Habits that limit success
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

What is a habit? Apart from being referred to as a piece of garment, I hear people say, “The reason why this person could not achieve success is that he or she has bad habits that debilitate him or her from achieving success.”

And before we jump into the picture and contribute our share of opinions as to what the habits are, we first need to know what the word habit means. My reliable friend Google search pulls out the word habit as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” We all have normal behaviors, settled practice and tendency to do things even when we are not consciously aware of it. The most limiting habit that prevents us from achieving more success is either ignorance or a state of denial refusing to acknowledge that we do have unhealthy habits that have to be eradicated. However, eradication of unhealthy habits does not come easy.

I have heard motivational speakers say that it takes 21 days to build a new habit and if you mess up on day 20 you start all over again as if you are beginning from day one. My friend Dr. Denis Waitley a psychologist who has rendered services for the USA Olympic Team said, “Francis, what takes you a whole lifetime to build cannot be unbuilt in just 21 days. There is no conclusive evidence that 21 days is a magic number that can help you build a new habit.” I am of this persuasion as it sounds logical. Ask smokers how they struggle with giving up their habit. Some of them may have taken more than 21 days of not smoking yet somehow revert to their old habits.

I remember Dr. Waitley saying, “Nature abhors a vacuum. You cannot eliminate a bad habit unless you replace it with a good one.” Now this claim of his sounds very sensible.

So rather than preaching about the bad habits people have in the workplace and the adverse effects on your success potential why don’t I suggest a few healthy work habits that you may find worthy enough to replace some unhealthy ones you may currently have?

In my years of work as a business consultant, my previous experience as an employee in a corporate setting and as an entrepreneur; I have found the following healthy habits as instrumental in paving our way to greater success.

1. BE PUNCTUAL – DON’T BE LATE.

You may want to hit the bed early and fast yourself from binging in TV series and other forms of entertainment especially social media. Get enough sleep; report for work or appointments early. When you develop the habit of showing up early; you are perceived as a responsible professional who is serious with your work and obligations.

2. EXUDE POSITIVITY – READY TO DEAL WITH CHALLENGES.

Business has a lot to do with solving problems. Something as simple as wearing a smile or mastering your moods and emotions enables you to deal with challen-ges and issues with a positive disposition. Simply put, don’t lose your cool!

3. BE RESPECTFUL AND POLITE – ABLE TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE.

Some people are easy to deal with. Some people are merely a pain in the backside of the human anatomy. Some people bring happiness WHEREVER they go. Some people bring happiness WHENEVER they go. The issue here is not about them, but the issue is building the ability to communicate and interact with them. Be respectful at all times even when others are rude. Do not let other people’s demeanor determine your behavior. You stick to yours.

4. SHOW INITIATIVE – MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

One of the least understood and ignored facts of career success is that the most critical quality that leaders or business owners would love to see in their people is their initiative to make things happen. To wait to be told to do things can be perceived as either incompetent or lazy. Here’s the key: do not avoid work but get things done.

5. WORK FAST BUT BE ACCURATE.

There are so many things to be done and putting off work is not one of them. Do your job fast but never at the expense of quality. If you do, then the damages will require you to do more work and waste a lot more time.

6. BE ACCOUNTABLE – STOP THE BLAME GAME.

You and I will eventually make mistakes, and when we do, we own up to it and refuse the temptation to blame others for it. Rectify the error, and when we do these, we profit from the mistakes as we learn something new.

7. OBSERVE WORK AND OFFICE ETIQUETTE – BE HONEST.

Do not take home company properties. Do not spend too much time doing social media during office hours. Respect other people’s personal space. Stay away from gossips and concentrate on doing things better.

8. BE A TEAM PLAYER – EXERCISE PEOPLE SKILLS.

Share ideas. Do not hoard information. Maintain a positive attitude towards your peers and specifically your boss. Do not lose your cool, keep a long face or be sarcastic. Trust me as these things will work against you, at all times build trust.

These are just some of the sound and healthy practices that need to be cultivated into habits. To think that habits do not affect your happiness and outcomes in your life is a faulty way of thinking. Because they do big time! The sooner you work on these habits, you will discover that these become skills and will help you shine in your work and create the necessary credibility to ring you to your next level of success. Whether it’s 21 days or more, it does not matter. What matters is you start working on these today, and you do it every day of your life.

(Two exciting and inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong is about to happen. Attend this highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop on May 21-22 at Seda Vertis North, Quezon City. For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph)

HABITS THAT LIMIT SUCCESS
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