There are many different versions of success and one person’s dream might be another’s nightmare. Regardless of how you define success, here are five things that truly successful people just don’t care about.
5 things successful people don’t care about
1. What others think they should do
Perhaps your parents had dreams of you being a lawyer or doctor. Perhaps your best friend wants to start a business with you. Perhaps you’ve been offered various pieces of advice on the routes you should take and the decisions you should consider.
Successful people understand that no one else’s intentions matter for their own journey, however well meaning they are. They know what they want to achieve and how they will achieve it and they ask for specific advice when required. They know that just because Pete thinks they should lower their prices and Gary thinks they should raise them, that Louise thinks they should offer a wider variety and Lara thinks they should specialise, it’s all irrelevant without a complete understanding of their goals, their values, and what they’re optimising for. Successful people decide what they should do, ask for the specific guidance they need, and then act on it.
2. Grandiose plans
I have been on judging panels for business awards and filtered applications full of intentions, goals and projections. When reading one submission written entirely in future tense, I realised that once I discounted everything that hadn’t actually happened, there was nothing left. Nothing tangible and certainly nothing worthy of an award.
Successful people know that grandiose plans and hype about what they hope to achieve one day is irrelevant, so they don’t talk about it. They see past it when others do. They know that plans can easily fall through and people can change their minds. They know much that is discussed never comes to fruition and they don’t want to be seen as someone who promises and doesn’t deliver. Instead, they put the work in and they share news when it’s finalised and not before.
There’s a difference between ambition and achievement and each can exist without the other. Ambition without achievement means there’s work still to be done.
5 things successful people don’t care about
3. Minor actions
Successful people are where they are because they have differentiated between little things and big things, where little things are admin tasks, pointless activities and other people’s priorities and big things are projects and actions that really make a difference. Doing small things leads nowhere significant, doing big things leads to greatness.
They know the difference between important and urgent and they attack their to-do list starting with what will make the most difference, not what is easiest to tick off. Perhaps they’re sluggish submitting expense claims or clearing their inbox and their house is a mess but they sure know how to produce exceptional results. Successful people measure success in terms of output and effectiveness, not busyness or other metrics that mask truly making a difference.
4. Being right
Successful people do not care about always being right. In fact, they want to be proven wrong. They want to hear other perspectives and to learn and hold a mindset that can adapt and grow. They love being challenged and their opinions are loosely held and open to modifications.
Successful people know the true value of their time and can walk away from a situation that’s escalating into unnecessary conflict. They don’t look for fights and abrasiveness is a tool only used if absolutely necessary. They know that it’s impossible to ever win an argument and they don’t crave debates because they know no side will ever change their mind. They can agree to disagree and leave it there without losing any sleep and having the last word isn’t something they seek.
5. Pleasing everyone
Successful people are fully aware of what’s stealing their time and have no qualms about saying no to those things. They are comfortable with leaving WhatsApp groups, turning down events, speaking gigs, podcast invitations and habits that don’t serve them and they know that it’s not personal and those who know them will understand.
They know that their biggest assets are their time and energy and they guard both carefully. When they choose to get involved they do it wholeheartedly; it’s either 100% commitment or none at all.
Successful people don’t care about what others think they should do, because they are intentional about their journey and know when they need a second opinion. They don’t care about grandiose plans but they love concrete outcomes, inspiration and success stories. They ignore the small things in favour of the actions that truly make a difference. They make no attempt to always be right and they don’t mind saying no