Smart, successful people are by no means immune to making mistakes; they simply have the tools in place to learn from their errors.
Everybody makes mistakes—that’s a given—but not everyone learns from them. Some people make the same mistakes over and over again, fail to make any real progress and can’t figure out why.
“Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they’re going to make mistakes” – Ross Perot
Some mistakes are so tempting that we all make them at one point or another. Smart people learn from these mistakes and never make them twice.
“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” – Paul Bear Bryant
1. Not asking the right questions:
Believing in someone or something is good, however if you ask questions before getting too involved, you’ll realize that nothing ever sounds as good as it is.
Don’t be naïve! Some times, some people really are successful and really want to help you, smart people only need to be tricked once before they start to think twice about a deal that sounds too good to be true.
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare
The results of naivety and a lack of due diligence can be catastrophic. Smart people ask serious questions before getting involved because they realize that no one, themselves included, are as good as they look.
2. Ignoring good advice :
“A wise person takes good advice to heart and runs with it”
Many people repeatedly ask friends and loved ones for advice on how to improve their lives, but they never follow the advice because they believe they know best.
Smart people understand that in some situations, another perspective can be invaluable – especially if you asked for it.
3. Repeatedly using the same approach that doesn’t work:
“insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” – Albert Einstein
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.
4. Rushing Instant Gratification :
Gratification doesn’t come quickly and hard work comes long before the reward.
This is particularly true during these times of instant news and communication.
Smart people 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.
Be patient, and you will receive rewards that promise long-term results.
5. Blaming others for your poor decisions :
It can be difficult to accept responsibility when things go wrong, and many people have blamed it on something or someone else at least once.
Smart people may make this mistake once but the experience teaches them that they hold the power, and accepting this means they have the ability to change their lives for the better.
6. Not being authentic :
Being fake and pretending to be something you’re not so that others will like you have never worked out for people.
In the end, people will see right through your act, and you’ll lose their trust and respect.
Fake leads to failure. Authenticity and integrity, being real, are the core of who you are. Display with openness and confidence.
7. Operating without a budget:
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.
Budgets are built on analysis, commitment, and discipline. Such traits are necessary for any worthwhile goal.
8. Micromanaging every detail:
Everyone’s had at least one micro-managing boss who is overly absorbed in small details and too controlling to allow team members to make any decisions.
Smart people avoid this pitfall by delegating work and celebrating milestones. They give their team members the chance to spread their wings and show off.
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.
9. Communicating poorly or not at all:
“The single biggest problem about communication is the illusion it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Smart people work on their own communication skills. They can recognize and adapt to the style of others quickly.
They understand that good communication can inspire action and foster the kind of creativity that drives results.
10. Not doing your homework:
There’s no substitute for hard work and due diligence.
Shortcuts don’t work. You must pay the price, do the grunt work, get in the trenches, in order to get the desired result.
Do the research. Put in the hours. Work. Don’t rely on luck to get you through life.
Smart people know that if they don’t do their homework, they’ll never learn anything, and that’s a surefire way to bring your career to a screeching halt.
11. Attempting to please everyone:
It’s not possible to please everybody, and trying to please everyone pleases no one.
Smart people know that in order to be effective, you have to develop the courage to call the shots and to make the choices that you feel are right.
You must know who you are and live it out with integrity and consistency.
12. To portray the victim:
To play the victim, you have to give up your power, and you can’t put a price on that.
The media continually shows information on the people who have become victims of any unfortunate situations.
Smart people understand that such manipulations and pressure on pity cannot continue indefinitely and still have to work hard.
13. Trying to change other people:
The only way that people change is through the desire and wherewithal to change themselves.
Smart people may make that mistake once, but then they realize that they’ll never be able to change anyone but themselves. Instead, they build their lives around genuine, positive people and work to avoid problematic people that bring them down.
You cannot “fix” someone. Instead, built your life around genuine positive people that can synergize with you into moving forward.
14. Trying to be someone you are not:
It’s tempting to please the people and get customers In order for who you are not. But in the end, it rarely ends well.
Smart people never forget about who they really are and focus on that.
Happiness and success demand authenticity.
15. Forcibly asserting yourself as a leader:
Lots of people would like to lead their company, family or group of friends – even if the others don’t want them to lead.
Smart people understand that trying to make all of the decisions can be offensive to others, as it implies they always know better. Instead, they make suggestions that everyone can benefit from.