This 2017, we are hopeful about a lot of better things – better health, better opportunities, or a better career. When the New Year comes we make ourselves a number of promises or resolutions we hope would guide us through the coming year. And so we thought: Why not include words of wisdom from really successful people in our resolutions?
Success is not attained without going through pain and frustrations. Life, they say, is like playing chess… you make forward moves, but if you are to win the game, it is inevitable to move backward sometimes. In fact, most successful people have been through a lot in life. They may not be so willing to share their wealth with us, but we can learn from them.
So, let’s expunge the bad thoughts and habits, and let the good ones in!
Marissa Mayer, president and CEO, Yahoo!: There’s no such thing as “the right choice”.
“My friend Andre said to me, ‘You know, Marissa, you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to pick the right choice, and I’ve gotta be honest: That’s not what I see here. I see a bunch of good choices, and there’s the one that you pick and make great.‘ I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten.”
From a 2011 interview with the Social Times
Arianna Huffington, cofounder, and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post: You control the clicker.
“Whenever I’d complain or was upset about something in my own life, my mother had the same advice: ‘Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.’
“We don’t have to wait until we move or change jobs to change our lives. Nor do we have to wait for large-scale, upstream change. We can initiate change right now. There are endless starting points.”
From a 2014 LinkedIn post
Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman, Microsoft: Keep things simple.
“I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from Warren [Buffett]. I’d say one of the most interesting is how he keeps things simple.
“You look at his calendar, it’s pretty simple. You talk to him about a case where he thinks a business is attractive, and he knows a few basic numbers and facts about it. And [if] it gets less complicated, he feels like then it’s something he’ll choose to invest in. He picks the things that he’s got a model of, a model that really is predictive and that’s going to continue to work over a long-term period. And so his ability to boil things down, to just work on the things that really count, to think through the basics — it’s so amazing that he can do that. It’s a special form of genius.”
From a 2009 interview with CNBC
Maya Angelou, singer, actor, dancer, and author: Make your own path.
“My paternal grandmother, Mrs. Annie Henderson, gave me advice that I have used for 65 years. She said, ‘If the world puts you on a road you do not like, if you look ahead and do not want that destination which is being offered and you look behind and you do not want to return to your place of departure, step off the road. Build yourself a new path.’
From Katie Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got”.
Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr and chief executive of Slack: Have an ‘experimental attitude.’
“Some people will know exactly what they want to do at a very young age, but the odds are low,” he said. “I feel like people in their early- to mid-20s are very earnest. They’re very serious, and they want to feel like they’ve accomplished a lot at a very young age rather than just trying to figure stuff out. So I try to push them toward a more experimental attitude.”
From an interview with Adam Bryant of The New York Times.
Suze Orman, motivational speaker, author, and television host: With success comes unhelpful criticism — ignore it.
“A wise teacher from India shared this insight: The elephant keeps walking as the dogs keep barking,” she wrote.
“The sad fact is that we all have to navigate our way around the dogs in our career: external critics, competitors, horrible bosses, or colleagues who undermine. Based on my experience, I would advise you to prepare for the yapping to increase along with your success.”
From her LinkedIn article.
Alyssa Goodman, Ph.D., professor of astronomy, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
“The thing that’s grand about spending your time thinking about the universe is that it makes you feel insignificant. I don’t mean that in a bad way. If you understand that we’ve now discovered entire solar systems that contain planets similar to Earth, and that those are just the ones we know about, since most of the stars we’ve looked at are within about 300 light- years of Earth and the distance to the center of our galaxy is nearly 100 times that—then you realize that the laundry you’ve left undone and the dumb thing you said yesterday are about as significant as slime mold.”
From the Oprah Magazine.
T.J. Miller, actor and comedian: Work harder than anyone else around you.
T.J. Miller, comedian, and star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” told personal finance website NerdWallet this is truly the formula for success. “It worked for me, and I have mediocre talent and a horse jaw.”
May the New Year give you the strength to face the challenges of life and courage to adjust the sail so as to take every situation to your stride. Happy New Year!