Seven Surprising Simple Steps to Success From an Oxford Graduate

Businessman looking out over the city at sunrise.
Businessman looking out over the city at sunrise.

Every day we hear about ways to become happier or stress-free. This person says try yoga, that person says meditate. However, as an Oxford graduate, I've learned there are simple steps to finding success in life. These are steps I've learned over time.

I've learned it takes just a few simple steps to communicate better with coworkers, your spouse and even your children! I learned these lessons when I attended boarding school at age 13. I traveled alone from Iran to Denmark. It was lonely and scary but it forced me to learn these secrets to a successful life.

Here are a few key tips to help you and those around you on their journey to success. Remember these when you are frustrated and ready to give up.

Take the time to learn your child's learning style.

1. How do they approach a problem?
2. Do they recognize important components and solve it. Then they must take what they learned and apply it to the next problem.
3. Also, what type of learner are you? Visual, physical, musical, social, introverted, logical, or a language learner?

Learn to cope with stress.

1. The first question to ask yourself is what is your personal image?
2. Then analyze what types of media influence are in your life. In addition, use effective time management skills to organize your life.
3. Lastly, exercise. Doing a sport or just going on a daily walk will help reduce stress levels.

Learn how to choose your friends.
Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do they accept me for my values?
2. How do I keep my mind open? What can I learn from a different culture?
3. Lastly, do they do illegal activities? Make you harm yourself or others?
One can find liked-minded friends by finding friends with similar hobbies and interests. Look online and find meet ups with people who have similar interests. Also, don't fight for acceptance. A friend either accepts you for who you are or you find someone else who does.

Develop persistence. Never give up!

1. Persistence is learned! One must keep a positive mind, keep trying and keep a role model.
2. Be positive! It is fuel for your fire. Without being positive, your car will get nowhere.

Expand your learning capacity.
Here are the basics:

1. Seek new activities. Expose yourself to new things. This will engage your mind and expand your horizons. Learn an instrument. Take an art class. Go to a museum.
2. Think creatively. Accept failure. Enjoy it. It is a part of the creative process.
3. Socialize. It enhances mental ability and lets you experience the world from a new perspective.

Learn how to approach a problem.
Ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the problem? Identifying what the problem is usually solves 50 percent of the problem. Use this tool to make this step simpler. Write down the problem in your own words. Write down the unknown.
2. Why is that a problem? Now you can focus on what caused the problem. Make a list of causes that led to the problem. Stay calm and logical when approaching the problem.
3. How can that problem be solved? Do some research on the topic, find a similar case, learn from it and apply it your problem.
Discover your Path. First, quiet your mind and ask yourself some probing questions such as what activity energizes me? What helps me get up in the morning?

My personal heroes taught me a lot about problem solving. For example, Thomas Edison approached problems with immense stamina and he took systematic notes for every path toward the solution. He viewed failure as an opportunity of getting closer to the solution.

Albert Einstein considered other people's views and perspectives. It enhanced his chance of finding a solution.

Henry Ford thought it was a waste of time to spend time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.

Lastly, extract lessons from nature. Nature is always around us. It is persistent and flexible.

Take the time to look around and life will give us the lessons to endless success!

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