The 10 No-Brainer Keys To Success That We Ignore Every Day
If you think about most of the best lists you come across on the Internet, most have one thing in common, especially those that are success-oriented. They all have the ability to remind us of what we already know. "Oh my God, this so true!" you might say on Facebook, as you share on your timeline the list that just consumed 30 minutes of your time at work.
It's like the writer plucked the ideas right out of your mind, isn't it? This isn't some great phenomenon, though. You haven't learned anything new; rather, you've just been reminded of why you agree with certain things in the first place. And in the interest of living up to that legacy of no-brainer tips, we present you with this.
Here are the 10 keys to success that we neglect everyday:
Write it down
No matter how often you convince yourself that you'll remember, chances are you won't. Your mind isn't designed to remember every single thought that goes through your mind every day. It's naive to think that the big idea you're thinking about now will be acted upon tomorrow if you don't make a note to remind yourself. Writing things down also gives you something to aspire to and is a means of holding yourself accountable.
"Equally, if we write down everything we need to do in a particular day or week, we gain an additional sense of satisfaction when, having completed the task, we can cross the item off our list," says Life Hack. "Feeling productive enhances our productivity, creating a virtuous cycle."
Every battle is won before it even begins and every task can be completed before you even start. If there's a general reason for why the arrival of a Monday is so widely lamented, it is because few people are likely to have spent their weekends getting ready for a work day (and dose of reality) to smack them in the face. That lack of preparation usually amounts to a dreadful situation. The same goes for every other task in life.
Keep your word
You're as valuable as the commitments you keep and your word is a verbal form of credit. Late and bare minimum payments are notorious for pushing high-flying credit scores into a sky dive.
In the same way, not delivering on your promise, backing out of an agreement or not fulfilling the total amount of expectations that a counterpart had hoped for is a surefire way to lower your credibility. As that credibility lowers, so will the likelihood that the next time you talk to someone, he or she will believe a word you say.
Treat others as you'd like to be treated
Let's face it: There is no absolute way in which most people treat each other. That may be the cynic's view, but it seems that most apply a sense of relativity to the way they deal with whomever they may encounter.
Some will abuse the kindness of those who are lenient, while they wouldn't dare display even an ounce of disrespect to others. Some will reverent to those above them and turn their noses up at those below them. If you're one of those people, proceed with caution. People aren't bound to be in the same state forever, and neither are you. People will be spiteful if you give them a reason to be.
Give people the time of day
The guy you disregard today can be in a position to hook you up tomorrow. "You remember me, right?" No. Not when you've turned down their attempts to genuinely befriend you on numerous occasions.
You don't have to be besties with everyone, but if someone cordially extends his or her hand, the least you can do is the same. It's in your best interest to be on, at least, amicable terms with as many people as possible. You want to hear the words, "Oh yeah, I know this guy" when your name needs vouching down the road.
Practice makes perfect
There's no reason to quit when you're learning something new, especially if it hasn't been forced upon you. At best, it's unrealistic to think that you'll be good at something instantly. At worst, getting frustrated at the amount it takes to achieve perfection is a sign that you're a quitter. It takes time to be best. Don't be too hard on yourself when it comes to criticism. But, at the same time, be relentless in pushing yourself to keep going.
Knowing when to say "no"
Contrary to popular belief, you really can have a good go at pleasing everybody. It's just that it'll most likely be done at your own expense. As Forbes contributor Molly Cain points out:
"Anytime we say yes to something, we're saying no to something else. So when you say yes to a happy hour, you're saying no to insert your choice of workout. When you say yes to a crappy review from your boss, you're saying no to getting acknowledged for the great work that was overlooked."
Learning how to say "no" is a big way to say "yes" to yourself and your own endeavors.
Expect the unexpected
Traffic jams, freakish train delays, emergency expenses and pitfalls do happen. Things rarely, if ever, go the way you plan them to. There are no statistics needed to back this up. Reflect for yourself and think about how many plans went according to how you drew them up. Our guess is not many. Prepare, at least mentally, for detours, and never put every single one of your eggs in one basket.
Talk is cheap
Telling everyone your plan -- what you're going to do and how you're going to do it -- doesn't do much good. You can't speak things into existence; you act them into fruition. The old saying is true; actions do speak louder than words. There's nothing to gain by calling your every shot. In fact, there's more to lose. Face an unexpected bump in the road or, worse, fail altogether and you may as well throw the egg in your own face.
A line must be drawn
There are some conversations you just shouldn't have with certain people. Adults, you'd assume, should have the sense and maturity to act in certain ways. It's actually an insult to your own intelligence to have to spend time telling a roommate or coworker not to overstep clear and distinct boundaries. Sometimes, though, it has to be done.
You are responsible for setting the standard of respect that you expect to receive. Leaving that responsibility in the hands of others is a dangerous game that results in mixed consequences.
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