Don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying to pretend to be some life guru a la Tony Robbins or anything like that. The reality is that I'm a 28 year old Millennial that's trying to figure crap out just like the rest of us. Life is hard, and anyone who tells you it isn't is straight-up bogus.
But with my “reach” through this site (which is quickly getting closer to 100,000 people every month), I've been exposed to a lot of different viewpoints and conversations lately. Whether it has been readers from CNBC and Yahoo or the tens of thousands that have seen my Facebook sponsored ads, I've taken something away from every interaction.
People are surprisingly candid online. It's honestly shocking. I've seen everything from detailed financial situations from people I don't know to explicit life stuff that I personally don't think I'd be comfortable sharing. Out of all of those things, I've noticed trends from people that aren't getting what they want out of life (or more importantly feel like they aren't getting what they deserve).
Here are three habits you should avoid if you want to get ahead:
“I don't think I could do what you did.”
“I can't try something like that, it's too scary.”
“That's not safe enough for me.”
Whether it's aggressively trying to be better at money, or something as big as switching careers, I've found that the vast majority of people let fear guide their decisions (and life) rather than intuition, reason, and courage.
If your job freaking sucks and you hate waking up every day, you can do something about it. If you are continually crushed with credit card debt or keep finding yourself struggling to get by because of your decisions…you can change something.
I don't think everyone should quit their job to run a website like I did. I don't think everyone needs to live through the awkwardness of moving in with their in-laws. But I DO think that people need to step out of their comfort zones as often as possible.
I see complaints all the time. People are so mad that the government loaned them too much money. They are mad at the job market for Millennials. They're mad at me for saying new cars generally aren't a stellar investment.
The problem with complaints is that nobody gives cares. The market doesn't care about your wants; it only cares if you can produce. That's true for so many things in life, and once you understand that reality it truly makes everything a little more simple.
If you find yourself complaining a lot about your situation in life, you might want to focus that massive amount of effort into doing something that actually matters. If you find yourself AROUND someone that complains a lot, remove them from your circle as quickly as possible.
3. Downplaying how special life is
We really get caught up in some stupid crap sometimes, don't we? I think social media exaggerates this, but I've seen the most ridiculous arguments about things that don't matter at all.
Every day you wake up, you're in the bonus round. Period. I don't know if it was experiencing the loss of someone very close to me last year or if it's just a product of getting older (30 is looming), but I truly wake up and try to appreciate everything I have.
Every. Freaking. Day.
It takes effort, but I can guarantee that it's the biggest reason I've been able to achieve the amount of success that I have in the past two years. Life is finite. It's fleeting. It's special. I keep that with me as much as I can.
That's why I've done crazy things that most people are afraid to do. It's why I try to catch myself when I want to complain.
The overall message here is that having a positive outlook and habits matter. Not just for your money, but for your sanity as well. There's something to be said for being successful, but there's much more to be said about being successful AND happy in my opinion. If you truly want to be successful, you have to walk the walk every day of your life until you get there.