Rule to break: Become a great multitasker
The myth of multitasking for efficiency has been busted. However, it still has a powerful hold over us, especially with smart phones and other technologies that allow our brains to distract us. According to Gary Keller, author of The One Thing, multitasking leads to more mistakes due to the mental tendency to favor new information over old; a distorted sense of time, taking far longer than necessary to accomplish the important things; lost time as you bounce back and forth between tasks (Keller estimates a 28 percent loss of your workday!), and more. Keller’s research found multitaskers are less happy than those who learn to focus on one thing at a time.
Rule to break: Nice guys finish last
I am a very nice guy, but if you saw me facing a new class at the start of Kokoro camp (a class modeled after U.S. Navy SEAL Hell Week), you probably wouldn’t say so. In those moments, a casual passerby could mistake me for a monster even though there isn’t a negative thought in my head. Focused determination is often mistaken for stern, cold, or even mean. That’s fine: It’s okay to be both nice and intensely focused. In those moments, everyone who matters—those who actually know you—knows you have your game face on and are not intending to be short or mean, even if you might appear that way. “Nice” in our society typically means you go overboard to get along; you give in to peer pressure or allow “B” players to stay on the team to avoid making them feel bad. These are all recipes for mediocrity. Here are more winning attributes all successful people have.