Five habits that help you excel

Here are five ways that are practically guaranteed to make you stand out and shine at whatever you do:

  1. Mind your body language. Body language links what’s going on in your head and your heart with how you approach tasks and therefore, how easily and fully you achieve your goals. It echoes what you’re feeling and thinking and at the same time, it loops back and steers your thoughts and feelings.Here’s a little experiment that proves it: Sit up tall and straight, shoulders back, hold your head high and put a great big smile on your face. Hold that position and say, ‘I really, really really hate my job.’ You can’t say it with conviction, can you? In fact, I bet you laughed as you struggled to complain.

    When you want to do something well and enjoy doing it, make sure your body language sets you up for success.

  2. Don’t let other people, situations or events dictate your mood or behaviour. Pull your own strings. The more you control your moods, thoughts and actions, the more easily you can achieve more of what you want.
  3. Sow the right seeds to harvest the results you want. Show the way for others to follow. One of the most important seeds to sow, for example, is to treat yourself and other people with respect. This is one of the cornerstones of success.
  4. Fake it ’till you make it. It’s what you say and do that generate results.Remember that tale about Robert the Bruce? He’s in the dark, damp dungeon with nothing to do but watch a spider try to climb high enough up the moldy, slippery wall to build a web, only to slip back. That little spider never gave up, hence the expression, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s excellent advice, provided you do something different; when you keep doing the same things, you keep getting the same results.

    What should you do when you do this ‘something else’? That’s where faking it comes in. When you don’t know what to do, fake it. Keep trying out different approaches until you find one that works. That’s pretty much the process Thomas Edison used when he was busy inventing all sorts of things from the electric light bulb to the phonograph. And it seemed to work for him, because he invented something every 10 days on average, and applied for 400 patents a year.

  5. Act as if. William James, often referred to as the ‘father of psychology’, taught us the act as if principle. He said, ‘Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does’. He also said, ‘If you want a quality, act as if you already have it’. Two great ways to achieve great results.There is a third way to use the act as if principle: When you don’t know what to say or do in a situation, think of someone you know or know of who would know exactly the right thing to do or say. Step mentally into their shoes and act as if you’re them. This starts you moving in the right direction and might even produce the precise result you’re after. And next time you’re in a similar situation, you’ll know what do do, because you’ve done it before.

Add these five ways of thinking and behaving to your repertoire and maybe hand out sunglasses to those around you. They’ll need them because you’ll be shining so brightly!