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7 Habits of Unsuccessful People – Sam Breen

Good Habits - Bad HabitsGuest post from Sam Breen, at The Gentleman Life

You want to be successful. I want to be successful. I want you to be successful. And I want you to want to be successful.

So, I took a little inspiration from Stephen R. Covey’s book and added a little twist and instead I have listed 7 habits of unsuccessful people, the habits that are holding you back.

Holding you back from what? You may be asking at this point. The answer:

What you want. What you desire. Your life purpose.

I don’t care what it is, if you completely remove the following habits, you can have whatever you want in life.

Habits are patterns of behavior and they can be hard to break. But taking action and applying self-discipline will help you overcome even the most deeply ingrained habits.

You have to practice the habit consciously before it becomes an unconscious effort (when it becomes easy) there is a great quote I love, although I can’t remember from whom I read it. It goes like this:

Firstly, you form your success habits and then, you let them form you.

If you know who it was, comment and let me know because I’d love to give the appropriate credit. What that means is, after you put in all the conscious effort to make your habit truly effortless, they will form you into an entirely different, more successful person.

Maxwell Maltz stated in his amazing book “Psycho-cybernetics” that habits usually take 21 days to form. Other psychologists have agreed and of course, some have disagreed.

Me? I’m a bit dubious that you can fully form a new habit, and replace an old one in 21 days. In my experience it takes longer than 21 days, depending on the habit you are trying to create and how deeply rooted it is into your behavior.

My advice would be to practice your new habit for 60 days, even if you feel it has become a habit before then, carry it on so the habit becomes stronger and stronger thus making them harder to break.

So, onto the list of habits you need to BREAK!

1. Judging others

People who judge other people are only projecting their insecurities onto the world. People who are comfortable in their own skin have no reason to judge others, they just let them do what they do.

The mental energy that you put into judging other people could be used for a more productive purpose. Instead, Why not take a look at yourself, objectively look at your weaknesses and see how you can change them into strengths? Or take a look are your strengths and see how you can make them even better.

Focus on yourself, and your own success and not other peoples.

What you eat don’t make me shit” – J Cole

Also, the negative feelings you feel towards other people manifest to more negativity in your life. Positivity is the way forward, my friend. Spread the love.

2. Being selfish

If you haven’t read Adam Grant’s book ‘Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success’ I would recommend that you do.

The basis behind the book is simple. Be selfless and help people without wanting anything in return. It’s a simple idea that has a powerful effect because everyone out there is out to get; thus, you immediately stand out if you just give for no reason.

There are very few people who give just to give. Most people only give on a quid pro quo basis.

For the book, Grant did a whole lot of research that found the selfless people (Givers) always out perform the selfish people (Takers) in all industries.

Although, you should never exhaust yourself with too much giving. Grant recommends you have a specified day in which you do all your selfless acts. This way you stick on your own life’s path and are able to accomplish the things you want to accomplish.

If you do too much giving you can find yourself without time to achieve your own goals. It’s not selfish to have your own success as a priority.

3. Procrastination

There is a really great point I want to make. I’ll get to it later.

Just kidding.

Now or never.

This is an obvious barrier to success and it’s the biggest reason that dreams are not fulfilled.

People put off overcoming procrastination. Don’t get me started on the irony of that. It’s time to get up off your ass and achieve all the goals you are destined to achieve.

Start now by watching videos of successful people to help motivate you. Then, treat procrastination as a muscle that you need to develop.

You never train a muscle by doing the heaviest weight in the gym if you’ve never trained before. Why? Because you won’t be able to life it.

The same is with procrastination. Don’t try to go from being a couch potato from ultra-productive overnight. Slowly and gradually build up your workload and you’ll find that in a month or two, you have completely banished procrastination from your life.

4. Waiting for the perfect moment

I’ve put this directly after procrastination for a reason. It is procrastination but on a large scale.

There is no “perfect” moment to start a business, to make a change, to join a gym. You need to throw this excuse from your head and straight into the bin marked “Shit I don’t need”

You can tell yourself “First, I need to get this in order, then I’ll be able to do it” or “I have to know this first before I can tackle that”.

What your doing is just feeding yourself bullshit. The time is now. This moment.

Now. Go. Moments don’t get more perfect than this one right here.

5. Having an ego

As you go through life, there are always going to be people you meet that are probably not as smart as you. That’s a given: There’s always someone smarter than you, and there’s always someone less intellectually talented than you.

You need to realize that even if there not at your IQ level, you can still learn something off them.

You can always learn something off every single person you come into contact with.

Don’t listen to your ego when it says “I’m smarter than this guy, I don’t need his help”.

You can’t know everything. But everyone knows something you don’t, and if you can overcome your ego, you can learn a lot more.

6. Trying to make it alone

This ties in a lot with ego. That’s why its come directly after it.

Success without help is impossible. Understand your weaknesses and employ people that have your weaknesses as their strengths.

Understand that you’re not an expert at everything, but expert help is what you need.

7. Being satisfied

I mentioned this every so briefly in Post New Years Resolutions. And I used a quote that I love, so I’m going to use it again. Okay?

Be happy, but never satisfied” – Bruce Lee

Once you becomes satisfied with whatever point you are in your life, you stop growing. And a law of the universe states that nothing ever remains still. Thus if you’re not going forwards… you’re going backwards. Regressing. Devolving. No longer a badass. Until one day you wake up in dirty underwear surrounded by days old pizza boxes wondering how your life took such a dramatic turn.

Okay, you reached your goals you set. Awesome! Reward yourself, and set new one’s. Always be hungry. Never be satisfied. There are always new levels to reach.

Conquer.

There’s your lucky 7!

I hope you practice what I’ve preached.

Commit the next 60 days to changing any of the above habits you possess. In the mean time I would really appreciate it if you could share the page using on off the buttons below; it really helps us grow!

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing! :)

Love the work – Wally Bock

Love the Work

From Wally Bock‘s excellent Three Star Leadership blog

For about a decade, I did between fifty and a hundred speaking engagements a year to company and association audiences around the world. I met hundreds of people who were top performers in their companies and industries. In some ways they were very different.

They were men and women. They were tall and short and fat and thin and fit and sloppy. Some were educated and sophisticated and others were not. They were farmers and engineers and sales people and teachers and small business owners and big business executives in a variety of industries and a variety of cultures. As different as they were they all had one thing on common.

They loved their work.

That’s powerful stuff. If you love your work, you’re more likely to dive into it enthusiastically. You’re more likely to achieve the magic of flow. You’re more likely to put in the extra time and effort that makes for success.

There are lots of things that go into a happy and successful life. This is an important one.

Love the work.

Don’t think about your next job based on the salary or the benefits or the status. Those are important, but they’ll slide into the murk at the back of your mind when you start the job itself. Then the work will matter and it will matter all day, every day.

Love the work.

Base your career plans on doing work you love. Base your changes in direction on doing work you love. Forget all those peripheral factors.

Love the work.

See more at: www.threestarleadership.com/success/love-the-work

10

The importance of staff training for best internet security practices

Buy-in

The importance of staff training for best internet security practices

In the past, setting up a business was impossible without a brick-and-mortar office. Today, entrepreneurs establish virtual offices and use the internet to coordinate with their employees. Even businesses with old-fashioned offices use the internet to boost sales, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance brand awareness. While the internet offers numerous benefits and advantages, businesses cannot afford to ignore the various perils and dangers online.

Many firms make the mistake of thinking that investing in elaborate and expensive security architecture will provide adequate protection from online risks. However, even the best software programs will prove ineffective if your team is not trained to follow the best internet security practices and procedures.

Leadership

Protecting your firm’s online presence and virtual assets cannot be achieved by threats of disciplinary action alone. Creating the right attitude towards internet security is a matter of sensible leadership and sensitive management. There is no doubt that errant employees who refuse to follow safety procedures should be punished. However, such an approach is unlikely to work in the long run. For a truly effective security setup against online threats, you should inculcate these leadership traits.

Communication

Why is internet security so important? What will happen if your online data gets hacked? How will the long-term prospects of the firm suffer if private user data is leaked online? It is your responsibility as a leader to communicate the consequences of a breach in online security. Simply establishing the ground rules without making an effort to create awareness is not a sustainable solution.

Communication should not be a one-way street. Invite your employees to come up with innovative solutions to minimise online risks. Your employees are more likely to follow online rules if they have a say in the formulation of the best practices. Encouraging people to talk about the importance of online security will ensure your firm’s online credibility is not dependent on just one or two individuals.

Delegation

Many employers make the mistake of centralising the decision-making process for all internet-related activities. This causes employees to simply treat online security as an issue that need not concern them. From the posting of social media updates to handling online orders received by the firm, delegating tasks to your employees will help them implement theoretical rules related to online safety in real life.

Honesty

Even the most security-minded individual may err by opting for a weak and easy-to-remember password instead of a complex and strong one. Be honest enough to confess when you failed to follow your firm’s best security practices. This honesty will instil a sense of camaraderie and ensure there is no distinction between employees and upper management as far as online security is concerned. 

Constructive criticism

What is the point of docking pay or terminating an employee for non-compliance of online safety rules? Such harsh punishments are likely to discourage obedience. Instead, come up with a constructive way to penalise those found guilty of violating the firm’s online safety rules. Encourage your team to determine penalties for errant employees. However, you could impose monetary fines, which will ultimately be used to fund internet security products and services. Think out of the box to ensure your employees never lose focus of the larger picture.

Internet security methods and tactics

Combine sensible leadership with effective tactics and strategies to minimise online safety risks. Some useful security tips include:

  • Frequent password changes with emphasis on strong passwords.
  • Up-to-date antivirus and antimalware programs.
  • A clear and detailed internet usage and virtual assets usage policy.
  • Mutually determined list of prohibited software programs and websites.
  • Use of latest security technologies and protocols.

Consequences of lack of internet security

There was a time when a security lapse would, at the most, result in temporary outage of the company’s website. Today, some potential consequences of security lapses include:

  • Loss of private corporate and customer data.
  • Hacking of social media profiles leading to unauthorised posts and updates.
  • Expensive lawsuits from aggrieved customers and users.
  • Loss of credibility and market reputation.
  • Release of proprietary information and data on the internet.

Conclusion

We are moving towards a world where the Internet of Everything will become a reality. Devices will access the internet automatically and execute automated tasks. For example, printers will place online orders for paper reams to ensure the firm does not run out of paper. In such a scenario, an enthusiastic and security-conscious team will be the last line of defence against various online risks and threats against your organisation.

Win Friends and Customers, by Lawrence J. Bookbinder – book review

Win Friends and Customers

I received this book recently, and enjoyed reading it.

The author, Lawrence J. Bookbinder, Ph.D. practiced clinical psychology for over 30 years, supervised other clinical psychologists, authored and co-authored 10 professional articles, and was made Fellow of the Division of Psychotherapy by the American Psychological Association.

Active listening” is the well-known technique used to feedback what you have heard, to confirm you have understood what the speaker said. That goes a long way towards helping better communication between people.

Bookbinder goes further, and advocates “Empathetic Acknowledgement“, in order to confirm that you understand how the speaker feels. He sees this as the key to better conversation, understanding and engagement, both on a  personal level and more broadly in business.

To quote part of the book blurb on Amazon:

“The good news is that the responses to [Bookbinder’s] workshops and writings taught him that people could win friends and customers from their conversations without knowing how to listen like an expert. To help his readers easily and rapidly learn empathic listening, the author gives a wealth of conversation examples, writes in short paragraphs, uses plain English, and emphasizes bulleted lists”.

I particularly liked the chapters on “Controlling the urge to help” and “Controlling the urge to talk” – both issues I personally struggle with. In the former case, we all have a tendency to try to advise on a future course of action, provide comfort n the case of the other person’s distress, or offer “encouraging” but not terribly helpful noises. Empathetic Acknowledgement, however, encourages the listener to truly get into tune with the speakers feelings, and without interrupting, before jumping into solution mode. Bookbinder also offers helpful exercises to follow to practically aid your skill development.

The author gives examples of personal, one-to-one conversations, as well as more business oriented ones. Grocery shopping, for example!

The book is an easy read, with a logical structure and written in a conversational style. Bookbinder uses lots of bullet points, so it’s pretty easy to pick up the main points on a long flight, or even an evening’s read. Then, the bullets serve as a helpful reference to dip into afterwards. Chapters include:

  • Empathic acknowledging
  • Empathy verses sympathy
  • Moving from no empathy to empathy
  • Listening: empathic verses ordinary
  • Psychological hugs
  • Business success
  • Receiving listening: advantages and disadvantages
  • Giving listening: advantages and disadvantages
  • Controlling the urge to talk

Bookbinder also backs up the book with extensive appendices and research notes, well worth dipping into to get more detail.

There are a lot of “self help” books out there, but I found this one insightful and different. Give it a whirl.