I read the headline of Dr. Travis Bradberry’s piece on LinkedIn, 9 Things Successful People Won’t Do and my gut reaction was, They probably aren’t reading this stuff like I (routinely) do because they, unlike me, are a more finished product. At least that’s how I perceive successful people to be.
Me? My personal motto is: Enjoy the journey of finding out who you want to be when you grow up.
I know I’m not there yet, but I refuse not to have fun on the ride.
I thought Dr. Bradberry’s article was very insightful. It affirmed some things that I believe I already personally practice. An example is that I’ve learned to say no when I know my plate is full. Well, the majority of time I do.
It also brought to light some areas where I need more work. I tend to prioritize perfection, for one, at the risk of not giving adequate attention to what I should be prioritizing in life. The first is an unreachable ideal; the second are people.
Unlike other articles I’ve read about the same topic, this one didn’t assume that everyone’s definition of success is the same.
That unique viewpoint is refreshing.
My definition of success doesn’t involve a fixed dollar amount. While I don’t want to live entirely on ramen noodles, I also don’t mind driving an older car, shopping the clearance rack every now and then, and not reaching the top of the corporate ladder.
My definition of success is knowing, without a doubt, that I’m growing.
If you would describe yourself in much the same way, allow me to offer up this follow-up list: 9 Things People Who Continually Want to Grow Won’t Do.
- They won’t remain the same and expect to change at the same time.
- They won’t let mole hills become mountains.
- They won’t use their mouths more than they use their ears.
- They won’t be intimidated by or jealous of the experts (in whatever field); instead, they choose to learn from them.
- They won’t be obsessed with how others perceive them. They know their greatest strengths lie within.
- They won’t allow naysayers to minimize their efforts. The take real and palpable pride in a job well done.
- They won’t check Twitter, Facebook, email, and watch TV simultaneously if they need to focus. Have I mentioned it took me over four hours to write this post? #fail
- They won’t be grouchy. It’s impossible to grow if you’re too busy sucking energy out from everything around you.
- They won’t take life for granted.
It’s worth repeating that last bullet. I’ve had the chance to watch one of my son’s baseball coaches fight cancer and win, only to have the cancer return. His strength and determination astound me. I asked him what piece of advice he would give on this topic and he replied with a (modified) Yogi Berra quote.
BaseballCancer is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
In my mind, he is successful for making a lasting imprint on me and countless others. He refuses to feel defeated in lieu of everything he’s going through. He is growing, moving forward, kicking ass, and taking names.
So I ask you this: What’s your excuse?
Written by Heidi Woodard
It may have taken you four hours to write, but that’s ok since it took me three to read, including Travis’ list as well.
I wrote recently that success is a state of appreciation. I like your definition too.
I’ll add one to your list if I may; they laugh in the face of adversity.
Laughter cures most everything!
Great list, Heidi. Some of those are harder to remember to do on a daily basis than others.
The last bullet is one I am all too familiar with. I try to find a healthy balance between making the most of and enjoying every day as though somebody’s already timestamped my ticket with a departure date, but still making plans as though I am going to live to be 101.
The bullet on your list that has made the most impact on my life is not being grouchy. Realizing I have a choice in my attitude gave me an unbelievable feeling of power over not feeling like a victim of circumstances.
Nobody can MAKE you be angry or crabby. You always have a choice in how you react to other’s behavior. It may be hard to control your initial reaction, but making an active decision to let something go instead of proving you’re right, to let someone else have the last word, to find humor or some tiny shred of goodness in even the most awful situation, to force yourself to physically smile when smiling is the last thing you want to do, making those decisions on a regular basis has changed my life and reduced my stress level ten-fold.
I had you in mind when I wrote a lot of these “Won’ts”…because you have a way of cutting through a lot of life’s clutter to focus on what’s really important.