There's a problem with how we think of success. We often see brilliant success as something that happens just a few times in a lifetime--the innovative breakthroughs, the big promotion, the culmination of one's career.
While it's wonderful to strive for these high points in life, there are some concerning effects of this mindset. For one, we learn to see success as fleeting and the rest of our lives as mediocre. We also conceive of success as an almost random occurrence: we work for it, but we only receive it when we get a "lucky break."
We have to stop thinking about success this way. Success is something that can happen more often than you think--you just need to build the habits to support successful breakthroughs.
Here are six habits to build to be more successful than you think you can be:
- A habit of curiosity It's no surprise that some of the most successful and innovative people out there have fostered a strong curiosity for the world around them. Not only does curiosity bring new energy and joy to the things you spend your time on, but it will also increase your mental flexibility. Your brain will learn to expect the unexpected and take in diverse opinions, experiences, and results.
- A habit of monitoring and managing your performance
The most successful people know that professional development is a constant necessity--not just something to consider during an annual review. They look to their everyday performance to get a true sense of their impact and engagement at work, not just the moments of extreme highs and lows in career. Building a weekly habit of checking in on your performance will help you optimize your time at work for joy, impact, wellness, challenge and more.
- A habit of listening to your intuition All too often people focus on the brain and not the heart--or the gut. Your gut instinct may be seen as the opposite of mental logic, but hey, there's a reason the human body evolved to exhibit these responses: they are based on an unconscious form of intelligence and help us make good decisions. So listen to your intuition! To start, try building up a practice of meditation.
- A habit of checking in on your finances It turns out that how you manage your personal finances can tell a lot about your career potential. Building a habit of taking a hard look at your money won't just help with your overall bank account numbers. It will help you become more aware of your brain, leadership style, and decision-making processes.
- A habit of setting goals The wildest, greatest minds are more strategic than you think. Frequently setting goals and instituting systems to stay on track with them will help you keep your eyes on the prize and efficiently make great gains. And the most successful people out there know how to set the perfect goal.
- A habit of determinationLove the process, not the outcome. Success doesn't come easily, and only those who are determined to work for it will attain it. Approaching your "stuck" moments with a more positive mindset--like excitement or adventure--will do wonders. Just know that your determination will pay off eventually and lead you to a career breakthrough.