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6 Questions That Successful People Ask Themselves Constantly

6 Questions That Successful People Ask Themselves Constantly
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Success can be achieved if you take the right steps. There are certain keys to success that have the potential to unlock a version of yourself of which you can be even more proud. Successful people ask themselves these six important questions to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

1. Am I in the right niche?

Think about what you’re doing for a living. Are you succeeding in your field? How is the quality of your work? Is it passable, or are you receiving praise for what you deliver your boss? Successful people don’t just pass, they excel. When your employer isn’t commenting on your output, no news equals bad news. If the response to your work is indifferent or, even worse, negative, ask yourself if it’s time to look for a new career path. You might just have an over-demanding, under-appreciative supervisor, or you could still be finding your footing. However, it’s worth questioning if the niche you’re in is the right one for you.

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Even if you are successful where you are you might want to ask yourself if you can find more success doing something else. Research other careers that use the skills you already have to figure out if you can find more success somewhere else. If you’re a thoughtful writer, you might make a great editor. If you enjoy being a student, you might want to be a teacher.  Just because you’ve found success doesn’t mean you can’t become more successful.

2. Am I learning from my failures?

Failing is fine. Failing can be good, if you learn enough from the experience. But if you only learn to avoid the mistakes that led to your failures, you’re not growing. You need to learn lessons from your failures that will benefit you in all future endeavors. If you don’t finish your big work project in time then you need to understand the benefits of being in control of your schedule, not just that you need more time for that type of project. That kind of knowledge will follow you beyond any one job.

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3. Am I taking chances?

If you’re not scared on a regular basis, you’re too timid. A new day should mean a new challenge. If you do the same things everyday you’ll become really good at those things, but stagnancy doesn’t beget success. If you write screenplays, try writing a novel. If you can run a fast mile, take on a marathon. Become accomplished at new things to continue feeling as though your life is a success.

4. Am I on the right path?

Check your action plan. Most successful people have action plans, so you should have one too. Are you reaching your goals in a timely fashion, or are you at a standstill? Standstill is career limbo; success is steady and continued growth. Make sure you are consistently reach your current goals and are continuing to make new ones.
Most people don’t. Make yourself the exception.

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5. Do I still believe in the work I’m doing?

To succeed you have to be excited by your career. Do you believe in what you’re doing five or more days a week? Most people don’t; make yourself an exception. Even if your job isn’t interesting to you now, you can convince yourself to care. Just think about the work you do, analyzing it from every angle. What does get you excited about your job? There has to be at least one thing — pinpoint what that is and make that the focus of your drive towards success.

6. Do I still believe in myself?

Are you confident? Do you believe in your abilities? I hope so, because the most important key to success is truly believing that you can succeed. And you can.

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Featured photo credit: Junwon Yoon via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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