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8 Hard Truths About Success That You Don’t Want To Hear

8 Hard Truths About Success That You Don’t Want To Hear

When people think of success, they think of all the good outcomes. They think of the cars, the money, the houses, the fame and they often forget to look at what it actually takes to be successful. Successful people will tell you their struggle if you ask them. There are many that have been broke, homeless, and heartbroken before anything actually happened. Success takes drive, dedication and persistence. Here are some harsh truths about success from eight people who had a vision and did what they could to make it a reality.

1. Success doesn’t always mean being rich

Dr. Martin Luther King’s goal in life was to make sure everyone has equal rights. For anyone, of any color, be able to sit in front of the bus and drink from the same water fountain. It took a lot of protests, preaching and faith for him to work at his goal. He said, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” America has made many strides in the civil rights movement, largely because of Dr. King’s work. His vision of success was not to gain any profit but to gain civil rights.

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2. If you get caught up in the failure, you will fail all together

Henry Ford believes that “obstacles are those frightful things that you see when you take your eyes off the goal”. The road to success is lined with thorns that are designed to get you caught up. If you focus on pain or hardships instead of the end result, it’s going to be one tough journey.

3. You will work harder than your peers and in return, you will lose some friends

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%,” is something Andrew Carnegie once said. You will have to work harder than most of your peers if you are truly set on being successful. You will start to lose some friends, whether from greed, or losing touch because their goals are not the same as yours. Don’t worry, the ones that stay are in it for the long run.

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4. If it is not your passion, you will have a tough time reaching your goal

J.P. Morgan believed that “a man always has two reasons to do anything: a good reason and the real reason.” Make sure what you do is your passion. In the business world, sometimes money is enough and other times, it is not. You will often find yourself bankrupt, scammed and let down. This is where you can find out if that coffee shop is really something you want with all your heart and soul or if you were just trying to find a way to get rich.

5. You will make some enemies climbing the ladder, and you will need to be okay with it.

You are bound to step on some toes on your way up. Cornelius Vanderbilt made it clear to anyone that he would ruin them if they wronged him in anyway. He once said, “If you have undertaken to cheat me, I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you.” In order to be successful you need to take what you want and protect what you have worked hard for and if that means making some enemies, then it’s a step you must take.

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6. You will need to make tough decisions

“Don’t be afraid to give up on the good to go for the great,” was said by John D. Rockefeller, and he was right. Sometimes, you will become complacent and be satisfied with where you are at. Though it may not be the end result you wanted, it is comfortable. In order to be successful, you need to have the drive to trade what is easy and good for what you really want.

7. You can never plan for everything, sometimes you need to just jump in and wing it

Planning does not always help you. There are so many different variables that could change your plan of action and you only planned up to back up plan C. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing,” is some advice from Walt Disney. There cannot be enough planning in the world to make you successful with every little thing life throws at you so just jump on in! You need to be brave and take action instead of wasting time on planning solutions for what ifs.

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8. There will always be someone doing better than you

Some words of wisdom from Angela Merkel, the #1 Woman on the Forbes list of 100 Most successful woman: “The question is not whether we are able to change, but whether we are changing fast enough.” There will always be someone doing better than you and in order to reach your goal, you need to be the best. You need to constantly reassess yourself and make sure you are on track because no one else will.

Featured photo credit: Romedalstinden- Johan Kistrand via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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