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12 Lessons Emma Watson Has Taught Me About Success

12 Lessons Emma Watson Has Taught Me About Success

She blazed the Hollywood trail, graduated from an Ivy League school, and has lived life in the spotlight since age 9. Emma Watson has given young girls an image to look up to, and she’s provided the general population a breath of fresh air. She’s successful on many levels, and has many qualities worth emulating. Here are 12 lessons in success that I’ve learned from Emma Watson:

1. Don’t Compromise

She’s very choosy about her movie roles and chose to attend an Ivy League college in the U.S. when she could have gone almost anywhere.

In short, Emma Watson does her research, and we should too. Success isn’t about landing every opportunity. Have a strong understanding of who you are as an individual and where you want to go. Success is about choosing carefully, doing the research, and making informed decisions when it comes to course of action.

2. Be Dedicated

Emma Watson has proven that dedication is the key. It was only after 8 lengthy auditions that she found out she had won the Hermione roll.

Dedication is the key. Most success stories, even if they look like they happened overnight, didn’t. Have commitment to any task or endeavor

3. Love Yourself First

“I don’t have perfect teeth, I’m not stick thin. I want to be the person who feels great in her body and can say that she loves it and doesn’t want to change anything.” (Emma Watson)

Remember that you come first. How you feel about yourself will directly affect all other areas of life. Success isn’t just outward wealth and glamor; true success is the ability to be comfortable in your skin.

4. Be Humble

One thing Emma Watson never did was let her coveted role as Hermione Granger go to her head.

Success, like anything else in life, can be lost as quickly as it is gained. Staying humble no matter how circumstances improve will allow you to keep a level head and appreciate that which comes to you through hard work and dedication.

5. Have a Sense of Humor

It was unbelievable seeing me as an action figure! In a few months, toddlers all around the country will be biting my head off!” (Emma Watson)

No matter what, a sense of humor will keep the journey lighthearted. The road to success is usually more of a maze that will include bumps and setbacks. Being able to make light of a situation will help you keep moving forward toward your goal.

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6. Be Respectful

Watson has respect for herself and respect for others. Both are necessary in all affairs whether professional or personal. Respect will lend you the ability to open doors you didn’t know existed and cultivate relationships that could be of great benefit.

7. Follow Your Truth

“Becoming yourself is really hard and confusing, and it’s a process. It’s often not cool to be the person who puts themselves out there.” (Emma Watson)

There’s nothing worse than moulding yourself into what you perceive others want from you. Over time, doing this can make you bitter and resentful. Figure out what it is that calls to you and pursue it. Never let someone else or the majority make decisions for you. Follow your heart.

8. Preserve your Integrity

“Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” (Emma Watson)

In a world where shameless reality television and young stars gone awry seek to define a generation, maintaining integrity isn’t only a necessity, but it will also set you apart from the rest. A strong moral compass will help you stay on track.

9. Be Practical

Emma Watson drives a Prius. She does so because it’s environmentally friendly and suits her personality, but the Prius is also a practical choice.

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Practical choices will help ensure the longevity of your efforts. No matter where success takes you, remember to make choices that will enable you to sustain a future.

10. Never Forget Those that Helped You

“I could be 100 years old and in my rocker, but I’ll still be very proud that I was part of the Harry Potter films.” (Emma Watson)

Success is rarely achieved alone. It is so important to remember those that helped you get there. Whether it be business partners, family members, agents, etc., be grateful for those that pushed you toward a goal or gave you a platform on which to grow.

11. Set the Standard

A main reason for Watson’s success is that she is one of a kind. Though it’s important to learn from others, set the standard of achievement for yourself. Model your efforts on what you think is important regardless of what those around you are doing. Successful people are often those who pave their own way and give themselves goals to achieve.

12. Let Go of Fear

“I’ve probably earned the right to screw up a few times. I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.” (Emma Watson)

Fear, if you let it, can cripple any effort no matter how determined or valiant. Willingness to push through fear, make mistakes, and potentially start over are important on the road to success.

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Looking for some motivation from a few other successful women?

30 Most Inspirational Quotes By Highly Successful Women Around The World

 

Featured photo credit: HQ Outtake of Emma Watson, photographed by Bjorn Iooss for The EDIT magazine (2013)/Courtesy of www.emmawatsonfan.net via flickr.com

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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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