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Great Success Comes at a High Cost Great Success Comes at a High Cost

Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and a guide to using its waters to reflect on and improve your life.

Focus on the Idea, Not the Outcome Focus on the Idea, Not the Outcome

What would you try in your professional life if you weren’t afraid of failing? Would you finally write that book of short stories? Strike out and open your own shop? Convince your manager you deserve to be in charge of a larger team?

How to Stop Being Jealous of Your Colleagues' Success How to Stop Being Jealous of Your Colleagues' Success

“ATTENTION ARTISTS: sometimes your friends will have successes, and you’ll be jealous, even if you don’t want to be,” says author and Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North in an inspirational Twitter thread. He has two tips for dealing with that jealousy, which apply to anyone who’s envied a colleague:

How You Can Motivate Yourself With an Imaginary Scapegoat How You Can Motivate Yourself With an Imaginary Scapegoat

People thrive when they’re working against some kind of force—even if that force isn’t real. If you’re looking for a way to motivate yourself, try giving yourself an imaginary scapegoat.

Don't Hold Your Failures Against Yourself, Most People Don't Even See Them Don't Hold Your Failures Against Yourself, Most People Don't Even See Them

You spend more time with your own failures than anyone else on Earth. Eventually, you might internalize them and come to fear failure. However, for everyone else, they barely know your failures even exist.

Think of Happiness as a Crucial Part of Success, Not the Reward Think of Happiness as a Crucial Part of Success, Not the Reward

Most of us tend to think about success in terms of working hard to accomplish something in order to find happiness. Neil Pasricha, author of The Happiness Equation, makes the case for the opposite: start with happiness, then use it to accomplish your goals.

Avoid the "Perfectionist Trap" and Stop Comparing Your Successes to Your Role Models Avoid the "Perfectionist Trap" and Stop Comparing Your Successes to Your Role Models

The “perfectionist trap” happens when you see the successes of the people you look up to and aspire to them, forgetting (or not seeing) the hard work and failures required for them to get there. You try, you struggle, and assume you should give up. Don’t: they’re more like you than you know.

Why You Should Learn From People Who Failed Just As Much As Successful People Why You Should Learn From People Who Failed Just As Much As Successful People

Who can give you better advice on how to succeed than successful people? Well, if you’re smart, you’d also listen to people who failed so you know what pitfalls to avoid. And maybe back it up with some unbiased data.

Think of Networking as Joint Progress, Not Using Someone to Get Ahead Think of Networking as Joint Progress, Not Using Someone to Get Ahead

The idea of networking sometimes feels sleazy, and in can be if you’re doing it wrong. If you think networking is about using someone to get ahead, you’re thinking about it all wrong. It’s about building a community of like-minded friends, so you can make progress together.

Why You Shouldn't Worry If You're Not a Creative Success By Your 30s Why You Shouldn't Worry If You're Not a Creative Success By Your 30s

We love stories about people who succeed by a young age. The Mark Zuckerbergs of the world become heroes while the rest of us feel like failures if we haven’t succeeded by 30. That mindset is completely backwards.

Figure Out What You Really Love to Do With the “Laptop Test” Figure Out What You Really Love to Do With the “Laptop Test”

You’ll find no shortage of tips from many of the most successful and powerful people on how to find your “passion”, or what you truly love to do. Here’s a simpler way: gauge how you feel about opening your laptop.

Getting to Your Dream Job Is Probably Gonna Suck For a While Getting to Your Dream Job Is Probably Gonna Suck For a While

In the movies, when someone quits their terrible job to do the thing they love, the burden is immediately lifted. In reality, getting to the job you love is a long, arduous process and you’ll probably hate it for a while.

Develop Resilience for Future Setbacks by Writing a "Failure Resume" Develop Resilience for Future Setbacks by Writing a "Failure Resume"

Listing out your victories is a great way to build some confidence, but it can also warp your perspective on how you achieved success. Listing out your biggest failures instead will remind you how you got to where you are, and help you learn what you need to succeed.

Avoid "Success Isolation" By Seeking New Companions As You Move Up Avoid "Success Isolation" By Seeking New Companions As You Move Up

Being successful in your field usually means you find a whole new set of problems you didn’t expect before. This can be isolating as your life’s path diverges from your peers. To maintain a healthy perspective, build relationships with new peers.

"To Get What You Want, Deserve What You Want" "To Get What You Want, Deserve What You Want"

“Trust, success, and admiration are earned.” That’s the lesson in the quote above from investment expert Charlie Munger. As simple as it is, it bears repeating.

Chasing Habits of Rich People Won’t Teach You About Success Chasing Habits of Rich People Won’t Teach You About Success

You’ve probably seen articles detailing what Warren Buffett does every day, or what Elon Musk eats before noon, or that “one trait” rich people have that poor people don’t. It’s interesting, but when it comes to building wealth and success, these habits don’t teach you anything about what it really takes to get there.…

Define Success For Yourself Before You Start Taking Advice On How to Succeed Define Success For Yourself Before You Start Taking Advice On How to Succeed

Before you even finish high school, you were probably bombarded with people telling you how to achieve “success.” Without your own definition, though, that advice is meaningless.

The Three Most Common Types of Dumb Mistakes We All Make The Three Most Common Types of Dumb Mistakes We All Make

We’re all prone to epic blunders from time to time, and knowing why they tend to happen can help you avoid them in the future. A study published in the journal Intelligence breaks down what we consider or dumbest mistakes into three categories.

Why It's Important to Show Yourself Some Compassion Why It's Important to Show Yourself Some Compassion

A bad habit that many of us share is that we trash talk a lot...to ourselves. Recognizing our mistakes can be healthy and productive, but constantly thinking nothing we do is ever good enough—well, not so much. Here’s a powerful reminder that we could all use more self-love.

Stay Hungry For Your Success Unless You Want to Lose It Stay Hungry For Your Success Unless You Want to Lose It

When you reach a certain level of success, it’s easy to get comfortable. If you want to stay there, though, be ready to act hungry. Even if you’re not.

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