Do an online search for ‘habits of successful people,’ and you’ll get dozens of top articles featuring lists of anywhere from 3 to 20 -plus items. Some of these qualities may be contradictory, while many others appear on certain lists but are omitted from not others. How do you figure out which habits are the right ones for you to embrace? Below are a few points to consider, and clarifying questions to ask yourself.
Is It Beneficial?
One question to ask yourself is whether the tip suggested is genuinely going to benefit you. Most of the items on these types of list are worth trying, because sometimes you will not initially grasp the benefits. However, if you keep trying and you still don’t see the point, it’s okay to move on to new habits. In other cases, you might wonder if the advice is right for you. It’s common to see the suggestion to keep educating yourself, whether that’s through reading widely, staying on top of innovations in your industry or attending regular seminars, classes and workshops.
It is generally a good idea to look at the foundation of what is being suggested. Getting your bachelor’s degree is important for success in most cases even if you later don’t have the time for continuing education to the extent suggested. You don’t have to go into debt to get an education either. You can search online for scholarships you’re eligible for that can pay for part or all of your tuition.
Education is not the only area where you’ll find suggestions that are broadly applicable in almost all cases. Networking is another example of genuinely beneficial advice. All businesses are ultimately built on relationships, and networking is how you build those relationships. Pay attention to the advice you’re given regarding such things as education and networking, but beware of some pitfalls as well.
Is It Realistic?
Sometimes, reading these lists can make you feel like you’re destined to fail, because the standards they create are impossible. In reality, they should help ease symptoms of anxiety, not create them. One common item you see on these types of lists is the importance of focusing on a few tasks that you need to accomplish in one day. If you’re a parent, this is just not possible — you’d use up your three things a day just taking care of your kids –and it may not be plausible for anyone who has obligations at all to other people.
Is It Contradictory?
Something that you may find is that these lists contradict one another. The same list that advises you to focus on accomplishing just three or fewer things in a day will also tell you that need to set aside time each day to read and exercise, yet you also need to be prepared to work long hours. On top of that, you need eight hours of sleep each night. If you feel like none of this adds up, that’s because it doesn’t. Step back and approach these types of suggestions as guidelines rather than prescriptions for how you should live your life.
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