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20 Thoughts That Will Lead You To Great Success

20 Thoughts That Will Lead You To Great Success
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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 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.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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