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15 Must-Have Items For Men To Look Fresh And Professional

15 Must-Have Items For Men To Look Fresh And Professional

The times of white collars are long gone, and professional men are now more dapper than ever. A successful man is always a noticeable one, and what he chooses to wear reflects his esteem, accomplishments and diligence. A big shot or not, a modern man is ever hungry for his professional goals, and not a lot of things can stand in his way towards achieving them. Such a man is presentable and memorable, and with a little help from his wardrobe, stylish and upscale. From head to toe, his appearance reveals his position and determination.

What we wear doesn’t define who we are, people often say this, but nobody can deny that a road to success starts with a sleek suit (and usually finishes with a fancy watch). Being well groomed is, therefore, important for acing the job interview, closing a business deal and conciliating new clients and partners. Also, it’s easy and fun and it doesn’t always have to be expensive. Here’s what you need to look modern, fresh and professional.

1. Dark Two-Piece Suit

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    Let’s start with the basics. A traditional two piece suit in darker tones is a necessity in every working man’s closet. Whether it’s black, navy blue or dark grey, shiny or matt, a suite is the foundation of a professional look. Since a dark suit can be paired with pretty much everything, you should establish it as your go-to item. But just because a dark suit is a safe choice, that doesn’t mean you can’t play with it when you feel a bit bolder. For a little pop of color, complement it with a vibrant pocket square or a patterned tie. And, if you’re not afraid of making strong fashion statements, wear it with a chic turtleneck.

    Dress sharply with Nordstrom, Armani Exchange or Calvin Klein, but be prepared to pay a price that goes from $500 to over a $1000. Low-cost suits that still look like a million bucks can be found with Topman, J. Crew, DKNY and Banana Republic. If on sale, they can even cost under $100.

    2. Light Two-Piece Suit

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      For a gentleman that finds pleasure in being daring and dandy, a light suit is absolutely essential. It brings variety and shows attitude. Dove-grey, pale blue or chino variant is brilliant for sunbathed days, and you’ll certainly get noticed wearing one. A traditional business pinstriped suit can also be freshened up with brighter colors like tan and white. Since this suit is the heart of your outfit, complete it with nothing more than a white shirt and a black or a grey tie. If you choose to go chino, your choice of shirt can be a bit darker, or even gingham.

      Once again, you can find your perfectly tailored suit at Dolce and Gabbana, Jil Sander and Michael Bastian at higher price (around $1000), or turn to equally stylish, yet inexpensive designers like DKNY, Perry Ellis and Claiborne for prices around $200.

      3. White Button-Down Shirt

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        Exactly like the dark two-piece suit, a crisp white button-down shirt is a fashion must-have for every classy man. Besides being wordperfect with any type of a suit, a white shirt can unmistakably contribute to the more casual looks. You can wear it with a pair of jeans, combined with an accentuated belt. For a statement piece, you should consider suspenders or a bow tie. Also, a plain white shirt is trim and elegant when coordinated with a V-neck sweater.

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        In addition to being amazing and practical, a white shirt is incredibly easy to buy. Gap, Eddie Bauer and Guess? offer their shirts with a price that goes around $50, which is just the right amount of money for a quality bargain.

        4. Colored Button-Down Shirt

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          When we propose a colored shirt, it doesn’t include just solid tints, but also patterns and multicolored pieces. Solids can basically be of any color, from pale blues to vibrant oranges. Pairing them with a dark suit is not a big challenge, and it surely makes the look a lot more creative. When it comes to patterns, nothing is more exciting than madras, but polka dots and gingham are equally playful. Color blocking is a huge trend that men can best incorporate in their daily outfits through shirts. An amazing, sharp way of wearing a colored button-down shirt is underneath a waistcoat, with a complementary tie.

          Colored shirts are usually the same price as plain whites, and designers like Benetton, Sisley and J.Crew charge around $40 for them. Stunning, well-priced pieces can be found at Club Monaco and Armani Exchange for about $80.

          5. Tweed Jacket

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            For breezy autumn days, choose tweed. It’s offbeat, European, and a bit eccentric. Tweed suggests different shades of yarn incorporated into the weaving, and therefore can be paired with pants of the same color as one of the minor shades the fabric offers. The most popular choice of tweed blazers are glen-plaid, broken-check, and district-check, and all of them are great with brogue boots and messenger bags. Pick a dark gingham shirt or one of bright solid color for the authentic history professor look.

            Herringbone or tartan, you can get a hold of your tweed jacket at various prices. At Asos, J. Crew and Marc Darcy, their average cost is $150 while Brooks Brothers, Hardwick, Aubin and Wills and A. P. C. will charge for them around $500.

            6. Waistcoat

              Being one of the most versatile pieces of clothing, it’s a pure wonder that men often forget about a waistcoat. As a third piece of a black-tie suit, this dandy item is a privilege of every successful gentleman. However, a waistcoat can also be worn with style in a more casual manner, teamed with tan pants and black loafers, dark jeans and suede boots or formal pants and a tweed jacket. Whichever you choose, a waistcoat is just the right touch of bohemian every flamboyant man needs.

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              For a swanky piece of clothing that it is, a waistcoat is not very expensive. The most affordable pieces are at Asos, for under $50. Mid-priced brands are Topman, River Island and Reiss, and their price range goes from $70 to $150. Since a waistcoat is not something you are going to wear often, you can indulge yourself with a really extravagant one at Ted Baker for $250.

              7. Dark Jeans

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                Getting to wear your favorite pair of jeans is the best part of every casual Friday. You can always complement them with dress shoes, but you can also insist on being relaxed all the way through with leather laced-up boots. The choices of shirts that go with dark jeans are endless, and can be tucked in and finished with a wide leather belt, or let to hang loosely over. Whether you round it up with a blazer or a sweater, a pattern or a pop of color, with jeans you can’t go wrong.

                With some luck, fellas can find the perfect type of jeans at Nordstrom and Lucky Brand for under $100. Mavi, 4 Stroke, J Brand, Acne and Raven jeans costs go in range of 150 to $200.

                8. Trench Coat

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                  Speaking in a subtle and polished way, the Burberry trench coat is just what you need to stay handsome and trim in poor weather. This luxury fashion house made it iconic, but you can always try other designers that suit you well. Choose beige, black or navy blue as essentials, or be prominent with deep reds and greens. Apart from perfect shoes, you’ll need a luxurious scarf to complete your trench coat, a Humphrey Bogart hat to stay within a theme and an umbrella to round it all up.

                  When it comes to this evergreen piece, retailers like Topman and Zara hold charge for them under $150. Others, like Reiss, Agnes B, Paul Smith and Acne value their quality from $200 to $800. The celebrated Burberry approximately costs $1500.

                  9. Black Leather Shoes

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                    When you go shopping for fashion essentials, the first thing you’ll need to be looking for are shoes. Black lace-ups are the key piece of any professional style, and the best of them are the oxfords. Keep their contour slim, and toe rounded, never square. They are downright with suits and jeans both, and can deliver in any occasion. For a little twist, you can try black penny loafers as well. Match your favorite pair with socks of a conservative or more flashy fashion (stripes and other patterns are not only acceptable, but dashing as well), or you can show some ankle with loafer socks.

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                    Affordable brands of this requisite fashion item are Clarks, ASOS, Ted Baker, Dune and Topman (under $100) and you can find your luxury pieces at Church’s, John Lobb, Crockett & Jones, George Cleverley, Mr Hare, Berluti, Edward Green, Tod’s, Oliver Sweeney, J.Crew, Suitsupply and Paul Smith for about $500.

                    10. Brown Leather Shoes

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                      Chocolate and chestnut dress shoes can do much more for your outfit than traditional blacks. Sophisticated and a bit dandy, they can still be pulled off with smart business suits and other formal wear. These hues are allowed with black suits also, but pair them cleverly with accessories of the same tint. They are exquisite when teamed with khaki pants, a white shirt with sleeves rolled up and a cockscomb panama hat. Being brighter, brown shoes demand more attention, and well-polished shoes are a hallmark of every slick gent.

                      For lower costs of brown leather shoes, turn to ALDO, ASOS, Ask The Missus, Ted Baker, Dune and KG by Kurt Geiger, where their price is around $200. Higher priced shoes can be found at Church’s, Grenson, Oliver Sweeney, Cheaney, Loake, Barker, Crockett & Jones, John Lobb, Tricker’s, Mr Hare and O’Keeffe,

                      11. Tie

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                        A tie has crossed a long way from an obligatory piece of bureaucratic formal wear to a strong statement item every elegant man can take a lot of pride in. The ways of mixing and matching this timeless accessory to the rest of your clothes are unlimited, and they both complete formal and casual dress codes. Also, pay attention to the style of your collar, since not every shape complements every tie. Explore what lengths and widths go with which types of blazers. You can play safe with solid ties on patterned shirts or vice versa, or be distinctive with different pattern-on pattern combos. Experiment with different types of knots, from classic balthus to swank eldredge, and include a tie pin for prim look.

                        Unfortunately for gents, ties are a bit more expensive for a piece that needs to be changed quite often. The price range of designer ties goes from $200 to $300 at Charvet, Jay Kos, Ralph Lauren and Hermes. Paul Smith offers them for around $100, and the costs at J. Press go even lower.

                        12. Bag

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                          According to its nature of work, every profession requires a functional bag. Still, its usefulness doesn’t have to hide your sense of style. Briefcases are no longer out of date, since new generation of designers offers sleekness and versatility. Cross body messenger bags and vintage satchels can give you a less stern look, and provide needed space for your computer and papers. A leather folio is impeccable with a business suit, and practical for a tablet and necessities. When out of office, you’ll need a perfect duffle bag to carry all of your gentleman’s indispensables in. Also, for those confident enough, men bags and totes are masculine as they are practical.

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                          Depending on their styles, sizes and material, bags can be found at prices for every budget. The most inexpensive briefcases are at H&M and B. R. Edward ($150), Visconti ($200), Reiss ($250) and Jack Spade, Michael Kors and Rag and Bone (over $300). Ernest Alexander, Asos and River Island craft amazing quality messenger bags and satchels for under $100. At Fossil, Ted Baker and J. Crew these bags cost between $150 & and $300. Duffle bags are somewhat more affordable, and Asos and River Island value theirs from $50 to $150, the same amount of money you would spend here for quality crafted totes.

                          13. Leather Belt

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                            If your choice of clothes is safe, something as simple as a leather belt can draw attention to your look. When picking the right one to go with your business suit, you should keep in mind that smart wear usually demands basic colors, like black, brown and tan. Also, the belt should match your shoes in color and hue, and in type of leather, if possible. The shinier the belt, the better. Keep the buckle minimalist and polished. For a more casual look, a belt can be wider or thinner than the formal one, and can even contrast the color of the rest of the outfit.

                            The prices of leather belts vary from $100 (Dsquared) to $600 (Alexander Mcqueen, Fendi and Dolce and Gabbana). In between are Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Lanvin, Saint Laurent and Armani.

                            14. Leather Wallet

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                              Nothing better to accentuate your professional liability then your wallet. Once again, traditional colors are black, tan and brown, but this practical accessory permits other tints as well. The main thing about a wallet is its functionality, so choose a billfold with a lot of compartments for your business cards, credit cards and ID. The elegant way to go is with personalized engravings in the skin of the wallet, or over the top with snakeskin design.

                              This inexpensive, but much needed accessory can be purchased at pretty inexpensive prices. Merona, Kenneth Cole, Maxx & Unicorn, Corter and Chester Mox give you high quality and impeccable design for under $100.

                              15. Watch

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                                Now that you have succeeded, it’s about time to reward yourself with a superb watch. There aren’t much rules when it comes to detailing your outfit with a wristwatch. Basically, the only thing this gear should match is your personality. You can choose minimalistic and simple styles, vintage or royal, yellow gold with brown leather bracelet or chrome black with complementary steel and a ceramic bracelet. A watch is the most refined and delicate accessory in a grown man’s closet, and you wouldn’t want to pass on the best one for your personal esthetics.

                                The watch shopping is certainly a time to go big – from Longines ($3000) to Chopard ($20000) – but if you are still determined in finding your piece for under $1000, try at Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Guess, Seiko and Breytenbach.

                                Featured photo credit: New York Businessman via brandexponents.com

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                                Vladimir Zivanovic

                                CMO at MyCity-Web

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                                Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                                How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                1. Think Big

                                  From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                  “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                  There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                  Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                  Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                  Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                  Instead be ambitious.

                                  2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                                    From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                    “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                    This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                    Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                    If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                    Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                    Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                    Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                    3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                      From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                      “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                      All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                      If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                      However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                      If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                      In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                      To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                      4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                        From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                        “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                        There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                        Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                        His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                        He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                        Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                        Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                        If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                        5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                          From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                          “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                          This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                          It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                          If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                          Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                          6. Be a Person of Action

                                            From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                            “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                            Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                            Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                            When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                            You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                            All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                            Applying this to you?

                                            Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                            7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                              From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                              The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                              The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                              People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                              This is key to good leadership.

                                              It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                              But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                              What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                              As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                              8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                                From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                                  From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                  “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                  Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                  It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                  Keep dreaming!

                                                  10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                                    From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                    “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                    Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                    Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                    If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                    However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                    11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                      From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                      “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                      It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                      When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                      Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                      If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                      This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                      12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                        From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                        “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                        You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                        Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                        True success comes from work.

                                                        You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                        Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                        13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                          From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                          “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                          In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                          If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                          It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                          Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                          What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                          Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                          More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                                          Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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