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7 Harsh Truths That Will Lead You To Success

7 Harsh Truths That Will Lead You To Success

Sometimes it takes a healthy dose of tough love to snap people out of their sluggish existence. If you want to lead a successful life, you need to confront these seven harsh truths today.

1. The grave is where you will end your life, so it’s not like you have anything to lose.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ― Mark Twain

You are going to die. Sure, you can eat healthy and exercise to add years to your lifespan, but there is no escaping the inevitable fate of death. Since the grim reaper will find you no matter how hard you try to hide, don’t you think it’s time to do the ambitious things you have always dreamed of doing?

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2. Nothing you care about matters, so you need to stop worrying about everything.

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” ― Horace Walpole

You are obsessed with trivial things. Yes, it is a bummer to go through a nasty break-up or job-loss, but you’ve gotta confess such things are trivial when compared to the grim realities of poverty and violence that are every day occurrences in other countries. Since positive action trumps negative thoughts every time, don’t you think it’s time to get over it?

3. “Reality” is a safety net built by people who had the balls to do it, so you should break rules more often.

“I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero.” ― George Carlin

You are a sheep. I know, you’re afraid of getting criticized or upsetting people; but if no one is rattled by what you have to say, you are probably following a script that was determined by others. Since meaningful change is achieved by people who have the guts to march to the beat of their own drum, don’t you think it’s time to set the rule book on fire?

4. Agonizing over painful memories won’t get you anywhere, so you might as well deal with them.

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

You are a slave to your past. Yes, your life might include unfortunate events that are worth getting upset about, but these mishaps are meaningless when viewed through the context of your entire existence. Since your future happiness is determined by how you react in the present, don’t you think it’s time to forget about the past?

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5. Being ordinary will get you nowhere, so you better get comfortable with taking risks.

“Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” ― Hunter S. Thompson

You are a weakling. Sure, it’s scary to stretch yourself beyond that bubble of comfort you have constructed for yourself, but the only way to accomplish audacious goals is through taking bold actions. Since bowing down to your fear of failure will cripple your progress before you start, don’t you think it’s time to take a risk?

6. Trying to impress people who don’t appreciate your true personality is stupid, so you need to knock it off.

“Happiness is when you feel good about yourself without feeling the need for anyone else’s approval.” ― Unknown

You are a people-pleaser. I know, life can get lonely without friends to hang out with, but a friendship built on lies isn’t a relationship worth having. Since you would be a lot happier if you focused on the true friends who appreciate you, don’t you think it’s time to stop giving a crap about the rest?

7. Doing scary things is the only way to achieve success, so it’s in your best interest to lean in to your fear.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” ― Marianne Williamson

You are spine-less. Sure, it’s difficult to overcome your feelings of unworthiness, but there is no way to achieve success without a firm belief in your ability to achieve. Since becoming fearless will create more opportunities than you could ever imagine, don’t you think it’s time to rip every ounce of self-consciousness out of you?

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If your friends would be helped by these harsh truths, click the share button to pass along a healthy dose of tough love.

Featured photo credit: Moon rising: A Day After Supermoon/kaybee07 via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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