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10 Things Successful People Do to Achieve Greatness

10 Things Successful People Do to Achieve Greatness

Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs… These names all come to mind when we think of successful people.

And even though all three are great examples of success, there are lots of other people who are successful in their own way that we may not be as familiar with their names.

But their habits? Well, that’s a different story.

You see, successful people all do similar things. As Brian Tracy says,

“Success leaves tracks.”

It’s these “tracks,” the behaviors and habits, that set them apart from the ordinary folks who just work their 9-to-5 jobs, clocking in and out every day, never looking to get ahead.

If you want to be one of the greats, if you want to be a big success in life and leave ordinary behind, learn from these 10 things successful people do and get ready for the big results that are sure to follow if you do them consistently.

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1. Successful people commit to their goals.

When successful people set a goal, nothing gets in their way of achieving it. They commit 100 percent to the outcome, knowing that one difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that the successful ones commit to a goal and don’t stop until they achieve it.

2. Successful people persist until they achieve them.

Obstacles to success are normal and should be expected. They can’t always be planned for. However, you can decide when you commit to success that you’re going to persist no matter what obstacles arise.

Go around them, go over them, or push through them, but persist no matter what happens. That’s what successful people do, and so should you if you want to mimic their success.

3. Successful people take responsibility.

Successful people know that they are the masters of their own destiny. You don’t hear them complain about the things that stopped them from success. You won’t hear them make excuses.

Instead, they push forward knowing that they are the only thing that will make or break their success.

4. Successful people work hard.

Have you ever met someone who is super-successful and lazy? Neither have I.

The truth is that the road to success is paved with hard work. If you want to achieve great results, you’ll need to wake up early, stay up late and put in your time.

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Success doesn’t just come to those who want it. You’ve got to pay your dues.

5. Successful people find people who are doing what they want and emulate them.

A college professor once gave me some of the best advice I ever received. He said,

“If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people. If you want to be funny, hang out with funny people. And if you want to be poor, hang out with poor people.”

The truth is that people naturally mimic the behaviors of those around them. Mindset is contagious. So if you want to be a big success in life, spend time with others who are already successful.

Don’t know anyone successful? That’s okay. You can read books written by them or about them. Listen to their radio interviews or watch them on TV.

Attitude and success is contagious, so catch it by hanging around some of the greats.

6. Successful people believe in themselves and their vision.

The school of hard knocks ain’t easy, so if you want to achieve big results, you’ve got to believe in yourself.

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The world’s most successful people have unshakeable confidence in themselves and in their vision. Without it, they’d have to give up too easily after a few obstacles got in their way.

How’s your confidence? Do you believe you can achieve your dreams? I’ll tell you something in case nobody told you before:

You can do whatever you want in life, you’ve just to first believe it, and then work like mad to get it.

7. Successful people take care of themselves.

When was the last time you saw a successful person who was obese or extremely overweight? Sure, these people exist, but they’re the exception to the rule.

Most successful people know they need energy to get ahead, and the best way to have that is to eat right, exercise and get proper rest. Which brings us to our next point…

8. Successful people rest and recharge.

Hard work is a requirement for success, but you can only push yourself 24/7 for so long. Successful people work hard and then unplug so they can refresh their minds and bodies.

If you’ve been pushing it to the limit, think about unplugging for a long weekend or more. Once you get back to the grind, you’ll be more effective at getting the results you want.

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9. Successful people never stop learning.

Successful people believe that learning never ends. This doesn’t mean they’re going to school to get new degrees, although they may.

Even without formal education, they’re constantly reading and learning from others around them, perhaps from books, trade magazines or conferences, or from others who are ahead of where they want to be.

What have you learned recently that can get you closer to the success you want? If you haven’t picked up a book, trade magazine or listened to podcasts that can get you smarter in your field, it’s time to start.

10. Successful people make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.

Successful people aren’t afraid to take risks. Because of their unshakeable confidence, they treat any mistake as a learning opportunity.

Think about the last mistake you made. Didn’t make a sale? Reevaluate your sales call and make it better next time. Screwed up a presentation? Read a book on how to present successfully so you can crush your next one. Failed in your last relationship? Reflect about how you contributed to this and what you can do in your next relationship.

So go take some risks, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and if you stumble, learn from it so you can be better next time.

Bottom Line

These are 10 things successful people do. How many of them are you doing today? If not all, or most of them, it’s time to upgrade your behaviors so you can get the success you deserve.

More About Success

Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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Dan Cassidy

Dan is the CEO & Founder of Inspiyr, aspiring to help people live a happy and successful life.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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