Successful individuals do well in the don'ts of life


POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009

In my last two columns, I shared 16 time-saving tactics of successful people. In this column, I'd like to share 10 things successful people DON'T do. Successful people:

1. Don't major on the minors. Don't waste time on those unimportant, unessential things that are not relevant to your life or work.

In “;The Purpose-Driven Life,”; Rick Warren writes, “;It's human nature to get distracted by minor issues. We play Trivial Pursuit with our lives.”; Determine what's important and meaningful to you. Weigh how much time and effort you've put into something and compare it with the result or satisfaction you get from it.

2. Don't procrastinate on things that are important. Accomplishment requires action. There's always a price to pay for procrastination, and that price could be your success. Let your desire for success and progress be greater than the urge to procrastinate.

3. Don't try to be perfect in everything. Although we might like to do all things to perfection, in today's busy world there isn't enough time or energy to do this. Thankfully, not everything we do needs to be a masterpiece.

Be perfect in those areas that demand perfection (i.e. taxes, legal and financial matters). Identify those things for which “;good enough is good enough.”;

4. Don't focus only on themselves. Make it a habit to express appreciation, give credit where credit is due, and do what you can to help others succeed.

5. Don't compare themselves with others. There will always be people who are better than you are, and that can make you bitter. And there will always be those who are worse than you, and that can make you vain. Any way you look at it, being bitter and vain is a bad combination!

6. Don't fill their lives so full that there's no margin for peace or relaxation. Just as it would be difficult to read a book that has no margins or paragraph breaks — one that has text filling the entire page — so is a life that is crammed too full with work and other activities. Be sure to leave margins in your life. For well-being it's a necessity, not a luxury!

7. Don't always stay in their comfort zone. Too often we get too comfortable where we are and don't enlarge our boundaries and abilities. There isn't anyone who isn't capable of doing or being more.

Dare to venture out and be all that you can be. According to Erica Jong, “;If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.”; Eleanor Roosevelt said, “;You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”; If we're afraid to do something, sometimes we just have to “;do it afraid.”;

8. Don't give up. There is a saying that “;if at first you don't succeed, you're about average.”; We need to go beyond that first attempt. The more we persevere, the closer we get to our goal. According to famed football coach Vince Lombardi, “;The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”;

9. Don't let one incident ruin the entire day. Don't let something that happened this morning ruin your entire day, and definitely not something that happened yesterday or last week! Let bygones be bygones.

10. Don't always take themselves too seriously. Cultivate the ability to laugh at yourself. Nobody's perfect all the time. Find the humor in what happened. Someone has said, “;He who can laugh at himself will never lack for amusement.”; Perhaps we might be our own best source of amusement!

According to professional golfer Arnold Palmer, “;The road to success is always under construction.”; That being so, the good news is that we are all “;works in progress”;!

Roget's Thesaurus gives the following synonyms for success: fruition, prosperity, mastery, triumph, victory, accomplishment, achievement, attainment and advance progress.

I wish you “;advance progress”; in your life and quest for success!

See you in three weeks!


Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Her column runs the second and fourth Mondays of each month. E-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).