We all love a great a-ha moment or an epiphany of thought that propels our own ability to live more vibrantly. While it's not possible to have them all the time, we can make sure we get the most out of them to really grow and learn. We can use these profound realizations to take a step forward in our development and propel ourselves to a higher level of living and clarity.
In my line of work, I am fortunate to get to talk with some of the nation's most innovative and inspiring CEOs and leaders. I've found that though these people are in all types of industries and work environments, they've all had very similar epiphanies.
Here are three insights truly successful people make. These deep truths have changed my life and will certainly change yours.
1. Accept those that are close to you in your life. If you can't accept them, then maybe it's time to part ways:
We each come across thousands of people in our lives, and social media is increasing this number on a daily basis. Now, pair this phenomenon with a culture that promotes commitment over choice: there's that nagging cultural value that we must put up with every single person in our lives for the sake of being polite, growing our networks, and going with the flow.
Sure, there have been many studies about the effects of strong social networks on career and life success. But here's the thing: truly successful people keep and cultivate only the good relationships. According to Jim Rohn, who was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."
So stop committing to every single person you come across. Make conscious choices about the colleagues, friends and life partners you have. You can choose whom you decide to associate with. Choose those that you can accept and accept fully. You'll get the greatest gift in return: their acceptance of you. It's this type of acceptance that promotes the kind of vitality that our culture needs.
Accepting someone you truly want to be around shouldn't be hard. If it is, then it may be a sign that person shouldn't be in your life.
2. You can't tell people what to do. You have to inspire them through your behavior:
When was the last time you told someone what to do and they felt inspired and motivated? When was the last time someone told you what to do and you immediately felt like doing it? When we are on the receiving end of someone else's commands, we feel belittled, small and as though that person doesn't trust our own ability to manage our ideas and ourselves.
Think before you tell someone else what to do. The most successfully people out there have discovered that the best way to encourage positive change in someone else is to focus on yourself and be your best self. It doesn't take long for others to notice and be inspired to do the same. If you are finding you have to tell others what to do all the time, you may want to re-think if they are the right people in the right roles.
3. The best way to lead people is to encourage their thinking and to give them power--not the reverse.
We live in a power hungry culture. Power gives an instant hit of confidence, and our culture dictates that if you are in control, you must be important and smart.
However, the old days of command and control are crumbling. An all-powerful leader is not good for employees: feeling powerless and controlled does not lead to the best thinking and innovative ideas. In fact, that style of leadership is probably thwarting the best thinking.
To empower means to let go of the idea that you know everything and that your job as a leader is to be the expert and tell others what to do. David Marquet experienced this paradigm shift when he was captain of a naval ship. He saw that the traditional leadership style of giving orders wasn't going to work. He says something brilliant: "Letting go of power is hard. It will feel wrong."
Encouragement, respect and letting others manage their own time and energy around work is what is going to produce the best results. Try it.