Article Review – 9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People

One of my favorite articles that I’ve read on INC.com is this gem by Jeff Haden. Titles with a defined numbered list, such as “56 Ways To Get A Raise” or the “18 of Ways To Retire Young”, always catch my attention, but I’m usually letdown by how amateur-ish the list is, however, this enumerated list is superb.

9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People by Jeff Haden on Inc.com

— STOP and read Jeff’s post before continuing–

As you read, Jeff broke down the perspectives and beliefs of the successful people that he knows into the following heirarchy.

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time. – It’s no coincidence that this is the number 1 item in Jeff’s list. High performance individuals are like machines; they are always doing. My father telling me to: “Just shut up and do it”, comes to mind. If sitting on the couch all day sounds like a great way to spend your days then forget being remarkable.

2. The people around me are the people I chose. – You are the company you keep. Period. The part of #2 which I liked the most was his mention of personal responsibility, which he addresses again in #6. Personal responsibility and ownership of what happens in your life is vitally important to your mental state and removes you from the “victim mentality” that will ultimately paralyze you into inaction.

3. I have never paid my dues – This one reminded me a lot of my father. He is always busting his ass doing tasks that I think are too menial for him, his actions remind me of great generals who fought on the front lines with their soldiers.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything. – Actually, I think this applies to college degrees or academic education in generalas well. Success is ultimately a culmination of accomplishments, and I would never turn away someone without a college degree that knew how to get stuff done. The fact that someone has a college degree is of little relevance to me, except for the few months or years after they leave school when their inexperience is to be expected.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me. – YES!! Take ownership of everything that happens in your life! I wrote about this exact subject a few months ago.

6. Volunteers always win – It’s all about playing the long game. Putting that extra effort is exactly what makes us better at what we do and indispensable to our customers and employers. If you’re single and unattached I don’t see a problem being a workaholic as long as you are absolutely in love with what you’re doing, but if you have a significant other or children at home then I believe they come first. I believe accomplishments at home are way more difficult, important and rewarding than whatever you could achieve at work.

7. As long as I’m paid well, it’s all good. – Have you ever thought of who your customers really are? What if you’re just an entry level factory worker? Do you have customers? Absolutely! If you’re not the head honcho then you’re product is time (and even when you are the head honcho, you’re product is still arguably time). Your customer pays you good money for your time. During that time you’ll be asked to perform a certain task ,and if the dollar per hour makes you happy, you’ll do that task. Would you do jumping jacks all day for $3/hour? Probably not. Make it $5,000/hr and you’ll find cardiac surgeons jumping right besides you.

I get the fact that people do not like being told what to do, but if you’re going to be paid to make something happen why not do it?! Of course I’m not saying you should go against your morals, ethics, or break the law, but if your customer wants something and is willing to pay for it then do it!

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do – I consider this a continuation of #7. Here is a little story to drive the point home:I remember asking my mechanic if he would be willing to do house calls. He was immediately opposed to the idea of letting someone else tell him where he needed to be and when; even though they were going to pay for the service. Even for twice what he was making now per hour, he wasn’t interested. For someone that always seemed to complain about being broke it sure seemed like a foolish way to throw away a good opportunity.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland. – This bullet ties directly to #1 and #3. I love it. The part where he says, “Don’t wait to be asked; offer”, reminds me of how my parents raised my siblings and me. To sit and let someone else work around us was a HUGE “no-no”. See someone in need of help? Get up and help!

Ultimately, it boils down to doing what needs to be done to get what you want out of life and molding yourself into the person you want to be. Is it easy? No, no it’s not. Like others, I fight bouts of inaction and laziness, but ultimately I know I’m only hurting myself and take full ownership of that fact. I firmly believe in the principles enumerated in Jeff’s post and force myself to live by them because belief without action is nothing.

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