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5 Important Elements Of Success People Seldom Mention

5 Important Elements Of Success People Seldom Mention

You might be expecting me to write something basic about patience, integrity, humility, honesty, discipline, and other qualities that might make up a successful person. If you’re looking for an article like that, you’ll find them everywhere. This article is different. It’s not meant to talk about one word or one quality of successful people in a generic sense and re-define what those things mean for you. This articles purpose is to help you re-define what your personal success is and how you define yourself.

There are elements of success people seldom mention, and sometimes those things have nothing to do with the present or the individual. Below, feel free to read about those five elements.

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1. Your job isn’t your success.

You are your success, and what you’re successful in will vary. It doesn’t have to be your job. It could be your family, it could be your volunteer work, or your community service.  Success is multi-faceted.  In addition, your job may not be a direct reflection of you, your greatest strengths, or the best use of your time. Your job might not enable you to contribute to the world in a way you would like, yet so many people define themselves by their jobs, or their next big promotion. Success is a lifestyle and an attitude.

2. Failure is going to happen to you. Just because you fail at something, doesn’t mean you are a failure.

I’ve only failed one class in my life: geometry. I did my best, and I tried hard, enrolling in tutoring and after school classes to help boost my grade. Failing, I thought, would be unacceptable and earth-shattering. I thought I’d be too embarrassed to ever be able to discuss it, l and yet here I am. Do you know what I learned? I learned it wasn’t the end of the world. I learned what I wasn’t good at. I learned where I was weak and I used those insights to make myself stronger and better educated about myself.

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Failure is nothing more than useful feedback. You don’t have to be the best at everything to be the best at something. Sometimes we learn from the things we do poorly or the things we fail to do moreso than the things we excel in.

3. People will always see your successes. They may never know about your sacrifices.

There will always be people who think you had it easy. There were always be people who identify with you and think you had it rough. They are both wrong, and the answer is usually somewhere in the middle and defined by the individual. The truth of the matter is, no one else is going to really know how much you had to give up or overcome to get to where you are. It’s easy to think being successful is easy when the version of you people are seeing is the person who made it through the storm.

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When push comes to shove, their opinions don’t matter. What matters is what you think and feel about yourself. When you feel good about yourself and your own unique purpose in life, everything falls into place.

4. There are people who aren’t going to think you’re successful, no matter what you think of yourself or how you feel.

Ignore people like this. They are usually miserable themselves. There will always be people who like to gossip or speak poorly of someone else trying to get by and follow their dreams. People will tell you your goals are stupid, your dreams are unrealistic, and the money won’t follow. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong. The only thing that matters is that you don’t base your final choices off of them.

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5. Sometimes it’s about who you know.

In some respects, certain types of success have to do more with who you know as opposed to how hard you work, hustle, or study. Many people will tell you so long as you work hard, anything is possible, and while anything being possible is true, it isn’t always probable. Sometimes people have a better time, or easier time because they have good mentors or they knew the right people or joined the right clubs or had the right connections. Sometimes success is a collaborative effort, not just something we become on our own.

Featured photo credit: The Auditorium at the Educational Center of Hallmark Institute of Photography, located at 27 Industrial Blvd, Turners Falls, Massachusetts/Tfman13 via commons.wikimedia.org

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Emina Dedic

TEFL Instructor, Traveler, Professional Writer, Model

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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