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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 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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