We recently published an article where I took a swipe at the hustle culture. It is a subject that is not quite talked about but needs to be. If you have not yet read the article, kindly do as it will open up your eyes. It has become almost a norm that the hustle culture is the way to go but it is not! We are now living in a society that is shaped by lots of popular but bad life advice. You will not see many people discussing this but it is paramount we do. Here are some examples of popular but bad life advice:

You Must Work Hard To Succeed

We probably have all heard this since primary school; ‘work hard’ our teachers would say. Even parents have always told their children, ‘work hard. They even support that assertion by relating it to their efforts to take care of you. You end up growing up with the mindset that you need to work hard to succeed. This is still a mantra that keeps being impressed on you in life. Most motivational speakers and life coaches spew the same rhetoric of working hard. Do you know what is funny? Most of them have people working for them.

Many people can recount their success stories as a result of working hard. However, aiming to work hard to succeed dilutes the truth of the keys to success. Success is more often than not a result of working efficiently, not just working hard. There are people today who work from home and only for a few hours a day but earn more. Working hard is mostly taken to mean putting in lots of hours; that is a pitfall.

The irony is that you look at the majority who wake early and sleep late; most of them are not successful. It is more about efficiency than just hard work. Plus there are other less talked about variables that come into play. What you are working on matters. Where you are working; on what you are working on, that matter as well. The timing is yet another key variable in this. It is not just only about putting in the work. That is why most hard workers are still not yet successful.

Trust Your Instincts Or Gut Feelings

At times you hear people saying, ‘follow your heart. This is usually used concerning decision-making or when at a crossroads. As much as this can seem to work at times it is not the best way to make decisions. It is said that reliance on instincts or gut feelings tends to work best in familiar territory. This implies that on unfamiliar turfs, trusting your instincts can mislead you. Trusting your instincts is at best a gamble.

Trusting your instincts amplifies the need for you to trust yourself. This can be a slippery slope as you tend to be erratic and lacking in self-awareness. Very few people have a concrete understanding of who they are, what drives them, and how they operate. It is very easy to fool yourself into thinking you are on point. Richard Feynman once said, ‘The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool’.

Understand that instincts or gut feelings are usually informed by your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is programmed by past experiences. This means if faced with a situation for which no experience exists, instincts can throw you off. When making decisions it is important to use objective, evidence-based approaches rather than just intangible bodily or psychological feelings.

Find And Follow Your Passion To Become Successful

Almost every key figure mentions this as a key to success. If I were to quote them there will be no end because it is said a lot. First off, just because you have found your passion will not necessarily always make you successful. I have seen many people passionate about something but never getting successful out of it. There are of course those who become successful by following their passion.

Did you know it is possible to develop a deep love for something the more you do it and become successful? This means something can become your passion the more you do it. This would imply it was not a passion from the onset thus invalidating the need to identify a passion per se. Secondly, what if you have several passions, how do you know which one to choose then? What if your passion or passions are seasonal or temporal? These are all considerations that are never usually talked about.

Predicating success on someone following their passion should not be a universal standard. It gives pressure on people to conform to an ideal that does not apply to everyone. Another thing, if it is a passion it is something that you enjoy doing. Do you know that not everyone enjoys what they do yet becomes successful by doing it? In other words, you do not always have to enjoy what you are doing for it to be a pointer to success. The truth is lots of wholesome or objective things you must do to succeed are not always fun to do.

It is high time you start to interrogate what is considered popular advice. Most of what people use to inform their mindsets is merely just content. Most of those making that content is in it just for the money. Thus they will give you sound bites and mostly stuff you want to hear. If you do not take time to critically analyse you can live in bondage thinking you are on track. I love what Robert Ringer once said, ‘Question everything, even if it represents generations of conventional wisdom.