Leading a life of success comes from doing the right things. It starts with making choices based on "bone-deep, intuitive goodness," according to Tim Eskew. Setting authentic goals and working hard are also critically important. Robin Camarote says, "Rarely do reliable go-getters stumble into exceptional circumstance."
Living the life you've imagined is entirely possible. But it means avoiding missteps that can have regrettable consequences.
Here are 12 things dynamic, focused individuals refuse to do.
1. Limit themselves to other people's definitions of success.
To many, success equals money, fame, a corner office, or a fancy car. People who truly thrive dig a little deeper when considering their own success as a mixture of many elements: the satisfaction of making a difference, fulfilling a long-held desire, blazing a trail, and investing in important relationships.
2. Lose sight of their goals.
Leaders are relentlessly dedicated to their passion and don't let others' expectations or opinions dissuade them. They understand that pleasing everyone is impossible, so they don't waste their energy trying.
3. Succumb to boredom.
These individuals are continuously curious about the world. They don't allow complacency and are constantly seeking ways to improve. They actively pursue new challenges, they seek out fresh ideas, and they are open to other ways of doing things. They are always learning, regardless of their age or status.
4. Neglect to take care of themselves.
The most successful people place a priority on their health and well-being. At the risk of sounding like a fitness commercial, they eat right, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep, because they understand that these actions are necessary to help them function at their optimum level.
They don't make the mistake of placing their well-being last on their priority list.
5. Think they can do it all.
They know their strengths and weaknesses. They play to their strengths and surround themselves with others who can compensate for things they just aren't good at. For example, a successful person who is great at networking but struggles with putting her thoughts onto paper will free herself to do what she is good at and hire a writer to assist with communications.
They've learned that not only do they not have to complete every task themselves, but that it's impossible to do so. They focus on areas where their talents can have the greatest impact.
6. Ignore boundaries.
They have a strong sense of priorities and aren't swayed by the pressure to get off track. Likewise, they respect the boundaries of others and understand the difference between reasonable expectations and impositions, both for themselves and those they interact with.
7. Jump into the drama.
Whether it's gossip, rumors, or speculation, they avoid toxic people's rhetoric. They know the difference between listening to a friend's personal crisis and getting involved in vitriol about someone they have never met or aimless complaints from a person who has no intention of helping themselves.
8. Seek external approval.
Successful people aren't concerned with self-promotion. They also don't shy away from making tough, unpopular decisions. They simply don't preoccupy themselves with what others think of them.
They consider multiple sources of information when making a decision, but ultimately they are guided by their internal compass to determine the right course of action.
9. Live in the past.
Rather than beating themselves up over previous mistakes, they focus on learning from them instead of second-guessing themselves. They know how to redirect their thoughts instead of replaying the histrionic details of something that is over and done with.
If they mess up, they apologize, do what they can to fix the problem, take steps to prevent it from happening again, and ultimately, move on.
10. Bog down in minutiae.
They understand that there are limits to their time and energy, so they expend them wisely. As big-picture people, they don't get mired down in details others can attend to, but keep their focus on long-term goals and communicating their vision to the team.
11. Wait until conditions are perfect to take action.
These individuals know that if they wait until the stars align to pursue their ambitions and dreams, they will never get started. The best time to begin is usually now, learning as they go.
12. Think they are in it only for themselves.
Truly successful people aren't mavericks who go it alone, personally or professionally. Service to others is at the heart of everything they do.
They make room in their schedules for their biggest priorities, whether that involves a child's birthday party, date night with their spouse, or celebrating a victory with their team at work. They see a higher purpose in their efforts and use their hard-won experience and wisdom to lift others up.