What is success? Do I have the capability to be successful? How would I even begin my journey to success?
As a student, I have always asked myself these questions and wondered how I can prove to myself and others that I am capable of being successful. That was until I discovered life-changing habits that completely changed my perspective of life.
You must remember that success is relative, your idea of success may be very different from mine.
HABIT #1 – Read regularly
Reading regularly has been scientifically proven to improve the way our brain works, the strength of our memory, it can reduce stress levels and is a form of relaxation. If you change your habits and replace spending hours scrolling through your phone with reading a book that interests you, then you will notice how it changes the way your mind works. Reading leads to developing new knowledge, improve memory, develop new vocabulary and you will have a new hobby. Even if you read for just 5-10 minutes a day, it is a life-changer! If you believe becoming a knowledgeable individual is what makes you successful, then read more books in your area of interest and watch how you prosper.
As a ‘Politics and International Relations (IR)’ student, I believe that if I read more books to do with politics, history, war, etc, and understand these complex books, then I will become a successful ‘Politics and IR’ student. Reading books on self-improvement will ignite your understanding of how to become the best version of yourself. Improving yourself, by taking on the tips provided in self-improvement books, is a path to success.
HABIT #2 – Plan your day the night before
I cannot emphasise how important and how life-changing planning is. If you would like to plan effectively, I would suggest investing in a notebook, to-do list, or note pads. Using either of these, you should spare some time before going to sleep to write down everything you need to do for the following day.
If you are a spontaneous individual, this may be a little out of place at first as it could seem like it is restricting your ability to do things. Planning helps build a routine in your daily life, if you do like taking spontaneous trips then I would recommend starting your day early and creating your to-do list in a way that ensures you have time to complete the tasks you set yourself the night before and leave yourself enough time to relax or go out for the rest of the day. You should make it a habit to look back at your to-do list or planner every time you complete a task. Doing this will bring you a sense of satisfaction as you will realise that you are getting better at completing tasks. Planning your day will make you feel and be more productive. Planning will also transform you into a much more organised individual.
HABIT #3 – Learn from those around you
The people you surround yourself with will influence the way you think, act, and live your life. You must sit back and ask yourself, are the people in my life positively influencing me? If you surround yourself with more positive thinkers, then you will become someone who thinks positively and looks for the good in everything. With this positive attitude, you can evolve into a strong-minded person who is determined to be like or be better than those around them.
HABIT #4 – Keep your goals in front of you
Bring out a notepad or paper, write down your goals. If you are not sure where to begin then ask yourself the following questions and write down your answer:
- Where do you want to be in a year?
- Where do you want to be in 10 years’ time?
- What career are you working towards?
Once you have done this, place your goals list somewhere easily visible to you. Doing this will help you see your goals regularly; this piece of paper will act as a reminder. You will constantly be reminded of what you are working towards. Never forget that success is not handed to you on a plate, it requires effort, dedication, and hard work. At times, you may feel lonely as you will realise that not everyone has the same success mindset as you do, but that is okay, if you have trust in yourself and you are determined to achieve your goals then just go for it. Do not let anyone stop you from achieving your goals, try your best to fight the obstructions or distractions. You can do it. I believe you can.
HABIT #5 – Remind yourself that everyone has a different journey to success
Success is relative. Your idea of success is likely completely different from mine. You must remind yourself that even if someone you know has achieved their goals, it does not mean you will not achieve yours. Don’t be so hard on yourself, understand that good things take time and patience. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others and feeling bad about yourself, then there is no way you will become a successful or happy individual. Rather than comparing yourself to others, look at others and tell yourself, one day you will be that successful person and you know it will be you because you are aware of how determined you are.
HABIT #6 – Have an attitude of gratitude
If you become a person who is more grateful and thankful for all you have achieved, then you will never feel jealous of those who are successful. Instead, you will be happy for them and cheer for how far they have come.
With gratitude comes patience, whilst you should be grateful for all that you have accomplished so far, you must also be patient. There are occasions where successful individuals can get very greedy without realising and keep desiring for more which causes them to lose their sense of gratitude. This is something we must avoid; we do not want to become greedy individuals who are not grateful for their successful position. Instead, we should aspire to be individuals who patiently wait for our time of success and are grateful for what we already have. There may be people who are tirelessly working to be where you are but are prevented from being there due to their living circumstances or other reasons, so be thankful for how much you have and what you are able to do because not everyone has the same privilege as you may have.
It is now your mission to do these six habits. Write down how you feel and how life is right now and in a few months’ time, if you have successfully carried out each of these habits, look back at yourself, read what you wrote and ask yourself if you can see the change in your life and in your mindset.
Documentaries Politics and International Relations students MUST watch!
Watching documentaries is one of the best ways to gain information on political and historical events, the documentaries that I have shared below are incredibly important, especially in contemporary politics and conflicts.
Born in Syria
An eye-opening documentary that brings to light the present living circumstances of innocent Syrian civilians. Innocent children are shown to suffer through traumatic situations which leave them with permanent scars on their body and their mind; these children live with the constant fear of losing their loved ones and the fear of drowning in the sea, whilst escaping the war zone country. As a ‘Politics and IR’ student, this documentary contributed to my understanding of the contemporary situation in Syria. In the IR module, I studied about Syria and had to write an assignment on foreign involvement in Syria, so this documentary helped me write my essay from a perspective other than my own.
Born in Gaza
This documentary was filmed in 2014 and it immediately informs viewers of the number of children who were killed and the number who went missing. This is a very informative documentary as viewers are provided with statistics from 2014. Another extremely important documentary for IR students, as viewers are shown the living circumstances of civilians, the post-trauma experiences of children and adults as well as their attempts to make a living.
Knock Down the House
A great documentary for Politics students who are studying US politics. This documentary takes you through Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s journey. It is extremely inspiring as viewers watch AOC develop and become an influential individual in the world of politics. It also shows the campaign journey of other Democratic women who are striving to be successful and achieve their goals. If you ever need an inspiring documentary that makes you want to start working immediately then this is the perfect documentary.
For more documentary recommendations, please check out @politicsstudies on Instagram.