25 Jun 12 Surprising Strategies for Long-Term Success & Happiness
Although success means different things to different people and can, obviously, be defined in different ways there's no doubt that considerable overlap exists between what most of us would think of as "success" and "happiness".
Accordingly, although the following article is ostensibly about "success" and although it's from a business magazine (Forbes) there's much in it that I very much believe is relevant to any and all of us who desire to create more happiness and live better lives.
So, read on and enjoy…
By Brent Beshore
Life is a complex combination of interactions, events, and relationships. We all chase “success,” but we struggle to define it. We all want true happiness, but we usually settle for the appearance of it. We all seek meaning, but we often succumb to doubt.
So how do we navigate this often-challenging life? Here’s a list of practices derived from those I consider to be successful. If something about them resonates, I encourage you to reach out and make contact. I know most of them personally and they’re always willing to pay it forward.
1. Welcome Criticism: We all have blind spots, but successful people acknowledge them and actively search for meaningful feedback. Gabe Lozano, co-founder and CEO of the fast-growing sports social media platform LockerDome, embodies this mentality. He is constantly seeking feedback, which is a big component of his success.
2. Authentically Give: Some call it karma, but life has a way of rewarding those who authentically give without an expectation of reciprocity. Mark Suster recently wrote this describing Brad Feld as “the ultimate giver,” something I, too, have experienced. Brad, and his awesomely thoughtful wife Amy, work tirelessly to help build startup communities and further causes in which they believe. They’ve even recently authored a fantastic book, “Startup Life,” to help entrepreneurial couples survive and thrive.
3. Specialize: The temptation is to be all things to all people, but profits flow from value, and value comes from deep expertise. Becoming a true expert requires years of focused experimentation and failure. Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals, preaches the value of “underdoing” the competition by focusing on what you know. This has led 37signals to evolve from a web design firm to a highly profitable software company.
4. Be Grateful: I recently heard someone say, “Happiness = Reality – Expectations.” Be grateful, because as Epicurus said, “Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” Michael Simmons, co-founder of Empact, constantly reminds me that while not perfect, every day of life is a gift.
5. Be Humble: Each of us has been given life, so by definition, no one is a self-made man. As C.S. Lewis said, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” Two of the most successful entrepreneurs I know are Brock and Brant Bukowsky, who founded Veterans United, which Inc. recently ranked as the 29th-highest job creator in the U.S. since 2008. Despite their incredible growth, both attribute their success to forces outside their control. This humility has kept them grounded and focused on building an incredible work environment and a great product for their clients.
6. Simplify: While there always appears to be room for more stuff, relationships, meetings, and distractions, complication is exponential. It blinds us to simple realities and quickly creates chaos. No one preaches this more than writer and philosopher Leo Babuata, who created ZenHabits.net and says, “Simplify everything.”
…keep reading HERE for the full & original article including 6 more great tips for happiness and success.