Success, and failure, do not just happen. It takes work to reach either of those destinations. Regardless of the business you are in being on the successful side is more satisfying and rewarding than the failure side. That being said, we can learn a lot from our failures so we do not repeat them and can turn them into success.
I define success in a number of ways (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Did I smile and laugh today?
- Did I get to the important things on my to do list? This includes personal items.
- Did I lead my team to their goals and successes?
My day always starts out the same. A 4am alarm to get me out of bed and ready to workout. I am an endurance athlete and getting in a workout early in the morning not only helps me achieve my goals as an athlete but it allows me to clear my head and prepare for the upcoming day. After the workout I enjoy a healthy breakfast and then a lot of reading. I read articles in the newspaper and online about various topics but mostly they revolve around what a successful mindset looks like, digital/print media and opportunities that will help me grow my business.
One day I ran across this article on Medium.com that was about the 13 things you should give up if you want to be successful. What grabbed my attention immediately was the idea of tips/tricks to be successful but then the number 13. Most associate 13 with evil or bad because of various superstitions so it was intriguing to me that the author used that number in an article about success. As I read the article I found myself shaking my head in agreement with the various points. Some were things I was already doing but others would need to be added to my repertoire. Fortunately for me the time for New Year’s resolutions is now, but if you are reading this article in mid-May, then make the Monday coming up your day to start working on these. It is never too late to do the things you need to do to be successful.
Here are the various points from the article and my take on them.
1- Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle. I am an endurance athlete that races Ironman and Ultra-Distance Running. In order for me to participate and compete in these events living a healthy lifestyle is imperative. This does not mean that I do not eat cake, because I do, but it means that when I do it is not an entire cake and just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.
2- Give Up The Short-Term Mindset. We live in the hear and now. Our news is served to us in 24 hour doses before the next news story. This has caused many to only think about the current but investing and reaping the rewards of those investments take time. Sit back and understand where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow, 3 years, 5 years and then work towards those goals.
3- Give Up Playing Small. I think this goes to the short-term mindset. If we are always thinking about immediate gratification then we are not building for the future, a BIG future. Flipping that mindset will allow you to set big lofty goals and understand that it takes time to get there.
4- Give Up Your Excuses. I was asked how I would manage to do a certain task considering my other obligations. That sounded like an excuse but my response was: Efficiency. If I am efficient in my use of time then I have no excuse. This also means that things that are not as important need to be dropped or moved to the back burner. Re-assessing situations is important.
5- Give Up The Fixed Mindset. This concept goes to growth. If you accept that where you are today is where you are always going to be then you will not reach out of your comfort zone to try and grow as a person. This year I decided I wanted to play the ukulele and so I am. I am very uncomfortable with my skills, or lack thereof, but I know that with time and effort that I will soon be able to play songs and open up my world.
6- Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.” Maybe my favorite. There is no overnight success or overnight weight loss. These things take time and effort. This also goes back to the short-term mindset. Get rid of it and your life will begin to take on a different shape.
7- Give Up Your Perfectionism. This is potentially the death blow for people. For those looking to start a new business the idea or fear of failure stops them in their tracks. Failure is a terrific learning tool. We learn from our failures and turn them into successes.
8- Give Up Multi-Tasking. I have been saying this for years. When people tell me they multi-task my immediate thought is: You do a few things good. I am looking for great. Be Great. Do one thing at a time and do it the best that you can before going onto the next thing. This builds success.
9- Give Up Your Need To Control Everything. I work with partners and having them around me helps me to see things from different angles. These partners are experts in their particular field which helps elevate my knowledge and understanding so that I can be a better participant in conversations as we build businesses.
10- Give Up Saying YES. We have all heard of the phrase People Pleaser. The problem is that we are so focused on helping others that we end up not helping ourselves, or putting stress into our lives because we over-committed. I am found of saying NO, but not just to say NO. I need to make sure that I can commit to the project/event and be there 100% otherwise I am doing a disservice to the person I said yes to, to the people I have said yes to previously and just as important: Myself.
11- Give Up The Toxic People. You know who these people are. I recently wrote an article about when being average is a good thing. You can read the article here, but as Jim Rohn said: You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Make sure those 5 people are more successful than you are and have your success elevated.
12- Give Up Your Need To Be Liked. I link this to the Saying YES to everything comment above. We say yes because we want to be liked, but when we are not there 100% or miss out / cancel because we have over-extended ourselves then we are no longer liked and creating a toxic environment. Say NO, be disliked for a moment, and create an environment around you in which you can be 100% present and liked.
13- Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media & Television. People routinely tell me they do not have the time for something. When you dig deeper it is because they are spending that time on social media or watching television. I will be the first to tell you that I spend time in both places but not until I have achieved my goals for the day/moment and I am not using those items and ignoring responsibilities. The beauty is that we now have technology to record TV shows and we can watch when we want. Social media is always on so if you ‘missed’ something you can always go back and find it without much effort. Do not let FOMO ruin your chances for success.
I want to take a moment to say Thank You to Zdravko Cvijetic for writing the original article. He provides insights into each of these 13 points different than mine and I encourage you to read his as it will help open your minds eye to how you can be more successful.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to read the book Scarcity.The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives. If you read through the 13 things to give up you will realize that you can do more with less and this book helps to understand that.
Header Image Credit: Photo from Flickr via Brady