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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 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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