1. Speaking up
One of the things you would want to be certain to do is whether you like it or not, get very comfortable, it may take a while, with public speaking for example.
I mean, that’s an asset that will last you 50 or 60 years and it’s a liability if you don’t like doing it or are uncomfortable doing it that will also last you 50 or 60 years and it’s a necessary skill.
2. Being honest with yourself
One important lesson I learned early in life is the power of being true from the very beginning especially when it comes to mistakes.
It takes a lot of self-reflection and courage to be honest with yourself and the people around you when things are not going so well but radical honesty can relieve so much stress in your life.
And being honest immediately before others have the chance to tell you about what’s wrong can even be rewarding.
One example from my own life is something that once occurred in my career not even too far in the past I was employed in a position with a pretty good pay the work environment and the colleagues were also enjoyable.
But after a few months I realized that the position wasn’t for me, not because I couldn’t do the job, I did well but, I didn’t feel well while doing it.
I did not enjoy it, and I knew that at one point people would realize that and it would eventually harm my performance and on the company.
The first choice, in that case, would have been to just suck it up, after all, I chose that position in the first place, right?
I could just wait until they fire me or quit and search for something that fits better.
My second option though was to be brutally honest. I knew they were searching for someone in a different position, there was less pay but it suited me better.
So I took aside the two colleagues who were responsible for me and told them that I think after being given a comprehensive insight in the past few months, I discovered that it wasn’t for me and I wasn’t happy in that position.
In the long-term, it would not be beneficial, either for me or the company if I kept that position.
I was being honest. A lot of you might say now that this was a dumb move, but at the same time I also told them about how I could imagine myself better in the other position and I wouldn’t mind the pay gap.
It would just make my daily working routine so much more enjoyable, they agreed.
And from the next day on all the stress that had built up during the past months was gone. I took over the other position and was happy.
During the talk, not only did my colleague compliment me on the courage for being so honest with them, he said most people wouldn’t have done that.
My coming forward also signaled to the company that I enjoyed being in the team, that I would rather stay with them than someone else, that the company was indeed important to me.
Even though at first being honest might seem something scary that can shake your world around, it is always better than being dishonest.
Like a great quote says:
Honesty doesn’t always pay, but dishonesty always costs.
3. Having confidence
I don’t know if you’d agree with me on this, but in many ways, one of the key factors to legendary success isn’t your natural ability.
It’s not whether you have the right product, it’s not whether you’re in the right field, it’s not whether you’ve had a blessed background.
It’s not whether you have the right IQ.
I want you to think about it and deconstruct, and play with it maybe later tonight in your journal.
I want you to deconstruct this idea of confidence and it seems like a very simple work but just think about it in your own life.
When you have the confidence or we could even call it fire, when you have that fire within you, that confidence, that interior bravery, you almost have this power to do whatever it takes to get your brave vision done.
You see, in this world, it’s not about, in many ways, your plan and your business or your ability in your life, it’s about this thing called confidence and we’ve all had these times in our lives when we are full of confidence and what other people see as a problem, we simply do see as an opportunity.
Other people see it as a stumbling block or a wall and we see it as a stepping stone or this solution.
Confidence is simply something that you want to wire in. Confidence is something you want to grow, confidence is a practice, confidence is a muscle and like any muscle, the more you focus on it and practice it and train it, the stronger your confidence is going to grow and I just have to say it again.
When you are at a place in your life, when there is an ongoing, steady stream of confidence moving through your mindset, moving through your heart set, you do the heroic in your business and you achieve the remarkable in your life.
Nelson Mandela is a particularly special case study in the leadership world because he is universally regarded
as a great leader.
You can take other personalities and depend on the nation you go to, we have different opinions about other personalities but Nelson Mandela, across the world, is universally seen as a great leader.
He was the son of a tribal chief and he was asked one day, how did you learn to be a great leader?
And he responded that he would go with his father to tribal gatherings and he remembers two things
when his father would meet with other elders.
- They would always sit in a circle
- His father was always the last to speak
You will be told your whole life that you need to learn to listen. I would say that you need to learn to be the last to speak.
I see it in board rooms every day of the week. Even people who consider themselves good leaders who may be decent leaders will walk into a room and say, here’s the problem, here’s what I think, but I’m curious in your opinion, let’s go around the room. It’s too late.
The skill to hold your opinions to yourself until everyone has spoken does two things:
- One, it gives everybody else the feeling that they have been heard. It gives everyone else the ability to feel that they have contributed.
- And two, you get the benefit of hearing what everybodyelse has to think before you render your opinion.
The skill is really to keep your views to yourself. If you agree with somebody, don’t nod yes.
If you disagree with somebody, don’t nod no. Simply sit there, take it all in, and the only thing you’re allowed to do is ask questions so that you can understand what they mean and why they have the opinion that they have, you must understand from where they are speaking, why they have the opinion they have, not just what they are saying.
And in the end, you will get your turn. It sounds easy, it’s not.
Practice being the last to speak. That’s what Nelson Mandela did.
5. Managing your time
My challenge in our generation is that gradually through entertainment, through television, through media,
In every way possible, we are living in a generation of the dumbing down of ideas, because we have traded effectiveness for busyness.
Statistics say we are busier than any other generation we have seen in the last 300 to 400 years.
We are just as busy as we can be and we think because we’re busy, we’re effective.
But I want you to confront your schedule for a minute and ask yourself, are you being effective or is your life cluttered with all kinds of stuff that demand you and drains you and taxes you and stops you from being your highest and best self and are you replacing busyness and all the chaos that goes along with busyness from being effective?
Let me tell you, a bunch of scientists got together, they started to do some research and they begin to determine that 80% of the things we do are busy things that we do in an area that is not effective, that the average person only spends 20% of their time doing the thing that they are gifted, creative at, passionate about, excited to do and the rest of it is all the dismal, dumb stuff that we all have to do to survive. Just crazy stuff that we’re doing.
Wonder what would occur if we would go from doing 80% of things that are busy but not effective and 20% of the effective things
if we would switch those numbers around and only give 20% of our time to the things that we have to do and 80% of our time to thing that we were created to do. Wonder what would happen to your life.
Now think about it a minute, there’s a lot of things that could be taken from you and you could still make it. House, clothes, car and so on. When your time is taken from you, that is irreplaceable.
We know how to manage our money, we know how to repair our houses, we’re working on our hair and our bodies
and all of this kind of stuff.
We do everything except the most important thing is to value our time.
It takes time to be creative. You were meant to be creative. You were created in the likeness and the image of a creator and in that likeness and in that image, you have creativity.
6. Stop whining
Why isn’t complaining beneficial?
Research shows that it rewires our brain for negativity.
The brain is designed to work efficiently meaning that when we repeat a thought, negative or positive, the nerve cells form a bridge between each other to expedite the passage of information. Consequently, the next time we have a similar thought it is more easily transmitted.
This mechanism explains why certain thought patterns quickly become ingrained habits.
Yet the detrimental effects don’t stop there. A study from Stanford University shows that complaining causes the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in problem-solving and other cognitive functions, to shrink.
In addition to causing brain damage, complaining also releases a stress hormone, cortisol, the fight-or-flight chemical the body produces when we encounter some danger, a response that it’s essential for survival.
However, constantly having a high level of cortisol results in high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and impaired immunity.
Effects that may eventually cause obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The ill-effects of our complaints aren’t just limited to ourselves though. They also involve those around us.
People tend to mirror the moods of those around them so we should be cautious about constantly complaining when we’re around our friends. The best way to deal with constant negativity is to develop a sense of gratitude. Just like complaining acts as a poison, gratitude acts as a medicine.
7. Staying present in the moment
If you’re living in the past you’re going to be depressed because you are rehashing things that happen to you that are not going to happen again.
If you’re living in the future, you’re going to be anxious because you are anticipating what’s coming, or you’re wishing for things that aren’t happening yet, being in the present is where the gold is.
Being in the present moment is where you will have the greatest control, where you will feel the most at ease, and where happiness flourishes.
There’s a super tight connection between happiness and the ability to live in the present moment. A lot of people believe that happiness is tied to the things that happen to you not so at all.
In fact, there is a professor of positive psychology he’s one of the grandfathers of the movement he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania his name is martin Settlement and he studied happiness for decades.
Now one of the things that we’ve talked about a lot is that 40 percent of your happiness levels are preset by genetics, 60 percent you are in complete control of.
One of the things that this professor has discovered is that it doesn’t matter what’s happened to you, in fact, some of the people that have the worst things happen to them like people that have survived the holocaust, are actually the happiest and most grateful people in the world.
Happiness comes down to your thoughts, comes down to your mindset, comes down to your attitude and you are 100% control of what you’re thinking. You may not be in control of how you feel at the moment, but you can be in control of what you think.