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The New Year: Challenge Yourself to Make an Impact
By Barbara Pronin
It’s the time of year when business professionals take stock, review achievements, and set goals for the year ahead. But setting financial projections alone is no guarantee of success. As career coach Kathy Caprino told Forbes Magazine, success is not measured by the dollars you make, but by the people whose lives you have enriched.
 
There are three kinds of people, Caprino said; those who hate their work, those who tolerate it, and those who love what they do and relish it - a small subset who stand out because they change the world for the better.
 
Caprino, who has studied a broad cross-section of successful athletes, scientists, entrepreneurs and business geniuses, finds many everyday people among them who have contributed at the highest level - many from disadvantaged families, raised in crushing circumstances, or with limited capabilities. But, she notes, they have found ways to rise above circumstances to transform their own lives and those around them.
 
In planning your approach to the new year, consider the nine core behaviors Caprino has isolated - habitual ways of approaching life and work - that appear to distinguish the successful from lesser achievers:
  1. Define your sense of purpose - People who are focused, committed, and lit up from the inside are unable to be distracted from their perseverance and purpose.  
  2. Commit to improvement - Achievers know they are not perfect; there are classes to take, books to read and people to talk to that will help you be better at what you do.
  3. Know the power of relationships - Believe in the power of connecting. Engage people, and know that authentic relationships are the building blocks to achievement.
  4. Look not just at what is, but what can be - When something isn’t coming together, strive to make sense of the contributing factors and arrive at new solutions.
  5. Embrace critique - You don’t need to be right; you need to grow and become more effective. Embrace challenge, engage in dialogue, welcome constructive feedback.
  6. Share what you know - Sharing ideas and innovations makes for universal betterment. Influencers know that, ‘the more you give, the more you get.”
  7. Uplift others as you ascend - As you climb the ladder of success, use your overflow of positive energy to enrich the lives of everyone you connect with.
  8. View the journey as the goal - Don’t take shortcuts or go for the quick buck. The goals you set are the destination, but life’s richness is in the journey.
  9. Use your influence well - Operate with heart. Care deeply about the influence you have on others.  Take it seriously, as an honor and responsibility not to be flaunted or misused. 
Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.

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