A habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and eventually becomes a subconscious behavior. Habits can make or break you. Successful people know this and have cracked the code. They have learned that certain habitual behaviors can enable them to nourish their goals and turn those goals into achievements.
However, true success is not measured by results alone. Remember the line in “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart – “A toast to my big brother George, the richest guy in town!”? Why was George rich? Not because of his monetary wealth, but because he was rich in friends. What enabled George to have so many friends? The interpersonal habits adopted by the character. Therefore, to be truly successful, you must adopt habits to nurture interpersonal relationships on many levels.
In a previous blog we discussed the importance of active listening. Although being an active listener is a key habit for success, successful people know it goes much deeper. You must demonstrate self-control and gratitude to achieve true success in life.
Self-control is what separates us from the animals. We as humans are not solely dependent upon “fight or flight”; we do have free will. What’s amazing are the numbers of individuals striving for success do not realize this fact. The good news is that anyone can adopt self-control by:
- Practice resistance; think before you react, avoid knee-jerk reactions
- Be patient; be an active listener while allowing others to fully make their point
- Keep an open mind; don’t dismiss certain ideas or only associate with like-minded people
- Have an internal dialogue; filter comments and feedback before speaking
To some people these are common sense habits. For others, it may take practice, but please know that self-control is key to successful interpersonal communication. If others do not feel heard or important, any kind of quality relationship between the two of you will be impossible.
Gratitude is a choice and an attitude. Without gratitude, any effort you make in life will be fruitless. Remember “The Law of Attraction”? This law states that what you think about, you bring about. By being grateful and demonstrating gratitude, good things are more likely to happen to you.
Successful people know this and have mastered it throughout the centuries. You don’t have to be a multimillionaire donating large sums of money to charities either; below are simple ways anyone can practice gratitude:
- Say THANK YOU
- Compliment others
- Engage in at least one good deed a day
- Be courteous to everyone, even if it is only holding open the door
- Give to someone who can’t pay you; “pay it forward”
Practice simple gratitude and be amazed by the residual benefits: appreciation, trust and overall goodwill with others. Interpersonal habits start with the choices you make before engagement. Make sure you make the right ones by practicing self-control and gratitude! Remember, character is something you do when no one is watching.
Timothy Dimoff Knows Best Practices for Success
As a former law enforcement officer, Tim Dimoff has firsthand experience with the effects of good and bad interpersonal skills. His life lessons applied with 40+ years’ experience in HR related topics help provide insight into the nuances of human interaction. Contact Tim to schedule the Tim’s Talk Habits of Exceptionally Successful People.