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The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success

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bad habits holding you back from success

The path of success is often littered by our own trash, obstacles that we place ourselves. Habits, by definition are behaviors that are so ingrained that we no longer become conscious of them; actions that turn into autopilot. The power of habit is severely under-recognized as driving force toward success. When the incredible Brian Tracy was asked about the key to success, he replied, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

While there are many people that possess many successful habits, these habits are being undermined by toxic habits- it is taking one step forward but then two steps back. Breaking the bad habit could be the game-changer that you are desperately needing.

 

 

Here are 10 of the worst habits that are holding you back from success:

 

1. Waiting for the ‘right’ moment

How many times have you said, “I’m just going to wait until I have enough money saved up,” or “I need to research more.” As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Stop waiting for the unicorn and take the bull by the horns now. Any action is better than no action.

 

2. The approval of others

While it is important to receive validation for your work, constantly seeking that pat on the back from others will get you nowhere. Do not feed into the ego of your ever-needy self-esteem. It is nice to receive good comments on your work. But do not mix up what is good for the ego for what is good for your productivity.

 

3. The need to always be perfect

Perfectionism is crippling. By all means strive for excellence and seek to produce the best product you are able to deliver. But spending far too much time on any task can become detrimental when you have people waiting for you to deliver. If your work meets their expectations, then drop the product. If you exceed it, even better. But do not keep them waiting too long. You could spend an eternity improving a product.

 

4. Giving too much respect

Even Einstein made mistakes. Just because someone is in a prominent position, it does not mean they have all the answers. This habit cripples many people who listen to ‘respectable’ figures who are in a completely different field to them.

How many times have you seen an actor endorsing a product they know nothing about and people listening just because they are famous? Terrible habit.

 

5. Germophobia

It should not only be great leaders that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but anyone striving after success. Getting your hands dirty means engaging in a task that is outside of your responsibility.

Win the respect of others by doing something beyond your duty.

 

6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you

Pride is like putting poison into your own glass of water. Great knowledge can come from anyone. But if you simply shut someone off because they do not have a PhD or they are not a CEO, you are potentially robbing yourself of a golden nugget. You never know what kind of experience a person has or who the person may be connected with.

 

7. Rushing the last look

You are so excited with finishing your work that you just want to ship it straight out the door without giving it a final once-over. This is the Achilles Heel for most writers. But what separates a good writer from an average writer is patience- many writers will let an article sit overnight and then make more edits in the morning before sending it. This applies for other industries also, take time to give it one last thorough check. Even get someone else to have a look before you ship or hit the send button.

 

8. Not being vulnerable

It is easy to feel the need to put on a mask in your career, particularly if you are in leadership. No doubt there is a clear line that needs to be drawn between employers and employees. But you need to take off the iron suit every now and then.

Admit to making mistakes, make apologies when you are in the wrong. You will be respected.

 

9. Too stubborn to let go

While grit, tenacity, and perseverance are all great qualities, they can be crippling when they are directed toward the wrong goal. This is difficult with any project that you have poured your heart and soul into. But if it is not profitable nor bringing you closer to your goal, then you need to recognize when you are being stubborn and let go. Treat any humiliation like water off a duck’s back and direct your energy toward the next project.

 

10. The contentment plateau

There is a dark side to being satisfied with your work and accomplishments. Being content and comfortable is the enemy of improvement. Take time during your journey to stop and smell the roses, but do not let be left standing there when the roses are long gone.

Keep setting the bar higher. Knock down a goal, celebrate it, move on.

 

On a final note, Samuel Johnson gives a great warning on the crucial need to break detrimental habits – “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” If you are suffering from any of these 10 toxic habits, then you need to nip it in the bud today.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Mary Nguyen

    May 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the article Thai.

  2. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Glad to hear you are encouraged! Keep up the great work!

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    You are very welcome Marc! Wishing you all the best in your personal growth my friend.

  4. Gliceria

    Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  5. Marc Erick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Thai. I really got alot from this article and the comments. I just joined addicted 2 success.

    • # I'm addicted to success!

      Nov 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      #I’m addicted to success!!

  6. Adamshone@yahoo.co.uk

    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • thai1984

      Mar 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Adam shone

        Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Jeremy

      Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  8. Frank @WallStCollege

    Feb 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I think #1 is really important. There is never a “perfect” timing, you take the time and make it perfect!!

  9. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jared, yeah social media is definitely a double edge sword- it can be so useful and yet so distracting. Great addition to the list!

  10. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Keep pressing forward Collena! Glad you were able to receive some motivation. Wishing you all the best!

  11. Alison

    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:20 am

    So true, thank you!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

      You’re very welcome Alison. All the best!

  12. Jared Damman (@JaredDamman)

    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of #4 and I’ve been making great strides in dealing with #3.But, I want to say “too much time on social media” could be a bad habit these days as well.

  13. Collena Maybee

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  14. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Great article Jeremy! I must tweet the Chinese proverb 🙂 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Jeremy

      Feb 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I think you meant Thai Nguyen?

      • Thai N

        Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Haha! As long as it was helpful, I’m not fussed about who gets the credit!

      • Nikola Gjakovski

        Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I got confused with the first comment since I rushed to go out 😀 Yes I meant Thai good job and sorry for throwing your credit in Jeremy’s hands 🙂

  15. Jeremy

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • Thai N

      Feb 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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personal success
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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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Success Advice

4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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Success Advice

4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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personal success
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Mary Nguyen

    May 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the article Thai.

  2. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Glad to hear you are encouraged! Keep up the great work!

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    You are very welcome Marc! Wishing you all the best in your personal growth my friend.

  4. Gliceria

    Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  5. Marc Erick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Thai. I really got alot from this article and the comments. I just joined addicted 2 success.

    • # I'm addicted to success!

      Nov 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      #I’m addicted to success!!

  6. Adamshone@yahoo.co.uk

    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • thai1984

      Mar 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Adam shone

        Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Jeremy

      Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  8. Frank @WallStCollege

    Feb 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I think #1 is really important. There is never a “perfect” timing, you take the time and make it perfect!!

  9. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jared, yeah social media is definitely a double edge sword- it can be so useful and yet so distracting. Great addition to the list!

  10. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Keep pressing forward Collena! Glad you were able to receive some motivation. Wishing you all the best!

  11. Alison

    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:20 am

    So true, thank you!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

      You’re very welcome Alison. All the best!

  12. Jared Damman (@JaredDamman)

    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of #4 and I’ve been making great strides in dealing with #3.But, I want to say “too much time on social media” could be a bad habit these days as well.

  13. Collena Maybee

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  14. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Great article Jeremy! I must tweet the Chinese proverb 🙂 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Jeremy

      Feb 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I think you meant Thai Nguyen?

      • Thai N

        Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Haha! As long as it was helpful, I’m not fussed about who gets the credit!

      • Nikola Gjakovski

        Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I got confused with the first comment since I rushed to go out 😀 Yes I meant Thai good job and sorry for throwing your credit in Jeremy’s hands 🙂

  15. Jeremy

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • Thai N

      Feb 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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Success Advice

4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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Success Advice

4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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