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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 Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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    Last Updated on April 22, 2021

    How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

    How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

    Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

    Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

    In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

    One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

    Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

    Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

    Motivation Is Not the Answer

    How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

    If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

    We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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    Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

    Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

    How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

    Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

    1. Define What a Win Looks Like

    In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

    Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

    Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

    When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

    4 Steps to Define a Win
    • Know the outcome you desire.
    • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
    • Write the outcome down.
    • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

    Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

    As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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    Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

    2. Evaluate Your Activity

    Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

    Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

    Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

    Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

    • Do now
    • Plan to do it later
    • Delegate to someone else
    • Delete it

    Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

    • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
    • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
    • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
    • Does this activity have to be done at all?

    Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

    3. Prioritize Your Calendar

    If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

    First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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    It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

    “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

    Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

    “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

    Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

    It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

    4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

    We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

    Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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    Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

      But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

      “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

      Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

      Use these questions to reflect on your day:

      • What went well?
      • What didn’t go well?
      • What can I change?
      • What do I need to start doing?
      • What do I need to stop doing?

      The Bottom Line

      Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

      Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

      “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

      Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

      That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

      More on Creating Healthy Routines

      Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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