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10 Common Excuses That Lead You Nowhere To Success

10 Common Excuses That Lead You Nowhere To Success

To be successful, you must have some kind of super power, know the right people, or have certain degrees. Those were just a few examples of what most people believe when they think of what it takes to become successful.

However, success isn’t just for the lucky and elite. It’s for anyone who wants to work hard and is prepared to strike when opportunity knocks at the door. Plenty of resources are available for people to become successful, it’s people’s responsibility to seek these opportunities out. Here are 10 excuses that you should immediately flush down the toilet.

1. I approach situations in life telling myself I’m too old

What do Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, Tina Fey, and Sylvester Stallone have in common? None of them achieved major success until they were over 30 years of age. Sylvester Stallone even starred in a pornographic movie just to keep his dream alive. (Talk about dedication)

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The point being is that age is just a number; it doesn’t have to define you. Age is used as an excuse for you to stop chasing your dreams and throw your creative spirit in the toilet. Stop using age as an excuse to settle and start making those dreams a reality by taking small steps each day. Dream big or go home, that’s what I say.

2. I approach situations feeling defeated because I have no qualifications

Just because you don’t have a fancy diploma from a prestigious school doesn’t make you any less capable than someone who has a degree. People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of school, and they seem to have done alright for themselves. Having a degree is one of many ways of getting your foot in the door. If one door closes, then keep moving and knock on the next.

3. I approach my dreams with the mentality life is too busy to chase what I really want

In case you didn’t realize, everyone has the same 24 hours to work with. What one does with those given hours is what separates the successful from the people who fantasize about being successful. The majority of time when you hear people say, “I’m too busy” or, “I don’t have enough time to work on my side business,” they are either lazy or suck at time management.

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If you have enough time to watch TV, gossip at the water cooler, play Candy Crush, waste time on social media, and go party to be hungover the next day, then you have plenty of time to chase after your dream. If you work a 9-5 and want to eventually quit and start pursuing your passion, then shut the TV off and use the extra evening hours to kick-start that dream.

4. I approach situations waiting for all the stars to align before taking action

The perfect time is right now. Not tomorrow, next week, or next month. Putting tasks off is pure procrastination. This can primarily be attributed to laziness, fear or lack of confidence. Stop sitting on the sideline and get on the playing field. Time is precious, so make every moment count.

5. I approach life worried people will laugh at me

People will always look strangely at someone who does things outside of the norm. This is because most people are afraid to think for themselves and instead play the role of follower. Embrace being different from everyone; successful people are never a part of the majority. If your friends are laughing at you for taking a chance, they’re lashing out in frustration at how they wish they could be as bold as you.

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6. I approach my goals and always stop because I think they’re too difficult

Anything worth pursuing is going to have it’s ups, downs and challenges. If becoming successful and living your dreams were easy, then there would be plenty of less people complaining on a daily basis. Embrace the challenge; it’s only going to make you a better individual. If the goal seems daunting, chop it down into smaller blocks that are more manageable.

7. I approach life thinking having no money means game over

Instead of thinking of how much money you don’t have for a goal, change your thinking to, “What can I do with the money I have currently that will put me closer to my desired outcome?” Successful people work with the resources they have. Before pulling your hair out about money you don’t have, develop a game plan. All the money in the world is a waste if you don’t have a game plan. Eliminate all non-essential costs in your life, start a budget, and then get to work.

8. I approach life scared of the unknown, so I stay in my comfort zone

The only way to become ultimately successful is to leave your warm and cozy comfort zone and venture out into the unknown where failure and embarrassment is a high probability. Successful people are the ones who take risks, not afraid of making mistakes, and willing to put their ego aside. Life is meant to be filled with unknowns, chaotic at times, and full of possibilities.

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9. I approach life thinking only the ‘special few’  make it

Successful people who get what they want aren’t a secret society of individuals, nor superhuman. They are people who worked their butt off and took action, instead of only talking about it. They didn’t rely on some magical event to ignite them to start, nor rely on the internet for daily quotes. They had determination, consistency and willpower to achieve their goal.

10. I approach life with a small and simple outlook

Having an idea about where you want to go in life is one of the key attributes successful people possess. Instead of focusing on what your life currently looks like, take a moment to picture what it could be a year from now and beyond. Just because life isn’t awesome right now doesn’t mean it has to suck in the future.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you think is the most important characteristic someone needs in order to become successful?

Featured photo credit: sillydog via flickr.com

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Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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