WORKPLACE / JUN. 02, 2015
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5 Beliefs Fundamental to Success

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What is the difference between success and failure? There will be many answers to this question, but one common theme you will find is the important role of foundational beliefs. Below are five fundamental beliefs that will lead to your success.

See also: Oprah Winfrey: The Secret to Her Success

1. Delaying Gratification Leads to Greater Rewards

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – Arnold H. Glasow, author

Delayed gratification is one of the most effective attributes of successful people, and its role in success was famously demonstrated in Professor Walter Mischel’s marshmallow experiment conducted at Stanford University and published in 1972.

Mischel gave a group of very young children a marshmallow each, and then left the room for a quarter of an hour. The children were invited to either eat the marshmallow immediately or, if they were able to wait for a quarter of an hour, they would be given double the number of marshmallows. Some of the children were able to delay their gratification, but others weren’t. The study did not conclude there, however. Researchers continued to study the same children well into their adolescence, and found that those who were able to delay their gratification in the marshmallow experiment were more successful at school and more motivated.  The researchers continued to observe the children for over four decades and consistently found that those children who had delayed the gratification of eating the marshmallow continued to be successful in life. In other words, the ability to delay gratification is positively correlated with success.

Delaying gratification is delaying for a purpose. You may have to work in boring sales before you get to become the sales manager.

2. Your Word Is Your Bond

If your word is your bond, you hold yourself accountable for all your actions in your dealings with others. This indicates that you set high standards for yourself, and you will be looked upon as someone with high standards as a result. People whose ‘word is their bond’ are those who are put in leadership positions and who can be relied on to deliver on outcomes. They are, therefore, successful people, driven by the high standards they set themselves. Furthermore, those who can be trusted will develop strong relationships, benefiting from the reciprocity that drives business success. By contrast, those who cannot be trusted will struggle to build good relationships, ultimately affecting their level of success.

3. Understanding Before Seeking to Be Understood

The third mindset comes from Stephen R. Covey’s seminal book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Seeking to understand recognizes that different perspectives exist; in other words, you and I can see the same thing yet differ with each other. Seeking to understand means listening to your co-worker with the objective of being genuinely influenced by them (empathic listening), which encourages them to reciprocate and be open to being influenced by you. This creates an environment for effective problem-solving, one of the key abilities of successful people.

4. It's Not About You

You may be a rising star in your organization; the go-to person with all the answers; the one who always delivers and always gets promoted. But when your success is limited to just one beneficiary (you), it will be finite. If, on the other hand, your success is a result of others succeeding, you will sustain your success, according to Hubspot founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah.

5. You Are the Only Person Holding You Back

If you find yourself constantly waiting to be selected, chances are you won’t be. It is those who seize opportunities that get ahead. Unfortunately, most don’t take opportunities when they present themselves: a “bystander effect” of sorts comes into play – a phenomenon whereby the greater the number of people present, the less likely people will volunteer to take a lead. Don’t be the person holding you back, be the person that drives you forward.

See also: 10 Thoughts That Will Make You Successful

What beliefs do you think breed success? Let me know in the comments section below.

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