Careers

5 mental shifts that will make you more successful

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A few mental shifts can help you live a richer and more successful life.

As Dale Carnegie wrote in his best-selling book "How to Win Friends and Influence People,"

"It isn't what you have [...] or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it."

In fact, scientific research shows that people who make a note to be grateful for what they have and practice mindfulness see a boost in life satisfaction.

Here are five mental shifts that could work for you:

1. Take a minute to breathe

Jim Halpert, fictional character on NBC's "The Office" played by John Krasinski, gets ahead in his career because of his great people skills.
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Jim Halpert, fictional character on NBC's "The Office" played by John Krasinski, gets ahead in his career because of his great people skills.

If you're like most professionals, you may feel overworked and stressed, and getting ahead may feel like a race. But according to career experts, taking a minute to slow down is crucial.

When you encounter a problem at work, Vicki Salemi, career strategist at Monster, says you should take a deep breath and analyze the issue. Don't let your emotion scare you.

2. Stop trying to numb your pain and instead work through it

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Success isn't the absence of hardship or struggle, says Tim Denning, a tech advisor who blogs about happiness. It's about retraining your mind to focus on the agency you have to work through your issues.

The most successful people, he says, have made a commitment to focus on the inspiration around them.

3. Don't try to do everything yourself

One successful entrepreneur debunks the myth that you have to build your career or business all by yourself. Martin Varsavsky, who has founded two companies worth more than $1 billion, says that, by recognizing other people's talents, you can collaborate in ways that make you more productive, especially if you're trying to start a business.

4. Keep one eye on the future

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Save now to avoid emergencies in the future. While it sounds simple, most Americans don't have $1,000 in emergency savings, which leaves them vulnerable.

Taking a few straightforward financial steps, such as maximizing your 401(k) and setting up a savings account, will pay off down the line and give you more peace of mind now.

5. Be genuinely interested in others

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Actor Alec Baldwin says that he fast-tracked his career by simply listening to other people. Professionals, even those who are senior to you, want to bounce their ideas off of others and feel respected.

By taking more time to be genuinely more interested in others, you could turn an informal conversation over lunch or coffee into a full-time gig.

Check out 5 career secrets that can help you get ahead