Living an extraordinary life, doesn't just happen. First, it necessitates being self-aware. Here are just a few simple--but not always easy--questions experts say you should be asking if you want to get ahead.

Ask for advice from someone who you want to know better

The people who count you as a friend or valued business associate can help you open doors in life. One way to grow this network is to show the influential people you meet that you genuinely respect them. And asking someone what you should do in a particular situation is a stellar way to show this respect. That's according to Jack Nasher, author of Convinced: How to Prove Your Competence and Win People Over. "For example, say, 'This one employee is always late to work, but I don't know what to do to get him to start coming in on time. Do you have any experience with that?'" he writes. "Whatever their response, they will be pleased that you approached them, as it indicates that you respect them and take their opinions seriously."

Ask a stranger for something outlandish

Dave Asprey, in his book Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators and Mavericks do to Win at Life, argues that while everyone experiences fear, giving into it results in not taking risks, which makes a person weaker and less successful. He discusses the experimentation of entrepreneur, author and TED Talks speaker Jia Jiang, who set out to extinguish his fear by intentionally exposing himself to rejection every day for 100 days as a way to condition himself against feeling afraid. To do it, he would make crazy requests of people he didn't know. Could he have a burger refill at a fast-food restaurant? Could he play soccer in a stranger's yard? While he certainly was rejected many times, Jiang discovered that people said yes more often than he would have imagined, and many times attempted to give him something other than what he had requested instead. "When you play it safe, you won't be rejected," Asprey writes. "If you are willing to try something audacious enough that it fails, celebrate that. It is an accomplishment in and of itself."

Ask yourself what you want out of life

It's the beginning place for all achievement, Napolean Hill puts forth in Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude. Delineating your life's goals results in four benefits, he writes:

1. By visualizing your intended destination, your subconscious mind will help you arrive there.

2. Knowing what you want propels you toward action.

3. Identifying your goals motivates you to study, plan, budget and work.

4. Knowing what you want helps you see opportunities which present themselves in your daily life which will help you reach your goals.

"What then, is a formula that can help you change your world? Memorize, understand and repeat frequently throughout the day: What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve with [positive mental attitude]," he writes. "When it becomes a part of you, you dare to aim higher."

Published on: Dec 6, 2018
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