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Last Updated on February 1, 2018

A Trap That Successful People Will Fall Into and Instantly Become Losers

A Trap That Successful People Will Fall Into and Instantly Become Losers

Sometimes people ask me “what the most dangerous trait in leadership” is. I think they often expect answers like “They take to severe risks” or “the inability to adapt” and yes, these are dangerous traits. But they aren’t what I say, instead, to me, the worst traits a leader can have are: severe self doubt or the opposite, hubris.

Essentially, thinking everything that happens to you is down to other people because you are either too confident about yourself (and thus are blind to any problems), or not confident enough (and thus see problems where there are none).

Hubris can make anyone fall victim to the biggest trap on the road to success. It can blind someone to any of their faults, or faults in their company or idea. A person with hubris will believe that any problems they face are only down to others, and never themselves. This lack of awareness can make even the strongest fall empires fall.

The Trap of Hubris

Think about Alexander the Great, considered by many to be one of the greatest commanders in history. Before he reached thirty years of age, he had conquered most of the known world, from Greece to India. He never lost a battle. However his successes made him arrogant, and suspicious of others. He stopped listening to any of his advisers and the demands of his troops.

    At one point, after pushing his men relentlessly for ten years, they demanded that they return home. As he refused to consider the needs of his men, his expanding empire came to a sudden halt somewhere in the desert. His arrogance was so bad that he often refused to delegate responsibilities to others, so when he died, he didn’t name a successor. Because of this, his empire crumbled away.

    Countless people throughout history have aspired to be like Alexander, but I consider his story to be a warning.

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    Signs of Falling Into the Trap

    Hubris isn’t always obvious. After all, hubris, at times when things are going well can be mistaken for sheer self confidence (which unlike hubris can be positive). However, hubris becomes clear when things start to go wrong.

    I have done my best, but they haven’t.

    Imagine that you are the manager of a successful company. One day, a few extremely skilled and high performing employees decide to leave your company. What would you do?

    The hubristic person will convince themselves that the good employees are the ones with the problem, they’d think that the company will be better off without them, and as such will develop an even more arrogant and uncaring attitude. This in turn will mean more and more employees will leave.

      The dangers of hubris isn’t just a problem in business or leadership either. Indeed, imagine you fell out with a friend because of something mean or cruel they said. If they were hubristic, they’d only blame you for the fallout and as a result, they’ll never change.

      There’s nothing I can do to stop this.

      If a business is going downhill, these people will believe that there’s nothing they can do about this. They will try to normalize the issue, saying that it’s a common phenomenon, or it’s something unpredictable and uncontrollable. For example, they might blame it on the fall of an overall market, the severe competitions these days, or the drop of overall living standard.

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        Others are just luckier.

        These people may think that more successful people are intrinsically more “lucky” than they are, and thus they don’t spend time considering what made them so successful in the first place. By doing this, they lose any chance for self improvement, and genuinely decrease the possibility for future success. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy

        Think about Mark Zuckerberg, when Facebook initially became successful, many people thought it was a fluke, a trend that would die down after a couple months. Now, years later, Facebook utterly dominates online social media and has for all intents and purposes revolutionized how we communicate online.

          Others are more talented.

          They may also think others are simply more talented than them. They may point to someone like JK Rowling and say “I wish I could be like that, but I’m simply not good enough” This is self doubt at its worst.

          Though JK Rowling now is arguably the most popular and successful writer in the world, she was once a broke single parent trying to get a book deal. The Harry Potter books were rejected by many publishers. Her success didn’t come from some incredible and unique talent, but because she had a fantastic idea, and persevered with it.

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            I don’t have that much capital to do what I want to do.

            They may also think that they don’t have unlimited money and resources like others do, so it’s difficult to come up with creative solutions, to invest in a potential project, to expand the market or to connect with influential people.

              Ultimately, if a person only looks to outside forces for their success or lack of success. Then they stop looking into the root causes of any problems and thus have no chance of getting rid of these problems. If these problems aren’t tackled, they only get worse.

              Getting Out of the Trap

              There is only one person who controls you, and the things that happen to you, and that person is you. Sure, bad things can happen to anyone. But I believe that the effect of these bad things are directly proportional to your reaction to them and your thoughts. If you see setbacks as opportunities, it becomes extremely difficult for you to become overwhelmed.

              Look at What You’ve Got and Make the Most of out It

              Something that today may be a problem, might be a benefit tomorrow, it all depends on perspective. I believe that every problem has a solution, but no solution can ever come if someone gives up by thinking that they are powerless.

              For example, if you have to complete a project or need to do something but realize that the budget you have for it may be too small. You could spend time being frustrated about this, and complain about your luck, or you can spend time trying to work out the most efficient use for this budget.

              It is like the story of David and Goliath. It’s the story how a young King David from the bible defeated the enemy champion warrior Goliath, despite Goliath being far larger, stronger, and better armored.

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              Most people when faced with such a fight would give up. Indeed that’s how the story goes. Nobody in David’s army thought he could possibly win. However he played to his strengths, David knew that he could never defeat Goliath in hand to hand combat, but that didn’t matter, as David was skilled with a ranged weapon, a sling.

                If David was hubristic he might have tried to fight Goliath as physical equal, where he would have been crushed. If David had severe self doubt, he would never have fought in the first place. But instead he thought about it, knew what he could do, and what he couldn’t do and worked accordingly. He was aware of his own limitations, and decided to see them as potential strengths.

                Think about the scenario I mentioned earlier, where some high performing employees leave your company. A wise leader, one who sees the whole picture wouldn’t merely accept their loss as inevitable, or think that that the company was better off without them, but would instead look into what made them leave in the first place.

                  They’d wonder what they could change to make it less likely other employees would leave like that. In doing this, the company would improve, it would stay strong. However failure to investigate what made those employees leave will mean that more employees may leave in the future for the same reasons.

                  Stop Waiting for Things to Happen, Make Things Happen

                  What I mean by this is simple. Know yourself. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to use them both to your advantage. Think of yourself as a person of action, someone that makes things happen, not someone that things happen to.

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                  Leon Ho

                  Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                  Published on July 16, 2018

                  How to Quit Your Job That You Hate and Start Doing What You Love

                  How to Quit Your Job That You Hate and Start Doing What You Love

                  Everyone of us has a plan in our head that was taken over by family responsibilities, social pressure or sheep mentality. This made us a slave to instant gratification and started killing our plan and dreams.

                  There is a way to revive your plans and dreams and live a happier life. No amount of salary can exceed your desire to do something that you are really passionate about.

                  Let’s look at how to quit your job and start doing what you love:

                  1. Identify if you really want to quit to follow your passion

                  There could be many possible reasons to figure out why you are discouraged to go to work and start thinking about how to quitting your job. Figure out the reasons or signs that make you feel that you should really quit your job.

                  If these reasons are not related to your office environment or your ultimate goal is to pay your bills from your job, you should consider getting a new job in the same field. It’s better to be an experienced receptionist than to live a dream that is not yours.

                  2. Start with the side hustle and keep it going

                  Work after you get back home and build up your product or service enough to gain confidence to quit your job.

                  Build the website, write down the business plan, design your product, make marketing collaterals or do whatever it takes for you to start working full time on your new venture before quitting your current job.

                  You could also consider part-time working opportunities if your current job sucks a lot of your energy. This way you could save your energy and dedicate more time to your side hustle.

                  Ensure that you don’t quit until your new venture really demands your full time dedication. You might lose interest in your new venture if you fall short of survival money.

                  3. Save enough to pay your bills

                  If you need to pursue your passion, you need your monthly bills to be taken care of, without any worries. You must cut down on unnecessary expenses and squeeze in those extra bucks on your savings while you are at your current job. You should forget those weekend parties and social outings unless they’re meant for networking.

                  It makes no sense to quit your job without having any savings. Your new venture will not start paying you immediately. Starting a recurring deposit account is a good idea to start off with. Put aside a considerable amount every month as soon as you get your paycheque and forget about that money until you quit your job.

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                  4. Write down your goals

                  It is important to have visual proof and a daily reminder of why you quit your job and started a new hustle.

                  Write down your goals and read them at least once a week. If you are a forgetful person, create cell phone or desktop wallpapers of your goals and set them until you achieve them. Visual proof keeps you on track.

                  These goals are the bigger picture of what you wish to achieve in your pursuit to doing what you love.

                  For example, if you are wish to design the best dresses in the whole state, write it down. If you wish to fly to Mars, write it down. If you really wish to give up your career for something, it better be worth remembering everyday. Show it to yourself daily.

                  5. Make a plan

                  Write down a plan of action for the next 12 months. It’s like writing down an elaborate execution plan in your calendar. This could be a daily, weekly or monthly to-do list of your tasks to achieve your goals.

                  Learn how to make a plan if that’s not your area of expertise. Ensure that you know what you’re going to do next and not run like a headless chicken after two months of working for yourself.

                  Review the plan time and again to track your progress. This will give you a clear picture of your performance and your shortcomings.

                  Also, have a backup plan. Even great planners and strategists fail before achieving success. Ensure that you have a second plan if your first one does not work out as you predicted.

                  6. Get professional advice

                  Talk to experienced people in the field you want to venture out. Go to networking events and connect with people in your industry. Most people will help you out with good advice and good contacts.

                  Get professional courses in part time colleges. It could be great to network and the teachers can be of great help to understand more about the industry. They will help you analyse your plan and connect you to influential people.

                  7. Prepare yourself to put a resignation

                  Prepare yourself mentally to quit your job after you’ve realized the potential and prepared yourself to take a deep dive into your new profession.

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                  Leave on a friendly note. Don’t make enemies with your bosses. These connections could help you further in your profession.

                  Don’t burn the bridges. It’s better to have a face-to-face conversation with your boss or reporting manager than sending a surprise mail.

                  Tell them sincerely about your new venture and why it is important for you. Serve the notice period completely and work till the last day. Complete all your tasks as you would on a regular day. This will maintain your respect and keep your relationships intact.

                  8. Be prepared to get your hands dirty

                  As an entrepreneur, you have to do everything that’s needed to keep your work going.

                  You have to perform all the tasks needed to keep your new venture going. You have to be a janitor, an administrator, an accountant, a designer or a salesperson all at once.

                  There would be a point of time where you will have to perform tasks that aren’t your favourite. Be ready to perform such tasks without cringing.

                  9. Have no baggage

                  Don’t have a debt! Clear all your loans, debts and pending commitments before starting off. You want to fully concentrate on your new activity and not be bent down by loading your shoulders with any burden.

                  You would want to enjoy your freedom to work incessantly. No distractions whatsoever are allowed to come close to you when you are fully involved in the rhythm of development. Shun away materialism!

                  10. Don’t be in two minds

                  It’s good to analyze the best and the worst possibilities in your head, but it’s not at all good to doubt yourself.

                  Move ahead with confidence. It’s your life, your plan and your rules. Nothing and nobody can stop you from doing what you wish to do.

                  The more you start getting noticed, the more people will point fingers at you. Don’t let them affect you and create doubts in your head. As William Shakespeare said,

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                  “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

                  11. Learn to handle failure

                  You are going to be a loser and it’s a good thing! If you fail and lose, you will learn to not repeat your mistakes and make yourself stronger with every punch you throw out.

                  It takes time till you start losing. The key is to not be demotivated by failure. The more the failure, the more closer you are to success.

                  12. Try your hands at investing in stock market or cryptocurrency

                  It’s a good way to keep your side income rolling in. While you are busy building your dream project, you could invest your money in the stock market or cryptocurrency and let it grow while you sleep.

                  As Warren Buffet famously quoted,

                  “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

                  Find a good stock broker who has enough experience to not lose your money. Stop immediately if you are losing a lot of money. Don’t burn away your money.

                  13. Keep a healthy routine

                  It’s easy to forget about your health when you are working on something that you’re really passionate about. Set reminders about your health routine.

                  Exercise! Most successful people start their day early and take time out to exercise at least thrice a week. It helps you give more energy and time to your work.

                  Always remember that you started your new venture to be happier. Bad health will not let you enjoy your success.

                  Join yoga classes or learn meditation from youtube. Avoid sitting too long at one place for more than 15 minutes at a stretch, take breaks. take a walk, especially up-down the staircase as much as you can to skip age related joint pains and muscle atrophies.[1]

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                  14. Enjoy your days off

                  Taking a break helps your creativity and clears your mind from clutter. You need your days off to come back afresh and take on your tasks. You can’t be working 24/7.

                  Remember that being able to take your days off is one of the beneficial quirks of an entrepreneurial journey. You can have a routine designed by yourself, for yourself.

                  Take your days off when you are too stressed and can’t think straight. Self-discipline might sound simple but practice takes ages. Schedule down time for yourself.

                  15. Remember why you quit your job

                  Lastly, remember why you quit your job and started doing what you love. There would be bad days that will make you regret your decision, but don’t let them dominate the reason why you took the plunge.

                  Your soul wasn’t happy with what you were doing. Your new venture is what you always wanted to do.

                  Never forget that.

                  If nothing works out, you could still go back to any job you want, but at least, you’d be spared from regrets and constantly arriving “What if?” question in your head.

                  So, start now and live without any regrets.

                  Execution matters more than thought. Turn your dream into a reality starting today. Start small and grow big.

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                  Reference

                  [1]Wikipedia: Muscle atrophy

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