What are the keys to success? Scientists have studied the traits, beliefs, and practices of successful people in all walks of life. But the answers they find wind up in stuffy academic journals aimed at other scientists.
The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People takes the best and most important research results from over a thousand studies and spells out the key findings in ways we can all understand. Each entry contains advice based on those findings, a real life example of what to do or not to do, and a telling statistic based on scientific research.
David Niven, Ph.D., bestselling author of the 100 Simple Secrets series, is a psychologist and social scientist who teaches at Ohio State University.
David Niven, Ph.D., es el autor de los bestsellers internacionales Los 100 Secretos de la Gente Exitosa, y Los 100 Secretos de las Buenas Relaciones. Es psicólogo y científico social, y enseña en la Florida Atlantic University.
The book's subtitle (WHAT SCIENTISTS HAVE LEARNED AND HOW
YOU CAN USE IT) was also of interest . . . it gave me the impression
that the secrets would be based on actual research findings.
That said, I must admit to being disappointed with the author's
attempt to back up his secrets with research . . . this approach
seemed forced, in the sense that the studies that were presented
didn't relate all that well to the point that was seemingly being made.
Yet I still liked the book for what it did do well; i.e., give useful
tips on how to succeed--be it in work or life . . . furthermore,
each of the 100 short chapters was backed up by an inspiring
story, such as Olympic gold medalist Paul Gonzales' rise from
a gang-ridden Los Angeles neighborhood . . . another one
I liked: a schoolteacher's simple advice that helped make David
Brinkley a top news anchorman.
There were several sections that I really enjoyed; among them:
* Think of success as filling a box. You'll be finished sooner not just
by working harder to fill it but also by choosing a smaller box.
Becky considers herself normal in most respects. She has a career,
a husband, two children, and almost no time.
"Do you ever feel like you woke up in an episode of Twilight Zone?
My story is the person who constantly has more things to do and
less time in which to do it. It's like every day I have to make more
runs to the store than the day before, and I have to do it in half
the time." Becky concluded that the key to living life at her own pace,
instead of in a rushed hurry, was "to realize what is really important.
I spent so much time doing things because I thought I was supposed
to instead of because they were really necessary."
To get out of her Twilight Zone, Becky stopped going after everything.
"If you run out of time trying to do absolutely everything, then some-
times you wind up finishing the stupid stuff and missing out on what
* No matter what your career dream, it will at some point cause conflict
in your home life. It is easier to pretend these conflicts do not exist
or to dodge the matter whenever possible. But ignoring conflict doesn't
make it go away; it just feeds the conflict and makes it worse.
Discuss conflicts between your work life and your home life because
that is the only way you can make the situation better.
The Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education teaches
people that the surest path to resentment, strain, and relationship
disaster is the complete absence of disagreements. Having on
disagreements means you aren't saying what you think and feel
and that emotions will simmer within you until they reach a boil.
One of the coalition's main lessons is that in any relationship there
are "ten irreconcilable differences."
According to Dianne Sollee, the director of the coalition,
"The problem for most people is that they
don't recognize that differences are inevitable and should be talked
about, and they instead seek refuge from another relationship. Of
course, their new relationship will have ten new irreconcilable
differences, and the pattern will just be repeated."
Healthy relationships are successful, not because people have fewer
disagreements, but because they apply problem-solving skills to
arguments. Dianne says, "Instead of an emphasis on who is right
and who is wrong, the underlying emphasis in healthy relationships
is on what can be done to improve the situation for everyone involved."
* People don't buy houses or cars if they're not sure about every detail.
It's too important to rush into that kind of commitment. But how many
of us toil in jobs that we don't think are right for us?
You will spend more time between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-
five working than you will spend doing anything other than sleeping.
Your job not only will define possibilities for your future, it may also
come to define you. Never stop thinking about what you need to do
to love what you do.
William Raspberry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the
WASHINGTON POST. He loves his job and wishes more people
loved theirs. "You need to love what you do. Love the hell out of it.
Don't settle for just liking your career, for becoming a data processor
or school principal or Toyota saleswoman because 'the pay-check's
decent and, hey, it's a job.' "
William has a simple test for figuring out if you're in the right line of
work: "Imagine the job you have right now paid you the least amount
of money you could possibly live on. Would you still want the job? If
not, you're not in the right line of work."