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10 Signs You Will be Highly Successful and You Simply Don’t Realize It

10 Signs You Will be Highly Successful and You Simply Don’t Realize It

We look up to powerful and successful people, but the ones that get the most respect are the rags to riches stories or those who started out like ordinary people and relied on their own wits to attain success. Some of these people didn’t even realize how much potential they had, and they didn’t really care – they just worked hard, and kept working hard day in and day out.

So, how do we know if we have some of the traits that can make us highly successful in life? You might be showing some of these positive signs of potential future success but simply aren’t aware of them yet.

1. You are punctual and dependable

It is difficult to find a person that keeps his or word every time and is never late to a meeting. Such people are held in high regard, both in the business world and among their friends.

If you are the kind of person who others find dependable, and are able to run a realistic schedule that allows you to be very punctual, then you have the potential to reach great heights.

2. You aren’t afraid to express yourself

Many people don’t feel comfortable showing their feelings to the world – revealing their true self to the world just makes them feel too vulnerable.

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However, if we look at some of the most successful and widely recognized modern artists, we see that they aren’t afraid to follow their vision, and they keep creatively expressing their inner self through their work. Film directors like Wes Anderson are considered auteurs because of their unique artistic style. In the same vein, the billionaire entrepreneurs of today have always been outspoken about their vision, even if it went against the grain.

3. You don’t expect others to do things for you

There are men and women out there who simply can’t get their act together, so they sit around waiting for the world to sort out their problems. They will call on their friends, family and even coworkers for support way too often, and they always complain about the myriad of trivial problems that keep them from reaching their goals.

On the other hand, truly successful people like to take things into their own hands, and they take responsibility for their own actions or inaction.

4. You keep your things well organized

Whenever you hear someone with any level of success talk about how they thrive in chaos, they most likely just have a very unique way of organizing their files. There are those who work best when sitting in the middle of large stacks of paper or looking back and forth from their phone to their laptop screen, with over a dozen tabs open. However, if you look closer there is a method to their madness.

It doesn’t matter whether you are really anal and systematic about your work and like everything to be in the right place, or you like to let your thoughts fly freely and have your work spread out across the room – if you can easily find what you need and work efficiently, then you can consider yourself organized.

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5. You have a desire to improve

Not everyone has a lot of ambition. They might be held back by fears that they can’t effectively deal with; they might not be creative enough or they might be lazy and used to settling for less if it means they don’t have to work too hard.

Then there are those that have a burning desire to constantly improve, learn new things, pick up new skills and sacrifice some fun and enjoyment now, so that they can be happier in the future.

The latter group is the one that keeps improving year after year, getting things done one step at a time.

6. You don’t feel awkward about asking for advice

There is a funny cliché about men being too proud to ask for directions. It might be my free-spirited European upbringing talking here, but anyone who is lost and clueless, yet thinks that asking for help is a sign of weakness, is a complete moron.

I understand that there are some fairly frail egos, but those who aren’t afraid to ask for help and advice will overcome obstacles much quicker, gain plenty of useful insight, and will be able to apply what they have learned in the future. A false sense of pride will ensure that you never make any serious progress.

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7. You are assertive and confident

You may not think much about your generally positive attitude towards life, or the fact that you are fairly pleased with yourself and your current situation, but believe me, confidence is a real game changer.

All it takes to stay motivated and focus on your goals is to believe in yourself. If you don’t downplay your capabilities, don’t let others push you around and aren’t afraid to speak up or pounce when a good opportunity presents itself, then you have what it takes to become fairly successful.

8. You see failure as a teaching tool and source of motivation

The problem most people fall into is that they allow themselves to be easily defeated. Of course, we all screw up from time to time, and even fail miserably when attempting new things, but that’s no reason to start shouting obscenities while waving your fist at the sky and then give up all hope.

Those who use failure to fuel their desire to become better, and manage to learn from all the mistakes they make along the way, these are the people who go on to achieve greatness.

9. You can stay calm and logical during stressful situations

Have you ever felt that others have a tendency to get a little too heated up about small things? Do you have trouble understanding how some people can allow themselves to go red in the face and start taking everything personally? Well, then you are one of the few people who can manage to keep their emotions in check during serious discussions, emergencies and other stressful situations.

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10. You look out for your people

The traits that often get associated with alpha personalities, i.e. natural leaders, are confidence and fearlessness, but people often forget about the most important alpha character trait – empathy.

Yes, you heard that right. If someone is to be a good leader they need to be able to provide for the group, to make sure that everyone gets what they need to feel safe and contempt.

It requires compromise, communications skills, quick thinking and some tough decisions, but a leader always tries to keep his people reasonably happy. If you only look out for yourself, you won’t get too far, or you’ll fall as quickly as you have risen.

If you are showing some of these signs, you might very well have a few dormant talents that will allow you to reach some of your biggest goals, if you can learn to harness their power. It will still take plenty of time and work, probably even some luck, but you definitely have an upper hand if you are already exhibiting some positive traits.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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