9 Science-Backed Insights on Finding Success in Your Business and Personal Life

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9 Science-Backed Insights on Finding Success in Your Business and Personal Life
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This story appears in the June 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Whether at work or at home, success is something we strive for in all aspects of our lives. And while there are a number of obvious things you should be doing in order to achieve your goals and reach success, there are also some not-so-obvious ones. For example, we're often told that working too much can be detrimental to our and wellness, however a recent study found that high engagement actually protects from health risks associated with working too much. And being too happy around co-workers might make you come off as naive, rather than simply optimistic. 

Related: 7 Challenges That Will Make You More Successful

From office jokes to to patience, check out these nine science-backed insights to help you reach success. 

1. Workaholism has an upside 

A recent study found that workaholism can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol. But good news for happy workaholics: High engagement may protect from these risks. 

2. Office jokes are risky

A recent study found that humor can increase your status at work… but an inappropriate joke can leave coworkers thinking you’re incompetent.

3. Dial down the happy

Employees who are too outwardly upbeat are seen as naive, finds. So try focusing on being thoughtful and efficient.

Related: The 12 Covenants of Success

4. Sales is experimental

To generate leads for its online course-building services, PLR.me set up a chatbot -- and found that 78 percent of people who engaged it stayed through the end. 

5. Be patient 

“We looked at the data: 2,000 editorial, nonpaid obituaries over a 20-month period between 2015 and 2016. What did these 2,000 deaths -- rather, lives -- teach us? The average age at which they achieved things is 37. What that means is, you’ve got to wait 37 years before your first significant achievement that you’re remembered for, on average, 44 years later, when you die at the age of 81. Talk about having to be patient.” 
-- Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric, in his Talk “What I Learned from 2,000 Obituaries

6. Hack the digital world

... by being in the same room as someone. New research finds face-to-face requests are 34 times more successful than emails or texts. 

7. Get psyched up

“For people who suffer from extreme nerves… don’t obsess over calming down. Instead, tell yourself that the sweaty palms and the racing heart are a positive sign, because they signify excitement: You’re lucky to be here and to have this opportunity to prove how good you are.”
-- From Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed, by Daniel McGinn

8. More is better

“On average, creative geniuses [aren’t] qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality… To generate a handful of masterworks, Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at 35, Beethoven produced 650 in his lifetime... Einstein wrote papers on general and special relativity that transformed physics, but many of his 248 publications had minimal impact.” 
-- From Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

Related: 7 Self-Defeating Psychological Habits That Stymie Success

9. Get to work

“Many of the great inventions of the last 200 years were designed to replace human labor. Assembly lines were engineered to replace inconsistent human handiwork with machine perfection. Computers were programmed to swap out error-prone, inconsistent human calculation with digital perfection... And yet, the fraction of U.S. adults employed in the labor market is higher now in 2016 than it was 125 years ago.” 
-- David Autor, professor of at MIT, in his TED Talk “Will Automation Take Away All Our Jobs?

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