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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 May 21, 2019

How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

Regardless of how creative you already consider yourself to be, there’s a good chance you would like to level up your creative abilities.

You might want to write a better song, think of better solutions to problems at work or around the home or maybe paint a picture.

In any case, the good news is that creativity is not born: it’s made, and each one of us has the potential to be more creative and come up with incredible ideas.

“Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The definition of creativity is broad, and reminds us that creativity is not limited to artists or musicians. It does however require that we have some kind of impact on the domain in which we create.

Creativity also emphasizes values.

“The process of having original ideas that have value” — Ken Robinson

This makes up for what Csikszentmihalyi misses out. For instance, we can make a change in the world without adding significant value. Any destructive act, like smashing a window, creates change, but it doesn’t necessarily create valuable change.

In short, there isn’t one single definition of creativity It’s up to us to find a definition that feels true and useful. When you know what your standard is, It’s much easier to embrace creativity and start to cultivate it.

And in this article, you will learn how to be more creative and take a good look at what goes into the creative skill:

1. Cultivate Focus

In order to create, there needs to be a focus on creating something, whether it’s a song, a theory, a product, or a sculpture.

You could also call this “drive” – it’s the initial spark that drives the solution to a problem, or the will to get on your laptop and start typing.

However, it’s worth noting there are different stages to the creative process: the divergent stage and the convergent stage.

In the divergent stage, we want a broad focus – we want to be willing to let in lots of different inputs, ideas and insights. This is the time for brainstorming all possible ideas and solutions.

In the convergent stage, we start to narrow our focus, like a camera lens. At this stage, we start to drill down to a handful of ideas or solutions, discriminating throughout the process.

How to cultivate focus?

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Take a 20 Minute Walk

Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in regaining your focus.

I know it might seem counterintuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but the effects it will have on your clarity and ability to focus are undeniable.

Walking is physiologically proven to release stress, and clear your mind. In fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.

If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re much more productive than you were before you took a breather.

Over time, if you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to-do list starts to feel a lot less significant, and a lot more doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.

2. Build a Structure

When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with a structure in mind. I know that 15 minutes will be dedicated to meditation, 30 minutes to coffee and reading, 20 minutes to yoga and so on.

The structure of this morning routine might be boring, but the act of each task in itself has the potential to be, on some level, “creative.”

The point of structure is that it gives you the space to make time for something you want to do. It helps you carve out the time to do your creative work. Once you begin that thing in itself, you are free to go about it however you’d like.

Without structure, we can lose focus and can feel overwhelmed with possibility. If you’ve ever looked at a blank page and felt too overwhelmed with possibility to make a mark on it, you’ll know what I mean. How much easier it gets when you are given some guidelines or a deadline?

The trick is finding the right amount of structure for you and your creative needs. Too little structure and we feel overwhelmed. Too much structure, and we risk feeling limited and stifled.

Again, it’s worth thinking about creating in those two stages: divergent (less structure) and convergent (more structure.)

How to build a structure?

Create a Morning Routine

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be rigid or so arduous you dread waking up. In fact, it should feel like the opposite. When you get a routine that works for you, you’ll look forward to starting the day.

We all have different needs and preferences which can shape our ideal routine. In the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, you can be inspired over 160 different creators’ daily routines, from Charles Darwin to Pablo Picasso.

Experiment with any that take your fancy, and see how you feel with a bit more structure to start your day.

You can also take a look at this article about morning routine for inspirations: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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3. Find Motivation

There is a theory that suggests: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external pressures. This is also known as intrinsic motivation; a drive that comes from within.

Think of a time when you did some of your best work — chances are you were totally absorbed in what you were doing, to the exclusion of everything else. You were completely focused on the work itself, barely noticing time flying by.

Now think of a time when you felt under pressure to perform. Maybe it was an exam, or a commission for an important client, or maybe your boss had told you “there’s a lot riding on this.”

Notice the difference? In the first memory, you were driven by intrinsic motivation, which made it relatively easy, even enjoyable, to be highly creative.

In the second memory however, extrinsic motivation was breathing down your neck, distracting you by whispering about the rewards for success and the horrible consequences of failure: likely making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

For this reason, intrinsic motivation, if you can find it, is what separates the good from great creative work.

This isn’t to say only internal motivators help. I personally get motivated by luring myself to work with a good cappuccino at my favourite cafe. That will get me ready to write or edit or whatever I’ve been avoiding.

How to find motivation?

Connect to Your “Why”

Your “Why” is your fuel: the thing that drives you forward, that gives you a reason to do what you’re doing.

‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ — Friedrich Nietzche

When you have a reason to do something, a purpose or a goal that matters to you, you can connect your daily actions to it. Then, each act becomes infused with meaning and you find that intrinsic motivation comes naturally.

The trick is to remember your “why” and connect with it on a regular basis.

Think about how you want to feel on a daily basis. What would you like to accomplish in the next year? What would you like for yourself in the next five years? How about in your lifetime?

Ultimately, the tasks you face on a daily basis, or at least some of them, will connect to a greater purpose if you follow this path and you will find you feel more motivated to create and less resistance.

If you aren’t sure where to start looking for motivation, this will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

4. Be an Expert in a Chosen Domain

Research has shown that just as expertise in one domain does not predict expertise in other unrelated domains; creativity in one domain does not predict creativity in other unrelated domains.[1]

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So just because you can paint a pretty picture, doesn’t mean you can creatively solve a mathematical problem.

If you’ve taken one of those tests like the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which will ask you to think of a bazillion uses for a pencil, and scored well, unfortunately this is only an indicator of divergent thinking skills. It is not a predictor for creativity all round.

The good news is, you can train your creativity in your chosen domain. Much like a muscle, you can isolate exercises to strengthen it.

Of course you can still do a total body workout – or atotal creativity workout – but it means your creativity-training exercises need to come from a wide variety of domains; not just thinking up uses for a pencil.

How to become an expert?

Make a Mastery Training Plan

Following our physical workout analogy, it’s worth applying the habits of great athletes to your chosen creative domain. For example:

1. Decide what area/s you want to work on

Much like a tennis player who decides they need to improve their serving technique, you can decide what area within your creative domain you want to improve at. Get specific.

2. Decide how much time you can dedicate

Most of us don’t have all day to train like a pro tennis player might, but you can likely squeeze 20 to 30 minutes in a day, if you want to. Whatever the time you can allow is, decide to dedicate yourself to it.

3. Review your progress

Finally, in order to check your progress, you can take regular reviews. Decide what your metrics are, and take time each week to check in with yourself.

How many days did you practice? How did you compare to the previous week? This kind of review can help you stay on track, and actually creates more intrinsic motivation as you see yourself develop.

5. Create a Conducive Environment

A psychologist in 1943 proposed that behaviour is:[2]

“a function of both the person as well as the physical environment they are in.”

I would suggest that the act of creating is a behaviour and that, even though it begins as an internal process, it’s very much affected by and even dependent on the environment we are in.

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I started noticing how environment affects me when I worked in an office. Over time, I realized that the more people who were in or who were talking, the more distracted I was. If I got to the office early before my coworkers arrived, I was twice as effective.

I was even more effective if I was at home. Now that I work from home, I know I’m even more effective when in certain coffee shops. Ideally, places that have high ceilings, gentle lighting, some barely noticeable background music – and excellent coffee.

It’s these little variations in our environment that can really shape our creative output.

If you’re an introvert, you probably do your best work alone. If you’re an extrovert, you probably do your best work in the company of others.

This isn’t to say you should find one way of doing things and stick to it: in fact, varying your environment from time to time is a great way to stoke the creative fire too, which we’ll touch on more later.

How to create a conducive environment?

Add or Subtract Stimuli

Novelty in our environment has been shown to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases our desire to seek out reward.[3]

If you’re looking for creative motivation, adding some novelty into your environment can be just what you need.

On the other hand, some people are highly sensitive and when it comes to having too much stimulation in their environment, they find it difficult to focus.

Experiment with working in different environments. Note how you feel. Note whether you do better creative work or have more interesting ideas when you’re alone or with others.

Try listening to music, people chatting or try being in complete silence. Try a dimly lit room, try working in bright sunlight.

In each case, note how you feel before, during and afterwards and rate the quality of your work.

The Bottom Line

Creativity is not one particular skill or talent one can have. It comes in as many broad and unique flavors as there are people on this earth.

To be more creative, take little steps each day. Acknowledge where and when you feel most inspired, motivated and original and spend more energy in those areas.

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Featured photo credit: Sticker Mule via unsplash.com

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