How can you be both successful and happy? I identified 10 secrets from working with countless ambitious, high-performance professionals. Put these powerful principles into action and change your life for the better. You can be a happy high achiever too—start now:
Secret #1: They know asking for help is strategic—not a sign of weakness.
They realize that excellence is a collaborative endeavor. They embrace the opportunity to work with colleagues, coaches, mentors, and others who can accelerate their achievement and growth.
Secret #2: They know how to push (but not force) and when to rest (even when they want to keep pushing).
They recognize that a successful life is a marathon not a sprint. Understanding the importance of balance and demonstrating clear boundaries is their hallmark. They steadfastly prioritize time for focused efforts on meaningful work and restorative self-care. Refueling their energy=sustainable success. Long-term happiness and high achievement.
Secret #3: They strive to optimize how they think.
They work to improve their mindsets and achieve helpful self-talk that serves them. Accepting reality as it is, preventing hardwired negativity bias from hijacking their happiness, and looking for the opportunities in every situation—gives them an advantage.
Secret #4: They say “thank you” and appreciate A LOT—multiple times every day, about lots of different things, in a variety of ways.
They believe that gratitude is more than a “thank you” but rather a way of life. It’s how to view the world. Gratitude is higher ground. A better vantage point. A way to gain perspective, clarity, and the power to problem solve and move forward optimally.
Secret #5: They are dedicated to growth, self-improvement, learning, and service to others.
They know that there is so much to know, learn, and do. And that a fulfilling life is a life that is dedicated to fulfilling a purpose or meaningful pursuit that is about more than just themselves.
My July blog will share Secrets #6-10. Until then, I hope these first 5 secrets help motivate you to direct your time and efforts to maximizing your fullest potential and living your best life. I’m here rooting for you!
AWARENESS: Do you consider yourself a happy high achiever? Why or why not? Did any of the secrets above generate an immediate response within you? What changes (to your thoughts, self-care routine, daily work habits) do you wish you could make to improve your overall mood, productivity, and quality of life?
ACTION: Do one thing today to set yourself up to be a happy high achiever. Fuel your success with one of the secrets above. Become the best version of yourself. It really is possible to enjoy both happiness and success (as defined by you!). Here are some ideas to get you started:
Connect with others. Reach out to a friend who is also working on an important goal and commit to sharing encouragement and accountability with each other. Work with a certified personal trainer, therapist, executive coach, or other trained professional, who can help you cultivate and maintain the important habits necessary to be your best.
Boost your mood with better self-talk. Name at least one strength you have. Remind yourself of one challenge you successfully overcame in the past year. Give yourself at least one genuine compliment today. Notice at least one time today how your thoughts powerfully impact your feelings and behaviors. During any difficult moments, practice talking to yourself like an encouraging coach—cheering you on and motivating you to keep moving forward. Flip your self-talk from self-critical to self-empowering—it’s the key to decreasing your stress, which will enhance your productivity and performance.
Curate your life. Be strategic about where you give your time, energy, and attention—amplify energizing, healthy, inspiring input and edit out unhelpful, unhealthy distractions. Make a list of 5 things you are grateful for today. (Keeping a daily gratitude journal is an awesome way to ensure your thoughts are focused on highlighting what you appreciate in your life.) Post a quote near your computer (or wherever you will see often) that you find uplifting, encouraging, or makes you smile. At least one time this week, actively seek out information about people who you believe demonstrated excellence or inspire you to be your best (Mother Teresa, Viktor Frankl, Mahatma Gandhi, Bruce Lee, Nelson Mandela). Devote at least 10 minutes today to self-care (take a walk outside without looking at your phone, watch something that makes you laugh, do deep breathing or use a relaxation app, exercise at a gym or just turn on your favorite music and dance). Strive to do at least one thing today that helps someone else smile or feel seen, respected, or appreciated.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”—Maya Angelou
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”—Marcus Aurelius