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7 Ways To Be One of the Supersmart People Who Always Succeed

7 Ways To Be One of the Supersmart People Who Always Succeed
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Do you ever feel like supersmart people are in their own private club? One that you could never penetrate. That doesn’t have to be the case. What you need is the secret sauce that they use to succeed. You can emulate what smart and successful do by implementing the following seven things that they swear by.

1. They know the power of networking.

Teaming up with other smart people is a key to their success. They attract, seek out and network with people who will add to their brand, knowledge and lifestyle. The success of World Domination Summit, founded by Chris Guillebeau and held every July in Portland, Oregon, highlights how important networking is. Each year up to 3,000 people gather to create new and meaningful connections.

2. They aren’t afraid to ask for help.

A successful person knows that there is always someone more knowledgeable or with a different perspective they can go to for help. They check their egos at the door and aren’t afraid to ask. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, is quoted as saying:

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“Sometimes you may simply need help from someone who knows you best. Some of the best business lessons I’ve learned have come from my mother. She always encouraged me to pursue my entrepreneurial interests when I was young, and when I got into trouble, she was the first person I turned to for help.” 

3. They schedule and take downtime.

A Harvard Business Review blog a few years ago stated how hard it was for workers to take downtime. Research showed that to be more productive you must take regular downtime. Even brief periods of downtime, like an afternoon nap, can make a big difference to your focus and energy. One of the most famous people in world history, Winston Churchill, protected his nap time and is quoted as saying:

“Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.”

Taking a break with a nap was so important to Churchill that he kept a bed in the Houses of Parliament!

4. They are always learning.

Supersmart people are avid book readers who never stop learning. They listen to podcasts, audiobooks or have a stack of physical books to read next to their bed. Derek Halpern of the hugely popular, 100,000+ readers, Social Triggers site is a voracious reader. He has stated that he reads at least a book a week and has been known to prepare for an interview by reading two books, nine academic papers and seventeen articles! Successful people know the power in educating their brain every day for new content. 

5. They regularly practice gratitude.

One thing that has had the biggest impact on people’s lives is realizing how powerful gratitude is and the importance of giving thanks. Oprah Winfrey told us this in the top 20 things she knows for sure. She quoted Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that will be enough.” Oprah tells us to:

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“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Schedule time into your day to be grateful.

6. They know when to pivot.

Do you quit or make a shift? Successful people are not afraid to make the tough decisions. Recently Danielle LaPorte, author of The Fire Starter Sessions and The Desire Map, shared the decision she made when she decided not to start a print magazine. She knew that continuing on with her dream would affect her focus and what was essential to how she runs her successful business. Knowing when to start, stop or deviate is key to being one of the supersmart people. 

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7. They do their homework.

People often say they listened to their gut, but to reduce guessing before making a big decision supersmart people do their homework. They read, research, ask for advice and get really clear on what they need to know before they make a decision.

 

Remember these seven ways to be supersmart. Start implementing them into your life and before you know it you will one of these supersmart people too!

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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.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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