Written by: Susan Hum, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
High achievers are almost always successful; however, not all successful people are high achievers. One common trait of a high achiever is they do not allow room for failure and, in turn, are severe workaholics. Although they may always seem confident, unyielding, and appear to have everything they want in life, the reality is that they have the same fears, problems, and obstacles as everyone else except high achievers perceive and respond to obstacles as challenges, not as problems.
High achievers tend to get very intensely focused on achieving goals. They can become irritated and frustrated when things get in their way of progress, and have the tendency to put aside essential things such as their health, family and building deeper, more meaningful relationships with others.
Despite all the successes they have attained, they still struggle with finding a sense of meaning, purpose and happiness in their life. By implementing these five spiritual habits into their daily lives, high achievers can start learning to live more consciously in their hearts, and to create a balance and greater sense of fulfilment within themselves.
“Meditation?? Are you kidding?? I can’t even sit still for five minutes let alone sit there and stop my thoughts!” This is a typical response from high achievers when I mention meditation. I get it – I used to believe that as well.
The reality is that the beneficial influences of meditation are greater than you think. By implementing a mindful meditation practice, high achievers can find peace within their monkey mind (when the mind is bombarded with too many thoughts, inhibiting focus) and open up mental space for more creativity, thereby achieving desirable results with greater ease and grace.
Meditation isn’t just to de-stress or “shut down the brain”. I discovered Transcendental Meditation a few years ago, which works so well with high achievers because the technique allows them to let their thoughts roam, and trains them to not process so they can find stillness within their thoughts.
The outcome of mental calmness? A recharged mind capable of processing more information while being better attuned to a variety of different opportunities. Staying with constructive, positive thoughts allows emotions to be controlled, permitting better response to the external environment and openness to new ideas, thus displacing negative emotions such as worries and control.
High performers are constantly planning and thinking about how to perfect their ideas, keeping their eyes pinned on tomorrow and the future. Although this is an important part of goal achievement, if not maintaining a balanced life, high achievers can fall into the trap of grinding and forcing their way to success. Connecting to the present moment is a good practice to maintain that balance.
Think about how the GPS device works. There are two parameters required for the machine to work: the destination address and the current location. Let’s say one starts driving, and somehow misses an instruction to turn. The device will then recalibrate using the current location to set you back on course. This recalibration is what mindfulness is all about. Mindfulness is the point that connects the future with the past and is the check-in to where one is and how one feels in the present moment.
We have already described how meditation helps with focusing in the now. Another very effective way to stay mindful is to connect with nature. It was in my 30s that I started to connect with nature, and what I discovered was an ability to simplify my thoughts and bring more clarity. All human beings have a neurobiological connection with nature. Therefore, being in contact with nature helps with physical and psychological well-being.
Remember, life can be simple… not easy.
High achievers have little patience with imperfections in others, especially when those imperfections hinder their own path towards success. Leaders and high achievers tend to be more individualistic, so sometimes they focus only on achieving their goals without slowing down to understand those around them. That being said, there is no double standard here, as high achievers are frequently harder on themselves than they are on others.
One of the differences between an unconscious high achiever and a conscious one is the practice of compassion. Conscious leaders can connect with people at all levels because they have compassion. Judgment breaks connection. When there is judgment of others’ limitations and imperfections, there is no teamwork.
But it all starts with self-compassion. Reframing how to view failure or redefining what success really helps to build more meaningful relationships, both in business and personally. Conscious high achievers adopt an I win – you win more strategy in their interpersonal dealings, which helps them succeed with much more ease and grace and, most importantly, the journey towards success entails more fun, passion and joy.
People who maintain solid discipline to achieve success often forget to be grateful, because their focus is constantly on what is next. Goal achievement is not dependent on gratitude, but a daily practice of gratitude is a necessary step towards happiness and a greater sense of purpose.
The way to practise gratitude is to appreciate what one has achieved and who one is today, rather than focusing too much on what one doesn’t have and who one wants to become. Therefore, when high achievers express gratitude regularly and live with an appreciative attitude, they cultivate a focus on the positive aspects of their life, subsequently achieving those very experiences and situations they desire.
Likewise, thanking others makes them more empathetic towards people, more compassionate, and able to put themselves in the other person's shoes. Grateful people don't have to compete; it is easier for them to achieve in their life, and they will be happier when they do so.
5. Love and be loved
For many high performers, achieving a goal becomes an intense focus, leaving no room for anything that might hinder them from that success. So, when it comes to romantic relationships, they often have a belief that it would simply be a negative distraction.
The real question here is “If your ideal romantic partner is someone who will be a positive influence towards achieving your goals, would you want love?” If the answer is yes, then you can work on implementing the right attitude and perspective around love.
One example is focusing on what is it you want, rather than focusing on not repeating past failures around love. As high achievers are master goal achievers, learning to have more clarity around your ideal love story (the goal) will enable you to focus your eyes to see better opportunities. What we see is what we believe, so if you want to see better opportunities, you need to cultivate that belief. It is not that different from any other goal you set for yourself: the clearer we are on the vision, the more we can seize those opportunities that will lead us to achieve successfully our love goal.
Love and success are not mutually exclusive; love enhances our spirit and attracts good vibes. As a result, our life will be happier in all its aspects. Family, partners and friends will see that we are on the right track and that an aura of calm and stability imbues us. From that moment forward, true success, peace and tranquility can be achieved for us and our loved ones as we develop our projects and achieve our goals.
Remember that the key to life success is never to give up and always to find different ways to achieve our goals and purpose.
Susan Hum, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Susan Hum, aka the LoveHacker, is a thought leader and self-mastery expert who mentors coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs to take their business to next levels while continuing to elevate their own personal growth to become more powerful self-leaders. Susan specializes in the area of influence mastery and persuasive communication with a specific focus on emotional intelligence. Her own personal journey in forming a unique voice and unraveling her personal truth led Susan to achieve success in all pillars of life – family, career, financial freedom, and most importantly, love and incredible relationships.
Susan´s success in helping high achievers attract more love and passion into their lives has led her to work with some very prominent leaders in business, sports, music, and Hollywood. In 2020, she created the Steel Rose Movement, a conscious leadership platform for women with a mission to elevate love consciousness in the world by narrowing all divides in society, whether between women, genders, races, cultures, identity preferences, or personal beliefs. Susan deeply believes that self-mastery enables us to Influence with Integrity to Impact by Loving who we are, what we do and how we do it!