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Human Behavior

8 Things Successful People Do Differently

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I’m comfortable making these predictions (perhaps to the dismay of my fur babies) because this post contains a title that’s been sung so many times before (probably by people much smarter than I am). Even so, wonderful lyrics have a knack for making people want to sing, so here’s my rendition of this title.

They quit…the things that don’t matter. Someone asked me last week how I could possibly operate a company, write a weekly post, crank out three books, speak, volunteer, plan a wedding, take care of the dogs, exercise every day, and cook dinner every night. My answer was simple. I have nothing in my life that doesn’t mean the world to me. It’s amazing how much you can do when that’s the case.

They finish…the things that do matter. Finished is better than perfect. Perfect is the enemy of progress. If you’re a perfectionist, you’re doomed to a life of no or slow progress…while you tinker with things to get them “perfect.” (I’m not speaking of honing your brain surgery skills or building a rocket to shoot to the moon. I’m talking everyday life and goals.) People who finish are on version 3.0 before perfectionists complete their beta version. Get moving.

They compete…only with themselves. You’ll never get ahead when you’re trying to get even. You’ll never reach your true potential as long as you are solely striving to be “better than” someone else. If you insist on the “better than” formula, just be better than you were yesterday.

They never miss…the right opportunities. When they see a fork in the road, one of the tines dissolves rather quickly because they analyze quickly and listen to their gut. They know whether an opportunity is right because they feel it. The heart always knows before the mind catches up. Heart = faster learner. Mind = slow learner.

They listen to themselves…never letting others pollute their desires. While they might seek counsel from time to time, they own every decision they’ve ever made because they made it—not someone else.

They are…who they believe they are. They don’t think this or that. They believe. They believe regardless of what you think of them or what’s possible. They believe, but they never flaunt it.

They never judge…themselves or others. They know they’ve given their best on any given day. They know they made the best choice at the time with the information they had. Most importantly, they know they’ve learned and are a better person today because of that choice and experience.

They do things for themselves…and hope others will join along and benefit. I’m referring to the healthiest type of selfishness. Deep down, when you develop something, perform a service, and so on, solely for someone else, your desire won’t last and your output will be less than stellar. As socially unacceptable as this sounds, I write for myself—so I can gain clarity and sanity. I pray you’ll enjoy it, follow along, and benefit from it. If you don’t, I need to be okay with that because otherwise I’m turning control of my emotions over to you. Here’s a little mantra I’d like to leave you with. I’ve developed it for myself and say it before I undertake any initiative. It serves as a reminder to me and helps me calibrate my mindset. It also prepares me in advance for any outcome:

“If my life is the only life that’s changed as a result of me doing this, is that good enough for me?”

If the answer is “Yes,” I do it. If the answer is “No,” it’s a bit more complicated. 

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