So many people grow up with what I like to call a “fairy-tale attitude”: They simply think that everything will end up working out for them, as if their life is so much more important than everyone else’s. While they may be the star of their own show, they’re certainly nothing special to the world without ever doing anything to prove their worth.
If you want to work hard to add something to the world, and increase your chances of success, make sure to avoid practicing any of the following habits.
Time is a valuable asset that cannot be replenished. So why would you spend time putting off your obligations? The unsuccessful don’t realize that those obligations are only going to pile up higher and higher the more you sweep them into the corner. Avoiding responsibilities only makes it that much harder to face them when push comes to shove.
2. Placing blame
It’s easy for the unsuccessful to blame others for their mistakes, but it doesn’t get them anywhere.
Owning up to your shortcomings allows you to grow as a person. Realize that it’s totally fine to make a mistake (as long as you only do it once), but it’s never okay to make someone else take the fall when you screw up.
3. Minimizing others’ achievements
I think everyone at one point has read about someone else’s accomplishments and thought “Psh, I could have done that if I tried hard enough.” But did they? No, they didn’t; otherwise it’d be their face on the cover of TIME magazine, not the other person’s.
Give credit where credit is due, and you’ll realize that it’s not only talent that gets you ahead; it’s what you do with that talent that really matters.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that glorifies consumption. TV shows are on whenever you want, stores are open 24 hours a day, and credit cards make it easy to hop on Amazon and buy yet another gadget you’ll use for a few days then toss into your closet.
Instead of constantly taking from society, do something to give back. Create something for other people to enjoy; you’ll realize it’s even more rewarding than consuming something created by others.
5. Talking too much
Again, our society seems to value those who talk a good game, regardless of whether or not they follow through with their words (just watch any political debate to verify this). Not only do the unsuccessful talk too much and act too seldom, but they also lack proper listening skills.
Take the time to actually hear the messages other people’s words are saying, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. You might actually learn something.
6. Making assumptions
So many people let their prejudices place a veil over their world. It’s never healthy to assume you know what someone else is thinking or feeling, yet that is the default practice of the unsuccessful.
Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes and seen the world from their perspective, you have absolutely no right to assume that they are stupid or wrong just because their viewpoints clash with yours.
7. Acting negatively
Naysayers are the party-poopers of the real world. While others are busy searching for solutions to problems, negative people throw in the towel, thinking “Why bother?” or “That’ll never work.”
Such a defeatist attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you come up to the plate thinking you’re going to strike out, you almost certainly will.
8. Making excuses
We spoke before about placing blame, but it’s possible to make excuses while not pointing the finger at someone else specifically. Unsuccessful people always have some reason lined up for why they failed to complete a task: “I had too much else going on,” “It was impossible to do in that amount of time,” and so on.
Making an excuse is only an admittance that you couldn’t overcome the difficulty placed upon you.
9. Being fearful
Many unsuccessful people are unsuccessful because they’ve simply never put themselves “out there” and tried to accomplish something. This goes along with their negative attitude: They’re scared of failing, so they don’t even try. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is that failure can eventually lead to success if they learn from it. But they’ll never succeed if they’re too afraid to try.
Some unsuccessful people try, then fail, then quit. I could go on ad nauseum about the many successful people of our time who failed over and over again, only to change the world when they finally got it right. Thomas Edison didn’t just one day invent the light bulb, and the Wright Brothers didn’t just one day create the airplane. They worked through trial and error, figuring out what worked and what didn’t, until they perfected their invention — and went from daydreaming hopefuls to successful inventors.
Featured photo credit: Failure Scrabble / Jeff Djevdet via http