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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 December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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