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7 Things That Will Prevent You From Being Successful

7 Things That Will Prevent You From Being Successful
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Success is a beautiful word that tingles in our ears. Many desire to be successful, yet success seems to visit just a few and closes its door to many. Perhaps only few people are willing to make their environment conducive enough to welcome in Success. Success doesn’t care how much you wish for it, if it did, everyone would be successful. If you want success to find you attractive and be associated with you, avoid these 7 things.

1. Procrastination

“I will do it later” is often equivalent to “I will never do it,” though that is never the real intention behind procrastinating something. The person who doesn’t want you to succeed is not your ex, neither is it your co-worker, nor destiny, but your dear habit called procrastination! Procrastination is not only the thief of time but the thief of your health, destiny, life, and success. If you continue to live with procrastination, you will continue to push the gym and eating healthy to “later,” you will continue to push starting your business, going to school, or writing that book to “later”—which never really seems to arrive!

If you do not take procrastination to court and have a divorce today, it will live with you forever and make you unsuccessful. Procrastination and success can never live together. Where there is procrastination, there is no success; where there is success there is no procrastination. If Bill Gates had procrastinated with Microsoft, he wouldn’t be a billionaire today. Instead of procrastinating your multi-million dollar idea, start now!

2. Fear of Failure

If you are afraid to fail, then you are not ready to succeed. Failure is not an obstacle, but a stepping stone to success. The more you fail, the higher your chance of reaching success if you do not give up. Failure is a teacher—it teaches you what didn’t work out and, if you allow it, it will motivate you to find other ways that will work out. Unsuccessful people allow failure to cripple them. They give up in the face of failure and remain stagnant. If you want to succeed, you need to give up that fear of failure.

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People who are crippled with fear may have an amazing idea to start a project, but they are often afraid it may fail, so they don’t start at all. But instead of feeling intimidated by the voice of fear and failure inside of you, ask yourself: What if it succeeds?

Failure is not the end of the road, giving up is! Be persistent.

3. Ignorance

The world is continuously changing, if you refuse to learn, you will be outdated. Knowledge is power. Learning doesn’t end in school. Whatever field you are in, you need to learn and update yourself with information constantly. Successful people have a habit of learning. If you find yourself constantly failing at something, don’t convince yourself success is on the way. No! Genuinely ask yourself whether your failures are not self-inflicted as a result of your ignorance. If you want to open a coffee shop, but know nothing about coffee, no amount of determination and persistence will make you successful at it.

Persistently approaching your dreams in ignorance will persistently give you failure and defeat as results. Find time and learn first. Whatever you want to endeavour in, spend 90% of your time learning about it. Do not do anything without first learning, do not go into a business you do not fully understand.

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4. Lack of Purpose

Everybody has a plan for you. Your TV cable company has a plan for you; they know you will help them increase their sales this year. Your internet service provider has a plan for you; they know you can’t afford to live without it. Your landlord has a plan for you. Your grocer has a plan for you. Your boss has a plan for you. Mark Zuckerberg has a plan for you; he knows you will log on to Facebook and help build his company. Everyone has a plan for you—except you!

If you want to be successful, you need to have a plan for yourself. If you do not plan to succeed, you automatically plan to fail. Every day you wake up, you need to know exactly why you are getting up. You need to have a purpose and plan for your life. Successful people plan their life, they have a budget, they have dreams and aspirations. In order for you to succeed in life, you need to have a good plan and a sense of direction.

5. Lack of Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to take action regardless of the circumstances. To be successful, you need to have courage to bring your dream to reality in spite of obstacles. Courage is having confidence to take bold decisions regardless of storms. Courage is action taken in faith and expecting positive results regardless of the situation. There will always be reasons why something cannot be done, but courageous people see things as doable and find ways to do it. They do not allow intimidation and fear to dictate their actions and decisions. They are results-oriented.

6. Fault Finding

It’s okay to see the fault, but if you want to be successful, don’t end there. Rather than complaining about what is wrong with something, find out how it can be made right.

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Successful people are problem solvers. Instead of complaining about the rain, they invent an umbrella.

7. Lack of Self-belief

When the Wright brothers decided to make the plane and informed their dad, he said “If God wanted us to fly, he would have made us with wings.”

Engineers were told that building the Hoover Dam would be an impossible task—it’s too high, there’s too much water to control. They were told: “You are crazy, you shouldn’t even attempt such a job.”

When the scientists decided to visit the moon, more than half of Americans thought they were crazy. Newspaper articles were written to tell them how impossible it would be to go to the Moon. Other scientists also criticized them for believing such nonsense, explaining to them how it is impossible it would be.

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The Wright brothers carried on despite the lack of confidence. Today, all those who criticized joyfully fly around the world. The Hoover dam was witnessed by the nay-sayers. When men landed on the moon, it was broadcast for all to see.

The point is to believe in yourself—it is enough. Don’t allow people to talk down on your dreams and tell you that they are impossible. Believing you can do it is all you need. What dream do you have today? Who is telling you it can’t be done? Go do it and prove everyone else wrong.

Featured photo credit: Photostream via flickr.com

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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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