When it comes to life and business, it is no coincidence that some people always seem to fail while others always seem to flourish. For sure, chance plays a role in everything. But as individuals, as business-owners, as thinkers, and as parents, we have a significant degree of control over our lives.
Now, we can use the control that we have to influence outcomes in bad ways. Or we can use it to influence outcomes in our favor; and in the favor of those we care about most.
When we use it poorly or when we don’t use it at all, it should come as no surprise that our outcomes are bad. And when we use it thoughtfully and carefully, it should similarly be less surprising when we succeed.
Let me give you an example. At work, your employer considers you for a promotion; however, at the same time, she also considers several of your co-workers for a promotion, too.
Now, as many do, you might immediately say “there’s nothing I can do to influence my boss in my favor. Instead, this decision will be determined by things that are out of my control.” And, of course, when the day comes, you will not get that promotion.
Instead, someone who pushed hard to demonstrate his worthiness for the position will get the job. And you will be left wondering why that person is always successful; and always gets promotions, raises, and the adoration of management.
You might even feel resentment towards that person, even though you consider him a friend.
When it comes down to it, though, it wasn’t your friend who caused you to miss the promotion (or at least not to give yourself the best shot at getting it). Rather, it was your own behavior that prevented your boss from seriously considering you as a candidate.
Fortunately for you, this book is all about situations just like the one we described above. It’s about feeling powerless when you’re not; experiencing bad outcomes when there’s no reason to; and finally, it’s about making sure this problem stops.
Most importantly, this book is about success. It is about extracting the characteristics of others that make them successful at work, in parenthood, or in the workplace; and then adopting those characteristics for your own use.
So, without further ado, let’s take the plunge. Today, you will stop telling yourself that you have no control over your life; and today, you will learn exactly what it means to take that control, grasp it firmly, and use it to achieve success in all areas of your life.
Section #1: Success in Managing or Running a Business
In this section, I will provide you with tips for achieving success in business. It doesn’t matter whether you own a business, want to own a business, or play an important managerial role, there are certain traits and habits that you can adopt that will determine whether or not you can be successful in the long term. In this section, I will cover 75 of the tips that I think are most important.
Principle #1 – Stop Complaining
Whenever it comes to success and business, the best place to start is by committing yourself to not complaining. Of course, it is perfectly fine to raise concerns, to question dubious choices, and to remain thoughtful and analytical at all times.
However, needless and persistent complaining generally accomplishes nothing positive. To the contrary, it drags you down, reflects poorly on you, and can transform otherwise productive co-workers into cynical, whining unproductive co-workers.
In short, focus on solving problems, not complaining that they cannot be solved.
Principle #2 – Strive to Reach Your Full Potential
One of the things that prevents many people from achieving the best possible outcome is complacency. Once they begin to do well at something in business— be it advertising, inspiring employees, or something else—they take a miniature mental vacation.
That is—instead of ratcheting things up further, they let things play out and contribute nothing additional. The usual end result of this is generally not positive.
So, instead of being complacent, push hard to reach your full potential at every turn.
Principle #3 – Limit Your Use of Short-Cuts
Of course, some short cuts are a good thing. If you can find a way to go from point A to point B in half of the time and there is no downside to the new route, then you should of course take it.
But in many instances in business, we do face tradeoffs. For instance, we might be able to cut costs by not giving employees a raise, but as a result, they might become disgruntled and intentionally shirk their duties.
So, in general, limit your use of short cuts. But if you see one that’s good and doesn’t appear to have a downside, then seize it, but do so.
Principle #4 – Be a Continuous Learner
People have different learning styles. Some learn all the time; and find ways to incorporate that learning into their lives as they go. These people are continuous learners.
On the other hand, most of us learn in discrete chunks. For instance, we might find out how to use a new software program, but immediately after doing so, we will cease to learn anything new about it until it is absolutely necessary.
In general, those who learn in discrete chunks often find themselves at a serious disadvantage, as they often neglect to learn many important new things about products, people, and tools they interact with on a daily basis.
So try to be a continuous learner. It may be difficult, but you’ll be happy you made the switch.
Principle #5 – Always Have a Plan – Even if You Don’t Use It
Some people serially-plan their lives. For each minute of the day, they have something scheduled. Like clockwork, their days play out with very few unforeseen events.
Initially, you might think this sounds boring and inspiring, but in business, it is the status quo among those who are most successful. And remember, even if you don’t opt to use your plan, at least you will have the option to do so.
Principle #6 – Don’t Dwell on the Past
It’s impossible to go throughout a career without hitting a number of bumps in the road. No matter how hard you try, no matter how thoughtful you are, you are bound to hit snags in the road.
And when you do hit those snags, your reaction to them will forever influence your capacity for success. You can either learn from them, move on, and continue on your career; or you can harp on them for weeks, months, or even years—allowing them to drag you down at every step of the way.
No matter how bad your failure was, it’s over. All you can do now is work carefully to improve your future prospects.
Principle #7 – Give Up When It’s Wise to Do So – Not When it Is Convenient
Most people give up for reasons of convenience. They hit a nasty snag in their career; and they simply cannot find a way to propel themselves forward immediately, so they just give up.
Instead of backing off, consulting a colleague, and then heading back to the problem with a refreshed and nuanced perspective, they give up before they give the scenario the chance to play out. As a result, they deny themselves the opportunity to fight back and succeed.
Principle #8 – Listen to Those Around You
One common trait among those who are successful is that they listen and understand others. Instead of seeing everyone around them as inferior fools with nothing to contribute, they understand that most good ideas come from other people—not from them. If you want to be successful, too, you should follow this practice carefully in your daily business relations.
Principle #9 – Have Patience
One of the most common traits among those who are successful in business is patience. Those who don’t have patience always find themselves trapped in the plans of those who do have it. So, do yourself a favor, and cultivate patience. Be the trapper—not the trapped.
Principle #10 – Don’t Settle
In some cases, you will find that the deck is stacked against you and your plans; you will simply have to settle with the best you can get. But in most situations, this simply isn’t the case. So don’t find reasons to settle when you don’t have to. Instead, push hard and persistently for the best you can get.
Principle #11 – Create Opportunities—Don’t Wait for Them
Many people who have not achieved success in business are under the impression that opportunities arrive passively. All they have to do is wait for one to show up on the front door; and then grab it. But, in fact, successful business owners and managers know that opportunities are usually created, not stumbled over. So make an effort to create opportunities in your daily work.
Principle #12 – Keep the Big Picture in Mind, But Stay Focused on the Short Term Process
The big picture is important. It tells you where you are and where you’re going. However, in some situations, it can distract you from the task at hand. If you want to attain true success, then you have to know how to stay focused and effective on short-term problems, while also working within the greater framework of the big picture.
Principle #13 – Record Your Progress
Identifying and recording progress is important. It tells you how far you’ve come from where you once where. If you don’t follow it carefully, it’s easy to miss that it has occurred at all.
So, as progress occurs, record it somewhere. Write down exactly what happened, why it qualifies as “progress,” and why you think it happened.
Principle #14 – Record Your Failures
Similar to recording your progress, record your failures, too. No matter how bad a failure was, force yourself to think hard about it. Ask yourself what went wrong. Also consider whether it was something you could influence or whether chance or someone else played an important role in determining the outcome. As painful as this process might be, it will help you to process your failures and to assimilate the lessons you take from them into future business decisions.
Principle #15 – Do Not Allow Hope to Overcome Analysis
Hope is an important emotional driver of actions. It can motivate you to continue on a path, even when you know the road ahead is difficult. However, in some situations, we simply allow hope to take over and ignore the consequences. If you want to be truly successful, then it is wise to practice “cautious optimism,” rather than chasing hope regardless of what your brain tells you.
Principle #16 – Develop Good Habits
Habits are things that stick with you and drive your behavior, even when you aren’t thinking about them. For this reason, it is a good idea to try to develop good ones, such as responding to clients and customers in a timely manner, practicing courtesy, and facing challenges head-on, rather than slinking into the background.
Principle #17 – Identify and Rid Yourself of Bad Habits
No matter who you are and how successful you have been, you’re probably carrying at least a couple of bad habits. Perhaps you procrastinate. Or perhaps you become highly indecisive when the going gets tough. No matter what it is that you suffer from, identify it as a bad habit; and then get to work eliminating it permanently.
Principle #18 – Write Your Ideas—And Others’ Ideas Down
Just because you’re no longer a student doesn’t mean you should stop taking notes. Next time you or someone else says something that is truly insightful or useful, jot it down as a note. In the long run, this will save you time and money, as you won’t have to waste precious time rediscovering your own and others’ insights.
Principle #19 – Set Goals
This simple fact cannot be emphasized enough: one thing that separates the successful from those who have not experienced success is goals. The successful have goals; and these goals give them meaning and direction. If you’re lacking serious, meaningful goals, then you should spend some time to create them and then write them down.
Principle #20 – When It’s Time to Be Serious, Be Serious
One thing that separates the successful from those who have not yet experience success is the ability to become very serious when it is important. Many of us simply cannot do this. Instead, faced with real problem that is potentially unsolvable, we use humor, procrastination, or some other device to shy away from the problem. But if you want to be truly successful, you must learn to get serious when it’s time to be serious.
Principle #21 – Seize the Moment
Another important quality that the successful have is their ability to seize the moment. When they see an opportunity in arm’s length and they know that it’s real, they take it. They don’t debate it for a month until it is too late.
Principle #22 – Don’t Just Learn – Apply
When it comes to business, “learning” isn’t enough. In business, learning is only as valuable as the return it generates. This is why you must get in the habit of learning new things—and then applying them immediately.
Principle #23 – Take Time to Think About Important Decisions
Most people agree that “analysis paralysis” is a bad thing. However, when it comes to making decisions, we often err too far on one side or the other. Sometimes, we take far too long; and, other times, we don’t take long enough.
Instead of deliberating carefully, forming an opinion, and then acting, we often either jump to a conclusion or waste endless days thinking about the subject. In the end, our interests are better served by making the decision fast, but doing so based on sound information.
Principle #24 – Avoid the Grandiose
Creativity is important, but when it is excessive, it can lead to grandiosity. The successful know that being grandiose is not useful. Rather, it is simply a form of day-dreaming that does not translate into practical and reasonable set of steps you can take to improve your situation.
Principle #25 – Think in Terms of Problems and Solutions
Those who are successful in most of their endeavors see the world in terms of problems and solutions. That is, as soon as they hit a bump in the road, they go into problem-solving mode, rather than going into problem-avoidance mode or panicking.
Principle #26 – Delegate Tasks to Others
If you ever want to match the success of some of your heroes, you will need to learn how to delegate tasks to others. Often, the most important trait that makes people successful is that they are willing and able to break down and a large task; and efficiently and intelligently allocate its pieces to employees.
Principle #27 – Correct Your Weaknesses
Another important trait of the successful is their ability to identify and correct weaknesses. For instance, if they recognize that they are particularly weak at decision-making, then they will make an effort to become decisive, rather than wallowing in self-loathing or anger about their problem.
Principle #28 – Don’t Let Emotions Get the Best of You
Emotions can be an important driver of success. They can keep you focused on a goal; and they can give you the willpower to go on, even when things start to look bleak.
Unfortunately, emotions can also play a deeply negative role when it comes to running a business. They can coax you into making irrational, vindictive, and poorly thought-out choices. So, don’t let your emotions get the best of you, but do let them push you on towards success.
Principle #29 – Be Humble and Honest
Two additional traits that many successful individuals share are humility and honesty. In particular, when someone says something that they know is wrong, they point it out. And when they don’t know whether or not they are correct, they allow others to speak or correct them.
Principle #30 – Always Improve Your Business Processes
Along with begin a continuous learner, you should try to be a continuous improver, too. Wherever your business is lacking, make it better. And wherever you see room for improvement, make an improvement.
Principle #31 – Create Networks with Other Business Owners
Another important part of success in business is networking with other managers and business owners. Find out how they run their businesses; and see whether you can learn from them or work with them in some complementary fashion.
Principle #32 – Do Not Allow Your Personal Life to Interfere with Your Business Life
No matter what is going in on your personal life, remember to keep work at work and home life at home. Don’t allow a stressful situation with a friend or a relative spillover into your work and prevent you from being effective.
Principle #33 – Be Fast
One important trait of successful individuals in business is that they know that speed is important. Often, starting earlier and moving faster can make the difference between profitability and bankruptcy. So keep this in mind next time you are lagging far behind your competitors and cannot decide whether or not to push ahead or continue stagnating.
Principle #34 – Differentiate Yourself from Competitors
Whether you are competing for a promotion at work or competing with another business, differentiating yourself from your competitors is usually a good idea. Now, if you’re friends with the competition, then this is a more delicate task.
However, your goal should always be to spell out to either your boss or your customers (whichever case is the relevant one) that you have certain qualities that are desirable. This will often be sufficient, even without saying anything additional about other businesses or your co-workers.
Principle #35 – Leave Your Comfort Zone
When it comes to business, it is easy to settle into your comfort zone and stop taking risks. In some cases, if your comfort zone is a good place to be, your results may be very good. However, if you repeatedly experience poor results, then it may be time to leave your comfort zone, so that you can experience success.
Principle #36 – Be Persistent
In business, few things are more closely related to success than persistence. Persistence will determine whether you push ahead or give up altogether. And persistence will determine whether you eventually break through as a leader in your field; or whether you allow everyone else to walk over you to get to the top.
Principle #37 – Give Things Time to Get Better (or Worse)
In many situations, it is tempting to micromanage the implementation of a project. You may feel the need to monitor what’s going on and make frequent changes. However, it is important to know when enough is enough—and when it might just be best to give things time to play out before making a change.
Principle #38 – Be Realistic with Yourself and Others
One thing the successful know is that being realistic with yourself and others is crucial. In a business environment, if you do not tell others when they may be mistaken, they will continue on the wrong path. And if you do not allow others to correct you, then you will do the same.
Principle #39 – Take Action Immediately
Thoughts and actions are two very different things. And this is something the successful know very well. They know that coming up with a good idea is completely useless if you cannot implement it—or cannot give it to someone who can. So get in the habit of not only thinking of new things, but of taking action swiftly.
Principle #40 – Become Goal-Oriented
Don’t only set goals, but become goal-oriented. That is, in every waking moment, decide how you will channel your energy and actions towards outcomes that favor your chosen set of goals.
Principle #41 – Use Visualization Techniques
Visualization techniques can be very powerful instruments for achieving goals in business. Next time you hit a rough patch of uncertainty, consider spending some time visualization how you will behave in order to get through it. This will not only relax you, but it will also prepare you for the road ahead.
Principle #42 – Work on Your Time Management Skills
If you want to be successful, time management is vital. Not only must you keep track of all of your appointments, meetings, and project deadlines, but you also must manage your time when it comes to accomplishing tasks. If you allocate too much time to a project, that’s time that you cannot use for a different project.
Principle #43 – Organize Your Workspace
Having a clean, organized workspace is a vital part of success. It may sound trivial, but in fact, the cleanliness and the order can go a long way towards improving your mindset and structuring your day.
Principle #44 – Create Schedules and Use a Calendar
Similar to keeping your office space clean and organized, keeping your schedule clean and organized is important, too. It helps to keep your mind clear of unnecessary clutter and worries; and instead focus on moment.
Principle #45 – Take Control of Your Role in the Business
When it comes to business, staying in control means a lot. It means that you not only prevent other businesses from dictating an agenda for you, but it also means that you firmly seize control of your own density. If you want to be successful, then you must be willing to take control.
Principle #46 – Be Analytical About Your Results
In business, analysis is important. If something goes wrong, there are reasons for why it went wrong; and using a careful, well -reasoned approach is the best way to determine what those reasons were. So, instead of invoking magical thinking to avoid the problems altogether, instead focus on the process of analyzing your results.
Principle #47 – Stop Doing Things that Don’t Work
From time to time, you will determine that things don’t work—or at least they don’t work as well as they should. When this happens, you can take one of two paths. The first path ignores the problem and hopes that things get better. And the second puts an end to it by modifying your approach or discontinuing to do the thing that isn’t working. If you want to be successful, you will learn to have the courage to do the latter.
Principle #48 – Find Out Which Forms of Advertising Generate Revenue—And Which Do Not
In business, marketing can do a lot to transform your business. It can expand the audience for your product, persuade the existing audience, or it can provide no benefits at all while incurring massive costs. Those who are successful in business pay attention to their advertising, so they can determine which forms are beneficial and which forms should be discontinued.
Principle #49 – Always Consider the Possibility that You Are Wrong
In most situations, you are probably at least partially wrong (if not completely wrong). This is simply the nature of business. So, instead of brashly declaring your opinion, and then going ahead with or without the blessings of others, open yourself up to the possibility that you have made an error.
Principle #50 – Keep Things Simple
Simplicity is often underrated. In fact, many business owners are prone to believing that if something is simple, then it cannot be true. After all, the world is a complex place, so it cannot be the case that a solution to a problem in business can be simple.
In fact, many of the more successful innovations in business are simple. So, think twice before you taking things up a notch in terms of complexity. Instead, think about using solutions that are simple, elegant, communicable, and likely to work.
Principle #51 – When Failure Arrives, Accept it, Learn from It, and Move On
Often, in business, we encounter many more failures before we encounter a success. However, if we don’t make an effort to determine why we are failing; and how we might turn that failure into a success, it’s possible that we’ll never emerge with the success.
Principle #52 – Inspire Confidence in Those Around You
Rather than tearing down your fellow co-workers, make every attempt possible to build them up. Having a confident staff around you will multiply the returns you reap from your own efforts.
Principle #53 – Do Not Compete with Your Staff; Help Them and Learn How They Can Help You
Being successful means being secure. And being secure means that you don’t feel the need to compete with your co-workers, but instead focus on competing with other businesses.
Principle #54 – Avoid Becoming Discouraged Easily
One important difference between those who are successful and those who are not is that the successful do not get discouraged easily. No matter how poorly things appear to be going, they find a way to stick through things until the end. If you want to become successful, you should try to emulate this behavior.
Principle #55 – Adopt the Habits of Successful Individuals
Do you know someone at work who is very successful at what he does? Observe his behavior and try to copy it. If he approaches problem solving in a particular way, copy that approach and make it your own. If he has a certain routine that he adheres to religiously, then adopt that, too.
Principle #56 – Facilitate Discussion
Another important trait of business leaders who are successful is their ability to facilitate discussion. Not only do they have good ideas themselves, but they find ways to tease good ideas out of otherwise quiet co-workers.
Principle #57 – Ask Stupid Questions if You Really Don’t Know the Answer
People sometimes say that “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” But when you need to ask a question and you think that everyone else knows the answer, you might not fully believe that this is true. But when it comes to making decisions that will determine the fate of your business, it is true. If you don’t know the answer to a question, you should ask, find out the answer, and make your decision based on the correct information.
Principle #58 – Learn and Practice the Fundamentals
If you find that your business ideas and practices are not producing good results, then you should do what the successful do and return to the fundamentals. Think hard about what sound business principles would dictate; and attempt to practice that, rather than constantly attempting to innovate.
Principle #59 – Always Ask for Comments (Be They Good or Bad)
Thick skin is a valuable asset in business. It means not only having the ability to listen to and assimilate praise, but also to brush off direct insults and valuable, but critical comments. If you want to be successful in business, you must have thick skin and you must always ask for comments—be they good or bad.
Principle #60 – Avoid Getting Irrationally Defensive
Becoming defensive is a natural response to getting cornered. Instead of opening up to criticism and assimilating suggestions, we start shooting down any comment directed at us, be it useful or not. If you want to be successful in business, you must learn to resist the urge to become defensive.
Principle #61 – Concede Important Points When They Are True
When you’re arguing with a co-worker or an employee, it is vital that you concede important points when they are true. Failing to do so will not only set a bad precedent, but it will ultimately make you appear worse than if you had humbly accepted your mistake.
Principle #62 – Cultivate a Willingness to Succeed in Those Around You
Business culture is driven by the network in which it is embedded. If you want to cultivate a culture of success and confidence, then you must be sure that you exude confidence and success and inspire it in others.
Principle #63 – Don’t Hang Your Hat on Delusional Visions of Overnight Success
While it can be comforting to dream big about your future, having delusions about your success is purely detrimental. It will cause you to set unreasonable goals and attempt to live up to unrealistic expectations.
Principle #64 – Affirm Yourself and Your Choices
In business, you will have to make many difficult decisions. Instead of constantly second-guessing your decisions, take time to affirm your choices periodically, so that you do become overwhelmed by self-doubt.
Principle #65 – Find Time to Give Yourself a Break
In addition to working hard, the successful know to take breaks, too. Without breaks, we have no way to clear our minds, re-energize, and prepare for the task that faces us.
Principle #66 – Foster Transparency in Everything You Do
In business, transparency is an important virtue. It allows us to fully comprehend what we are doing, what our co-workers are doing, and how all of this fits into the same framework.
Principle #67 – Prepare Yourself Mentally for Bumps in the Road
Bumps in the road are inevitable in business. Next time you hit one, don’t panic. Instead, ride it out, absorb the lessons, and move forward.
Principle #68 – Be Decisive
When it comes to business, few things are more important that decisiveness. But what’s important to understand is that, in business, decisiveness doesn’t simply mean making decisions fast. It means knowing how to make good decisions fast. If you don’t do this know, you should make it a point to get better at it.
Principle #69 – Focus on Efficiency
In business, efficiency is prized. It’s not enough to simply do something well, you must also do it well and fast. Successful people do this; and you should, too.
Principle #70 – Create a Product that People Actually Want to Buy
One thing you don’t hear often from successful people is how they swindled a bunch of people into buying a low-quality product for a high-price. To the contrary, they will usually regale you with stories of how they beat competitors by offering a lower price or a better product.
Principle #71 – Do Not Make Questionable Decisions that Will Prevent You From Sleeping at Night
In business, opportunities abound to make questionable decisions from which you can profit. This might involve lying about your product or tricking your co – workers. In general, successful people know not to go this route, but instead to focus on making money legitimately and in a way that doesn’t harm or trick others.
Principle #72 – Keep Your Customers’ Best Interests at Mind
Following the general theme of the previous tips, keeping your customers’ best interests in mind is vital. It will not only keep you focused on creating products that they’ll appreciate and use, but it will also keep you satisfied with your job.
Principle #73 – Streamline Your Business Processes
No matter how efficient you think your business is managed, there are almost always opportunities for improvement. It’s just a matter of finding these opportunities and exploiting them to streamline how your business functions.
Principle #74 – Do Not Ask too Much of Your Employees
You might be tempted to squeeze every last cent out of your employees, but instead consider what the successful often do: they try to keep costs low, but at the same time, when they need talent, they pay for it. Keep this in mind when hiring and when giving raises.
Principle #75 – Learn to Deal with and Overcome Stress
In business, stress is inevitable. Competition is everywhere; and it isn’t always obvious what you should do in order to win. If you want to be successful, you have to learn how to cope with stress; and how to prevent it from dragging you down.
Section #2a: How to be Successful in the Workplace
If you look at the world around you, you’ll quickly notice that some people are successful with money and others are not. Some find ways to get and hold good jobs; and to get promoted within those jobs. And some do not.
Again, it’s no surprise that we see these differences. But what is important is that we learn from these differences and find out how we can get better at getting good jobs, getting good promotions, and managing our finances better.
Principle #76 – Improve Your Written Communication
Many who are successful and frequently get promoted in the workplace have powerful written communication skills. If yours are lacking, consider taking an English class or purchasing an English textbook.
Principle #77 – Improve Your Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is a vital ingredient of success. Without being able to clearly communicate your ideas to others, you will have a tough time being a strong leader. If you don’t yet have this skill, you may want to consider taking a public speaking class.
Principle #78 – Make Friends and Allies
When it comes to being successful in the workplace, few things are more important than having a group of friends and allies who can say good things about you to the higher-ups. So make an effort to be social, make friends, and have lunch with your co-workers.
Principle #79 – Stay Late at the Office Occasionally
Successful people know that being dedicated to your job isn’t enough. You must also demonstrate that dedication to your employer. One way in which you can do this is by staying late when your employer is also staying late, so she can observe you working and gain a positive impression.
Principle #80 – Be the First to Volunteer for Undesirable Projects
One easy way to differentiate yourself from others at work is to always volunteer for projects that no one else wants to do. Sure, it’ll be painful at first, but you’ll quickly become recognized as an invaluable asset for the business.
Principle #81 – Volunteer to do Presentations
In many workplaces, presentations are a vital part of communicating ideas to employees and business partners. Unfortunately, many people fear presentations; and often opt not to give them when given the choice. If you want to be successful, you should take every opportunity to give a presentation.
Principle #82 – Don’t Complain Frequently
When it comes down to it, a good manager or business owner knows that the buck stops at her desk. Instead of complaining about problems, she realizes that she must ultimately solve them. If you want to get promoted, you must also take on this mindset.
Principle #83 – Try to Take the High Road
When it comes to petty, intra-office disputes, always be the one to take the high road. Don’t focus on getting revenge or supporting an argument that is clearly wrong. Instead, just admit fault and move on with your life.
Principle #84 – Avoid Jokes that Some Might Find Inappropriate or Offensive
Making jokes can endear others to you. However, making offensive or inappropriate jokes can permanently eliminate you from the running for upper management jobs. Next time you go to make a joke, think twice about your audience; and don’t do it if you think it might offend someone.
Principle #85 – Make an Effort to Appear and Be Stable
Stability is an important quality in individuals who are given a lot of responsibility. If they are unstable, they could make very bad decisions that jeopardize the entire business. For this reason, you should push very hard to demonstrate your stability to the managers above you.
Principle #86 – Collaborate When Asked
Team work is an essential component of success in any business endeavor. This is why it is essential that you learn how to collaborate with your peers and colleagues and practice it regularly.
Principle #87 – Always Be Early or On Time
When you’re late to a meeting, everyone notices, including your boss. This is why it is vital to be early or on time, so that you don’t stick out as a bad example.
Principle #88 – Think and Contribute Critically
When you’re at meetings or when a co-worker or boss asks for advice, think critically and try to make an important contribution. Don’t let the words go in one ear and other the other.
Principle #89 – Don’t Sit Quietly at Meetings
If you want to be successful in the workplace, you cannot sit passively at meetings. Instead, you must take charge and make comments. Get recognized; and make important contributions.
Principle #90 – Empathize with Co-Workers and Higher-Ups
Empathy is important. Getting it from others makes you feel wanted and cared for. And giving it to others will improve your status within the company. It will show people that they can come to you if others do not understand their position.
Principle #91 – Don’t Make Enemies
If you want to be successful in the workplace, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up locking horns with a few people on the way. However, at the end of the day, it is vital that you don’t take these disputes personally; and work hard to avoid making enemies.
Principle #92 – Generate High-Quality Work
At the end of the day, the quality of work that you produce will determine whether your boss thinks that you are barely fit to carry out your current job; or whether you are over-qualified and should be promoted.
Principle #93 – Share Your Work and Ideas with Others
If you have good ideas, then share them with others. Let your co-workers and bosses benefit from your insights. Occasionally, you might get no credit for this, but over time, the praise you receive here and there will help to improve your profile within the company.
Principle #94 – Be Honest with Follow Co-Workers and Higher-Ups
Above all else, honesty is an important quality in the workplace. Being honest with your co-workers and your boss means that they can trust you and come to you for advice in the future.
Principle #95 – Be a Self-Starter
One of the most clearly identifiable traits of successful individuals is their ability to self-start. Instead of needing to be pushed around by bosses, they take action immediately and accomplish tasks on their own. If you want to get promoted, you should also get in the habit of doing this.
Principle #96 – Meet People and Make Friends
At least one a week, get out of your cubicle and walk the office. Meet the people who work next to you; and endear them to you. When you’re up for a promotion, it can never hurt to have too many friends.
Principle #97 – Expand Your Understanding of the Business
When it comes to getting a promotion, being good at your job isn’t enough. In fact, it’s just one prerequisite. In addition to being good at your job, you will also have to gain a much stronger understanding of the business you work in, so you can make broader, bigger picture suggestions.
Principle #98 – See Opportunities—Not Challenges
Many people see challenges and freeze with fear. The successful don’t see challenges, but instead look for opportunities. Be like the successful and look for opportunities.
Principle #99 – Don’t Pass the Buck
Passing the buck is what you do if you don’t want responsibility. If you want to be successful and to get promoted, don’t pass the buck. Take any responsibility that comes your way; and ask for more.
Principle #100 – Don’t Be Afraid to Stand-Up for Yourself
When it comes to contradicting your boss or a co-worker, you might decide that it is not a good idea to stand up for yourself, but instead to back-down. However, if you have good reason to believe you are right, you should stick up for yourself as long as it is reasonable and respectful. Ultimately, your co-workers and boss will respect you more for it.
Principle #101 – Become Deadline-Oriented
In the workplace, deadlines are everything. If you want to become successful, you must make it a point to follow deadlines very closely, so that your projects are always delivered on time.
Principle #102 – Share Your Knowledge
The successful don’t fear scarcity, but instead embrace abundance. When they have knowledge and skills, they freely give it away to others with the understanding that those they help will become important allies in the future.
Principle #103 – Build a Portfolio of Your Work
In some cases, you will not be promoted directly, but will have to apply for a job within the company. In these cases, you will want to have a resume and portfolio (if applicable) available, so that you can use them in the interview.
Principle #104 – Rationalize Why You Are Worthy of a Promotion
Getting a promotion can be a difficult process. This is why it is important that you spend some time thinking about and rationalizing why you are worthy of a promotion. When the going gets tough, you’ll have reasons that you can use to reinforce your choice.
Principle #105 – Don’t Shy Away from Gray Areas
Gray areas are important. Those who are successful find out how to succeed, even when things are clearly black or white. Those who often fail to succeed cannot work through gray areas, but instead get confused and bogged down. If you want to get recognized and promoted, you must charge gray areas head-on and demonstrate that they won’t make you ineffective.
Principle #106 – Don’t Be an Apple-Polisher
Most bosses will appreciate it if you are kind and respectful to them, but if you go out of your way to suck up to them, it will usually be perceived poorly. Instead of respecting you, they will see you as someone they cannot trust for a straight answer.
Principle #107 – Perform a Gap Analysis
Perform a gap analysis of what you are missing today in order to be worthy of the promotion. Think exactly what things you will need to do in order to position yourself well for it.
Principle #108 – Prioritize Your Work
Going forward, try to prioritize your work. Try to determine which projects are “urgent,” which projects are “important,” and which projects are both. And then attack them in the correct order.
Principle #109 – Master Your Job
Mastering your job won’t be enough to get you a promotion, but it is without a question the best place to start. So, if you think there is significant room for improvement, then getting working to master your job.
Principle #110 – Stay Alert
Stay alert for important information about promotions and job openings. If you find these opportunities quickly and exploit them, you will greatly improve your chances of getting promoted.
Principle #111 – Dress for the Part
One important part of getting promotions is dressing for the part. If you don’t look presentable on a daily basis that may factor into your boss’s decision not to promote you. So dress for success.
Principle #112 – Create a Career Map
Create a map of your career that shows where you have been and where you want to finish your career (perhaps in upper management or perhaps as CEO). Along each step of the way, have a plan for how you will move from one spot to the next.
Principle #113 – Find a Good Mentor
One good way to find out how to lead and how to be successful is to get advice from a great mentor. This mentor could be your boss or could be a co-worker who is highly successful. Either way, find at least one mentor and try to get as much as you can get out of the relationship.
Principle #114 – Find Someone Who Gets Promoted and Work with Them
Similar to finding a mentor, try to follow people closely to get promoted. Ask yourself what qualities they have that ultimately make them so promotable. And then try to copy those qualities
Principle #115 – Never Say “No”
One good way to demonstrate that you are responsible is to always say “yes” to difficult and unsavory projects. No matter how much you don’t want to do them, accept them anyway and demonstrate that you are management material.
Principle #116 – Consider Why You Want the Promotion
Being prepared is important. For instance, next time you’re in the elevator with your boss or with a higher-up, you will want to be prepared if your boss asks you something about a new job opening or a possible promotion. Have reasons ready for why you want the promotion and why you would fit well in the position.
Principle #117 – Observe Successful Co-Workers
Pay attention to co-workers who are especially good at their jobs. What is it that enables them to be so efficient? And what is it that elicits so much praise from upper management? Copy these qualities and you should see the same results.
Principle #118 – Be Scrappy
Scrappiness is an important trait of those who are successful. No matter how badly the road to success treats them, they take their lumps and then return to the path. Ultimately, they prevail because they refuse to do anything else.
Principle #119 – Make Your Boss Look Good
Another thing that the successful know how to do is to make the boss look good. This is especially true if you can do it in front of her superiors or a partner from another business. Your boss will appreciate this; and will want to do what she can to ensure that you are around to help her again.
Principle #120 – Befriend the HR Department
Make a friend in human resources. Next time there is a job opening in the works, you will be one of the first people to find out about it.
Principle #121 – Make Sure Someone Else Can Do Your Job
As unintuitive as this might seem, an important part of getting a promotion is ensuring that someone else can do your job. If the no one can, then you cannot be replaced; and cannot get promoted.
Principle #122 – Timing is Important
When it comes to getting a promotion at work, few things are more important than timing. Being in the right place at the right time and saying the right things is vital. And this is why you must pay careful attention to your timing.
Principle #123 – Don’t Ask Questions if You Can Answer Them Yourself
One thing the successful do well is to solve problems themselves, rather than burdening others with them. If you want a promotion, you have to learn how to do this, too.
Principle #124 – Do More than is Asked of You
Whenever you are given a project at work, make it a point to over- deliver on all of the requirements. Make the boss appreciate your work; and make her have a vested interest in promoting you.
Principle #125 – Follow the Approach of Your Manager
If you want an example of how to get promoted, look no further than your own manager. She has been promoted to a position above you, so she knows how to be successful in your position.
Principle #126 – Eliminate Turbulence in Your Personal Life
Turbulence in your personal life is bad for a lot of reasons, but one reason is that it can often spill-over into your worklife, compounding the problem. So make every effort possible to reconcile with family members and to end fights quickly.
Principle #127 – Make Yourself Indispensible
If you can easily envision how the company could replace you, then your boss probably can, too. The successful know to make themselves indispensible, so that they are promoted or given a raise, rather than replaced.
Principle #128 – Learn How to be a Team Player
In essence, getting better at your job means getting better at playing your role on the team. Make an effort to demonstrate that you are a team player to your bosses; and you may be rewarded with an attempt to run that team.
Principle #129 – Learn New Skills
One large part of getting promoted involves developing new skills. If you don’t develop new skills, then you cannot expect that your boss will suddenly believe that you are capable of taking on a new job with different requirements.
Principle #130 – Develop New Strategies
In addition to acquiring new skills, you should also devise new strategies for tackling your current workload. Find ways to do it faster and better, so that you stand out more.
Principle #131 – Make an Attempt to Signal Your Readiness to Your Superiors
In addition to simply being prepared for your promotion, you should also try to signal your preparedness and willingness to your superiors. Let them know that you would be interested in a promotion if one should become available.
Principle #132 – If Someone Has to Stay Late, Let it Be You
Making a sacrifice for the company shows that you are interested in staying around longer. So, instead of trying to extract every last penny from the company while putting in as little work as possible, go the distance and prove that you are willing to make a sacrifice.
Principle #133 – Don’t Try to Advance Prematurely
In the long run, your promotion should come naturally. It should come at a time when it is obvious to you and obvious to your bosses that you are interested and worthy. If you try to force the issue to quickly, it could backfire and negatively effect you in the long run.
Principle #134 – Maintain a Sense of Urgency
In all things you do at work, maintain a sense of urgency. Show that you are hard-working, attentive, and alert. And show that you won’t become complacent simply because things are going well.
Principle #135 – Improve Your Profile within the Organization
Volunteer at charity events, help co-workers who are in need, and generally be available and helpful. As your profile improves within the company, so will your chances of getting promoted.
Principle #136 – Emulate Your Superiors
Your superiors have been promoted for important reasons. If you want to be promoted, too, don’t be cynical about the reasons for their promotion, but instead try to emulate their behavior.
Principle #137 – Always be Available
If you don’t own one already, get a smartphone that allows you to easily check and write emails. This will make it possible for you to always be on call for your boss, so you can become someone that he or she relies on.
Principle #138 – Keep Your Boss in the Know
If there is something important that your boss needs to know, be the first to let her know about it. You will become someone that she can rely on for information, which will make you indispensible to the company.
Principle #139 – Apply for Within Company Jobs
Don’t just passively wait for a promotion. Instead, do what the successful do and apply for within company jobs. Be aggressive about getting that promotion.
Principle #140 – Learn New Things
One way to make you indispensible to your company is to learn new things about your job. Work through a reference manual. Spend time learning how to use the company’s proprietary software optimally. Do something that makes you better and more useful.
Principle #141 – Look for a Job Elsewhere
Find jobs outside of your company that look promising. At a minimum, you might be able to get a better job elsewhere. At most, you might be able to leverage that offer into a promotion within the company.
Principle #142 – Practice Self-Promotion
As painful as it might be at first, get in the habit of self-promoting (but in ways that don’t make you look desperate or stupid). Get others to notice you and to appreciate what you do within the company.
Principle #143 – Always Maintain a Positive Outlook on Life
No matter what line of work you’re in, you’re likely to run into a few bumps on the road. When you do, try to maintain a positive outlook on life. Often, this simple difference in mindset will determine the success or failure of a venture.
Principle #144 – Make Yourself Known at Conferences
In addition to making yourself known within the company, make yourself known outside of the company. Go to the relevant conferences for workers in your industry; and try to make a reasonable showing, so that people remember your name.
Principle #145 – Think Like a Leader
Instead of thinking like a worker who will never be promoted, think like a leader. Reflect this in your decisions and in your aura of confidence. Demonstrate to others that you can think on your feet and make important decisions; and you will be rewarded with promotions.
Section #2b: How to be Successful with Money
Principle #146 – Pay Off Your Debt
It cannot be emphasized enough: unless you are young and are planning to get a number of very large raises in your lifetime (or are temporarily ill), then you shouldn’t be accumulating debt. You should be paying it down and saving for retirement. The successful know and practice this.
Principle #147 – Start Saving Early
Start saving early. Investing $10,000 at age 30 will yield you much more in retirement than $10,000 invested at age 50.
Principle #148 – Avoid Putting Yourself in a Precarious Financial Situation
The successful know that some risk is unavoidable, but where it is avoidable, it should be deal with intelligently. If you are constantly putting yourself in precarious financial situations, it may be time to rethink your finances and your approach to money.
Principle #149 – Don’t Drive Yourself into the Ground
We all go through hard times in our lives where the money isn’t flowing. But when this is the case, you must cut back and live simply. Don’t drive yourself into the ground financially, as the consequences are likely to manifest well into the future.
Principle #150 – Keep Track of Your Finances in a Spreadsheet
Instead of hoping that your finances will work themselves out, play a role in shaping your financial future by keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet. This is often the difference between success and failure in personal finance.
Principle #151 – Make an Effort to Cut Your Expenses
If your expenses are too high, then cut them. Move into a cheaper apartment. Buy bargains at the grocery store. Use coupons. Cut back on entertainment expenses.
Principle #152 – Be Thrifty Where Possible
When you’re poor, thriftiness is a virtue. If you’ve fallen on hard times, you would be wise to be thrifty, rather than delusional about the state of your finances.
Principle #153 – Get in the Practice of Creating and Following Budgets
Budgets can play an important role in stabilizing financial outcomes. If you currently have no budget, you should start making one on a weekly basis. Try to keep your expenses and income flows under control, so you don’t get behind on payments.
Principle #154 – Try to Cut Your Spending by 10% Per Month
If you’re currently over-budget, consider cutting your expenses by 10%. Even if it seems hard to do initially, figure it out and do it.
Principle #155 – Pay Your Bills on Time
When you miss a bill, you get charged fees. So, instead of paying your bills on the last day, pay them first. If you have money left over, then use it for other purposes, but don’t do so until you have paid the bills.
Principle #156 – Set Financial Goals
Don’t just dream about your finances getting better. Set financial goals and commit yourself to accomplishing them. This will keep you on track with your finances; and will give you something to look forward to.
Principle #157 – Invest in Your Career
Just like any other investment, an investment in your career could pay off considerably down the line. If you are currently missing the education or the training that you need to move forward in your career, then put some money aside to invest in your career.
Principle #158 – Consider Going Back to School
If you’re unsure of what to do on your current career path, then consider going back to school. Test the waters and figure out what it is that you want to do—or have an aptitude for; and then try again with a different career path.
Principle #159 – Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low
Try to keep your credit card balances under 30% of the total allowable limit. If there is some emergency, you will have a back up reserve of credit that you can use to get through it.
Principle #160 – Pay Credit Card Balances in Full
If you can, pay your credit card balances in full each time. This will prevent you from ever paying interest on the debt you are servicing.
Principle #161 – Shop Around for Insurance
When it comes to car insurance, there’s a good chance that you might not be using the best place. Instead of being complacent and sticking with your current plan, consider shopping around to find a better one.
Principle #162 – Avoid Unnecessarily Risky Investments
Instead of picking stocks, put your money into a mix of high-yield and low-yield bonds. Or into a fund that is well diversified and offers a reasonable, but low-risk return.
Principle #163 – Put Money in Index Funds
Instead of putting money into individual stocks, put your money into index funds. Successful investors know that, over time, you cannot consistently beat the market without taking on a significant amount of risk in the process.
Principle #164 – Seek the Help of a Financial Advisor
When you first start to invest, seek out the help of a financial advisor. The successful know that it is not possible to know everything; and that getting the advice of a professional is always a good place to start.
Principle #165 – Shop Around for the Best Mortgage
Another thing that people who are successful in personal finance generally do is shop around for a mortgage. Instead of simply taking the first that they are offered at the first bank they go to, they test the waters with a number of different companies to try to get a lower interest rate.
Principle #166 – Don’t Buy a Big House if You Cannot Afford It
Locking yourself into a big mortgage payment is a very bad idea—especially if you have a shaky income. Instead of risking the possibility that might not be able to make the payments, settle for a smaller house or an apartment until you have financial capacity to make the payments on time.
Principle #167 – Consider Visiting a Mortgage Broker
Visit a mortgage broker. Even if you ultimately do not use one of the companies she suggests, you can get a feel for what is out there in terms of payment sizes, interest rates, and other important features.
Principle #168 – Look into Taxes Associated with Homeownership
No matter where you live, there will most likely be taxes associated with homeownership. When switching from an apartment to a home, keep this in mind.
Principle #169 – Negotiate Selling Prices on Large Purchases
One stark distinction between the successful and the unsuccessful is that the successful are always willing to bargain. Even if it means that they’ll have a much less pleasant buying experience, they’ll spend hours haggling if it means they can cut hundreds or thousands off of the price tag.
Principle #170 – Compare Different Types of Mortgage Products
In addition to shopping around with different banks, you will also want to shop around for different mortgage product types. For instance, if the size of the mortgage payment will be high relative to your monthly income, then you may want to consider looking for a fixed rate.
Section #3: Success in Your Personal Life
No matter how well your worklife is going, your personal life has the potential to drag everything down with it. After all, if you’re not happy and comfortable in your own home, then were can you be comfortable?
Below, we will consider how those who are successful in their relationships and personal lives behave; and how you can change your behavior to become more like them.
Principle #171 – Dream Big—and Translate Those Dreams into Action
One thing that the successful consistently do is dream big. But unlike most of us, they take those dreams and translate them into action—and, ultimately, positive outcomes.
Principle #172 – Reconcile with Family Members
If your personal life is riddled with conflicts, then you may want to take some time to step back and ask yourself what is going wrong. Consider whether you could simply be the bigger person and reconcile these conflicts with family members, rather than perpetuating them.
Principle #173 – Set Relationship Goals
One thing that people who are successful in personal relationships do is set goals. For instance, they might consider the progression of a romantic relationship and consider whether it is going too quickly or too slowly. They might also try to look one year ahead and decide where they want to be, so they can steer the relationship in that direction.
Principle #174 – Develop Self-Confidence
While a little self-doubt usually isn’t a bad thing, a lot of self-doubt can be highly destructive. It can prevent you from accomplishing many things; and it can prevent you from fully participating in relationships, as well as forming new relationships.
Principle #175 – Make an Effort to be Happy, No Matter What Challenges You Face
No matter what challenges you face at work, don’t bring them home with you. Make an effort to be happy at home; and to spread that happiness to your spouse and children.
Principle #176 – Find Ways to Stay Motivated
The successful always find ways to stay motivated, no matter what the circumstances. If you want to be successful, too, then you must also find something that keeps you fiery, motivated, and hungry for more.
Principle #177 – Be Grateful to Your Spouse or Significant Other
From time to time, show your spouse the gratitude that he or she deserves. Don’t hold back on praise or use it as a bargaining chip. Instead, be open honest, and loving; and you will receive the same in return.
Principle #178 – Commit Yourself to Improving Your Relationship with Your Spouse
Instead of seeing your spouse as a competitor, see him or her as a partner in life. Think about how you can work together to achieve better outcomes for both of you, rather than thinking about how you can get out of whatever task he or she wishes you to do.
Principle #179 – Diet and Exercise is Important
Regardless of whatever else is going on in your life, proper diet and exercise is something the successful never stray too far from. They know that a healthy body is an important supporting pillar of a healthy mind.
Principle #180 – Let Go of Your Fear of Failure
On the road to success, you will experience many failures. This is why it is so important to let these fears go; and instead focus on the process of achieving those goals that you want so badly.
Principle #181 – Define What Success in Your Personal Life Means to You
Success in your personal life can mean different things to different people. Define what it means to you. Does it mean that you become closer and more open with your spouse? Once you define it, focus on achieving it.
Principle #182 – Find Ways to Make Your Life Meaningful
Without meaning, our lives are dull and depressing. With meaning, each day is full of memories and important milestones. So find ways to make your life meaningful; and, if you are married or in a relationship, try to make it meaningful with your significant other.
Principle #183 – Plan Your Personal Life Carefully
Instead of allowing whims and chance events to control how your life plays out, focus on exerting your control over your life. Force it to give you what you want; and take control, as the successful do.
Principle #184 – Schedule Your Life
Instead of panicking about how disorganized events are in your life, make an effort to schedule things carefully. This will allow you to know what you need to do and when, rather than letting chance play the dominant role in determining your fate.
Principle #185 – Set Goals
Goals are important. They serve as a means for you to gauge your progress and to keep your eyes trained on the future. So, do as the successful do, and set goals for your personal life.
Principle #186 – Volunteer for Non-Profit Organizations
One thing that the successful frequently do is give to others. They not only give money, but they give time and compassion. Consider volunteering for non-profit organizations. You’ll not only feel better about yourself, but others will admire you for it.
Principle #187 – Don’t Let Your Past Limit Your Future
In the past, you failed miserably at many things. But that doesn’t have to carry over into the future. Don’t let your past limit your future, but instead, let go of your past failures and focus on what the future offers.
Principle #188 – Accept Responsibility for Your Decisions
While chance will always play a role in your life, your decisions are the only thing you can control. So, take responsibility for your decisions. When the outcomes are bad, accept it as your fault; and when they are good, see what you did right.
Principle #189 – Be a Good Listener in Relationships
In relationships, it is vital that you have someone who you can vent to and with whom you can be completely honest. Additionally, it is vital that you be that same person for your partner.
Principle #190 – Never Go to Sleep without Resolving an Argument
If you’re in the middle of an argument, don’t just go to sleep. Instead, resolve it. Be the bigger person if you must, but don’t allow a fight to continue through the night and into the following day.
Principle #191 – Remain Proactive in Tackling Challenges
If a big financial or personal event is looming on the horizon, don’t wait for it to come to you. Be proactive in dealing with it, so that you don’t end up cornered and with few options.
Principle #192 – Be a Problem-Solver, Not a Problem-Avoider
Instead of avoiding problems, meet them head-on. This is what the successful do; and this is precisely why they don’t ever end up cornered and without options. They take care of problems before they get worse and bleed over into other areas of their life.
Principle #193 – Manage Your Time and Resources Efficiently
Like most people, you have some time and resources at your disposal. Instead of mismanaging them or ignoring them, use them wisely and to your advantage. Be efficient with your resources and you will reap the rewards of personal success.
Principle #194 – Break Your Larger Goals Down into Daily Objectives
Once you have set broad goals for your personal life, make an effort to break them down into manageable chunks. Find ways to set and accomplish daily objectives that advance you further towards your goals.
Principle #195 – Spend Time Reflecting on Your Personal Life
From time to time, reflect on your personal life. Consider whether you are approach personal relationships and goals correctly; and consider how you might improve your approach.
Principle #196 – Commit Yourself to Getting Out of Debt
As I’ve mentioned in other tips, you must commit yourself to getting out of debt. Debt is often the product of delusion and wishful thinking. Instead of letting delusion run your life, drop the debt and get on a path to saving for a comfortable retirement.
Principle #197 – Take Notes
You’re not in school anymore, but taking notes still has a lot of value. If your spouse tells you to get a number of things done, then you may want to write them down. And if you have ideas about how you can improve your personal or financial life, write them down too. Don’t simply let these notes and insights slip away.
Principle #198 – Readjust Your Expectations to Make Them Reasonable
Many of us go through life with unreasonably high expectations of what we can and should achieve. Over time, we readjust our expectations, but only after spending years chasing something that ultimately ends up being a waste of time. Instead of doing this, do as the successful do and shoot high, but keep reasonable expectations.
Principle #199 – Stop Blaming Others for Your Problem
While others may make your problems worse, only you can solve them. So stop blaming other people for your problems and take responsibility for your life and decisions.
Principle #200 – Spend Time Relaxing
From time to time, you should relax with your spouse and family. The successful know that hard work is important, but relaxation is equally important.
Principle #201 – Don’t Panic
Panic is one of the least helpful responses to any situation. It gives you no direction, no insight; and generally overwhelms your senses. If you find yourself in a bad situation, don’t panic; instead, start problem solving.
Principle #202 – Practice Patience with Your Spouse and Children
At the end of the day, the people who will stick with you forever are your spouse and children. Try to stay patient with them, to understand them, and do whatever you can for them.
Principle #203 – Expand Your Horizons by Making New Friends
Making new friends can introduce you to thoughts that might never have occurred to you previously. The successful know that having a mix of different types of friends can broaden your horizons and improve the quality of your life.
Principle #204 – Improve Your Existing Friendships
In addition to making new friends, you should also try to improve your existing friendships. Get closer with good friends; and find ways to grow your relationships with new friends.
Principle #205 – Observe Successful Relationships and Emulate Them
If you and your spouse have friends who have successful friendships or romantic relationships, observe them and copy their approach. Emulate the things that work well in the relationships—and yours may improve, too.
Principle #206 – Try to be Empathetic and Caring in Your Interactions with Family Members
Instead of judging family members and complaining to them, try to understand where they come from; and try to empathize with their situations. Try hard to make their situations in life better; and they will do the same for you.
Principle #207 – Attempt to Improve Your Mindset
Mindset is an important variable that we can all influence. No matter whether it comes to personal relationships or business transactions, improving our focus and our intensity can only have a positive effect.
Principle #208 – Make Important Lifestyle Changes
In addition to improving your mindset, you should also consider making lifestyle changes where they are warranted. For instance, you may want to cut down on excessive drinking or you may want to stop smoking altogether.
Principle #209 – Do Not Resist the Inevitable—Embrace It
If something is truly inevitable in your personal life, then embrace it. Instead of pretending that it won’t happen, let it happen, but be prepared, be accepting, and be flexible.
Principle #210 – Do Not Allow Others to Dictate the Terms of Your Life to You
In many cases, people simply do not realize how much control they have over their own lives. So, instead of seizing that control and using it to improve things, they simply let things play out. If you want to be successful, then you need to get in the habit of taking control and not allowing others to dictate the terms of your life to you.
Principle #211 – Monitor the Path of Your Life
Take some time to evaluate your life. Consider where you have come from and where you are likely to end up. Decide whether you want to deviate from this path to achieve a better outcome. And then implement this plan.
Principle #212 – Accept Responsibility for The Outcomes of Your Work (Good or Bad)
One important part of success is responsibility. Those who accept responsibility for their actions; and move forward from there will feel empowered to make changes. And those who cannot accept responsibility will never full understand how much they can control.
Principle #213 – Make an Effort to Strengthen Your Resolve
The strength of your resolve will determine whether you break-down at the sight of a challenge; or whether you dare the challenge to cross your path. Strengthen your resolve and success is likely to follow.
Principle #214 – Dispose of Bad Habits in Your Personal Relationships
We all have bad habits in our personal relationships. Perhaps we don’t listen very well. Or perhaps we are very quick to judge. Don’t let these bad habits set the tone for every relationship you have. Instead, extinguish these habits and improve your relationships.
Principle #215 – Strive for Healthiness and Transparency in Your Relationships
No matter whether it is a romantic relationship or a friendship, strive for healthiness and transparency. Don’t hide information. Don’t do anything to intentionally hurt your friend or partner. And, most of all, try to be honest and forthcoming in all of your endeavors.
Principle #216 – Make Everyday a Meaningful Attempt to Accomplish Your Goals
Each day, define how the events will contribute to your goals. When you inject meaning into everyday, mundane events, you give yourself the chance and the motivation to excel further than you otherwise might.
Principle #217 – Break Out of Your Comfort Zone and Try New Things
Trying new things keeps you thinking and helps you to problem solve. So make an effort to step out of your comfort zone, experience the world, and learn more.
Principle #218 – Be Open-Minded and Accepting of Your Significant Other’s Needs
Just as you have needs, your significant other also has needs. Try to be sensitive and thoughtful in responding to these needs, rather than bargaining with your partner for the best deal you can get.
Principle #219 – Try to Do Good Things Each Day
Each day, try to do something good for other people. Help a co – worker. Contribute to a charity. Help your spouse with something he or she is dreading. Whatever you do, make an effort to do something that no only helps someone else, but makes you feel better, too.
Principle #220 – Find Ways to Put Yourself at Peace with the World and Your Life
Finally, one of the most important things that successful people do is make sure they are at peace with the world and their own life. Even if their worklife is riddled with conflict and controversy, they find a way to become comfortable with it all, so that it does not drag them down each day.
And there you have it: 220 tips that you can use to copy the thoughts, behaviors, and strategies of the successful. It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to improve your role in business, in the workplace, or at home, there are people out there who have experienced success in these domains and can offer advice. This book collects and offers some of the best of these tips.
So get out there and start working! You now know what drives success. It’s just a matter of adopting these tips and making them work for you.