Six habits of successful and happy people

Professional success and personal fulfillment are elusive goals, but one researcher has spent two decades studying how some extraordinary people achieve both, Jeff Haden writes for Inc.

The researcher, Brendan Burchard, is an online education pioneer and author who argues there are a few characteristics that separate happy and successful people from everyone else. In conversation with Haden, Burchard identifies the six habits of professionally and personally successful people.

1: Self-evaluate

High achievers don't wait until New Year's Eve to identify their goals, Burchard says. Instead, they constantly sift out distractions to stay focused on what's important, he explains. 

To find personal and professional clarity, Burchard recommends reflecting on your ideal self's behavior and skillset.

2: Take a break

Highly productive people take breaks throughout the day to recharge and stay energized, Burchard explains. To stop feeling drained at work, he recommends finding a few minutes to meditate or relax every hour.

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3: Know your purpose

Successful leaders don't just have a passion for their work, they have a "psychological necessity" to do well, Burchard says.

To find your purpose, ask yourself who's relying on you to perform well, he explains. This could be your customers, your family, or your team.

4: Plan ahead

Before leaders can achieve their personal or professional goals, they visualize the steps needed to get there, Burchard explains.

When you set a long-term goal, identify the in-between skills and strengths you need to master before you can accomplish it, he recommends.  

5: Challenge others

Truly successful leaders can influence how others think and challenge them to grow, Burchard says,

If you examine the influential people in your life, you can identify how they have inspired and pushed you to be better, he says.

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6: Be courageous

High achievers understand that struggling is part of the process, Burchard explains. Even in the face of uncertainty, these leaders continue to do their best because they know the struggle will make them stronger, he says.

And if you've got someone to fight for, you'll have "all the courage you need" to keep going–even when the going gets tough, says Burchard (Hader, Inc., 10/4). 


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