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13 Things That Successful People Don’t Do (#7 is so right)

successful people don't do

If you search on the web or read the books, you will discover a lot of information covered on what successful people or how to become successful. But most people don’t cover what successful people don’t do. And this is what you are going to find out from this article.

In this article, we are going to talk about the 13 things that highly successful people don’t do in both their personal and professional life. Check out this list.

1. Successful people don’t dwell in the past

First, successful people will not dwell on their past. They make mistakes and they fail, but they don’t dwell on their past.

They will never let their past to dictate their future. Look at Steve Jobs. When he was fired from Apple, the company that he started, he felt devasted and a big let-down.

However, after taking some time off, he decided to start over again. He made mistakes, he failed, he was rejected, but he didn’t dwell on the past. Jobs chose to move on to create the future that he envisioned. He chose his passion, not his past.

You should do the same. Don’t dwell on your past.

Your background doesn’t matter. You can come from a poor family, you can be illiterate, and you can make a lot of mistakes and have failed many times in life, but you should dwell on them.

Decide to move on and choose to start over again. That’s what successful people will do.

2. Successful people don’t fear change

Do you fear change? Successful people don’t fear change. In fact, many highly successful people welcome change.

This is because changes bring both the good and the bad. And because successful people are positive and they focus on the good side, they welcome change and they don’t fear it.

Change means opportunity. If you compare the world today and the world a hundred years ago, there are more millionaires than ever. People can make a huge fortune from change.

One more thing, we can’t stop the change. No matter how much we hate it, change will come. It will occur no matter how.

Thus, rather than fearing change and resist it, choose to welcome it with both arms open.

Choose to adapt to the situation, change accordingly, and grow to fit in the challenges. This reminds me of one of the most inspirational quotes from Charles Darwin:

So be the most adaptable to change. Look for the positive. And my friend, don’t be afraid to change.

3. Successful people don’t abuse their power

Successful people understand that they get to where they are because others are willing to help them.

They understand that success cannot be accomplished just by themselves. They need help and support from others to get to where they want to be.

And thus, they don’t abuse their power. Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world says it wisely:

Hence, successful people don’t do things that are going to destroy their business and reputation. They don’t abuse their powers even when they are the leaders in their organizations.

People who abuse their power and misuse it will not stay on top for long.

Always remember this:

4. Successful people don’t waste time and energy on things that don’t matter

Successful people don’t spend their nights watching TV or waste their time on social media. They choose to use their time and work on their goals.

If you don’t spend time working on your goals, you will end up working on someone else’s goals.

According to MuscleProdigy.com, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, swims a minimum of 80,000 meters a week in his peak training phases.

And that 80,000 meters a week is equivalent to nearly 50 miles. Phelps practiced twice a day, sometimes more when he’s on the peak state. He trains for around 5 to 6 hours at 6 days a week.

Haruki Murakami, the famous and best-selling Japanese author is another great example who works hard and doesn’t waste time on things that don’t matter.

According to BrainPickings, this is what Haruki Murakami said in an interview:

“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”

In short, no pain, no gain. If you want to achieve great success in life, you must be willing to work hard for it.

Therefore, stop wasting time and energy on things that don’t matter.

Choose to put your time and focus your energy on your goals and create the future that you want.

5. Successful people don’t really care about what others think

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that successful people don’t listen to others or they don’t take advice from others.

All I’m trying to say is that successful people ignore the naysayers. They believe in their dreams and they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

Thus, successful people don’t listen to people who tell them otherwise. They don’t listen to people who believe in the dreams.

One of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules to success is to ignore the naysayers. He said that he will never listen to people who tell him that his dreams are impossible.

When Arnold decided to make it in the bodybuilding industry, many people told him that it is impossible, but he did it.

And after Arnold achieved the success he desired in his bodybuilding career, he wanted to get involved in the movie industry as an actor. Again, people told him that his body was too bulky and that his name was too difficult to pronounce.

Did he listen to them? No, not at all. Arnold chose to ignore them and work hard on his dream. Eventually, he made it big and achieved great success as a Hollywood actor.

Sometimes, you don’t want to listen or care too much about what others say. Just follow your dreams and work on your passion.

6. Successful people don’t wait for the perfect moment

Yes, successful people don’t wait for the perfect moment and you don’t have to be the same too.

There is no such thing as a perfect moment. Just take action and work on it right now.

When Apple first launched the first iPhone, it was far from perfect. Yet, they launched it because they understood that they don’t have to wait for it to be perfect.

They just need to get it going and improve along the way. And this is how you should approach everything in your life too.

There is no perfect moment, you just need to get it going. You learn along the way and improve as you go.

Albert Einstein once said:

And you can’t learn how to ride a bike by reading a book or attending a seminar. You learn to ride a bike by going through the process.

Of course, sometimes you go too far left, sometimes you go too far right, and sometimes you crash. But you can always get back up, learn, and improve to ride better.

Thus, be like successful people, don’t wait for the perfect moment because it will never come. Just do it now.

7. Successful people don’t do it solely for the money

Do you work for the money? Successful people don’t.

X.com was an online bank founded by Elon Musk in 1999. It was one of the world’s first online banks. In 2000, X.com merged with PayPal and was then bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

If Elon Musk is chasing the money, he could just stop when he earned $165 million from the deal. However, Musk did not pursue the money, as a result, he started SpaceX and Tesla.

Successful people don’t do it for the money. They do it for the passion, the dreams, and the vision.

According to this article from StraitsTimes, Lee Ka Sing, Hong Kong’s richest man, announced his retirement at the age of 89.

Think about it, Lee is on the top 10 richest Chinese, why does he want to work until age 89 only to announce his retirement? If he is working for the money, he can retire many years earlier, but he did not.

The truth is that successful people don’t do it for solely for the money. Yes, making millions is good, but money is just a score.

Successful people chase the dreams, not the money.

So let your dreams, your passion, and your vision drive you, not the money.

8. Successful people don’t fear risk

Risk is contextual and successful people understand this. And thus, they don’t fear risk.

If you have never driven an F1 race car before, do you think that driving it at 200km/h is going to be risky?

Yes, it is risky because you are not a trained driver. What if Michael Schumacher is the one behind the wheel? Is it risky now? No, not at all, right?

Hence, risk is contextual. If you have no idea how to invest in the stock market, pouring all your hard-earned money into it is risky.

But if you are a seasoned investor like Warren Buffett, it may not be risky. This is because Buffett has the experience and he understands what he is doing.

Therefore, successful people don’t fear risk. They know that risk is contextual and as long as they become better, they can lower the risk.

You should do the same by constantly learning and improving yourself.

When you get better, you lower the risk. When you have no idea what you are doing, the risk will be high.

9. Successful people don’t shy away from making mistakes

Highly successful people are people who learn from their past mistakes, but they try NOT to repeat the same mistakes again in the future.

In fact, successful people welcome mistakes and failures. They know that they learn the most when they make mistakes and experience failures.

Thomas Edison, the famous inventor said it wisely:

This article from the BufferApp blog provides some very good insights on why successful people crave mistakes.

Scott Adams, the famous cartoonist who created Dilbert said that we should not shun from making mistakes, but seeking it out so that we are more likely to find success. This is what he said:

“The universe has plenty of luck to go around; you just need to keep your hand raised until it’s your turn. It helps to see failure as a road and not a wall.”

Mistakes and failures can be a good experience. And your experience can determine the success you get in life.

Hence, don’t shy away from making mistakes. Be willing and open to making mistakes and learning from them.

Turn your mistakes into the experience. And your experience will determine your success.

10. Successful people don’t give up

Do I need to say more about this? Successful people just don’t give up. If they give up, they are not going to be successful.

Remember this, “A winner will never quit and a quitter will never win.”

If you quit, you waste all the time and effort that you have poured in. But if you continue to move forward, improve, and keep on taking action, you stand a chance to create the result you want.

Success is all about never giving up, my friend.

Don’t give up no matter what happens. The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.

So if you want to be successful, don’t give up.

11. Successful people don’t blame and make lousy excuses

Another thing that successful people don’t do is that they don’t blame and make lousy excuses.

This is because people who blame and give excuses are people who are not successful.

When you blame, you are giving away the power to take charge of the situation.

Think about it, if you blame and say that it is someone else’s fault, what can you do about it to change the situation? Nothing.

However, when you take full responsibility, you become in control. And when you are in control, you can change the situation.

For instance, if you are in business and your business is not doing well, you can choose to blame the economy. But if you do that, guess what can you change to improve the economy? Nothing.

Since it is the economy’s fault, there is nothing you can do about it. However, when you take full responsibility for your business, you operate from a different perspective.

Instead of blaming the economy, you can then do something to increase sales because it is your responsibility and you are in charge.

After Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, he could choose to play the blame game and make excuses to say that it wasn’t fair. But he did not.

Jobs chose to take the responsibility and focus on what he could do, not what he couldn’t. This was how Jobs ended up started NeXT. And when Apple bought NeXT, Jobs returned to Apple.

So don’t blame and make excuses because they are not going to help you in reaching your goals.

12. Successful people don’t focus on the negative

Besides not making excuses and playing the blame game, successful people don’t focus on the negatives too.

Do you know that Walt Disney was fired from one of his first animation jobs at the Kansas City Star newspaper because his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”?

Luckily, Disney did not buy into the idea that he was not creative. Instead, he chose to look at the positive and work on his dreams.

Do you know that when you focus on the negative, your mind automatically shuts off all possible solutions and pay attention only to the problem?

I strongly suggest you read this article, The #1 Benefit Of Positive Thinking According To Research.

When you focus on the negative like a problem, your mind fixates on it and it becomes the only thing that matters to you.

As a result, you fail to realize other possibilities and solutions that are available to you.

This is why people who are negative can hardly be successful.

13. Successful people don’t shun growth

Most successful people are open for growth. They read books, they attend seminars, and they network with other successful people to learn from each other.

The only way to get away from where you are right now to where you want to be is through growth.

If you are living in poverty right now or if you are deeply in debt, it doesn’t matter because your problems can be temporary.

What you need to do then is to accept growth. Learn, improve yourself, and build better characters so that you can get away from your current situation.

If you want to improve and live a better life, you need to commit to constant-and-never-ending-improvement.

You must be willing to learn and the easiest way to do this is through reading.

Therefore, commit yourself to read at least a book a month. Make it your habit to read because reading can open your mind to a whole new world.

Successful people don’t afraid of growth. They crave it because they know the better they become, the more they can achieve.

Conclusion

If you want to be successful, don’t do these things that successful people refuse to do:

  1. Dwell in the past
  2. Fear and afraid to change
  3. Abuse your power
  4. Waste time and energy on menial things
  5. Care too much about what others say and think
  6. Wait for the perfect moment
  7. Do it solely for the money
  8. Fear risks
  9. Shun making mistakes
  10. Give up and quit too soon
  11. Blame and make lousy excuses
  12. Think and focus on the negative
  13. Stay away from growth

I hope this article gives you an insight into what successful people don’t do.

So are you doing any of the above don’t do’s?

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About Shawn Lim

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Active Goal Setting? Don't forget to do so. :)

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