You are NOT supposed to have a job that you love and look forward to everyday. Instead, your job is just your job, and you leave it at 5 o’clock everyday to get on with the rest of your life. In fact, you really should feel lucky you even have a job.

You are NOT supposed to take risks. Instead, you need to play it safe, stay under the radar, do your job and hopefully you won’t fail and get laid off.

You are NOT supposed to pursue things you are passionate about. Instead, you need to find a secure work environment with a stable future. There is no future in things you are actually interested in doing.

You are NOT supposed to invest yourself into your interests too much. Instead, you need to make sure your hobbies stay just that; hobbies. No reason to spend more time, money or energy on them than is absolutely necessary.

You are NOT supposed to put yourself out there. Instead, you need to keep your head down, work hard and hope someone will notice you eventually.

You are NOT supposed to change things. Instead, you should realize that the status quo is there for a reason and should not be tinkered with.

You are NOT supposed to overcome your fears. Instead, you should play it safe, go with the flow and not do things which scare you like giving a presentation, writing an article and getting it published or even just sharing your thoughts with others.

You are NOT supposed to connect or be friends with your competition. Instead, you should wish the worst upon them and hope they’re out of business soon so that you can take all of their work.

You are NOT supposed to be persistent. Instead, you should realize that you are just going to annoy people and that hard work is all you need in your professional life.

You are NOT supposed to demand more out of yourself or others. Instead, you should be content with whatever comes your way. After all, that is the status quo as listed above.

Lastly, you are NOT supposed to be accountable for what you do. Instead, you should always retain deniability in your life; a way to pass the blame or shrug off responsibility for your actions.

Although these things are not always said out loud, they are exactly how I see so many living their personal and professional lives. Conventional wisdom, tradition, teachers, bosses, friends and family (even if unknowingly) often reinforce these ideas of things we are not supposed to do.

My question then is… why is it that, more often than not, successful people are doing some or all of the things listed above?