29 “truths” to immeasurable success There are certain truths every graduating senior — and, in fact, every person in general — could benefit from knowing, to help and guide them as they tackle “the real world.” You may have heard some of these short, sweet, success-oriented instructions before, but they bear repeating because they’ve withstood the test of time, and because if you pay attention and take them to heart, they can guide you in the direction of great things. Life will never stop challenging your abilities, your integrity, and your motivation, so you have two choices: You can meet life’s challenges forewarned and thus forearmed, or you can learn a lot of important lessons the hard way.
The first impression is made in the first 90 seconds First impressions last a long time and are surprisingly difficult to change so don't underestimate the value of a well-groomed appearance, firm handshake, a friendly smile, and a genuine demeanor -- they'll help you start relationships off on the right foot every time.
Your age does not matter Young age and inexperience might feel like a disadvantage but the truth is quality is more important than quantity. Your ideas, your commitment, your character, and your willingness to grow and improve are every bit as valuable as years on the job.
Dress the part Yes, it's important to express yourself and to be fairly comfortable, but so is wearing appropriate clothing. When you dress as though you're already in the position you'd like to have, you're one step closer to being there.
Be the plow horse, not the show horse Focus on doing diligent, reliable, honest work, not on receiving accolades. If you put in the hours and truly earn the respect you want, your time in the spotlight will last longer and will be much more fulfilling.
Set goals that scare you. Then set bigger goals If you're not challenging yourself you're probably not growing -- so set goals that you know will stretch your intellect, your persistence, and your ingenuity. And once you've achieved them, set more. Think of these goals as being your "life plan." Staying focused on your goals will help you not to inadvertently waste time and effort. And most of all, remember that what gets planned gets done.
Take great notes Taking notes in every situation is a great habit to develop. Whether you've just had dinner with your significant other's parents or have just left an important meeting at work, jot down important points. Your memory is never as good as you think it is -- and when you record important information, you give yourself a way to meaningfully connect later.
Never overestimate the competition or underestimate yourself <ul><li>It's good to have a healthy respect for the competition, as well as an accurate understanding of your own weaknesses. But don't let this knowledge keep you from trying. Remember, no one is perfect -- and you yourself possess many strengths and assets! </li></ul>
If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit that you don’t <ul><li>When you don't have the answer you need, your immediate inclination might be to fib, hedge, or prevaricate. Resist those impulses and, even though it may mean humbling yourself and swallowing your pride, be honest about what you don't know. This will win you the respect of others with integrity, and will also give you the chance to find the correct answer rather than one that might confuse and mislead. </li></ul>
Cheaper isn’t always better <ul><li>There are some things that are worth the money. A quality suit that fits will look better and last longer. And an unhealthy diet might not cost much -- but your body will perform much better on a healthy diet. </li></ul>
Be a great self-promoter <ul><li>You are your own best advocate -- period. Learn to volunteer when your skills are needed, and always try to add value to any organisation or endeavour you're a part of. Remember, your actions as well as your words can show people that they want you on their team. </li></ul>
Be humble <ul><li>The truth is humility doesn't mean being a meek, weak pushover...it just means you're not a showboat. When you let humility govern your decisions and actions, you'll be vulnerable in a good way -- others will feel comfortable approaching you and connecting with you. </li></ul>
Own great suits and learn to tie a good knot <ul><li>While inner character is important, never forget that what people see forms a large part of their opinion of you. Plus, when you wear clothes that you know look great, you'll feel and act more confident. </li></ul>
Donate to charity <ul><li>You might be tempted to hoard every rupee that comes your way but what make little difference to you may make a lot of difference to someone else. Remember, useful donations don't have to be large and not all valuable donations are monetary! The fact is, giving back will make you to grow in important ways, and will give you a valuable connection to humanity at large. </li></ul>
Do not burn bridges <ul><li>You never know when a word spoken in anger, frustration, or even disgust might come back to haunt you. Remember that people change, and realise that treating everyone with respect, in spite of negative circumstances, will give you a reputation for fairness and integrity. </li></ul>
If you must choose between wealth and character: Choose character <ul><li>Our culture seems to value success -- in other words, money, power, and status -- more and more highly. However, this kind of "wealth" all too often comes at the expense of integrity, balance, and healthy relationships. When you choose to preserve and develop your character over your bank account, you'll be making the far wiser investment in your future -- and you'll attract the sorts of people and opportunities that you really want. </li></ul>
Support your peers; the impact is greater when they also succeed <ul><li>You've probably heard that it's a dog-eat-dog world and that you have to put 'Number One' first. Yes, seek success for yourself -- but not by throwing others under the bus. The fact is, when you support others, your collective efforts will achieve much more. Plus, you'll have a source of help when you need it - and you will need it. </li></ul>
Celebrate success! <ul><li>We often dwell on the things we don't get right rather than the things we do. Yes, it's important to keep your eyes on the prize so that small victories don't cause you to become complacent. But on the other hand, all work and no play will make you dull. When something positive happens, acknowledge it! Celebrating your own successes (as well as those of others) serves as a great motivator and reward and is also a wonderful way to relieve stress. </li></ul>
Send handwritten thank-you notes <ul><li>In an increasingly digital age, this is one tradition that is best left in its original form. Writing out your appreciation by hand shows true gratitude -- and receiving a personalised note will always have a more profound effect than an email. Send thank-you cards to coworkers who have helped you, to clients who have been loyal, to mentors who have guided you, and much, much more. </li></ul>
The biggest obstacles mask the greatest opportunities <ul><li>You usually don't get something for nothing. You can either put in mediocre efforts for mediocre results, or you can push yourself to overcome more than you ever thought possible...and achieve truly great outcomes. Take on the challenges and become bigger than you ever dreamed. </li></ul>
Be your own boss <ul><li>Be in charge of steering your own course in life, and don't allow other people to make important decisions for you. Being your own boss means more than this, though. It also means being accountable for your own actions, taking responsibility for tasks that are given to you, and not passing the buck even if you can get away with it. </li></ul>
Be on time <ul><li>Punctuality is a good trait to have for many reasons: Being late makes you seem less responsible to others. When you're running behind schedule, it's also more difficult to roll with the punches and accommodate life's little deviations. Just remember that whatever you're doing will always take longer than you think -- so budget your time accordingly! </li></ul>
Pay for lunch <ul><li>You don't have to shell out for grub every day, but offering to pay once in a while gets people's attention. It'll mark you as a team player who truly cares for others. Also, consider taking people you admire out to lunch from time to time. Talk to them about how they reached their current levels of success and ask their advice regarding your own future. </li></ul>
Learn what the best do and imitate it <ul><li>Throughout your life you'll come into contact with people who have done well for themselves, but not at the expense of others. Watch them carefully, work with them if you can, and ask them for advice. Find out what they do differently -- often, it's nuances that set them apart. There's no need to reinvent the wheel in order to become the best. Simply be observant and put together a "best practices" manual to use as you move forward. </li></ul>
Let your YES mean YES and your NO mean NO <ul><li>Be a man of your word, period. Don't give in to the temptation to tell white lies, to engage in double talk, or to renege on a promise. Gaining a reputation for reliability will set you apart, will help you build genuine relationships, and will make others want to partner with you </li></ul>
Commit to self-improvement <ul><li>Graduating from school doesn't mean you're finished learning and growing. Constantly strive to improve your mind, your relationships, your knowledge base, your empathy, and more. You will notice new things about yourself, about others, and about the world around you that will continue to open doors and propel you forward. </li></ul>
Putting others down is the quickest way to lower oneself <ul><li>In business and in your personal life, make this your mantra. Saying negative things about other people in a non-constructive way only showcases your own insecurities. And on top of that, "mudslinging" does nothing to show people why you yourself are valuable. </li></ul>
Be the best at treating others well <ul><li>This goes back to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When you treat others well -- better, in fact, than anyone else treats them -- you will see your honesty and kindness reflected back into your own life. More people will seek you out, more people will respect you, and more people will be willing to put in a good word, or action, on your behalf. </li></ul>
Discover what you do best and focus on that <ul><li>We live in a culture that expects us to do everything well. Think about it -- did you spend more time learning more about the subjects you loved in school, or did you spend it trying to bone up on what you couldn't seem to get a handle on? You'll do much better for yourself and for the world at large if you identify your strengths and passions and develop them to the best of your ability. It's better to be great in one area than passable in all of them -- and remember, there's no shame in asking for help when you need it! </li></ul>
Your success is determined by how you handle the bad <ul><li>No matter how much you plan, how well you prepare, or how good your intentions, you'll experience failures amongst your successes. That's what it means to be human. You can't always control what happens to you, but remember that you can control how you react to bad circumstances. You can choose to get up and keep going, or you can choose to stay knocked down. </li></ul>