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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better
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Tom’s always liked cooking, and his friends have always backed him up on how good he is — especially some of his homemade pizzas. So he pulled together a few pieces and decided to open a pizza place.

    The first year of business was good. Lots of customers went to his restaurant to try his pizzas.

      But after a year, a taco place opened up nearby and was becoming popular. Their lines seemed longer and their business seemed more robust.

        As this was all happening, Tom was scrolling through Facebook one day. He saw that one of his old friends, who currently works in banking services, just bought himself a new car.

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          Doubt was creeping in.

          “Why do I have to be so persistent in this business?”

          “Why can’t this be easier?”

          We all do this to some extent: we struggle, we compare to others, and we think about whether we should give up.

          Chasing the Perfect Treasure Chest

          The perfect treasure chest is a concept many human beings chase. What it means is this: when we don’t have something, we imagine this concept of a perfect treasure chest others may have. The chest is beautiful, ornate, and has all the “right” things inside of it.

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            We think about our own treasure chest and it seems ugly, faded, and containing metals and stuff with no value.

              We are comparing but doing it wrong.

              The problem is this: a lot of things we want or see others having (rewards, nice cars, big houses, etc.) can be attained by us too at some point. But once they’re attained, the fantasy associated with them is gone. Once the fantasy is gone, it’s easier to see downsides. This is why many people don’t feel satisfied even when they accrue lots of possessions.

              Now let’s turn back to Tom. Tom could get that luxury car.

                But he would need to deal with a lot of uncomfortable clients to promote his financial plans to satisfy their clients needs, and do a lot of networking to connect with different business men. It would be a lot of tough work too behind that luxurious car.

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                  Eventually he’ll see the downsides of this car. Once that happens, what will he want? The next perfect treasure chest.

                    The cycle just keeps going. ON and on. You’ll never find that perfect treasure chest.

                    What can you do, though?

                    Embrace the Flawed Chest

                    Reward is important, but you need to understand the downsides of opportunities too. In reality, every chest contains something you don’t want. Maybe half of them are gold and jewels, and the other half of them are crappy metals.

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                      Look inside any theoretical treasure chest. Some may have more “gold,” others more “diamonds,” and most might have some degree of rusted, crappy metals. The gold is great and seems valuable (huge house, flashy car). But do you really need the “gold” in this perfect treasure chest? Potentially not.

                        The truly important aspect is looking at the crappy old metals and thinking, “How could these become gold in my eyes?” In other words, what is needed to turn them into new opportunities? How can the downsides become the next upsides?

                        There are two approaches: you can either ditch the old treasure chest in pursuit of the new perfect chest, but that will become a lifelong circular struggle with no potential resolution.

                        Or you can figure out what elements of the old chest can be turned into new opportunities, and you might get closer to personal fulfillment.

                          The Perfect Chest Never Exists, Stop the Endless Chase

                          Consistently chasing the next beautiful, grandiose thing will not bring you closer to fulfillment. Think more on what you really want, not the flashy elements of the next perfect treasure chest.

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                          You have the ability to make the right choice here. Don’t quit easily. If you choose to pursue a treasure chest, remember that you can learn a lot more from the old, ugly metals than the flashy gold you smile at. The ugly metals are the opportunities you need to grow.

                          Read more in my other article how to stay motivated all the time: You Can Never Taste the True Value If You Give up Too Early

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                          Leon Ho

                          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

                          A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up Can’t Focus? The Mistake You’re Making and How to Focus Better 17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

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                          Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                          17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

                          17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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                          If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

                          Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

                          You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

                          “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

                          Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

                          Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

                          You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

                          1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

                          Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

                          When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

                          • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
                          • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
                          • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

                          2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

                          A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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                          Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

                          3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

                          As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

                          Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

                          4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

                          Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

                          Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

                          If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

                          5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

                          If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

                          Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

                          6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

                          Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

                          Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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                          7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

                          The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

                          Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

                          8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

                          Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

                          Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

                          9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

                          The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

                          Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

                          Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

                          10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

                          Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

                          And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

                          You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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                          How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

                          11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

                          A short and sweet lesson for you:

                          You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

                          Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

                          12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

                          A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

                          Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

                          13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

                          Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

                          Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

                          • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
                          • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
                          • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

                          14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

                          Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

                          The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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                          Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

                          15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

                          There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

                          Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

                          16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

                          In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

                          Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

                          17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

                          The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

                          Keep your mission in mind.

                          Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

                          Final thoughts

                          Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

                          What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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