The definition of success will vary from person-to-person. From some, being successful is having family. For others, success means starting and maintaining their business.
I'm an entrepreneur just like you, working my tail off daily. Failure isn't an option. We all want success and over the past year I've been fortunate enough to work with, interview and get to know many successful people.
I've learned from almost every successful person that I've me that regardless of what your specific definition of success is, you can become more successful in your life by taking into account the seven scientifically proven techniques.
1. Get up early.
According to biologist Christoph Randler in an interview with the Harvard Business Review, “When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them, my survey showed.” Randler also found that morning people are more proactive.
While night owls have unique traits of their own, if you want to achieve a high-level of success like Jack Dorsey, Richard Branson, Tim Cook and Michelle Obama, go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake-up before everyone else.
2. Boost your confidence by taking action.
After investigating multiple studies that discussed the confidence gap between the sexes, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Code, concluded in The Atlantic that “[T]aking action bolsters one's belief in one's ability to succeed." They also said, “So confidence accumulates--through hard work, through success, and even through failure."
When you have low self-confidence, you’re less likely to action and accomplish the goals that you have set.
3. Be specific.
Speaking of achieving goals, it’s been found through a 2011 meta-analysis that when it comes to goal setting, successful individuals are specific. Instead of saying “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to get more clients,” successful people would say “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” or “I’m going to land three new clients within the next month.” This is something that I've been working on in my life and you can easily do as well. Try right now. Set a specific goal that you're going to achieve by the end of this week.
4. Be smart and socially adept.
This wasn’t always the case. In 1980, for example, success didn’t correlate with cognitive ability and social skills. University of California Santa Barbara economist Catherine Weinberger, however, examined data that linked 1972 and 1992 adolescent skill endowments to adult outcomes. She compared her data to a 1999 study and discovered that “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s workforce than similarly endowed workers in 1980.”
5. Think positively.
According to an article by James Clear in The Huffington Post, Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, discovered that “when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that suggested positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.”
But, that’s only the beginning. Positive thinking can also help you develop essential skills that you can use to improve your life to become more successful. To become more positive emotionally consider meditating, writing, and doing the things that make you happy.
6. Develop a ‘growth mindset.’
According to research conducted by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, successful individuals possess a "growth mindset" that allows them to learn from their mistakes and realize that they have the potential to achieve whatever goals they’ve set. Those with a "fixed mindset" believe that intelligence, creativity and talent can not be changed.
You can develop a ‘growth mindset’ by working on the following steps:
- Listen to your "fixed mindset."
- Recognize that you actually have a choice.
- Talk back to your "fixed mindset" with your "growth mindset."
- Take the "growth mindset" and put it into action.
7. Embrace meaningful relationships.
The famous Harvard Grant Study followed 268 Harvard graduates from the classes of 1938-1940 for 75 years to discover the secret of leading a happy and meaningful life. George Vaillant, the Harvard psychiatrist who directed the study from 1972 to 2004, informed The Huffington Post that there are two pillars of happiness, "One is love," and "The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away."
But, the most important finding of the study was that the only thing that truly matters in life is relationships.