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10 Simple Truths Smart People Forget

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4. Having too many choices interferes with decision making.
Here in the twenty-first century where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers. But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to indecision, confusion and inaction.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the less products they typically buy. After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred choices. If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.

So if you’re selling a product line, keep it simple. And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option. Choose something that you think will work and give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, choose something else and keep pressing forward.

5. All people possess dimensions of success and dimensions of failure.
This point is somewhat related to point number two on happiness and success, but it stands strong on its own as well …

Trying to be perfect is a waste of time and energy. Perfection is an illusion.

All people, even our idols, are multidimensional. Powerful businessmen, polished musicians, bestselling authors, and even our own parents all have dimensions of success and dimensions of failure present in their lives.

Our successful dimensions usually encompass the things we spend the most time doing. We are successful in these dimensions because of our prolonged commitment to them. This is the part of our lives we want others to see—the successful part that holds our life’s work. It’s the notion of putting our best foot forward. It’s the public persona we envision as our personal legacy: “The Successful ABC” or “The Award Winning XYZ.”

But behind whichever polished storyline we publically promote, there lies a multi-dimensional human being with a long list of unprofessed failures. Sometimes this person is a bad husband or wife. Sometimes this person laughs at the expense of others. And sometimes this person merely takes their eyes off the road and rear-ends the car in front of them.

6. Every mistake you make is progress.
Mistakes teach you important lessons. Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal. The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

So don’t hesitate—don’t doubt yourself. In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100 percent sure it will work, but you can always be 100 percent sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it!

And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win. Remember, if you never act, you will never know for sure, and you will be left standing in the same spot forever.

7. People can be great at doing things they don’t like to do.
Although I’m not suggesting that you choose a career or trade you dislike, I’ve heard way too many smart people say something like, “In order to be great at what you do, you have to like what you do.” This just isn’t true.

A good friend of mine is a public accountant. He has told me on numerous occasions that he dislikes his job—“that it bores him to death.” But he frequently gets raises and promotions. At the age of twenty-eight, out of nearly a thousand Jr. Accountants in his division, he’s one of only two who were promoted to be Sr. Accountants this past year. Why? Because even though he doesn’t like doing it, he’s good at what he does.

I could come up with dozens of other examples just like this, but I’ll spare you the details. Just realize that if someone dedicates enough time and attention to perfecting a skill or trade, they can be insanely good at doing something they don’t like to do. For an insightful read in this department, I highly recommend The Talent Code.

Next: do you feel ready?

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Molly, selected from DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

172 comments

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1:32PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

thank you so much for this. I needed to hear a few of those

3:59PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

thanks

1:05AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Oh, amen to #1... My mom (and my sister to an extent) just think they're OH SO SMART, because they got straight A's in school. My sister can't keep up with her own housekeeping, nor can she hang on to a boyfriend.

Straight A's means you have high intelligence, which doesn't always mean you're smart enough to live your life to the fullest extent.

I'm also having a problem with #8. Most people think that it's my problem that I don't always like my mother. Well, she sexually abused me in the past. So no, it's not about me, it IS all about her, thank you. I just get sick of people trying to tell me that caring mothers get on your nerves sometimes.

6:38PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

very great article. thanks!

2:33PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

If I'm happy with what I have, I'm successful.

10:45AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

So true

10:10AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

"8. The problems we have with others are typically more about us."

A good one to think about!

7:49AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

I don't totally agree with all of this article. But it's a good article none the less. :)

7:49AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

I don't totally agree with all of this article. But it's a good article none the less. :)

4:19AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

Very interesting.

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