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12 Hard Truths About Success That Anyone Who Aims For the Stars Should Know

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12 Hard Truths About Success That Anyone Who Aims For the Stars Should Know

Most of us felt like a little child lost in the big world when we were starting out with our careers. The way we define success is based on the people we look up to. Yet truth be told, there are so many other things in between that most of us do not know exists in the workplace until we experience it firsthand. For those starting out in the work field, the following list will let you have a glimpse of what to expect on your way to success. Here is the list:

  1. People who complain the most at work usually get the most. This possibly is the biggest irony among lists like these but this is true most of the time. People who complain a lot tend to have the raise or even get the promotion. Does that sound like life is fair?
  2. Bosses play favorites. Whether it is a sycophant colleague or your boss simply being too gullible to care, one colleague will be your boss’s favorite. You have to learn to deal with this and plan accordingly by attracting the attention of your boss right away.
  3. You’ll hit at least one but most likely two big tragedies in your life while working. Whether it is a loss of a family or you were diagnosed with a chronic disease, it can most likely happen while you are working for the same company in 20+ years.
  4. Some of the most successful people have the worst personal lives. This may ring true to some extent due to too much time spent at work. Most people will neglect family and everything else and have their time and energy all to their career.
  5. There will be days when you think of work first, before your children. Life can be overwhelming especially if you have a problem at work that has not yet been resolved and so it gets the best of you. Most of the time, your concern for work equates that of someone you love dearly –your children.
  6. Everyone uses their children as an excuse to get out of work at least three times a year. “I’m taking my kid to the doctor” or “I need to be at my child’s school play” are probably two of the most used excuses to get a break from work. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you don’t take it too far — like by saying your child is ill when they are not.
  7. The older you get, the more you’ll understand what discrimination means. When there are new employees in the company, expect that you will be an outcast. Talk about the generation gap, eh?
  8. About 5 percent of the people in your office are tough to understand. These people are everywhere. They are the ones that want to be alone in the corner. You can never ask them to accompany you to get a cup of coffee during the break or get to eat outside after work. You know their answer; it will always be a “No, thank you. I’m fine.”
  9. People rarely do anything for you, whether it’s investing in your company or promoting you, because of the reason you think. With age comes wisdom. The longer you are with people, the easier for you to read them. Sometimes you get that promotion for a reason other than what you think is fair — but you still got it right?
  10. People often reject the things you want for precisely the reason you think. They’ll just never tell you. When you have been working in the same company and with the same people for a long time, you know everyone’s ins and outs, the good and the bad. Your hunch doesn’t work here subconsciously but you can already read your colleagues’ minds.
  11. The most important factor to whether your company will be successful or not is access to capital. A company that has a sure access to capital can take calculated risk thus can result in your company’s success. On the other hand, without the means to a capital, it will never take any risks leaving it at the platform it used to be when you were starting.
  12. You will have to draw a line with coworkers when it comes to socializing. When you socialize with coworkers, you will have to draw a line because you never know if you current ‘friend’ will turn into your new boss. Every company is different but you never know when someone you socialize with will become your boss.

Featured photo credit: Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape.jpg By FlashBuddy via morguefile.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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