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5 Traits Of The World’s Richest Man, Bill Gates

5 Traits Of The World’s Richest Man, Bill Gates
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If you’re searching for a great role model of ultimate success, you can’t find better than Bill Gates. Microsoft, the organization he established, made an entire industry. With a net worth of almost $80 billion, he is the wealthiest man on the planet. His charitable and humanitarian activities reach far and wide and have really made the world a better place.

What prompted Gates’ success? Being an incredibly smart engineer and successful businessman, he certainly was in the perfect spot with the right idea for a product. Throughout the years, he has shown some traits and habits that led him towards a sustained success in his business and philanthropy. Bill has certainly laid out a long list of lessons for anyone looking for motivation or a guide to success. Whether you are searching for someone to invest in your company, paying off your mortgage, or even finding a new career, there are many lessons that we can learn from Bill Gates.

Here are some of the most desirable traits of Bill Gates, which anyone can develop.

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1. Learn to say “no”

Gates received this advice from Warren Buffett, and it is very valuable for everyone. Regardless of how ambitious or eager you are, everyone has 24 hours in a day, and the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is determined by the way they spend those 24 hours. Nobody knows the importance of saying “no” better than the richest man in the world, who, in an interview, repeated the words of his friend Warren Buffett: “You have to be good at saying no.” He elaborated that saying no allows you to focus on the things that really make a difference.

2. Embrace your critics

“Embrace bad news to learn where you need the most improvement,” Gates wrote about the importance of negative feedback in his 1999 book Business @ the Speed of Thought. Despite the fact that it’s never pleasing to hear negative feedback, complaints and dissatisfaction allow you to learn and do better in future.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest sources of learning,” he wrote.

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Certainly, there will be situations where some criticism will not be useful and you have to use your judgment to tell the difference. Keeping this in mind, the next time someone criticizes you, don’t walk away or curse them. Stay, listen, thank them, and learn.

3. Be optimistic

It can be difficult to be optimistic in a world where lots of things seem to be going in the wrong direction. To be successful, one needs to believe in optimism, because without it, not a single person would ever start a business, invest in a new idea, or test a new product or market.

Bill Gates escalates the great value of optimism, and since his social work aims at some of the most depressing problems in our world, such as poverty, sex trafficking, lack of education, etc., he needs a lot of optimism.

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“Optimism is often dismissed as false hope,” he said in a Stanford commencement speech in 2013. “But there is also false hopelessness.”

4. Be judgmental about your success

“Success is a lousy teacher, it seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose,” Bill Gates wrote this in his book The Road Ahead.

A product which is a successful item today could wind up obsolete tomorrow, he explains. That is what exactly happens to old desktop computers and Windows operating systems.

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You might find successes more pleasurable than failures, but failures teach you the most and give you the best chances to cultivate.

5. Measure your progress

In a letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates penciled some lessons from the history of the steam engine.

“You can achieve amazing progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal,” he wrote. “Finding the right goal and the right metric for tracking one’s progress is surprisingly difficult.”

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Setting and achieving goals will become easier when you have a yardstick to measure your progress, and you have the best chance of success when you track the progress you’re making toward your goals.

Featured photo credit: Exploring Markets via flickr.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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