We have been studying several successful people and as the year comes to a close, it is apt to look at what their philosophies in life are and what makes them successful.
- People don’t care as much as you think
Most of our anxiety comes from worrying about what others might think of us. The truth is that they don’t. They are more preoccupied about what others think of them. This gives some people a lot of freedom to do what matters most without being held back by fear of ridicule or rejections.
- Money wont make you happy
At the risk of sounding trite, this is one of the top things a person living in the modern world need to grasp very quickly. Many have squandered their lives away seeking that elusive joy through wealth accumulation only to realize at the end that it was all a cruel illusion. Success is not just about monetary achievement.
- Rhetoric is powerful
Knowing how to speak is important, but knowing how to elicit certain responses from people is powerful. This is done by understanding body languages and personal nuances that only comes with lots of human interactions. Successful people take time to understand their stakeholders.
- Go beyond what is required
All of life is a competition. In our modern setting, we are shielded from this harsh reality. We may not be fighting each other with spears and swords for the next meal but we compete with others for our jobs. Parents compete with each other to get their kids into better schools. To win, successful people have to do more and/or better than their competitors and most of the time that means going beyond what is required of them.
- To grow, you have to be uncomfortable
You can’t hope to improve your skills if you don’t challenge yourself. Successful people set audacious goals that stretch their capabilities. They are wary of becoming too comfortable. That is almost a certain sign that growth have stopped. Always strive to be a little uncomfortable and a little uncertain.
- Resurface and connect with people once in a while
It is good to keep your head down and work as hard as you can but successful people often take time out to surface once in a while to reconnect with those that matters to them.
- Live in the present
We are always rushing from one appointment to the next. Even when we are on holiday, we would be dashing around and missing all the experiences along the way. There is nothing in the future for you if you short change the present.
- Mix with people that are different from you
Mingle with people similar to you and you’ll end up in an echo chamber. That is a quick way to lose perspective of the real world outside. Successful people like to meet others outside of their industries and cultures to find to new ways of tackling problems.
Bottomline: You can’t do anything if your body is uncooperative. Train your body to be strong and your mind to exert greater control. Most successful people I have interviewed are long distance runners, cyclists or swimmers. In other words, they take care of their health.
- Guard your reputation jealously
If there is one thing that you need to be overprotective about, it is your reputation. Don’t let others tarnish it and always make sure that your actions are in line with the reputation you are trying to build.
- Don’t make decisions when you are angry
An angry person is a reckless person. Don’t let your anger dictates your actions.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
Our brain might be the most powerful thing we know but it has limited energy and bandwidth. Focus on the bigger things and let smaller inconsequential stuff slide. It is not worth your time.
- Practice makes perfect
There are no shortcuts and no magic bullet. To be competent at something, we need to clock at least 10,000 hours doing it.
- Nothing is perfect
And talking about practicing, people need to realize that there no such thing as perfect. We can always improve on things. The trick is to know when it is good enough and move on to newer, greater stuff.
- Everyone is afraid
We are all afraid. That interviewer is afraid to ask you silly questions. That lecturer is afraid that you might find him uninteresting. The fact is that we all have our own insecurities and fears. The successful ones accept their fears and keep their anxiety from holding them back.