“There is no education like adversity.” – Benjamin Disraeli
1. Lack of well defined purpose in life. There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal at which to aim. Studies have shown that over 98 percent of people do not have a definite purpose. I’ve heard it said that if you aim at nothing, you will hit your mark every time. So make sure you have a clear purpose in work and in life. Find your aim.
2. Lack of drive to aim above mediocrity. If we want to get paid more and promoted faster as federal employees you have to triumph over adversity and aim higher. In his new book, Sometimes You Win–Sometimes You Learn: Life’s Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses, John Maxwell starts with this very poignant story about a daughter who is complaining about all the adversities she is facing in life. As the father is listening to her, he fills three pots with water and brings them to a boil. In one pot he puts carrots, in the next pot he puts eggs and in the last pot he puts ground coffee beans. The moral: when you face adversity, how do you respond? In his illustration the carrots wilted from exposure to the heat. The eggs became hardened because of the heat. But the coffee bean, made the best of it. Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Be better than average, rise above mediocrity. Learn from adversity and rise above.
3. Lack of self–discipline. Discipline comes through self-control. This means that one must control all negative thoughts. Before you can control conditions in your life, you must first learn to control yourself. Self-mastery is the hardest job in the universe, yet the most rewarding. It has been said that “if you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” When you step in front of the mirror, do you see your best friend or worst enemy. Only you can answer that. But the beautiful thing is that every 24 hours we get to reinvent ourselves. So make self-discipline a goal. If you are able to say the word no to yourself now, you will be able to say yes to greater things later.
4. Procrastination. This is one of the most common causes of failure. Procrastination stands within the shadow of every person. But really procrastination is just a symptom of fear. We are afraid to be who we were really meant to be, so we play small. Most of us go through life waiting for the “time to be right” to start doing something worthwhile. I’m telling you, don’t wait. The time will never be “just right.” Start where you are. Leap and the net will appear.
5. Lack of persistence. Most of us are good “starters” but poor “finishers” of the things we begin, moreover, people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat. There is no substitute of persistence. The person, who makes persistence his best friend, will win every time. Failure cannot live in the same realm with persistence and consistency.
6. Negative thoughts. Success cannot be had if you think otherwise. No thought lives in your head rent-free. Each thought you have will either be an asset or liability. It will either move you toward happiness and success or away from it. It will either empower you or weaken you. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to choose your thoughts wisely in your personal life as well as in your professional life.
7. Lack of a well–defined power of decision. Federal employees who succeed have no problem deciding what they want. In order to attain professional achievement, you must decide what you really want from your career. Then once you make the decision, you have to manage it, by sticking to what you said you were going to do.
8. Waiting to be chosen. I’m sure most of your co-workers only do the work that is asked of them, nothing more, and nothing less. What about you? You have to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing or not doing in this case. Your job should you choose to accept it is to keep asking for more work, you read it correctly, yes, keep asking for more work. And when you ask for it and you get it, do it quickly and efficiently. Why?
Because you want to develop a reputation for being the go-to person whenever something needs to be done. In our federal careers, our reputations go a long way. If people come to know you as a worker bee, you will most definitely be promoted. In fact, did you know that you promote yourself every time you take on new responsibility? Yes, you do. So go that extra mile.
9. Picking the wrong boss. This is one of the most common causes of failure in business. Select an employer who will be an inspiration, and who is, himself, intelligent and successful, it will go a long way in your career. As humans, we tend to emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick a boss who is worth emulating.
Want more great advice, be sure to check out: http://careersavvyfed.com/52-ways-to-get-paid-more-promoted-faster/
You lost me on the first point. If 98% of the people don’t have a focus in life and there are more than 4% of the people who are a success in life, then that would say that having a focus IS NOT a requirement for being successful. If the number of people who are successful in life are better than 50% (which is highly likely) then I would argue that the numbers would suggest that having a well defined purpose in life gets in the way of being a success. If you define success in life as retiring filthy rich, then I’ll take my definition of success and drive on.