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Do These 3 Things Differently, and Be a Success


What makes people who achieve their dreams from the rest of us? It’s not just having a knack for making money or a talent for knowing what people want. It’s a knack for doing a few things just a little bit differently than everyone else.


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Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School, has written a book on the subject. Called Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, it explains why successful people reach their goals when others fail.

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On Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network, Halvorson gives an overview of the things we can all do differently to be more successful, including:

1. Be specific.

“‘Lose 5 pounds’ is a better goal than ‘lose some weight,’ because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like,” she writes. “Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there.”

2. Be a (realistic) optimist.

Imagine the best possible outcome, but don’t forget that success comes from hard work and planning. For instance, if you’re going on a job interview, using positive imaging is just one of many tools you could use to get the job — but it’s not substitute for researching the employer and the job, and practicing interview questions. In any case, it’ll be easier to project self-confidence if you’ve done your homework.

3. Be active.

Think about your goals in positive terms (e.g. asking for a raise, applying to X jobs a day), not negative ones (e.g. stop procrastinating, waking up late, etc.) It’s easier to add a new habit than it is to break an old one, and arranging your goals around what you won’t do sets you up for failure.

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What are your career goals for 2014? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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