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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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Adam Hughes

IT Director

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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