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7 Thoughts to Kill If You Want to Be Successful

7 Thoughts to Kill If You Want to Be Successful

OK! So you aren’t a bold visionary like Buffett or Branson, but that doesn’t mean you can’t aim to be successful. For every individual out there, success is defined differently: some people crave glory, power and money; others simply crave friendships, connections, and romance; and for some, success may be doing mundane chores of their house.

Just because you aren’t a big shot among your peers, doesn’t mean you can’t aim to be one. You will see plenty of tips and techniques that will take you down the road of success; however, you will not be able to travel on that road unless you believe in success for yourself. To be successful you need to avoid all those negative thoughts that are killing your drive. All such thoughts are generated by negative memories of previous failures, disappointment, humiliation, embarrassment and so on that remain alive and well in your unconscious mind.

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To believe in success for yourself, you need to let go of these deadly thoughts.

1. “I have not been provided with plenty of opportunities.”

It’s a cruel selfish world out there, and you aren’t given opportunities. But here’s the deal: wake up! Opportunities are meant to be taken NOT given. You don’t need to wait for someone to give you an opportunity; you have to step out and take opportunities. The only thing that is holding you back is yourself. There are several tools, like social media, that will connect you directly with people to whom you can pitch in your ideas.

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2. “I would pay the price if I knew it would be worth it.”

Success is earned; you do not set the reward prior to hard work. It will blur your motivation, and dampen your determination. All successful people have earned their success; they have worked at it and pursued it regardless of the pay-offs they will get. This is the reason that hard working successful people are getting more pay and frequent promotions.

3. “I am always held back by other people.”

Other people have gotten away with the opportunity you deserved; your parents don’t want you going into a certain field; your co-worker wasn’t as invested in the pitch as you. You have had little or no success because people have a habit of screwing you over. But here’s the thing: you can’t control other people and their actions; you can only control yourself and the way you think. Own up to mistakes that may have been caused by other people, and learn from them. Successful people are successful because they have learned from their mistakes.

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4. “I don’t have the time.”

If you don’t have the time, make time for your efforts. Do your tasks quickly and efficiently. For success, remember that time is money; you should be in control of time rather than time taking control of you.

5. “I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted”

Thinking among these lines will give you self esteem issues. Don’t compare yourself to others; they will possess talents you have, but you will also possess talents that they don’t have. You should, however, be determined to learn new skills, and believe in being persistent.

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6. “I am going to fail. Why bother?”

Already proclaiming yourself a failure will kill your motivation and leave no room for the hard work. You should instead be your own motivation that fuels your drive for success.

7. “I am a genius.”

There is a thin line between being confident and over-confident. If you think you are a game changer, and people are to bow down in front of your magnificence, it’s time to give yourself a wake-up call. Thinking that you are a genius and being one are two different things. The former being an opinion, whereas the latter is result of hard work.

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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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