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If You Want To Be Successful, Stop Trying To Please Everybody

If You Want To Be Successful, Stop Trying To Please Everybody

Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.

Arnold H. Glasow summarized his reason for success in a single, simple sentence. Here comes the question that has perpetually mystified human beings: what is the right thing to do?

They say curiosity kills the cat. In a sense, that is true. Every time we make a decision, we constantly question ourselves, “what if we did it the other way round?”. We initiate battles within ourselves, leading us to be miserable no matter what we chose or did in the end. Perhaps it comes with experience, but as I grew up, I began to realize that many of these battles began because we weren’t choosing the option we really wanted. We weren’t acknowledging our own desires. And if we want success that bad, we just have to stop trying to please everybody.

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Don’t say maybe if you want to say no.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?

It doesn’t seem appropriate to say “no” when someone is enthusiastically asking you to a party. I know I would have a hard time because that would mean looking at the crestfallen face of your friend and feeling guilty. Moreover, no one likes a killjoy. So you say, “maybe… I’ll see” instead. But once you said that, you started feeling a pull, an obligation to go and when you ended up in a place where you didn’t even want to be in, you started wondering how it had come down to this.

The truth is – you need to start saying no instead of maybe. Shake your head instead of shrugging. It’s okay to be polite, but not to the point when you have to force yourself to be somewhere or do something you don’t want to. There is only so much time you can spend and so many things you can do. Don’t waste it on the non-essentials.

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One aspect of your life is going to affect other aspects of your life.

The four burners theory mentioned that you would need to cut off something from your life if you want to be successful.[1] That’s because the people that constitute the different aspects of your life are going to expect you to go an extra mile for them. They don’t mean to make your life difficult. But do you remember your boss asking if you can help with an extra project? Or your husband or wife other asking if you can help with the kids on the weekends when they meet up with their friends?

When you agree with one side, you are going to have to stretch certain areas in your life, such as your health. Your choice has unconsciously affected your entire life. More importantly, when one area of your life is out of alignment, every area of your life suffers. The more you work for others instead of yourself, the more you are going to feel like your life is getting torn asunder.

Remember: everyone has their expectations, but it’s not your obligation to do what they want you to do. You own yourself.

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Don’t let “should”s hold sway over you.

It’s alright if you think you should do something because it would make yourself happy. However, most of the times, our mind goes like this:

“I should join their gossiping or else I am going to look out of place eating lunch alone.”

“I should probably go to this dinner or my friends are going to feel bad.”

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Nothing leads to indecision faster than letting your actions be guided by the desire to impress or satisfy others. – Iyanla Vanzant

There are a lot of things that you will feel that you should do. But as you go on in life, you will realize these are not things that you must do. There is only one right thing to do, and that is the things that you do for yourself and yourself only.

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via Picjumbo.com

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Reference

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Eamon Suen

Student, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Life Is Not Supposed To Be Fair, We’re Supposed to Learn To Live With It If You Want To Be Successful, You May Need To Cut Off Something From Life The Earlier You Understand These Truths Of Happiness The Better Accept Where You Are And Happiness Is At Your Fingertips Your New Habits Will Stick With These 5 Killer Strategies

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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)

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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