Playbook

To Achieve Great Things, Avoid These 7 Toxic Habits

courtesy of: Karen Nimmo

So you want to live big and bold?

Achieve great things? Or, you know, anything at all?

Then you’ll need to step up to the plate and play in the big arena. Which means you’ll have to stare down hard at the things that will threaten your dreams.

We all have bad habits. We all fall at their feet sometimes because THEY FEEL SO GOOD. But, in the end, an obsession with ciggies or porn or food or Netflix might not do us justice.

It might keep us stuck. It might make us envious of others who didn’t do those things. It might make us bitter old people. One day.

It’s your life, so you decide. But if you’re up for playing the big game these are the things you might have to let go.

7 Toxic Habits That Will Hold You Back

1. A love of the safe road.

If you work hard, the safe road might get you a house behind a white picket fence and some kids and a dog and a nice sofa and the very latest in kitchen appliances. Which is fine, actually. So it’s unfair to call this a toxic habit. It’s really just a choice. But it’s a choice that might deny you a shot at the big prize. Or freedom. Just saying.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Andre Gide

2. Worrying about your reputation.

Ahhhh. Why do we worry so much about what people think of us? Why do we worry about making fools of ourselves or being laughed at or judged or trolled or what some person with questionable taste thinks of our outfit? It’s all VERY DUMB. Especially the outfit one.

But the sad thing is that our worries about these people (who are thinking far more about themselves than they are about us) stop us from doing cool, brave things. Or they make us lie awake all night staring at the ceiling fretting about what we’ve said or done. Do your best to stop worrying what the world thinks of you. The world doesn’t care. Especially not about what you’re wearing.

“If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.” — Larry Page

3. Being shrunk by your limitations.

We all have fears, we all have limitations. And that is okay. What is not okay is living inside them. We get our biggest highs in those moments when we bust through a fear. When we do something we never dreamed we could do — or be. Acknowledge your limitations, offer them a tolerant but slightly bored smile, but don’t give them a seat at the top table. Act in spite of them.

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
— Helen Keller

4. Pizza, Beer and Netflix.

Code for addictions. Code for keeping us on the couch. Look we do need fun. And ways to relax. And a little bad food. It’s all okay, as long as we keep a lid on it. And put some actual effort into keeping our minds and body healthy.

“Unless you are a pizza, the answer is yes, I can live without you.” — Bill Murray

5. Your preoccupation with sex.

Way, way back when Pornhub was not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, one of the founding fathers of the self-help movement, Napoleon Hill warned of the folly of sex obsession. In his perennial bestseller Think and Grow Rich he wrote that “overindulgence in sexual expression may become a habit as destructive and detrimental to creative effort as narcotics or liquor.”

Perhaps he knew what was to come? Pornhub, the world’s leading free porn site, now has more users per month than Netflix and Amazon combined. Go figure. Sex is a healthy, fun, natural part of human existence, but when it takes over your mind as well as your body — well, just know you’re not going to be good for much else.

“Ducking for apples — change one letter and it’s the story of my life.” ― Dorothy Parker

6. Running someone else’s race.

How many times have you heard the advice “you need to run your own race” or the “only person you should compete against is yourself”? True, comparing yourself with others will make you miserable. But it’s actually really hard to run your own race because there’s always someone else in your lane with a little more talent and their shoes already laced up. So here’s some better advice: just run to where you want to run at your own pace. And know that walking is fine, too.

“Personality begins where comparison ends.” Karl Lagerfeld

7. Trying too hard to be original.

Everything’s been done before. Trying to come up with “all new” concepts and be wholly original is exhausting. So just take something that already exists in the world and put your own spin on it. As creative guru Austin Kleon so aptly puts it: Steal like an artist. Or go wild: Take it a step further and cheat like a freaking champion.