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10 Ways to Cultivate the Alpha Personality for Success

10 Ways to Cultivate the Alpha Personality for Success

The only thing standing between you and your dreams is yourself. Specifically, it is your personality. A common dictionary definition explains a personality as: “The pattern of collective character, behavioral, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person.” Or in more simple terms, your personality is the expression of the way you think and act. An alpha personality has its roots in ethological studies; in hierarchical social animals, the alpha male or female would enjoy preferential access to food and other desirable activities. Alphas would lead and be followed by the pack in any resettling journeys. In human society and culture, the role of the alpha male or female is very much similar. The alpha personality not only embodies the collective values and virtues for success, but spearheads through unchartered waters and acts as a pioneer for not only their own personal success, but that of everyone else.

You are probably sitting there reading and thinking, “Oh, that sounds great. I wish I was born with an alpha personality.” The game-changing point for you and many others is that while 2% of people may just be born with such a personality, the other 98% have learned to develop an alpha personality.

Here are ten ways you can begin to cultivate an alpha personality:

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1. It All Starts With A Vision

The revolutionary, Mahatma Gandhi, makes the profound statement:

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”

There are no words that can fully convey the power that lies in creating a clear vision in your mind for the future reality that you desire. Successful people of various backgrounds, such as professional athletes, use visualization—replaying the successful outcome that they desire before they step out to engage in the specific activity. See yourself as embodiment of the alpha personality—the successful, confident, charismatic person who naturally captures the attention of everyone in the room.

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2. Work on Your Posture

Amy Cuddy gives an incredible Ted Talk with almost ten million views on this subject. In the talk, she describes evidence which supports the idea that your body language shapes who you are. If you go about your daily life with your head down and a hunched back, these are subordinate postures that will result in a subordinate attitude. Begin to stand tall, look people in the eye, and walk like you mean business.

3. Embrace Enterprise

Do not simply step outside of your comfort zone; make your lifestyle completely outside of the comfort zone. The alpha personality lives in the uncomfortable zone. Enterprise has been defined as: “An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.” Strive to be described by others as a “risk-taker.” There are very few worthwhile rewards that come without risk.

4. Stop Following; Start Leading

How do you jump that fence? If you have started doing the first three points, then you are already over the fence. People will follow those who have a clear vision and audacity to step out toward an new venture. The fascinating thing about becoming a leader is that the moment you decide to take control of your own life, you have become a leader—a leader for yourself. This is the first act in ceasing to be a follower. The alpha personality leads him or herself first and foremost. Beginning to lead yourself will inevitably begin to lead others.

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5. Delete “No” From Your Vocabulary

See the possibility in everything. Develop the determination and grit to never leave a problem without a resolution. The alpha personality is a problem solver. Problem solvers are sought after and continually looked to for help. Regardless of what field you are in, never resign to thinking something cannot be done.

6. Smile

Convey charm and charisma. Humans have a fascinating mechanism called “mirror-neurons.” We naturally reflect and take on the vibes and actions of the person we are engaged with. If you are able to make others feel great, you will be the kind of person that others want to spend more time with, and subsequently be more influential.

7. Bounce the Bystander Effect

There was a tragic event in New York in 1964 that spawned the name for this syndrome. A woman was murdered and though her screams were heard, nobody called the police. Everyone assumed that someone else would do it! The alpha personality does not wait for anyone else to get the job done. If you see any situation that needs to be resolved, step in and do it without hesitation.

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8. Dress to Impress

We have all heard the phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Impossible. Unless you just happen to have the ability to jump inside someone’s mind and read their personality, your cover and the way you dress is going to be exactly what people judge you by, whether you like it or not. In fact, the way you dress is very much an expression of your personality. The alpha personality is sharp and slick with no room for any fluff. You should be very comfortable with a photo of you being put on the front cover of Success magazine.

9. Find a Mentor

“You are the average of the five people you spend most time with.”

– Jim Rohn

Indeed the apple does not fall far from the tree. Every great athlete has a coach. Every successful businessman has a mentor. Seek out the person who embodies the alpha personality that you desire and begin to learn from them. Do not be afraid to reach out; give them a call or send them an email.

10. It Is Confidence, Not Arrogance

There is a fine line, but if it is crossed, your alpha personality can go from being admired to being despised. Your success is very much dependent upon your rapport with people. Be direct, but not demeaning. Be bold, but not brash.

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Thai Nguyen

Thai's a Mindfulness-Meditation Coach, a 5-Star Chef and an International Kickboxer.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

5. Learn to Say “No”

I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

7. Be Intentional

The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

The Bottom Line

The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

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Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

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