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7 Habits Of Highly Successful Failures

7 Habits Of Highly Successful Failures

Many people hold the common belief that it takes luck in order to succeed at life, but I’m about to tell you why that belief is absurd. Luck has nothing to do with success in life. Rather, it’s the daily habits and mindset of the individual which will determine whether they will succeed or fail. If you truly want to succeed in life then it’s important that you identify bad habits and common pitfalls to avoid in order to set you on the right path towards success.

1. Being Afraid Of Change

The first reason why you aren’t seeing any tremendous leaps of success in life is because you’re afraid to change. What are you afraid to change, you ask? Well everything! In order to succeed in life, you are going to have to learn how to change your behaviors, mindset, how you spend your time, and maybe even your career! There was a quote by a successful businessman who once said…

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford

In order to achieve your desired level of success and overcome failure then you are going to have to think outside of the box and play the game of life differently then how you’re playing it now. Even the smallest changes that you make in your daily habits can make a huge difference!

2. Playing The Blame Game

We’ve all been there before, that moment where we put the blame on someone else for our lack of success or when we give up because a situation is out of our hands. Well, let me tell you something. You aren’t accomplishing anything by blaming other people for your failures or giving up because you have no control over your situation. Instead of blaming others, accept responsibility for your failure, move on, and start over again.

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“A man can get discouraged many times but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stop trying.” – John Burroughs

Most successful people that I know are people who take responsibility for their actions, they don’t blame third parties or other people for their problems, and they believe that they can overcome any obstacle as long as they work hard to do so. It’s your mindset which will determine whether you really can overcome the impossible or not.

3. Not Believing In Yourself

It’s one thing to blame others but it’s even worse to not believe in yourself and your aspirations in life. Maybe you aspire to make something out of yourself in life but you are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts in your head saying that you aren’t ready or that you aren’t good enough. Well you know what, those thoughts in your head are right. You aren’t ready and maybe you aren’t good enough.

“To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.” – Sugar Ray Robinson

But so what? Are you going to let your thoughts stop you from taking the first step and doing what you were destined to do? Are you going to let a bunch of thoughts tell you what you can and can’t do in life? Break the shackles now and follow your heart. If you believe that what you’re doing is right and it’s what you were meant to do then don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Do what you love and live life as you want. Believe in yourself and you can overcome any obstacle that tries to feed those negative thoughts.

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4. Waiting Until The Very Last Minute

The difference between a successful person and a failure is time management. Successful people are doers, they get things done and they get them done on time. Failures are naysayers, they try to talk the talk before walking the walk. In order to succeed in life, you are going to have to learn how to beat procrastination and self motivate yourself each day to perform your tasks flawlessly.

“We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” – Herb Kelleher

Not only do successful people get things done but they’ve also learned how to pick themselves back up after having a bad day. This is just as important as getting things done because you can’t let a bad event stop you from completing your day-to-day tasks. You can’t get back time that you’ve wasted but you can take prevent measures to avoid making the same silly mistakes in the future. The choice is yours.

5. Not Knowing What You Want To Do

Failures have a hard time determining exactly what it is that they want. Maybe, when you were a little kid, you decided that you were gonna be an astronaut when you grow up. And as you grew up, you’ve changed your mind dozens of times and even now, you’re still unsure of what you want to do. And it’s perfectly okay to be unsure! I mean, you have the rest of your life ahead of you so there’s plenty of time to think this through!

Well, do you wanna know something interesting? Successful people know exactly what they want to do in life, they probably knew what they wanted to do from an early age, long before you even thought about thinking about what you should be doing in life. And the reason that they are successful is because they stood firm with their aspiration long enough for them to succeed. For some careers, you may achieve success quicker than in others but that doesn’t mean that the quality of success is the same. Pick your career wisely, preferably, something that you love doing.

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“What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.” – Gretchen Rubin

6. Lack Of Planning

Without a plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. In life, there are many other people out other there who probably have the same goals and aspirations as you and you’re fighting against them for a slice of the pie. If you want to win then you have to strategically create the best plan that you can possibly think of.

If your plan really is as good as you say then there should be no reason for your failure. Well, the thing is, there is no such thing as the best plan. Every plan has flaws in it and the person executing the plan could make mistakes that could foil a good plan before the plan is even fully executed.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote

In order to be successful, don’t just have a Plan A, have a Plan B, and even a Plan C. Let failure know that you were expecting him and show him your Plan B. And if that doesn’t work out, whip out Plan C.

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7. The Fear Of Failure

The last and most common reason that people fail in life is because we’re simply afraid to try something new with the possibility that we might fail. We’re afraid to take our chances and climb the mountain. We’re afraid of what might happen or whether we actually have a chance to succeed or not.

Well, let me tell you something, until you can overcome the fear of failure, you won’t ever succeed in anything in life. Until you develop a bit of confidence and strive for excellence in all areas of life, your life will continue to be mediocre and you won’t ever get the results that you hoped for.

“Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.”

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Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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