One of attributes of successful individuals is that they never make the same mistake twice. According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies the following are the mistakes almost all of us make, but smart people only make once:
1. Believing in someone or something that’s too good to be true
Some people are so charismatic and so confident that it can be tempting to follow anything they say. They speak endlessly of how successful their businesses are, and how many opportunities they can offer you. The results of naivety and a lack of due diligence can be catastrophic. Smart people ask serious questions before getting involved with them because they realize that no one, themselves included, are as good as they look.
2. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
The fact is simple: if you keep the same approach, you’ll keep getting the same results, no matter how much you hope for the opposite. Smart people know that if they want a different result, they need to change their approach, even when it’s painful to do so.
3. Failing to delay gratification
In a modern world people tend to live fast which in turn can lead to difficulties in business. Smart people know that gratification doesn’t come quickly and hard work comes long before the reward. They also know how to use this as motivation through every step of the arduous process that amounts to success because they’ve felt the pain and disappointment that come with selling themselves short.
4. Operating without a budget
You can’t experience financial freedom until you operate under the constraint of a budget. Sticking to a budget, personally and professionally, forces us to make thoughtful choices about what we want and need. Smart people only have to face that insurmountable pile of bills once before getting their act together, starting with a thorough reckoning as to where their money is going. They realize that once you understand how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on, the right choices become clear. A morning latte is a lot less tempting when you’re aware of the cost: $1,000 on average per year. Budgets establish discipline, and discipline is the foundation of quality work.
5. Losing sight of the big picture
Smart people learn how to keep this in check by weighing their daily priorities against a carefully calculated goal. It’s not that they don’t care about small-scale work, they just have the discipline and perspective to adjust their course as necessary. Life is all about the big picture, and when you lose sight of it, everything suffers.