What is success to you?
To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth. Others want power. Some just want to make a positive impact on the world.
All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though, no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.
There are countless books and guides to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these write up can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.
With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” -Jim Rohn
Success isn’t complicated But like financially illiterate individuals can’t understand how to become wealthy, or health-illiterate individuals can’t understand how to lose weight, success can look impossible to achieve.
But success true, lasting success is within your grasp. It is possible. It is available, to every person, at this moment.
Right now, you can make a decision to become a student of success. You can start on a journey that will take you to a future where everything you want is possible.
The principles to get there aren’t easy, but they are simple.
If you want to achieve true, lasting success in your life ,the kind of success that will be the foundation for your life’s legacy
How to become successful
1. Focus on commitment, not motivation.
Just how committed are you to your goal? How important is it for you, and what are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it? If you find yourself fully committed, motivation will follow.
There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people . His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.
Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?
Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
Instead be ambitious.
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
How often have you set a New Year’s Resolution — and have it completely fail by the end of the year?
Maybe you set a vague goal like, “I’m going to get healthy this year!” And at first, it’s exciting!
You buy a new gym membership, dig up your old gym clothes, and start heading to the gym every day. For a week too!
But then you miss a day. That’s fine, you’ll just go tomorrow.
But then tomorrow comes along and you realize that you actually have some more work you’d like to get done.
By the end of the week you haven’t gone at all and your gym shorts are just collecting dust on your floor.
That’s because the problem with typical goal setting is that the goals set are too broad and you have no idea where to start. So when you set a goal like, “I want to get healthy,” you end up spinning your wheels.
That’s why I’m a big proponent of SMART objectives.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-oriented. And with each element in SMART objectives, you’re going to want to ask yourself a set of questions that’ll help you develop a winning goal.
Specific; What will my goal achieve? What is the precise outcome I’m looking for?
Measurable;How will I know when I’ve accomplished the goal? What does success look like?
Attainable;Are there resources I need to achieve the goal? What are those resources? (eg gym membership, bank account, new clothes, etc)
Relevant; Why am I doing this? Do I really WANT to do this? Is it a priority in my life right now?
Time-oriented;What is the deadline? Will I know in a few weeks if I’m on the right track?
Knowing this, we’re going to want to reframe that “I want to be healthy” goal into something much mores specific and actionable such as, “I want to eat 3 healthy meals per week and go to the gym 2 times a week for 15 minutes.”
Do you see how much better the SMART objective is than just vague goal setting?
A few years ago, when I was feeling overwhelmed. I was in the middle of writing one of my post, building my business, and was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
One of my friends asked me, “What’s your number one goal?”
The question made me nervous so I didn’t want to answer. I was afraid if I said my single most important goal, I’d be closing doors to all of my other goals which were many.
So I told him, “I want to be a best article writer, but I also want to generate $X million in revenue and I want to do this publicity and blah blah blah ” He cut me off and said, “Cut the BS. What’s your number one goal?”
Again, I hedged. But he pushed me and forced me to get crisp. I said, “I want this write up to be the best article in Nigeria.”
There it was. We hate giving ourselves constraints because it feels limiting. It feels like we’re giving something up, and that’s exactly what it felt like in that moment.
However, it’s also freeing at the same time. Once I actually said out loud that I wanted to become a bestselling author, it became crystal clear what I needed to do in order to achieve my goal. I focused all of my attention on those things.
If you want to become successful in any area of your life you have to have that kind of focus.
Here’s an excerpt from an interview I did with my longtime friend onifade michael. He’s the one who called me out.
Noah is a master at helping people (and himself) get laser-focused on their goals. Pay special attention at 3:53 where he talks about the strategy that he learned from Mark Zuckerberg that has brought him success.
Click here to read on Maturity signs
4.Find what you love to do and do it.
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”
Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.
If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?
Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.
Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.
5.Seek knowledge, not results.
If you focus on the excitement of discovery, improving, exploring and experimenting, your motivation will always be fueled. If you focus only on results, your motivation will be like weather it will die the minute you hit a storm. So the key is to focus on the journey , not the destination. Keep thinking about what you are learning along the way and what you can improve.
6.Learn how to balance life.
All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.
If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.
However this comes at the cost of rest , your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.
If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.
In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.
7.Get rid of stagnating thoughts.
Thoughts influence feelings and feelings determine how you view your work. You have a lot of thoughts in your head, and you always have a choice of which ones to focus on: the ones that will make you emotionally stuck (fears, doubts) or the ones that will move you forward (excitement, experimenting, trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone ).
8.Don’t rely on others.
You should never expect others to do it for you, not even your partner, friend or boss. They are all busy with their own needs. No one will make you happy or achieve your goals for you.
It’s all on you .
9.Be a person of action.
Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.
Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:
When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renissance era Italy, we think of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Or think about the present day:
Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.
You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.
All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.
Applying this to you?
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.
10.Protect yourself from burnout.
It’s easy to burn out when you are very motivated. Observe yourself to recognize any signs of tiredness and take time to rest. Your body and mind rest when you schedule relaxation and fun time into your weekly calendar. Do diverse tasks, keep switching between something creative and logical, something physical and still, working alone and with a team. Switch locations. Meditate, or just take deep breaths, close your eyes, or focus on one thing for five minutes.
Here’s how to protect yourself from burnout.
You lack motivation not because you are lazy or don’t have a goal. Even the biggest stars, richest businesspeople or the most accomplished athletes get lost sometimes. What makes them motivated is the curiosity about how much better or faster they can get. So above all, be curious, and this will lead you to your goals and success.
Things You Must Quit Doing To Be More Successful
1.Quit doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Despite his popularity and cutting insight, there are a lot of people who seem determined that two plus two will eventually equal five. The fact is simple: if you keep the same approach, you’ll keep getting the same results, no matter how much you hope for the opposite. If you want different results, you need to change your approach, even when it’s painful to do so.
2.Quit Saying Tomorrow
You know the saying, “Yesterday you said tomorrow?” Seriously, stop that! Delaying or procrastinating around something that you think is important means one of two things. You’re either scared to start because it means your life will change or you want it for the wrong reasons (i.e. someone else is encouraging you to do it).
So yes, that new healthy eating thing you want to do will be very difficult and possibly unpleasant. But every day you wait to start is another day you’re not helping yourself. And you keep telling yourself that you’ll wait until the kids are a certain age before you finish your degree, but is that really the main reason you’re waiting? Or is it because studying is not nearly as exciting as all the other options you have right now? And while you’re at it, why are you donating free money to the gym? They haven’t seen you in months.
3.Quit saying “yes.”
Every “yes” you utter is a tradeoff. By saying “yes” to one thing, you’re saying “no” to something else. Saying “yes” to staying late at work, for example, might mean saying “no” to the gym or to time spent with your family. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, showed that the more difficulty you have saying “no,” the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying “no” is indeed a major challenge for many people. No is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say “no,” avoid phrases such as I don’t think I can or I’m not certain. Saying “no” to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them. When you learn to say “no,” you free yourself from unnecessary constraints and free up your time and energy for the important things in life.
4.Quit doubting yourself.
Confidence plays a huge role in success. Hewlett-Packard conducted an interesting study whereby they analyzed the process through which people applied for promotions at the company. Women, it turned out, only applied when they met 100% of the criteria for the job they wanted, while men applied when they met 60% of the criteria. The researchers postulated that one of the (many) reasons men dominated the upper echelons of the company is that they were willing to try for more positions than females. Sometimes confidence is all it takes to reach that next level. The trick is, you have to believe it. If you doubt yourself, it won’t work. Faking confidence just doesn’t produce the same results.
I got an email the other night from someone looking for advice after reading this article . He told me that he’s been working for the same company for his entire career, rising through the ranks and loving it. But recently he realized he’s hit a wall – he’s had many reviews and each time he meets with management, they’re not giving him the promotion he knows he’s ready for. My question to him was, “Have you asked for it?”
It’s very rare for a company to proactively promote someone at a fast pace. Especially true in older organizations, if you expect your company to promote you when they feel you’re ready for it, you’ll be sitting around waiting for about 10 years to reach the next level.
Your boss is like your significant other. Don’t expect them to read your mind. They’ll only know what you need when you tell them. If you really have your heart set on something (like a promotion), you must be vocal about it. If you don’t speak up, you’re leaving the translation up to them. Expect at your own risk.
6.Bringing It All Together
There are dozens of ways we get in the way of achieving our full potential. We doubt ourselves, we decide that something is just too hard, or we tell ourselves that we’ll worry about it tomorrow. If you really want to succeed and I mean really succeed —stop focusing so much on what you should be doing and, instead, take a really good look at the things you should quit doing. It takes a great deal of emotional intelligence to pull this off.
You can also read on Pathway to a successful career
Success isn’t about being catapulted into the stratosphere overnight. It’s about taking
consistent action, testing different options, and seeing the results. I’ve laid out a plan for how you can be successful, but you have to work on it every day like The Rock’s muscles.
In fact, you can start implementing some life-changing tactics in your life TODAY.
What other things should people quit doing? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.