Have you ever read an interview where someone who’s succeeded in a particular area is asked the secret of his/her success and their response gives the impression success was just waiting for them to show up so it could land in their laps? Well, that may be true for a very, very small proportion of the world. Chances are, the rest of us have to work at it. Consistently. Strategically.
I believe success leaves clues, so no matter what area you’re looking at, there must be something you can pick up from someone’s story.
From my research on hundreds of successful people, I’ve narrowed these clues down to 7 things I call success tools. True they may work to varying degrees for each person, but it’s highly unlikely you will find any successful person who’s not engaged one – if not all – of them on their journey.
- Change your thinking – A wise man once said. “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is”. You can’t be more than what you think about. If your mind set is one of being small, unhappy, unfortunate, poor, etc. then chances are you will constantly make decisions that will keep you at the level of your thinking. Think bigger, bolder, more audacious thoughts. Once you can decide to think differently, your journey has begun.
- Take action – So you’re thinking differently, but do your thoughts match your actions? Are you thinking healthy and filling your body with junk food? Are you thinking progress in your career but not developing yourself in any way to prepare for the promotion? Your thoughts and actions have to match before you can start seeing any real change. Otherwise, you’ll just end up frustrated.
- Don’t choose the easy way out – Accept that you will not take any short cuts and decide to face whatever obstacle head on. Do you need to wake up an hour earlier so you can study? Do it. Do you need to put some more money aside and spend less on what looks nice right now? Do it. Don’t sacrifice your future on the altar of instant gratification. Your future self will thank you for making these tough calls.
- Get used to being uncomfortable – “I did absolutely nothing that stretched me and just ended up successful”, said no one ever… Truth is, we all have to stretch out of our comfort zones to grow. Whether you are networking with people outside of your normal circle, developing a new idea/concept, whatever you’re doing, you have to reach beyond your comfort zone in order to grow.
- The big ‘C’: Commitment. That’s what keeps you going long after the euphoria of deciding to make changes leaves you. When discomfort hits and you’re still not seeing the vision that you’ve created actualized. It’s your commitment to your goals/plan/vision that will keep you going.
- Keep at it: Often times having a yo-yo mentality is the biggest dream killer. Why? Because short bursts of intensity are exactly that: short. You need to be consistent with whatever you do. Once you set out to do something, stick with it. Be known for it. Be consistent.
- Falling is part of the process: There’s no child that learned how to walk without falling a lot. But what does the child do when he/she falls? Gets up again and keeps taking one step after another. I believe life can be like that when you start something. You may fall over and over, but keep getting up each time. You probably won’t get it right the first time.
You may fail, most likely. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do that ‘first’. Could be publishing a book, could be applying for that job. The most important thing is that you did it, not that you failed. Get yourself together, and try again.
I love the way Thomas Edison described his experience when trying to invent a working lightbulb. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” And he kept at it.
I hope you’ve found these useful and start implementing immediately. Believe that You Can succeed and you will.