How Your Habits Can Help Determine Your Success and Potential
Everyone wants to achieve something. Every person has aspirations, be those short or long term ones.
We all strive towards something and do many things in order to achieve it.
Almost always, these tendencies require us to give them time to be realized and to dedicate our energy to them. The process becomes an integral part of our lives.
How do we make this happen?
They are an indivisible part of our lives, but so are our habits.
Are they in any way connected?
Can our habits determine our success and potential?
Yes, they are!
And yes, they can!
Read on to find out more.
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
What is a success?
Take a moment and think about this.
Are you successful? If you are, what is your proud accomplishment? If you are not, what is it that you need to fulfill in order to feel this way? Who is the successful person you look up to?
Let us deal with the question of what is a success in the first place.
The answers vary substantially from one to another person. For some, success implies business or financial success.
For others, it is their possessions. For yet others, it is having a balance between work and private life.
‘The survey, which was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Strayer, interviewed 2,011 Americans ages 18 and up and found that 67% of surveyed Americans associate success with achieving personal goals; 66% cited “good relationships with friends and family”; and 60% said “loving what you do for a living.”’
‘When it comes to our careers and our views on success, we are less materialistic than you might expect, with just 24% of Britons measuring their success by the things they own and only 33% of us thinking that fulfillment in life is achieving a prominent position in your career.
85% of respondents in Britain think it is more important to have a good work-life balance than to have a successful career, a massive difference from emerging markets.’
CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL PERSON
Despite the subjective understanding of the term success, all the people who share this quality have some traits in common.
If you want to be successful, you should include these in your personality kit.
Note that these are not innate – even if you feel that you don’t have some of these traits, it is only a matter of practice and making them a regular part of your everyday life.
1. Aspiration and Motivation to Succeed
At every moment in life, you should have one or more goals you want to achieve. These aspirations will keep you on your toes and give you a clear view into the future.
They are the checkpoints, which will lead to the ultimate goal of reaching the wanted success.
It is advisable never to lose motivation. If you feel that your aspirations are fading or that your motivation is melting away, try applying a small change to your goals.
You can do this by switching the direction in which you are going at the moment or breaking your immediate goal into a few smaller ones which are easier to achieve.
2. Willingness to Change
A person with this drive is always ready to grow professionally and personally.
Gaining new skills and knowledge which are helpful in obtaining the position you want are crucial for success.
You should be open to tasks which are not what you expected.
Reaching such an obstacle is a good opportunity for you to grow. You grow in the field you are pursuing by managing a newfound problem, learning a new skill, or gaining new knowledge.
You also grow as a person – you learn to deal with a new situation and to remain calm and collected in the face of stress and pressure.
3. Taking Risks
A person who takes risks is always on the lookout for new and better opportunities.
These often seem unsafe and uncertain.
However, if you want to achieve success, it is sometimes necessary to take a leap of faith and dive into the unknown.
Even if the odds are not on your side, this is not the reason to give up without even trying.
If you have enough knowledge of the field, you are in, or if you have enough trust in people around you, it is acceptable to give it a try.
It can be anything between accepting a surprising job opportunity and being unexpectedly honest with a close person.
Being disciplined is one of the most important characteristics of a successful person.
Achieving success is a matter of hard work, and no hard work is effective (or efficient, for that matter) without self-discipline.
Having a timetable, a schedule, or a plan in front of you, gives every task, be it the smallest one, a sense of purpose, and following that plan is a sure step towards great success.
People with a high level of self-discipline are always focused on their goals. They don’t waste time and also have enough time for the planned activities.
5. Decisiveness and Not Giving Up
Strong will leads the way to success. If you want to stay on this path, it is inevitable to make decisions. Some of them are easy; others are hard; some of them are right, other ones are wrong. But all of them are necessary.
When hard times come, your first instinct usually tells you to run, to avoid unpleasant situations. However, if you manage to dodge this very instinct, you will grow as a person and as a leader. Not giving up is another key to success.
Successful entrepreneurs are those whom you should look up to. If you know any one of them, have a chat with them, and they will surely give you very useful pieces of advice.
SUCCESS AND HABITS?
What are habits in the first place?
They are the activities that you do almost or completely without thinking about them.
Not paying conscious attention to the steps that you take in order to complete these activities makes room in your brain for thinking about other things while you perform them.
Although this is a good thing, it has a bad side. If you want to change a habit, it is not easy because the neural pathways which are formed with those habits are very hard to be replaced.
Nevertheless, it is possible! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
So, how is becoming and being successful related to your everyday habits? What role do your habits have in you reaching your potential?
The answer is that they surely are extremely significant. They shape your life and your personality. And by that, they shape your future accomplishments.
Whether they are acquired earlier or later in life, imposed by an external factor or by your own self, habits can help you to determine and achieve your full potential and to succeed in life.
The nature of habitual activities divides them into three groups: motor, intellectual, and habits of character.
Motor habits are those related to your movement and posture, e.g. your posture, how and how much you sit, stand, or exercise.
Intellectual habits are those connected with the psychological processes in your brain, i.e. observation, perception, logical thinking, reasoning, etc. The last group, habits of character, are those which originate in your personal traits.
Examples of those are helping a person in need, cleaning the room/house, time management, polite communication, working hard (or hardly working, ha?).
Let’s discuss examples of these and the ways they influence your success. You may use the following items to check your potential and what are the habits you might want to include in your everyday life.
Do You Have Enough Sleep?
We all know that healthy sleep has many merits. To begin with, let’s define healthy sleep. It is important to bear in mind that this varies with each person. Basically, we will take that an average healthy sleep is 7-9 hours during nighttime.
We should consider the health benefits of healthy sleep briefly.
Regular sleep regenerates your body. It improves your immune system. It lowers your blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy. It helps you maintain your weight.
Another set of benefits is related to your brain functions.
This is where your potential chances of success lie. People who sleep well are in a better mood. They have the physical and mental strength to work. Their concentration is good.
If you get a healthy sleep every night, your body will be prepared to give effort and to deal well with stress and strain. So, let me ask you one more time – do you get enough sleep?
It is a fact well known that physical exercise is a mandatory part of everyone’s life. It brings much good to your body – healthy weight, muscle strength, heart work and blood pressure normalization.
But what we would actually like to discuss here is the effect of exercise on our minds.
First and foremost, doing something physical helps you relieve negative energy, stress, anger, anxiety.
It calms you down; your mind is reset after a workout. You are able to think clearly and more objectively.
A person who doesn’t work out may have difficulties lowering their stress level.
Exercise is a healthy way to do this.
So, ask yourself this question – do I exercise enough?
Between two and three hours of working out a week is the perfect amount for an average adult.
You will agree that it is not an amount of time you cannot set aside for some enjoyable activity.
Exercise leads to good sleep, and these together contribute to your physical and mental health substantially.
If you do these, you will surely have enough strength and concentration to dedicate to your goals.
Let us skip the discussion of why good nutrition is good for your physical wellbeing and focus on its impact on your mental health. We will not shower you with statistics and research here.
We would just like to connect this with the former two items and think reasonably about why you should follow a healthy diet if you want to be successful.
Eating healthy gives you enough energy and the needed nutrients for your body to function well.
Combine that with exercise and good sleep, and you will be a strong and healthy person capable of fulfilling anything you want.
You may know from your own experience that when you miss out on only one of these three, you become way less productive, which in turn lowers your chances of achieving your goals.
So can you check all three items?
Set Goals Regularly
How many times have you said: “He/she knows what he/she wants in his/her life”?
Well, so should you.
Smart people always have a certain goal they are pursuing.
And what’s more, it is not only this one thing they are trying to achieve, but it is a multitude of smaller, seemingly less significant goals which will eventually lead to the biggest one.
When one goal is achieved, another one is set. In this way, you won’t lack motivation, and you will have a sense of achievement.
So, do you have any goals towards which you are striving? If not, get one right now!
It is not bad to dream big.
Just try to imagine a path to your dream and walk it one step at a time, one small accomplishment followed by another.
You will slowly develop a habit of setting a goal for yourself, and after every step, you will be closer to your dream.
Work on Your Self-Improvement
Achievement is only possible through self-growth. You can grow in many ways.
For example, you can read books from your area of interest. You can take classes and learn a new skill. You can say yes to an exciting opportunity.
Every new experience is a chance to become a better person.
Every new experience changes you. And every change can be for the better; even if it doesn’t seem so at first sight, you can make it worthy.
Ask yourself: “Did I have a learning opportunity yesterday? What will I do for my own growth today?”
Don’t miss out on this. Even a thing as simple as learning a new keyboard shortcut makes you more knowledgeable.
And imagine this – only one new information a day makes you 365 pieces of information richer at the end of the year!
Hence, the habit of working on your own self is definitely something that should be a part of our lives.
This habit seems quite easy – make a to-do list and follow it. You will be organized, have time for your activities, and not waste any time. Do you have this habit?
Many people wish to do this successfully but don’t. Are you one of them?
A person who is successful in their job must have their work well-planned.
The plan ought to unfold and business functions. This can be learnt when you start work; it is hard that way, though.
But if you do this (more or less strictly) at home, without the pressure of your boss or deadlines, it is only then that you show having true potential to be successful in life.
Nothing comes from being lazy; success comes from being organized, and for that matter, you present yourself as a reliable person with whom others want to cooperate.
Don’t Give Up Easily
At the beginning of this text, you read about the characteristic of not giving up.
Well, we could certainly consider it a habit as well. There are people who are used to quitting after the first failure.
But do you think that these people can achieve anything with such an attitude?
Where would you be now if you had given up every time you failed at something? Our guess would be: at the very beginning of the road.
Some people are more persistent, some less. It is up to you to find your optimal moment when you will stop trying.
However, it is good to push the limit a little further every time you encounter a new challenge.
Give it one more try!
Will it hurt?
No, but it could work!
Give Yourself a Break
One of the most important habits, one that many people ignore or forget, is making a pause. Sometimes enough is enough. Sometimes you just need to let go of everything and relax.
Do you do this? Do you have a guilty conscience then? Do you feel that you should be working instead of resting?
By the way, when we say rest, it can range from a 5-minute break during work rush or a 2-week vacation in a 5-star hotel.
Everyone needs a break sometimes. It is critical that you learn to recognize when you have reached your limit and are in dire need of a pause. At that moment, just let go.
Take the time you need to refresh, and you will see, the work will continue smoothly, and you will be as fresh as a daisy!
If you don’t have this habit, make sure to start it as soon as possible! We sure will!
HOW GOOD IS YOUR RAPPORT WITH OTHER PEOPLE?
“Man is a social animal,” Aristotle said. Yes, he is right. You cannot achieve anything without other people.
Hence, it is crucial for you to be able to maintain an excellent relationship with people from your surroundings.
This is not as hard as it may seem. Think: do you smile at the cashier in the supermarket? Do you say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’? These small pleasantries are the sole basis for successful communication. Everything else is building upon that.
Taking an interest in what someone is telling you shows that you are a people’s person. Such people are very respected by others.
Such people are wanted for collaboration.
No one wants to see a frowning face or listen to someone constantly talking about themself.
This is a skill, a habit also. It can be incorporated into your everyday life. Bear that in mind next time when you wait in a long line at the cash register.
A simple ‘Have a nice day’ said to the cashier will make both your day and theirs.
Express Your Creativity
Creative, imaginative, innovative people are those who succeed.
Today’s world is in need of people like that. Are you one of those? Even if you think you are not, it is not impossible to become one.
If you do something for your own enjoyment, it will make you happy. Try painting or drawing. Try writing. No one needs to see it. It does not have to be a work of art. Just enjoy the process!
Doing creative work frees your mind from worries and stress. It is the same when you exercise – you relieve the pressure and prepare yourself for future mental strain. If you don’t believe us, try it yourself!
Every person is creative in their own way. Having a habit of creating something (even if you will throw it right after it is finished) triggers special processes in the brain, and who knows, maybe you will come up with an exceptional idea for your shoe store commercial while drawing an African elephant!
Every person should strive for some kind of success. Most people do. Find what you want to accomplish in your life and go for it! But be prepared to fight.
The first step to realizing your potential is getting into good habits. They are a good indicator of how successful you may become.
The path to success is paved with hard work and good habits. If you have a healthy and colorful lifestyle, if you are self-disciplined, if you have all or most of the above-described habits, you are in for a life of success!
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