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20 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be Highly Successful Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

20 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be Highly Successful Even If You Don’t Feel You Are
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Do you consider yourself successful? If not, you might after reading this article. You might be closer to success than you thought. Success is defined in all kinds of ways. You may want to be rich, famous or simply leave a positive mark on the world. The only definition that matters is your own.

It’s perfectly fine to go ahead and consider yourself successful right now. You don’t have to wait for your next promotion, or the building of your dream home, to be happy. Accept where you are and where you have come from. And most importantly, enjoy it. Even if you don’t consider yourself highly successful now, you’re on your way.

Here are 20 signs that you have what it takes to be highly successful:

1. You crave knowledge

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

You love to learn in one format or another. It could be books, audiobooks, podcasts or videos, but the point is: you crave knowledge. You’re not constantly making excuses for why you’re not reading as much as you should be. You’re getting it done.

2. You’re planning ahead

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

You may be saving for retirement or investing in your children’s education. In one way or another, you’re planning ahead. You may not feel wealthy right now, but you are well on your way to creating a legacy by making those small contributions.

3. You wake up early

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.” – Aristotle

You may not feel like you’re conquering the world when you slowly roll out of bed, but simply getting up early aligns your habits with many of the most successful people in the world. You understand the value of the early hours and you use them to your advantage.

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4. You make friends easily

“There’s a popular concept of ‘intelligence’ as book smarts, like calculus or chess, as opposed to, say, social skills. So people say that ‘it takes more than intelligence to succeed in human society.’ But social skills reside in the brain, not the kidneys.” – Eliezer Yudkowsky

Success can’t be measured merely in terms of money. Many of the richest people in the world are often the most unhappy. Having friends and family that love you sets you apart from some of the people that you may think you want to be like. Social skills and networking are key in building a successful business and creating a successful life. If you’re good at making friends, you’re on your way to doing both.

5. You have good character

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” -Dennis Prager

Your word means something. You understand how important it is to treat others with respect. Having good character and integrity sets you apart from others, whether you realize it or not. People do notice and it will take you far.

6. You have a burning desire to help people

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

Many multi-million dollar business ideas started as a desire to help others. If you hold on to that desire, it will take you far. Want to start your own business? Think about how you could best serve others and start doing it. Your desire to help and serve people will serve you well in the end.

7. You’ve failed and you’ve kept going

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

You may have heard the terms “fail forward” or “fail up”. Failing may suck, but some of the most famous and successful people have failed the most. If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to fail…a lot. If you’re not where you want to be right now, it may simply be because you haven’t failed enough…yet. That’s OK, you’re working on it.

8. You have self-discipline and self-control

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Everyone has some self-discipline and we all want more, but just the fact that you realize the importance of it means you’re on the right track. Think of all the areas in your life that you practice self-discipline and self-control. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you may have more than you think.

9. You’re always getting better

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

You may not feel like it, but you are always getting better. If you don’t feel like you’re improving, just measure your progress backwards. Think about where you were a year ago or two or five. I bet you’re farther along than you thought. Self-improvement is something that builds up like a snowball rolling down a hill. A tiny snowball can create an avalanche if it keeps rolling. Keep learning, keep growing and keep improving.

10. You have a giving heart

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

Giving is one of the foundations of healthy finances and a healthy life. It’s not about who you’re giving to. If you’re giving at all, you’re on the right track. Consider the fact that non-profit organizations receive over a trillion dollars in revenue each year. Giving is kind of a big deal.

11. You’re motivated and driven

“I was always incredibly driven and found it impossible to relax. I felt that if I slacked off for a minute to enjoy myself, then so many things would be missed.” – Sandra Bullock

You have passion and desire to accomplish great things. You’re driven to do something big, even if you’re not sure what it is yet. If you don’t feel motivated about your work, you may need to change things up. Figure out where your drive is taking you and you will lead yourself to success.

12. You’re able to practice patience

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Believe it or not, many of the most successful people are not very patient, although almost all of them admit the importance of it. Your patience will serve you well if you embrace it. It’s one of the most important values you can have.

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13. You’re the person everyone wants to be around

“Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead.” – Charles M. Schwab

You have a good outlook on life. You’re optimistic. We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking, because it’s one of the most powerful traits you can have. Being optimistic not only makes people want to be around you, it also helps you to see the good in situations, which can often lead to your success.

14. You’re confident, but not too confident

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Self-confidence sets you apart from many others who have no faith in their own potential. Believing you can achieve great things is the first step to actually achieving those things. Just don’t be over-confident…that’s annoying.

15. You have successful friends

“You are who you surround yourself with. I know that’s such a cliche quote, but it’s true.” – Selena Gomez

You understand the importance of surrounding yourself with successful, like-minded people. Did you know that your income is usually the average of your five best friends’ incomes? If you surround yourself with people who earn more money than you, you’re likely to get there soon.

16. You’re able to let things go

“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius

You don’t hold grudges, because you know it affects you more than it affects them. If you plan to be successful, you know you can’t hold on to that junk that doesn’t matter. You’re an adult and you know how to move on. If someone wants to hold a grudge against you, that’s their problem.

17. You understand the power of “no”

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

You’re not afraid to say “no” to engagements, but more importantly, you understand that saying no to low priorities means you can say yes to higher priorities. Let’s be honest, saying yes or no comes down to your priorities. You can’t always say yes and you know that.

18. You know you can’t do it alone

“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” – Anne Wilson Schaef

Successful people understand the value of asking for help. Whether it’s your marriage, other relationships or a business venture, you know that you need other people. Nobody succeeds alone and you know how to ask for help when you need it.

19. You know how to manage your time

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’” – Lao-Tzu

You have your priorities and you make time for them. You know what you should be doing and you avoid what you shouldn’t be doing. You’ve developed rituals and routines that make your life more efficient and productive. Most importantly, you understand that if you can’t manage your time, you can’t manage anything.

20. You don’t criticize, condemn or complain

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know to avoid the three Cs. You’re only hurting yourself when you criticize, condemn or complain about others. There’s no room for it in your life. You understand the importance of building other people up and nurturing friendships.

You may not have all 20 of these things down yet, but you’re probably closer than you thought. Being highly successful is something that’s developed over a lifetime. You’re creating a successful life everyday. Just keep going.

Featured photo credit: Mt. Pico de Loro / Ed Escueta via flickr.com

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Kalen Bruce

Military, Writer

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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.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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