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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Published on May 20, 2019

How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

Time.

When you think of this construct, where do you see your time being spent?

As William Shakespeare famously wrote “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me…”

Have you used your time wisely? Are you where you want to be?

Or do you have unfinished goals to attain… places you want to be, things you still need to do?

The hard truth is, that time once passed cannot be replaced–which is why it is common to hear people say that one should not squander time doing nothing, or delay certain decisions for later. More often than not, the biggest blocker from reaching our goals is often inaction – which is essentially doing nothing, rather than doing something. 

There are many reasons why we may not do something. Most often it boils down to adequate time. We may feel we don’t have enough time, or that it’s never quite the right time to pursue our goals.

Maybe next month, or maybe next year…

And, before you know it, the time has passed and you’re still no where near achieving those goals you dream about. This inaction often leads to strong regret once we look at the situation through hindsight. So, take some time now to reflect on any goal(s) you may have in mind, or hidden at the back of your mind; and, think about how you can truly start working on them now, and not later.

So, how do you start?

Figure Out Your Purpose (Your Main Goal)


The first important step is to figure out your purpose, or your main goal.

What is it that you’re after in life? And, are there any barriers preventing you from reaching your goal? These are good questions to ask when it comes to figuring out how (and for what purpose) you are spending your time.

Your purpose will guide you, and it will ensure your time spent is within the bounds of what you actually want to accomplish.

A good amount of research has been done on how we as humans develop and embrace long-term and highly meaningful goals in our lives. So much so, that having a purpose has connections to reduced stroke, and heart attack. It turns out, our desire to accomplish goals actually has an evolutionary connection–especially goals with a greater purpose to them. This is because a greater purpose often helps both the individual, and our species as a whole, survive.

Knowing why it is you’re doing something is important; and, when you do, it will be easier to budget your time and effort into pursuing after those milestones or tasks that will lead to the accomplishment of your main goal.

Assess Your Current Time Spent

Next comes the actual time usage. Once you know what your main goal is, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have now. It’s good to know how you’re currently spending your time, so that you can start making improvements and easily assess what can stay and what can go in your day to day routine.

For just one day, ideally on a day when you’d like to be more productive, I encourage you to record a time journal, down to the quarter hour if you can manage. You may be quite surprised at how little things—such as checking social media, answering emails that could wait, or idling at the water cooler or office pantry —can add up to a lot of wasted time.

To get you started, I recommend you check out this quick self assessment to assess your current productivity: Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

Tricks to Tackle Distractions

Once you’ve assessed how you’re currently spending your time, I hope you won’t be in for too big of a shock when you see just how big of an impact distractions and time wasters are in your life.

Every time your mind wanders from your work, it takes an average of 25 minutes and 26 seconds to get into focus again. That’s almost half an hour of precious time every time you entertain a distraction!

Which is why it’s important to learn how to focus, and tackle distractions effectively. Here’s how to do it:

1. Set Time Aside for Focusing

One way to stay focused is to set focused sessions for yourself. During a focused session, you should let people know that you won’t be responding unless it’s a real emergency.

Set your messaging apps and shared calendars as “busy” to reduce interruptions. Think of these sessions as one on one time with yourself so that you can truly focus on what’s important, without external distractions coming your way.

2. Beware of Emails

Emails may sound harmless, but they can come into our inbox continuously throughout the day, and it’s tempting to respond to them as we receive them. Especially if you’re one to check your notifications frequently.

Instead of checking them every time a new notification sounds, set a specific time to deal with your emails at one go. This will no doubt increase your productivity as you’re dealing with emails one after the other, rather than interrupting your focus on another project each time an email comes in.

Besides switching off your email notifications so as not to get distracted, you could also install a Chrome extension called Block Site that helps to stop Gmail notifications coming through at specific times, making it easier for you to manage these subtle daily distractions.

3. Let Technology Help

As much as we are getting increasingly distracted because of technology, we can’t deny it’s many advantages. So instead of feeling controlled by technology, why not make use of disabling options that the devices offer?

Turn off email alerts, app notifications, or set your phone to go straight to voicemail and even create auto-responses to incoming text messages. There are also apps like Forrest that help to increase your productivity by rewarding you each time you focus well, which encourages you to ignore your phone.

4. Schedule Time to Get Distracted

Just as important as scheduling focus time, is scheduling break times. Balance is always key, so when you start scheduling focused sessions, you should also intentionally pen down some break time slots for your mind to relax.

This is because the brain isn’t created to sustain long periods of focus and concentration. The average attention span for an adult is between 15 and 40 minutes. After this time, your likelihood of distractions get stronger and you’ll become less motivated.

So while taking a mental break might seem unproductive, in the long run it makes your brain work more efficiently, and you’ll end up getting more work done overall.

Time is in Your Hands

At the end of the day, we all have a certain amount of time to go all out to pursue our heart’s desires. Whatever your goals are, the time you have now, is in your hands to make them come true.

You simply need to start somewhere, instead of allowing inaction waste your time away, leaving you with regret later on. With a main goal or purpose in mind, you can be on the right track to attaining your desired outcomes.

Being aware of how you spend your time and learning how to tackle common distractions can help boost you forward in completing what’s necessary to reach your most desired goals.

So what are you waiting for? 

Featured photo credit: Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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