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This Is Why You Shouldn’t Focus On Success

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Focus On Success

We all want to be successful, yet many of us focus on the prize of reaching the ‘success finish line’, rather than on the race itself. We consider success a destination and blind ourselves to the fact that success is more of a structure, a system, and a practice. Check out the many successful people in our society who stick to a stringent set of practices daily to be at the top. They do not limit their ideology to the notion that success is an endgame. No. Rather they see it as something that requires consistency and ongoing effort. And here is why:

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier

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Read on to find out why success shouldn’t be your main focus in life:

You won’t be happy

Everyone deserves to be happy. But the journey towards success shouldn’t be dependent on the notion that you will only get to be happy if you reach your destination. For example if you aim to lose 300 pounds in three months, your happiness should not depend on whether you lose it or not. Rather your happiness should be in the daily effort of working out and going to the gym. Your daily life will only become full of worries and fatigue if you aim at success and don’t reach it. However when you find joy in the process of constant daily practices leading to you reaching your goals, you will become unstoppable.

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You won’t grow

Success doesn’t happen suddenly. Neither will yearning for particular results lead them to occur overnight. Rather we have to put in the work and sustain our efforts over the long haul: growing resilience and strength in the process. Focusing on success as an end goal doesn’t make us cherish the process of making mistakes, learning from them, adapting to new ways of working, and improving on our existing strengths. If we want to be successful some personal development is involved. This sometimes challenging process means that we are willing to commit ourselves to the task, the moment, and the process at hand.

You won’t make discoveries

Why do we want to be successful? Is it for the money, the fame, or the acknowledgement from others that it can bring? Solely focusing on success can keep us from discovering new opportunities, life less lessons, and experiences. Aiming for success also does not test us on what is really motivating us to want to be successful. At the end of the day what success should mean to us is that we are making an impact or a contribution, not simply taking from our world. Focusing on our values and what we discover along our journey towards success helps us to attain meaningful rewards in life. Throughout this process we also learn to  embrace challenges and own up to the responsibility of making needed differences to our world.

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You’ll miss out on opportunities to be thankful

Viewing success as a journey offers you moments you will always cherish. You will thankful for those people you meet along the way, the vulnerable times, and those periods when it all seemed so daunting that you never thought there would be a way out. If success was your sole aim, you would not have gained an appreciation for the tests and trials you endured. Rather, you would likely fixate on them as merely failures. You appreciate success more deeply when you take it one step at a time. This process also offers you  a fuller perspective of where you are coming from, and where you are heading to. Thankfully, opportunities to be thankful occur often when you are able to attain what you may never have thought possible through daily, consistent efforts.

We live in a world where the media puts it spotlight on seemingly instantaneous success. But you would not benefit from this kind of success in the same way that you would if you had worked for it over time. Learn to grow with every passing moment and enjoy the thrill of the journey rather than the overwhelming allure of the destination. Your daily efforts will become your legacy.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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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