The Biggest Myth About Successful People

Filed in Living by on June 12, 2014 3 Comments

The Biggest Myth About Successful PeopleThere are a lot of misconceptions about what it takes to be successful. One myth is that successful people are always those who have the highest IQ. In fact, many successful people are not particularly “book smart,” but instead either have great people skills, outstanding creative abilities, an entrepreneurial spirit, or are just extremely hard workers. Another misconception is that “it takes money to make money,” also sometimes referred to as “money goes to money.” Many successful people started from humble beginnings and built their success solely as a result of their own ingenuity and resourcefulness.

Yet the biggest myth about successful people is that they are multitaskers. The theory goes that they are successful because their ability to juggle multiple tasks allows them to accomplish more. Let’s test this theory.

What do you think it takes to rise to the level of CEO? Is it best to be the person who responds to every issue that presents itself, with little regard for level of importance or priority, and rushes around the office with a harried look on their face all day? Or is it better to be the person with a calm sense of what is truly important, and who executes those key tasks with thoroughness and excellence?

What I have learned about successful people is that they almost always exhibit a high degree of selectivity and focus in how they go about their day. They work very hard, yes, but they also work on the right things. They tend to:

  • Evaluate their environment to carefully choose priorities
  • Have a well-developed sense of what is important, vs. what is marginally useful or useless
  • Be good decision-makers
  • Say “no” to a lot of things
  • Apply a great deal of energy and focus to their tasks
  • Emphasize quality, and thorough completion of tasks, over quantity

I know, I know—work gets crazy, and the demands of your job and boss require you to often multitask furiously just to get the myriad things done that are required of you. I understand that.

However, you might still consider the benefits of being more selective and focused at work. You are likely to find that you are more productive and promotable—and as a side benefit, even a bit more peaceful. It can be a win-win situation for you!

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Comments (3)

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  1. Leslie says:

    Very well said Tim 🙂

  2. Bernard Mcloughlin says:

    Hi Tim
    Enjoyed reading your article here in Paris, France
    We often have to deal with people who think each event they encounter has the highest priority at the time.
    If the patient is in cardiac arrest we need not worry that he has a bad manicure

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