Success does not happen by itself. It is a long and arduous process. Influence and impact are part of a marathon, not a sprint. It is easy to look at successful people around us, though, and make excuses for why they have accomplished so much. We can write it off as luck or raw talent. While there are some people who might have inherited significant wealth or ended up in the right place at the right time, all high achievers have had to work for what they have. They have all failed, struggled and, importantly, persevered.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of influential people is that they learn from their mistakes . They reflect on their shortcomings and errors in order to be better the next time around. This happens across their entire life, but here are 10 mistakes, specifically, that the best people never make twice.
1. Trying to change someone else
You cannot change another person. You can offer them different ideas, perspectives, or opportunities and they might use those as a means of growth. Fundamentally changing someone, though, cannot happen. They have to decide to change for themselves.
The highest achievers realize this and stop trying. They do not exert significant effort and thought into changing another person. Whether this is a loved one, a friend or an employee, it is an important lesson to realize. When there are characteristics of another person that drive you crazy, you can tell them that, but there is often not much you can do to fundamentally change them. Instead, the best people tend to take those facts about others as a given and they make decisions accordingly.
2. Do the same thing expecting different results
It is madness to try the same thing and expect a different outcome. The best people have realized this. When they fall short, they evaluate why and change their approach. They do not make excuses for their shortcoming and rationalize taking the same actions again. Instead, they save significant time and energy, plus they succeed more frequently, by trying new things.
3. Focusing entirely on the short term
Anyone who has committed to strictly short-term thinking knows the consequences. Despite the instantaneous benefits and gratification, it will bite you later. The best people know to think long-term. They are able to exercise a vision and employ it. They stay patient and it leads to higher levels of sustained success.
4. Trust someone even when their head and heart say otherwise
Our gut instinct about people tends to be true. The fact that many others might like someone does not mean you are compatible with them.
This does not make them a bad person, but the best people are keenly aware when they do not trust or want to work with another person. Instead of convincing themselves otherwise, they accept it. It saves them the pain or issues that could arise from a collaboration.
5. Skimp on research before making an important choice
Making an important decision without understanding the impact and ramifications is a big mistake. This could be with an investment, with a friendship, accepting a job or moving to a new city. The best people have learned to do the necessary research before making important choices. They do not rely on just one source of information or one other person's opinion. They, instead, weigh all of the factors and take into account their own circumstance and preferences.
6. Blame everyone else
High achievers have learned not to point fingers . Doing so does not accomplish anything productive except for a bit of an ego bump. Even when others are in the wrong, the top people do not waste their energy blaming them. They, instead, try and solve the situation at hand. When they personally fall short, they are also able to take accountability. This allows them to improve over time and not tie their actions as close to their ego as many do.
7. Be someone they are not
Acting like someone you are not is a mistake. It decreases happiness and can cause you to go against your moral code. It leads you down a path that is not true to yourself. High achievers are able to accomplish so much because they have sustained energy. They are doing what they love, day in and day out. That enables them to work hard for long periods of time.
In the short run, it is possible to accomplish a lot without being true to yourself. As time goes on, though, it takes a toll. The best people do their own thing and benefit greatly because of it.
8. Failing to document efforts or results
It is important to document successes, failures and results. For one, it provides a meaningful way to reflect. You can look at past results to learn more about yourself and the world. Your actions are very informing, and reflecting upon them can better align future decision making. Looking at tangible past accomplishments is also a great way to gain energy. In the struggles of everyday life, it is easy to get jaded. Being able to look at your achievements can remind you why you have been working hard.
In addition, documenting past results will prepare you to talk about them in the future. Whether this is on a resume, in a job application, or even on a date, being able to discuss things you have done in the past is extremely valuable.
9. Spending time with bad people
The best people have a time in their lives when they realize that they need to be more thoughtful about their friends. We are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with the most. Time tracking is key. When others are dragging you down, you will be much less successful. The best people have realized this. Although it is challenging to take a step back from friendships, there are beneficial long-term impacts.
10. Afraid of taking a risk
Every high achiever has had to take risks in their life. It is one of the only ways to stand out from others. Successful people have learned that playing cautiously does not work. Instead, they embrace risk and are willing to take chances in order to leave an impact as well as improve their own life.
Copyright © 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors