12 Proven Keys That Will Make You Achieve Greatness, Part 2 of 3
Greatness is a choice. After years of interviewing CEOs, entrepreneurs and visionaries, plus my own studies and experience, I’ve learned the 12 proven keys that will make you achieve greatness—not only in business, but in life.
Previously I shared the first four keys (See 12 Proven Keys That Will Make You Achieve Greatness, Part 1 of 3) including the illuminating Whole Health Spider Graph that gives you the big picture view of your entire life.
Some of these steps might seem a little squishy or woo-woo, but please trust me. I’ve been through each of them—sometimes learned through
See the other articles in this series. (12 Proven Keys That Will Make You Achieve Greatness, Part 3 of 3)
times of personal adversity—and I know they work.
Remember to do the action assignments and keep integrating each key into your life.
5. Let go of anger and jealousy. While these emotions are natural and part of being human, if you’re constantly feeling angry or jealous, you’re going to have a hard time being happy. Greatness will elude you. Rather than comparing yourself to people you think are better off than you are, take time to acknowledge the fact that there are countless people on the planet who are worse off than you are. (And there people out there with a whole lot less but have a better, more appreciative attitude.)
Forgive people who have wronged you in the past. Holding onto anger and resentment doesn’t punish them, it punishes you. More importantly, free your heart and forgive yourself. Move past those feelings of judgment. It might help to talk to the person who makes you angry, or I’ve also heard advice to write the person a letter and don’t mail it. I can’t advise you one way or the other, but I do know it’s important to let it out.
One thing I struggled with for a long time was thinking that forgiveness meant absolution. It doesn’t. The bad thing still happened, and forgiveness just lifts the burden that is weighing you down.
Ask yourself: Who or what makes me angry or jealous? What steps can I take to forgive or move past my resentment?
6. Practice empathy. This step is all about standing in the other person’s shoes and asking,
where is the person coming from? Maybe it’s a place of pain, or fear or loss. Everyone has their own struggles and insecurities, and just understanding that will help you become more understanding of yourself and others.
Empathy helps us learn to bond with others and to become less isolated. This was hard for me at first, but I believe we’re built for community. The lone wolf mindset so common among entrepreneurs can be deadly for a lot of high achievers. Empathy is a skill that’s handy to improve relationships with friends, family and significant others. It’s also very useful in business to help you tune in to your customers’ and clients’ needs. Without empathy, you can fall into the “us against them” trap.
Ask yourself: For whom could I show more empathy? From whom/what have I been isolated?
7. Show people you care about them. Do not be afraid to tell somebody that you love them or care deeply for them. Better yet, show them. There are people who are too shy to be nice. Distance or coldness you feel from some people is really a defense mechanism, it’s not them being rude.
And sometimes people may just need to hear those words of affection. But when you do this, be genuine. Don’t tell people to make them happy or get something in return. Simply be honest.
Ask yourself: Who needs to hear that I love and care about them? (And then go and tell them.)
8. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. For high achievers, looking at what we don’t have yet can block our view of what we’ve already got. So stop obsessing over things you wish you had, the sale you wish you’d made, or the client you lost. Instead, count and appreciate the things you do have. You might be surprised by the awesomeness in your own life!
Lift your head up and look around; focus on what is good and helpful in your life. Look beyond the material world (e.g., “I’m grateful for my house and my car …”) and think about the people who make a difference in your day or your life, as well as the events that have been the most rewarding.
But don’t just do this once: make a practice of gratitude. Study after study shows it makes you less stressed, more optimistic, more energetic, and you’ll sleep better, too! Part of my nightly routine is writing in my gratitude journal and I can tell you it’s made a tremendous difference in the quality of my life.
Ask yourself: For whom and for what am I am grateful? Write down 5 or 6 responses.
Honestly, even if you just focused on these four steps and integrated them fully into your life, I know it would make a profound difference in the quality of your relationships with family, friends, team members and clients.
But there are four more keys to achieving greatness, so stay tuned!