Advice on how to succeed in business and life is everywhere, but sometimes it comes down to more than networking with the right people, reading the right books and having the kind of daily habits which push a person to get more done every day. Sometimes, it's littler things which have a bigger impact. How do you carry yourself? How do you speak? What do you intentionally put within your line of sight? Here's why experts say they're good questions to ask yourself.

Your non-verbal communication is a big part of how well you succeed

Caroline Forsey, writing for the HubSpot blog, cites several scientific studies in which researchers have found that people who adopt a high-power pose (such as hands on hips or arms behind the head) do better in interviews, compared with people who are closed non-verbally. They've also determined that people who smile are better able to deal with stress because somehow it lowers heart rate. And study participants told to walk lightly (with good posture and a light step) had a more positive mindset compared with their cohorts who were instructed to walk heavily while slouching.

Swearing reflects better friendships and helps you endure pain

Emma Byrne, author of Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language explains to National Geographic that even though using cuss words and phrases is typically thought of as unfeminine, she takes pride at being good at "colorful and well-timed swearing." Not only that, she cites research which has shown that it's a strong indicator of trust when friends swear among each other:

You're demonstrating that you have a sophisticated theory of mind about the person that you're talking to, and that you have worked out where the limit is between being shocking enough to make them giggle or notice you've used it but not so shocking that they'll be mortally offended. That's a hard target to hit right in the bullseye. Using swear words appropriate for that person shows how well you know them; and how well you understand their mental model.

Byrne also discusses research has shown that people can endure pain longer when swearing, women swear as much as men but are judged more harshly for it, and get this--even chimps swear. Chimpanzees taught the sign language for "dirty" have taught themselves how to use the word in the same way people use excremental swear words.  

Your external environment can determine the amount of joy in your life

It's a perspective which goes against ancient philosophies which maintain that material things can't create happiness. Ingrid Fetell Lee, in her book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, disagrees. Rather, she asserts that the way things around you look and feel--otherwise known as "aesthetics"-- greatly affect how you feel. "I found that certain places have a kind of buoyancy--a bright corner café, a local yarn shop, a block of brownstones whose window boxes overflow with blooms--and I started changing my routines to visit them more often," she writes. "On bad days, rather than feeling overwhelmed and helpless, I discovered small things that could reliably lift my spirits." What can you notice or bring into your world which is beautiful and makes you feel joyful?

Published on: Oct 29, 2018
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