What exactly is “smart”? Being smart is more than having a high IQ. It has been proven time and again that IQ is fixed. The way we learn at 15 is the same way we learn at 50. To be smart one has to bring more to the table than intelligence alone.
At the core of smart people is an acute and ever expanding self-awareness. Smart people tend to be quick and prompt, mentally ready, shrewd, clever, effective, neat or trim in their appearance, socially elegant, sophisticated, current and charismatic.
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Smart is the sum total of many character traits expressing itself globally through a person’s impact on their world.
Smart people do not just rely on facts, they listen to and follow their intuition. They are aware of when and how their intuitions and insights come to them. They are internally tuned-in to make wise decisions.
Smart people are able to clearly see the reasons and motivations of other people.
Because of this, they can selectively choose when, what and with whom to align themselves.
They use their intuition in decision making, to chart new paths and in being diligent in surrounding themselves with only the highest quality people, programs and customers.
Smart people know who they are and are conscious of their emotional and behavioral tendencies across situations. They know their strengths, weaknesses, personality traits, values, morals and beliefs.
Smart people are wise to others but know that self-awareness is the ticket to their personal enlightenment and business advancement.
They show the deepest commitment to themselves and to their own development. They are keen in knowing that the more conscious they are of themselves, the better they are able to know and predict others.
Smart people look back on, and learn from, experiences. They do not get stuck in the past but know they must look in the review mirror to properly navigate the front window. As they look back they take inventory on what they can learn from their experiences.
They either perfect and repeat past efforts or abolish strategies that clearly did not work. They take the time to think about decisions before jumping in, and afterward, actively reflect to gain deeper insight into what worked and what didn’t.
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Smart people are never satisfied with one level of advancement of their product, themselves or their business. They are drawn to new ideas, radical thoughts and innovative ways of changing and doing things.
Smart people desire to chart new paths and crave progressive thinking, concepts and people.
Their natural thought process is out-of-the-box. Stepping outside their comfort zone is something they see as imperative to their success.
Smart people welcome different perspectives and see opportunities where most do not. They see the mind as a parachute – it works best when open. Smart people are comfortable in paradoxical situations and have a passion for problem solving and fixing things in new and inventive ways.
They are willing to listen to different points of view on how to strategise in problem solving situations. They let go of having things be their way when they come across more effective solutions.
Procrastination is not their habit, as losing opportunities is not an option. All opportunities, along with mutually respectful relationships, develop from promptness and dependability.
Smart people know where to get whatever information, resources, supplies, training and education they need when they need it. They have copious resources.
They are well-networked and have many people to call on for referrals. This type of resourcefulness makes them successful as they are never short of ways to get to their goals
Smart people habitually question authority. They do not blindly accept what so-call experts preach. They ask deeper questions others do not so as to discover their own truths. It is only through the discovery of their own truths that they can validate implementing new strategies.
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9. Lifelong learners
Smart people use their minds to the fullest. They are consummate learners. They are not lazy in their thinking and see the discovery of all new information as upgrades to their skills, knowledge, cutting edge information, attitudes and beliefs.
Smart people crave and gather the collective brain power of others by reading books, magazines and articles that assist their own development.
Learning is never a drag or a bore because for smart people learning is intrinsically rewarding.
Smart people do not take life or themselves too seriously. They have a sense of humour about things and recognise the importance of finding the joy in the irony and comedy of everyday life.
Smart people find blessings in the bummers, silver linings in challenges and solutions in the problems. It is through this that they continue to be successful and personally satisfied in life.
Smart people are willing to try new things, knowing that if what they try at first doesn’t work out as they had hoped, it is no harm, no foul. They accept their failures as cleverly disguised learning opportunities.
They take risks often. They are curious and adventurous in their business pursuits. They are willing to leap in to the unknown. Their risks usually pay off.
12. Believe in themselves
Smart people, knowing who they are, believe and trust in themselves first foremost. They do not need the validation of others to make decisions. They instinctively know what is right for them and they go after it.
They do not want or wait for change. Being in the holding patterns of waiting or wanting doesn’t fit their style.They take action and create change. They know the only person they can count on completely is themselves.
13. Write goals on paper
Smart people have well-developed life strategies that include writing of goals, visions, desires and dreams they want to achieve. They tend to be avid journalers, list makers and dreamers. Writing is their first step in making their dreams a reality.
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14. Pay it forward
Smart people are the generously give success, knowledge and information to others. They are teachers, guides, mentors and helpers. They put themselves out here so the rest of us can benefit.
Smart people share. They uplift and make others better. In exchange, their own learning grows and develops because they are actively talking about, researching, understanding and expanding their own field of knowledge.
15. Re-invent themselves
Smart people abhor status quo and cannot stand being stagnated. They crave growth and development and are willing to shift their image, brand, logo, company name or change their direction entirely if necessary.
To stay current or ahead of the game. They know exactly with whom to collaborate and are known to re-invent themselves over and over again.
Smart people are always adding to their knowledge and network base, while at the same time removing relationships, customers or strategies that no longer serve them. Experience, intelligence, class, wisdom and self-awareness are what set the smart apart from the average.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Listening To These 8 Audiobooks On Success Is A Better Use Of Your Long Commute
Commuting is mostly just unpaid work, unless you make an effort to learn something along the way.
Commutes are getting longer, and in some cities they’re up to two hours each way. I have a friend in Los Angeles who does this. He passes the time with audiobooks. Now that’s still a lot of time to be stuck in transit, but he doesn’t view it that way. He says it allows him plenty of time to feed his personal and professional goals.
I’ve spent years listening to literature in the car while commuting, but somewhere along the line I switched over to books on business and personal improvement. I mostly gravitated toward amazing people who built their success from scratch and who experienced tremendous hardship. It stands to reason that if you’re dealing with hardships like a long commute, it’s important to hear motivational words that can help you transcend the difficulties.
Here are eight audiobooks that will help grow your success, both personal and professional, on your next commute:
3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018
Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.
Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.
Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.
Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:
- The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
- They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
- Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
- They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.
What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?
Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.
But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.
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I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:
1. What does better look like?
The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.
- What does better health look like?
- What does a better business look like?
- What does better customer service look like?
- What does better leadership look like?
By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.
2. What can I control?
Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”
Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.
Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.
3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?
One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.
As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.
So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.
What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.
To Be Successful Stay Far Away From These 7 Types of Toxic People
You need a network of talented people, not toxic personalities who undermine you.
Surrounding yourself with prospective mentors is an excellent way to build lifelong success. When Steve Jobs founded Apple, he learned from colleagues like Steve Wozniak about what it took to build computer hardware. And he learned from early investors like Mike Markkula about what it took to build a successful company and market a product. Now imagine if Jobs had surrounded himself with toxic personalities instead. It is likely that he would not have been able to create a company that is on course to be valued at $1 trillion.
If you interact with people who demonstrate questionable behaviour, you’re more likely to model that behaviour yourself or to become stressed as a result. At the very least, you will be missing out on the opportunity to network with more successful and inspiring individuals.
This article will review seven personality types that should be eliminated from your life in order to build your most successful self. Once these people are gone, you can work on building a network of people who influence you positively.
According to a report by NPR, micromanagement is one of the biggest factors associated with employee dissatisfaction, lowered motivation and lack of professional creativity. To be successful, you must learn to solve problems independently. Micromanaging can make it difficult to develop these skills.
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2. Short-term thinkers
If you surround yourself with short-term thinkers, it will be difficult to know if an idea is destined for long-term success. Those who are narrow-minded may be more likely to dismiss one of your ideas because it will take time to develop into a meaningful success.
Take the creation of Airbnb as an example. The company was founded in 2008. At the time the “sharing economy” did not exist, and hotel chains like Starwood and Hilton dominated the lodging market. A short-term thinker would have criticised an idea like Airbnb.
In order for the company to be successful, Airbnb would need to change people’s attitudes and expectations about travel. They would need to encourage people to be comfortable staying with strangers, and they would need to find ways to mitigate possible liability should something tragic happen during a customer’s stay.
Well-respected venture capitalists decided to pass on Airbnb because of these short-term concerns. The Airbnb founders were only able to find success once they connected with people who were comfortable thinking long term.
Pessimism is not always a bad trait; at times it can help entrepreneurs to recognize certain pitfalls that might otherwise be overlooked. However, a steady diet of pessimism is toxic when it comes to taking big professional risks.
As David Armor, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University, says, “An entrepreneur starting up a company, for example, might drive himself to work 18-hour days for months and even years because he optimistically believes that there will be a big payoff for him at the end.” Conversely, a pessimistic attitude would make it difficult to tolerate such a prolonged stressful situation.
For those interested in taking on stressful professional situations, pessimistic people should be avoided in most cases.
4. Selfish people
Relationships that contribute to success are mutually beneficial. This dynamic cannot exist when dealing with selfish people. As a result, it is best to eliminate selfish people from your life in order to make room for more giving relationships.
A recent study found that a job applicant who is referred by an existing employee is 15 times more likely to be hired than someone who applies via a job board. If you befriend a selfish person, you probably can’t rely on them to introduce you to new career opportunities. However, forming connections with someone who is altruistic could give you a professional leg up.
5. Risk-averse personalities
Business success is about making informed decisions by weighing risks and rewards. If you are surrounded by people who over-index on possible risks while ignoring the possible rewards, it will be challenging to identify good business opportunities.
Take Amazon as an example. In 2014 Amazon launched a smartphone called the Fire Phone. In the end, the phone was not successful. Following the unsuccessful launch of the Fire Phone, risk-averse people might have avoided developing another piece of computer hardware.
But instead, Amazon correctly assessed the opportunity for an in-home smart speaker, and launched the Amazon Echo just one year later. Today, Echo has 75 percent of the smart-speaker market in the United States.
6. Unmotivated individuals
People who lack motivation or work ethic set a bad example for those interested in working diligently to become a professional success. There is no worse colleague than someone who simply does the bare minimum to get by.
Rather than associate yourself with people who cut corners or avoid hard work, try to surround yourself with people who are motivated to succeed. Collaborating with people who have a healthy drive for success can instill an extra dose of motivation in you.
Financial responsibility is a critically important quality to develop if you want to become successful. Warren Buffet is perhaps the supreme example of a financially responsible and successful person.
Buffet is the third wealthiest person in the world, worth nearly $80 billion. But despite his professional success, Buffet does not spend his money on flashy cars or large homes. In fact, Buffet still lives in the modest home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he purchased in 1958.
Those who associate with spendthrifts may be more motivated to make irresponsible financial decisions in order to fit in. At the very least, it will be harder to associate with people who make good financial choices, as these personalities are frequently diametrically opposed.
Business is all about who you know. From landing a new job to launching a new company, your network will enable or prevent future professional success. When developing a network of talented people, it is best to avoid toxic personalities who could set a bad example or demotivate you.
Be sure to avoid people who are micromanagers and short-term thinkers, as they can make it difficult to think autonomously. Risk-averse individuals or pessimists may cause you to think twice about great business ideas, and spendthrifts or selfish people may hamper your ability to grow. Last but not least, stay away from unmotivated individuals, as your success is dependent on your willingness to work diligently in order to succeed.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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