Real Talk

4 things successful people don’t waste their time on.

One of my new obsessions lately is focusing more on how successful people became so successful – and how I can learn from them. I’ve been reading a lot about how some of my idols like Oprah and Tim Ferriss got successful, and one thing I’m most curious about is how these people get everything done! I’m sure I can’t be the only one who feels like each day flies by, and yet you’re still stuck with an enormous to-do list. Unfortunately, the things that don’t need to get done ASAP – like that new idea you’ve had in the back of your mind for awhile – always seem to get pushed to the bottom of our priority lists. Right?! UGH.

I really want to focus on spending my time more meaningfully, which also means that I need to stop wasting time on certain things that aren’t helping me grow or contributing to my success. So as I’m doing research on some of my favorite peeps, I’m noting what they absolutely don’t waste their time on and honestly, I’m inspired.

Worrying about what others think.

I love this quote from Oprah: “Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others.”

Trust me, I get it – it’s SO hard to not fall into a trap of worrying about what other people think about you. I can especially relate, since I’m constantly putting my silly/crazy/true self out there – never sure what you are going to think about me day in and day out. I’m guilty of letting myself spiral when I read a negative comment or start to feel unsure of myself. But when I stop and think about all the successful people I know, I realized that they don’t spend their time worrying about what others think about them – because they’re too busy building their empires. Mic drop.

Making excuses.

Tim Ferriss came up with the four-hour work week strategy, and he is on point when he claims that you don’t need to be perfect to get started on an idea or a new project. I think we often hold successful people on another level and just assume their success is out of our reach – like maybe we feel like we’re not smart enough or as talented as they are? What sets successful people apart is that they don’t make excuses for why their idea won’t work, or why now isn’t a good time to start. Instead of making excuses for why their ideas won’t work, successful people spend their time trying to chip away at their goals – no matter how out of reach or crazy they may seem at the time. And I love that! Have you read my previous post on excuses?

Letting failure define them.

It’s easy to give up on something you’ve failed at, but next time you think about giving up on an idea you have, know that no great success was ever achieved without failure. For example, did you know that Thomas Edison attempted creating a light bulb 10,000 times before he was successful in making it? LIKE, WHOA! Imagine if he would have given up!? Successful people don’t focus on all the times they’ve failed and they don’t let those times define them. Instead, they focus on how they can learn from their failures – how those failures can help them grow and succeed moving forward.

Focusing on perfection.

This is hard for me to do because I’m a Type A perfectionist. And I hate to say it, but the truth is, you are never going to be perfect – and that’s okay, because none of us are. (Repeating this to myself on the regular.) Successful people don’t set perfection as their target because they know for a fact that it doesn’t exist.

Take Oprah for example – she knew she wasn’t the ideal journalist when she went into the business years ago. But she didn’t let that stop her from trying, and look where she is now. A lot of us don’t go after our goals or follow our passions because we don’t think we are good enough, or perfect enough. We spend our time comparing ourselves to who we think is perfect, and how we’re not able to accomplish what they have because they must be on a whole different level. There’s a saying – practice makes perfect. Hence, if you never work at something, you’ll never master it. So maybe, instead of focusing on perfection we just need to shift our mindset and start to focus on practicing.

Are you guilty of wasting your time on any of these things? What are some traits you’ve noticed in the successful people you know?

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3 thoughts on “4 things successful people don’t waste their time on.

  1. There are so many good points in this post, so many that I can relate to. I just kept nodding my head, yup, yup, yup. I tend to put things off because I want them to be perfect. It’s so hard to look at something I’ve put into the world and see all of its flaws, but it’s so true that we can’t get better if we never get started. Marie Forleo calls it “stucky”– getting stuck because we aren’t willing to suck. I’m working on it! Thanks for the great reminders.

    Liked by 1 person

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