Do you know people who seem in perfect control of their lives? What does their attitude look like? Are they serious and know how to cope, or, conversely, are they scattered and disorganized? Successful people do not take their lives lightly. They are proactive and consider seriously the results they achieve. They know how to please, but they do not enjoy it their main source of satisfaction.

The topic I present to you in this article concerns the constructive attitudes that you can adopt to be in complete control of your life. Think of the difference between work – or discipline – and effectiveness. We tend to believe that if we work hard we will get higher results. But this relationship is not quite true.

On the one hand, your work can be inefficient; that is to say, you make efforts but receive little results. In this case, it is better to revise the way you work. This article will offer you tools to help you on that.

On the other hand, your job provides you with results, but these results aren’t the kind that are really helpful to your self-realization. This is what happens when you just react, without concerning yourself about the fact that your actions produce results. Your vision, and a proactive approach, can help you avoid this pitfall.

Thus, it is useful to work hard and be tough, but these attitudes become thoroughly useless if your actions don’t bring you your desired results. For example, I could take six months to review the text of this article. I would then suffer the syndrome of “the author who seeks perfection.” However, perfection does not exist! During these six months, I could just change a few turns of phrase, or add or remove commas. The work would not essentially change.

Yet in doing so, I could believe that I am rigorously working. But my work does not really provide me with results. Don’t worry though, I am a perfectionist enough to devote the necessary time to my projects. But I also am careful not to pour into the obsession of the perfectionist, which quickly becomes a hindrance to creativity and improvement. By the trap of being too perfect, we spend less time on that which allows us to really improve! What a paradox!

Efficiency is therefore your actions in connection with the results you want. Ask yourself, “To what extent do my actions enable me to fulfill myself?” “Do the resources I use allow me to get more and better results with less effort?” If you do not bother to ask these questions (and answer them), you condemn yourself to performing a number of actions that waste time and take you nowhere.

Effort is important. It is even a component of effectiveness. But effort alone can make us tremendously inefficient! People with “principles,” that force them only to follow strict rules are often tough, but not necessarily effective. I don’t mean, naturally, the sort of principles that mean respecting laws and acting morally towards others. It is important for everyone to follow those principles

I’m talking about rigid rules that we invent for ourselves and we follow in any situation. “I always do perfect work” is an example of such strict principles. It is commendable to strive for perfection. But if deadlines are too short, it’s better to spend time working on an “imperfect” piece of work than submitting a “perfect” work late. Our principles should be more useful; you need to be able to modify certain principles based on a case-by-case basis, otherwise you get disastrous results!

Remember, the key to efficiency is to be concerned about your actions providing maximum results with minimum effort. Some say it’s a lazy way of thinking. But I’ll bet those who say this are not efficient themselves.

Why? Simply because they would know that when we are efficient and get results, it increases our motivation, and we work with even more passion to see our dreams come true. This attitude is hardly the definition of laziness!