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10 Surprising Ways Your Name Can Determine Your Success

10 Surprising Ways Your Name Can Determine Your Success

Names are not merely a sum of letters and the subsequent sounds used to identify us. In fact, there’s a great deal of influential power that comes attached to a name. Not only do they sculpt your personality, but they also sculpt others people’s perceptions and ultimately, your future!

Before you dismiss this as nothing more than mythical nonsense, you should know that scientific research supports this curious notion. Names have actually been seen to have a significant influence on how successful our lives become.

Without further adieu, here are 10 unbelievable findings from various worldwide studies.

1. Common names are more likely to get hired than unique ones.

A study conducted by Marquette University found that if your name is common, it could increase your chances of being hired, whereas those with unique names are often less likely to be chosen by interviewers.

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2. Easy-to-pronounce names gravitate towards higher-status positions.

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    Steve Jobs – Image Coursey: Digital Trends

    A study conducted by New York University discovered that easy-to-pronounce names are more likely to get a favor from others. Often, this eventually leads to them gaining higher statuses in society.

    According to psychologist Adam Alter (also a great example of an easy-to-pronounce name), if information can be more easily assimilated by the brain, we are more likely to like something or someone.

    3. Last names nearer the start of the alphabet may be more likely to get into good schools.

    Research conducted in the Czech Republic uncovered a controversial pattern. Students whose last name were closer to the top of the alphabet had more chances of getting admission in a school, whereas last names that were lower in the alphabet did not fare as well!

    4. Having middle initials makes you appear smarter and more capable.

    If your name contains a middle initial such as “Sophie N. Turner,” you will often be considered more intelligent and capable. This fact was established by research published in European Journal of Social Psychology. When students were told to grade papers written by author names, those with middle initials scored higher than those without. In actual fact, the one with the most initials secured the highest marks!

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    5. First names nearer the end of the alphabet are more likely to be impulsive shoppers.

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      Almost unbelievably, one particular study found that people with names like “Zelda” or “Yasmin” are more likely to be addicted to shopping! They were seen to be more easily persuaded by promotional offers and marketing strategies leading to increased shopping habits.

      It’s believed that having spent most of your school years at the end of the calling register, they are more keen to quickly jump good offers as soon as they get the chance. However, these overzealous spending tendencies could certainly be detrimental to success.

      6. Last names with royal or noble associations can help you reach higher-status positions.

      European study stumbled upon the fact noble names naturally found their way to higher managerial positions. This research, based in Germany, found last names such as “Kaiser” (emperor) and “Konig” (king) were more likely to occupy the higher ranks than any others.

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      This phenomenon could be related to associative reasoning; our minds link previous knowledge and emotions to similar words.

      7. Females with gender-neutral names may go further with certain careers.

      It’s a fact of life that many career fields are highly gender dominated. Engineering and Law are some of the biggest examples of male-dominated fields. Yet as a female with these fields, one study found that having a gender-neutral name may give you an edge.

      Specifically, it was seen that females with more masculine names such as “Leigh” and “Harper” were often able to go further in their law careers.

      8. We feel enticed to work with companies who share our initials with their name.

      A study from Ghent University found we are more likely to work in companies with names that share our own initials. For example, Lily Harper could be very inclined to work for Lifehack! This behavior can be related to the fact that we are attracted to familiarity, especially if it’s similar to our name.

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      9. Men who use shorter first names are more common in CEO positions.

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        Bill Gates – Photo Courtesy: AIB

        During a study conducted by the social media platform LinkedIn, more than 100 million profiles of their users were analyzed. It was found a majority men in CEO positions went by their shorter names such as “Bob” or “Tim.” It’s believed that going by their nicknames allows them to project an approachable friendliness.

        10. Females with full names are more likely to be found at the top.

        During the very same study, LinkedIn also discovered that the opposite was true for female CEOs. Using their full names, such as Carolyn or Deborah, helps them to exude a more professional image and to reach higher positions.

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        Last Updated on August 21, 2018

        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

        You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

        Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

        When you train your brain, you will:

        • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
        • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. Hello promotion, here I come!
        • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. No, thanks Alzheimer’s; you and I are just not a good fit.

        So how to train your brain to learn faster and remember more?

        1. Work your memory

        Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

        When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

        If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

        The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

        Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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        Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

        What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

        For example, say you just met someone new.

        “Hi, my name is George”

        Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.” Got it? Good.

        2. Do something different repeatedly

        By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

        Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

        It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

        And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

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        But how does this apply to your life right now?

        Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

        Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

        Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

        So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

        You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

        That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

        3. Learn something new

        It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

        For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

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        Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

        You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

        4. Follow a brain training program

        The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

        5. Work your body

        You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

        Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

        Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

        Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

        6. Spend time with your loved ones

        If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

        If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

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        I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

        7. Avoid crossword puzzles

        Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

        Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

        Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

        8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

        Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

        When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

        So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

        Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

        Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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