We look at super successful people and marvel over how they have obtained their exalted status, fame and fortune. It’s easy to become intimidated when you compare yourself to someone else and their amazing success. I can’t speak about people in the rarified strata like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, but I have spoken with thousands of everyday-successful people. These are the people you don’t read about in the news; however, they have become experts in their respective professions and are currently at the top of their game. They tend to earn higher incomes, hold more senior jobs and seem to be very confident and happy. I’d like to say that there is one simple secret to their success that I have discovered. Interestingly, what sets these people apart from the crowd are the smart habits, decisions, mindset and little daily actions that enable them to succeed.
I’m not going to pretend that the following advice will automatically propel you toward immediate success. Think of this as a starter kit, designed to help you rethink what you are doing at work and begin to start implementing some new habits and thought processes needed to succeed.
I have identified some common traits, personalities and actions that successful people share, which you could easily steal and emulate.
Having a positive attitude. The easiest thing to do is go about your life and work feeling miserable, angry, cynical and victimized. Let’s be honest, there are real reasons to feel this way. Life is often unfair and cruel. You took a major in college that was a complete waste of money, attended the wrong university, didn’t seem to catch the first break, your parents pushed you into a career you hate, you suffer from health issues and the list goes on.
A small percentage of people train themselves to transcend the negativity, remain positive despite the obstacles and keep moving forward. Look around your office, for an example. There’s probably a guy in the cubicle farm who always shoots down your idea, grumbles that the new initiative won’t work, acts surly and sarcastic in meetings and then always wonders why he is stuck in his job and passed over for promotion. Then, there is the person who is always coming up with fresh, exciting and new ideas. She is positive and enthusiastic, which is contagious and people can’t wait to join her in her projects. One success leads to another and she quickly rises the corporate ladder.
Always build and nurture your network. My kids tell me that teachers and administrators at their schools warn them that they should not get their parents involved. They sternly advise the students that they must work all on their own. This is not a helicopter-parenting thing. Why should the students be pushed into doing everything themselves? Don’t you want to get input, advice and mentoring? It doesn’t mean that I would do their work for them. I’ll listen, help them brainstorm and offer advice and guidance when asked. I’ll even point out to the teachers on Open-School Night that this is what happens in the real world. We collaborate and seek out wisdom from mentors and peers.