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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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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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