Sometimes I look around in amazement at those who appear to be taking the proverbial bull that is life by the horns. I used to think that they are super humans; gifted with some extraordinary ability and/ or skill-set, setting them apart from the rest of us mere mortals. Being a naturally curious (read nosy) person, whenever I get a chance to interact with these large and in charge figures, I make it my point of duty to soak up all possible nuggets of wisdom. From my observations and interacting with these super men and wonder women I realize that whilst they themselves have struggles, that they have made certain decisions, which have led them along their path to success. There are certain traits which are common to them all. As a firm believer in the principle that like actions cause like effects, I have outlined below 10 traits of the truly Awake:
i. You make and live by a budget– Money is an expression of value. When you release your energy into the market place, you receive payment in the form of income. The truly Awake realize that “money is a good servant but a cruel master”. Every dollar earned may be spent on: enjoying life, investment or charity. All three (3) are worthy areas. The point is to have a plan for every dollar earned, addressing all three and to stick to that plan.
ii. You spend less than you earn– No man ever attained independence or power by spending all he earns. Society, has made it a little harder for us by making it possible for us to spend more than we earn through loans. The truly Awake, ensure that they not only live within their means, but below it. They realize that the only way to give to any charitable cause or to have money for investing is to spend less than you earn.
iii. You set goals and plan for your future– The truly Awake begin with the end in mind. They develop long term goals, which they break down into shorter term targets and take action every day toward achieving these. As Napoleon Hill stated in his famed and impactful book, Think and grow Rich, “success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. Note he made no mention of speed. There is no short-cut. The important variable then is your direction. A constant movement in the right direction will get there.
iv. You are a pupil of life– Awake people realize that, the difference between where you are now and where you are 5 years from now is what you read/ learn. They know anything can be learnt and invest their time and energy into learning the skill-sets needed to succeed.
v. You surround yourself with positive people– You are the average of the 5 persons you spend the most time with. Therefore to grow, you must be around people committed to growing. Successful people have the uncanny ability of seeking out persons who can fuel their development.
vi. You give your word and keep it– Your word is your bond. In the end all you have is your integrity. The Awake say what they mean, and mean what they say. To make this work, the Awake are very specific to whom and what they commit. They learn the art of saying no to the less important matters and commit fully once they give their word.
vii. You focus on your health/ fitness– “Mens sana in corpore sano” is a Latin phrase, usually translated as “a sound mind in a sound body” or “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. As internationally known speaker and author, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer stated, “we are spiritual [and intellectual] beings having a physical experience”. The Awake realize that maintaining your health, makes for a much more pleasurable and fulfilling experience.
viii. You are always in solutions mode– Problems are a dime a dozen. Unless you are a diagnostic expert, chances are you do not get paid to point out problems. The market rewards those who bring solutions to the pain points of life.
ix. You remain positive despite setbacks– With the best of intentions, we all meet upon periodic setbacks. That file you have been working on all day has magically disappeared. Your investment portfolio has taken a hit due to market conditions. That “sure thing” deal you thought you had in the bag, suddenly fell through. The Awake ones amongst us realize that persistence is a must have trait and keep on keeping on even with these setbacks.
x. You genuinely love to help others– The successful and truly Awake person realizes that they themselves are the benefactor of the intervention and assistance of coaches, mentors, supporters and well-wishers along the way. He/she understands the value of this and tries to pay it forward. Life (and the market) has a way of rewarding the “go-givers”. Never become so engrossed in self that you forget to help others.