A lot of times, we look for things to do in order to become successful, but what we really need to improve is to actually stop doing certain things. While everyone’s view on success is different, you might find a lot of these points to be universally applicable, whether you’re looking for success as a student, a professional, a parent, and so on.
1. Stop Distractions
Distractions are typically thought of as visual or aural triggers in our surrounding environment: loud traffic noises, phone calls, construction work, or a dog barking. However, distractions are really anything that takes our focus away on things that really deserve our attention.
Therefore, if you are spending your time “relaxing” and “de-stressing” by watching television, or playing games, or on social media, then you are being distracted. If you value your time and want to really achieve something, then these distractions must be stopped.
Think about it this way: if you are concentrating on driving, would you be engaging in all those other activities? Why should it be any different if you are supposed to be concentrating on learning, or working then?
2. Stop Damaging Your Body
It is so easy and feels so good to engage in unhealthy, destructive behaviour to our bodies. Just look at food alone: snacks, candies, deep-fried food, soft drinks, desserts, are all clamouring to be eaten. Combine this with a sedentary lifestyle, or add on even more destructive habits such as smoking, and excessive drinking, and it becomes increasingly difficult for our bodies to perform to their full potential.
When you look at the long-term and think about what you’re trying to achieve, do these activities really give you that much pleasure? If you’re trying to be the best, then why wouldn’t you want to have the best body and health that you can? Having a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise allows you to take care of your health, which in turn allows you to getting the most of what really matters to you.
3. Stop Thinking Small
Success, by it’s very definition, will not and can not be achieve by mediocrity. “Average” does not equate to success. And “average” is what most people are conditioned to think about. This means that if you’re not thinking bigger, you’re not going to be successful.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be unrealistic though. You just need to start seeing things differently. Look at the things that you want, start figuring out how even get there, and take action. For example, when you look at a big business, don’t see it as impossible to run a business like that someday – but ask yourself HOW to achieve that someday, and start taking action along that plan.
4. Stop Being Perfect
When you aim for perfection, you’re looking at achieving 100% every time. Perfection sounds great, but when you’re trying to achieve success, you need to get a lot of things done. If you focus on getting all of them 100% all the time, then it’s extremely likely that you won’t get a lot done. In fact, you’ll find yourself getting burnt out, and frustrated. The interesting thing about this is that the law of diminishing returns also applies to performance. It’s easier to get something 80% well, but incredibly difficult to get from 80% well to 100% perfect.
However, if you get everything done “good enough”, you focus on forward movement with a lot of completed tasks, rather than perfecting just a handful of tasks. A lot then gets achieved and completed, and you start moving along your plan.
5. Stop Making Excuses
If you give yourself an easier way out, you will take it. It is a lot easier to come up with reasons why you can’t do something, and not do it, than to put in the grit and the time to make something work.
Success requires you to boldly step out of your comfort zone, but if you don’t even give yourself the opportunity to try, then you definitely won’t be successful.
6. Stop Gunning For Overnight Success
The media portrays peoples’ success in a light that can be deceiving. It starts to mislead people into thinking that success is obtained overnight, and that luck has a lot to do with it.
It couldn’t be further from the truth though. More than anything, success requires hard work, time, dedication, sacrifice, and pain. If you think that you can continue your life as it is, and indulge in your dinner parties, late night partying, weekend hobbies, and still be able to start a successful business, then you are going to be very surprised.
7. Stop being busy
Everyone seems to be always busy with something or another. This is especially true at work, where being busy is seen as a good thing, because it seems like you are hard at work and productive. Doing stuff is generally great, BUT only if it is really working towards a goal. A lot of times busyness seems productive, but actually isn’t – or at least isn’t the priority.
How do you know if what you are doing is really contributing to something? Ask yourself these questions:
- Is what I’m doing quantifiable? Does this really move me unquestionably towards reaching my goal?
- Is there something more important that I can and should be doing? A lot of times, it can seem like everything can be important, but you will actually be able to prioritise things based on urgency and importance.
- Is what I’m busy on administrative in nature? If so, what’s the worst that can happen if I delay it and focus on actually working on things that can create value? For example, working on a human resources handbook, versus sending out an email campaign targeting new prospects, yields vastly different results.
8. Stop Multi-tasking
For some reason, multi-tasking is regarded as a good thing in today’s society. However, the opposite can be found to be true for performance. Try just taking time to focus on a single task at a time. Let yourself zone out, and remove all distractions. Concentration is an essential tool in any productive person’s toolkit.
9. Stop Hanging Out With The Wrong Friends
The saying that birds of a feather flock together is true. We are a product of our five closest friends, and if don’t want to be like your five closest friends, you should think about changing the friends that you hang out with.
If you’re trying to change your diet, or stop watching so much TV, or reduce a certain activity, and your closest friends’ behaviours and personalites are all going against that, then it makes it monumentally hard for you to make the change.
10. Stop Impressing People
It’s some part of human nature to want to impress people – it’s part of social standing and our need for recognition. However, impressing people only serves to make you seem….unimpressive.
Instead of impressing people and showing others how great you are, try making them feel great instead. Tell people how important and special they are. Make THEM feel impressive – and guess who they’ll remember?