Let’s be honest, success is hard. Not complicated, just hard. Today, I want to rewire how you think about success and break down the barriers for good.
- Define success for yourself.
- Set personal, academic, and career goals.
- Keep your expectations low but High hope
- Understand your abilities and disabilities.
- Play to your strengths.
- Develop strategies to meet your goals.
- Use technology as an empowering tool.
- Work hard. Persevere. Be flexible.
- Develop a support network. Look to family, friends, and teachers.
How to Define success for yourself?
Some define success by whether their job suits them and by how much joy they have as a result of their work. They define it by the joy they feel when they do the work; the joy they feel whenthey’ve finished the work; and by the joy that others feel as a resultof their work.
This joy not only comes from their own work, but from thecollaboration with other talented people who not only bring their skills to the project, but also bring harmony to the working relationship.Nobody wants to work among discord. For many, if those workrelationships aren’t fulfilling and harmonious, they don’t feel goodabout their work, themselves, or about others.
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If their work doesn’t add to their sense of happiness and joy of themselves and others, then no matter how much money they’ve earned or how many accolades they receive, they don’t feel successful. This joy not only comes from their own work, but from the collaboration with other talented people who not only bring their skills to the project, but also bring harmony to the working relationship. Nobody wants to work among discord. For many, if those work relationships aren’t fulfilling and harmonious, they don’t feel good about their work, themselves, or about others.
Some define success by the sense of balance they have between their work lives and the rest of their lives. For them, work is not what success is about. They believe that life needs to be balanced, and that work is not meant to be the only thing in our lives.
How to Set personal, academic, and career goals?
First you create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 10 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve. Then, you break these down into the smallerand smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals.
Why is it important to set goals?
What is the definition of personal goals?
What is the meaning of goal setting?
How to Keep your expectations low but High hope
Some people use the word “hope” as a verb, in a narrow focus towardone thing, when they really mean “expect.” This can cause a lot oftrouble. Saying, for example, “I really hope s/he comes around and seesmy point of view on this issue” channels the “hope” in only the direction of this very important goal. If the goal is not met, theheaviness of the disappointment will depend directly on the heaviness of the “hope” – which becomes, in reality, an expectation.
Expectations are the biggest source of disappointment out there!Think about it: every time you get disappointed, it happens because your expectations of a situation were not met. Additionally, unlike hope,expectations are usually more focused around one particular thing,something that can often close your mind to other sources of goodhappenings.
True hope is different than expectations; it’s more open-minded, especially the more it is generalized. “I have hope that something good will come out of this” does not confine “good” to one narrow area offocus. With high hope (notice I don’t say “hopes” – the less specific,the better), you are still free to find goodness where you weren’tlooking for it in the first place.
Now, we wouldn’t be who we are without expectations. Expectations are not all bad; neither is fire. Fire can be very useful. The thing aboutthese things, both fire and expectations, is that they are most usefulwhen they are low and under control. Too often, however, we letexpectations burn out of control.
Understand your abilities and disabilities
In short, cognition is knowing, meta-cognition is knowing if you know or not. Both can exist together, but many times they don’t.
How Does this Affect Intelligence?
So what importance does this have and how is it relevant to selfimprovement? The fact that there are two different kinds of cognitiveability means that there are different types of intelligence.
In traditional education, intelligence is measured by cognitiveability. For some people this is works well. They can easily produceeverything they know on a test. But for others it doesn’t work out sowell. The people that know something cold but can’t find the right words on a test are awarded with poor grades and considered inferior.
But does this inability make them any less intelligent? They know the answer. If the question came up on a task, they could refer to a bookor a quick Google search. In reality they’re just as effective as thepeople that aced the test. They just can’t prove it as easily.
The Importance of Knowing what you know
Unless you’re taking a test or playing Jeopardy, metacognition ismore important to success than cognition. In real life, when you’refaced with a question the first decision is whether you know the answeror not. With strong metacognitive ability this is easy. If you know theanswer, but can’t come up with it, you can always do a bit of research.If you know for sure that you don’t know, then you can start educatingyourself. Because you’re aware of your ignorance, you don’t act withfoolish confidence. The person who thinks they know something that theyreally don’t makes the worst decisions.
A person with poor cognitive ability, but great metacognitive ability is actually in great shape. They might do poorly in school, but whenfaced with a challenge they understand their abilities and take the best course of action. These people might not seem intelligent at firstglance, but because they know what they know, they make better decisions and learn the most important things.
Clever but mediocre people
At the opposite end of the spectrum are people with great cognitiveability but poor metacognitive ability. These people are proclaimedgeniuses at a young age for acing every test and getting great SATscores. Unfortunately, they’ve been ruined by poor metacognition; theythink they know everything but they really don’t. They are arrogant,fail to learn from mistakes, and don’t understand the nuances ofpersonal relationships; showing disdain for persons with lower cognitive ability.
So who is superior? In a battle of wits the higher cognitive abilityprevails, but life is not a single encounter. It is a series ofexperiments in succession, each building upon the last. Learningrequires knowing what you don’t know, and taking steps to learn what you need to. People with poor metacognitive ability never realize that they don’t ‘get it’. They also don’t realize what’s important.
This doesn’t preclude them from material success. But, perhaps that’s a poor measurement of intelligence as well. There are many people whobecome rich and successful by their cleverness and cognitive ability,but as human beings are quite mediocre. Is the man that makes a milliondollars, but is cruel and abusive to his employees and family, reallymore intelligent than the poor man who lives a modest and loving life? I don’t intend to demonize wealth, only to state that it should not bethe measure of virtue.
Play to your strengths
Most of us don’t have weaknesses as blatant as an inability to get up with our alarm clock. Nor are we so poorly matched with our chosen professions as to take a job with a bank knowing we can’t make it to work on time.But we still have weaknesses. Every one of us has some part of our jobsthat we loathe doing, or don’t do well. Each of us also has strengths.
Use technology as an empowering tool
High performers are great learners. When you hear about something in your industry you need to understand, dig in. Find articles and read about it. Talk with someone who might be in that space, look for Ted talks or YouTube videos, check out SlideShare orTwitter, buy the book on Kindle. Make “continuous learning” part of your career.
Develop strategies to meet your goals
It will also stay with the overall vision, mission, and objectives of the initiative.
What is a Strategic Plan?
Of all the things you can do to be a success, the one which alwayswins out is “working hard.” Successful people come into work a littleearlier, stay a little later, and know how to put in the extra effort to do a fantastic job.
In fact, I’d agree with the statement above: “Hard Work BeatsTalent.” There are lots of highly educated people in the business worldwho aren’t willing or able to push themselves hard enough to become ahuge success. This is not to say you should sacrifice your family life,but when you can add more “oomph” you should.
Here is a short list you could start with:
- This one seems funny but it’s true. Hard workers get up early.
- The biggest problem we have today at work is distraction. Successful people take time to focus. Focus on what matters. Each day.
- People who do their homework carefully and don’t make mistakes areneeded in every profession, and you will stand out as an exceptionalperformer. So Pay attention carefully.
- Do more listening, less talking.
- Sometimes things are overwhelming: people issues or businessdecisions seem unsolvable, customers are upset, and maybe things arebroken or your project is behind. Well you just have to push ahead. Mental toughness means telling yourself that “I’ll figure this out.”
- Final thought. Do work you enjoy. Find a company or team of people youlike. Don’t be afraid to take a job you love, even if it isn’t thehighest paying or most glamorous in your industry.
Develop a support network. Look to family, friends, and teachers.
Social disconnectedness, whether hanging out after work or sitting down at the table with friends and family for a nightly meal, has beenshown to increase happiness and help alleviate depression . Unless meal time looks something like a Creepy frog on the dining , the simple act of gathering around the table helps establishconnections, which studies have found are crucial in maintaininghappiness and a sense of belonging. Translation: Text messages won’t cut it.
Enjoying dinner with friends or family brings a one-two punch ofbenefits: it accomplishes the goal of face-to-face interaction and canalso lead to healthier eating choices..