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5 Mental Skills That The Most Successful Visionaries Master

5 Mental Skills That The Most Successful Visionaries Master

We all crave success. Our own definition of success drives us, causes us to fret, infuriates us at times, and inspires us! We all have people who we look up to as meeting our definition of success. Most people have a grandiose vision for their success definitions. However, translating the vision to action and attainment is where most people lack and fall behind. The grandiose vision remains a vision for a long time, until they feel frustrated and dejected and dissolve the vision or make it more “realistic.”

However, there are people who have much grander visions than most and are able to achieve them. They plough their way through obstacles of all kinds, climb mountains unimaginable to us, and cross seas that we wouldn’t dare consider. What gives these people the strength, courage, and conviction to fulfill their vision and achieve success? The answer is mental skills. These people have mastered the below mental skills that give them everything they need, when they need it.

Here are 7 mental skills that the most successful visionaries are able to master.

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1. Comfort with Ambiguity

Ambiguity and uncertainty causes people to shiver and stay put. As an example, why do you think most of corporate America is stuck in jobs they hate? They would rather stay where they are and suffer and complain than take a leap into an unknown, uncertain, and ambiguous next step.

Successful visionaries, on the other hand, are comfortable with ambiguity. Ambiguity doesn’t scare them. They may or may not seek ambiguity, but when faced with an ambiguous situation, they are able to calmly plough through it. This is an important skill to master in order to be successful. Success is on the edge of our comfort zone. Taking a risk, a leap, and moving into unknown territory often gives us a chance to find our inner strength, one that we are not even aware exists! As long as we stay in our comfort zone, we are never going to be able to tap into our inner strength and other skills we may possess.

How to master this skill? Seek new experiences and, whenever possible, step out of your comfort zone. Speak to new people, try different cuisines, try new activities, volunteer at new places in new roles, read new books. These are just a few ways to start getting comfortable with ambiguity.

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2. The 30,000-Ft View

Successful visionaries are truly able to see things from a vantage point that most are not able to see from — the 30,000-ft view. Be it their life, their career, their relationships, or anything for that matter, they are able to see how things fit into the grand scheme of things, what matters most, and it guides their vision. While most people are floundering around, saying “I don’t know what I want in my life or career or relationships,” these visionaries are able to have a clear view of their life. They have the clarity to see exactly where they are and where they want to be. This gives them a leg up to get to where they want.

How to master this skill? Write down your visions everyday. Assume you are at a 30,000-ft viewpoint and write it. You may feel lost doing so , but attempt it everyday for a couple months. Brian Tracy advocates writing and re-writing your top 10 goals every day. The clarity you will gain over time will help in shaping your vision and give you that vantage view that you are missing now.

3. Resilience

Just like a stretched rubber band that bounces back to its original shape, successful visionaries are resilient. They bounce back from failures and difficulties. They do not let tough situations pull them down. They are able to keep going towards their vision, irrespective of any obstacles. This is a crucial skill to master. Most people give up on their dreams after their first failure or difficulty —as they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

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How to master this skill? Start observing what your attitude towards tough situations is. Do you tend to give up easily? Do you feel scared or frustrated and resort back to the comfortable? Once you identify where you stand on the resilience spectrum, then you can take steps to improve it. Consciously work on becoming more adaptable and flexible in all situations. Positivity and hope, when added to the mix, will boost your resilience factor. Lastly, using every situation as a learning experience and identifying what can be done better next time are key strategies to mastering this skill.

4. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

Successful visionaries are adept at this. They know and understand all aspects of a problem and are thorough in identifying what has already been worked on. They do not let ego get in the way and are comfortable leveraging a solution, or part of a solution if one already exists.

How to master this skill? Learn to thoroughly understand and analyze all aspects of a problem. Start doing it in daily settings with smaller issues. Then, learn to research and see what solutions exist and if any of those solutions will work in your situation. Practice leads to competence. So, practice this at every opportunity you get.

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5. Master the 7C’s

Live the 7C’s — Confidence, Competence, Courage, Compassion, Creativity, Curiosity, and Commitment. Each C is a mental skill that successful visionaries rely on to be successful.

How to master the 7C’s? Practice each of the 7C’s and set constant reminders until each one becomes a part of you. If you are not naturally curious, force yourself to be curious and ask relevant questions. If you are not confident, fake your confidence and work on other strategies to increase your confidence. If you are not creative, start with simple exercises — doodle and sketch often, engage with children in role-playing games, try the 30 circle exercise (basically, to make an object of each of the circles in a given time).

Which of these skills are you going to master first? I’d love to hear!

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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