How To Succeed
Yes we all want to succeed. To BE successful. Yet if you were to pluck 20 people from the street right now and ask them what it means to succeed, you’re guaranteed they will all answer differently.
Everyone’s definition of success is different, mainly due to their individual backgrounds, previous experiences, expectations, abilities, personalities and values.
It can even come down to gender, as external factors often affect our pathway to success, both in our professional and personal lives. Like it or not, outside influences can predict much of our future or at least how easy or difficult certain aspects of our lives will be.
Definition of Success
The one thing that remains clear is when you are satisfied with what you have done, that you have reached your own goals, then you have been successful. It has, and should, have nothing to do with how we are perceived by others, even though we live in a world where we are constantly judged and compared.
Therefore we can’t make a generic definition of success, career or otherwise, other than to say that success is realizing your own ambition. And we certainly cannot say there is one clear pathway to success that everyone should follow because the same formula is not going to work for everybody.
One thing we all do have in common is that the way forward is uncertain without a destination and a route. Sounds easy to fix that, except many of us don’t actually know what we want at all. We amble along, taking what life throws at us and a lot of what happens with our lives or careers is the result of chance, even though we think that we would be happier if we were somehow more successful.
If you really want to succeed this is what you need to do today;
Define Your Idea of Success
Begin at your destination. Visualize what your life would be like if you had reached your goals and were successful. How would that feel?
In all likelihood the need to prove yourself would have faded and be replaced by the need to help others. This may be why so many wealthy individuals turn to philanthropy once they feel satisfied with their own position in life. In fact that may be the defining nature of success, if there was one, for everybody, to feel like your life had more purpose than merely your own survival.
Or perhaps you want to leave a legacy behind when your life has expired. Something you’ve done for your family that will have a knock-on effect for generations to come. It could be simply pulling your family out of poverty or building a successful business that you can pass on. In that case you will feel success when you no longer fear for your children’s or grandchildren’s future.
If you came from a particularly difficult background your satisfaction and feeling of success may come from having a career and a good job to go to every day. The moment you know you’ve gone further than your parents and grandparents, the moment you know you’ve achieved what they wanted for you, may be your destination.
Don’t forget, the level of success you have achieved is measured not by where you’ve got to, but the distance you had to travel to get there. And when you succeed it’s not the end of your life. Sometimes it’s just the beginning.
Map Your Route To Success
So you know where you’re going. This may change in the future but for now at least you can plan a route. How you do this is simple. Create five columns on a sheet of paper.
Column One: Write down what a typical day in the life of that destination will entail, in a list format. You could make a list of these questions and add your own too;
When you are successful, where will you live? Who will be with you? What will you do? What will you have? What will you wear? What condition will your health be in? Your weight? Bank balance? Number of children? And so on. Only enter what matters to you.
Column Two: Fill in the answer to the first column.
Column Three: State where you are right now with each of these items. For example, if you imagine yourself driving a Porsche when you are successful, in the third column you should write down the car that you currently drive or state that you don’t have a car yet if that is the case.
Column Four: This is where you get your head around what it takes to make it to that successful place you have imagined. It is the distance between column two and column three and you need to write in here what it will take to make up the difference.
For instance, if you do want a Porsche to make you feel successful but you currently cannot afford to buy one, then clearly you need to increase your income by X amount in order to afford that kind of lifestyle. Or if you imagine yourself as a slimmer person when you are successful, then write in here the size or weight difference. Do the same for every item on your list.
Column Five: This may be the most important piece because this is where you look for ways to make column four happen and write them down. For instance, to get the desired results you may need to do a course to change or lift your career, join a gym to help you lose weight or slot walking into your daily routine, etc. These are your action points and the real route to your definition of success. Think of it as a bucket list with a purpose!
The things you need to do will be very specific to you and your needs and ambitions and may be related to your health, income, career or relationships. They may be motivational or related to other self improvement areas. But for everybody, writing them down like this turns them into actionable items and forces you to look for realistic ways to make them happen.
Realize Your Ambition To Succeed
Of course you can easily forget this exercise as soon as it’s done, throw the piece of paper away and get back to the grind of daily life as it is.
But don’t do that. Instead, add the items from column five into your diaries, iPhones and calendars so you’re constantly reminded throughout the year ahead of your action points designed to help you to succeed. You’ll be more likely to do them this way and you can realize your ambitions sooner rather than later. A year from now, you will be happy with your progress toward success.