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7 Habits Highly Effective People Don’t Have

7 Habits Highly Effective People Don’t Have

Highly effective people, you know the sort. They’re always getting stuff done and having a good time doing it.

Annoying, aren’t they?

What’s so wrong with being ineffective anyway? Other than not getting stuff done and not having fun doing it, it’s pretty peachy. Why can’t they be like the rest of us?

Actually, maybe being highly ineffective isn’t all that great after all. Maybe things would be a little better if we dropped the habits (like these seven) that highly effective people never picked up in the first place.

1. They don’t see failure as the end.

For many, screwing up is the end of an endeavor. Give something a shot, see it fail (sometimes spectacularly) and give up.

Failure is not an end point, it’s a fresh opportunity. You can try things a different way. You can tackle things with a new approach. You can explore things with an open mind.

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Failure is just the start.

2. They don’t busy themselves with stuff that doesn’t matter.

Life is filled with distractions. There’s gossip to catch up on, that new box set to watch, and Facebook and Twitter aren’t exactly going read themselves, are they?

It’s easier than ever to occupy your time, but people who make wonderful things happen don’t simply pour their time down the drain. They choose how they spend it.

Make a deliberate choice to spend time productively engaging in something that matters to you. You’ll see how much of a gift the time you have really is.

3. They don’t blame others when things go wrong.

Life has too many variables for everything to work out perfectly. When things don’t go to plan it’s really tempting to blame everything and everyone else. He didn’t do what he was supposed to. They just didn’t get it. She should have done that better. The timing’s all wrong. They let me down.

But all that gets you is the notion that you’re in the right, often at the cost of some happiness, joy or learning.

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Always be ready to let go of the need to be right (or to be seen as right), and own your part however things turn out.

4. They don’t pull back from the edges.

When you’re at the edge of the unknown it’s natural to want to turn back to the familiar. It’s safe there. You know how things work there. You can be sure of yourself.

Of course, a life lived within the bounds of the familiar is not a life lived at all. Each time you turn away from risk, opportunity or possibility, you lose a piece of your self-confidence. Eventually, you’ll lose all heart and promise.

Take a deep breath, summon your courage and be willing to explore what’s next for you.

5. They don’t just drift from one thing to another.

Life has a way of carrying you on its ebb and flow doesn’t it? Before you know it, another year has passed and you’ve barely scratched the surface of what you wanted to do.

While being a goal-obsessed, hustling automaton isn’t recommended, neither is purposeless drifting. What matters then is context.

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Give your behavior, choices and actions a sense of direction toward something that matters to you and you’ll be able to make a difference in ways that matter.

6. They don’t take on the world by themselves.

Doing something that matters, finishing a project or creating something wonderful takes time and effort. Sometimes, huge amounts of each.

In today’s world where we’re increasingly measured and judged by arbitrary measures of success and what we appear to achieve, it’s easy to think that it’s all on you. You toil. You work. You endure. You think taking it all on is what strong people do.

That’s nonsense, of course. Sometimes, seeking help and gathering support is the bravest, smartest and most effective thing to do. The most meaningful success isn’t achieved in isolation.

7. They don’t get consumed by the details.

I can’t believe she said that. You’ll never guess what he did. Why can’t they just sort it out? I don’t want to feel like this any more. You simply don’t get it. She went and did it. Who do you think you are?

Too many people spend the bulk of their time wrapped up in the drama and detail of their lives and they forget all about the beauty and possibility right in front of them.

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That drama and detail might make a good TV storyline, if you’re into that sort of thing, but it will only hold you down and stop you from productively engaging in what matters

If you want to stand any chance of making wonderful things happen you need to stop being ineffective and drop these seven habits that highly effective people don’t have. You’re made of more. Just let it go.

Ineffective or effective. The choice between them is, as it always has been, is entirely up to you.

Which way are you gonna go?

More by this author

Steve Errey

Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

New Years Resolutions Don’t Work – Here’s Why How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence 7 Ways to Stop Being Treated Like a Doormat I Like You a Lot How To Muster Your Confidence And Tell Someone You Like Them Stuck in Rewind. 7 Beliefs That Will Help When You Get Stuck

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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