Paying taxes to the government hurts, but most people pay self-imposed taxes that are far more of a burden. Here are the four taxes (based on quotes from Benjamin Franklin and Jack Canfield) that you should immediately stop paying:
1. The Idleness Tax
Time is money, so time spent poorly is money lost. Idleness is when you spend your time neither working nor relaxing but instead distracting yourself from both.
When you spend more than an hour a day watching videos or playing computer games, you’re paying an idleness tax. When you avoid important work to do something trivial, like cleaning your office, you’re paying an idleness tax. When you hold or attend meetings with no agenda, you’re not just paying an idleness tax yourself but also taxing everyone else.
To stop paying this tax, make every moment count. Plan ahead and stay focused. The time you’ll save is like money in the bank.
2. The Pride Tax
It’s normal to be proud of your work and proud of what you’ve built. That’s the good kind of proud. There another kind of pride, though, that’s a heavy tax on your entire career and on any organization that you might run.
When you’re too proud to share the credit, the people you need to help you succeed will pull away in disgust. When you’re too proud to be polite, you’ll get the reputation for being a huge jerk. Who knows what opportunities that might lose you? When you’re too proud to get your hands dirty with your team, they’ll slack off the moment your back is turned.
To stop paying this tax, just get over yourself. Stop believing you’re “self-made” and start believing you’re here to help others.
3. The Foolishness Tax
In business, foolishness takes the form of woodenheaded denial when confronted with facts that undermine your assumptions.
When you refuse to admit you were wrong (but secretly know that you were), you’re paying the foolishness tax. When you try to market your way out of a product quality problem (“let’s just rebrand!”), your foolishness eats away at sales revenue. When you pay people (like analysts) to tell you what you want to hear, your foolishness can gobble up your company’s future.
To stop paying this tax, cultivate relationships with people who will tell you the truth even when it hurts to hear it.
4. The Complaint Tax
And finally, the biggest tax of all: wasting your time carping and moaning about stuff that you can’t change.
These unchangeable things include the economy, the government, your employees, your competitors, gas prices, the weather and the taxes you pay every year.
Every second you spend complaining is a second that’s lost forever. It’s a huge drain on your life that creates nothing whatsoever of benefit to anybody.
By contrast, the taxes that you pay to the government actually (sometimes) do some good. Nothing good ever came out of a complaint.
To stop paying this tax, keep your mind focused on how you can truly change the world by creating something better.