elsewhere after putting a plan into motion. For example, if you apply for a job it will certainly take a few days to hear back from the company, but that doesn’t mean you should kick your feet back and relax. Instead, use this time to research the company to the best of your ability, and apply to other jobs. Don’t stop moving forward, or someone else will surely pass you.

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4. Be different

Steve Jobs famously said, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” The second part of that quote represents everything he stood for in his career. Jobs was an innovator who was never afraid to think outside the box, even when it cost him his job at Apple. (He sure showed them, am I right?) Through the use of the word “foolish”, Jobs is referring to being the one who believes in an idea even when others have dismissed it. It’s having faith in yourself, and the courage to push forward even when everyone else around you tries to dissuade you. If we all were the same, there’d be no innovation in the world.

5. Scare yourself

Author and speaker Brian Tracy believes the secret to success is to “move out of your comfort zone.” He says, “You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Unfortunately, too many of us fail to realize this, and instead choose to stay in our comfort zones our entire lives. What ends up happening is we wake up one day and realize we’re past our prime, and have lived a mediocre existence because we were too scared to take a chance. The worst thing that can happen is we fall short of our goals. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of, because…

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6. Failing isn’t failure

Like I said, so many of us are afraid of falling short of our goals that we never even try to attain them. Bill Gates once said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Even if you fall short, you can still learn something by taking a chance. However, you’ll never achieve anything if you quit forging ahead. The greatest innovations of our time weren’t magically pieced together perfectly the first time someone sat down to invent them. The process of innovation is a series of trials, most of which don’t pan out as hoped. But if Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs hadn’t kept working on their respective inventions, you wouldn’t be able to be reading this article right now.

7. Always strive for more

Author Maureen Dowd has said, “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” The reason successful people achieve so much is because they’re never happy with what they have. This isn’t to be confused with greed. High achievers simply don’t become complacent. After accomplishing something incredible, they immediately look to what else they can do to push themselves even further. Michael Jordan could have been the best basketball player of all time even if he only gave 95% every game. Instead, he pushed himself to give 100%, every second he was on the court. He wasn’t satisfied with just being the best player on the court; he wanted to be the best player he could possibly be. That’s why he achieved the things he did.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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