You may have heard someone boil down the difference being between successful and unsuccessful as just one or two things. This is untrue. There is a gaping chasm with many twists, turns, crevices, and other hazardous things between being successful and unsuccessful. Here are 10 things that unsuccessful people do that you need to avoid.
1. They fear change.
Change is something that needs to happen. Afterall, going from unsuccessful at life to successful is, in and of itself, a change. In order to make one change, you must make other changes. Don’t be afraid of moving to a new city. Don’t be afraid to change your work and/or life habits. Unsuccessful people try to keep everything the same all the time because that is within their comfort zone. If you’re going to be successful, you need to get out of your comfort zone and get into the habit of changing the bad things in your life.
2. They blame others for their failure.
If something bad happens, you should be accepting responsibility for it. Now, there are some circumstances where it is someone else’s fault and those times you have to roll with the punches. However, in most cases, bad things happen as a result of something you did. If you didn’t get that promotion, you either didn’t try enough or you didn’t make your effort known to those who matter. We’re not saying you’re a failure because something bad happened to you, because bad things happen to everyone. However, accepting responsibility for the bad things that happen to you can help prevent fewer bad things from happening to you.
3. They do not set goals.
If you don’t set goals, how do you expect to reach greatness? Unsuccessful people try too hard to go with the flow and see what happens. That’s a poor way to conduct your entire life. People need goals in order to succeed, and unsuccessful people are generally not striving to be anything more than what they already are.
4. They get distracted every day.
Tomorrow is always the time to get things done. You’ll hear unsuccessful people say things like, “I’ll stop smoking. Tomorrow.” Today is the day and now is the time. It’s never too soon to change your life. If you’re sitting around watching TV or playing video games for six to eight hours a day, you’re not making any improvements.
5. They don’t appreciate anything.
Unsuccessful people simply don’t show any gratitude. No one ever became a somebody alone. You may have heard some rap stars say that they rose from poverty by themselves. That is nonsense. They rose from poverty with the help and support from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fans. When you do well at work, it’s partially because the other people at your work do their jobs and allow you to do yours better. No one owes you anything and no one has to help you, but they do anyway. Thank them. This can also be construed as having a sense of entitlement. You know who likes people who act entitled? No one.
6. They stop learning.
The day someone stops learning is the day they sabotage their future. There is an infinite amount of things out there to learn and knowledge is power. The more you know, the better you do and the better you do, the more successful you become. If you think you know all there is to know or all that you need to know, think again. Successful people never stop learning because the next lesson may be the one that helps them achieve even greater success.
7. They operate on a transactional perspective
There are a lot of big words here, but this is actually a fairly simple premise. People who act this way always expect something in return for something they do. When they do a favor, they expect a favor in return. If they loan you money, they expect you to loan them money some day. If they do your job one day, they expect you to do their job another day. This is a bad way to live because you’ll only ever be as good as your favors. Also, a lot of people call this “helping”. It’s not helping if you expect something in return.
8. They’re always angry–usually at other people.
Unsuccessful people are angry because they are unsuccessful. They’re stressed out, angry, and they take it out on the world instead of finding solutions to their problems. If you see someone who would rather rant and rave than find a solution, then you’ve run into someone who is not interested in becoming successful. Keep in mind that being wealthy does not equate to being successful. Successful people find solutions and are generally happier for it.
9. They say they do things that they don’t do.
There are a lot of people out there who do this. If you haven’t done something, then you should own up to it. No one has done everything and it’s not a sign of weakness to admit that you don’t do something. When you say you’ve done everything, people will either believe you and you’ll end up in a position that is way over your head which will cause you to fail, or you’ll end up around a bunch of people who never believe a word you say. Humility is a positive character trait.
10. They hoard information and data.
This one is more abstract in practice but simple in theory. Caring is sharing. When we were all little kids, our teachers tried to teach us that sharing is important. People who hoard important information and data to empower themselves are destined for failure because the other people who need to know this information do not. When they don’t know, they fail and, as we discussed earlier, when the people around you fail, you fail. Successful people share information because when the information is on the table, everyone uses it to be successful. If they’re successful, your odds of becoming successful are much higher.
There is a gaping chasm between being successful and unsuccessful. There are a billion ways that someone can be unsuccessful, but there are far fewer ways to be successful. Find those ways, live them, and be the person you know you’re capable of being.
Featured photo credit: winston-churchill-failure-success-quote/Matt McWilliams via mattmcwilliams.com