By this point, we’ve likely all heard the famous Kevin Durant quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard,” and while there’s no disputing the truth of that statement, it seems to be missing something.
There are plenty of ways we can stand out in our day-to-day life – at work, at home, and in social situations – that require neither talent nor particularly hard work. This isn’t license to slack off, of course, just a reminder that small gestures can go a long way towards ensuring a positive reputation and solidifying interpersonal relationships.
Here are ten ways you can be an impressive worker, friend, and overall person without straining your resources.
- Having a positive attitude: When you enter a room, are you followed by sunshine or storm clouds? Everyone prefers a person who is optimistic and pleasant to be around, so by approaching every situation with positivity, you’ll raise the spirits of the whole room and leave a cheerful feeling in your wake.
- Applying yourself: Even if you aren’t the most skilled at a given task, by trying your best, you will show a commitment to your job that indicates your reliability and willingness to learn.
- Being energetic: Whether the energy is natural or a result of your morning coffee, the ability to show excitement and alertness announces your engagement in your current situation.
- Punctuality: Being on-time indicates that you respect the time of the people you’re meeting, while being chronically late sends the opposite message. Make a good impression by adhering to scheduled appointments and increase your chances of future opportunities.
- Dedication: Whatever you’re doing, give it your all. Be absorbed in conversations at a networking event, and stay loyal to the local sports team, even when they’re losing. By presenting an unwavering front, friends, leaders, and co-workers will see you as reliable and dependable.
- Passion: Even if you’re the best in your office at a given job, if you don’t care about it, it shows. When you find something you’re passionate about, you’ll be drawn to it with an infectious vigor. As Dale Carnegie once wrote, “Where your interests are, there your energy is also.”
- Doing extra: There’s nothing technically wrong with doing your job exactly and stopping where your job description ends, but by showing initiative and going one step further, you will automatically be demonstrating some of the other traits on this list, and leaving a positive impression.
- Being prepared: Boy Scouts live by this motto for a reason. Preparation leads to the ability to handle any situation, thereby showcasing your capabilities as a leader and overall reliable person.
- Being coachable: We all make mistakes and experience learning curves. The secret to success in these situations is to gracefully accept feedback when it is given, and to work at applying it. By doing so, you will exhibit a capacity for growth that indicates a promising future.
- Having a positive work ethic: Many of the previously discussed skills will contribute to a positive work ethic, helping you to consistently produce high-quality work. This regularity will help others to see you as trustworthy and capable, even if you aren’t the most technically talented team member.
“I am deeply convinced that our peace of mind and the joy we get out of living depends not on where we are or what we have or who we are, but solely upon our mental attitude.” – Dale Carnegie