Don’t do these 9 things if you want to be successful

“If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice” — Anonymous

Sometimes, listening to an interesting dialogue could give you a major paradigm shift.

Last weekend, I was at a coffee house waiting for a friend. I reached there a bit early there. All thanks to the unexpectedly lesser traffic that day.

While waiting for her, I observed that there was a dynamic young man sitting with a rather mature grey-haired man, most probably an octogenarian. Both seemed to be engaged in a serious conversation discussing the secret to success in their black three-piece business suits.

“If you want to successfully manage your work and be productive, give ProofHub a try.”

With no intention to overhear what their topic of discussion was, I happened to hear a sentence by the young man. He said, “What do you think I should start doing now to be more successful in life?”

There was silence for the next couple of moments. But then, the old man said something that left an indelible mark on my mind. He said, “Sometimes, to be successful, you don’t really have to add more things to your lifestyle or routine. In fact, you need to give up some of them.”

His remark reflected the wisdom, experience, and the life he has lived all these years. It made me think about all these things, thoughts, preconceived notions that we need to give up to become successful immediately.

Here’s a list of things that we should stop doing to become a better version of ourselves.

1. Don’t undervalue your potential

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are — Malcolm Forbes

You must develop an invincible attitude to leave a mark on the world. You have an ocean full of potential inside you, so never make the mistake to undervalue your potential. The truth is that you’ve got everything it takes to be successful but it will take everything you’ve got.

There would be people out there saying all the nasty things about you on your face or your back. Don’t let anyone else define your potential. Go all out there and prove the naysayers wrong.

2. Don’t focus on negatives instead of positives

Don’t allow negative thoughts to steal your joy. When you lose your joy, you lose your strength — Unknown

On your way up there, it’s natural to feel that all the odds are stacked against you. Instead of feeding fodder to these negative situations, do your best to focus on things that matter. Negative thoughts are sticky, they don’t let go that easily. For every one minute you spend negating an event, you’ve lost 60 seconds of visualizing the ideal scenario of that event. Instead of grumbling that there are thorns on a rose, be grateful that thorns have roses.

3. Don’t think what society thinks of you and your dreams

Oftentimes, we seek validation from others to get the comfort to hear if what we are doing is right (rather acceptable) or not. What if they disapprove of what you do? What if they don’t have the eyes to see what you can see? Would you stop acting on your dream?

No, you won’t and you shouldn’t.

No one could have put it better than Richard P. Feynman when he said,

“Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.”

4. Don’t follow what’s popular

The biggest harm you can do to yourself is by doing what everyone else is doing. Don’t be disheartened if what you love isn’t popular or conform to the rules of society. During a commencement speech at the podium at Stanford Stadium in 2005, Steve Jobs shared the following advice to the then graduating class. He said, “You’ve got to find what you love. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.” So, I guess you know what to do.

5. Don’t give too many excuses

I’m sorry if I’m sounding a little rude but we are always ready with excuses for every failure, defeat, or a knock-down. The blanket of lies and excuses comforts our pain beneath the failure. Success comes to those who continue the hustle even when the going gets tough. Stop giving excuses and start implementing what Jordan Belfort said, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

6. Don’t surround yourself with average people

You are the average of five people you spend the most time with. Want to become one of those successful people? Get in their company. It’s that simple as it sounds because you can’t do epic shit with basic people. You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your time with people that are not adding to your growth. As Jim Rohn said,

“Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and where the demands to perform are high.”

7. Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10

It’s tempting to fall prey to this nasty thing called comparison. Believe it or not, we love to compare — from our clothes to our face, salary to the size of our house, our smartphone to the car we drive. We just love to compare and then crib if someone tops us in any of those. We often forget that our journey would always be different from our brother, neighbor, friend, or some random stranger. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Remember a flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms…

8. Don’t say YES to things that don’t support your goals

Just have a look at your daily routine and see how many meaningful and productive things are you doing in a day? We end up doing so many things that are doing no good to us or our dreams. If you want to make a career in writing, are you reading enough? Are you writing enough to get the craft right? If yes, great! You are on the right track. If no, stop doing all the things that don’t support your goals because everytime you see a yes to something, you are saying no to something else.

9. Don’t stay stuck in past and dwell on the future

Last but definitely not the least, don’t have any expectations from anyone or anything. Pursue your goal only for the love of it. Don’t think about past achievements, successes, failures, or waste your time thinking about how your future would look like as. Sometimes, the memories of the past and the expectations of the future are the biggest things that could hold you back and your success. Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence, and face your future without fear.

“If you want to successfully manage your work and be productive, give ProofHub a try.”

Thanks for reading!


Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub— a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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