Advertising
Advertising

8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why

8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why

Some people achieve outstanding success and make it look so easy.

How do they do it—and what can they teach us?

Because sometimes that dream, that ultimate success, can seem so far away. There are days when the only light we can see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming express train. It can be easy to see bad luck or failure as our destiny rather than a learning curve. At those times we need to remember that we are not alone; the brightest and the best have been there before us, and sometimes what it takes to finally reach the very top is not to catch a break, but to get the right attitude.

Here’s how eight of the most successful people of this century and the last have won their dreams.

Advertising

1. Steve Jobs

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know of avoiding the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

How many of us are held back by thoughts of what we think we have to lose? But guess what? We came into the world naked and we’re going out the same way. Everything we think we have is just a loaner. The only thing we have to lose is that possible feeling of bitter regret when the curtain comes down for the last time. If you don’t follow your dreams, then what’s the point of it all?

2. Mark Cuban

“The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job, or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.”

And really, it’s true, isn’t it? We worry about failure, about not getting that dream job, about that business venture that fell over, that beautiful girl or gorgeous guy who blew us off. But failure and rejection really don’t matter at all because the truly liberating thing is this: you only have to be right once. And when you have your go-ahead business and a loving partner, how many times will you remember all the times you didn’t succeed? You won’t, because they won’t matter.

Advertising

3. Oprah Winfrey

“What other people label failure I have learned is just God’s way of pointing you in a new direction.”

Whether you’re religious or not, you have to say, Oprah has a point right there. Think back on how many times you’ve hung your head when something didn’t go right. You didn’t make the football team, but then your uncle took you rallying to help you get over the disappointment and you found out you were a hotshot driver. You lost your job slaving away in a hotel restaurant and a month later a friend asked you to take over in the kitchen in their new uptown restaurant. Is it failure? Or is it a new start?

4. Thomas Edison

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not know how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first jobs as a television reporter because she was “unfit for television news.” Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. The Beatles were rejected by one record company with the words: “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out.” What would have happened if they had given up too soon? Persistence is more important than raw talent every single time.

Advertising

5. J.K. Rowling

“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized. And I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which to build my life.”

And most people never know what rock bottom is like, so they never reach the very top. You hit rock bottom often when you shoot for the moon. It’s the place reserved for those who put everything on the line. But if you don’t put everything out there, you will never get to be as rich or as famous as J.K. Rowling.

6. Jeff Bezos

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but the one thing that I would regret is not trying.”

Failure is nothing. Failure is what happens sometimes when you try. All outstandingly famous people have failed. It’s how they learn to do it right. The only failure that is forever is when you fail to try.

Advertising

7. Michael Jordan

“I have taken more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life; and that is why I succeed.”

Everyone knows that another great sportsman, Babe Ruth, held the record for home runs during his career. Did you also know that for decades he also held the record for strike outs? When asked about it, he said this: “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” That’s why Michael Jordan succeeded; that’s why you can too.

8. J.P. Morgan

“The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding you are not going to stay where you are.”

And that step is often the hardest: leaving a poorly paying job you hate to take a risk on something you love; to move away from the safety of a steady job to chase down a dream. There are so many good and great reasons not to move. But once we decide it’s really not enough, we are on our way. Because as these eight outstanding successes show us, nothing stands in the way of the man or woman who dares to dream, who dares to risk and who dares to try until they succeed.

More by this author

Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life 11 Ways to Live a Life With No Regrets 8 Signs You’re Not Following Your True Path 8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why 10 Steps to Fight Your Way Out Of Despair and Find Happiness Again

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next