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5 Crucial Principles To Make Both Your Professional And Personal Life Successful

5 Crucial Principles To Make Both Your Professional And Personal Life Successful

It’s never easy to balance your professional life and personal life. Dolly Singh, the acting Head of Talent at Oculus VR, has shared 5 principles to be successful in both professional and personal life on Quora:

Have you ever known someone who seems to be able to get everything they want? The ones who seem to breeze through life effortlessly, making up their own rules as they go along, unaffected to the mundane realities of everyday life?

Are some people just “luckier” than others, their roads already smoothly paved, helping them achieve their goals? And others are “unluckier,” with barriers cropping up for them out of nowhere, preventing them from achieving their goals?

It’s a slight variation on the age old question: Do we create our destiny, or are we victim to it?

As most age-old questions go, the answer isn’t simple, and more than likely lies somewhere in the middle. But no matter how your life is, you can make the most of what you have by not letting what you can’t do interfere with what you can do; and by taking note to some of the habits of the ‘lucky’ people in our lives.  Are there skills or attributes that enable some of their good fortune?

These people clearly have an ability to effectively court the opportunities and relationships they want in their lives, and when observed closely they do seem to use similar strategies and principles in their pursuits.

These Principles of Courtship can apply equally to both personal and professional endeavors. Whether you’re looking to land an amazing career opportunity, a key client, or that amazing friendship or relationship, following this basic set of principles will help you court the right opportunities, both in 2014 and beyond.

Principle 1: The Art of Pursuit

Effective pursuit is about observation, assessment, and calibration.

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Any good pursuit begins with doing your homework. You must know your goals and standards before you can hope to live up to them.

For example, if you see a company you want to work for, learn as much as you possibly can about the company’s history, current status, and future goals. This knowledge will give you credibility as you engage with the company and its network. The more detailed and thorough your effort at this initial stage, the stronger the foundation you will have built for the rest of your capture plan. Inadequate effort in this stage is why thousands of interview candidates each year fail to effectively answer the simple but critical question of “What do you know about our organization, and why do you want to work here?”.

Similarly, before you consider starting a relationship (serious or casual),  you should know who you are getting in bed with (pun intended), as those choices directly impact your health and safety. ‘Luck’ or success in this case is defined as a relationship in which both parties want the same things from one another and are adding positive energy to one another’s life.

First, focus on activities you personally enjoy. Then, branch out and try new activities you might find interesting. By focusing on yourself, you’ll increase the possibility of meeting someone and you’ll likely learn more about yourself through the experience. Once a potential trustee emerges, check for red flags: pay close attention to the nuances in their behavior, as well as their reputation among others and how they treat people close to them. In these details and subtleties often lay the keys to making your pursuit successful.

Observe the situations closely, assess yourself and the surrounding context, calibrate your capture plan accordingly.

Principle 2: The Impact of Energy

Confidence is the closest thing in this world to magic. 

The human brain is amazing. Its complexity and magnificence is unquestioned in science and religion alike; it synthesizes complex information and seemingly unseen cues to make dozens of decisions each instant without any awareness from us. These unconscious interpretations made by one human brain, in turn, become unconscious signals which impact the awareness and brains of others around them, setting off profound but nearly invisible domino reactions in every human exchange.

What drives these unconscious decisions? The same force that drives the rest of the universe: energy.

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A person’s energy impacts her mind, both conscious and unconscious, in profound ways. That energy is conveyed in everything about her being, and that energy has a profound impact on every human being she encounters. You’ll notice that many of the people we see as “lucky” share this commonality: they are confident in themselves and their cause, and that belief allows other people to feel drawn to believing in them as well.

The best way to alter our subconscious impression of energy is to consciously increase our confidence level. Confidence is not just a feeling, but rather reflects on our internal, core perceptions of ourselves — specifically, our value and competence as human beings. Confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy. To become a more confident person, you cannot continue with what you’re already doing; something has to change.

Even the world’s best public speakers did not come out of the womb knowing how to speak. They challenged themselves, took risks, and got scared. But instead of backing away from uncomfortable (but good) opportunities, they walked into them, fear and all.

Conversely, those who live with self-doubt also form a self-fulfilling prophecy with their internal negativity and darkness translating to their life and relationships; and many times they focus on blaming outside factors. Outside factors are inherently out of your control, so by placing blame there, this prevents a person from ever truly progressing to a healthier state.

Leaders are just normal people who habitually seized opportunity. You’ll gain expertise only when you step confidently into new territory. Act confident to become confident. Eventually, the more we practice at things, the better and more confident we become. We all have fear, and we all have causes we believe in. It’s our choice which one we allow to win in the end.

Another important key to confidence is remembering to take care of yourself! If a sports team fails to nourish and support its star players, it certainly shouldn’t expect to win any championships. Likewise, if you’re not taking out time to nurture the person who looks back at you in the mirror, then it will be more than just you who will suffer.

So before you start your path to a new career or new relationship, stop to do a gut check and find out where your confidence is coming from. Find out what truly defines you, why you are here, and whether you’re capable of doing what you came to do. By taking the chance to nourish your body and to know who you are, your energy and confidence will grow, preparing yourself for more joy in professional and personal relationships.

Principle 3:  The Wisdom of Surrender.

Never use the good to chase the bad.

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Take time to re-evaluate every so often, not only on how you are making progress on achieving your goal, but also whether your goal is worth the long-term investment.

During the first few weeks and months of any new engagement, the first months of a new job, a new client, or a budding romance, it’s critical to stay aware of your larger-scale needs and goals. Relationships or engagements where you are slowly being drained of energy in the early stages are not likely to blossom into the kinds of situations that lead to long-term prosperity.

Do not ignore red flags. Your time is one of the most precious resources of your life. Ensure that you’re getting what you need from all engagements, and those engagements are actually adding value and energy to your life. Your most closest relationships should leave you feeling both energized in your confidence level and challenged in your own character development. If it’s not, then the problems are not identified and addressed and that relationship will have a negative impact on your life.

People who value themselves don’t stay in relationships that deplete them of energy and joy. As human beings, we are limited. As with money and time, we have only a limited amount of energy to give. In order to have the greatest impact on the world, we must guard our energy, keeping an eye on how it is spent and how it is replenished.

Principle 4: Be the Driver of your Success.

To achieve success in personal and work relationships, define what success is. Then, bend the world to match that definition.

Set measurable, transparent, and, more importantly, agreed-upon goals for the relationship. You must be able to define and articulate what happiness or success would be, so that all parties are moving toward a common place. Any relationship without clear, on-going communication from each party is doomed to never achieving it. It is crucial to express to one another and understand one another’s expectations, needs, and definitions of success in the relationship.

Let’s say you started a new job. After the first few months, you’ve decided you like the team and organization, and you want to continue to invest in the opportunity. In this case, you should take some time to identify where you’d like to be in 12 months into the role, and should have professional, and on-going dialogue about it with your superiors. A good leader’s job is to enable your success, and unlock your potential, but they can only do so if you know your goals, and are taking active steps in achieving those goals that align with the company.

In a new personal relationships, be direct about what you want. If you are looking for casual fun, great — make sure your partner know. If you know you’d like to be married within the next couple of years, great — make sure your partner knows. Having all parties understand (or better yet, agree upon) one another’s goals is a requisite to any healthy relationship.

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Define success in your own terms, and then actively drive others toward that definition of success.

Principle 5: You Get What You Give.

In a highly interconnected world, the foundation you build today will define your success tomorrow.

Look for ways to provide value to everyone you can on a daily basis. These actions, if consistent become behaviors which are highly desirable and never go unnoticed forever. People who create value for others accumulate goodwill and respectability. That goodwill and respectability translates to introductions, which build your network over time. Your network, in turn, opens the door for introductions and opportunities for you to pursue.

In personal relationships, especially when social media blurs the line between our personal and public lives, reputation is more important now than ever. The world is large enough that, if you’re honest about what you really want, chances are you can find someone else who wants the same things. Honesty and respect are what most people want in relationships, so in order to get it, we must be ready and willing to give it.

We all face personal and professional challenges, and regardless of what we see in the lives of others, none of our roads have been paved perfectly smooth. Those who appear to be “lucky” in their lot in life are usually those who see every challenge as an opportunity, and consistently seek out ways to turn weaknesses into strengths. It is the energy with which they approach these challenges that begets their success.

By understanding these principles of courtship we can all have a better shot at making the most of the opportunities we have today, as well as pave the way for the opportunities of tomorrow.

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    Anna Chui

    Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2019

    How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

    How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

    Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen?

    I think we can all agree that no matter your ambitions, achieving success can be difficult; and over time, the daily grind can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

    Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.

    How do some people continually strive towards their personal goals year after year while others give up on them? How do those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much stacked against them?

    Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to success. If you haven’t read Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, you should. In it, she shows that “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls ‘grit.’” In other words, mental toughness plays a significant role when it comes to achieving goals.

    Sometimes, our goals wear us down and leave us feeling exhausted. Other times, our goals get difficult, and success seems impossible, so we lose hope, become discouraged, and want to quit.

    At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.

    Want to know the good news?

    No matter who you are, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop the mental toughness you need to be successful.

    All you need to do is learn to develop a positive mindset, focus on your why, and utilize the people around you for support.

    1. Develop a Positive Mindset

    If you’re going to increase your mental toughness, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset.

    According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.[1]

    That’s roughly 45,600 negative thoughts per day!

    Carrying around these negative thoughts is like going on a hike in the mountains with a backpack full of rocks. The hike is hard enough on its own, but having extra junk weighing you down is a recipe for failure.

    Sometimes, building mental toughness isn’t as much about building new strength as it is about saving your strength for the right tasks. Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the rocks out of the backpack instead of trying to get strong enough to carry the extra weight?

    Absolutely!

    But how can we learn to spot those 45,600 negative thoughts and get rid of them? How can we empty our metaphorical backpack?

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    Well, it gets a whole lot easier if you know what you’re looking for. Some of the most prominent types of negative thoughts are self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, and dwelling.

    Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs

    It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. Here are some examples:

    “I’m not smart enough to…”

    “I don’t have enough experience to…”

    “I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…”

    When we allow these self-limiting beliefs to flood our minds, negative self-talk runs rampant, and we crowd out our ability to think positively. We’re effectively working against ourselves.

    If you want to keep your mind strong on your path to success, you have to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back by realizing one key truth: self-limiting beliefs are thoughts, not facts.

    When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

    • “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”
    • “I may not have as much experience as someone else, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I have enough experience to get started. I’ll figure the rest out on the way.”
    • “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

    Get Rid of the All-or-Nothing Thinking

    Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking.

    All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was totally good or totally awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.

    But this isn’t true!

    If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!

    If you allow all-or-nothing thinking to rule your mind, you’ll be on cloud nine when you succeed, but you’ll beat yourself up when you “fail.” Acknowledging the shades of gray in between will allow you to see success more often and it will help you celebrate your smaller wins.

    When you recognize an all-or-nothing thought, remember to look for the positive in the situation. What did you gain by trying? What would you have missed out on had you not tried? Could you do better if you were to try again?

    Ditch the Dwelling

    Self-Limiting Beliefs and All-or-Nothing Thinking can lead to a bad case of dwelling on the negative. If you want to build some mental toughness and keep your mind strong, you have to ditch the dwelling.

    Every day, bad things happen to each of us, and while there’s nothing we can do to prevent that, we can control how we react to these situations.

    When we dwell on our misfortunes, we waste massive amounts of energy that we could be using to achieve our goals. When this happens, we’re more likely to quit altogether.

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    But that doesn’t mean you’re not mentally tough; it just means you’re misusing your energy.

    The next time something bad happens, it’s important to allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration, but work on reducing the amount of time you dwell on the situation.

    Easier said than done, right? Try these:

    1. Call a friend or mentor and talk it through with them. Get some outside perspective on your situation.
    2. Time block your dwelling by allowing yourself to dwell for no more than one hour.
    3. Then, tell yourself to move on, that you’re human, and you’re allowed to make mistakes or experience setbacks.
    4. If all else fails, find a good way to distract yourself until you can calm down and reexamine things with a clear mind.

    The faster you can focus on the positives and move past the problem, the quicker you can get back to achieving success in your life.

    Be Patient about the Process

    No matter which negative thoughts tend to run around your mind, working to replace them with positive thoughts can take time.

    Learning to spot self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, or dwelling is one thing, but learning to quiet those thoughts is another thing entirely.

    If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and try again. As you work towards improving your mindfulness and your mental toughness, remember that you’re going to get better with time.

    To make things a little easier, it helps to connect with your purpose.

    2. Connect with Your Purpose

    One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong ‘why’ for everything you want to do.

    If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a ‘why’ for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.

    Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution and things weren’t going well, maybe you even wanted to quit. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower. Maybe you told yourself that you didn’t have enough discipline.

    Here’s the truth: you just didn’t have a strong enough why.

    Simon Sinek has been spreading his message “Start with Why” across the globe.[2] In short, he says that:

    “Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.”

    One of the biggest drains on your mental energy is pursuing a goal or a task that you don’t have a ‘why’ for. This is when we tend to look for external motivation or question our willpower, but those aren’t the issues.

    Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.

    Find Intrinsic Motivation

    Intrinsic motivation is our innate desire to do something and it comes when we work towards something that satisfies ourselves above all else—not our parents or our bosses or our teachers.

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    Let’s say you think you want to quit smoking because you know it’s bad for you, but you really enjoy smoking. If you don’t truly want to quit smoking, it’s going to be nearly impossible, regardless of your willpower or mental toughness.

    But if you want to quit smoking because you just had a baby, and you don’t want your baby growing up around smoke, then that ‘why’ is going to give you intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than sheer stubborn willpower, and it’s far easier to maintain over the long haul.

    If you’re trying to develop mental toughness, connecting a why to everything you want to achieve will reduce the effort and energy it will take to achieve those things. Once you’ve found a strong why for all of your goals, you’ll find that you’ll have significantly more energy to pursue your more difficult challenges.

    3. Find Strength in Unity

    The final aspect of developing mental toughness is embracing the idea that you’re not in this alone. It’s a fact, anyone who’s ever achieved success in anything didn’t do so alone.

    Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft alone. Oprah didn’t build her network by herself. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone without a team. Michelle Obama didn’t implement the “Let’s Move” campaign on her own.

    Behind all of these successful people were countless other people who were there offering support, mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

    If you want to develop unmatched mental toughness, you need to understand that you don’t have to go it alone. Even the toughest Navy Seals have a team backing them up.

    If you want to stay strong in your endeavors, you need to build a team of supporters who will step in and back you up when it counts.

    Find a Mentor or Committee of Mentors

    The benefits of having a great mentor are far too many to list, but to boil it down to the basics, a mentor is someone who will help show you the path to success.

    A good mentor will help you discover your greatest strengths, spot and overcome your blind spots, and work through your weaknesses.

    If you’re struggling to deal with your internal negativity or with finding your purpose, talk it through with a mentor. Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees, and a mentor can help us take a step back and see the bigger picture.

    Here’s how to find the right mentor for yourself: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

    Recruit Some Cheerleaders

    If you want to stay strong, it never hurts to have a group of personal cheerleaders. Unlike mentors who are going to jump in and help you address your problems, a group of cheerleaders will help keep your spirits up.

    Even if you have a strong ‘why’ and a positive mindset, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. It doesn’t make you weak to need some help from time to time. Having a group of people cheering you on will make all the difference in the world.

    As you work towards your goals, tell a few close friends about what you’re doing, and when things get tough, tell them about it. And when they give you the pep talk you need, don’t resist their positivity or counter it with your self-limiting beliefs or your all-or-nothing attitude.

    Allow their optimism to refill your energy and use that energy to press on.

    Form an Accountability Group

    Cheerleaders are great, but sometimes we need someone to give us the kick we need to keep going. You might have a strong ‘why’ for running a marathon or losing 30 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; and trying to force yourself to follow through is a sure way to tax your mental energy.

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    Why not save some of your mental energy by forming an accountability group?

    Find a person or a few people who have similar goals, or at the very least, the need for an accountability partner. Then, form an agreement within the group to push each other every day.

    Even if your goals aren’t the same, accountability partners are great for giving us the push we need when we need it most.

    Regardless of which relationships you choose, sometimes we have to be able to work through things on our own. Mentors, cheerleaders, and accountability partners are a great way for us to combat our naturally negative mindsets, but occasionally we have to be able to pick ourselves back up.

    4. Learn to Pick Yourself Back Up After Setbacks

    Building a strong mindset and developing mental toughness isn’t easy! Anyone who’s ever achieved massive success knows that obstacles, setbacks, and failure are inevitable, and you’re no different.

    As you work on your goals, you’re going to face many ups and downs, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have mental toughness, willpower, or discipline.

    We all struggle. We all fail. It’s what we decide to do after we fail that truly counts.

    When you find yourself in a low spot, ask yourself these questions:

    • “Am I being too hard on myself?”
    • “Are negative thoughts such as Self-Limiting Beliefs or All-or-Nothing Thinking distorting my view?”
    • “What’s the positive side of this setback/obstacle/failure?”
    • “Why was this goal important to me? What was my purpose?”
    • “Is this goal still important to me? Do I still have a ‘why’?”
    • “Who can I ask for help? Who can mentor me or cheer me on? Who can help hold me accountable?”

    Asking yourself these questions is a great way to check in on your mindset. When we get lost in negative thinking or lose connection to our purpose, it’s far too easy to become discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we start feeling weak, maybe even a little hopeless.

    Also, this article provides some useful tips to help you get back on track: How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

    Tying it All Together

    Are you still with me? I know I’ve thrown a lot at you, from developing a positive mindset and combatting your internal voice to connecting with purpose and building a committee of mentors. It’s a lot to take it!

    But here’s the bottom line:

    A crucial part of developing mental toughness is learning to recognize these tendencies and taking action to correct them early on. Developing mental toughness is not about eliminating weakness, but learning how to deal with it and overcome it.

    No one is perfect, but when we focus on the right things, we can develop a mental toughness worthy of life’s biggest challenges.

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    Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

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