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20 Thoughts That Will Lead You To Great Success

20 Thoughts That Will Lead You To Great Success

It’s never too late to get started on a successful life, and I’ve listed 20 thoughts that will help you achieve great success today. Take a moment and internalize these thoughts, and you’ll be on your way to a better tomorrow.

1. Our Actions Are a Testament to Our Thoughts.

Dale Carnegie once stated, “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” If you work hard, it’s unlikely that you have an air of entitlement, or expect great success without effort. Visualize a healthy path to success and follow through with actions that align with your vision.

2. Doing What You Like Matters.

Doing what you like will help you find purpose and fulfillment in your life. While many people refer to pre-established models of success defined by their peers, superiors, or even families, it’s more important to evaluate what YOUR model of success looks like. In most cases, discovering what “make you tick” is more important than being miserable doing something that society defines as success.

3. Focus is Critical To Great Success.

In a world of advertisements, promising opportunities, and addicting apps, distraction is only a click away. Unplugging and re-connecting with your goals is critical to achieving better results. Spending a few minutes every morning visualizing your goal and establishing an actionable direction for achievement will make avoiding distractions much easier. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Focus.

4. Opportunity Success Looks A Lot Like Hard Work.

Being in the right place at the right time isn’t always a coincidence; the harder you work, the more likely it will be that you’ll end up in “the right place.” While this statement seems as unprovable as the idea of karma, there must be a reason that the world’s most successful individuals say it, right? Seneca once wrote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Hemingway said, “It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.” Even recently, actor Ashton Kutcher said, “Opportunity Looks A Lot Like Hard Work.”

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5. “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.”

John Maxwell, author of countless NYT bestsellers, recently wrote a book called Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. His book explains that the most successful people in the world are excellent communicators: people who not only communicate their message, but create a connection. The secret to connection, Maxwell suggests, is authentic interest in others, simplifying the message, inspiring people, and living what you communicate. The book is a roadmap for successful relationships, and I’d highly suggest it.

6. There Will Always Be Bad Days. Overcome Them.

Even the most successful people have bad days, but ONLY successful people bounce back. If your day is headed into a tailspin, remove yourself from the situation, ground yourself, and calmly determine what you have power over in order to turn things around. Grounding yourself is not only shown to have positive health benefits; it gives you an opportunity to contextualize your struggles, which allows you to move forward and overcome even the worst of days.

7. Imitating The Great Can Yield Great Results If Done Thoughtfully.

Copycatting isn’t the only form of imitation. If you carefully observe successful people, you can glean valuable information and build on it. Spend a week observing people that you admire. Imitate those who are successful by bettering their processes where neccesary, and building off the strong points in their success. Do not copy, but observe and grow your own solution through thoughtful and purposeful decisions that build off the greats that came before you.

8. If Perception Is Reality, How Do Others Perceive Your Personal Brand?

You may not be successful by your measure, but do you carry yourself with confidence? Do you give off a positive vibe and the aura of success? Recognize the things that could be hurting your personal brand. If perception is reality, and people perceive you to be negative and unsuccessful — well, you get where I’m going.

9. Helping Others Succeed Will Yield Great Success In You Own Life.

Veronica Roth, author of Divergent, once said that there is power in self-sacrifice. In my own life, I’ve seen nothing but positive things from giving to others, connecting those in need, sharing information, and helping people who are willing to be helped. In my limited experience, nothing bad comes from helping people in need and sometimes your goodwill can even come full circle!

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10. Success Comes In Different Sized Portions.

This thought about great success is important because it is entirely about self-awareness. Challenge yourself to be self-aware and recognize even the smallest of successes in your daily life. Great success is a habit made up of smaller successes in life.

11. If You Don’t Love Yourself, You Won’t Succeed.

Do not let fear or self-doubt hold you back. There is no “too late,” and you can do it. Marianne Williamson said it best:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

12. You Don’t Work For Money.

See thought #2. You work for many reasons, and while money may be ONE of these reasons, it’s not everything. Find purpose in your job beyond monetary concerns, and you’ll find more success than if all you do is focus on money.

13. Listen.

Sometimes we miss opportunities for success because we do not listen. Challenge yourself to listen more than you speak.

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I once asked the Director of MarketingProfs.com what she thought made her Twitter handle so popular; for someone who isn’t famous, her following is impressive. Here’s the conversation:

14. Build On The Fact That You Have Enough.

Let’s connect the dots. Learning the art of contentment can lead to lower stress levels; lower stress levels leads to higher brain functionality; it is more likely that you are successful when you are thinking straight. If you build on the fact that you have enough and learn the art of contentment, you will go places (and people will follow).

15. Success Is A Continuous Journey

Arthur Ash once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Great success come naturally if you view your life as a grand adventure: an experience filled with successes and failures. While it’s important to focus on your goals, take a moment to appreciate the daily struggle because it’s all part of a continuous journey. If you adapt, better yourself, and recognize that success is a journey, you’ll be fine.

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16. Reading IS Power Success.

In his book I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Many people say that they “don’t have time to read”, but we make time for what is important to us. Wake up 30 minutes early and read, for knowledge truly is power.

17. If You Can’t Afford It, Don’t Buy It.

One of the surefire ways to put yourself in a bad position to achieve success is to accumulate massive debts. Understand that in a capitalist society everything around you was made to make you buy more. Simply put: if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Not sure what “can’t afford it” and “savings” looks like? Read this article by Lifehack; it’s a keeper.

18. We Are Creatures Of Habit. Reward Yourself For Good Habits, and Examine Your Bad Habits.

Personal growth and success can be a mental game. Positive reinforcement for even the smallest success is neccesary. On the other hand, be present and examine your bad habits; illuminate them for what they are. Nothing can impede success more than bad habits left unameliorated. “You need not fight to stop a habit. Just don’t give it an opportunity to repeat itself.” –Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

19. Setting Realistic Goals Is Important.

Simplifying your goals to keep them realistic is an important step to achieving them. Ask yourself, “Is this something that I can commit to?” Do not second-guess your abilities, but be mindful of your capabilities and set yourself up for success. Inevitably, failure happens, but if you set realistic goals you will succeed. As you develop a habit of success, grow your goals and challenge yourself.

20. If All Else Fails, Surround Yourself With Successful People.

Success takes time. Spend that time pursuing your goals and surrounding yourself with people that are already successful; don’t worry, you have something valuable to offer successful people that they want: time, energy, and a positive spirit. If you come to the table with positive energy and a willingness to make yourself valuable, successful people are usually willing to share their knowledge and connect you with the right people. This is invaluable. Leave your ego at home, surround yourself with successful people, and allow yourself to learn from others.

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

Where you work has an enormous impact on how you work – on your ability to focus (and stay focused) and your overall ability to be productive. That means the design of your office, whether you work at home or in a larger company environment, is of supreme importance. This isn’t just about Feng Shui, this is about producing results and getting things done.

According to studies done on workplace and productivity, the most significant factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus is their physical environment. In fact, it’s been said that a well-designed office can increase your productivity about 20%. However, despite the studies and statistics, nearly half of the employers interviewed don’t consider workplace design a good business investment.

So what is a productivity hack to do? What if you work in an environment that doesn’t promote focus?

Check these 15 factors and make changes where you can. A little adjustment can produce a lot of impact.

Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired to create, yet it’s one of the most overlooked and least invested in. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Dark spaces can actually produce depression.

If you work in a company office:
You probably have no control over your general lighting so bring in your own, if need be. Consider using natural light bulbs or a light therapy device.

If you work from a home office:
Open the windows and doors and let natural light in. Using lamps in a variety of areas for cloudy days or when it’s dark.

Chair and Table

If you’ve ever sat at a desk to do work but found yourself adjusting, stretching and moving too often to actually stay focused, then you’re aware of the importance of having a correctly fitted table and chair. In today’s work environment where so many of us are sitting for most of our day, it is critical that your throne fits your body probably.

Consider these quick ergonomic checks:

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  • Eyes 24-36 inches from the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be below or at eye-level.
  • Feet should be on a foot rest or resting on the floor.
  • A slightly reclined chair posture is best to reduce pressure on your spine and minimize lower back pain.

If you work in a company office:
Ask for an adjustable chair. Add pillows for your lower back or bum, if you need it. Many companies will also provide risers for computers to adjust the height of your computer screen (and a separate keyboard to keep your hands and wrists in the ideal position)

If you work from a home office:
Invest in a decent chair or at least use a few pillows to make the chair more comfortable. If the table is too high, add pillows to your chair. If it is too low, consider buying leg risers from your local hardware store and using books beneath your computer to raise the screen. Use a separate keyboard.

Clutter

Your mama was right, it’s important to clean up your room. Clutter may help the creative mind create, but it isn’t necessarily helpful for focus and productivity.

If you work from a company office: While you can’t control the cleanliness of the office at large, do keep your own environment around you clean. Spend 10 minutes every morning or evening making sure things are put away, filed, organized and generally out of sight so you’re not distracted by it later.

If you work from a home office: Because you work from home, the entire house or apartment is potential for distraction. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean. If not, schedule a specific day and time to clean your home. Commit to doing daily pickup at a specific time. And spend at least 10 minutes every day making sure your office  is organized and tidy.

Room Color

The colors around us all have an effect on our moods and brain function. It evokes both a physical and emotional response. So choosing the right colors for your work space has the ability to affect your productivity. For instance, blue has been said to illicit productivity. Mind you, too much of anything can be overwhelming, even color.

If you work from a company office: Bring in items from home that are a certain color that inspire you and keep you focused. Use postcards, magazine cutouts, even just blocks of color will do.

If you work from a home office: If you work from home, you have much more control over the colors around you. Consider repainting a wall, adding color to the table you work at, or hanging pictures that are dominated by a specific color.

Room Temperature

Most offices keep their temperatures around 65-68 Fahrenheit but it turns out that this might not be good for productivity. Warmer rooms actually make people more productive.

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If you work from a company office: Most offices are regulated by somebody else, so bring a space heater, sweaters and blankets to your work space.

If you work from a home office: Depending on the season, open the windows or adjust the heat or a/c so that you’re more comfortable and warm. Pile on the sweaters in the winter or add a space heater to your feet.

Room Scents

Like the color of the space you work in, our sense of smell can powerfully affect our mood, mindset and thus our productivity. Consider adding scents to your work space to jar your mind into focus when you start to notice yourself drifting off.

Try using these scents to stay focused:

  • Pine – Increases alertness
  • Cinnamon – Improves focus
  • Lavender – Helps to relax you during a stressful work day
  • Peppermint – Lifts your mood
  • Citrus (any) – Wakes you up  and lifts your spirits

If you work from a company office: Most people will not appreciate added scents to their work environment so you’ll need to keep it subtle. Keep essential oils in your bag or drawer and when you’re in need of a boost put a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton ball.

If you work from a home office: Use candles, incense or essential oils. You can also simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.

Noise Level

The noise level in a work environment can vary greatly depending on the size of the team you work with, the office design and company culture. But make no mistake, the noise around you affects your ability to stay on task. Not only can it be distracting, it can also raise stress levels making your ability to sustain productivity far more difficult.

If you work from a company office: Bring in noise cancellation headphones and use music services like Spotify or Songza and choose concentration boosting sounds, like white noise.  Find out if your office offers quiet work spaces for times when you need the utmost focus.

If you work from a home office: Sometimes the complete quiet can be as distracting as an office. Use a service like Coffivity to mimic the noise of a coffee shop, which has been said to help with concentration.

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Air Quality

Air quality can drastically affect our ability to focus and think clearly. Get this: OSHA estimates that the total annual cost of poor air quality in office environments costs employers $15 billion “due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.” Yeah, it’s serious business.

If you work from a company office: Talk to them about installing air filters. If there is a way to bring in fresh air through windows or doors, arrange to have them opened for at least a portion of the day. If nothing else, get a personal air filter to have on your desk or nearby.

Also, get a plant (or better yet, have the company buy and use more plants in the office!). Plants are great at filtering the air and providing clean, purified oxygen.

If you work from a home office: Open windows and doors and let in the fresh air. Install an air filter or get a portable air filter to keep near your desk. And, yes, you too should get a plant.

Different Spaces

If you can manage it, give yourself more than one space to work from. Putting yourself in a new space with different qualities and things to look at quite literally shifts your brain and helps you stay focused.

If you work from a company office: Many offices offer a variety of environments to work from: your personal space, lobbies, break out rooms, conference rooms, kitchens and eating areas and, if you’re lucky, they also provide lounge areas. Use all these spaces to vary your routine. Make sure your supervisor knows so they don’t think you’re slacking off and know tat you’re actually getting more done!

If you work from a home office: If you work at a desk, add a comfortable couch or chair to the room. If your space is less flexible or ultra tiny, think about more creative ways to change your work space. Rotate the pictures on your walls every couple of days. Sit on the other side of your desk. Get a lamp and multiple colored bulbs. Or go work at a café, the library or in a park.

Organization of People

Most employers organize employees around job function or in specific divisions. Instead, studies show that people are more creative and productive when they are sitting with colleagues that share the same goal or client. Not only are you able to get answers and generate solutions quicker, but because you’re directly accountable to the people around you, you’re more likely to stay on task and productive.

If you work from a company office: Ask your employer if you can experiment by clustering your group together in a conference room for a day or a week. Get feedback from everybody involved. Show the results. If your company won’t make permanent adjustments, perhaps they’ll allow you to work together a couple times a week when the conference room or lounge area is free.

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If you work from a home office: This is a little bit more difficult because when you work at home you’re not with colleagues. You can recreate a similar space digitally, however. Create a Skype group and have everyone logged in during working hours. You can do morning accountability and check-ins while remaining available for questions, solution-finding and general banter that promotes creativity.

Idea Storage

Ever been working hard when you’re suddenly distracted by a great idea? At first you try to push it away, but then the next thing you know you’re 20 pages deep into an online search on the topic. Ideas should be encouraged and cultivated, but when they come right in the middle of another task it can be incredibly distracting. Instead, create a place to store your ideas that’s easily accessed from your work space.

For both a company and home office: Keep pads of paper around, have a chalk wall, get a white board – when you have a spark of inspiration write it down right away to get it out of your head then return to the task at hand. Then, at the end of the day or when you have free time, collect all the ideas and review them. With a little time and space you can better decide if it’s worth pursuing or better to leave it on the back-burner.

Refreshment

Our brain needs nourishment to keep going, especially when we’re driving hard and staying focused. You can let a rumbling stomach go on for only so long before the brain shuts down. Assuming your different is like wanting your car to keep driving without having to stop and fill it with gas. A novel idea, but not realistic.

If you work from a company office: Pre-make snacks for the day and/or week. Or, bring in prepackaged snacks. Keep in mind that junk food has properties of diminishing returns so if you’re buying your food prepackaged think nuts, fruit, unsweetened yogurts, and hummus and crackers. Likely, your company provides coffee, tea and water so you don’t have to worry about supplying that for yourself.

If you work from a home office: If you work from home, this can be a key distraction. Try to reduce the number of times you walk into the kitchen each day. To do this, keep quick and   easy snacks pre-made or prepackaged ready and near your desk. Keep a water bottle nearby. And consider bringing a kettle into your office and stocking tea and coffee so you’re   not tempted to wander around the house and lose time poking through the pantry.

Bring in Nature

We are biological creatures, first and foremost. So we are deeply affected by our access to (or lack of) the natural world. It’s important for our psychological and physiological functioning, which directly affects our ability to be productive.

If you work from a company office: If you don’t have windows in or near your work space, bring in pictures of the outdoor world. Keep a picture of something natural as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks outdoors at lunch or in between major tasks. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh air and sunshine can boost our mood and shake out the doldrums. Be sure to add a plant to your desk, too!

If you work from a home office: Keep the shades open and, if you can, let in fresh air. If you can’t see anything natural out of your window, keep pictures of the natural world as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks. Or, just step outside and put your feet on the ground. Put plants in your office – research shows that having live plants in your office makes you more productive, happier and less stressed.

Digital Space

For most people, our primary work is housed within our laptops and our physical environment simply the backdrop to our digital lives. Make sure your computer has software that helps you sculpt the digital environment that best elicits productivity. Use focus apps like this one or this to decrease distractions. Or design your day using intervals with an app like this one to keep you at your peak focus throughout the day.

Featured photo credit: Phil Desforges via unsplash.com

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