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6 Questions That Successful People Ask Themselves Constantly

6 Questions That Successful People Ask Themselves Constantly

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 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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