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8 Changes To Make If You Really Want To Be Successful

8 Changes To Make If You Really Want To Be Successful

Nobody wants to be broke or to be struggling financially. Failure is never a decent destination, and thus we all try to avoid it. Yet on the subject of success, it seems you are falling behind and not getting it right even when you feel you are doing everything right. What is that extra factor or determinant that distinguishes the mediocre from the successful? What do you need to change now to improve your chances of success and become the person you have always wanted to be? Perhaps what you need to do is to change your course and set sail on the right channel to success. This is how you start:

1. Develop absolute clarity

It is easy to blame the government, your boss, a poor economy, etc. for keeping you from success. Clarity is important in taking charge of your life and determining your success. Know what you want and be 100 percent clear about it. By doing this, you can clear out all distractions and energy burners that seem to be taking you in the wrong direction.

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2. Improve your relationships

It is not hard to figure out why certain people are failures – just stare at their circle of influence. If you are around five millionaires, you will be the sixth. If you are around five top athletes, you will be the sixth. If you are around five confident people, you will be the sixth. If you are around five intelligent people, you will be the sixth. Try to be the sixth man by improving your circle of influence. Make sure you draw closer to people that will drive you to success and not away from it.

3. Stop being busy rather be productive

People live busy lives and think that the more they work, the more successful they will become. They even take pride in the status of being busy. However, it is better for you to rethink the term “busy” or “hard work.” Being busy doesn’t make you more productive. Doing “smart” work is what’s necessary to be successful. Try to rearrange your priorities and either eliminate or delegate those activities that do not propel you to your goals.

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4. Change your attitude

Whether it is towards work or towards challenges and obstacles that you will face, it is important to have the right attitude to meet with what will be presented to you. The right attitude builds your belief system and increases your confidence, character, and energy. People who are unsuccessful show poor attitude and lack charisma. Improve your attitude and you will attract success.

5. Take care of your health

Many do not understand this. They take their mental and physical health for granted. They get less sleep and eat unhealthy meals. To boost your performance and productivity, you have to learn to take care of your health and offer your body what it needs to take you to success.

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6. Be organized

This means diligently following a routine and sticking to a schedule. Be organized, plan ahead, and stay consistent on the track to success. There will be many distractions; some can be really flattery and appealing, but success means sticking to what will work for you rather than what works for every other person.

7. Be passionate

Whatever you are doing must be done right. Strive for excellence rather than sticking to mediocrity. This is why passion is essential to becoming successful. You have to love and enjoy the process as you move on the journey to success. Every successful person is passionate about what they do.

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8. Act now

The difference between successful people and those who are not successful is that unsuccessful people wait for things to happen. You can’t afford that. You have to dive into the ocean to engage in the swim. There cannot be a more perfect time to start journeying to success than now. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. Go after your dreams.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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.

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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