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Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

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How Successful Are You, Really? Here Are 10 Things That Will Tell You

2 July 2021

The last 3 weeks have been difficult for me with the sudden and unexpected death of someone very close to me shortly followed by a family member suffering an almost fatal heart attack. I find that it is these times that make me reflect on what I really want out of life and what success really means.

Are you living up to your true potential? Even though it’s quite common to judge success especially early on in our careers by the material possessions we acquire, by the salary we have, the size and location of the homes we buy or the cars we drive, most people consider happiness a larger indicator of success.

Most of us want to be successful. Regardless of how you define success, it’s personal for every individual.  Here are 10 things that will help you determine if you are successful.

1. Do you hate what you do?

Life is short. If you’re miserable in your job because of the work you do or the boss you work for, it’s time for a change. Although it might not be possible to change your circumstances immediately, moving in the direction to do something that satisfies you will put you on the road to success.

2. Are you balanced?

If you sacrifice your relationships, your health and your hobbies by chasing a professional dream, most people wouldn’t call that a success. Those that lead a balanced life with adequate time for their friendships and loved ones, hobbies and health are more successful.

3. Are you pretending to be someone you’re not?

Truly successful people are those that are leading their own lives and not trying to be someone they’re not to impress the “right” people or conform to a certain standard of life that others expect. This is YOUR life and you need to live it.

4. Are you settling?

Go after what you deserve and desire. If you settle because everything is OK or that there are others who are worse off than you, you’re not a success. Dream, set goals to get there and get into action. Why settle for mediocrity when you can be the exception?

5. Do you let worry take control?

A fair amount of tension and angst is a good motivator to get into action, but an unhealthy amount of worry can paralyze you. Action is the way out of worry, so when you feel worry beginning to percolate, take action.

6. Are you a micromanager?

It’s impossible to control everything in your life. For example, you can’t control the reactions of other people. When you micromanage at work, you’re harming not only yourself, but the potential of your people to feel empowered. There are valleys in life that are just part of the journey. When you learn to go with the flow and make the most of every situation, you’ll be more successful.

7. Do you fear mistakes?

Nobody likes to fail, but if you’re too cautious to take a chance to become better, try a new experience or make a mistake, you’re not successful. Mistakes are an essential step to learning, and since we’re all human, we’re going to make mistakes as we journey through life. Learn and grow from mistakes, don’t fear them.

8. Do you only think about yourself?

It’s not all about you. Successful people use their expertise and experience in pursuit of helping others. Even if you’re in sales, it’s about how you can help a prospect get or achieve what they want, not about you hitting your sales quota. Successful managers put the team’s needs above their own.

9. Are you pushing off your pursuit of happiness until. . .?

There’s always a reason to say, not yet, but when it comes to your own happiness, you need to prioritize it NOW. Tomorrow is never a guarantee, and there are always excuses you can make up to delay happiness. Make it a priority to do what you need to do to be happy.

10.   Do you think you can change someone or something about your job?

It’s rarely going to happen. If you consider that in order to be happy in a relationship or a job, “If only I could change this one thing,” you need to listen to that red flag. Before getting or staying in a relationship or job, you need to accept the good and the bad because changing it to make you happy is never guaranteed.

In order to define your own success, you need to answer the following very specifically:

  • Who do I want to be?
  • What truly matter to me?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • And, here’s a powerful one to ponder: What do I really want people to say about me at my funeral?


Data Strategy Book | Bernard Marr

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