There’s a stark contrast between successful people and those who can’t quite seem to make it.
The difference often lies in how they spend their free time. Successful people use it wisely, always striving to learn and grow.
Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, often fall into habits that don’t contribute to their growth or productivity.
This isn’t about judging anyone’s leisure time activities, but rather shedding light on patterns that might hold us back from reaching our full potential.
Here are 9 things that unsuccessful people tend to avoid doing in their free time. Perhaps taking note of these could give us a nudge towards greater success.
1) They don’t invest time in self-improvement
One of the most common traits unsuccessful people tend to share is a lack of self-improvement.
Unlike successful individuals who are always on a quest to learn and grow, unsuccessful people often spend their free time on activities that offer little to no personal or professional growth.
Understanding this isn’t about judging how people choose to unwind, it’s about recognizing patterns that could potentially hinder our progress towards success.
Consider this – you’ve got two options for spending an hour of your free time. One, you could binge-watch the latest Netflix series, or two, you could read a book that expands your knowledge or skills.
Neither choice is inherently wrong, but the latter will likely contribute more to your overall success in the long run.
2) They don’t set goals for their free time
I’ve noticed that unsuccessful people often lack direction during their free time.
On the flip side, successful people tend to be more intentional with their leisure hours. They set goals, even for their downtime.
A personal example comes to mind here. I used to spend my weekends aimlessly surfing the internet or lounging around. I wasn’t necessarily doing anything ‘wrong’, but I wasn’t particularly productive either.
One day, I decided to set a goal for my free time. I always wanted to learn Spanish, so I thought, why not dedicate a few hours every weekend to it?
After months of consistent learning during my free time, I can now converse in basic Spanish. This wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t set a goal and made an intentional effort.
Neglecting to set goals for free time can lead to hours, days, even years slipping by without any significant personal growth or achievement. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but once you’re aware of it, you can make the choice to navigate your free time differently.
3) They don’t take time to exercise
Exercise isn’t just for physical health, it’s also a critical component for mental wellness and overall success. Unsuccessful people often neglect their physical health and fail to incorporate regular exercise into their free time.
On the other hand, successful people understand the importance of keeping their bodies fit and healthy. Regular exercise not only boosts your mood but also improves cognitive functions such as memory and creativity.
Did you know that regular exercise can increase your brain’s capacity for learning? According to a study by the University of British Columbia, regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.
Skipping exercise during free time might seem like a minor oversight, but it can have major implications on our productivity, creativity, and ultimately, success.
4) They don’t reflect on their experiences
Reflection is a powerful tool that unsuccessful people often overlook.
Successful people, however, understand that taking time to reflect on their experiences, decisions, and actions can provide valuable insights for personal and professional growth. It allows them to learn from their mistakes, celebrate their successes, and plan for the future.
Without reflection, we risk repeating the same mistakes or missing out on opportunities to improve. It can be as simple as spending a few quiet moments each day considering what went well and what could have been done differently.
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to overlook this practice. But setting aside some of our free time for reflection can make a significant difference in our journey towards success.
5) They don’t prioritize relationships
Unsuccessful people often neglect their relationships in favor of more solitary activities during their free time.
In contrast, successful people understand the value of maintaining and nurturing relationships, be it with family, friends, or professional contacts. They know that strong relationships can provide support, motivation, and diverse perspectives that contribute to their success.
Spending time with loved ones or networking with industry peers might not seem directly related to personal success. But strong relationships can offer emotional support during tough times, provide fresh perspectives on problems, and open doors to new opportunities.
Ignoring relationships in our free time can lead to isolation and missed opportunities.
Therefore, it’s worth investing some of our free hours into strengthening these connections.
6) They don’t practice gratitude
Unsuccessful people often overlook the power of gratitude. They tend to focus on what they lack, which can create feelings of dissatisfaction and stagnation.
On the other hand, successful people regularly practice gratitude in their free time. They understand that acknowledging the good in their lives fosters positive feelings and helps them maintain a hopeful and optimistic outlook.
Gratitude is more than just saying “thank you.” It’s about truly appreciating what we have and recognizing the beauty in our lives, even when things aren’t going perfectly.
When we acknowledge the good, we begin to see the world from a more positive perspective. This can inspire us to pursue our goals with greater enthusiasm and resilience.
7) They don’t step out of their comfort zone
Staying within the comfort zone is a common trait among unsuccessful people, especially during their free time.
I recall a time when I was reluctant to try anything new. I would stick to my routine and avoid anything that seemed challenging or unfamiliar. But eventually, I realized that this comfort was actually holding me back from growing and experiencing new things.
With that in mind, I decided to challenge myself. I took up public speaking, something that used to terrify me. It was uncomfortable at first, but over time, it became less daunting. This experience not only improved my communication skills but also boosted my confidence.
Staying within our comfort zones may feel safe, but it can limit our potential. Using our free time to venture beyond these boundaries can lead to personal growth and unexpected opportunities.
8) They don’t practice mindfulness
Unsuccessful people often overlook the power of mindfulness. They tend to let their free time pass in a blur, without truly being present in the moment.
Successful people, however, understand the benefits of being mindful. They use their free time to engage fully in whatever they are doing, whether it’s a leisure activity, spending time with loved ones, or simply enjoying a moment of quiet.
Mindfulness helps us to reduce stress, improve focus, and appreciate the present. It allows us to enjoy our free time more fully and helps us become more attuned to our thoughts and feelings.
Without mindfulness, we risk missing out on the beauty and joy of the present moment.
9) They don’t value their time
Unsuccessful people often fail to recognize the true value of their time. They may waste their free hours on mindless activities, without considering the potential for growth and progress.
High achievers, conversely, view their time as a valuable asset. They are mindful of how they spend their free hours, striving to use this time for personal development, meaningful relationships, and activities that enrich their lives.
Time is a non-renewable resource. Once it’s gone, we can’t get it back. So using our free time wisely is perhaps the most important step we can take towards becoming more successful. It’s not about being busy every moment, but about making conscious choices that align with our goals and values.
Final thoughts: It’s about choices
At the end of the day, how we spend our free time comes down to the choices we make.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but how we choose to utilize those hours can greatly impact our journey towards success.
Unsuccessful people often fall into patterns that don’t contribute to their growth or productivity. They may spend their free time aimlessly, without intention or purpose.
On the other hand, successful individuals make conscious choices to use their free time wisely. They invest in self-improvement, set goals, nurture relationships, and step out of their comfort zones.
Now, ask yourself, are you making the most of your free time? And if not, what choices can you make today to change that?