Living a happy, healthy and prosperous life isn't going to just magically happen. Achieving success and feeling fulfilled will take work and intention on your part. Here are a few simple truths which experts believe many people could benefit from understanding.

An introduction does not make a relationship

Janice Bryant Howroyd, in her book Acting Up: Winning in Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom, says you're a "relationship thief" if you use someone's good relationship with someone you want to know to get an introduction, and then assume you can have the same level of relationship as the other two people have. She says it's insulting to think that a trusting relationship which may have taken a decade to develop can be duplicated with a brief introduction. When it comes to making introductions, she suggests first asking why the individual wants the introduction to the third person. Then, coach the person who wants the introduction by spelling out that the introduction is just that -- he or she will need to build their own relationship with the third person who is not up for immediate solicitation of a favor. "[W]hen that person tries to invoke a level of relationship with someone that they have not earned, it becomes uncomfortable for the person I introduced them to," she writes. "And that reflects poorly on me."

Multitasking wastes time

Plenty of studies have proven this, says Dan Schawbel in his book Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation. While it might feel as if you're getting three times as much done if you're checking email and updating your status while sitting in a conference call, in reality your brain can only do one thing at a time. "When we shift from the conference call to the status update to the email, there's a stop-and-start process in our brains that causes a momentary lag between steps when nothing happens at all," he writes. "Bottom line, instead of doing three tasks at once to the full extent of your ability, you're doing three tasks poorly."

Strengthening your EQ will help you perform better and make more money

Emotional intelligence gets hyped all the time because when people understand their emotions and those of others, they make better decisions, have healthier relationships and yes, even earn more. But one problem, according to Kerry Goyette, author of The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence, is that 95 percent of people think they're self-aware, but only 10-15 percent really are. To actually be self-aware you need to realize that your brain is always subconsciously on the lookout for social threats. "Emotional intelligence requires that we recognize when we are perceiving a threat and then resist the impulse to go into fight-or-flight mode," she writes. "The more you practice reading your responses to your environment, the more effective you'll be at making more objective and intentional decisions, and the more confident and productive you will be at the workplace."

Meaningful relationships are your most valuable asset

They help you feel fulfilled, give you energy and contribute to living a long, happy life. That's why it's so important to be intentional about only spending time with people who help you be your best self. Robert Glazer, in his book Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others, gives the example of exactly the kind of person who you don't want to be around:

[L]et's call him Steve. Steve doesn't have a clear sense of who he is or what he wants. He also doesn't believe he can improve. He is overweight, eats poorly, doesn't exercise and drinks too much. He doesn't compete, because he's afraid to lose, and never tries anything new. Steve alienates many friends and family and hangs around with people who bring him down and reinforce his existing beliefs.

This is not the picture of a high achiever. It's also not someone who's going to build your capacity for success. "Think about the five people who you associate with the most today," he writes. "If you want to elevate, but you realize you are the smartest person in the room, it may be time to switch rooms."

Published on: Sep 10, 2019
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