Advertising
Advertising

5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results

5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results

Why are successful people successful? What makes them achieve things most other people can only dream about? In most cases it is not luck or a very special talent they have. Sure, it may seem that way, but when you look at it more closely (and you ask them), things turn out quite differently. Let’s explore.

When I study successful people by reading biographies and by talking with them, I see a clear pattern in their actions. The power of the five things below lies not in that you know them all, or you know some. The real strength is in hearing and seeing them again, and this time taking action. Apply what you read and grow.

Here are five things you should take into account in order to create amazing results in your life.

1. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Don’t do something today and stop doing it tomorrow. Don’t hop from one ‘life changing’ idea to the next because the other one is looking even more amazing to you. Being consistent, longer than a couple of days, will create changes in your life.

Advertising

Usually people say that on average habits are changed in about 3 to 4 weeks. Decide what you want to do, and do it for one month. I am sure after that month, you acquired a new skill, habit, attitude that will help you the rest of your life.

And with all this marathon living, you can of course take a few sprints every now and then. Just as long as you are never stopping or moving in the opposite direction.

2. Successful people do things other people don’t do.

I believe people are by nature lazy creatures. We go for the shortest route, even if that isn’t bringing us to where we want to go. Sounds strange? Then why are you reading lots of articles on making your life easier and 90% of the information is never used?

There are lots of amazing ideas, tips and techniques right under your nose, you just have to take action. Get up earlier, study, have discipline, don’t chase the money, take responsibility. Do that and you are about to get more out of life than most other people.

Advertising

3. Successful people know their outcome.

No matter what you change, know why you are changing and what you are changing into. Have a clear goal, and take the appropriate action. The moment you know your outcome, change will be a lot easier. Getting up earlier to write 10 pages for your book is easier when you know you want to write a book, right? Going on a diet is a lot easier when you want to fit in your wedding dress.

4. Successful people are willing to trade short term fun for long time happiness.

Understand that change normally comes with a little (or lots of) discomfort. This isn’t strange. Your body and brain will try to keep you in the state they are in. That is nature. What is in balance must stay in balance. And you are about to change the equilibrium in your life.

That simply has to hurt a little bit and cause stress. Get over it. You are not doing this to remain in the same situation you are in right now. You are doing this to improve your life and the lives of your family.

5. Successful people are almost just like other people.

Almost… and that is the big difference. They tweak their lives a little bit and make amazing results a reality. Big changes come from taking small steps consistently.

Advertising

successful-people-small-steps

    Perhaps this is what this entire article is all about. You can make your life amazing, just as long as you identify the small steps and take them, day in and day out, no matter what.

    Putting it Into Action

    In short, successful people are able to make simple and small changes to their lives that in time end up in amazing results. Think about some of the small things you can do right now, from today for the next 6 months.

    Action point 1: Become smarter. Stop watching TV 15 minutes earlier, or use the commercial break to read and study (this one will do wonders, especially for people who watch TV a lot).

    Advertising

    Action point 2: Do something more productive. Get up 10 minutes earlier and use that time for a couple of push-ups, crunches, preparing a good breakfast, or studying.

    Action point 3: Stop something bad in your life. For example stop eating that one candy bar at the end of the day. This may not save your health immediately, but by cutting back on your sugar intake each day or week, you will make a difference in your life. You can also replace the word candy bar with coffee, snacks, fast food, etc. and reduce other unhealthy eating habits.

    My question for you is simple: What small change will you make and what will be the outcome?

    More by this author

    If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful Take Control Back Over Your Smartphone 5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

    Trending in Productivity

    1 The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain) 2 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 3 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills 4 How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity 5 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

    Advertising

    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

    Advertising

    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

    Advertising

    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

    Advertising

    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

    More About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next