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The DNA of Success: 4 Attributes We All Need

The DNA of Success: 4 Attributes We All Need

What do you need to be successful? Do you need a degree from a top school, some seed money to kick start your business, a big break, good connections? No one would dispute that these factors would give you a big boost; however, after 25 years of research on the topic of performing your best, I’d say your success ticket has to be punched with confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm.

In fact, hundreds of empirical studies strongly suggest the aforementioned attributes are the DNA of success. Without these attributes, you will be hard-pressed to achieve success, let alone leading a thriving life. Consider why.

Confidence is the degree to which you believe and feel your actions will achieve desirable results. Why would you try if you don’t believe you can influence the outcome? You wouldn’t. Confidence promotes feelings of control, until you feel you are in charge of your destiny.

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Optimism allows you to start out your day with positive expectations that good things will happen. Positive expectations motivate you to try harder and thus, you achieve more success, which in turn makes you more confident. Studies tell us that optimistic people enjoy better physical and mental health, as well as experiencing more positive relationships.

Tenacity allows you to stay focused. This is essential if you are going to achieve long-term goals. It is your tenacity that allows you to persist through adversity.

Enthusiasm energizes you and promotes positive feelings that allow you to approach life with zest and perform better under pressure.

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Taken together, these attributes help you do your best every day, in all aspects of your life. Here are some evidence based methods of how you can instill them in yourself.

Walk Like A Champ

Drill Sargents have been telling Marines to “stand at attention” for over a hundred years. You probably have fond memories of your mother telling you to “stand up straight.” Neither needed their recommendations validated by current neuroscience research attesting to the fact that when you stand up straight and expand your chest, your brain increases testosterone. This hormone makes you feel confident and often increases your ability to perform under pressure. Frequently remind yourself to walk like a champ, especially before you have to perform under pressure. Studies show that just a few minutes of “confident posturing” will stimulate feelings of confidence and lead to better perform

Positive Visuals

Confident people have a long history of visualizing themselves experiencing all types of success, even if the visuals are fantasy (winning a beauty patent, scoring a Super Bowl touchdown, or being a movie star). Positive visuals help you internalize feelings of confidence. You will be wise to frequently visualize yourself experiencing success.

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Optimistic Vocabulary

The words you use reflect your outlook on life. Start to build optimistic phrases into your daily vocabulary. For example, “It is going to be a wonderful day…it’s a beautiful day.” This might seem silly, but using an optimistic vocabulary will make you feel more optimistic.

Belief In A Just World

Individuals who accept the fact that while we all get bad breaks and the world is basically just, end up being more optimistic. Since they believe hard work pays off, they try harder and doing so (more often than not) brings positive results which fuels their tendency to be positive about their future.

Increase Your “Pathways”

Think of “pathways” as different avenues that take you to your goal. Create as many as you can. If one route is blocked, take another. Take some time to brainstorm different pathways that can help you move toward our goal. The more pathways you can create, the more hopeful you will become. The result is you become tenacious because you believe you will achieve success.

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LOL

You can give yourself a burst of enthusiasm simply by laughing out loud. Laughing stimulates endorphins and creates (in contrast to anxiety) positive physical arousal. Enthusiasm transforms into energy, making it easier for you to approach your tasks with a positive attitude, especially in pressure moments.

Use Your Happy Face

It’s hard to feel down and drained when you have a smile on your face. Get in the habit of keeping a smile on your face and you’ll feel more and more enthusiasm throughout your days. You will also find that your smiles are returned – even by a passing stranger on the street.

Conclusion

Together, these proven strategies will help blend confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm into your Coat of Arms. Wearing it everyday will help you not only become more successful, but also enjoy your life to its fullest.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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