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Home / Special Features / Articles / WHAT MAKES SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE TICK?


success-starts-hereBy Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider

Success is the result of learnable behaviors. Success can seem like a great mystery — some people are destined for it while others aren’t. But that’s probably not the case. While luck and genetics may play a role, there are certain learnable behaviors which make success more likely. Read on to find out what makes successful people tick:

1. They talk to themselves
Author Michal Stawicki says that, during research for his books on success, he discovered: “At the highest level of professional sports they consider skills and techniques a given. You can’t reach that level without them. What allows them to beat their opponents is not more time spent honing their skills, but more focus on perfecting their internal dialogue.” Meanwhile, other research suggests that talking to yourself like you’d talk to someone else in the same situation can help you deal with stressful experiences. Specifically, use the pronoun “you” or your first name instead of “I.” For example, “You can do it, John.”

journal2. They keep a journal
Several historical figures kept journals, including Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. But you don’t have to aspire to world domination to benefit from keeping a diary. Studies have found that journalling about thoughts and emotions helped college students deal with stressful events.

3. They meditate
Many consider meditation as a primary habit of successful people. Indeed, research has found that meditation has a number of mental and physical health benefits, from improving memory to increasing compassion to boosting the immune system.

4. They manage their emotions
Successful people are emotional people like others. But, they manage their emotions smartly. Mentally strong people are acutely aware of how their emotions influence their thoughts and behaviors, and they monitor the fluctuations in their emotions throughout the day.

5. They read
Many of the world’s most successful people, including Bill Gates, are avid readers. Investing legend Warren Buffett reportedly spends about 80% of his day reading. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg pledged to read a book every two weeks in 2015. Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said that he learned how to build rockets by reading books. Advice for becoming a bookworm? “Just read what you are interested in” and start with a few pages a day.

communication-dialogue6. They communicate clearly
Successful people are good communicators and they consciously work at it. You can start improving your communication behaviors by checking out various websites for the key skills in communication that include using the appropriate tone and body language and being direct and candid.

7. They practice self-control
Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control. The ability to delay pleasurable gratification in order to accomplish something else has been noted in most successful adults.

8. They stick to morning routines
Developing a morning routine can give structure to your day and energy to do everything that is important to you.

9. They value solitude
Successful people have some ‘me-time’ every day. According to psychotherapist Morin, mentally strong people don’t fear alone time because it’s a chance to reflect and replenish their energy. She recommends taking a few minutes every day to be alone with your thoughts to process what’s happening around you.

10. They’re conscientious
Successful people are typically highly conscientious. That means that they’re organized, responsible, and hardworking, and are able to control their impulses.
Research has found that conscientiousness is the only major personality trait that consistently predicts success, in terms of factors like income and job satisfaction. That’s partly because conscientious people are better at setting and achieving goals, especially in the face of obstacles.

steve-jobs-quote11. They’re persistent
Successful people are persistent about coming up with ideas. According to researchers, “The idea muscle can be enhanced if it is trained regularly. The highly successful are great masters in the field of generating new and great ideas. Just because they do it on regularly.” That observation goes along with scientists who say that your first thought is hardly ever your best one. Successful people know that, so they keep coming up with ideas until they finally hit the jackpot.

12. They’re self-aware — or at least they’re not overconfident
Successful people are self-aware: They know who they are, they have defined vision, and they know their strengths and weaknesses. Interestingly, research suggests that leaders who underestimate their own competence are the most effective and have the most engaged employees. Perhaps unsurprisingly, leaders who overestimate their own competence are the least effective.

13. They practice gratitude
The importance of gratitude is almost always a strong factor among the super successful.
Gratitude was especially important to Doug Conant, the former CEO of Campbell Soup. As Janice Kaplan writes in her book “The Gratitude Diaries,” throughout Conant’s tenure at the company, he sent more than 30,000 handwritten thank-you notes to staffers and clients. Apparently, the move paid off: When Conant took the reins at Campbell Soup, the stock price was falling and it was the worst performer of all the major food companies in the world. By 2009, the company was ahead of the S&P Food Group and the S&P 500.

alone-in-office14. They make time for ‘deep work’
Successful people block out time for “deep work”: They have rituals that help them maximize concentration, such as taking walks in nature, and working in an environment undisturbed by distractions. Deep Work has been defined as “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit, [which then] create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to duplicate.”
Deep work has helped fuel the success of people like Bill Gates, who said he used to stay in the office for days at a time without thinking anything of it. It has been found that dedication to deep work requires setting aside stretches of time each week (of say an hour or two) when you work with urgency and your concentration is not disrupted by anything, not even a brief moment of daydreaming or getting up for a cup of coffee.

15. They can say ‘no’
Progress comes from saying no to things that do not matter and do not add value. That observation recalls something psychotherapist Amy Morin previously told Business Insider: “Every time you say yes to something, you’re really saying no to something else.” And that something else might be the more important thing.
Just as important, successful people know how to say no to themselves. Warren Buffett’s famous productivity trick — that he reportedly taught to his pilot — involves listing the 25 most important things you want to do with your life and circling just five that you’ll devote all your attention to.

16. They exercise regularly
Most successful people stay fit and active by exercising for at least an hour a day. Exercise is the No. 1 habit successful people have in common. This is due to them knowing that to perform at their top level they need to be in top shape!

17. They don’t spend all day in the office
Successful people aren’t in the office all the time. That doesn’t mean they’re slacking, it means they’ve found somewhere else they can be really creative and productive. According to one survey, 80% is the ideal proportion of the work week to spend in an office — the rest should be spent working remotely.

18. They listen to others
If you want to be successful, “Listen more, talk less. Be attentive in every meeting. Hear everyone out, no matter how useless you think their ideas are.”
Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Local, says listening is the most important — and most underrated — skill in business and in life. “Remember that people care more about themselves than they care about you,” Kerpen writes in his book “The Art of People.” “People want to talk about themselves. Listening and letting people talk is key to winning them over in life, in business, and in all human relationships.”


Source: The above article has been edited for KAPATIRAN use. Should you be interested in more detailed information, the original article contains many website references on each success factor.

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