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8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset

8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset

What makes a person successful?

What sorts of successful habits do they cultivate?

While there are a myriad of self-help strategies out there, focusing on mindset is one of the most important.

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Mindset determines your attitude when walking into any situation. Many “lucky” people only have a positive mindset to guide them. A negative mindset, alternatively, can cause a host of problems for people.

These are 8 successful habits that you can use to think yourself successful.

1. Affirmations

Think some positive thoughts about yourself. Eg. “I’m going to achieve my goal”. “I am a powerful, confident person”.

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The most effective time to do affirmations is first thing in the morning. That way, the benefits carry on throughout your day. Need some more examples? Here are 100 positive affirmations that cover all areas of life.

2. Negative visualization

Born out of the ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism, negative visualization involves picturing yourself losing what you have. While that doesn’t sound positive, it’s a useful exercise. For example, imagine your car vanished out of the driveway and you weren’t able to replace it. Really imagine how that would affect your life. Next time you jump in your car, you’ll be grateful to have it. How is this a successful habit? You’ll begin to treat where you are in life as a gift. Your problems will be of small consequence because you’ll be so grateful for all the things going right.

3. Choosing love

According to Harvard researchers, “Happiness is love. Full stop.” Choosing to have loving relationships in our lives is a big key to success and happiness. When it comes to love, you’re much more likely to get after you give. Spend some time on building loving relationships with friends, family, and even your pets.

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4. Gratitude

This habit is all about seeing the positive things in life. Being in a constant state of gratitude is what helps people carry on even in the toughest of times. Developing this mindset is as simple as keeping a gratitude journal. Simply write down three positive encounters that you had a part in creating, everyday. Your brain will begin to recognize positive situations unfolding and you can take full advantage of them. Gratitude also insulates you from the negativity in the world. If you only notice the bad things happening in life, it’s going to cause you stress.

5. Solution-oriented

Framing is the concept of viewing things from different perspectives. Most of us get stuck in a problem framework, where we see the problem and don’t search for solutions. A successful habit is to shift into using a solutions-based perspective. When a problem arises, don’t complain, dwell, or try to place blame. Simply start thinking of solutions to the problem and work at getting things back on track. Not only will this make you valuable in the eyes of others, it’s going to make you feel capable and confident.

6. Thinking flexibly

There’s a reason stubbornness is not considered a virtue. Inflexible people don’t lead effective lives. The more flexible you are, the more you will succeed. Consider this quote from Thomas Edison:

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“I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have
succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have
eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will
work.”

Thomas Edison had a flexible way of thinking about failure. You can use the same concept to any roadblock you might encounter. Are problems insurmountable obstacles or merely challenges for you to overcome?

7. Curiosity

Being intensely curious is a massive part of success. Look at the most successful people today and this is a common trait you will find across all of them. Cultivating a curiosity mindset requires that you ask lots of questions, learn new skills wherever you can, and search for the silver lining in failure. You walk into new challenges, just to see if there’s some value to extract. You need curiosity to spot the opportunities that others won’t see and ultimately, to lead a fulfilling life.

8. Optimistic

We can’t be positive all the time but taking on an optimistic mindset is still worthwhile. Life rewards people who delay gratification and grind away at tasks. Without an optimistic mindset, you’re bound to give up early and often. You need to believe that the journey is worthwhile. It takes more than just thinking positive to adopt an optimistic mindset. It involves avoiding excessive negativity (like what can often be found on the evening news) and surrounding yourself with other optimists.

The reality is that we get one shot at life. A great mindset is the essential ingredient to a successful life. These successful habits will teach you to maintain an optimal mindset, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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