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5 Phrases An Ambitious Person Will Never Say

5 Phrases An Ambitious Person Will Never Say

We all have dreams and aspirations, and many of us will follow through on those dreams and achieve exactly what we desire. However, the path to achieving those dreams isn’t always straight and narrow. It takes a lot of work to get to where you want to go, so if you want to be a successful person, you need to surround yourself with positivity. That’s why we have compiled a list of five phrases that ambitious people just don’t abide.

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Your capacity for work in the present is limited, sure, but many people give themselves short shrift by waiting to complete something until later. Olin Miller said, “If you want to make an easy job seem hard seem mighty hard, just put off doing it.” He was right. Successful people never delay until later, until tomorrow. They enjoy challenges, sometimes they even go out of their way to create hurdles to overcome. Don’t procrastinate. It only hinders you.

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“That’s not my job.”

When you work someplace, you are thoroughly invested in their mission. Regardless of your level on the totem pole, you are should try not to shirk your responsibilities. Even Abraham Lincoln had a little bit of this in him when he said, “My father taught me to work. He didn’t teach me to like it.”  If the most well-liked president in U.S. history got to where he is by putting his nose to the grindstone and just working hard, then you can get to where you want to be by going the extra mile. When you are an ambitious person, everything is your job.

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“Whose fault was it?”

This one is very important. In business settings, or any formal settings for that matter, blame and laying of fault should be entirely abandoned. The idea of blaming someone for some error is wrong on some many fronts; it causes you to assign a negative value to some sort of outcome, when it very well can be labeled as a success. It then causes you to take time out to single someone out and diminish their value, often in front of others. Lack of success among groups is often the result of a lack of communication. As Arnold Glasow said, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.”

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“No.”

This is a broad one, but it digs deep at a central tendency of ambitious people: they tend to think anything is possible, regardless of how far-fetched, difficult, or absurd that thing may be. Thomas Edison’s thoughts best encapsulate this one: “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that don’t work.” He didn’t give up, nor did he decide at any point that the creation of a light bulb must be impossible. He continued over and over and over, thinking of creative solutions to solve a problem other people weren’t even aware of at the time. And he succeeded, all because he didn’t say, “No.”

“That doesn’t interest me.”

Salvador Dali put it best when he said, “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” An ambitious person tends to be interested in everything. They make it a hobby to learn new facts and acquire new skills, thereby creating new ways by which to succeed. Whether it is the marketing manager who applies the analytic side of calculus to his work, or the scientist who paints in her free time, ambitious people are constantly expanding their horizons by trying new things and applying them centrally to what they care about most.

Featured photo credit: Black-and-white portrait of an ambitious business guy wearing sunglasses via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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