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13 Things Really Powerful People Don’t Do

13 Things Really Powerful People Don’t Do

Really powerful people take whatever action is necessary to achieve the success they desire. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?” If you’d like to reach your full potential, watch out for these 13 things really powerful people don’t do.

1. They don’t crawl out of bed.

Really powerful people leap out of bed, bursting with energy to tackle a glorious new day that is full of exciting new opportunities and adventures. They wake up happy to have the chance to write another chapter of the story they call, “Life.”

2. They don’t socialize all day.

Really powerful people cherish the people they love, but they also know it’s impossible to get anything done while spending every waking moment in the company of others. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying good times with close friends, but you can’t expect success if you can’t stomach the thought of spending some time working alone.

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3. They don’t believe in “problems.”

Really powerful people realize that a “problem” is nothing more than an opportunity in disguise. Instead of freaking out about what to do about an inconvenient situation, powerful people spend their time inventing a creative solution.

4. They don’t play checkers, they play chess.

Really powerful people hustle with passion and purpose, but they aren’t trigger-happy. Before putting any business plan in place, they think ten steps ahead — identifying every possible outcome of their actions — so that they can react quickly and decisively, no matter what happens.

5. They don’t blame their problems on other people or circumstances.

Really powerful people are the CEO of their life, so they refuse to pass the buck by blaming another person for their faults. Life is full of mysterious events that cannot be predicted, but when faced with unexpected negative situations, really powerful people focus on their ability to react in a positive fashion. 

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6. They don’t accept defeat without putting up a fight.

Really powerful people are not immune to making mistakes. Instead of agonizing over a bad idea or failed business approach, they ask themselves, “Why didn’t this work and how can I do better next time?” Really powerful people know honest reflection will help them evolve into their true potential.

7. They don’t hide from harsh truths they need to hear.

Really powerful people are willing to confront the truth… whether they want to hear it or not. They are confident enough to confess their faults, develop their weaknesses, and evolve as required.

8. They don’t forget the people who helped them succeed.

Really powerful people appreciate those responsible for their success. They would never get so caught up in delusions of grandeur that they can’t take the time to call their mom, check in with their best-friend, or send a thoughtful email to a networking contact who helped them achieve a specific business goal.

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9. They don’t work without a higher purpose.

Really powerful people are passionate beings who cannot contain their excitement when they speak about what they hope to accomplish in the world. They are not fans of simply performing an eight-hour shift; instead, they see every work-day as another step forward to achieving their higher purpose.

10. They don’t care what people think about them.

Really powerful people are comfortable in their unique body and individual personality. While they hope to get along with as many people as they can, they don’t make any apologies for who they are.

11. They don’t get consumed in negative feedback.

Really powerful people don’t flinch at baseless claims, irrelevant criticisms, or nasty comments. While accepting constructive feedback is something anybody should do, really powerful people don’t get caught up in negative opinions they can’t do anything about.

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12. They don’t neglect their personal health and well-being.

Really powerful people treat their body as if it is a glorious vessel that protects them from illness and injury (because it is, of course!).There is no denying that life can get busy, so they might not stick with their healthy living plan 24/7. When they get off track, they give themselves a gentle reminder with a mantra like “To take care of others, I must first take care of myself.”

13. They don’t give away their power.

Really powerful people are willing to perform an honest assessment of their social situation. They know it’s hard to maintain an upbeat attitude while hanging out with people who bring you down. While it is always polite and proper to give a toxic person the benefit of the doubt, there can (and often will) come a time where the only option left is to walk away. This isn’t something really powerful people enjoy doing… but they know success is hard to come by if you’re surrounded by an atmosphere of negativity.

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Featured photo credit: One-Eyed Powerful Owl/Rex Boggs via media.lifehack.org

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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