Want to know how to be successful?
Let’s first start by covering why you continue to fail.
People get in their own way. I know this because I used to get in my own way too. We as humans (and particularly men) are fantastic at needlessly complicating our lives. If you want to know how to be successful, start by minimizing your self sabotage.
This is what I’ve learned so far:
1) You don’t learn and apply
Results are all that matter. The path to making dreams into reality is built with action. Action, more specifically, is learning and applying new skills. I’ve talked about this concept before on how to achieve your goals.
You spend too much time consuming information, feeling good about ideas and feeling motivated…but then failing to apply your knowledge consistently to a worth wild project.
You’re also too hesitant to improve your weakest skill because our weak skill makes use feel uncomfortable… though it’s exactly this weakness that usually dictates the height of our income.
Maybe learning how to use Facebook ads would drastically improve what your doing online, but you don’t want to spend a little bit of money. Maybe learning how to make podcasts or video is where your focus should.
Instead however, you keep doing the same thing and getting the same mediocre results because you don’t spend the time to learn how to improve your skill set, particularly your weakest skill while also APPLYING what you’ve learned.
2) You don’t work hard
Don’t work harder, work smarter. Sounds genious.
But it’s not.
You don’t know how to work smart until you know how to work hard. You have to master the basics first by putting in the work first.
So work hard. There are no shortcuts to mastery. Which goes back to point number 1.
You don’t learn and apply. Instead, you spend time looking for lifehacks and clever high roads to avoid the troublesome and burdensome work of learning and apply, which is work.
Here’s a secret.
Be a person who works harder than other people.
Success and passion make work enjoyable. Yes, it’s always difficult in the beginning. But once you find your thing, are good at it and are getting results, work becomes a mission and a purpose which is a necessary and satisfying part of life for both men and women.
3) You don’t know what specifically you want to work towards.
It takes time to find your thing. To connect the dots between what you’re good at, what you like and what people will actually pay you for.
You’re not doing anything wrong. You just don’t know where you’re going. Everyone starts here. Don’t beat yourself up. Be authentic to yourself. Have big dreams and desires. Try not to be influenced by what you think you should do or what other people are doing.
Take time, fail, try again, fail and so forth. It’s a trial and error process..
4) You sleep too much or not enough.
I wake up early. It’s been transformative for my life. But this still does not negate the fact that as a human being you need between 7-9 hours depending on your physical activity throughout the day.
So get enough sleep.
If you want to get up before 7 am, you need to be in bed by 10.
8 hours is what you need so get 8 hours.
Being tired makes it impossible to focus on creative work. Have a morning ritual of positive habits. Drinking water, getting some sunlight, a light workout and so forth are all things I do.
Also take naps. Americans have a puritan work ethic and frown on nap taking as being lazy. There is nothing wrong with taking a short 20 minute nap mid day to get your energy back.
5) You are unwilling to say NO.
It’s ok to disappoint people. Say no. You need to be your best in your work, life, relationships and health.
Sometimes that means saying no to going out drinking, staying up late watching YouTube or TV, or even spending a nice night with friends when you have work.
There is a time to relax but it’s not all the time. You need your weekends. You need to use your limited free time.
You do this by saying no when you KNOW you should say no.
So say no. Your time is your own.
6) Drinking, partying every week.
We all have obligations; if you’re lucky you get a day or two each week to yourself. If you have kids forget about it. You get a few hours.
This personal time to yourself is critical. Don’t screw it up by by being hung over or spending it on leisure time when you have more pressing things to do.
You’re never going to get ahead in life if you constantly each week loose a day or two that could have been used in a more productive manner.
Remember to work harder. Remember to say no. You can achieve your goal! Just stop getting in your own way.
7) You’re addicted to social media, your phone, messaging, videos games, whatever.
Is building the habit of a low attention and the inability to focus on something for long periods of time going to help you achieve your goals?
So put the phone down. Take a sabbatical from your phone when you’re working. Take a sabbatical from social media and games too.
You know yourself. You know when you’re too much about something. For some, it’s Facebook, for others it’s constant messaging or mobile games.
Get it under control. Stop rewiring your brain to not be able to focus.
Checking your phone every 15 minutes is understandable because it’s a positive feedback loop. We check, we get a reward (the information update) and this tells our brain to do more of that.
Build a positive feedback loop for your online work instead. I keep a folder of all the nice messages I’ve received from people to keep me motivated. I also start each day with listening to a podcast that motivates and inspires me.
This is my positive feedback loop. My routine.
8) Your diet sucks.
My ethical intuitions are in alignment with vegetarians and I respect people who attempt to live a life with this sort of restricted diet.
I tried it for myself too.
The results? I felt terrible. Weak, tired, loss of muscle and just simply a feeling of “low” energy.
So I went back to eating a diet of fruits and vegetables, fish and meat with some carbs.
This was not a recent thing, I did this when I was in a my 20’s. But it showed me the real influence your diet has over how you look and more importantly, how you feel.
How I look is important to me, but how I feel is always more important. Food, the right food mind you, makes you feel great… and combined with exercise, it give you the energy to work for hours and hours.
If you’re young, you can get away with a sloppy diet, but older guys like myself need to be mindful of what we eat.
9) You don’t have a healthy relationship that allows you to relax.
No one “goes it alone”. We all need love. We all need that someone to hold at night, to have dinner with or go see a movie with.
It’s these small moments that allow us to relax and recharge ourselves.
I know some romanticize the idea of “going it alone”. Being a lone wolf, forsaking the world until you achieve your goal.
This is sort of the right idea. To not stop until you win. But you still need love. You still need friends. You still need that support. That lack of support will be a huge personal roadblock from allowing you to be successful online and off.
…and having a bad relationship will be even more of a hindrance.
10) You’re comparing and copying other people you perceive as successful
Learn from others, model behavioral patterns from other people. But don’t copy.
Know your unique skill sets and leverage that for your success. One of my first websites was on dating. The only reason I launched that old site was because I looked at the landscape and saw a lack of dating blogs and websites on dating.
I had no business writing about dating advice as a 20 something.
It was all just an SEO play anyways. I was not interested in writing about dating advice. I just wanted to make money by getting free traffic from search engines and converting that traffic into sales of dating products.
I simply copied more popular dating blogs and acted basically as an echo of these sites. Trying to reengineer their traffic.
11) You’re controlled or influenced too much by your family
Do what you want to do, your parents had their chance already. Don’t dishonor them in anyway, go out and make something of yourself, but remember it’s your life. You’re going to live with the consequences, not them.
Listen to your family on topics you don’t know much about, but in terms of how to live life and what to do, those decisions are on you.
I love my parents, and they did their best. They were not particularly helpful for me as a young man. They did not have a lot of money, they did not guide me. My mothers advice to me at 18 was to just get a job.
I made a lot of mistakes I could have avoided and I have a bunch of things I wish I did when I was younger like studying abroad or going to school for something tech related instead of something “safe” like finance (news flash, if you’re not good at what you do, safe is not safe. You can never get good at something you don’t like or enjoy).
Some parents simply want you to live the life they wished they lived. Because they have the feelings I have. Feeling of regret. Feelings of things they wish their parents did or told them.
Just accept that they did the best they could, forgive them completely and move on. Your parents should be a footnote in your life. Not the crux of it.
So you made it this far, you must have enjoyed what you read. Leave a comment below and share this with someone you think it could help. Most of us just get in our own way from achieving goals. What’s stopping you and how are you going to fix it?