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9 Thoughts Successful People Refuse To Believe

9 Thoughts Successful People Refuse To Believe

Beliefs precede thoughts. Thoughts precede actions. Actions determine your journey and your destination. So, it all starts with beliefs. Successful people not only have a different set of beliefs, they also refuse to believe so many ideas that seem to be commonplace.

Here are nine thoughts successful people refuse to believe:

1. They Don’t Think That The Right Timing is Everything

Successful people like the timing to be right, just like everyone else- but they also know that the right timing is not everything. All that the right timing will provide is an edge – the work needs to get done and they don’t shy away from it. They take control of what they CAN do with what they have.

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2. They Don’t Believe Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Successful people know that ‘slow and steady’ rarely wins the race because they know that there are other smart people out there who are ‘smart and fast’ and playing the same game.

The concept of “slow and steady wins the race” was popularized by the famous Tortoise and the Hare story, in which the hare sleeps in the middle of the race, paving the way for the tortoise to win.

The problem with this?

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Flawed logic.

In the real world, if a race between the tortoise and the hare actually happened, there is a little chance that the hare would sleep in the middle of the race.

Successful people pierce through such flawed logic before blindly believing something.

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3. They Don’t Believe It’s a Sign of Weakness to Ask for Help

Successful people know what their strengths are and they also know where they need to receive help. The good part is that they are not afraid to seek out that good help that they need to make something meaningful happen.

4. They Don’t Believe That They Have to Be Right to Be Respected

Successful people have an opinion, but they don’t claim that their opinion is the only opinion that counts. Their self-esteem is high enough that they are the first to admit if they are wrong. In other words, they are “often wrong, never in doubt.” (Yes, that’s the title of a book by Donny Deutsch)

5. They Don’t Believe That Others Have to Reciprocate

Successful people can move the needle for a lot of people. Only a small percentage of them will reciprocate back in some way. The good news is that successful people are aware of this skewed ratio and are at peace with it.

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6. They Don’t Believe That They Can Skip Reciprocation

While successful people don’t expect people to reciprocate, they are very clear and committed in their choice to reciprocate- in terms of things like time, energy, money, mind share or insights- with anyone and everyone who makes a meaningful contribution to their lives.

7. They Don’t Believe in Waiting to Get Lucky

Successful people don’t wait for luck to strike them in order to achieve a breakthrough. They believe in the old saying that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.

8. They Don’t Believe That Luck Does Not Exist

Successful people don’t dismiss luck either. When they do get a breakthrough because of a lucky strike, they acknowledge the effect of luck and do not give themselves undue credit for that accomplishment or breakthrough.

9. They Don’t Ever Believe That They Have Made It.

Successful people thrive on taking a meaningful journey. A milestone reached or an accomplishment they are proud of is all good, but, for them, these milestones and accomplishments are part of the journey and nothing more. In their mind, their life is in “permanent beta” (a term I first heard from Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn). This worldview keeps them hungry to learn more.

Featured photo credit: Ladybug by Yadav Thyagaraj via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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