Seven Rules for a More Successful Career Career Development

Rule 1: Motivation is the key to success.

The key to understanding personal motivation is in knowing what energizes you—what kinds of activities, people, places, and situations are personally stimulating and fulfilling—and then capitalizing on those motivations.

Rule 2: Success takes hard work.
Success takes preparation and hard work. Thomas Edison once remarked, “A genius is a talented person who does his homework.” Bill Gates was a computer geek before he was catapulted into the limelight. Michael Jordan was a hardworking and determined high-school and college athlete before he became one of the greatest athletes of all time.
These men are rich, but they devoted themselves to their work, have been willing to work hard, and haven’t been daunted by failure.

Rule 3: Learn from your mistakes.
Success depends on learning from mistakes and overcoming challenges.
It’s not enough to be ambitious. The world is filled with ambition, and the path to success is littered with discarded dreams and disillusioned people who never achieved the recognition or success they felt they deserved.

Rule 4: Follow your dreams.
Missions are the values or dreams that drive super-achievers to pursue excellence.
Clinical psychologist Charles Garfield researched super-achievers in business to learn what made them different. In his book Peak Performers (Avon, 1991), he reveals that these executives achieve consistently impressive and satisfying results without burning out because “they went and pursued their dreams.” In every peak performer, Dr. Garfield found a desire to excel at something the person truly cared about.

Rule 5: Honor your talents.
When Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner conducted his landmark research on multiple intelligences, he opened the door to a fuller understanding of human potential. In contrast to society’s traditional emphasis on verbal and analytical abilities as the pinnacle of intelligence, Dr. Gardner put forth a more expanded vision that includes linguistic, musical, spatial, kinesthetic, emotional, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences.
Understanding yourself as a multifaceted individual with many talents and possibilities enables you to expand your vision of your own career potential.

Rule 6: Manage yourself.
There’s no direct correlation between success and mental health. You don’t have to be a nice person to be successful. You can win the rat race and still be a rat. But if you manage yourself well, you can win the rat race without turning into a rat. This involves developing a good working relationship with your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Rule 7: Take calculated risks.
Most of us were raised with rules and know the consequences of disobeying them. But if those rules have taught you that it’s dangerous to take risks, you are limiting your rewards. When building a career in the competitive work world, you must be willing to take risks to reap the rewards you seek. Successful risk-taking involves knowing your risk tolerance. What many otherwise ambitious careerists fail to realize is that not taking a risk is also a risk. There’s a risk involved in not trying, and along with the risk of failing, there’s the risk of regret.

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