There are eight traits that researchers have determined tend to be ingrained in successful people. Success is not just defined by making money. Successful people seem to be content and tend to have a balance in life. Here is my take on the eight keys they note.
#1.) Understand That Times Are Fleeting: Life is an emotional rollercoaster. That euphoric feeling you get will never last, even as we try to delude ourselves it will. So too are times of depression. This is called “life.” While this seems pretty obvious, we forget and can make poor decisions during these times of highs and lows. When we are on top, it is best not to kick or berate others. This is because it is very possible roles will be reversed and you could become the target. The idea is not to make a decision based on a temporary emotional situation.
#2.) Accept That Life is Not Fair: Some are born with built-in advantages. Most of us have to struggle to get ahead. This may not be fair, but we have to deal with it. Your life is your life—you can craft it as you want it. You should make choices and accept that your decision will likely have a risk and reward condition. You decide the risks you are willing or not willing to take. Understand it is your choice.
#3.) Live in the Present: Living in the past or daydreaming about what might or should be is not living in the present. Yes, learn from mistakes and have aspirations. But, when you go on and on about the “good old days” or keep saying “if only,” you are not living in the present.
#4.) Overthinking: Ever heard the phrase paralysis by analysis? This occurs when we overthink decisions. Overthinking cannot only stifle action, but also waste valuable time better spent on more productive and healthy activities.
#5.) Chose to be Happy: No one can make you happy but you. If you can accept that premise, than no one can truly depress you either. This does not mean you should walk around with a fake grin and pretend to be happy. Consider how social media can influence people by making some feel as if their life is less than others who are constantly posting. Be your own person. You have freewill and can choose to be happy and ignore these influencers.
#6.) Do What You Love: Most of us have to work for a living. However, do you have to do a job you hate? Life is not all about money. Surveys have shown construction workers tend to be more content with the work they do than most other careers. This is because it is fulfilling to build things. Do work you like to do.
#7.) Your Mind is Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy: We all have labels. Winners and losers are broad terms. Choose your own label and be a winner. It is not about your bank account, power over people or the car you drive. It is your life, your relationships and you determine the winners and losers—not others. Only you can label yourself a winner or loser.
#8.) Be a Role Model: This is key. How do you act and behave? Are you a role model for young people? Think of your childhood and the role models that shaped you. You should be the same. It is not about money and power. It is about taking responsibility and mostly behaving as a good citizen with integrity. Good role models are remembered, even when they are gone. Bad role models are forgotten, unless they are truly horrible role models and we wish we could forget them. How do you want to be remembered? Acting as a positive role model to young people will never let you down.
I wish I could say I had mastered all these traits. I do reflect and work on them. I have friends, work colleagues and a family that drive my motivations. I have a successful life, wonderful wife, great family and I am a new grandpa. In my eyes, I am a winner. I want to be a role model to my grandchildren. It is not about money or possessions. It is about leading a good, fulfilling life and striving to improve and help others. The only one that ultimately determines that path—including the choices made and risks taken—is me.
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