Something that a lot of people don’t understand is how to define what success is or is not. I don’t believe is there is any 1 correct answer. Ask an audience of 100 people and you can end up with 1,000 different variations. You don’t have to agree with these points. I might not even agree with them a year from now.
Here are some common blurbs:
- Financial independence/freedom
- Happiness as broadly defined
- Getting what you want and wanting what you get (or something like that…)
- Having lots of friends that look up to you
- Being fulfilled emotionally and physically
- Owning a home, car, and having a steady job
- Being a well known public figure and ‘successful’ busines owner
- Being able to donate a lot of money to charity
- Serving a worthy cause
- Having all of your needs met…
These are all valid points to those that make them… If, they serve the persons true motivation or ‘why’.
It is a bit cliche but true that people naturally seek pleasure and avoid pain. Hopefully no sadists are reading this. Simply put this means that people are by nature going to seek out what makes them feel good, or happy. You could argue that those who listen to sad music do so because that is what makes them happy. A bit strange but nobody is perfect.
What Is Success?
I challenge you to figure that out for yourself. Create your own definition of success. That definition will gradually change over time. You will at one point be convinced that you’ve arrived at the right conclusion only to find with a new idea that it is something more. Keep digging.
I’ve gleaned what I could from biographies of famous people on their keys to success and many of the same points continually popped up. Learning these philosophies will shorten the learning process.
Some problems with financial motivations
Pursuing ones passion in life should not be primarily linked to some financial motive. Yes, having wealth can be important. Most fights between spouses and couples are financially related. Sometimes you just need enough money to take care of yourself in order to take care of others around you.
Money is just a means to an end – either good or bad
Money was never the root of all evil. Bad people will always do bad things and good people with more money will be able to do more good things.
Financial abundance and the law of attraction
When it comes to unleashing financial abundance it really comes down to choosing one extreme over the other. One cannot say that they only want some money and not too much. It has never worked out that way at least not on a subconscious level which is by the way infinitely more powerful than the conscious level – and less understood. Napoleon Hill said it best when he wrote, “Whatever the mind can sincerely conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Don’t suppress self-doubt. Rather, address it for what what it really is – a culmination of clever lies.
Don’t let any negatives play in your mind. Let even the smallest amount of doubt creep in and it will soon begin to spread. What’s that midlife crisis? Perhaps it is self-doubt telling you that you are ‘too old’, that your idea sucks, that you aren’t an entrepreneur because nobody else in your family was…. All these make-believe excuses fed to you by society. It’s just doubt that leads to depression. This is why it is important to surround yourself with people who see greatness within you, that believe in you, support you, and are in a better place than you (so that you slowly come up to their level) – See the law of association.
Address all of your limiting beliefs
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is important because you are most likely the sum average of the 5 closest people you associate with. Most of the time you won’t even know what you don’t know. Just a year ago from today I used to believe that where I was in my life was the result of my upbringing, my parents, my genetics, and environment. Little did I know that it wasn’t those things but my attitude towards those things. My philosophies towards life were guiding my thoughts which in turn were guiding my actions which in turn were producing those results. When I stopped creating excuses and arguing for my problems I released myself from them. I gave myself back control over my own life.
Thoughts become things – a profound idea that I came across in James Allen’s book “As A Man Thinketh.”
Think about it… Why is it that people from the same environment (tend) to have the same results? It is because they develop similar philosophies…. I don’t say that to falsify what was said about owning your own destiny but to point out that something as simple as coming across a few profound ideas and reading a few good books can start the path towards a better future.
A cigarette a day won’t kill you but the compounded effect of thousands of cigarettes will. Also, one cannot eat 30 apples in one day hoping to get their months worth of fruits…. Anything worth doing is worth being consistent in and it takes no more than 21 days to form a new habit.
The old question of finding your “why”
Finding your why is simply finding what drives you. What are you willing to fight for or even die for? It isn’t ‘money’ but the things that you want to do with the money. What motivates, gets you excited and out of bed early each morning? Mondays don’t suck it’s just your job? Most employees are unhappy in life and they don’t even know how to overcome their state of affairs. To be fair, most entrepreneurs are also unhappy (initially) because they need to overcome buttloads of rejection while developing a thick skin – if they ever reach that point.
This “why” talk has been beaten to death over the past few years… But just in case you need to hear it again.
There will be haters
This is why the journey to the top can be lonely. It is a road less travelled. Most people would rather take the easy way out and buy into their excuses. But if you argue for your problems you get to keep them.
I think haters are just people that gave up on pursuing their own dreams and now spend their time stopping others from achieving theirs. Sometimes.. Actually often, they are the ones closest to you. They can’t see it – you being ‘a success’. Do they do it to hurt you? Not necessarily. It is merely a reflection of where they are at in their own life. They could just be doing it because they don’t want you to go through the ‘pain’ of rejection and failure.
Don’t burn your bridges
Walking away from the wrong crowd doesn’t mean voicing your opinion and making yourself appear better than they are. Everybody goes through different stages. Some people won’t be open to making a change. You can’t change someones mind but you can help them make their own decisions. Let people find their own way. If however your friends turn out to be ‘acquaintances’ who were never really your friends then nothing is lost.
Your level of success is correlated with your failure rate
I wouldn’t bet any money on there being scientific data on this but I’m convinced that the more you fail, the more you can overcome. Those who can handle almost any level of rejection (which starts with the right philosophies – seeing things for what they really are), can overcome almost anything. These are the people that achieve massive success. It is simply impossible to stop a man or a woman that won’t quit.
Spend more time improving your strengths, not your weaknesses
One of the many issues faced by entrepreneurs is the desire to be good at everything and wear many hats. But sometimes we need to take a step back and evaluate our bank statements. Is it working? If not, perhaps it is time to delegate what we aren’t good at and focus only on what we are good at. What made Napoleon Bonaparte a great leader was his ability to delegate and invest authority/trust in other leaders below him.
Just think American Idol… Sure you can accomplish amazing things but you need to fully believe in it. We are all guilty of judging people by their appearances. And I’m sure we’ve also experienced that ‘wtf’ moment where that person blew you away with something you weren’t expecting.
Want to know the secret to making $500 an hour? Simply do the tasks that make you $500 an hour and delegate the $10 an hour tasks to someone else. Too many business owners spread themselves thinly trying to do the $10 an hour, $12 an hour, and $15 an hour tasks mixed in with the real money makers.
Apply the Pareto Principle to your life
“The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”
Do at any point in time that which is the most efficient use of your time. Sure it is hard, but only for 21 days. After that it becomes natural. Learning a new sport may developing a new set of motor skills. Over time however the golf swing, backstroke, or jumpshot will begin to feel natural with repetition. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. But there is no such thing as perfect so forget about it.
Hone commitment & time management skills. Want to live longer? Simply practice time management. You will get more done in less time. Successful people are usually productive people who know that one thing money can’t buy is more time.
3 of the best?
These were mentioned but if you were looking for the 3 most important elements (from what has worked for me) here they are below… At some point in time you need to take action and apply what you learn. Recommended book list.
1– One of the keys to unleashing your true potential and becoming an “unstoppable entrepreneur” (if that is what you desire to become) is to reprogram your mind. Take everything you’ve ever learned about success from unsuccessful people and throw it out the window. Why? Because if you buy the opinions of unsuccessful people you begin to think like them and will start getting the same results as them.
Successful people simply think differently than the masses. Two people can look at the exact same situation and have a completely different view of it.
The unsuccessful person (who is filled with limiting beliefs) will say well, I don’t know anyone so I won’t be able to do it. They stop themselves right there without even giving themselves a chance. Did you know that the biggest bully is your own mind? Your own mind can and will trick you if you let it. Like a garden, the longer you let it grow wild the more difficult it becomes to clean up. The longer you let the mind go unchecked the longer it will take to reprogram.
The successful person (or the person on a path towards success – practicing the habits of successful people) will say I don’t know anyone that’s why I HAVE to meet people. They make the excuses of unsuccessful people the reasons why they need to succeed. They take calculated risks, overcome obstacles, earn the best form of knowledge (through experience) and put themselves in a better position to achieve great things. Increasing the odds of success (whatever your definition of success may be) increases each time you go out and meet people, learn to think in a better way, learn a new skill and so forth.
2– A second key element is to get around successful people (people that you would like to aspire to become greater than). If you can find someone great and see what they do you will know exactly what it takes to do 10% more than what they do. This 10% extra needs to follow the Pareto Principle as well. Not a single person on this earth has come anywhere near their full potential. If you can’t find someone to mentor you know that you can be mentored by books and audios. Don’t worry about spending less time with your current friends if they aren’t on the same page as you. If they were ever your friends to begin with they will still be around. By then they might even be open to undergoing the same transformation that you underwent. Just remember that you can’t change people. You can however help them make a decision to change themselves. Helping a caterpillar out of its cocoon will actuall kill it. Pain is necessary.
3– Third? The secret to success is that there is no secret. The definition of secret is “not known or seen or not meant to be seen by others.”
Histories most successful people spent most of their lives sharing all of this information. There will always be a group of people (cough.. the government) that doesn’t want this information getting out to the masses but regardless this information is all readily available – always has been. It just takes gradual shifts in thinking to begin to see the many opportunities around us all day. Think coctail phenomenon.
My secret to success for anyone reading this is Google, YouTube, a burning desire to be extremely wealthy – fueled by my passion for helping others that are in a bad situation yet don’t make excuses, reading the right books, and meeting the right people.
The more people you meet the greater your chances of success. This is why it is often said that your network is your net ‘worth’.
This isn’t an exhaustive list but you also shouldn’t try to tackle all of these things at once. A person can completely change and it only takes a 12 month period to do so. I’ve gone through military basic training and have seen the army turn even the most out of shape potato spuds into a force to be reckoned with in less than 3 months.
Anyone can do it. Sometimes certain people that you meet will develop a certain limiting philosophy or attitude that reduces their chances of for example, giving up the habit of making excuses for everything wrong, which makes any form of change very difficult. I wouldn’t worry about it. Just move on.
Ben Franklin used to say “a person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.”
One of the most profound moments in my life when tackling this question was when I came across someone who had worked at the same job for over 30 years. I asked him how he could be so happy working for minimum wage.
He said he had a wife and two children that adore him. He takes them out on the weekends and they get to spend a lot of quality time together. He was also going to be retiring soon with his pension. He even mentioned that his job wasn’t all that bad. Just sit around most of the time.
Now most people wouldn’t want his income. Minimum wage is nowhere anywhere near average. If anything it was well below the national average. However, he was happy – he had it made.
He was a success. Never bash on people who have it made. There are even ‘successful’ entrepreneurs who are depressed and suicidal who hate on those that might appear to have settled for less but are at least happy. Don’t become that person. Everyone has their own definition of what real success is. To me, financial success is just a facade. If the things that you get to do with having more money, or, ‘financial success’ doesn’t or won’t make you more happy, then maybe (just maybe) it isn’t worth pursuing.
Set goals. Clearly defined goals that are also achievable… Brian Tracy is one of the many coaches in this area. Find a mentor be it a book, audio, someone local, (recommend a combination of all). Invest in yourself. Buy into yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. The first person we must lead by example and also sell to is ourselves.
The law of attraction is real.
You attract or become what you think about most of the time. The law of attraction doesn’t work when thinking in negative terms. For example, if you have a goal to get into shape, don’t tell yourself I don’t want to carry extra fat. Instead, visualize how you want to be, healthier, etc. The problem with thinking in negative terms is even though you are focusing on not wanting to have extra fat, you are still visualizing an image of yourself with extra fat. The mind doesn’t know the difference.
This could be why people who say they don’t want to date assholes usually end up attracting assholes into their lives. Always take a closer look at the way you think about things as it can show you glimpses into your future.
Thoughts become things.