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8 Boulders You Need To Remove On Your Way To Success

8 Boulders You Need To Remove On Your Way To Success

Success is not one simple act, it’s a summation of your habits. In today’s world so many people want to become an overnight success. However, what you don’t realize is that the most successful people work extremely hard. For example, Jack Ma (founder of Alibaba) credits his success to hard work and dedication. NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant would wake up at 4:00 A.M. to practice free-throws by himself before official practice started with the Olympic team hours later. He literally practiced before practice!

Perfecting and practicing your craft are keys to success. The best way you can systematize doing those things is by creating positive habitsLike Jim Ryuh says, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Today, I want to share eight bad habits standing in your way of massive success, and how you can tackle them head-on to achieve your dreams.

Bad Habit #1: Not being disciplined with your time

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, time is our most precious and limited resource. There are only 24 hours in one day. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you’ll wake up tomorrow. That being said, it’s critical that you’re disciplined with your time. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, gets up at 4:30 A.M. every day. How’s that for discipline?

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Sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday is good for your body and helpful in setting a disciplined, daily routine. Besides being strict about when you wake up and go to bed, it’s also important to be protective of your time. A great tactic to do this is to designate a few days or specific hours throughout the week for “success time.” These are blocks of time where you only focus on doing things that contribute to your personal goals, whether it’s learning a new language or working on a side business. By designating your “success time,” you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter most to you and will be less tempted to say “yes” to last minute social invitations or distractions that can get in your way. You also have to be able to say “no” to committing to things that don’t interest or benefit you. Remember, the few hours you spend doing something you’re not that into are hours that you could have spent learning or growing yourself.

Bad Habit #2: Analysis Paralysis 

Do you spend way too much time trying to decide minor things, like what you’ll order at a restaurant or which toothpaste to buy? Successful people have a track record of making tough decisions with limited time and information. You have to develop habits that can help you do the same. If you struggle with analysis paralysis, challenge yourself to make better decisions faster. Contemplating over minor decisions is inefficient and time-consuming. Humans have limited willpower, so you’ll want to use your willpower for decisions that really matter.

One of the best ways to simplify decision making is to limit the number of options to choose from. The paradox of choice (which has been proven in numerous studies) states that when we’re presented with too many options we become overwhelmed and are then unable to make any decision at all. By narrowing down your choices to the top two or three options you’ll be able to decide faster.

While you can limit the number of options, you can also limit the amount of time that you have to decide something. If you’ve ever had a job offer, you know how effective a deadline can be when it comes to forcing you to make a decision fairly quickly. So if you’ve been debating about an important decision for years, give yourself one week to decide and see how much faster you’ll pick a path!

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Bad Habit #3: Dwelling on the Past

We’ve all done things that we may have regretted, perhaps it was that missed promotion or the company you could have joined that just IPO’d. While it’s great to observe the past and learn from your history, dwelling on the past will only hold you back. Like the Buddha taught, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream in the future, concentrate on the mind on the present moment.” Focusing on the present moment will help shift your mind’s focus from the past and into the moment. It will help you feel more connected and grateful for the journey you’re on now, rather than thinking about the mistakes of the past.

How do you break out of this nasty habit? Set a reminder that alerts you a few times a day to do what I like to call a “mental double check.” It’s simply a way to check-in with yourself to make sure that you’re focused and engrossed in the present moment. When you get the reminder, check-in on your mind and figure out where your mind is. If you find yourself focusing on the past, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes to feel grounded in the moment so you can reset and get present again. If you realize that you actually are living in the moment, celebrate that achievement!

Bad Habit #4:  Negative Self-Talk

Does that little voice in your head get you down? Remember, we become the things that we tell ourselves. Like Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You’re right.” Your mental habits can make or break you. It’s important to get a hold of that little voice in your head, especially when it’s telling you that you suck.

So how can you start controlling that voice in your head so it doesn’t control you? Start taking note of the cues that trigger negative self-talk, it may be when you make a minor mistake or step into the office. Next, realize the routine that you’re in, are you complaining and being negative or telling yourself you’re not “good enough” to be there? Finally, rather than give into that negative voice, transform that thought into a positive one. Rather than beating yourself up for making a small mistake, immediately turn that thought into a positive statement about yourself. Another alternative is to simply own the mistake and propose how you will make sure that you will improve the next time. By distracting your mind with a positive thought or brainstorming how you’ll improve the next time around, you’ll stop yourself from triggering the usual negative self-talk that makes you feel like crap.

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Bad Habit #5: Taking Things for Granted

No matter what issue you may be facing or how horrible the world may seem at a given moment, there is always something that you can be grateful for, it may be a family member or friend or something “minor” like a roof over your head. Being grateful is such an important habit to develop. Successful entrepreneurs like Oprah and Tony Robbins constantly practice it. Practicing gratitude is not only good for the soul, but studies have shown that it also lowers stress levels and increases quality of life. Grateful people also tend to exercise more and eat healthier.

An easy way to practice gratitude is to make a daily or weekly list of things you’re grateful for. These can be big or little things from people in your life, to running water in your apartment! Write it down in solitude. Find a quiet environment to truly internalize the things and reflect on what you’re grateful for. 

Bad Habit #6: Staying in your Comfort Zone

Being successful means trying new things, meeting new people, and being open to different opportunities. With big risk comes big reward, so don’t limit yourself to your current comfort zone of your job, usual friends, and activities. Switch it up and start challenging yourself! The road to success is not easy, so learning how to adapt in different environments now can help you down the road. Like successful business coach Brian Tracy says, “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

So how can you start expanding your comfort zone? A great resource is Meetup.com.  Explore an interest you don’t have a lot of expertise in but want to learn more about and dive even deeper. Get to know new people who you can learn from and aren’t part of your usual social circle. Other ways to step out of your comfort zone include reading books or watching movies that are totally out of the usual genres you expose yourself to. 

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Bad Habit #7: Hanging Around Limiting People

You are the company you keep, so be sure you’re surrounded by supportive and positive people. Take a quick survey of the people who you spend the most time with. Are those people optimistic and positive? On the road to success you don’t have any time for negativity or pessimism. If you notice that the people you spend time with aren’t supporting you, then distance yourself. Find people who share your interests and encourage you to reach your goals. In today’s age there are so many awesome forums to find like-minded people, like Facebook groups, Slack, online forums, and Twitter where you can find a supportive tribe or even create your own!

Bad Habit #8: Comparing Yourself to Others

On the road to success be sure to define your own path. It’s easy to look at other people in the media or on your social networks and feel jealous of what they’ve got, but you never know the story behind the story. What may seem like an “overnight” success was usually years and years of blood, sweat and tears. Comparing yourself to other people can make you feel like you’re not good enough. To kick this habit, limit your time on social networks. This study showed that more than one-third of respondents reported predominantly negative feelings after using Facebook. They were also more likely to feel envious and experience lower levels of life satisfaction.

If you want to be really vigilant of the time you’re using on social media you can track it using apps like RescueTime or MinutesPlease. Remember, you’re on your own unique journey. You’re the only person who truly owns your own experience, so don’t worry about what other people are doing. Spend your time focusing on your own growth and achievement.

Conclusion

The path to success is paved with twists and turns, in order to achieve your dreams you have to build the right habits to get you there. Understanding the boulders that can get in your way will make you better equipped to tackle them head-on so you can attain massive success!

Featured photo credit: Paxson Woelber via flic.kr

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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