3 More Habits that Stop You from Achieving (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 304)
“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.”
— Theodore Isaac Rubin
Achievement, I think, is a level playing field. Everyone has the opportunity and some talent or skill or ability with which to make a difference in the world and make their life useful and beneficial. Every success begins with the decision to try, to try harder, to keep trying until you actually reach that place you’ve long dreamed of. And sometimes reaching that place of self-actualization and infinite personal significance and satisfaction means growing, changing, and improving. It means dropping bad habits and picking up some good ones, always striving to be your best self, and keeping your eyes on the goal line.
Achievement has nothing at all to do with ease and comfort. In fact, those are enemies of achievement. Nothing worth doing or having will come easy. It will require pain, difficulty, toil, and effort. A lot of people don’t like the undercurrent of true success because success is all they long for. But before any glory, there is a big deal of grimness that has to be cut through and dealt with. No one moves from light to light and joy to joy. Many people aim but very few pull the trigger. It’s in pulling the trigger that you find what you’re really made of and what you are willing to fight to achieve.
Here are three habits that stop you from achieving your goals in life:
1. Jumping to conclusions or making assumptions.
Let’s say you’re faced with a problem but instead of gathering all the facts, you reach an unwarranted conclusion based upon your own mind or hearsay. This is a bad habit because it causes other problems, creates misunderstanding and confusion between parties, and makes you look lazy. Observation is very different from inferences. If you do not have a first-hand account, you have to do some research and ask questions in order to have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Too many of us feel like we can just wing it. Then when everything blows up in an intense inferno with smoke and debris to show for it, we tend to turn tail and run. Doing the work to gather all the facts is worth way more than the problems not doing so will bring. Missing chances and opportunities can put anyone behind or totally ruin something that has been worked on for a long time. Avoid mind reading, labeling, and fortune telling, all of which are sub-categories of jumping to conclusions.
2. It will never..It is not..I can’t… lines of thinking.
There were probably many people who thought we couldn’t send a man to the moon, that we couldn’t find a way for human beings to fly from one place to another, that a cure for polio would never be found, that we’d never have artificial light, that the world would not be as connected as it is today. Can’t. Never. Won’t. Impossible. These lines of negative thinking have been defied numerous times throughout history. Yet we still yield to these ideas and wonder why we can’t get anywhere.
Nothing is really impossible. Difficult? Yes. Ridden with obstacles? Yes. But impossible. Absolutely not. Everything that has ever been created is proof positive that if one has an idea, believes in the idea, and is willing to do the work to make that idea happen, anything is possible. Avoid talking to yourself negatively and avoid other people who give off negative vibes. It will only bring you down and keep you from achieving your best. If ordinary human beings just like you and me can defy years of history to do something amazing, you can day the internal pessimistic voice in your head and get to where you have to go.
3. Being a sour grape.
Being envious of the success of other people is what helps to keep most people from achieving their own goals. It is very close to blaming others for not succeeding yourself which makes it a very bad character flaw. All the time and effort you could be putting into your own goals and dreams is being wasted on your envy pointed in the direction of someone else. Envy always wastes your time, never the other person’s. You don’t have to necessary applaud their success, but at least be happy for them and don’t be jealous. If anything, their success proves to you that you can succeed too.
A close cousin to being envious of someone else’s success is minimizing their success. Envying people and competing with them actually leads to stress and depression. Stop comparing yourself to others and measuring your self-worth by the achievements of others. Minimizing the accomplishments of others only induces resentment. Acknowledge someone else’s success without criticizing, comparing, critiquing and passing judgment. Be aware of your stereotypes and learn to create the definition of success that is right for you.
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”
— C.S. Lewis