Can you become a successful person in your life?
To be successful, is it essential to have a high social position or a substantial economic availability? Or maybe it’s just a matter of luck?
The notion of success is certainly very subjective, but to address this topic in a precise and scientific way, we take as a reference the hierarchical scale of Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs.
The American psychologist Abraham Maslow, between 1943 and 1954 elaborated the concept of “hierarchy of needs or necessities” which he represented on a pyramidal scale divided into five levels containing different needs: from the most elementary, necessary for the survival of the individual (such as for example food), to more complex social ones.
These are the ones that refer to the most shared concept of “success”, intended precisely as a social, work, etc. affirmation.
Volcanic motivation gurus and superstar trainers seem to hold the secrets that allow anyone to achieve the desired success. But what are the scientifically verified methods of success in life?
7 ways to succeed in life
Let’s now look at 7 ingredients that scientific studies have shown to be fundamental for achieving greater success in life.
- 1. Increase Confidence in Yourself by Acting, including by Fighting Failure
Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Code, conducted a study on this topic, highlighting in addition to the existence of a large gap in trust between the sexes, that success is as dependent on trust as it is on skills.
What was their conclusion? Low confidence translates into inertia.
“Acting builds confidence in one’s ability to succeed, so trust grows through hard work, through success, and also through failure.”
- 2. Improve your social skills
According to research conducted by economist Catherine Weinberger, of the University of California, the most successful entrepreneurs excel in both cognitive and social skills, although this has not always been true.
Every 10 years, the United States government examines a representative sample of high school students and tests them.
Then the individuals of this sample are followed for about 10 years to know their position in the world of work within thirty years of age.
Using these data, Weinberger cross-referenced data from a sample of teenagers from 1972 with that from 1992, concluding that:
“Smarter and socially skilled people earn more in their jobs today than workers with similar skills in 1980.”
- 3. Train to Delay the Rewards
In the famous marshmallow experiment conducted in 1972, a marshmallow was placed in front of a child, with the promise of a second marshmallow if he refrained from eating that mouthwatering and fluffy bite during the absence of the control researcher, which would have lasted 15 minutes.
Follow-up studies over the following 40 years found that children who were able to resist the temptation to eat marshmallows had grown into adults with better social skills, who had scored higher on school tests and which there was a lower incidence of abuse of harmful substances. In short, they had become people who had been able to achieve greater success.
In addition, the former children who knew how to resist marshmallows, when grown up, were on average in better physical shape and much more resistant to stress than those who had succumbed to temptation as children.
- 4. Demonstrate Passion and Perseverance for Long Term Goals
Psychologist Angela Duckworth has spent years studying children and adults, and has discovered what is the characteristic that most of all predicts success significantly: it is about determination.
“Having grit means attacking your future, day after day, not only for a week, not only for a month, but for many years, working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is to live life as if it were a marathon, not a speed race ”.
- 5. Make Yours an Open Mind
According to research conducted by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, how people perceive their personality affects their ability to be happy and successful.
People with a “closed minded” believe that qualities such as character, intelligence and creativity are immutable, and the ability to avoid failure is a way of demonstrating one’s ability and intelligence.
On the other hand, people with an “open mind” see failure as a way to grow and are therefore more inclined to face challenges, persevere after failures, learn from criticism, and achieve higher levels of achievement.
This does not mean that open-minded people believe that anyone can do and be anything, that anyone with the right motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven.
Rather, they believe that intelligence can be developed and that a person’s true potential is unknown and perhaps unknowable, therefore it is impossible to predict what can be achieved by an individual through years of passion, effort, and continuous training.
- 6. Cultivate Personal Relationships
After following the lives of 268 male students of Harvard University, belonging to the classes from 1938 to 1940 for decades, the study of the psychiatrist George Vaillant has come to a scientific conclusion that you probably already know: love is the key to happiness and therefore of personal success.
Vaillant has found that even if a man achieves job success, earns a lot of money and enjoys good health, if his life is devoid of romantic relationships, he will never be happy and truly fulfilled.
The psychiatrist’s study has shown how happiness depends on two things: love and finding a way to face life that does not reject love far away.
- 7. Re-evaluate Your Conception of Authenticity
Authenticity is a highly sought-after component of personal leadership, and the prevailing idea is to consider the best leaders to be those who are true to themselves and who make decisions based on their values.
Yet, in an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “The Authenticity Paradox” Professor Herminia Ibarra discusses an interesting research on the topic and tells the story of a newly promoted general manager who admitted subordinates to being frightened by the responsibilities of her new role , asking them to help her succeed.
Ibarra tells us that his sincerity failed sensationally. The new general manager lost credibility towards people who instead needed an authoritarian and resolute leader who could lead and inspire them.
So know that simulating the qualities of successful leaders does not make you a fake, it simply means that you are a “work in progress”.
But how can we improve our ability to delay things like eating “junk food” that we like when we don’t have healthier alternatives available, or to keep running on the treadmill when we’d rather just quit?
James Clear suggests starting with the little things, choosing one thing at a time to gradually improve each day, and making a commitment not to avoid all those tasks that take less than five minutes to complete, such as washing dishes after a meal or eating. a fruit on lunch break if we pursue the goal of healthy eating.
Committing to doing something every day also works.
The best in every field – athletes, musicians, CEOs, artists – are all more consistent than their peers. They remain intact the perseverance to carry on their routine, day after day, while all the others remain bogged down by the small great urgencies of daily life and by the eternal conflict between procrastination and motivation.