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10 Things Successful People Hate Hearing The Most

10 Things Successful People Hate Hearing The Most

Being successful requires getting stuff done. When we are busy kicking butt and achieving goals, we don’t need to hear any of the haters. Here are ten things successful people never want to hear.

1. Why do I have to do this?

This classic shows that the individual is not committing 100% to their task. We can’t always get assigned our ideal task; sometimes you just have to suck it up and take whatever task needs to be completed. Don’t waste time whining about it, if you just get going you can always find the virtue in whatever the task may be. Here is an alternative, “I’m not sure this task is the first one I would pick, but I know the challenge will be good for me.”

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2. There is no way this can be done!

If you are working on a project and a difficult portion comes up, this sort of impossibility mindset is counterproductive. Sure it might take some work, but there are virtually no problems without any kind of solution. Successful people don’t need to waste time with this negative comment. The more positive the mindset, the easier reaching goals becomes. Try this instead, “These seems like quite a challenge to me. I am excited to see what solutions we can produce.”

3. I don’t want any feedback

Feedback is key to our growth. We need to have input from others in order to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Successful people thrive on giving and receiving feedback. Saying no to such an opportunity is foolish to the eyes of a successful individual. Instead of turning down feedback try seeing it as an opportunity, “I’d be glad to hear what areas you think I can improve in.”

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4. I have no idea what I did with my time today

Successful people know that time is an incredibly valuable asset. If a whole day slips away and you don’t even know what happened, you are clearly not prioritizing time. That’s just a waste. Get it together and find some tools to help here. Try phrasing your predicament in a more opportunistic way, “I felt like my time was not spent productively today. I am going to begin monitoring my time more carefully to evaluate the situation.”

5. I just did it because it was easy

Sometimes taking the path of least resistance is the best option; however, shortcuts can lead to inferior quality work. Doing the easy thing may be the best choice, but there should be some additional reasons behind your choice to take the easiest option. If you can give one or two reasons for taking the shortcut, you may be on the path to success. If the only reason you have is it was easiest, you may need to rethink things.

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6. Everything has to be perfect

Striving for perfection might be noble, but it can definitely inhibit progress. It’s unrealistic to expect people to execute everything to the highest level of perfection. Successful people prefer to prioritize trying your best rather than perfect performance every time. Go for the more positive, “It may not be perfect, but if it’s the best I can produce, it will be great.”

7. I tried it before and it didn’t work

Dwelling on previous mistakes doesn’t help. Its good to evaluate the past and learn what you can, but getting stuck on it simply doesn’t help. Instead try, “That last mistake taught me something and I am going to make sure I use it to better inform my future choices.”

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8. This is going to take way too long. We should give up

Negativity is draining. Successful people don’t have time to be around such energy. While a particular method may be too time consuming to be practical, constructive discussion is a lot better than overt negativity. Try this instead, “I think this solution might take more time to develop. Perhaps we can find a more time efficient solution.”

9. Yes, Yes, Yes. I will do all the things

Successful people realize they have a finite amount of time to accomplish their goals in any given day. No one can possibly do everything all at once. While saying yes to everything might seem agreeable, it is simply unrealistic. Spreading yourself too thin doesn’t help anyone. Try diplomatically turning down tasks which are too much given your time and priorities, “I would like to help with that, but I have several other high priorities projects right now. Can we find another solution?”

10. I don’t want to work with Suzy because she was sloppy last time

Successful people don’t have time for that kind of nonsense. People sometimes make mistakes, but the past is the past. Instead try spending some time prior to starting the project to identify potential problem areas for everyone, “For this project paying careful attention to detail is key for everyone.” This gives everyone a fair shot at doing their best and keeping problem areas in mind.

Featured photo credit: StartupStockPhotos via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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