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34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success

34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success

Most of us make the mistake of pursuing external signs of success without doing the hard internal work first. We also mistakenly believe that external success is the path to internal success (happiness, fulfillment, etc). The truth is that it often works the other way around.

Here are some principles to help you prepare internally for external success:

1. Love what you do

Don’t wait to find the thing you are passionate about. Bring your passion to what you are doing today.

2. Always be learning

Do not subscribe to the belief that you are done with learning when you graduate high school or college. See every situation as an opportunity to learn a valuable life lesson or skill.

3. Be a decision maker

Be decisive. Be at peace with the decisions you make. Be courageous in accepting responsibility for your decisions.

4. Become self-reflective

Observe yourself. Take time to reflect on your inner motivations for what you do.

5. Don’t hold grudges

The longer you hold on to a grudge, the more you empower the person who hurt you. Reclaim your power by letting go of anger and bitterness.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Learn perspective. Don’t waste an ounce of energy on anything that is petty or insignificant.

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7. Be a person of your word

Do what you say you will do. See your tasks and projects through to completion. If you can’t, don’t make up excuses.

8. Don’t be afraid to play to an empty house

Do your work with joy and enthusiasm, even when you think no one is noticing or watching.

9. Work three times as hard

If you’re not giving it all you’ve got, it’s probably not worth doing.

10. Pray or meditate

Find a higher purpose. Success without a higher calling will be unsatisfying at best.

11. Wake up early

Want your day to be more productive? Wake up early.

12. Focus on the why

Clearly define your “why.” Your “what” and your “how” will follow.

13. Stop comparing yourself to others

Live your life rather than yearning for someone else’s.

14. Stop self-sabotaging behavior

Are you telling yourself and others that you are not worthy of success by your actions? Change your behavior and start telling a different story.

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15. Watch who you hang around with

Stay away from negativity. It will suck the life energy out of you.

16. Start a mastermind group

Find a group of like-minded individuals so you can encourage each other on your paths to success.

17. Practice mindfulness

Always be mindful of the present moment. Take a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence.

18. Express gratitude

Never tire of being grateful. Take a deep breath and smile.

19. Grow a thick skin

Learn to graciously accept criticism. Learn to positively deflect mean-spiritedness.

20. Practice empathy

Learn to identify with people on a deeper level. Spend an afternoon talking to people at a homeless shelter. Take a friend going through a difficult time out for a cup of coffee and give them your undivided attention (i.e. turning off your smartphone).

21. Trust in the process, not your feelings

You’ve plotted a long-term path to success but you don’t feel like doing it today. Don’t be tempted to quit or take short cuts. Trust the path. Get up and get to work.

22. Spend less than your earn

Learn to manage your money. Create a budget before the month begins and stick to it.

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23. Learn deferred gratification

Do you really need to upgrade your smartphone today? Do you just have to have that new car? Probably not. Wait until you can afford it.

24. Decide what you want your success to look like

Visualize your success. Do you like what you see? How can you tweak your vision to something you will be happy with? The visuals we usually associate with success is money falling from the sky, flashy sports cars, nice clothing and accessories, and a gorgeous woman or man at your side. Is that what you want?

What if success was more about having the freedom to pursue and strengthen the relationships that matter the most to you? To have the resources to help the less fortunate?

Don’t simply assume success is what you see in popular culture. You get to decide.

25. Decide ahead of time what you will do if you fall short

Will you quit? Will you do a course correction? Will you double down? Will you seek help? Decide ahead of time.

26. Read great books

Read educational books. Read non-fiction books. Read fiction books. Read inspiring autobiographies. Read spiritual books. Read children’s books (to your kids and to yourself). Find the great stories that will inspire your own story.

27. Practice affirmations

This will help you overcome self-sabotaging behavior. Speak them aloud.

28. Exercise your body and your mind

Along with physical exercise, play strategy games and do mental exercises that will challenge your brain.

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29. Develop you ability to observe and read other people

Learn to observe people. Become interested in their interests, likes, and dislikes. Listen to them. You will eventually learn to anticipate their needs.

30. Be other-centered

Always think about ways you can add value to others. Banish the question “What will I get out of this?” from your thinking.

31. Be givers

Give joyfully of your time and resources. Take the time to mentor a person in your field, to volunteer, and to financially support a worthy cause.

32. Stop complaining

Don’t complain about how terrible your life is, even when times are tough. You life is not terrible, you are simply going through a terrible time. It will pass.

33. Find a mentor

Identify a person who has achieved external and internal success. Ask them questions. Learn their story. If you do not have personal access to this achiever, follow his blog or podcast. Read her books. Watch his YouTube videos.

34. Hold on to relationships that keep you grounded

Never lose sight of the relationships that matter most. No matter how successful you get, you will always need the love and support of family, friends, and people you respect. Besides, success will be no fun unless you can share it with them.

Featured photo credit: Freedom via flic.kr

More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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