7 Things Highly Successful People Refuse to Do


If you want to be successful, there’s a lot you need to do. Work hard, invest time, persevere… But it’s not just about what you do. Being successful can sometimes be just as much about what you don’t do.

Here are 7 things that highly successful people refuse to do.

1. Successful people refuse to define success with money

When we talk about “successful” people, we don’t necessarily mean those who have millions in their bank account.

For example, even though Richard Branson is worth over $5 billion, he doesn’t equate money with success: “Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with”. Instead, he measures success with personal fulfilment: “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.”

But the definition of success varies from person to person. Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, believes that success is categorically individual. He told the New York Times: “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success”.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

2. Successful people refuse to dwell on the past

It’s necessary to take the time to reflect and understand what you could’ve done better to avoid past mistakes and failures. However, the longer you spend thinking about the past, the more likely you are to revisit feelings of anger, guilt or sorrow – which are hardly productive. This is why successful people recognise that there is a line and refuse to waste time feeling sorry for themselves.

“Don’t waste time dwelling on the past. Learn from it, but don’t worry about what you can’t change.” – Iucero

3. Successful people refuse to keep negative company

Although we are all responsible for the decisions that we make, the influence of others is undeniable. It’s difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life when you’re surrounded by negative energy.

This is why successful people surround themselves with positive people who inspire them to grow and improve every day. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they cut off negative people, but rather they limit the influence on how they think, feel and behave.

“People inspire you or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

4. Successful people refuse to make the same mistake more than once

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes at one point or another. The difference is that some of us repeat them over and over again, whilst successful people know how to recognise and learn from them. Rather than having a fixed mindset and being demotivated by mistakes, successful people have a growth mindset, which means that they see mistakes as a wake-up call to make a change.

“A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” – Paulo Coelho

5. Successful people refuse to fear change

As human beings, we’re biased to stick to the status quo. Our natural reaction to change is fear. However, successful people are those who refuse to fear change – they choose to embrace it.

“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.” – Unknown

6. Successful people refuse to expect immediate results

Successful people recognise that success takes hard work. They don’t expect to see results overnight and are not demotivated by this. Take Thomas Edison, for example. He held over 1,000 patents and had an intense work ethic. It’s reported that he slept a mere three to four hours at night and regarded sleep as a waste of time. Although this is an extreme case, his definition of success shows the dedication required for success:

“Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

7. Successful people refuse to settle for less than they deserve

It’s easy to convince yourself to keep expectations and standards low in order to avoid getting hurt or being disappointed. But successful people don’t settle for less just because it’s easier than fighting for what they truly deserve. Sometimes we have to be willing to lose something in order to gain everything. Successful people know who they are, what they can do, what they deserve and they go and get it. They never settle for less.

“If you settle for what you’ve got, you deserve what you get.” – Kathie Lee Gifford

So remember, when it comes to being successful, it’s not just about what you do. Sometimes, what you don’t do is equally as important!

if you have any other habits that you find successful people avoid, share them in the comments below!

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