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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 October 22, 2019

        How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

        How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

        We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

        With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

        So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

        1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

        Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

        So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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        You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

        If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

        Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

        2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

        Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

        Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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        Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

        Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

        3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

        If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

        This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

        Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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        When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

        If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

        Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

        4. Get up and Move

        We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

        When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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        If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

        Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

        It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

        Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

        The Bottom Line

        It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

        Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

        More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

        Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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