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How Do Successful People Think? 10 Things to Know

Success is a tricky concept to define. Even the idea of what it means to be successful can vary drastically. For one person, success might mean winning a gold medal at the Olympics. For another, it might mean turning a side hustle into a fully-fledged business. However, there are some common beliefs, values, and skills that seem to set successful people apart from the rest. Essentially, it is no secret that our thoughts play a significant role in determining our reality.

But what is it about the mind of successful people that helps them to achieve their goals? What can we learn from the way a successful person like Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson, or Elon Musk thinks? Let’s discover 10 things you need to know about how successful people think so you can change your approach to life.

They are goal-oriented

It can be easy to assume that successful people got to where they are today based on luck. But while some people do seem to achieve success overnight, only the resilient can enjoy true longevity. Accordingly, for highly successful people, setting goals is fundamental.

What should a goal look like?

Personalized goal setting reinforces commitment and fuels success. However, setting goals can be overwhelming at first, especially if you are someone who prefers to live in the moment. Setting specific goals and avoiding broad statements makes it easier to turn your goals into a reality. Successful people can pinpoint exactly what they want to achieve, and this makes positive outcomes much more likely.

They love what they do

Not everyone is lucky enough to do a job they love. Glass ceilings, red tape, and a lack of opportunities can all prove to be frustrating hurdles to success. Nevertheless, if your heart is not in your work, this will inevitably come through in your performance. Truly successful individuals know who they are and what motivates them to keep working.

Love your job, but love yourself first

Loving what you do does not always mean focusing solely on work though. Everyone needs time to slow down – finding a balance between work and life commitments is important to people who enjoy success. We all want to be financially successful, but leading a rich life is not all about work.

focus on woman at desk with computer and papers, smiling

They understand the relationship between physical and mental health

Burnout is a huge barrier to success. While the link between our physical and mental health has long been understood, in recent years more and more successful individuals have taken steps to unite the two. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are proven ways to decrease stress, relieve anxiety, and increase productivity levels.

How can I boost my health?

In the modern world it is not easy to take care of your body and mind, but prioritizing your health is vital for success in all areas of life. One easy way to change your habits for the better includes going for a walk on your lunch break. Forming a new daily habit might not happen overnight, but the benefits are always worth it.

They are in touch with their emotions

Society values kindness – the ability to identify your emotions, as well as the feelings of others, plays a significant role in achieving success. Emotional intelligence is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Nevertheless, most successful people have mastered how to navigate their emotions and influence their peers.

Dealing with your emotions effectively typically involves recognizing the following 4 attributes:

  • Self-management – dealing with impulsive feelings and behaviors.
  • Self-awareness – recognizing the impact of your emotions on your actions.
  • Social awareness – understanding the emotions, needs, and concerns of others.
  • Relationship management – communicating in group settings.

Above all, if you want to feel more fulfilled in life, working on these attributes is key.

They make time for creativity

Finding time to be creative is incredibly important for personal and professional development. Although you might not think of yourself as creative, it is important to know that successful people take time to nurture their creativity. When you complete a creative activity – like writing, knitting, or painting – the brain is flooded with dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. The satisfaction of creating something new feels good and this sense of achievement can diffuse into other areas of our lives.

What to do when stuck in a creative rut

Tempted to give a new creative endeavor a try? Art, baking, dancing, gardening, music, and reading are just some of the most popular pursuits of successful people.

They are committed to continuing professional development (CPD)

Successful people have a thirst for knowledge and because of this, they tend to embrace opportunities to learn and improve. Any successes in life will only ever be short-term if you are not willing to hone your skillset. Continuing professional development is important no matter what stage of your career you are currently facing. Aim to see each day as an opportunity to try something new. If you want to, you can look for additional professional development services online through resources like AdvantEdge Training & Consulting and others that offer similar development training, so you are able to build on your knowledge and expertise.

How can I commit to CPD?

If you want to be the best in your field then you need to study, practice, and rehearse as often as possible. A learning schedule filled with books to read, seminars to attend, and tutorials to watch can make it easier to commit.

They network with other successful individuals

Mixing and spending time with people who are successful in their field can have a huge influence on your own success. At first, networking with those who seem to be doing better than you can be scary. For example, speaking to a founder and CEO can be daunting if you are in the early stages of your career. However, if you have big dreams, then you need to learn about the experiences of successful people directly. For instance, if you have noticed that something in your life no longer serves you, an expert in your industry could help you fix it.

Networking becomes easier over time

Meeting with successful people can give you something to aspire towards and can even be the catalyst you need to sharpen your focus. Do not be afraid to ask for advice – more people are willing to help you than you might think.

group of men and women networking over a business brunch

They can take risks

Life is full of risks but navigating which ones to take and which risks are too heavy can be confusing. Some of the most successful people in the world have taken extraordinary risks. It was their next actions that determined whether the risk was worth taking. Taking a calculated risk is therefore all about analyzing a situation before making your move.

How to be a risk-taker

Once you have identified your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, then some risks are inevitable. Be that as it may, it is almost always possible to mitigate risk one way or another. Successful risk-taking involves doing due diligence, weighing up possible outcomes, and developing strategies accordingly. Again, commitment is the key to mitigating risky situations – remember to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and be prepared to adapt to change where necessary.

They make handwritten notes

In the digital age, it is easy to assume that the art of handwriting a note has been lost. Thanks to voice notes, tablets, and smartwatches, recording our thoughts in real-time through technology has become commonplace. Despite this, some of the most successful people in the world still jot down ideas by hand to plan their day.

What are the benefits of handwriting your notes?

Psychologists claim that writing by hand slows down your thoughts, boosts mindfulness, and increases calm. Handwriting notes forces your brain to engage more deeply with the information being processed. While making a to-do list can help to delegate tasks, clear a cluttered mind, and boost your memory, writing out reminders of your goals reinforces your ambitions so that you are more likely to work towards them.

They advocate teamwork

Collaboration is the foundation of success. Working with others allows new ideas to come to the surface. At the same time, teamwork ensures deadlines are met and work is completed to the highest standard. Working together enables everyone to make a difference and no one gets left behind. When people contribute to something as part of a team, they feel valued – this is incredibly beneficial in terms of building confidence and self-esteem. Teams that work well together succeed together and the most successful people are also fantastic team players that know when to take charge as well as when to delegate.

Why should we share the workload?

Working in a vacuum is one of the most common reasons that ideas – and people – become tired. Try to be more trusting in the people around you and don’t be afraid to give constructive criticism when appropriate. For the most part, working with others regularly can make you more intelligent, more creative, and more successful.

How do the thoughts of successful people help us to understand the world?

Ultimately, the way that you choose to approach a problem can have a significant impact on whether your outcomes are successful. Moreover, observing the mental habits of successful people can help you to discover new solutions to problems that you might not have considered before. Your thoughts have the potential to shape the world around you. Similarly, checking in with your own mind can make it easier to identify how you can live a successful life.

How do you define success and who do you think are some of the most successful people out there?

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