Instead of shuffling through reams of articles and books on “how to become more productive” and/or “how to become more successful,” take a short cut and read this list of 12 life/career lessons taken from some 20 expert-level producers/successes.

These lessons have the potential to work wonders in both your working and your personal lives.

1. Confidence is the building block to success. Take a look at successful people…they exude confidence. The more competent and skilled they become, the more risks they become willing to take, the more confident they become. Even when confident people fail, and they do over and over again, they keep putting themselves on the line because they are confident they will eventually succeed. Confident people seek challenges, not comfort zones.
2. Know that you live the life you have created for yourself. It is always better to be standing at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than being at the top of a ladder you don’t.
3. Being busy is no the same as being productive. Dedicate your efforts to tasks that get results. Know the difference between texting and doing.
4. The people you choose to be around and associate with define you. Choose to associate with people you respect and want to emulate, not people those who drag you down, make you feel anxious, make you feel worthless.
5. Silence negative self talk. Most of our negative thoughts about ourselves are just thoughts, not facts. Write down those negative thoughts and take a look at them…are they really true?
6. Forget about asking yourself, “What if?” Instead, channel your thoughts into strategic plans that will help you implement the “Now What” future you want for yourself.
7. Make sure you schedule both exercise and sleep every day. Exercise is an immediate endorphin fueled stimulant and sleep is an essential requirement needed to recharge your brain, body and emotions.
8. Seek out situations/experiences that offer potential victories and then celebrate those victories once you’ve earned them. Victories and celebrations feed dopamine into your brain. Once your body begins to experience those “kicks,” it will want more of them.