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30 Things To Remember To Help You Become Successful In 2015

30 Things To Remember To Help You Become Successful In 2015

A single perspective, a quote, even a statistic, can be all you need to make start your journey to improvement 2015, the year when everything changes. Just one of these insights could point you in a new direction. Read with an open mind and ask yourself, “How can this idea move me closer to success?”

Attitude: Develop The Success Outlook

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl (1905–1997), author of Man’s Search For Meaning.

1. Know that your mind can be your greatest asset but you have to manage it.

It’s been said that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. That’s true. If you have a bad attitude about life, your potential will be limited. Do you need encouragement? I recommend reading and studying John C. Maxwell’s book, The Difference Maker: Making Your Attitude Your Greatest Asset.

2. Remember that choosing a growth mindset – that you can grow and develop yourself – makes a huge impact.

Think about the last time you attempted to learn a new career skills (e.g. a new Excel technique). Did you see it as an opportunity to grow? If so, your growth mindset will help you to keep working longer and reach success. Read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

3. Treat every day as a fresh start.

Yesterday, good or bad, is over. It’s up to you to make the most of today. Set one goal for today – read for 30 minutes, write a list of 10 places you want to visit or three conferences you’re interested in – and achieve it. Achieving goals improves your attitude FAST.

4. Show gratitude all year ’round (Not just Thanksgiving).

Did you know that gratitude improves productivity? This simple action, which requires no money, improves your attitude. Make it a daily habit and you’ll be impressed by the results.

5. Take responsibility for your life.

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” – Viktor Frankl

From time to time, we suffer setbacks and frustrations. With enough disappointments like that, it is easy to slip into the victim mindset. Fortunately, you can choose the personal responsibility attitude right now.

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Truths about wealth

For many people, obtaining wealth is a key part of success. Given that we live in a market economy, this perspective makes a lot of sense. If you’re interested in attaining wealth, a few key principles make all the difference.

6. Most American millionaires are self-made.

What if your family is not blessed with wealth? Don’t worry. The majority of people on the Forbes 400 billionaire list earned their fortunes from scratch.

7. The immigrant wealth advantage.

You might wonder if starting over in a new country puts you at a disadvantage compared to the native born. Businessweek reports: “Immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley’s technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents.”

8. Own a business to achieve wealth.

Have you ever thought about starting a business? Owning a successful company is one of the best ways to become wealthy. Jaime Tardy interviewed dozens of millionaires to learn how they achieved their success. She found that starting a business is essential.

9. Think twice about that new car.

The way you approach and manage the money you already have makes a great impact on your success. According to The Millionaire Next Door, most millionaires purchase used cars.

10. Manage risk with an emergency fund.

As you work toward your improvement 2015 plan, experts recommend building an emergency fund for unexpected problems like unemployment. Author Dave Ramsey suggests by beginning with a $1,000 starter emergency fund, as described in 9 Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund.

11. The lottery is not a wealth strategy.

Did you know that many lottery winners actually go bankrupt? “The big winners who ended up bankrupt could have paid off all of their debts but chose not to,” explains economist Alex Tabarrok in Lottery Winners Do Not Avoid Bankruptcy.

12. Spend money on experiences and giving.

Researchers have found that spending money on experiences makes a difference. That could mean something like saving up and spending money on a long anticipated trip somewhere. For more insights, read The Atlantic‘s excellent article, Buy Experiences, Not Things.

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Health: The foundation for happiness and success

All the wealth in the world doesn’t mean much if you lose your health. You’ve probably read that idea before. Yet, what are you actually doing to maintain your health? Consider the following ideas to keep your health on track.

13. If the president can make time for exercise, so can you!

Are you one of those people who claim not to have time for exercise? Do you feel that your life is “too busy” for exercise? President Obama, who has one of the most challenging roles in the world, includes several hours of exercise time in his schedule (source: Obama’s Way).

14. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.

Sleep is the silent partner in your success. And it doesn’t cost a dime! Learn how to improve your sleep with Gretchen Rubin’s article Fourteen Tips for Getting More Sleep – and Why It Matters.

15. Start one new health habit this year.

Habits are one of the most powerful ways to pursue success in 2015 or any other time. Once an important behavior (e.g. bedtime or daily exercise) becomes a habit, you no longer have to worry about it. Learn how to avoid habit failure from entrepreneur James Clear.

16. Get more energy by taking a nap during the day.

A nap is one of the best ways to improve your energy. Author Michael Hyatt finds that naps of 10-20 minutes make a positive impact on his success: My Secret Weapon for Extra Energy at Work.

17. Maintain your smile for success.

Taking care of your teeth, gums and the rest of your oral health makes life better. According to The Daily Mail, sparkling healthy teeth make you look younger and even improves your employment prospects.

18. Visit your doctor!

When was the last time you visited your doctor? If you can’t remember, you’re probably overdue. A key part of success involves adopting a proactive stance for your life and that includes your health. Don’t be one of those people who only seeks medical care in the emergency room.

Learn the art and science of goal setting

Setting and achieving goals are one of the best ways to seek improvement. 2015 can be a blockbuster year if you implement these ideas and strategies.

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19. Dream big dreams for your life.

One of the most fun and exciting aspects of goal setting is to dream big dreams. Write down a list of 10 things you want to achieve in life. Get inspired with The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die if you’re not sure where to start.

20. Writing down your goals makes a HUGE difference.

Writing down your goals makes a big difference. “Writing down your goals you are 42 percent more likely to achieve them. Why? Because writing it down brings clarity and declares purpose” (Source: What the Science of Goal Setting Tells Us about Accomplishing More of What Matters Most)

21. Meet up with your friends if you miss them!

Learning makes more interesting and enhances your career. Find successful people in your field and ask about their skills. Then, you will know what skills you need to learn for career advancement.

22. Grow your network.

Relationships are a very important part of happiness. Set a goal to have lunch out each week with someone in your network.

23. Decide how much money you want to earn.

Like it or not, having more money makes many aspects of life easier. That’s one of the reasons why it matters so much to set money goals. I suggest by starting with a money goal that can be completed in less than a year (e.g. save $1,000 dollars or earn $5,000 in freelance income).

24. Track your Goals.

To stay on track, review your goals once per week and make notes on your progress.You’ll look forward to recording your progress!

25. Plan to celebrate your goals.

Celebrating your achievements makes success even sweeter. Set a budget (e.g. $50) or choosing a type of activity (e.g. dinner at your favorite restaurant with a bottle of wine) in advance so that you can enjoy the process.

26. Get resources on goal setting.

Goal setting is a skill you can learn. I have personally used resources by Brian Tracy and Michael Hyatt with good results.

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Books To Read For Success in 2015

“The difference between where you are today and where you’ll be five years from now will be found in the quality of books you’ve read.” – Jim Rohn

27. Feed your mind with success books.

Our culture is filled to the brim with negative news. Fortunately, there are great books available to help you. Check out 25 Self-Improvement Books That Will Make You A Better Person for ideas. I’ve read several of the books on the list and consider this to be a good starting point.

28. Get work done with Getting Things Done by David Allen.

David Allen’s classic business book Getting Things Done is one of the most practical and useful productivity books I have ever read. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unfocused, this book will help! If you have read it before, consider reading it again for new insights.

29. Read Fiction To Understand People Better.

Reading fiction is one of the most leisure activities available. Reading fiction also supports your self improvement goals (and business – see The Business Case For Reading Novels from Harvard Business Review). Read non-fiction most of the time? Get ideas – The Top 10 Fiction Books for Non-Fiction Addicts.

30. Read About Successful People Throughout History.

The experiences of successful people throughout history is available to you. You can learn about how athletes trained for challenging competitions, how scientists came up with their discoveries and much more. Reading a well-written biography can inspire you for years to come.  Last year, I read Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. by Ron Chernow – it was a sweeping, epic biography.

To get started, I have to recommend Ryan Holiday’s article 25 Recommendations For Life Changing Biographies For The Voracious Reader In You: pick a title and get started!

Featured photo credit: Success/Geralt via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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