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What You’ll Never Hear Successful People Saying

What You’ll Never Hear Successful People Saying

Success. What does it actually mean?

The definition of success is very broad; from gaining wealth, fame, or respect, or completing something to achieving a desired result or aim. And, with broad definitions, so too do we attach different meanings to success. For some, it might be a job promotion, launching a new business, or making lots and lots of money. For others, it might be to simply achieve greater happiness and enjoyment in their lives through new experiences, like traveling. Success then depends on the person; success is relative.

Much of the research and material on the internet, as it relates to success and being successful, mentions career progression, wealth, and the accumulation of money. I want to allow for a broader definition as I mention seven things that all successful people keep to themselves. Consider each point carefully as well as how it applies to your life and your definition of success.

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1. Successful people are selective in sharing their ideas; ideas are nothing without execution.

If successful people have a business idea, they are selective in sharing it. They do not tell everyone about it. They do this firstly because they recognize that an idea is exactly that: an idea. Without execution, it is nothing.

Secondly, while sharing an idea is good to form connections with people who can help progress the idea, they run the risk of someone stealing it.

Thirdly, as it relates to them personally, telling a lot of people puts undue expectations and pressure on them. It’s like a promise, not only to themselves but to the people they have told. They would rather use the energy to silently work on their idea. When the idea materializes, only then do they let people know.

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2. Successful people do not talk about the intimate details of their lifestyle; they have respect.

They keep their private life to themselves, especially in the workplace, as they understand that firstly these details are exactly that — private — and secondly, that not everyone wants to hear about them. As it relates to life, in general, it’s disrespectful to your partner to disclose all the intimate details. Those details are intimate.

3. Successful people never talk about how heroic they are; they are modest.

Doing this is often seen as egotistical and arrogant; it not only causes rifts in the workplace, but with people in life in general. While celebrating achievements is good for self-esteem and well-being, being modest and humble goes a long way.

4. Successful people never disclose their incomes; they are humble.

Successful people understand that doing so can cause competition, discomfort, and resentment in the workplace. People don’t like someone who blatantly discloses this information; it seems arrogant and superficial.

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5. Successful people do not gossip; they are trustworthy.

They do not bring up details about a conversation they had with someone else or about something they have heard. They are trustworthy and maintain this trust. Not only would be revealing such information make them seem disingenuous, but it develops rifts in the workplace and in life relationships. They understand that being authentic and genuine goes a long way in life.

6. Successful people keep bad and good news close to their chest.

This one is for the leaders in companies. They understand that revealing too much information (good and bad) to their team can have a negative impact on workplace performance. As such, they reveal such information selectively, carefully analyzing the effects it will have on their team as a whole. For example, if someone is working on a project, burdening him with negative news will be doing that person a disservice. It will negatively affect performance.

7. Successful people keep their fears to themselves.

Employees need not be burdened by a leader’s fears and self-doubt. While this may seem transparent, authentic, and honest, it can also be perceived as incompetence and instill doubts and fears into employees.

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What other things do successful people keep to themselves?

Featured photo credit: Timo Kohlenberg via flickr.com

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Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

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

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

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 Making 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

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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