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These 10 Questions Can Foretell If You’ll Be Successful In Life

These 10 Questions Can Foretell If You’ll Be Successful In Life

Success isn’t limited to just how far you’ve climbed up the corporate ladder, but other aspects of your life, too, such as instilling a healthy balance between work and family, pursuing and achieving various goals and dreams, and simply embracing who you are. However, there are scientifically proven signs that will indicate whether or not you will truly be successful in life, in whatever way you choose to define success. Here are 10 questions that predict whether you’ll spread your wings and soar toward your goals and success.

1. Are You Open And Mentally Prepared To Grow?

People, who are opposed to the idea that people’s character, intelligence and creativity can change, tend to have slower development in their personal growth, because they want to avoid failure instead of working on those three areas of their lives. But those people with a “growth mindset” see failure as a learning point from which to leap from as they bound onward and upward toward success. They embrace challenges, survive setbacks, embrace and improve based off of criticism, and will attain their goals. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck researched how people view their personality’s influence on their happiness and success and found that those positive and open individuals believe their true potential is limitless and so are more willing to work harder and be more dedicated.

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2. Are You Private About Your Goals?

Surprisingly, psychologists say that telling someone about your personal goal makes it less likely to materialize. Entrepreneur Derek Sivers, who spoke in a TED Talk Keep Your Goals To Yourself said that to meet a goal, a person must take steps, put in the hard work and not stop until he or she is satisfied. But once you tell someone about your goal and they recognize your mission, that’s called “social reality” where the mind is swayed into feeling that you’ve already met your goal and you’re no longer motivated to proceed.

3. Are You Happy?

Positivity is a key ingredient to success and being happy helps with that upbeat outlook. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should be satisfied and not strive for greater goals and successes, but be happy with you and where you’re at each step of the way. Psychiatrist and author of Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions George Vaillant’s research revealed that love is truly the key to happiness. Even if an individual relishes success in work, rakes in a boatload of money and enjoys good healthy, that person will not be completely happy without love and positive relationships.

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4. Do You Have A High Level Of Self-Esteem?

It takes confidence to have the competence to grow and gain successes. Authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, who penned The Confidence Code, note that low self-confidence leads to inaction, but taking those first steps armed with an action plan will boost a person’s belief that he or she really can succeed.

5. Are You Exactly Who You Want To Be?

Exuding the qualities of successful leaders doesn’t mean you have to be fake, but instead means you’re working toward the new and improved you. In her Harvard Business Review article titled The Authenticity Paradox, professor Herminia Ibarra said that “play-acting” will help you gain confidence and others will feel the same way about you, too.

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6. Do You Have Extreme Will Power?

One method to increasing your will power is to select one thing to improve upon bit by bit every day and to not procrastinate things that take just a few minutes to tackle, such as loading the dishwasher after dinner or swapping out the laundry in the washer to the dryer. Author James Clear notes that elite performers in a wide variety of fields, from athletes to musicians to artists and even CEOs, are more consistent than others.

7. Are You A Social Butterfly?

People who are both smart and socially adept tend to earn more. According to a study conducted by Catherine Weinberger, an economics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, having both cognitive ability and social skills are one key to success.

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8. Are You Ambitious?

One characteristic that repeatedly appears in highly successful people is grit. Psychologist Angela Duckworth has studying both kids and adults and found that those who have grit, or stamina, are hard workers with their minds set on a goal and will work harder than others to turn that goal into a reality. Jason Ma, author of Youth Leaders 3.0: Stories, Insights, and Tips for Next-Generation Achievers, notes that anyone can be ambitious with the right motivation.

9. Are You A Risk Taker?

Ambitious people dead set on achieving their goals also know they often must take some risk, which can be quite difficult for others. Ma noted that oftentimes a breakthrough in the path to success can be spurred out of a well-managed crisis. These people also don’t spend too much time honing their skill set, but rather executing a strategy utilizing those valuable skill sets.

10. Are You Steadfast?

Do not compete with others and let their negativity or successes drag you down. Ma notes that a person’s biggest competitor should be himself or herself. Do not measure yourself against others and do not them steer you off course.

How To Be Successful In A Nutshell

As you work on the “new you” with an eye on the prize of success, remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that explains how you cannot be the best you can be until your first tier needs are met. These are the basic needs, such as food, financial ability to pay your bills, and support and self-esteem that buoys your self-worth. Once you have a game plan mapped out for meeting those basic needs, then begin working on the next levels and charge ahead down that path to success. Be sure to surround yourself with other ambitious, driven, goal-setting people and support each other as you work toward attaining those goals.

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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