Surely you are a person who is always looking for how to be smarter to learn to develop new skills. So, this means that you are a curious person who remains in a constant search to improve yourself.
Have you ever, lying in bed in a state of insomnia and looking back at your choices in life, and have you asked yourself, “I wish I had done it differently”?
Perhaps it is as if you made that transition into a personal vocation long ago; chosen best friends, colleagues, or work habits; or you learned better leadership skills to move up the corporate ladder.
While I don’t promise this list as the path to increasing wealth or instant success, I’ll say this: Every successful person got thereby choosing to repeat the same habits over and over again all the way to the top.
Let me leave you with some key success lessons that will help you know how to be smarter.
1. Your success is only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
Choose your network of contacts and friends wisely, they could make or break you. This will undoubtedly help you understand how to be smarter.
Billionaire Warren Buffett once told a 14-year-old boy at a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting what one of the keys to his success was:
“You better hang out with better people than you. Choose employees whose behaviour is better than yours and you will move in that direction ”.
He taught a good life lesson for everyone about absorbing the same qualities and traits of successful people, those further along the way than us, who will elevate and make us better as leaders, workers, and human beings.
2. Create value to capture people’s attention.
Wharton professor Adam Grant says that successful people capture the attention of others by creating something of value, which will pay off big and expand your network.
The example you cite is Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. For two and a half years, Ms. Blakely ambitiously sold fax machines during the day so that she could build her prototype footless pantyhose at night.
With good intentions and never lurking, Blakely sent one from the first batch to none other than Oprah Winfrey, who chose it as one of her favourite things of the year. And the rest, as they say, is history.
3. Do what you love, put all your heart into it and have fun.
That’s a direct quote from Apple CEO Tim Cook. In all its simplicity, it seems almost an anomaly to the conventional wisdom of sacrifice and hard work.
Doing what you love, however, is what gives you the purpose of life. And that purpose is exactly what you can’t help but keep doing.
Even if there are low monetary rewards, you would probably do it anyway for your love. When you discover what this is to you, it is what makes you come alive.
Tim Cook understands this deep down.
“My advice to all of you is not to work for money – it will run out quickly, or you will never earn enough and you will never be happy, one or the other”
Cook told the University of Glasgow to students after receiving an honorary degree from the school. Watch the Full event here.
Putting passion and love in everything you do will make you enjoy the journey more and thus contribute to how to be smarter.
4. Do whatever it takes to develop your communication skills.
For many entrepreneurs, communication problems are common, and each of them agrees that mastering this ability is a must for the success of their business.
Well, not just my own clients, but the world’s most successful billionaire entrepreneurs as well.
In a post on his own Virgin blog listing his top 10 communication quotes, Richard Branson writes:
“Communication makes the world work, facilitates human connections and allows us to learn, grow and progress. It’s not just about speaking or reading, but understanding what is being said, and in some cases what is not being said ”.
He adds: “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess. ”
5. Make more decisions about your heart instead of making big decisions.
The most important decisions you can face will always be based on your feelings; it is a cardiac thing, not a head question.
Still not sure if you can trust your heart? Okay, so do this: document every decision you make in the next three months. See what decisions were successful because you chose to trust that “inner voice.”
The better the outcome of those decisions, the more accurate your intuition will be, going with your heart. Learning to go with your heart is a much more effective way to make decisions than being trapped in the paralysis of analysis.
6. How to be smarter by listening more.
Imagine that you go through your business thinking that “this is the right way”, but later you realize that you were terribly wrong.
This is seen in many entrepreneurs all the time – a tendency to plow like lone rangers, convinced they have all the answers.
“Show me a person who does not seek the good advice and wisdom of others, and I will show you an ignorant fool.”
To understand how to be smarter you must practice the ability to listen and accept comments because they will improve you. In Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership, authors Don Frick and James Sipe describe these helpful approaches:
Listen without interruption, objection, or defensiveness. You are willing to listen to the speaker without turning the table. Ask questions for clarification.
Make it clear what type of feedback you are looking for and why it is important to you. Provides structure for comments: questions, rating scales, stories.
Be clear about your commitment. Describe how you have benefited from the feedback and what specific steps you will take to improve. This builds bridges and trust with others.