Ever become overwhelmed with the reams of books and advice columns about how to become successful?  There seem to be so many things to do and not do that it sometimes feels that the only real option is to not do anything at all.  Maybe, just maybe, looking at it the other way, the way of avoiding things that make us unsuccessful, could be less overwhelming and/or more effective.

Doing these seven things will pretty much insure that you will not be successful.  Avoid them and who knows what will happen…perhaps, success?

  1.  Spend all your time discussing problems and why they can’t be solved.  Without spending any time on analyzing the problems, you’ll never come to any solutions or improvements and you’ll always be unsuccessful.
  2. Don’t bother learning anything you don’t already know.  With “big data” almost doubling every two years, you’ll always be left behind and ignorant of anything but your pre-existing knowledge and skill sets.  And, you’ll always be unsuccessful.
  3. Never enjoy solitude or being alone.  Always need to be with other people in order to feel supported.  Forget about the fact that all of us are on our own individual journey, that often we have no partners in whatever it is we’re doing or thinking and that having/utilizing alone time is an honored tradition of reflecting on our goals/strengths/weaknesses.  Without solitude or alone time, you’ll always be unsuccessful.
  4. Be unwilling and/or too afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes and failing are inevitable.  Trying to avoid them is a complete waste of time.  Avoiding mistakes prevents you from seeking/reaching new opportunities and…you’ll always be unsuccessful.
  5. Be a slave to instant pleasure/instant gratification.  Forget about having to make necessary long term sacrifices that may lead to achieving your goals.  Just go for instant rewards and you’ll always be unsuccessful.
  6. Live in the past and/or the future, never in the present.  Living in the past lets you think about what could or should have been and lets you blame others for what didn’t happen.  Living in the future lets you hope that the future will be better without having to do anything to make it better.  Either way, living in the present is just too hard and requires too much responsibility.  Don’t do it…and you’ll never be successful.
  7. Love competing with and comparing yourself to others.  Keep focusing on beating or becoming another person.  That way you won’t have to think about recognizing, acknowledging and developing your own strengths.  And, you’ll always be unsuccessful.

One last thing…Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Don’t take that phrase to heart and you’ll never be successful.