Advertising
Advertising

10 Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Successful

10 Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Successful

Success means something different to every person: like beauty, it exists in the eye of the beholder.  It is your responsibility to determine what success means for you, and how you go about breeding success in your life.

Despite this, there are definitely hindrances to success. These drawbacks are ubiquitous in their ability to deter your success. But don’t fret because if you seek success, and you fear your actions are blocking your desire for success, you have the power and control to overcome the following obstacles.

1. Making Excuses

Stop blaming other people for why you don’t get what you want. Stop refusing to accept responsibility for your mistakes. You make your own choices and you make your own mistakes.In general, stop justifying your poor choices and stop attributing your lack of success to things outside of your control. Successful people don’t do this.

You are going to err. You are going to fail. When this inevitably occurs look within, in a non-judgmental manner, and figure out what you can do better next time. Don’t waste time looking externally by creating excuses for why you didn’t achieve success.

Advertising

2. Focusing on the Negatives

Yes, there are negative circumstances in life that you have no control over. There are also plenty of positive experiences in your life. I am willing to bet you have more positives in your life than negatives. You are capable of living with a positive perspective. If you want to cultivate success in your life than you need to concentrate on all the good. You shouldn’t disregard the negative, but you don’t have to give it so much of your attention. Otherwise you are never going to be satisfied because you are so focused on the unfavorable conditions of your life. Even if you reach a level of ostensible success, your continued focus on the negatives will prevent you from relishing your accomplishments.

3. Fearing Failure

As I previously stated, YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL! There is no reason to fear it. Rather, you should embrace it. Learn from it, and ultimately improve from it.

When you are successful you know you are always trying your best. When you fail it is not a reflection of you as a person; you are not a flawed individual. View failure as an opportunity to grow, not as something to be feared.

4. Looking for the Easy Way

I want to preface by stating that attaining success isn’t supposed to be an improbable venture where you have to overcome a certain amount of adversity and hardship. I am opining that successful people don’t look for the easy way through life.

Advertising

Merely strolling through life on cruise control is not the blueprint for success. You need to challenge yourself at times. Push yourself and stretch your limits. Aim to reach your maximum potential, and then go beyond that. That is a success in itself.

5. Beating Yourself Up

You wouldn’t ever beat yourself up physically so why would you do it emotionally and mentally? Learning how to skillfully deal with your thoughts and emotions when you are facing adverse situations is crucial to being successful.

Get upset over things. Express your emotions in an appropriate manner. Be unhappy from time to time. It is going to happen. But don’t ruminate over unpleasant memories and beat yourself up over things that already occurred. Too much time and energy spent on this diverts your attention away from more important endeavors like progressing toward your goals.

6. Being Ungrateful

The best way to establish more contentment in your life is to be more grateful. If you want to push away happiness, joy, and bliss than be ungrateful. Gratitude breeds happiness but it also breeds success. If you are grateful for your life and everything that comprises it you are going to have a less complicated time attaining wealth and accomplishing your goals.

Advertising

I don’t just mean financial wealth because wealth includes all kinds of valuables. I am not proposing that all financially wealthy people are grateful, and therefore, successful, or that all financially poor people are ungrateful, and therefore unsuccessful.

Being ungrateful is not congruent with getting ahead in life. If you crave success than observe everything you are grateful for. Your gratitude will serve as a compass for your life. It will guide your decision-making, and lead you to success.

7. Concentrating Solely on Your Needs

Hopefully this goes without saying but focusing only on yourself is not going to help you attain success. You could be the wealthiest person on the planet, and it is apparent that you are extremely successful. If you accrued your wealth by taking advantage of people, or by being selfish and egotistical, you are not successful in my book. You probably wouldn’t be very happy either. The best way to succeed in life is by helping someone else!

8. Getting Distracted

You were going to start your book but…You were going to launch your dream business idea but…You were going to travel through Asia but…
I get it. Things come up. Life takes you on a different course. It happens sometimes. But don’t allow yourself to become distracted from realizing your dreams. When distractions obstruct you from your passions than you are moving further and further away from claiming your ultimate successes.

Advertising

This starts with your daily life. It is fun and often necessary to log onto Facebook and check emails, but don’t allow the modern technological age to prevent you from the work that needs to be finished today. Success is based on working toward your goals while not letting disruptions hinder that.

9. Living Aimlessly

It is your responsibility to ascertain your life goals and objectives. Being successful means you are fulfilling your life’s purpose every day.
Whether your purpose is super ambitious such as solving world hunger or more feasible like being happy, doesn’t matter. The point is that you are aiming to be the best you can be. Steadily wandering through life without any ambitions or without contributing anything to society is not what successful people do.

10. Giving Up

When you face an improbable obstacle in life how do you respond? Do you give up, or do you keep pressing on? Successful people don’t give up. They commit themselves to reaching their final destination. They may not ever get there, but they don’t allow impediments to prevent them from trying. This means continuing on despite failures and disappointments.

Success encompasses a lot of different arenas. What works for financial success may not translate into relationship success. Being successful as an athlete doesn’t necessarily make you successful as a student as well. There are varying degrees of success depending on what situation you are in.

Regardless, the fundamental backbone of success is trying your best. If you put forth your best effort, without harming others in the process, than you are a successful person. This can apply to work, family, friends, relationships, hobbies, etc. As the late great John Wooden said, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” I think that sums it up beautifully.

More by this author

14 Books That You Should Read When You Feel Lost In Life 10 Reasons You Should Meditate Every Day 7 Reasons Why Athletes are Dependable Employees 5 Benefits of Mindful Eating 8 Yoga Poses To Do Before You Go to Bed

Trending in Productivity

1 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits 2 How Your Attitude Determines Your Success 3 How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most 4 How Much Do You Need to Give Up to Start Over? 5 Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

Advertising

But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

Advertising

The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

Advertising

I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

Advertising

More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

Read Next