16 Mental Shifts for Living a Happier, Wealthier, More Successful Life

Deep Patel

Deep Patel
VIP Contributor
Author of A Paperboy’s Fable

Optimists see opportunities that are invisible to pessimists.

We are all searching for that elusive elixir that will help increase our wealth, gain success and live a life of contentment and peace. Who doesn’t want to find a way to have it all?

Part of the reason these things are difficult for us to achieve is that we never really define what our purpose is in life. We don’t really know ourselves, so we don’t really understand what makes us happy. And we don’t really want to do the hard work to get there.

There’s no magic formula to making all these things happen, but if you’re willing to open your mind and put in the time and effort, you can achieve nearly anything. Here are 16 life changing ways you can attain success, wealth and happiness and live your best life.



How to Fix Your Toxic Culture

Office culture doesn’t turn toxic because of a few bad seeds. It turns toxic because leadership didn’t see or outright ignored the signs that something was amiss.

By Meghan Butler

Over the past year, we’ve heard a lot about toxic workplaces and their repercussions. But many of the stories often miss a critical issue. Office culture doesn’t turn toxic because of a few bad seeds. It turns toxic because leadership didn’t see or outright ignored the signs that something was amiss.

“Leadership sets the tone of the workplace culture and acceptable behavior patterns,” says Shahnaz Broucek, a professor of coaching and mentoring for MBA students at the University of Michigan. “Conflict avoidance, chronic stress, and office politics can lead distracted leaders to unconsciously allow negative behaviors like bullying to poison the well.”

In a recent study by Warble, a platform that offers anonymous employee feedback directly to HR departments, one-third of respondents remain silent because the offender is their manager; or they outright fear retaliation or losing their job. One in five have trouble describing insidious behavior. Even more alarming, close to half of respondents don’t believe any action will be taken.

The onus, ultimately, is on leadership to identify and fix the source of a team’s disintegration. But what if leadership is the problem? This means they have to get right with themselves before they can get right with the team.

The following tactics will help any leader at the center of a toxic workplace right the ship.


Do You Know How Others See You?

We don’t always correctly read how the outside world reads us; new research shows what we can do to improve our perception and the benefits we’ll see

By Elizabeth Bernstein, Aug. 28, 2017

Most of us are not as self-aware as we think we are.

Research shows that people who have a high level of self-awareness—who see themselves, how they fit into the world and how others see them clearly—make smarter decisions, raise more mature children and are more successful in school and work. They’re less likely to lie, cheat and steal. And they have healthier relationships.

Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist from Denver, spent three years conducting a study on self-awareness and has a new book on it titled “Insight.” When it comes to self-knowledge, she says there are three types of people: those who have it, those who underestimate how much they have (she calls them “underraters”) and those who overestimate how much they have (“overraters”). Underraters beat themselves up unnecessarily. Overraters believe they do everything well. She found no gender differences in her research.

Internal self-awareness is introspective—what happens when we know ourselves well. External self-awareness is what happens when we correctly understand how others see us. You can excel at one and not the other.


Stop Apologizing When You’ve Done Nothing Wrong

Beth Anne Macaluso, September 17, 2018  

The break room in my office features a galley-style kitchen—long and narrow with four different microwaves at one end, two on a shelf above the counter and two below it. The cramped arrangement is awkward enough during the lunchtime rush hour—there’s almost no space to maneuver without bumping into somebody—but the awkwardness is only heightened by my female colleagues. Oh, and me.

As we move through this space, trying not to step on anybody or block someone reaching to get their meal, there’s an almost unrelenting chorus of “sorries.” At first, I didn’t notice it. But a few weeks ago, my friend/editor (freditor? Hi, Abbey!) [Editor’s note: Hi, Beth Anne!] asked if I’d be interested in writing a piece about women and our complicated relationship with the word “sorry.” Now, it’s all I can hear. Those apologies are as much a part of the lunchtime experience as our soups, Lean Cuisines, and yes, leftover fish (a choice that might actually warrant a legitimate apology, although that’s a discussion for another day).

These lunch-hour “sorries” are what Alexandra Johnston, executive coach and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, refers to as “ritual apologies.” “Saying ‘I’m sorry’ can be the first part of an expected two-part ritual, one that women expect other women to implicitly understand and complete with a return apology or refusal to assign blame,” Johnston explains. She provides the following example:

Woman to female colleague: “I’m sorry I didn’t get that spreadsheet back to you first thing Monday morning like I promised.”

Female colleague: “No, it’s okay. I’m sorry I sent the data so late Friday evening. You didn’t have enough time.”

When you’re both wrong, no one gets mad and no one gets in trouble. (At least, that’s what so many of us think.)

As the above examples make clear, for many of us, sorry is rarely about actual contrition—it’s a crutch that we use to express all kinds of things that we feel we can’t just come out and say, lest we seem aggressive, or thoughtless, or like we aren’t team players. But when we aren’t saying what we actually mean, it can be all too easy for our message to get lost in translation. Especially when we’re communicating with a group that has, since birth, been socialized to believe they don’t have to apologize for anything (even when they probably should).


Give Yourself a Break: The Power of Self-Compassion

  • Serena Chen – From the September–October 2018 Issue

When people experience a setback at work—whether it’s a bad sales quarter, being overlooked for a promotion, or an interpersonal conflict with a colleague—it’s common to respond in one of two ways. Either we become defensive and blame others, or we berate ourselves. Unfortunately, neither response is especially helpful. Shirking responsibility by getting defensive may alleviate the sting of failure, but it comes at the expense of learning. Self-flagellation, on the other hand, may feel warranted in the moment, but it can lead to an inaccurately gloomy assessment of one’s potential, which undermines personal development.


Why Self Responsibility is the Key to Being the Best You

The debate is still out on how people can find success in life. The problem, of course, remains that success looks different to everyone.

How can I tell you how to find success if my definition of success is different from yours?

Well, it turns out that no matter what you want your life to look like, there are a few key elements that have to fall into place in order to make that life a reality.

One of those key elements is self responsibility.


8 Ways to Build Self-Discipline in Your Life

We all know, or have heard of, someone with incredible self-discipline. They get up at 5 am, meditate and plan their day, run for 6 miles, and then drink a kale and protein smoothie for breakfast. They do all of this before going to work at their startup, which they hope to take public next month. They never waste time, and their accomplishments are astonishing.

Yet, here you sit, surfing the internet, reading online politics, playing candy crush, and eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream straight out of the container. Is this the life you really want to live? Or, are you searching for a life in which you will accomplish your goals and dreams, no matter what they are?

The key to success in achieving your goals and plans both in your professional and personal life is to become a more self-disciplined person.

How can you build the kind of self-discipline that other people have? Discipline is critical to career success, so are there tricks to help you become more self-disciplined? There are. Here are eight ways to help yourself become more self-disciplined than you are now.

1. Start Small

You don’t need to wake up as a completely different person. As a cultural event, people tend to make resolutions on New Year’s Day: They say, this year will be different. Well, you can make this year different, but you don’t need to change everything at once. For best results, pick just one thing.

Otherwise, you can overwhelm yourself with too many changes to make at once. This defeats your intention of becoming a more self-disciplined person.

2. Identify What You Want to Do Differently

Do you even like kale smoothies? Do you want to? While drinking one may seem like the noble, healthy thing to do, it’s not likely to make you a better person. It may make you an insufferable jerk, though, if you are only doing it for the wrong reasons.

If you’re focusing on health, pick something that is practical and that will make a real difference in your life, and ideally, that you enjoy. That could be going to the gym, walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or limiting the ice cream you eat.

If you want to make your career different and more successful, ask what would make a difference. Take a look at the performance of people who have the job you want. What do they do differently than you? Do they arrive early? Dress up, even though the dress code is casual? Do they respond to all emails within an hour? Figure out the characteristics that you are missing, pick an important one and build on that.