Success leaves clues and so does failure. If you look at the habits of people who generally succeed in the long run they are the polar opposite of those who generally keep on failing.
You can be the most fortunate and blessed person on earth but if you are consistently following these habits, no amount of good fortune can save you.
Here are 10 signs you should watch out for if you want to be successful:
1. You love wasting money and expect your parents to foot the bill
Nothing wrong with parents helping their kids when they are very young or even helping them from time to time even when they are older. But if you keep spending their money frivolously without knowing and appreciating how hard they worked for it, then it means you aren’t mature enough to respect money. And if you don’t respect money, it won’t respect you.
2. You are not disciplined
If you cannot practice discipline then you simply will not succeed. If you always want instant pleasure instead of being willing to tolerate pain today for a payoff in the future, then your life is not much different from that of an animal that only wants food and sleep. If your life is only limited to that, good for you, but you won’t be changing the world anytime soon.
“Confidence comes from discipline and training.” – Robert Kiyosaki
3. You don’t finish what you start
One of the key differences between successful people and failures is that the former usually finish what they start and the latter almost never do. Failures say they want to follow their passion but when the going gets tough, they throw in the towel. Passion isn’t enough if you lack the commitment to go through with it all the way.
4. You love playing the blame game
Yes some people are fortunate enough to get the right opportunities, but without the will to succeed even those opportunities will be absolutely useless. The single biggest factor behind success is how badly you want to succeed and your willingness to take personal responsibility. If all you do is blame your parents, your boss, your friends for your lack of success it means your approach towards life is passive. You believe someone else is in control of your destiny. And once you start believing that, you are doomed.
5. You don’t believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself you are almost certain to fail. Why you ask? It is simple. Those who believe that something is possible make determined efforts to make their dreams come true. Chronic failures on the other hand believe from the very beginning that nothing is going to work. As a result they never put in the effort to succeed or are always looking for signs that prove what they are doing won’t work. Their lack of self belief ensures a lack of action and eventually a lack of success.
6. You don’t set goals
If you don’t have goals it means you don’t know where you are going. If you don’t know where you are going then it is almost certain that you are going to wander around aimlessly. Success is a journey with milestones. But it needs a map to keep you on track. Your goals are your map. If you don’t have them you will end up being lost in the wilderness.
7. You care too much about what others think
Even if people do judge you, it only reflects who they are as a person, it doesn’t reflect who you are. The truth is even if you do end up trying to please some of these people, there will be another group that will find something else to complain about. Stop trying to please everyone, it’s impossible. Instead why not please the most important person in your life? You!
8. You don’t take care of your health
If you don’t take care of your health then no matter how hard you work, it is all going to be worthless because you simply wont be around long enough to actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. A great spiritual leader observed that most people first waste away all their health in pursuit of money and then waste all the money trying to get back their lost health. Why screw up with it in the first place? Take care of your mind and body and it will take care of everything else.
9. You don’t stand up for yourself
If you can’t fight for what you want then don’t cry when you don’t get it. If you don’t fight you will be taken advantage of by others and be crumpled. Yes, being too nice is a bad thing if it kills your dreams in the process. Do not be a doormat. Be assertive and demand what you want, especially if you deserve it. If you are too scared to demand what you want because you think you will be considered impolite, then be content with living the life of a nice guy who is a failure.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” -Winston Churchill
10. You put money ahead of relationships
Even if you do succeed in your career, you need someone around to actually celebrate with. Nobody is going to be around celebrating with you if you don’t show that you care about them as well. Success in life is not just materialistic, it includes relationships as well. If you ignore relationships for the sake of money, you may be a success in your professional life, but in your personal life you will be an utter failure.
There are many aspects and different meanings to success. Figure out what success looks like for you and then take the necessary actions to go after what you want. If you re-evaluate your life and you see some of these signs, figure out how to improve on them and eventually eliminate them.
On which sign do you need to work on? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?
When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?
As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?
Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.
Let’s park this one for now and we will come back.
Categorization is essential to our survival
There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses.
The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.
An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.
In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.
When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting!
Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.
- lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin
- lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin
The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.
Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored.
This amazing skill has its drawbacks
As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.
Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)
Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.
This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.
Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.
The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people?
We can overcome unconscious bias
Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals.
Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms.
Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds.
The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals.
What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!
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Curiosity is human nature and it’s only natural that humans will lose interest in a topic after a while. This has been a topic that has been extensively explored among children, teenagers and adults by a psychologist with similar results being reported from each of the categories. Human’s minds are therefore prone to boredom, making it important for each professional to spend some time to understand the factors that drive boredom and strategies the individuals needs to use to overcome boredom and focus on their profession and development. (more…)
Decision and Failure: Deciding That Failure is Not an Option
Nobody likes wasting time, money or opportunities by making a bad business decision. We can certainly identify what “bad” looks and feels like, however we should be identifying what the “win” looks like too. Too often we focus on the bad, which puts us in victim mode that perpetuates a scarcity mindset which leads us directly into becoming frozen or stuck. (more…)
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