7 Habits to Increase Your Success and Happiness

One What Success Really Is And How You Can Get Your Hands On It 

Long ago, I realized that success leaves clues, and that people who produce outstanding results do specific things to get those results. I believed that if I precisely duplicated the actions of others, I could reproduce the same results that they had.

What is your idea of a successful person? The most common belief is that having a large balance in your bank account equals success. 

Shocking Truth #1: Money doesn’t equal success. Even with their great for- tunes, many millionaires live miserable lives, primarily because they neglect personal development while pursuing only wealth development. Being rich and unhappy is not a victorious life. 

Shocking Truth #2: Fame doesn’t equal success either. Evidence of this is found on celebrity magazine stands. Even after amassing fame and fortune, many of the stars we see on TV are actually unhappy, constantly surrounded by drama and dealing with ongoing personal and professional problems.

Many of them turn to drugs and alcohol to fill the empty void they feel inside, the one that their careers are unable to satisfy. Personally, I would pass on success if it meant constant conflict in my life. 

Why are some people successful and not others?  

Growing up, I assumed that successful people were lucky. I silently wished and hoped that I would someday get lucky too. I dreamed of having an enjoyable job, a loving family, money to travel and to give, and basically living the good life. 

The older I got, the more discontent I became. The thought of “someday becoming lucky” not arriving was devastating. I was so terrified that I decided to take matters into my own hands. My quest began. I was determined to find the answer to my question: “Why are some people successful and not others?” 

After listening to countless success stories, piece by piece, the puzzle began to come together. I began to realize that all successful people have many characteristics in common. 

Surprisingly, education is not one of these common traits. There is no correlation between education and success. Of course there are countless exceptions, but many self-made millionaires and even self-made billionaires never graduated from college. 

Two The Catalyst To Success And Happiness 

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends, but for one who has failed to do so, the mind will remain the greatest enemy.”  

Most people try to change their residence, occupation, spouse, and even their looks in an attempt to improve their life, all to no avail. They are oblivious to the fact that they are neglecting to change the most important instrument we humans possess. If this instrument is tuned and played properly, your entire life will change dramatically. So what is this very important asset I’m referring to? You’re using it right now. In fact, it is constantly in use, every second of every hour. It’s your mind. 

The mind is like a sponge; it soaks up everything. Therefore, it’s crucial to be mindful of the thoughts, images, and ideas that are being fed to your mind on a daily basis. Without you even noticing, your mind is being influenced by many sources, and unfortunately, it’s not always in a good way. 

Nightly news, for example, instill fear on viewers. Ninety percent or more of what is broadcast is negative news. The advertisements we see on TV are also a huge stream of influence in our lives. An advertiser’s goal is to make us feel like we need the product they are trying to sell. They imply that our life is incomplete with- out their product. And if you haven’t noticed yet, ads are everywhere. This can perpetually leave us feeling insufficient. 

Your own family can negatively influence your life. Often, it’s done unintentionally. They are not at fault because they are just passing down their beliefs that were fed to their unguarded minds over the years. 

Three A Vital Fundamental

The greatest evil that can befall man is that he should come to think ill of him self.”

Self-esteem is the mental picture you have of yourself. How do you view yourself?How do you think you are perceived by other people? The answer to those questions will determine which of the two types of self-esteem you have: high self-esteem or low self-esteem.

People who suffer from low self-esteem are easily distinguished. They are those who have a habit of blaming others, and they never take full responsibility for their mistakes. You will never see someone with low self-esteem taking risks because they are afraid of the future. Most of the time, although not always, they portray themselves as being shy. 

Feeling unloved and lacking passion for life are other common traits of those who have low self-esteem. These feelings often lead to thoughts of unworthiness, which affects the mind in many negative ways. Achieving success or harnessing happiness is nearly impossible for someone with low self-esteem. 

On the other end of the spectrum is high self-esteem. People with high self- esteem are those who feel good most of the time, have a positive outlook on life, and have a high confidence level. Having said that, they definitely do not have a perfect life. In fact they make more mistakes than those with low self-esteem. Reason being, they take more risks. To them mistakes are just lessons learned. 

If you want to be successful and happy, developing high self-esteem should be- come one of your top priorities. You need to feel worthy of success before you can attract it. 

Four Habit : You Can Never Receive More Without This 

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

Gratitude, also known as thankfulness or appreciation, is the most powerful practice you can use to accelerate your success. This fact has been noted for ages, and it still remains relevant today. Gratitude consists of two simple words: “thank you,” but the impact they can have on your life is miraculous. 

Practicing gratitude means to acknowledge and deliberately focus on your blessings instead of your downfalls. 

Everything in life is neutral. It’s you who gives every circumstance meaning. Obstacles, failures, and disappointments can be viewed as either good or bad. It’s all up to you. You can dwell on the misery caused by an unexpected event, or you can be grateful for the lesson it helped you learn. You can be angry for days be- cause things didn’t go your way, or you can take the time to be thankful for every- thing that is going well. 

You’ve probably heard of the concept “like attracts like.” That is one of the most basic laws of the universe. Also known as the law of attraction, this law states that what you give out, you will receive back. When you are not practicing gratitude, you’re most likely complaining most of the time. Since like attracts like, you will only attract more things to complain about. 

Before you know it, you could end up in a spiral where all you do is find fault in the people and circumstances in your life. Gratitude is a sure way to avoid being trapped in a complaining spiral. 

Implementing the habit of practicing gratitude is like light at the end of a dark tunnel. When you stop putting your focus on the bad things in your life and instead begin to be thankful for the good, your life will become more and more abundant. 

If you gave someone a gift and they didn’t say thank you, you probably wouldn’t feel inclined to give them something next time. It is the same with life; if you are not being appreciative of the gifts in your life you have now, however small, you won’t receive more. 

It is as if you are living behind a closed door locked by pessimism and blessings cannot get through. Gratitude is the key to that door. Use it, and let in those blessings that are waiting to come into your life.  

The Benefits 

Practicing gratitude will dramatically improve your emotional state. When you are being appreciative, you will almost instantly feel happier. Positive and negative feelings cannot coexist. You cannot feel happy and sad at the same time. Therefore, any feelings that don’t line up with your joyous mood will be kicked to the sideline because it’s not up to par with your current vibration. 

Because gratitude makes you feel so incredible, your health will improve as well. Research has proven that grateful people are less stressed due to their optimism. Being less stressed makes way for a better functioning immune system, making you less susceptible to illness. 

Five Habit : The Way To Achieve Anything 

Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” 

When taking a family trip to Chicago from Texas, I looked at a map and planned our trip to get there. I knew where to start, the stops that were going to be necessary along the way, and I knew the end destination. The trip was a 1,115-mile drive. It seemed so long and impossible in the beginning, but we just drove and drove. We never questioned if we were ever going to get there. Well, the kids did, constantly, but not my husband and me. It was obvious we would make it if we just kept driving and followed our plan. And so we did. 

It’s the same with goals. It’s guaranteed you can accomplish whatever you want if you map out where you are, where you want to go, what it will take for you to get there, and if you take action every day. That’s not to say it’ll be easy. Obstacles will come up along the way. But if you stay focused and make steady progress, you will get there. 

Just like when I was driving to Chicago, the headlights only showed what was in front of me; they didn’t light the entire path. Focus on what is in front of you, take action daily, and make your dreams come true!  

The Benefits 

Countless studies have been done on the power of goals. When testing two separate groups where one group is encouraged to have goals and the other group is not, researchers always reach the same conclusion: you are ten times more likely to achieve your dreams and desires if you have written goals with a game plan to reach them. 

You’re less likely to waste your time on unnecessary things when you have a list of your priorities, i.e. your goals. Think of goals like a to-do list. You never think, “What should I do next?” or “What was I supposed to do today?” You have your action items in front of you, and you know exactly what to do. 

Goals also serve as a daily motivation. Waking up every day and thinking of life as such a drag is a symptom of not having goals. If you lack motivation, goals are the quickest way to get it back. When you’re working towards an exciting vision, you can’t wait to get up the next morning to keep making progress. 

If you don’t have a clear destination, then you will spend your life drifting. You’ll probably end up somewhere you don’t want to be. As author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Do you want nothing in your life? I didn’t think so.  

Six Habit : Believe It To See It  

Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” 

Visualization can be the motivating factor to encourage you to pursue your goals until you accomplish them. Many times, this practice comes across as mystical or as some sort of magical practice. Let’s start off by debunking that misconception and explain what visualization really is. 

Put simply, visualization is the act of purposefully imagining events as you would like them to play out. The purpose of this practice is to make you more inclined to take action toward your endeavors. 

Our images, thoughts, and feelings are all interconnected. Whatever you imagine in your mind has an influence on your thoughts, which affect your feelings. As you may remember from an earlier chapter, feelings will either inhibit you from achieving success and happiness or they can propel you to take the actions that are required to attain those desirable qualities. 

One of the most notable stories about visualization is told by Jim Carrey. Be- fore he became a high paid actor, he wrote himself a pretend check. It was for 10 million dollars “for acting services rendered.” He kept it in his wallet and would look at it often. He says he would visualize himself being a successful actor. His dream came true when he got a call. He had the role on the now famous film, “Dumb and Dumber.” 

Don’t get the wrong idea here. Jim Carrey did not just magically attract the acting role. Rest assured that along with visualizing he worked hard to make it happen as well. The purpose of visualization is just to give you a glimpse of the possible outcomes in order to inspire you to take consistent action.  

The Benefits 

When you visualize your goals, it is like you are removing a brick wall constructed of disbelief, skepticism, and fear. Once the wall is knocked down, the resources you need are more apparent. You will notice that everything you need and all the right people will begin to show up. 

If you imagine yourself failing an exam, for example, then you will not even try. On the other hand, when you envision yourself acing the test, you get a taste of the feeling of accomplishment and a sense of satisfaction because your hard work paid off. Your belief in the possibility will increase. This makes you feel ecstatic, and you will diligently do what is necessary to make it happen. 

This new-found optimism will also cast away any worry. This is very important because it interferes with your success and happiness. When you worry, you are picturing things going wrong, which makes you feel tense. This feeling of agitation will cause you to make mistakes and poor choices, drawing to you the very things you wished to avoid. 

Seven Habit : Use Your Words Wisely 

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become our reality” 

Affirmations are the best way to alter any unwanted negative thoughts you have. Tony Robbins calls them incantations. Napoleon Hill called them auto suggestions. Basically, they are just straightforward firm declarations about the ideal situation you want. The central goal is to think and say mostly positive thoughts to yourself. When said daily, positive affirmations will inspire, motivate, energize, and most importantly, encourage you to take action.

Just like I mentioned with visualization, you are already using affirmations whether you notice it or not. Every day, all day your mind is constantly running. The worst part is that more than likely it is running on autopilot. Meaning you give no direction to your mind and the thoughts it thinks. It just goes on and on like a run- away train veering in many different directions at any given moment. 

To have a fulfilling life, you must stop that train NOW right in its tracks and tell it where to go. It is time for you to begin to take a more cautious look at your thoughts. “You are what you think” — that is the model you want to live by. If you are feeling angry, for example, then more than likely you have been thinking irritating thoughts that correlate with your angry mood.  

The Benefits 
Among other things, your health, finances, emotions, and relationships are af- fected by the words you speak. Needless to say, affirmations are essential to trans- form your life. 

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