Many of us today are not where we want to be in life. We feel like we should be further along in our lives and more successful in our careers and businesses. Unfortunately, success seems a long, long way out, and a really tough nut to crack.
If you are at a point in your life where you feel it’s about time you got ahead in life, then that’s a good sign that you are ready for success. But, you must first know how to achieve and maintain that success you desire. There are some critical things you can do to draw success and ensure it stays.
Here are a few key things that when diligently cultivated can help you attract success and safeguard your happiness in life and business.
1. Give up the fixed mindset
According to a psychological concept developed by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, there are two types of mindset people have: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset leads people to believe that their basic qualities like talent and intelligence are fixed traits. People with a fixed mindset, therefore, spend most of their time documenting how talented or intelligent they are instead of developing their qualities. They believe that talent alone, without effort, is what brings success. But, they're wrong.
You need to cultivate a growth mindset to truly succeed and keep succeeding. A growth mindset underscores that it’s not how good you are; it’s how good you want to be. It emphasizes that growth, intelligence and ability can be developed.
When you develop a growth mindset, it changes your perception and motivates you to invest in yourself and acquire new skills and knowledge. And when you continuously self-improve and grow, it ultimately opens doors for you and propels you to greater success.
Remember, who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow. And no matter where you are right now, you can grow and have the future you want. Focus on improving yourself like an athlete instead of worrying about how talented or smart you are. As author Robert Greene says, “The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”
2. Stop waiting for a miracle to happen.
There are no “magic bullets.” No one will swoop in and rescue you. And no one will give you permission to live your dream. If you are waiting for someone or something to come and rescue you, you might end up waiting your whole life. As Ryan Holiday writes in The Obstacle is the Way, “Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles.”
Rather than sitting there waiting for a miracle, hoping something external will come and change your circumstances, get up and start changing things yourself. It might not be easy to change your life; it might not even be straightforward, but action engages your brain as opposed to numbing it to death. When you act, you take back the power and the reigns to direct the outcome of your own life.
So, define success for yourself based on your own values and dreams. Then go for it. “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe,” Oprah Winfrey has said. Improve even just 1 percent of your circumstances every day, and the ripple effect will work for you and alter your entire life.
If you want more, do more. You are enough. You can do whatever you decide to do.
3. Set realistic goals.
While you should dream big and aim high, don’t imagine Rome was built in a day or think that you can build it in a day. You can’t. Some things are impractical and only set you up to fail. Have realistic expectations and achievable goals. Realism can save you a great deal of heartache and disappointment.
Set both long-term and short-term goals, and live within your means. S.M.A.R.T goals will help you streamline your life and keep your efforts more orderly. They'll give you a general idea of where you are going because if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
And who knows where that random road will take you.
4. Get your priorities right.
“A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things,” observed Jim Rohn. Don’t be one of those people who waste their lives on things that really don’t matter. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough,” added Mae West.
Make time for those people who truly matter. Use your skills, energy and resources to create something of value. You really can’t put a price-tag on certain things in life. These things are invaluble to you because you’d give up everything for them. Those are the things you should prioritize.
Flashy cars and diamond rings are not essential in life. They should not be a priority. Your relationships and personal values, on the other hand, don’t have a price-tag. Keep things in proper perspective always, and never exchange something priceless for a price.
5. Keep your purpose close to your heart.
Every day, as soon as you wake up, recommit to your life's purpose. Focus on your goals, hopes and dreams. Don’t be distracted by all the shiny things you see out there, or even the setbacks and failures you witness on your way.
Detach yourself from the noise and keep pursing bigger and better dreams. Keep your eyes on the price. Learn from others' mistakes and keep moving forward.
When you live at a higher frequency with your purpose and passions close to your heart, everything around you will reflect that.
6. Stop trying to please everybody.
Let go of the need to be liked. Think of yourself as a product in the market. There will be people who like that product, and there will be other individuals who don’t. You can try to improve the product, but no matter what you do you still won’t be able to make everyone like the product.
This is entirely normal, and there is no problem or need to justify yourself because not everyone likes you. “The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important,” said Oliver Emberton.
In most cases, you will know something is noteworthy when someone else cares enough to hate on it or give unsolicited critique. As Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, said, “Haters confirm greatness.” When you really start showing up, the haters will creep up -- and that's okay.
7. Affirm yourself.
If you have a tendency to beat yourself down or play small at every opportunity, stop it.
It’s easy to talk about how hard your life is or how you’re “way” behind, but this kind of talk doesn’t help anyone. So quit putting yourself down because, as late computer science professor Randy Pausch said in The Last Lecture, “It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”
Nurture a positive attitude instead, and be your own cheerleader. Encourage yourself that you are good enough and you will be. Vocalize your ideas, hopes and dreams. No matter your starting point and past experiences, you can turn things around.
Scott Adams, creator of the comic series Dilbert, attributes his success to the use of positive affirmations. Each day he wrote on a piece of paper the sentence, “I Scott Adams, will become a syndicated cartoonist” fifteen times. Guess what, he became a famous syndicated cartoonist.
8. Take care of your body.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn said. Your health is your wealth. If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here.
There are two basic things you need to keep in mind when it comes to taking care of your health: a healthy diet and physical activity. Eat well and exercise. If you are having trouble sticking to a health routine, start small. Take small steps toward your health goals. Small changes in key areas of your life set in motion progress and consistent growth.
As Warren Buffet has said, "I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over." Move on from here in the beginning.
9. Stay the course.
Persistence is vital because there will be challenges, setbacks and knockdowns in life—oftentimes when you are least expecting it. But, despite the inevitable challenges and setbacks, you must raise up again, maintain a level head and stay the course. Otherwise, the waves of life will knock you down and wash you away.
Remember your life’s purpose and keep on going. Adjust the sails where necessary and persist on the journey you have chosen for yourself. It may sound cliché, but persistence pays. The sweetest victories come after the hardest battles; the best views after the hardest climbs.
10. Surround yourself with the right people.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn famously said. Give up the toxic, hateful people. Spend time with positive people instead who have a great attitude.
Also, hang out with those people who are more accomplished than you. If you spend a lot of time with people who are less accomplished than you, your average may go down, and with it your success.
Appreciate loved ones and those who are willing to work with and for you. Respect and acknowledge their input and ideas. And remain positive and authentic always. Never forget where you have come from and the people who have helped you along the way.
Humility, gratitude and respect are precious traits that will keep the fire and light of your success shining brighter and longer.