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13 Reasons Why You Will Never Be Successful

13 Reasons Why You Will Never Be Successful

Do you know why the odds of becoming a huge success is so low? Because it’s insanely tough. But at the same time, the changes you can make in your life to exponentially increase the odds are actually very simple. Simple, but not easy. It’s all in your mind. Are you ready to make major changes in your life? Let’s get to it. Here are the 13 reasons why you will never be successful in life.

1. You push off responsibility

Accept full responsibility for every single thing that happens in your life. Don’t blame others. Don’t blame circumstances. Don’t blame what you lack. And definitely don’t blame your luck. You will always have choices to make in every situation, and these choices will always have consequences.

Take responsibility. Make the right choices, because they will either steer you that bit closer to your goals, or away from them. Success is nothing but a series of all the right choices you make. If you want something, got get it yourself. You’re in charge. Period.

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. ~ William Ernest Henley

2. You procrastinate

Understand the cost of being a procrastinator. It is like a credit card. You have a lot of fun while at it, but wait until you get the bill. Procrastination is deadly.

I don’t care what your reason for procrastinating is. The Law of Diminishing Intent states that if you don’t take action soon after the idea strikes you and the emotion is high, fairly soon the urgency starts to diminish. And the longer you wait, the less likely you will ever get the job done.

Start off by making the decision to declare war on your procrastination devil. By just being aware that you need to be at an endless battle with this devil, you are already ahead of the majority.

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. ~ Wayne Gretzky

3. You are a perfectionist

Perfection does not exist. It is only a great excuse not to get started. Do your best; strive to be good; strive to become better than you were yesterday; but forget perfection. Because if your work truly matters to you, you will never ever reach that state anyway.

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And stop waiting for the ideal moment or the ideal plan. It will never happen. If it does, something is bound to go haywire along the way. You just need to get started. And then again tomorrow. And again the day after.

Your dreams will never come to fruition if you are preparing and waiting around. They will if you apply and take massive action.

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. ~ Napoleon Hill

4. You are afraid of criticism

If you are going to be achieving anything great, expect tons of criticism and haters. Learn to handle them. Learn the kind of criticism you should accept and the kind that you should discard. Not all criticism is of use.

In any case, do not let the fear of criticism stop you from doing what you have to do. You do not have to please everyone. That’s a sure route to failure. This is your mission. This is your life. Let’s do this.

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. ~ Aristotle

5. You are afraid of failure

Do things for success, but expect failure along the way. Failure is absolutely necessary. Failure is a life lesson designed to bring out the best in you. If you are too afraid to fail, then don’t start.

It’s okay to have some fear, but don’t be too discouraged when you do fail. Because it’s not about how many times or how big you fall, it’s about how many times you’re willing to get up and try again. And I hope you answered that with, “as many times as it takes.”

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. ~ J.K. Rowling

6. You are darn lazy

If you’re putting in the same amount of work as the people around you, consider yourself lazy. It’s a competitive world, and if you want to stand out at all, then prepare yourself mentally and work two times harder than everyone else. If others work five hours, you work seven. Work your butt off. It pays. And forget all your partying.

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil. ~ J. Paul Getty

7. You lack originality and creativity

You are already lazy. It’s not any better that you are doing the same thing everyone else is doing. You need to be unique if you want to stand out as well.

Be original and get those creative juices flowing. Dare to be different from the crowd. You can get ideas and inspiration from others. You can even copy to a certain extent. But in the end, be your authentic and genuine self. People are dying to see the unique you, and not another copycat.

Trusting your individual uniqueness challenges you to lay yourself open. ~ James Broughton

8. You play it solo

We humans were biologically designed to flourish together. Success does not come by our self. There’s a reason why we like to say we “could not have done it without you” in the Oscars Academy Awards. It’s true.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Learn to genuinely connect with others and work together. Support one another. Likewise, help and offer value to others. You cannot expect to receive when you don’t give.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a progress; working together is a success. ~ Henry Ford

9. You are ungrateful

Being grateful increases your level of happiness dramatically. You will be much better equipped to face life’s challenges when your natural state is full of joy, happiness, and gratitude. Happiness leads to success, and not the other way round.

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Start adopting an attitude of gratitude and if need be, keep a gratitude journal. Look around as you read this. I bet there’s at least one thing that would make life very different for you if you lost it. And make no mistake, this is not a chance for you to settle with what you have. Being grateful and settling are two very different things.

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. ~ Brian Tracy

10. You fail to learn from your mistakes

Along the way, you’re going to make a ton of mistakes. Accept them with humility. Those are some free life lessons. Approach every mistake you make as a special learning experience sent to teach you something valuable and necessary for your success in the future.

Einstein says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.

Learning from your mistakes is an essential skill that enables you to develop the resilience to be a master of change rather than a victim of change. ~ Brian Tracy

11. You don’t believe in yourself

“He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right” (Confucius). Drop all your self-limiting beliefs. If you want something with a strong enough passion, you will find ways to make the impossible happen. The only limits you ever set up for yourself are all in the mind. Change them.

You are unstoppable. Dream big because you are destined for greatness. Believe that you will be a big success. You already have everything it takes to crush life. All you have to do right now is succeed.

When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve. ~ Napoleon Hill

12. You lack consistency

Consistency is crucial to your success. Develop the habit of showing up all the time, whether you feel like it or not. The pro doesn’t give himself excuses. He just gets the work done. Short bursts of fiery enthusiasm will not cut it.

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Come up with a system for yourself and make sure you stick with it. Deciding and succeeding to hit the gym four times a week is far more superior than deciding to hit the gym seven times a week and failing to execute three times. Yes, even when the outcome is the same, because you are training your mind to be weak by not doing what you say you will do. That weakness will rub off negatively on other areas of your life.

Long-term consistency will always trump short-term intensity.

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

13. You have stopped growing

Successful people understand that they need to sharpen their skills all the time. They understand that once they stop, they will fall behind the competition. They’ve made the decision early in the game to become excellent and the top in their field.

The moment you stop growing and learning is the moment you truly fail. That includes your personal development and all other areas of your life. In fact, the moment you decide your level of personal development is enough, that’s when you become a failure of life.

Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development. ~ Jim Rohn

I don’t write articles just to entertain. My work on this planet is to serve and inspire others. To inspire action. I’ve learned along the way that if you truly want to succeed, you have to focus on one thing at a time and master it. Don’t multitask. It is true that all 13 are essential for your success, but you are setting yourself up for failure if you try to master all 13 life changes simultaneously. Slow and steady wins the race. Pick just one and focus all your energies on it. If I were you, I’d choose consistency.

Good luck, and to your success!

Featured photo credit: Erik Moberg via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 12, 2019

Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

Humor and laughter provide so many rewards. Studies have shown 20 seconds of laughter yield the same benefits as 3 minutes of hard rowing. A Robert Half International study reported 84% of executives believe a worker with a good sense of humor does a better job. Incorporating humor more effectively in the workplace allows you to defuse difficult situations, reduce stress, create attention for new ideas, build rapport, and be a more approachable and memorable leader.

With those benefits, it behooves you to hone your workplace comedic skills. So in the tradition of David Letterman, here are the top 10 ways to more effectively lead with humor!

#10. Look for Joy in Life

An important step is continually looking for joy throughout your life. This happens in a variety of ways:

  • Focus less on yourself and more on helping others. Need help? Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” the classic by Dale Carnegie.
  • Laugh more – kids reportedly laugh 400 times per day vs. 15 times for adults. Aim for laughing 40 times daily to be at least 10% of your former self!
  • Regularly read humorous comic strips and look for quips and funny comments in your reading.
  • Even in challenging situations, hunt for something funny or humorous you can take away.

#9. Learn What Makes You Laugh

If you’re trying to laugh 40 times daily, it’s important to know what makes you laugh and have ready access to laugh-provokers. Figure out 107 things which make you laugh. Unrealistic? Hardly! Why 107? Because 107 is funnier than 100! Here’s a recipe for listing what makes you laugh by simply identifying:

  • 13 Movies
  • 11 TV Shows
  • 5 Words or Phrases
  • 19 Personal Stories
  • 5 Cartoons
  • 7 Audio or Video Pieces
  • 11 Comedians
  • 7 TV Personalities
  • 7 Funny Photos
  • 7 People You Know
  • 15 of Anything Else
  • TOTAL = 107 Funny Things

Collect & save these humor starters in a “Smile File” when you quickly need a laugh or comedic inspiration.

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#8. Use Your Own Comedic Material

Personal experiences are the most genuine humor sources for effective leadership. Look for humor in situations from your own life:

  • Funny things you have said or others have said to you
  • Pratfalls, be they mental, interpersonal, & physical
  • Embarrassing moments or unexpected happenings
  • Times of change or learning
  • Difficult life events (yes, even these can be humor sources)

When turning personal situations into comedic material, remember lessons learned from a childhood humor staple: Knock-Knock Jokes. These simple jokes work because the knock-knock structure highlights familiar situations, uses only essential words and phrases, and clearly signals a laughing opportunity. They also demonstrate how humor springs from surprise. The laughs come from not knowing who or what exactly is behind the door based on the initial response to “Who’s there?”

#7. Adapt Somebody Else’s Material

Beyond your own experiences, there’s a tradition of “borrowing & adapting” (I didn’t say stealing) funny stuff from others. That’s why old-time comedian Milton Berle was called the “Thief of Bad Gags.”

Part of borrowing successfully is using easily accessible humor sources in ways many don’t consider. Beyond simply Googling “funny” in front of quotes, one-liners, definitions, pictures, or videos, here are two other common sources you can adapt:

  • Cartoons – You can use cartoons in various ways by showing one in a presentation, telling the cartoon’s story (potentially making yourself a character) without any images, or using its punch line as a starting point for new humor.
  • Comedians – Mainstream comedians’ jokes or catch phrases are another source to modify and adapt to your personality or work situation. Watch lots of comedians and learn how professionals do it so well.

#6. Understand Your Audience

Using humor in a leadership position requires understanding boundaries on its proper use. It all starts with really understanding your audience by:

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  • Paying attention to top management’s attitudes toward humor.
  • Knowing the audience’s composition – this directly affects which humor types are appropriate.
  • Loving your audience as much or more than you poke fun at them.
  • Inviting others into humor since you can’t assume they share your same humor sensibilities.

In case you’re contemplating using ad lib humor, completely knowing your audience is even more vital. Ad-libs have the potential for going horribly wrong because audience sensibilities have been misjudged. It’s very beneficial to actually plan and rehearse ad libs. It may sound odd, but identify common work situations you encounter and think through what usually goes wrong or provides a source for potential humor. Work out some “safe” funny comebacks to use as “planned” ad libs.

#5. Know the Rules and Boundaries

There are blatant humor no-no’s in the workplace which are quite acceptable for an onstage comedian. At work, avoid harmful practical jokes or pranks, heavily sarcastic comments, and humor rooted in religious, sexual, ethnic, or racial themes. Think you know your work setting well enough to tread on this dangerous ground? Here’s some advice: DON’T. The way questionable humor will be perceived by a workplace audience is too much of an unknown to take big risks when your career is at stake.

Use this checkpoint to actually see if your intended workplace humor is SAFE. To pass the SAFE test, all of these statements need to be true regarding your joke, comment, or image:

  • I can Say/Show this to my mother.
  • It wouldn’t Anger me if I were the butt of the joke.
  • This wouldn’t trigger an FCC violation
  • Everyone in the audience will be able to get it.

With even a hint of one false answer, dramatically modify your idea or better yet, abandon it and start over.

#4. Get over Yourself

Effective leaders don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re comfortable laughing at themselves and letting others be funny as well. Leaders should become adept at appropriately using self-deprecating humor, i.e., self-directed humor downplaying your own talents, stature, or accomplishments

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You don’t want to use self-deprecating humor on simply any topic, however. It’s most effectively & appropriately used in:

  • Situations where you’re comfortable & self-confident
  • Areas where your credibility & competence are clearly established
  • Ways that fit your known personality & sensibilities

Remember – when trying to borrow someone else’s self-deprecating humor, you need to share that person’s perspective & situation. If not, it’s simply deprecating! I once heard a decidedly non-technical Marketing VP call out “data geeks” in the audience. While that’s what they called themselves, she wasn’t a part of their group, and her comment, intended to build affiliation, fell completely flat.

#3. Need Humor Ideas? Just Look Around

The workplace is filled with situations lending themselves to comedy. Humor springs from exaggeration, wordplay, misunderstandings, ambiguity, contradictions, paradoxes, pain, and inconsistencies. If you work in any type of business or organizational setting, there are plenty of these situations to go around!

As a leader, it’s your role to use the proper opptunities to encourage and employ humor successfully by ensuring that:

  • Your humor makes others feel good about themselves.
  • Hurtful fun isn’t made of those less tenured than you in the organization.
  • You don’t use humor when agitated since it can lead to apparent meanness.

#2. Surround Yourself with Joy

If you’re looking for more joy and levity in leadership, surround yourself with joyful people. These are people who are funny, easily spur laughter, and routinely cheer people up through their presence.

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Cultivate relationships with these types of people. Spend time with them, learn from their successful uses of humor, and emulate elements of their approaches that work for you.

Beyond basking in the joy these people create, select 3 or 4 of them to be an informal comedy team. As your comedy team, solicit their opinions to help you generate and refine humor ideas. They can also provide perspectives on potentially questionable humor material that makes it through the SAFE test, but still feels like it might not be right for a workplace audience.

#1. Dive into the Fun

Ultimately, the most important part of successfully using humor as a leader is actually sharing it in the workplace. Here are a few final tips to keep in mind:

  • Practice your humor in appropriate, low-risk settings to find out what works before trying it out with a bigger audience.
  • Signal a laughing opportunity through your words, actions, and tone. It’s also a good practice to give people “permission” to laugh in the workplace.
  • Finally, be earnest in using humor; don’t focus on laughs so much as lightening and adding fun into work settings.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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