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Skills of Successful People
Let me tell you a huge secret that you are a successful person regardless of what you currently believe. We are all born with the tools to be a success. Ng b is actually the biggest secret about being successful is that it is attainable by all. So, if we all have the skills to fulfill our potential and be successful then why do so few people actually get there? It is because they don’t work to develop these four skills, Intrinsic Motivation, Learning/Self-Awareness, Creativity/Innovation and Flow/Focus.
People who do not reach their full potential or idea of success, tend to work the JOB (Just Over Broke), binge Netflix or scroll Social Media in all of their downtime. And this is not to say that using a job to get from point A to point B, or having a fulfilling career working for someone else is a bad thing. It’s also not to say that taking time for yourself to unwind and take in some shows on TV or catching up with friends on social media is a bad thing. It’s only holding you back when those activities become a habit and are now your default mode. According to peak performance expert, Steven Kotler, "all human beings are biologically designed to tackle incredibly large challenges. In fact, everything you might consider 'peak performance' is quite simply getting your biology to work for you rather than against you." The psychologist Abraham Maslow said: "Whatever a person can be, they must be." Humans are hardwired to exceed their limitations and fulfill their potential. So let’s learn to be intentional about our activities so we can reach our idea of success by developing those four skills.
- Intrinsic Motivation - curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy, and mastery. Motivation is not just something we are born with, it is a skill we must work to master. We must build persistence by taking small risks, putting ourselves out there, and building up that grit and resilience muscle. It's taking action and building momentum towards a goal and vision. For example, OSG’s Success Tracker is a tool to build motivation.
- Learning / Self Awareness - this is the skill of digging in and understanding and using our strengths, celebrating those, and directing your business/life towards them. It is identifying the weaknesses and asking for help and support in those areas. Creating partnerships, signing up for training/coaching, mentoring and masterminds are all ways we can be intentional about building this skill. Creating those partnerships helps you learn and grow personally and professionally. Teachers, friends, family, and colleagues can be great sources of inspiration and support for us. The head down and go at it alone is not the formula any successful person has ever used. No matter how much work they did themselves, there was always some help or partnerships along the way.
- Creativity / Innovation - creativity no matter how messy it seems, is actually a process. This is the intentionality of working ON your business and something you must work to develop. We all have challenges that we can overcome with a creative solution. Just throwing our hands up in the air when we are stuck isn’t acceptable. Remember, you are hardwired to overcome, and that is why failing feels so bad. But failure only happens when we give up and giving up probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. Giving up is when you decide you can’t do it. It is not when you have to change directions, shut down a company, start over, etc. Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas?” and then he went on to start his own company that went bankrupt. It wasn’t until his brother got involved that he was later able to be nominated for 59 Academy Awards and is the greatest animator of our time. No one would consider Walt Disney a failure.
- Flow / Focus - flow is defined as "an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform at our best." This is a skill we can all master but it is something we have to develop. We have to set up processes, routines and must be intentional with our time. We have to MAKE time to do focused work. Close the door, have a chat with your colleagues or family about needing some time without distraction or get creative with a hat to wear that everyone knows when you are wearing it that it is a time to not bother you. Other techniques to build this skill would be to practice meditation, yoga, or go to a place that does not have a lot of distractions.
Think of learning these success skills like learning to print a shirt. It takes practice and you need to learn all the steps to print the design on a shirt. Our industry’s education for many years has lacked deeper and meaningful training related to these areas because most people don’t value it and so they continue slogging on struggling. Well, I’m not willing to give up on you and our industry, so let's shake it up and commit to working on our personal development as much as the hard skill development.
Remember, with very few exceptions, all the people who we would point to as exceptional successes started out by learning these four skills. As the peak performance expert who I noted earlier Kotler says, "Sure, you will occasionally meet someone who won the genetic lottery-a superstar naturally gifted athlete; a legitimate Einstein-ian genius--but this is so rare that it's almost not worth talking about." So, the only thing separating us from whoever is on your success Mt. Rushmore is the development of motivation, learning, creativity, and flow!
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