What does being successful mean for you? When you think about it, does success feel like hard work? What does it look like?
There will of course be many variations on the answers to these questions as we know that success has many faces. As a result our definitions thereof will obviously also be different. How do YOU define success? Is it determined by the amount of trophies someone has, by the level of peace and happiness they enjoy in their lives, or by the amount of money in their bank account or under their mattress?
Depending on your definition, you may agree or disagree that success requires a certain type of ground so that like a seed, it can germinate, sprout and grow into a plant. Planting the seeds of success on dry, barren land is probably not going to lead to the results we want or it might require more work. In any case we need to care for, water, attend to our success seeds so that they can grow into the beautiful plants we want which will provide us with beauty, nourishment (for body and soul), pleasure and maybe more.
Here are some of the principles necessary to cultivate a good level of success.
1. FOCUS –
Success does not happen overnight. You need to be focused on where you want to get to otherwise you will not get there, or when you do, you might not even realise this. Without focus you are easy prey for distraction which will do anything to keep you from reaching that success. Success is often born out of opportunity or serendipity – if we are focused we are more likely to recognise and benefit from such situations.
2. PATIENCE –
Giving up and throwing in the towel if the expected rewards do not show up within a week or a month is definitely not what success is about. Patience goes hand in hand with determination. In particular if you are looking for financial or career success you need to have staying power when the going gets rough, when the unexpected happens or you have to retrace steps you have already taken.
3. MOTIVATION –
We have to take it one step at a time; we might stumble, we might fall but we pick ourselves up and keep going. The motivation we need might be prompted by someone or something but lasting motivation comes from within. Find what motivates you and focus on that. I think success and motivation are inseparable.
4. ACTION –
Having a wish is not enough if you want to be successful. In your endeavour, Action is KEY. Decide on which actions you want to take when and START. Don’t put off taking action till the right moment, you know it will never come. Starting right now will get you started and make it easier to take the next and then the next step.
- Many of us have heard the expression “how to eat an elephant”. Well it is not really about eating an elephant but about chunking down larger goals and TAKING action, one step at a time. Here we have a combination of two of the principles of success:
- having a plan and a system and
- taking action, rather than just planning or thinking about doing so.
5. HAVING A SYSTEM –
Having a system for the actions you want to take will help keep you motivated and organised. A system of habits coupled with the right tools and a good level of consistency are further ingredients to be taken into consideration when cooking up your own recipe for success.
6. UNIQUENESS –
While looking to other people’s achievements might help some, it can cause others to feel less worthy, capable or deserving. Other people’s stories may be helpful. It is quite legitimate to know of, read, and listen to what others have done and how they did so. But I would caution against comparing yourself to them. You are unique. YOUR success is more likely if it is authentic, stamped your own individual spin than being a replica of what someone else has done. Be your own success story.
7. CELEBRATE –
Celebrate your big & small successes. Be grateful and happy for and about the small steps you take. To do this it helps to keep tabs on where you started, where you want to get to and what you have achieved in between. Ask yourself “what are the indicators for success in MY life?” Know clearly what they are so that you will know when you have achieved them. Getting excited about your small steps will motivate and propel you forwards towards the bigger goals.
8. YOU TIME –
Remember to rest and take quality time for yourself. This is so important. Running yourself down, not getting enough sleep, and eating badly will leave you lacking in stamina. Neglecting to exercise will also contribute to you not getting to where you want to. Even if you have the best plan, an excellent system and good intentions. Remember too that pushing yourself harder because your success definition is someone else’s often leads to demotivation than an increase in motivation.
There is a saying that Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Are your indicators for being successful determined by those of the society you live in? The principles above may help you be prepared and hopefully more aware when opportunities present.
Your Success Stories?
What are your success stories? Is success important for you? What are you prepared to do to be successful? And what would you not be prepared to do? I am curious to hear your thoughts on success and this blog. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
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