Just about every day while I am looking through my Facebook feed, I see an article saying “Things Successful People Do.” I usually give them a glance, after all I am always curious of ways I can better myself. However, many blog posts are subjective. Just because they say they will make you successful doesn’t mean they will.
I have been lucky enough to have several extraordinary bosses over the last few years. Many people cannot say that they have had a boss who genuinely cares about their future career and being successful in pursuit of my dream career, however I can.
Several years ago, I had a job at a CaseIH dealership right outside of my hometown. My boss attended college out of state, and honestly had some of the strongest leadership capabilities I had ever seen. One day he walked up to me and gave me a book (that he personally paid for), told me he saw an outstanding talent in me and to never stop bettering myself. That book was “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Until that day, I had never been told that I had a talent to be a leader. After all, the position I held there wasn’t one of prestige. However, that day I found motivation to be the best “me.” I read this book cover to cover in just a few days. Out of all of the posts of Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter that I have read, this book absolutely covers all the bases.
So I decided to share five of the seven habits that successful people should follow.
- Begin with the end in mind
Of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” this is the second habit on the list, and to me the most important.
As a college student, I can honestly say that there are so many aspects of college that are so difficult. Whether it’s the extensive amount of work load, large amount of tests, or even waiting to be done with school, it is all so stressful.
Lately, I have especially struggled with how much longer I have to finish school. I am currently a business student and although I don’t have that much longer before I graduate, the end doesn’t seem in sight. I have definitely had to “begin with the end in mind.”
You have to stand back, and realize why you are putting yourself through the things that bring you stress. For me, it was to better myself, find a career that I love and be able to support my family to the best of my ability.
So remember when your friends ask you to do something, and you decline because you have to study for a test, better things are on the horizon.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
- Sharpen the Saw
To “Sharpen your Saw” means to preserve yourself. Do not work yourself to the bone. School and jobs are important, but so are you!
Personally, this is a part of my life that I have always struggled with. I am always on the go, and then it all catches up to me. Take time to create growth in many aspects of your life. Spend time taking care of yourself. Go to the gym, hang out with friends, learning new things (not school related) is so important. Don’t get to the point where you feel drained.
“Two heads are better than one”
We are social beings. We need other people to be successful, and when we are stressed we need collaboration.
There has been several times through college I have needed others help. Asking for help is nothing we should be ashamed of; after all it shows we are trying to grow as employees, students, and even friends. Keep your mind open, when you are unsure of where your future is taking you, ask others.
So next time you wonder where you are, or where you are going, there is always someone who can help you figure it out. Parents, friends, advisors and professors want you to be successful. So before you start getting stressed about school, your career choice, or relationships, there is always someone on the horizon who is happy to help you!
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Whether you are talking about your professional or personal life, it is absolutely necessary to understand how to communicate with others.
We have all had that boss or teacher who just failed to understand what we were going through. Whether it was a family member who had passed away, or maybe we were just going through a hard time. Don’t be that type of person, be understanding.
Effective communication is not only learning to speak, but listen. When someone is testing your patience, think about it from their point of view and listen to their whole story.
- Be proactive
Finally, be proactive. Whether you believe it or not, it is your responsibility to make your life one that you love. No matter what the circumstances are, most of them are changeable. Quit blaming others for your miss fortune. Make the best of what you have. Luck or chance have nothing to do with others successes, it is based on choices that others have made.
Focus your efforts on the things you can change, versus the things you cannot. Being proactive means to take responsibility for your own life.
If you haven’t read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” I absolutely encourage you to do so. As a college student or working adult, it really brings some perspective to the life you are living. I hope this helped bring some perspective to your life, the way “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has brought to mine.