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7 Things Successful People Do to Keep Calm

7 Things Successful People Do to Keep Calm

Stress is a big part of too many people’s lives, and sufferers will benefit from taking a look at what’s causing their stress and what they can do to prevent it. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of research and a lot of common sense that isn’t being taken advantage of to help people stay calm. Here are seven particularly effective ways successful people keep calm.

1. They’re Appreciative.

The most successful people keep calm by valuing what they have, not constantly pining for something better, and by recognizing what they’re grateful for. According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, only one quarter of job success is because of your IQ. The other three-fourths is because of “how your brain believes your behavior matters, connects to other people, and manages stress.”

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2. They’re Optimistic.

Happy thoughts are likely the ones least riddled with stress, which is why successful people keep calm by focusing on them. In a LinkedIn post, TalentSmart president Travis Bradberry shared that 90% of the top performers in his study were very adept at managing emotions. Do what they do and think of something positive when you’re distracted or anxious, and dwell on it for a bit. That something positive could be an event you’re looking forward to, or a happy memory, or something similar. You’ll find that a little bit of daydreaming can do you a world of good.

3. They’re Patient.

Haste makes waste. Don’t waste your time being impatient when you can accomplish so much more if you just let things progress naturally. Learn to not be in such a hurry all the time. If you’re really feeling stressed out, just slow your day down a little bit. Schedule extra time for your tasks and keep yourself amused when you’re not working. You might not want to jump on the time-waster that is Facebook, but a quick diversion could be just what you need.

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4. They Work Hard.

When the brain is busy solving problems, it doesn’t have the resources to make you feel unsettled. Successful people keep calm by doing one of the things they do best: working hard. Focus on a task that demands your full attention if you’re trying to keep calm. If you don’t have an engaging task to do, find a way to make it engaging. Then immerse yourself in your work to such an extent that not only do you remain calm, the workday is also over before you know it.

5. They’re Not Working 24/7.

Successful people keep calm by leaving work where it should stay: at work. They disconnect for the day after they leave the office. That includes not bringing assignments home with you and even turning off the phone for a while. If you’re checking your email every five minutes, you never really went off the clock. You’re just extending your workday without any extra compensation for it.

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6. They Come Prepared.

Preparation is the key to success, and it’s also the key to a less stressful life. Successful people keep calm by being fully prepared for whatever they can possibly be prepared for. If you have a presentation to give, you’ll have a lot more luck avoiding stress if you finish and practice it in advance. A big reason people aren’t calm is because they aren’t ready for what they have to do that day, so always be ready.

7. They Feel Content.

Being at true peace, both with yourself and the world around you, is one of the most effective ways successful people keep calm. Contentment is by no means easy to achieve. It requires understanding yourself, understanding what’s within your power and recognizing what’s out of your control. There is no one right way to become content; just look at the thousands upon thousands of self-help books that try to show you how to get there. Keep trying things and something will eventually work. If you can teach yourself to be content, life and especially work will become a lot easier very quickly.

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Featured photo credit: brandbook.de via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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