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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 July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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