Highly effective people, you know the sort. They’re always getting stuff done and having a good time doing it.
Annoying, aren’t they?
What’s so wrong with being ineffective anyway? Other than not getting stuff done and not having fun doing it, it’s pretty peachy. Why can’t they be like the rest of us?
Actually, maybe being highly ineffective isn’t all that great after all. Maybe things would be a little better if we dropped the habits (like these seven) that highly effective people never picked up in the first place.
1. They don’t see failure as the end.
For many, screwing up is the end of an endeavor. Give something a shot, see it fail (sometimes spectacularly) and give up.
Failure is not an end point, it’s a fresh opportunity. You can try things a different way. You can tackle things with a new approach. You can explore things with an open mind.
Failure is just the start.
2. They don’t busy themselves with stuff that doesn’t matter.
Life is filled with distractions. There’s gossip to catch up on, that new box set to watch, and Facebook and Twitter aren’t exactly going read themselves, are they?
It’s easier than ever to occupy your time, but people who make wonderful things happen don’t simply pour their time down the drain. They choose how they spend it.
Make a deliberate choice to spend time productively engaging in something that matters to you. You’ll see how much of a gift the time you have really is.
3. They don’t blame others when things go wrong.
Life has too many variables for everything to work out perfectly. When things don’t go to plan it’s really tempting to blame everything and everyone else. He didn’t do what he was supposed to. They just didn’t get it. She should have done that better. The timing’s all wrong. They let me down.
But all that gets you is the notion that you’re in the right, often at the cost of some happiness, joy or learning.
Always be ready to let go of the need to be right (or to be seen as right), and own your part however things turn out.
4. They don’t pull back from the edges.
When you’re at the edge of the unknown it’s natural to want to turn back to the familiar. It’s safe there. You know how things work there. You can be sure of yourself.
Of course, a life lived within the bounds of the familiar is not a life lived at all. Each time you turn away from risk, opportunity or possibility, you lose a piece of your self-confidence. Eventually, you’ll lose all heart and promise.
Take a deep breath, summon your courage and be willing to explore what’s next for you.
5. They don’t just drift from one thing to another.
Life has a way of carrying you on its ebb and flow doesn’t it? Before you know it, another year has passed and you’ve barely scratched the surface of what you wanted to do.
While being a goal-obsessed, hustling automaton isn’t recommended, neither is purposeless drifting. What matters then is context.
Give your behavior, choices and actions a sense of direction toward something that matters to you and you’ll be able to make a difference in ways that matter.
6. They don’t take on the world by themselves.
Doing something that matters, finishing a project or creating something wonderful takes time and effort. Sometimes, huge amounts of each.
In today’s world where we’re increasingly measured and judged by arbitrary measures of success and what we appear to achieve, it’s easy to think that it’s all on you. You toil. You work. You endure. You think taking it all on is what strong people do.
That’s nonsense, of course. Sometimes, seeking help and gathering support is the bravest, smartest and most effective thing to do. The most meaningful success isn’t achieved in isolation.
7. They don’t get consumed by the details.
I can’t believe she said that. You’ll never guess what he did. Why can’t they just sort it out? I don’t want to feel like this any more. You simply don’t get it. She went and did it. Who do you think you are?
Too many people spend the bulk of their time wrapped up in the drama and detail of their lives and they forget all about the beauty and possibility right in front of them.
That drama and detail might make a good TV storyline, if you’re into that sort of thing, but it will only hold you down and stop you from productively engaging in what matters
If you want to stand any chance of making wonderful things happen you need to stop being ineffective and drop these seven habits that highly effective people don’t have. You’re made of more. Just let it go.
Ineffective or effective. The choice between them is, as it always has been, is entirely up to you.