• Thu, Jan 16 - 9:47 pm ET

19 Hard Things You Don’t Actually Need To Do To Be Successful

There are probably 19 things you need to do to be successful, but they're probably subjective and not as hard as this sounds. | Source: ShutterStock

There are probably 19 things you need to do to be successful, but they’re probably subjective and not as hard as this sounds. | Source: ShutterStock

A list called “19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful” is making its rounds on the Internet, and I’m here to basically call bullshit on most of it. Success isn’t always necessarily easy, but give me a break. (I should note that I’m really lazy and thus probably really, really biased.)

Blanket statements like the ones listed make life out to be a lot harder than it needs to be. You can succeed and not be miserable or Machiavellian. I promise. Here 19 Hard Things You Don’t Actually Need To Do To Be Successful.

You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
I’m not sure if they mean a call as in a decision or as in a phone call. But either way, if you’re afraid to make it, it means you probably shouldn’t make it, because you’re not confident enough and haven’t thought through it adequately. And if the call you’re afraid to make is to a 900 number or a telephone psychic, you really shouldn’t make it.

You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
Well, that depends. If your thought flow is better at night than in the morning and/or you don’t have a long commute, what’s the point? And what if I want to get up at 4AM? You do not know my life.

You have to give more than you get in return right away.
Then you may just be giving to the wrong people.

You have to care more about others than they care about you.
Then you may just be caring about the wrong people. Imagine if this were a dating scenario. You’d tell your girlfriend in the situation to drop the douchebag, right? Why should your career be different?

You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
Who the hell are you, Rocky Balboa? If your job is like this, you need a new job or a better trainer.

You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
You also have to word this better, because the modifiers are all over the place. I think the intended meaning is that you have to accept your insecurity and forgo playing it safe all the time. But remember: With big risks come big rewards. And huge gambling debts.

You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
That’s not leading. That’s just walking. What’s the problem?

You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
Okay, this is sort of obvious. Not many people are going to be willing to buy your Botox for you. Or your, you know, books.

You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
Or you could just look like a quiet person doing research.

You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
Or you could look at the forest, not the trees.

You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
You have to deliver results anyway. And by the way, excuses are always an option. Always. Especially when a paternity episode of Maury is on and you can telecommute.

You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
If “facts” are in quotations, they are not facts. You should be doing this anyway. If I didn’t, I’d still think the Tooth Fairy existed. And if she does, I never got paid for that extraction I got when I was 20. In fact, I had to pay for that. That’s bullshit. Where do I send her invoice?

You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
You never have to look like an idiot. You can look like a novice, but there’s no excuse for looking like an idiot. Only an idiot would take advice to look like an idiot.

You have to try and fail and try again.
Hopefully you’re not trying the same thing, because that failed. And it probably failed for a good reason.

You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
I have exercise-induced asthma. I’m not Jesus (unless you make a typo in my first name), and I am not going to die for you.

You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
Of course. It makes them feel even worse. And that’s so much fun!

You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
Or you can learn to negotiate your deadlines so they are reasonable.

You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
The entire last half of this is superfluous.

You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
I want to be in Chris Hemsworth’s pants. If there’s a restraining order in front of me, it’s probably wise that I stop. (It doesn’t mean that I will.)

Share This Post:
  • NatalieWashington

    We have avoiding it 19 hard thing for Burden in the Making a successful person.

  • jon

    You aren’t Jesus, but you could be.


    Listen, I have dibs on Chris Hemsworth’s pants so GET OUTTA MAH PRETEND MOVIE STAR BOYFRIEND’S PANTS!!

  • MarcelinaJaeger

    We could make a effort in 19 things to become a successful person in Our work.

  • LFJ

    This is hilarious, Jessica. I was about to share 19 Things with my team, and now they have the two things to read ;)

  • ColetteDameron

    I am trying to make a effort for solve out the problem of 19 hard things.

  • writingme

    I just printed out #11 – you have to deliver results when making excuses is an option. I’m putting it up right next to my keyboard. On my computer tower, the entire list is printed out, too. Why? Because it helps. Doesn’t saying that you’re here to ‘bullshit’ the entire list amount to making ‘blanket statements’, like you’re accusing the author of doing?

    I didn’t bother reading after the first rebuttal to the list. Your first rebuttal just seemed kind of stale and like you’re not trying hard enough. But hey, you said you’re the laziest person you know, right? Does that mean we have to follow YOUR advice in being productive (a main requirement of being successful)?