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8 Differences Between You And Someone Who Is Successful

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8 Differences Between You And Someone Who Is Successful

Success is such a lucrative term. Everyone dreams of it. Many have achieved it, while many more never do. What is success?

True success is not an actual “…termination of attempts…”, nor does it necessarily involve a monetary outcome. Far more success , like stated on UrbanDictionary.com, “...it simply means to follow through…success is a journey not a destination.” My definition of success is the sum of an infinite amount of tasks and failures performed while moving towards a specific direction in life. Success is a never-ending process. If you get to point B and stop, you never see what lies ahead at point C, D, and E.

Truly successful people maintain certain habits that keep them on a productive path. They never stop at any point along the way. Their goals evolve and grow. Just as mankind has evolved and adapted, your personal definition of success (or goal) should too. Successful people never strive for perfection, they strive to grow their knowledge and continue to improve their skills.

In order to be a success, one must change their habits. What are the differences between you right now and people who maintain success? Here are 8 differences between you and them:

1. Successful people never stop learning.

Think about how much technology has changed and evolved over the years. Your knowledge of a particular subject may be complete and up-to-date today, but tomorrow someone else may have discovered a new way to do it, a better way to do it, or something no one knew about it. To maintain success in a certain area, you have to continually research, study, learn, and experiment on that particular subject. Successful people have a hunger for learning and obtaining knowledge.

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Many unsuccessful people equate learning with school – which is incorrect. Learning can be obtained from life experiences, researching on your own, shadowing a mentor, on-the-job training, running experiments, relationships, reading, and so on. Try to learn something new everyday.

2. Successful people set specific life goals

Successful individuals set out on predetermined paths. They know what they want to gain, where they intend on going, and they have their course drawn out. They have set short-term and long-term goals for themselves. Successful people write down their goals, and organize their journey by making to-do lists. Everyday they wake up with a purpose. No time is wasted. Nothing can distract them. Successful people pre-plan their days and will get everything they set out to do done.

Others tend to be more laid back and procrastinate. If you want to be successful, you cannot have a nonchalant attitude. Usually when you have defined your goals, and you are passionate about it, it’s easy to get things done. The reason is that your goal is something you truly desire, and you know the everyday tasks you choose to complete will take you closer to achieving it. Make you goal something you absolutely have to do to ensure a happy life, and the hard work will not be so hard.

3. Successful people embrace difficulties

Failures, problems, obstacles- whatever synonym you call them, successful people face difficulties head on. Those who are successful, are considered problem solvers. They enjoy finding solutions for life’s challenges. Think about famous people who you consider “go-to” people in different fields. Ask yourself, “Who would I want advice from?”

Here’s a few from my list:

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  • Psychology – Dr. Phil
  • Business – Richard Branson
  • Technology – Steve Jobs
  • Branding/Celebrity – Oprah Whinfrey
  • Cooking – Rachael Ray
  • Comedy – Steve Harvey
  • Crafting – Martha Stewart

These celebrities may not be first on your list, but you have definitely heard of them and know exactly why they are famous. They are considered experts in their particular realms. These people continually provide solutions for everyday challenges and lead by example.

Let’s not get these highly successful celebrities confused with what success looks like. You do not need to make it to their level to be considered successful. All I am saying is follow their example. If you work as hard as they have, push past the challenges in your life as they have, and never quit, you too will successfully conquer your dreams and be known on some level in your field, as a problem solver.

4. Successful people remain humble

People who are highly successful do not take their success for granted. They know it was not luck that brought them to success. These people never forget where they began and the hard work they undertook to achieve it. Yes, you may see successful people self promoting, but that is all part of the marketing game. Confidence envelops success, not imperiousness.

Others tend to boast and brag about their accomplishments. I am not referring to the level of triumph as the people I listed above. Those who are not successful tend to gasconade about simple everyday, expected, feats. You do not gain respect from anyone with conceit. If the desired result of your effort happens, make sure you exude assurance with your work, but not by gloating afterwards. Conceit shows dubious tendencies, while confidence shows unwavering expertism.

5. Successful people support others

Those who have achieved success, have not done so by caching their knowledge. They are not egocentric. They believe that the more successful people there are, the better the world will be. They volunteer to help those less fortunate. Greed is not a motivating factor for them. They do not think in terms of parsimony, they encompass a yearning to bestow what they have and know to others. Donating their time, skills, wealth, and knowledge to others also helps them remain modest.

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Others lust over their prosperity in an autocratic manner. They trove their abilities to hinder others from acquiring success. They are prone to step on others to advance in life. They are consumed with only their quality of life. Avarice will impede success. Human beings are programmed with a survival of the fittest mentality. You must fight this and realize you have to give, in order to receive.

6. Successful people control their thoughts and emotions

Those who are successful, have always sustained a positive outlook despite their circumstances. They become conscious of self calamitous thoughts and habits. The successful people overcome debilitating emotional trauma from the past, and live for today.

Unsuccessful people live in the past. They subconsciously replay emotional trauma they have endeared in current life situations. You have to realize that your outer being reflects your inner state. You must find peace within by forgiving those who have caused you pain, and moving on with your life.

7.  Successful people have a balanced life

Those who are successful cherish their time spent with loved ones. They know these people support them and love them no matter what. They know there must be a balance between work and personal time to be happy and peaceful.

Others who are not successful, or those trying to figure out how to be, tend to focus too much time on one or the other. If you have too much personal time, you are not working hard enough to become successful. If you work too much, you will be unhappy and stressed, which will affect your work life. There must be a balance between the two. Find your balance.

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8. Successful people avoid negative energy

Successful people live life with a positive attitude. Unfortunate situations happen to everyone, but they always find the silver lining. They choose who they let into their life wisely. Those who do not support them, who use them, who have a negative attitude, who try to knock them down, and who are envious of them, are not welcomed.

Others find it challenging to let go of negative relationships. This may be because of their low self esteem. This may be the result of fear of being companionless. You must exude confidence and confront your aversions to find success in life.

I am not pointing out these eight differences between successful people and you in order to dismay you. I am simply showing you eight feasible adjustments you can make to transform your life. The biggest step you will take to accomplish these changes is simply taking action and making the effort. You can do it!

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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