Ah, success. The thing that us go getter girls seem to want most of all: in our careers, our social lives, our relationships; in short, we want it all. And we want it NOW! But even if you created a very clear to-do list the previous evening, the next day it can be quite tricky to stick to those big plans. Because life gets in the way – for example in the form of a dear friend that you haven’t seen in ages and who asks you out for coffee, or a sudden shift in deadlines, or errands that take dreadfully long.
You get the point: there are a lot of scenario’s that get in the way. Lucky for us there is a book that studied the behaviour of successful people and came up with seven habits that they all seem to have. So all you have to do is make them your own, and the world is yours (insert evil world domination laugh)!
Ready? Ok, here are the habits that successful people have mastered in order to rule the world, according to Stephen R. Covey. Piece of cake! (Red velvet, if the choice is ours..,).
Take initiative. It is important to realize that your decisions are the most important factor for effectiveness in your life. That’s not just the decision to buy a pair of shoes instead of saving for taxes, but also settling for an easy job instead of searching for a more challenging one. Take responsibility for your choices and if you don’t like the ones you made, do something about it!
Begin with the end in mind
If you have a clear goal to work towards – for example a job at an exciting young fashion firm – it is easier to. Break down the steps of how to get there. Envision the characteristics of your ideal (work) situation, and analyze what the gaps are that you need to fill to get there (for example: take an English course to improve your blog’s writing).
Put first things first
You probably know the feeling: you have a huge, daunting task in front of you that requires all of your energy. It is so tempting to start with little, less important things first before you dive into this big one. Trust us though… procrastination is a trap! Somehow doing other tasks first does not make your big chore disappear (such a bummer).
If you want to get people to do things for you, it can be very helpful to think about what they get out of the arrangement. If you get into a heated argument with a colleague and you insist about getting tings done your way, you might end up worse then when you make a compromise. A ‘win for all’ is a better long-term solution than getting your way no matter what.
Listen first, answer later
Chances are that if someone is telling you something, you’re mainly waiting to blurt out what you have to say about the topic. You’ll get much more out of conversations if you really listen to what the other person says. Make quick recaps as you listen, this will compel other people to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you.
If you are awesome at writing, then chances are that you aren’t as good with images. Instead of trying to get better at a thing that you know you’re not going to be great at, work together with somebody who is awesome at taking pictures. Together you can achieve goals no one person could have done alone (unless you’re Beyoncé, in this case you’re might be better off by doing it all yourself).
If you want to reach a certain goal very badly, it can be tempting to never stop working. Alas, that’s not how we humans are wired. Our brains aren’t computers that can go on for days on end: we require rest to function at the top of our game. So balance a heavy work day with some relaxation and exercise. This can be meditation, yoga, or some online shopping: whatever gets you in that zen state of mind!
We’re curious: which of these habits would you like to master?
Inspired on The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, by Stephen R. Covey