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How A Healthy Dose Of Narcissism Could Help You Succeed

How A Healthy Dose Of Narcissism Could Help You Succeed

Narcissism is often viewed as a negative attribute, at best it’s a common characteristic shared by the bad guys in movies an television. Jennifer Foster of Wall Street Insanity leads a discussion on the positive impacts narcissism can have on your success:

Narcissism. People use the word all the time… usually in a negative way… without really understanding the meaning of it. This term, generally speaking, is used to describe a person that is self-seeking, self-absorbed, and who largely puts their own well-being as top priority in life. The term has its origin in a Greek mythological story of a man, named Narcissus, who falls in love with himself after looking at his reflection in a pool of water.

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But what does all this have to do with being an entrepreneur and a leader of innovation? Believe it or not, being a narcissist leads to success in business and isn’t as bad of a thing as everyone tries to make it out to be. Why? Largely because starting a business, running a corporation, and working for yourself takes dedication, guts, determination, and truly being in love with your own ideas enough to pursue them heavily. In order to go from an average Joe, who has big plans, to a successful entrepreneur who moves and shakes the world, there has to be some amount of self-service.

Anyone who has ever stepped out of the ordinary and took a flying leap into the extraordinary unknown had to have a reason for doing so. Let’s be honest… no one wakes up on a Tuesday morning, decides to instantaneously throw caution to the wind, and becomes an entrepreneur. No one invests every penny they have, works 80 plus hours a week, and mortgages everything they own just for the hell of it. No, people who do these kinds of things almost always have spent some time, like Narcissus, staring into the pool of life and falling in love with their reflection. They have calculated their own worth and found it to be more valuable than everyone gives them credit for. They have kicked their own ass into gear, become their own cheering squad, and made the decision to show the world what they already know to be true… that they are great.

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But the need for narcissism doesn’t stop here at all. Once you have decided that you can… and will… do something epic, you have to be able to sell it to the world. And who better to do this than someone who loves themselves a little too much? It seems that the best self promoters are those who have narcissist tendencies. They aren’t afraid to talk about what they are doing, demand a fair price for their work, and they don’t usually let rejections spoil their ambition. If ten thousand people say no, they just head back to the pool, rekindle their self-love, and keep looking for the person who will give them the chance they deserve. Arrogant? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely!

But what happens to a narcissistic person who finally achieves what they want? What becomes of them when they have to take on a leadership role that requires them to promote and help others under them? Simply put, their narcissism keeps them productive and always pushing those under and around them towards accomplishment. Narcissistic individuals make wonderful leaders because they know what they want, they don’t take shit from people who attempt to manipulate them, and they closely care for and protect those that contribute to their success. They are generally not moved by circumstances and they keep the morale and confidence high within their camp. People want to follow and devote themselves to a winner and a narcissist always believes themselves to be just that.

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Finally, narcissism keeps a person focused and goal oriented. Once a narcissist has made a decision, there really is very little that will halt their progress. Even traits like compulsion and impatience have a way of propelling a person to the top of the world, simply because they believe that they belong there and are entitled to that place. Narcissists know what they want out of life and they use whatever tools they have at their disposal to make it happen.

In closing, I am reminded of something that I once read about former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. This entrepreneurial genius, it seems, was also a bit of a narcissist. In the book, The Real Genius Of Steve Jobs, he is described as a complicated and exhausting man. One line from the book reads, “He gets stopped for driving a hundred miles an hour, honks angrily at the officer for taking too long to write up the ticket, and then resumes his journey at a hundred miles an hour. He sits in a restaurant and sends his food back three times. He arrives at his hotel suite in New York for press interviews and decides, at 10 P.M., that the piano needs to be repositioned, the strawberries are inadequate, and the flowers are all wrong…” While these behaviors may seem extreme to some, I like what Malcolm Gladwell, staff journalist for the New Yorker, had to say about his personality: “The great accomplishment of Jobs’s life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies – his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness – in the service of perfection.”

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So, if you have found yourself spending a little too much time looking in the pool because you like what you see so well, don’t be afraid. Let your self-loving, narcissistic ways drive you to the top of the food chain and to success.

Why Narcissism Leads To Success | Wall Street Insanity

Featured photo credit: Enthuan via flickr.com

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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