If you want to be successful before turning 40, say goodbye to these 8 habits

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It’s never too late to achieve success. 

But the longer you wait, the less chances you’ll get. 

This is just basic logic. 

So take this as a cue to get in gear. 

Our day-to-day habits define us. 

If success is your end goal, your habits should fall in line accordingly.

In this article, I’ll take you through the habits you need to cut out in life, if you want to be successful before turning 40.

Let’s get to it!

1) Ignoring health and wellness

Remember, you aren’t a teenager anymore. 

Neglecting things like exercise, proper nutrition, and sufficient sleep will invariably drain your energy and act as a roadblock to cognitive function. 

Trust me, the first, most difficult step is always starting. 

But once you get into the groove of things, there’ll be no looking back. 

So start getting in regular physical activity, be it the gym, jogs in the park, yoga or what have you. 

Also make it a point to regularly consume a nutrient-dense, well-balanced diet; sorry, but the late-night McDonald’s binges might need to go. 

Once you start prioritizing your health more, you’re setting up a firm foundation for success.

2) Habitual overspending

Poor financial choices scream immaturity and a short-sighted mindset. 

Start thinking long-term over instant gratification. It’ll pay off… literally. 

When I was younger, I’d habitually spend and live beyond my means, with no regard for budgeting or saving. 

I’d buy things, short-term pleasures, just to satisfy my dopamine levels temporarily. 

In a sense, spending money for me was a bit like a drug or alcohol addiction. 

This led me to rack up some pretty significant debt. Oh, the naivety of youth. 

And when I finally came around to paying my debts back, a process which took several years, I told myself “Never again.” 

The juice was not worth the squeeze. Not even close. 

If I could go back in time, I’d educate and teach myself about saving, budgeting, investing, interest rates, and financial literacy in general.

Debt sucks, and it can hold you back from a ton of life goals. 

3) Overcommitting yourself 

You don’t want to be a jack of all trades and master of none. 

In modern-day terms, you don’t want to be marginally competent at a few tasks, without really standing out in any of them. 

You want to be seen as an expert, a specialist, with a deep skill set that can bring value to any business.

The only way to get there is if you give yourself the time and focus to hone in on one or two specialized skills. 

Saying yes to too many projects or commitments will spread you too thin–and naturally negatively affect the quality of your work. 

Being able to say no is critical for your progress (and besides, putting your foot down is an essential life skill in its own right.)

4) Resisting learning and adaption 

Remember what the late legend Bruce Lee said, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.”

Bruce knew how important the ability to adapt was in a rapidly changing world. 

There are people out there who, after reaching a certain point of knowledge or skill, will just stop learning, as if their capacity to take in new, better things is finite. 

This shouldn’t be. We should all strive to learn and adapt to new technologies or methodologies or face the very real risk of being left behind. 

Do you know what the best, most thriving companies in the world have in common? 

Well, among other things, they can adapt and thoroughly change with the times. 

They embrace the new, rather than resist it. 

They know that the world is a continually evolving place, one where new, superior methods are introduced daily. 

It would be foolish to be closed off to them. 

5) Constantly comparing yourself to others

I get it; we live in the golden age of comparisons. 

Everyone uploads their best, most carefully curated selves on social media for all to see, and naturally, we can’t help but compare our situation to theirs. 

This practice, however, can skew our objectivity. 

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and I couldn’t agree more. 

We’ll never find true happiness if we constantly live to weigh ourselves against others and their experiences. 

Maybe instead of being happy about scoring a well-paying job, for example, you will lack contentment because your friends are earning more and living more extravagantly. 

This tendency can lead to unnecessary stress and a perpetual feeling of inadequacy, which discourages self-confidence and progress. 

So if you have the habit of comparing yourself to others, realize this is incredibly counterproductive. 

Your contentment should come from within, not from everyone else. 

6) Avoiding networking

No man (or woman) is an island. 

Networking goes a long way. 

Speaking from experience, you truly never know when or where you’ll meet someone who could drastically change your professional and/or personal life–or at least improve it somewhat. 

You may think you can do it all, but the truth is, well, you can’t. 

External help will take you far if you approach it with an open mind.

The bottom line is that missing out on building relationships can significantly limit your opportunities. 

For growth and success, networking is key. 

7) Procrastinating

My dad is a serial procrastinator. He rightly labels it “a disease.” 

It has held him back from so many golden opportunities in life, that he has to live with regret and guilt. 

It’s sad to see, if I’m being honest.

If you get into the habit of procrastinating, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. 

You’re digging yourself a hole so deep that it’s legitimately difficult to escape from. 

When you consistently delay tasks and responsibilities, you tend to create an overwhelming backlog of work and stress, which will only reduce your effectiveness, and discourage you further. 

A toxic cycle. 

8) Ignoring constructive criticism

As long as it’s not inherently mean-spirited, constructive criticism is an essential tool for growth and improvement. 

You will never learn as much from your wins as you will from your losses. 

There’s a reason the most competent, successful restaurants give customers feedback cards after a dining experience. 

They know that the most efficient route to success is by acknowledging their shortcomings and then correcting them. 

You shouldn’t be defensive or dismissive of feedback; instead, use these things as a means to develop. 

To err is human. 

In the history of humanity, there’s never been a perfect person–and I hate to break it to you but you aren’t likely to be the first. 

So, like a hands-on restaurant business, never neglect the feedback cards of life. 

Final words 

There you have it, the habits you need to drop to succeed before reaching 40. 

Don’t forget, you are capable, you are smart, you are talented. Most of us are. 

What holds you back is your mindset. 

Once you shift your perspective, expect a whole, new, exciting world to open up to you.

And when you reach this point, there will be no looking back. 

You got this. 

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Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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