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This Is How You Can Develop A Highly Successful Mind

This Is How You Can Develop A Highly Successful Mind

You want to be successful, but you don’t know how.

So you read all about the success of other individuals. You got lost in the world of tips, tricks, and courses for success.

None of them worked for you. At the end of it you were still left wondering, “what is it that I don’t have?”

You’re still looking now.

You’ve exhausted your edition of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. You’ve been through hours of listening to those motivational coaches say, “never give up, and you’ll get what you want!” You’ve done it all, and nothing is working.

You’re sick of it, right? You want something that you can start doing RIGHT NOW. You don’t want the “never give up” speech again.

So here is the reality.

Success is something within you. It’s your daily habits. Your morning routines. What you spend your time doing. It’s not these tips and tricks that others try to sell you, it’s the way you view the world!

Don’t give up hope. Here’s 10 habits that you can adopt that will form a successful mind.

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Start to Accept Changes

Change is the one constant you can rely on in life. When all else fails you, you can bet that change will be lurking around the corner. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be a smart thing to finally squash that fear of change all together?

Successful people are able to adapt to change. They need to be. If one idea fails, which many will, the successful mind can take that and adapt to the changes presented by the situation.

But how do you accept change?

The way you always have, you just get on with it. Know that it’s there, it’s happening all the time, and don’t let it catch you off-guard. Plan for it, expect it, embrace it, and use it to your advantage.

Start to Set Goals

Not just any goals, but achievable goals. You know when you draw up a check-list, and you tick each individual little job off it? Think back to the feeling of each of those ticks. Think about how relieving it is. Think about how empowered and motivated you feel for the next job.

It’s a pretty damn good feeling, right? Then staring at that completed list at the end of the day, knowing that you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to do for that day. Make your goals that size. Reach your goals every day. Allow that momentum to build, and empower you, every single day! (But don’t forget to schedule your empty check-list days too.)

Also, a study done by Gail Matthews, PhD at Dominican University, seems to support the idea that writing goals is scientifically proven to make us more successful!

Start to Commit to Things

Get rid of those commitment fears. If you want to be successful, you have to commit to things. A new job, a new partner, a new exercise regime, a new magazine subscription, whatever it is — you need to commit!

If you can’t commit when things are going well, you’re going to abandon ship and run a mile the moment you hit some turbulence. This won’t lead you to success. It can’t. You’re not sticking around long enough to reach it.

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There’s no real easy way to do this. Though weighing up the cost of the commitment versus the rewards can often be a good start. Regardless, however you decide to face up to it, the end result is the same. You start committing.

Start to Identify Your Purpose

A purpose is the fast-track to success. With your purpose in mind, much like the achievable goals, all that hard work seems a lot more appealing to overcome. When things get rough you can just sit there and say, “Why are you doing this again?” and your purpose will always serve as the motivation you need.

So how do you find your purpose? Answer these simple questions (brutal honesty required):

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want from life?
  • What is it you have that others will benefit from receiving?
  • How are you going to get there?

Start to Believe in You and Your Goals

It’s timeless advice really. You’ve heard it a million times before, but this time you need to let it sink in. If you want to be successful, you have to believe in yourself.

Don’t believe in yourself because it’s your destiny to be successful. Don’t believe in yourself because you’ve got a foolproof plan. Don’t believe in yourself because you really want it. These are fairy tales spun to us, with no real serving purpose whatsoever.

Believe in yourself because you know that you’re going to put in the work. Believe in yourself because you know, as long you’re still breathing by tomorrow, that you will continue to work towards where you want to be. Believe in yourself because you know you’ll overcome the next hurdle you’re presented with.

With this level of self-belief, anything is achievable. You just have to keep going until you get there.

Start to Cultivate Patience

Another timeless piece of advice, inexcusable to leave out of anything discussing success. You need to have patience. Yes some things can happen overnight, but these are often the smaller successes.

It doesn’t matter what it is you want to achieve, knowing how to wait will be a part of it. A successful blog doesn’t launch with thousands of subscribers overnight. A powerful novel doesn’t get written in a day. A superstar fitness model doesn’t miraculously gain his or her physique in 24 hours.

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Success takes time. You just have to keep taking every step you can towards it.

Start to Identify Your Downfalls (Then Do Something about Them)

No successful mind is successful if it cannot see where it falls short. It is only in the identification of the shortcoming that it could ever have the potential to be addressed. Many people are their own worst critic though, so it’s not hard to see what needs work.

The hard part is putting in the work. Knowing you’re lazy and doing something about the laziness are two very different things. To be successful you would have to identify that laziness, and then adopt a proactive solution to it. Just saying, “yeah I’m lazy,” isn’t going to get the work done.

The last, and maybe the hardest, part to it all is showing yourself compassion. You’re not going to get it absolutely perfect first try. That’s okay. You’ve got a lot of time left. As long as you’re actually doing something about your downfalls, other than complaining, you’re probably ahead of most.

Start to Identify the Growth in ‘Failure’

Do you know what almost every successful person has in common?

They’ve failed.

Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers. Stephen King threw his career-launching manuscript in the trash, though luckily his wife pulled it out. Walt Disney was told he had no imagination.

Did any of these give up?

Well okay, Stephen King did for a moment, but the point is they failed and didn’t give up. Instead here they are, names known by almost every household. These failures only ever spurred them on to become incredibly successful people. So see your ‘failure,’ learn from it, grow from it, and come back better.

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The only thing stopping you from trying again is you.

Start to Practice Emotional Creativity

Emotional creativity, better known as empathy, is the backbone of success. To be able to relate, to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, is what makes you a successful human being.

There’s various reasons why, such as:

  • To be able to serve people what it is they want, which is the key to many successful businesses and careers, you have to relate to their situation. If you lack the emotional creativity to empathize with their situation, you won’t connect well with them.
  • If you’re on your pursuit for success and you’re going to have to climb over some people’s heads, how are you going to stay human doing that? By relating to them. Are you willing to crush other people to get where you want to be? Can you live with that decision? You’ll only know by empathizing.
  • Successful people, at least many of them, are likable. They’re likable because you can relate to them. You can relate because they’re creative enough, emotionally, to appeal to you!

Plus, just as a general benefit, empathy makes you a better human being overall. Putting yourself in someone’s situation is going to lead to better behavior, from you, when it comes to dealing with said people. If you’re not sold on empathy, just read this Psychology Today piece.

Start to Meditate

With the madness of success comes the desperate need for peace. As a successful person, you’ll likely be making stressful decisions every day. If you can’t manage that stress, it’ll dominate you.

Luckily, meditation is here for successful you. With empirically proven health benefits, as outlined in this JAMA article, it’ll help reduce the stress and anxiety of being successful!

So take a couple of minutes out of your day, and really let go. Hit the pause button on everything. It’ll all still be there when you come back, but find time to really just be with yourself. Otherwise that stress could eat you alive.

So there it is. Now all you’ve got to do is put them into practice. Are you ready for success?

Let us know your top tips for the successful mind below.

Featured photo credit: Malcolm Gladwell via thepolitic.org

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Last Updated on September 30, 2019

How To Write Effective Meeting Minutes (with Examples)

How To Write Effective Meeting Minutes (with Examples)

Minutes are a written record of a board, company, or organizational meeting. Meeting minutes are considered a legal document, so when writing them, strive for clarity and consistency of tone.

Because minutes are a permanent record of the meeting, be sure to proofread them well before sending. It is a good idea to run them by a supervisor or seasoned attendee to make sure statements and information are accurately captured.

The best meeting minutes takers are careful listeners, quick typists, and are adequately familiar with the meeting topics and attendees. The note taker must have a firm enough grasp of the subject matter to be able to separate the important points from the noise in what can be long, drawn-out discussions. And, importantly, the note taker should not simultaneously lead and take notes. (If you’re ever asked to do so, decline.)

Following, are some step-by-step hints to effectively write meeting minutes:

1. Develop an Agenda

Work with the Chairperson or Board President to develop a detailed agenda.

Meetings occur for a reason, and the issues to be addressed and decided upon need to be listed to alert attendees. Work with the convener to draft an agenda that assigns times to each topic to keep the meeting moving and to make sure the group has enough time to consider all items.

The agenda will serve as your outline for the meeting minutes. Keep the minutes’ headings consistent with the agenda topics for continuity.

2. Follow a Template from Former Minutes Taken

If you are new to a Board or organization, and are writing minutes for the first time, ask to see the past meeting minutes so that you can maintain the same format.

Generally, the organization name or the name of the group that is meeting goes at the top: “Meeting of the Board of Directors of XYZ,” with the date on the next line. After the date, include both the time the meeting came to order and the time the meeting ended.

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Most groups who meet do so regularly, with set agenda items at each meeting. Some groups include a Next Steps heading at the end of the minutes that lists projects to follow up on and assigns responsibility.

A template from a former meeting will also help determine whether or not the group records if a quorum was met, and other items specific to the organization’s meeting minutes.

3. Record Attendance

On most boards, the Board Secretary is the person responsible for taking the meeting minutes. In organizational meetings, the minutes taker may be a project coordinator or assistant to a manager or CEO. She or he should arrive a few minutes before the meeting begins and pass around an attendance sheet with all members’ names and contact information.

Meeting attendees will need to check off their names and make edits to any changes in their information. This will help as both a back-up document of attendees and ensure that information goes out to the most up-to-date email addresses.

All attendees’ names should be listed directly below the meeting name and date, under a subheading that says “Present.” List first and last names of all attendees, along with title or affiliation, separated by a comma or semi-colon.

If a member of the Board could not attend the meeting, cite his or her name after the phrase: “Copied To:” There may be other designations in the participants’ list. For example, if several of the meeting attendees are members of the staff while everyone else is a volunteer, you may want to write (Staff) after each staff member.

As a general rule, attendees are listed alphabetically by their last names. However, in some organizations, it’s a best practice to list the leadership of the Board first. In that case, the President or Co-Presidents would be listed first, followed by the Vice President, followed by the Secretary, and then by the Treasurer. Then all other names of attendees would be alphabetized by last name.

It is also common practice to note if a participant joined the meeting via conference call. This can be indicated by writing: “By Phone” and listing the participants who called in.

4. Naming Convention

Generally, the first time someone speaks in the meeting will include his or her name and often the title.

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For example, “President of the XYZ Board, Roger McGowan, called the meeting to order.” The next time Roger McGowan speaks, though, you can simply refer to him as “Roger.” If there are two Rogers in the meeting, use an initial for their last names to separate the two. “Roger M. called for a vote. Roger T. abstained.”

5. What, and What Not, to Include

Depending on the nature of the meeting, it could last from one to several hours. The attendees will be asked to review and then approve the meeting minutes. Therefore, you don’t want the minutes to extend into a lengthy document.

Capturing everything that people say verbatim is not only unnecessary, but annoying to reviewers.

For each agenda item, you ultimately want to summarize only the relevant points of the discussion along with any decisions made. After the meeting, cull through your notes, making sure to edit out any circular or repetitive arguments and only leave in the relevant points made.

6. Maintain a Neutral Tone

Minutes are a legal document. They are used to establish an organization’s historical record of activity. It is essential to maintain an even, professional tone. Never put inflammatory language in the minutes, even if the language of the meeting becomes heated.

You want to record the gist of the discussion objectively, which means mentioning the key points covered without assigning blame. For example, “The staff addressed board members’ questions regarding the vendor’s professionalism.”

Picture a lawyer ten years down the road reading the minutes to find evidence of potential wrongdoing. You wouldn’t want an embellishment in the form of a colorful adverb or a quip to cloud any account of what took place. Here’s a list of neutral sounding words to get started with.

7. Record Votes

The primary purpose of minutes is to record any votes a board or organization takes. Solid record-keeping requires mentioning which participant makes a motion — and what the motion states verbatim — and which participant seconds the motion.

For example, “Vice President Cindy Jacobsen made a motion to dedicate 50 percent, or $50,000, of the proceeds from the ZZZ Foundation gift to the CCC scholarship fund. President Roger McGowan seconded the motion.”

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This vote tabulation should be expressed in neutral language as well. “The Board voted unanimously to amend the charter in the following way,” or “The decision to provide $1,000 to the tree-planting effort passed 4 to 1, with Board President McGowan opposing.”

Most Boards try to get a vote passed unanimously. Sometimes in order to help the Board attain a more cohesive outcome, a Board member may abstain from voting. “The motion passed 17 to 1 with one absension.”

8. Pare down Notes Post-Meeting

Following the meeting, read through your notes while all the discussions remain fresh in your mind, and make any needed revisions. Then, pare the meeting minutes down to their essentials, providing a brief account of the discussion that summarizes arguments made for and against a decision.

People often speak colloquially or in idioms, as in: “This isn’t even in the ballpark” or “You’re beginning to sound like a broken record.” While you may be tempted to keep the exact language in the minutes to add color, resist.

Additionally, if any presentations are part of the meeting, do not include information from the Powerpoint in the minutes. However, you will want to record the key points from the post-presentation discussion.

9. Proofread with Care

Make sure that you spelled all names correctly, inserted the correct date of the meeting, and that your minutes read clearly.

Spell out acronyms the first time they’re used. Remember that the notes may be reviewed by others for whom the acronyms are unfamiliar. Stay consistent in headings, punctuation, and formatting. The minutes should be polished and professional.

10. Distribute Broadly

Once approved, email minutes to the full board — not just the attendees — for review. Your minutes will help keep those who were absent apprised of important actions and decisions.

At the start of the next meeting, call for the approval of the minutes. Note any revisions. Try to work out the agreed-upon changes in the meeting, so that you don’t spend a huge amount of time on revisions.

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Ask for a motion to approve the minutes with the agreed-upon changes. Once an attendee offers a motion, ask for another person in the meeting to “second” the motion. They say, “All approved.” Always ask if there is anyone who does not approve. Assuming not, then say: “The minutes from our last meeting are approved once the agreed-upon changes have been made.”

11. File Meticulously

Since minutes are a legal document, take care when filing them. Make sure the file name of the document is consistent with the file names of previously filed minutes.

Occasionally, members of the organization may want to review past minutes. Know where the minutes are filed!

One Caveat

In this day and age of high technology, you may ask yourself: Wouldn’t it be simpler to record the meeting? This depends on the protocols of the organization, but probably not.

Be sure to ask what the rules are at the organization where you are taking minutes. Remember that the minutes are a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said at the meeting.

The minutes reflect decisions not discussions. In spite of their name, “minutes,” the minutes are not a minute-by-minute transcript.

Bottom Line

Becoming an expert minutes-taker requires a keen ear, a willingness to learn, and some practice, but by following these tips you will soon become proficient.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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