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11 Characteristics of a Highly Effective Mindset

11 Characteristics of a Highly Effective Mindset
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Albert Einstein, who is one of the most effective inventors and thinkers in the history of the world, once said there are only two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle … or you can live as if everything is.

Einstein, of course, is talking about the power of your mindset. So here’s my question for you: how would you describe yours?

It’s an important question. Because highly effective people think differently. And this leads them down the path to success.

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Want to learn how to get there? Then start by copying these 11 characteristics of people with highly effective mindsets.

1. They enjoy the present moment.

The past is behind you and the future is impossible to predict. Highly effective people know this, and that’s why they choose to focus on the present. Stop worrying and thinking about what you don’t have. Take a look around you right now at this very moment and realize that life is a gift.

2. They take action.

Elite achievers dream big but start small. They know knowledge is useless without action. When they learn something new, they go apply that knowledge. Action is the only thing that will get you to where you want to be in life.

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3. They accept and embrace challenges.

When people with highly effective mindsets take action, they tackle tough projects first. They want the opportunity to prove themselves and grow stronger and smarter. They definitely don’t back down from challenges.

4. They’re self-disciplined.

Highly effective folks know that anything worth getting in life takes work. So they maintain a rigorous, disciplined level of focus, and they don’t get distracted from their end goals.

5. They remain positive.

Being positive is the “golden key” to a long and happy life. Highly effective people are optimists. They go through tough times too, but they understand the amazing impact a good attitude can have on their health and well-being.

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6. They have a willingness and drive to help others.

Successful people know this to be true: to get what you want in life, you need to help others get what they want. Go out of your way to help people every day. You’ll get much more back than you put in.

7. They are resilient.

Highly effective people know that growth doesn’t happen overnight. They remain resilient even in the face of adversity and stop at nothing to achieve their goals and dreams.

8. They have a passion for learning.

People with highly effective mindsets never stop learning. They soak up as much knowledge as possible. They strive to become experts in their field. They view every day as an opportunity to learn something new, harness their strengths, and improve upon their weaknesses.

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9. They believe in themselves.

Paulo Coelho said, “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” This is how you should look at setbacks in your life. Don’t ever lose faith in yourself or your ability to do amazing things in this world. Believe.

10. They have growth mindsets.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck says there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. If you have a fixed mindset you believe talent and circumstances create success. This leads you to self-handicap yourself. When you have a growth mindset you believe you have the power to change your circumstances by seeking opportunities to grow and get better. If you’re stuck in a fixed mindset, you’re holding yourself back.

11. They take calculated risks.

Whether you want to become your own boss or lose stomach flab, ask yourself this question: will you be better off by never starting or by taking a chance and risking failing?

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It’s an easy answer. Take risks in life. It’s the only way to grow.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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