“I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.”
— Jonas Salk
Each day, we dream about the things we want to achieve. One of the reasons we do this is because we have an innate desire to be useful at something and when we are not, we feel lost and insignificant. The simple fact is, what you do in your everyday life is either helping you in your journey or causing you to regress in some way. Until you take time to identify and evaluate your daily habits, you may continue to keep dreaming but still feel lost.
Here are three habits that stop you from achieving your goals in life:
1. Loafing, otherwise known as wasting time.
One of the hardest parts of achieving anything worthwhile is doing the actual work. Let’s say you tell yourself you’re going to finish writing a presentation for your board meeting on Monday. But before you settle down to write, you go look out the window, grab a cup of coffee, and run some errands. You get back to your desk and now you’re hungry. So you go and grab a snack and chat with a friend. Oh, but now is 6:00 in the evening and you’re so sleepy that a nap might make you write fast and better. So there you go…head hits the pillow.
Wasting time, procrastinating, and making excuses eventually turns into aimless and mindless wandering. And keeping up this behavior is only going to solidify the fact that nothing gets done and that you ultimately achieve nothing in life. It’s already been said a million times that time is precious and the only way to make good use of the time you’re given is to dive right into projects no matter how long or difficult they are. Achievement usually comes after a long period of hard, tumultuous labor.
2. Talking about what you’re going to do.
You’ve been around these people, I’m sure. They talk endlessly about their goals, their dreams, their hopes, and their wishes. Most of their time is spent talking about what they’re going to do — they’re going to do this or they’re going to do that. They’re going to go here or they’re going to go there. They’re going to make this thing happen or bring this other thing to fruition. And for most of these people, it never pans out because they’ll talk until they’re blue in the face but won’t lift a shovel to move the dirt.
This is why employers ask potential employees for a resume. A resume reveals a track record. It says very little about what you’re going to do and a whole lot about what you have done. Why? Because the proof is ultimately in the pudding. If you’ve been good at getting something done before, perhaps, you’ll be just as good if not better at doing it now. Here’s a good rule of thumb: Keep your goals mostly to yourself. Talking about your goals only takes more time from actually achieving them. So zip up that big mouth of yours and get to work.
3. Assuming consumption is production.
We all consume things — television shows, fast food, sodas and energy drinks, stuff, stuff, and more stuff. We are consumers by nature, but we rarely think about the things we actually consume. Everything we consume shapes how we think, act, and live. Whether we want it to or not, it determines the direction of our lives. With so much time spent on taking in things, is it any wonder that we lack balance, produce so little and thus achieve nothing more?
Output should always be greater than input. While all of the world can be labeled consumeristic, very few people are actually productive. We must never make the mistake of assuming that all our possessions actually mean we have been productive. We may have worked harder to make more money to gain more stuff but not actually been productive which is defined as inventing, creating, or otherwise giving rise to something for which the greater population will hopefully thank you for. Production is where we obtain the most value, where we feel the most fulfilled, and eventually where we receive the greatest return on our investment.
“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”
— Norman Vincent Peale