Why You Aren’t As Successful As You Want To Be

You are not as successful as you want to be because you allow distractions into your life.

Facebook status

You are not as successful as you want to be because you are worried that you might miss something.

Google Voice message

You are not as successful as you want to be because your brain is being reward the way low level gamblers’ brains work in Vegas: stimulus – response – occasional reward – til you’re broke. They even have a term for this: “time to extinction.”

Google Reader message

You are not as successful as you want to be because you’re looking at little numbers and wanting to pop them like digital bubble wrap, instead of working on the tasks that have no numbers beside them, but are worth so much more than the number to the right of these words.

Gmail

You are not as successful as you want to be because you haven’t started leading your own game in this case.

Instead

Keep the browser closed, or down to 1 tab total.

Keep your phone set to silent except when YOU need it. If you use Google Voice you can park everyone BUT the school (if you’re worried about kids) or park everyone but the boss (if you’re worried about that kid who pretends to be a grown-up).

Keep your goals in front of you. Always. On stickies. On the wallpaper of your laptop. On 3×5 cards in your wallet or purse. Everywhere. Go so far that you consider tattooing your goals on you.

And publish those goals frequently, even if it’s with just a few close friends. Name those demons. If it’s 30 pounds you have to lose, say 30, not 10. If it’s 100,000 extra dollars you want to make, name it. Break it down by month. Tell yourself how you’re going to hit that number. Visualize all of this. Daily. Incessantly.

If you take your head out of those little numbers, you’ll get a lot more of your head back where it belongs. In the game.

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  • sandrabaptist

    Wow…love this! I am definitely full of distractions. Love the ‘keep the phone to silent’. I always have a problem with calls during the working hours that throw me off the plan for the day.
    I’m going to put a voicemail on my cell re: the hours I take calls and when you can expect s/one to return your call…

  • http://twitter.com/BreRoz Bre Roz [Web Design]

    I love these types of “this is how it is” posts. Thank you. We need tough love sometimes!

  • http://www.softtechinc.com Frank

    Been around 63 years. I still put a prioritized todo list on the wall in front of me each day. Getting the important things done lets you enjoy the after 5 stuff like spending time with your kids. If you don’t do that you will have a wasted life. Just remember the Buddest have a saying for it – “What does it matter – everyone alive today will be dead in 100 years.”

  • Anonymous

    Chris,

    Once again, you nailed it. Distraction is a death knell for creation.

    Do more with less. Focus, and don’t feel guilty for it. Your work will thank you, and in time, so will those who appreciate it.

    Conor

  • http://twitter.com/timbickers Tim Bickers

    I am turning on this thing called a printer and actually printing this out and posting it on my real life “wall.” Kicked my butt today. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/timbickers Tim Bickers

    I am turning on this thing called a printer and actually printing this out and posting it on my real life “wall.” Kicked my butt today. Thank you.

  • http://inspiredgiftgiving.com Marty Herald

    Keeping goals visible at all times is so important – I usually do that pretty well but this month I got side tracked. Just looked at my Feb goals this morning and was stunned to see how few of the targets I’d hit!Determined to create a different outcome in March.

  • http://twitter.com/tceniccola Theresa Ceniccola

    Concise. Powerful. Wisdom. Thx, Chris!

  • http://twitter.com/realtmo Thomas Morgan, CCIM

    Awesome Chris! This made my “rss reader” session today!

  • http://twitter.com/realtmo Thomas Morgan, CCIM

    Awesome Chris! This made my “rss reader” session today!

  • http://www.writewaves.com Eddie

    Worth keeping more than “one tab open” to read (for just a moment though). Bulls-eye, Chris! Thanks.

  • http://twohourblogger.com Martyn Chamberlin

    Chris…

    THIS IS SO TRUE.

    I’ve just been thinking this post today. I spent 8 hours working at a stone mill again. Came home and practiced guitar.

    Meanwhile, I didn’t miss out on anything. I just now checked Twitter and I’m getting caught up on blogs (like yours, heh) but I didn’t “have to be there” or “do this” while working. Walking away from the Internet proves how much you can get done without it. It’s incredible.

    I can spend hours on end chasing stuff on my iPod, and it’s a lot of fun.

    But it doesn’t get anything done.

    And it’s a surefire way to not be successful.

    Chris, you’ve just explained why the Chrome OS will never be used by people who ship. Being constantly connected is evil, not good.

    Your solution is hard. Impossible for most. Ignored by many. Rejected by all.

    So let’s do something different and follow it.

    I’m with you. We’re off to the races!

  • http://twitter.com/buchanan_dunne H Buchanan-Dunne

    A great, straight talking article. Thanks Chris. We are all fighting ADD in this age of technology, when communication tools are working 24/7. There is no such thing as multitasking, we are simply switch tasking as our brains can only focus on one task at a time. The more we switch task, the longer it takes to get the important tasks achieved.

  • DaraBell

    Hi Chris,

    Heres my take on what it takes to be more successful. I feel we are on the cusp of change that will be more rewarding than the first industrial revolution. Right now everyone needs to stop reading books like The Secret and learn about technology.

    If you aren’t as successful as you want to go and pick up up a copy of The Stimilus. See where spending is proposed. See where you fit in that spending cycle. Check how up to date with new technology, platforms, softeware packages etc you actually are. Everything be thorough! Look at trends and data too. Mine the data like no one else!

    If your Gen X you need to learn to lead X. You need to get into their heads! Chances are you will be leading them.

    Thanks

    Dara Bell

  • http://twitter.com/jillelswick Jill Elswick

    Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/jillelswick Jill Elswick

    Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/jillelswick Jill Elswick

    Thank you.

  • http://missionsuntold.com Jordan Monson

    Wonderful post! I’m excited to write my goals down and post them everywhere!

  • http://educlaytion.com/ Clay Morgan

    Boom between the eyes. Man do I love stuff like this. Great reminders. Sharpening the saw baby.

  • http://twitter.com/structurl structurlâ„¢

    awesome. Thanks Chris.

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  • http://twitter.com/brucegodin brucegodin

    truly inspiring post. inspired me to further widdle down my notifications and badges in my dock. i found two really awesome subtle notifications in two apps i use. itsy, a minimalist twitter app with a simple smiley face icon uses a very subtle wink to let you know of new tweets and reeder an rss reader for mac, which has a box icon and has the box fill up with paper when you have new stories. brilliant i think and it has got my excited about subtle unobtrusive notification as an alternative to badges.

  • http://twitter.com/brucegodin brucegodin

    truly inspiring post. inspired me to further widdle down my notifications and badges in my dock. i found two really awesome subtle notifications in two apps i use. itsy, a minimalist twitter app with a simple smiley face icon uses a very subtle wink to let you know of new tweets and reeder an rss reader for mac, which has a box icon and has the box fill up with paper when you have new stories. brilliant i think and it has got my excited about subtle unobtrusive notification as an alternative to badges.

  • http://twitter.com/brucegodin brucegodin

    truly inspiring post. inspired me to further widdle down my notifications and badges in my dock. i found two really awesome subtle notifications in two apps i use. itsy, a minimalist twitter app with a simple smiley face icon uses a very subtle wink to let you know of new tweets and reeder an rss reader for mac, which has a box icon and has the box fill up with paper when you have new stories. brilliant i think and it has got my excited about subtle unobtrusive notification as an alternative to badges.

  • Kym

    I just did this recently… I drew out my goals and I look at it everyday to remind myself of where I want to be. Thanks for this post! :)

  • http://poder5.blogspot.com Prometeo

    I’m currently using the “stickies” to remind me of things I still have to do and my goals. Thanks for teaching.

  • http://poder5.blogspot.com Prometeo

    I’m currently using the “stickies” to remind me of things I still have to do and my goals. Thanks for teaching.

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  • http://www.chriscorbin.me Chris Corbin

    Exactly! It reminds me of the John Wooden quote: “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    One tab? that is going to be though!! Let me try this tomorrow! :)

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    One tab? that is going to be though!! Let me try this tomorrow! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jarod-GotDreams/100000126688955 Jarod GotDreams

      You’ll probably forget tomorrow, do it NOW.

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    One tab? that is going to be though!! Let me try this tomorrow! :)

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    One tab? that is going to be though!! Let me try this tomorrow! :)

  • Kate

    Thanks for another smack upside the head, Chris. I needed it! The bit about gamblers’ brains put it over the edge for me. I CAN control this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jarod-GotDreams/100000126688955 Jarod GotDreams

    I think this is a good post cuz people DO forget their goals often. Well, personally, this is based off of my own experiences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jarod-GotDreams/100000126688955 Jarod GotDreams

    I think this is a good post cuz people DO forget their goals often. Well, personally, this is based off of my own experiences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jarod-GotDreams/100000126688955 Jarod GotDreams

    I think this is a good post cuz people DO forget their goals often. Well, personally, this is based off of my own experiences.

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  • http://www.thishomebelongsto.com Emily Stearley

    I’m going to print this out and pin it to my shirt.

  • http://www.simplyinvesting.com KS

    Great article Chris! You forgot one though….

    “You are not as successful as you want to be because you forget to treat others with respect and don’t give people the benefit of the doubt.”

  • http://www.simplyinvesting.com KS

    Great article Chris! You forgot one though….

    “You are not as successful as you want to be because you forget to treat others with respect and don’t give people the benefit of the doubt.”

  • http://www.davidlamorte.com David LaMorte

    I am not successful because I want to be good at everything and I don’t focus on what I’m actually good at.

  • http://www.brandonmeves.com brandonmeves

    this is great – applies to real life/real job too. and i mean “real”. Need to shut that outlook down and stop looking at the numbers of emails or number of people on chat and just work work work.

  • Anhelina

    it’s a pity, that we read this kind of stuff and forget it again. then in several months someone will write an inspiring note, we read it, think we have to act like that and forget again!((
    But thanks for a reminder!

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  • d_ditsch

    it is so easy to be bogged down by distractions especially now as I work in government. i’m going to share this article with friends. thank you for sharing the strategies to keep the distractions at bay.

  • http://www.theinternettimemachine.com Vee Sweeney

    I often lose focus because I find myself wanting to do so many different things. Due to this, I think having a schedule and daily goals is just as important as writing down long term goals. Half the time it’s easy to forget about what needs to get done today because people are so worried about what needs to get done tomorrow.