They work long hours, stress themselves out and never seem to make any significant progress, right?
Over the course of our lives we all develop unproductive habits that hinder us from gracefully achieving our critical goals.
And often, in the fast-paced world in which we live and work we don’t even notice that we’re making the same mistakes over and over again.
To live a balanced, beneficial life and engage in a long-term satisfying work, ridding ourselves of these oversights is imperative.
Here are eight mistakes smart people often make and how to avoid them:
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In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek , Tim Ferris says, “Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
This is Ferris’ way of saying “work smarter, not harder,” which happens to be one of the most prevalent modern day personal development clichés. But like most clichés, few people actually adhere to it.
Just take a quick look around. The busy outnumber the productive by a wide margin.
2. They spend time pursuing the wrong Activities
Personal growth is healthy.
Personal growth is an achievement.
So long as it’s real. The problem is the pressure to grow brings with it the incentive to make growth easier. Or more precisely, to make growth seem easier.
3. They learn how to do something and never do it.
Sadly, very few people ever live to become the success story they dream about. And there’s one simple reason why:
They never take action!
The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing. Growing happens when what you know changes how you live. Most people live in a complete daze. Actually, they don’t LIVE. They just ‘get by’ because they never take the necessary action to make things happen – to seek their dreams.
4. They never Measure their Results
You can’t control what you don’t properly measure, and what you measure predicts your future. If you track the wrong things you’ll be completely blind to potential opportunities as they appear over the horizon.
Imagine if, while running a small business, you made it a point to keep track of how many pencils and paperclips you used. Would that make any sense? No! Because pencils and paperclips are not a measure of what’s important for a business.
Pencils and paperclips have no bearing on income, customer satisfaction, market growth, etc.
5. They become obsessed with being Perfect
Many of us are perfectionists in our own right. I know I am at times.
We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward.
We dedicate copious amounts of time and attention to our work/passion to maintain our high personal standards. Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting. And this dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us to achieve results. So long as we don’t get carried away.
But what happens when we do get carried away with perfectionism?
We become disgruntled and discouraged when we fail to meet the (impossibly high) standards we set for ourselves, making us reluctant to take on new challenges or even finish tasks we’ve already started.
Our insistence on dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’ breeds inefficiency, causing major delays, stress overload and subpar results.
6. They wait until they feel 100% ready before taking Action
This point is somewhat related to the point above on perfectionism, but encompasses enough on its own to be discussed separately.
The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready. In other words, they believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity. Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth.
7. They inundate themselves with too many choices.
Here in the 21st century where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers. But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to indecision, confusion and inaction.
8. They lack balance Focus in their life.
If you ask people to summarize what they want out of life they cough up a lot of words like ‘Love,’ ‘Money,’ ‘Success’, ‘Family’, ‘Recognition’, ‘Peace,’ ‘Happiness,’ etc. But all of these things are totally different, and most people want all of them in their life. Sadly, a vast majority of people don’t balance their life properly to achieve them.
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