Advertising
Advertising

10 False Beliefs High Achievers Put Aside To Get To Their Destinations

10 False Beliefs High Achievers Put Aside To Get To Their Destinations

Successful people work hard and are driven to achieve their goals based on their own personal values.

But high achievers also avoid getting caught up in the false beliefs that cripple the progress of so many. In particular, the most successful among us put aside the idea that …

1. The Crowd Is Always Right.

Want a sure path to mediocrity and resentment? All you have to do is follow the crowd.

While doing the same thing that everyone else does is usually safe and can help you get started on a journey towards success, by definition it also limits your potential for truly great achievements. Albert Einstein did not advance physics by thinking about the world the same way scientists before him had done, just as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not revolutionize business and computers by making superficial tweaks to existing tools.

Most really successful people look for ways that the crowd is wrong and then proceed down the opposite road.

2. Words Don’t Matter.

Email, texting, instant messaging, and every other form of quick communication have served to connect us like never before, but they have also made us lazy about HOW we talk to each other. Proofreading has fallen out of favor with most in the business world, and we generally hand each other a blank check when it comes to the quality of our verbal interactions.

Advertising

High achievers are crystal clear in their intent when speaking or writing, and they are fanatical about presenting a professional image with their words.

3. Appearance Does Not Matter.

On the whole, the world is becoming a much more accepting place as we move deeper into the 21st century. That’s a great thing for the most part because we should all be free to be who we are.

But along with that acceptance has come a general attitude of “anything goes,” even if it means showing up to work in yoga pants and sandals. You never know when you’ll be pulled into a meeting with an important VP or external client, and you need to let them know that you take their business seriously.

Successful people are always prepared for any social interaction. After all, if you can’t be trusted to comb your hair in the morning, how can you be trusted with anything important?

4. It’s OK to Be Late.

Everyone wants to feel important, but even the most successful people understand that it’s vital to respect the time and opinion of their associates, too.

When you blow off meetings or show up late without any acknowledgement, you project an air of carelessness and superiority that can be off-putting at best. At worst, you will irreparably damage important relationships and jeopardize the trust of people whose respect and help you need to attain the ultimate success you’re after.

Advertising

High achievers realize that their lofty perch does not entitle them to trample over those around them, and that includes being late for anything.

5. They Can’t Do Multiple Things at Once.

Multitasking has been taken to task in recent years because many people fail to understand the basic concept. While it’s true that you usually can’t do multiple things well in the same moment, that does not mean you need to limit yourself to a single project at any one time.

Some of our greatest minds were almost notorious for juggling several huge undertakings simultaneously. Ben Franklin, for example, found plenty of time for his experiments while in the throes of helping to carve out the new American nation — not to mention his romantic exploits.

6. The Past Limits The Future.

Just because you have failed in the past does not mean that you are doomed to an unhappy future. It may sound trite, but most of us get to choose, at least in some part, how we live each day.

Every morning you wake up is another opportunity to set your life on the course you want it to take, whether you’re 18, 38, 58, or 78. Even if you have big bombs in your past, your future CAN be different.

Need proof?

Advertising

Julia Child didn’t take up cooking seriously until she was 36, Harland Sanders franchised KFC when he was 62, and Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until the age of 76.

7. You Can Do It Alone.

We all want credit for our concepts and hard work, but not many revolutionary achievements happen as the result of just one person’s efforts. That’s especially true today when the world is connected like never before and your next bright idea is just a mouse-click away.

It’s healthy and necessary to dig in deep and work through roadblocks you encounter, but you have to know when to ask for help if you want to make the leaps that will lead you to great achievements.

Even visionaries like Henry Ford and Sam Walton surrounded themselves with a close circle of confidants who helped them refine and carry out their greatest successes, and the rest of us would do well to follow their examples.

8. Success Is the Result of Luck.

It’s tempting to look at star athletes like LeBron James or masterful businessmen like Warren Buffett and attribute their success to natural gifts or the luck of birth. Not only does that mindset degrade the real accomplishments of these high achievers, but it’s also disastrous for your own self esteem.

Sure, LeBron has a body made for basketball and the skills to match, but the wizardry he displays on the court would not be possible without the thousands of hours of training and practice he has logged throughout his career. And while Buffett benefited from growing up as a Congressman’s son, he has spent six decades developing and perfecting the techniques that have made him perhaps the world’s greatest investment mind.

Advertising

Luck is important in almost any successful career, but it only matters if you work hard to take full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to you.

9. You Can Wait for the Right Time.

Timing can be an important factor in the ultimate success of any endeavor, but waiting for just the right moment to act can cripple your progress and leave you feeling unfulfilled. High achievers know that great ideas, hard work, and tireless execution are usually much more important than WHEN you get moving toward your goals.

10. Hard Work Is Overrated.

We hear about “overnight” successes all the time, but that’s a label that rankles most high achievers.

While there are occasional exceptions, achieving anything truly worthwhile is almost always the result of thousands of hours of intense effort. And, more often than not, achievers spend years toiling away at their craft before they ever attain the riches and acclaim they seek.

Shortcuts may bring you a quick dose of success, but true and meaningful achievement over the long haul always requires a dedication to hard work.

Featured photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg via imcreator.com

More by this author

Adam Hughes

IT Director

8 Amazing Things Will Happen To Your Brain When You Keep Writing Every Day 10 False Beliefs High Achievers Put Aside To Get To Their Destinations This Is What Will Happen When You Set Ambitious And Realistic Goals 17 Things Only Parents Of Boys Can Relate To 9 Strong Mental Habits That Successful People Never Give Up

Trending in Productivity

1 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits 2 How Your Attitude Determines Your Success 3 How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most 4 How Much Do You Need to Give Up to Start Over? 5 Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

Advertising

But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

Advertising

The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

Advertising

I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

Advertising

More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

Read Next