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15 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happy And Successful

15 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happy And Successful

The world has changed greatly over time and still continues to change today. However, some things remain the same, such us key habits for lasting happiness and success. If you are interested in achieving happiness and success, then you should know some of the key daily habits of truly happy and successful people that have timeless application. Here are 15 of the top daily habits of successful people that can make you truly happy and successful if you apply them in your own life.

1. Plan ahead

In today’s fast-paced life, not many people plan ahead. Those who do think through and plan their days ahead of time set themselves up for true happiness and success. Set clear, actionable goals for the day (and the future) and you will give your chances of success a real boost.

2. Visualize success

Don’t just plan ahead. Visualize your own success and victory to remain focused, motivated and to keep going no matter what. Think about what it will feel like to achieve your dream and acknowledge that more will be achieved during the process of reaching the dream than the actual act of reaching the dream. That is how to keep your dreams alive.

3.   Go where the action is

Don’t shy away from challenges. Challenges give you the opportunity to apply yourself, learn and be part of something wonderful that might make a difference. Truly happy people are not those who hide behind closed doors in times of war, but those who pick up their swords, go where the action is and give it their best shot. It’s much better to try and fail, than fail to try.

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4. Trust your abilities

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as different creativity levels. Truly happy and successful people understand their weak points and also fully believe in their strong points. This allows them to seek help and guidance when they need it and offer the same when they can. Show trust and confidence in yourself and your abilities daily by boldly tackling what needs to be done. It is through self-belief and confidence that you establish routines that push you to success and happiness.

5. Work hard

Hard work and persistence are secret ingredients for lasting success. If you work harder than everyone else and give it your best shot each day, success will come to you eventually and you will enjoy it. The fruits of hard labor are the sweetest.

6. Go home at the end of the day

Some people make a habit of regularly sleeping somewhere else other than home after a long day at work. Don’t do that. Go home to your family every day to set the right example and prove you care and respect your family. Of course, sometimes you might have legitimate reasons not to go straight home at the end of the day, but don’t make excuses for sleeping outside.

7. Get enough sleep

It has lately become fashionable to say people need sleep, but millions of people still don’t get enough sleep today. Your body needs sleep not just for rest and relaxation, but also to prevent sleep disorders like daytime sleepiness that can severely interfere with your ability to perform daily activities that bring happiness and success. Get an average of eight hours of sleep a night for adequate rest and relaxation and to ensure you wake up each morning refreshed and re-energized for the day ahead.

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8. Wake up early

Wake up early at the same time before 6 am daily. The large number of truly happy and successful people who are proud early risers proves that this sleep routing works. If you want to give yourself a head start on the rest of the world, then you must become an early riser yourself.

As the Dalai Lama says, “Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

9. Exercise daily

Exercise is not only good for your heart and your physical fitness, but also for pumping more oxygen to the brain and improving your brain power. Truly successful and happy people know this and make a habit of exercising daily. Whether it is short jogs in the morning before work or CrossFit workouts in the evening after work, exercise daily to boost your overall well-being, happiness and success.

10. Wear clean, appropriate clothes

Whether it’s a full office outfit like a navy blue suit for bankers, casual attire like jeans for department store attendants or comfy pajamas for home workers, what you wear matters a lot. It can affect how you feel about yourself and the way you perform your duties throughout the day. Wear clean, appropriate clothes every morning to get in the right mindset and facilitate productivity, depending on your work and plans for the day.

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11. Read every day

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Whether it is reading the daily newspaper in the morning or a favorite novel in the afternoon, reading widely and regularly sharpens your mind and broadens your perspective. It helps you understand and appreciate the intricacies of life a lot more.

12. Spend quality time with loved ones

Quality time is giving someone your undivided attention. It can be your spouse, kids, parents or close friends, but spending quality time with loved ones talking and listening to each other strengthens your bond and allows you to  know one another better. It unites you and brings a lot of happiness. Do this regularly and you will feel truly loved, connected and happy in life.

13. Show kindness to other people

As much as 99% of the people you see out there are strangers. But, the majority of these strangers are good and decent people. Show love, concern and kindness to them whenever possible. A simple hello to the person in the elevator with you can make their day. Helping that elderly lady cross the busy road is simply nice and humane. When you show kindness daily you not only make new connections, but also make your own day brighter.

14. Forgive someone new each day

Don’t hold grudges. Grudges weigh you down and hinder your happiness and success. Just forgive and move forward. In fact, forgive someone new every day. If you can’t find someone new to forgive, forgive yourself for things you did (or didn’t do) before you go to bed. It will take the edge off and help you overcome resentment, which steals your time and energy.

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15. Repeat what works for you

When you find what work for you, repeat and strive to do it better. Similarly, review and change what doesn’t work. This is perhaps the most important advice you should take away today. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Featured photo credit: Kris Krug via flickr.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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