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10 Beliefs of Highly Successful People

10 Beliefs of Highly Successful People

Success seems like an unobtainable goal. When you see someone like Jay-Z standing over a musical empire while you’re rapping in a Baskin Robbins parking lot, it’s easy to blame illuminati. The reality is you’re not on your grind like Hov. They make not walk the same path to success, but highly successful people take the same steps with the same beliefs.

1. They believe in creating their own opportunities

Opportunity never knocks. It never calls, and it never stays the night. If you want a seat at the table, you have to hunt down every opportunity yourself. You’re not entitled to anything.

When I started blogging, I did what everyone else does. I found a place to host it, and I wrote the best blog post I could. Just like every other blog, nobody read it – they had no reason to, and they couldn’t find it within the avalanche of blogs on the Internet even if they wanted to. Instead of waiting around, I started sending pitches to other blogs. I’m a professional blogger not because of the blogs I write, but because of the emails.

2. They believe it’s better to be best rather than first

If you watch the Hollywood version of success, you can easily get duped into thinking you have to be the first to hit the market in order to win. That’s true if you’re a reporter and want credit for breaking a story. Otherwise keep in mind Myspace predates Facebook.

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The first person out the gate may get the competitive advantage and land early sales, but when the honeymoon phase is over, people want quality. So long as you focus on creating quality, you’ll always have something to offer.

3. They believe in serving others over themselves

Back in the 1970s when the U.S. started attacking the tobacco industry, Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds responded in two very different ways. R.J. Reynolds executives backed off their product – they didn’t believe in what they were selling. Phillip Morris executives, on the other hand, brazenly lit up in their board rooms and defended the benefits they provide to people.

I realize tobacco companies are a strange way to illustrate the point of serving others, but, regardless of your personal feelings about cigarettes, they exist and people want them. When the public backlash against the industry began, Philip Morris stood by their commitment to provide products to its customers while R.J. Reynolds backed off. Because of this, when you walk into any gas station, convenience store, smoke shop, or Walmart to buy cigarettes, Marlboro and the other Phillip Morris brands are much more prominent than Camels and the other R.J. Reynolds brands.

4. They believe quality is important

A truly successful person isn’t successful because of their position in life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a janitor or a CEO – success is defined by how content you are with where you are. Kevin O’Leary will tell you success means being rich, while Gandhi successfully led a revolution and freed both India and Pakistan while living poor.

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The quality of life you live isn’t defined by what you own or how high up the ladder you’ve climbed. It’s defined by your satisfaction with what you have. No matter where you are in your life, strive to create quality experiences for those around you.

5. They believe execution trumps ideas

Everyone has great ideas. There should be a website where people can socialize online – I just invented Facebook. It’d be cool if you could shop online – now I’ve invented Amazon. Lennon and McCartney’s best songs use a handful of basic chords. Those names didn’t rise to prominence because they thought of something no one else did.

They took action and accomplished something no one else did, and most of them continue doing so to this day. Ideas are important, but anyone can come up with ideas. Backing those thoughts with action is how you create success.

6. They believe respect is something you earn

The advice I’ve heard the most in my life – at home, in school, in the military, in corporate America – is that respect is something that’s earned. You’re not entitled to respect. You’re entitled to common courtesy and politeness, but you have to prove yourself worthy of peoples’ respect. It doesn’t come from a title; it comes from your daily actions and attitude. Respect everyone’s time, act ethically, and always follow through. People will respect that.

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7. They believe in their place in history

A successful person knows their place and they’re comfortable with it. Whether or not you’ve made a blip in the history books they teach out of in school, you have your own history, a family history, and a history in your community. With time comes memory. People remember your actions in the past, and they judge you in the present based on them. If you understand your place in history, you’ll be prepared for successful results.

8. They believe quitting is the only failure

Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine. We dated briefly a few years back. Although the timing wasn’t right, we remained friends. She knew me back when I started my whistleblower journey and is aware of some of the obstacles I’ve struggled with over the years. When we talked last night, she shared some words of wisdom. The phrase that’s stuck in my head at the moment is “keep swimming.”

Some people talk about treading water or keeping your head above, but that’s only enough to remain in the same spot. In order to actually reach your goal, you can’t tread water, you have to keep swimming. If I only kept my head above water, I’d be in the same place I was back then. While my struggle against the banks hasn’t gotten any easier, I’ve come so much further since then. I’ve made progress I can only see by looking back and forward, but it gives me the confidence to keep swimming.

9. They believe success is about more than money

Money does have its uses. While it may be the root of all evil, it’s also a resource that can be used to enact good change. If you define your worth by how much money you have, you’ve a ways to go before you’re as valuable as anyone on Forbes’ billionaire list. You’ll also never reach that billionaire list, because it takes a belief in your own value to reach that level. Which brings me to the final point.

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10. They believe in themselves

Successful people think they’re successful – it’s what makes them successful. Perspective is everything in life, and the only way to reach success is to move with a successful perspective. You become what you think. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

Featured photo credit: Kaylene Mathews via ksmlifecoaching.com

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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