Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, how did they do that? How have they managed to achieve all that they have? How can I become like that? I have thoughts like that, probably a little too much than I should. It’s never good to compare yourself to other people or to have feelings as though you’ve underachieved and thoughts of ‘What have I been doing my whole life?’ But it happens, especially today with modern technology slapping us in the face with images and status’ of people who’ve quit their jobs to go travelling for the rest of their lives, the people who’ve landed their dream job at their dream company, the people who’ve moved to the big city with hopes of finding themselves, the people who’ve achieved top grades and those people who’ve managed to buy a big house and a fancy car by the age of 21.
On the other hand, if seeing someone online or speaking to an old friend and learning about their new life and achievements is enough for us to get out of bed, have a good look at ourselves in the mirror and decide enough is enough, we need to achieve that goal we’ve thought about for too long, then that’s good, rather than daydreaming the years away. Or is it that we are never truly satisfied and are just looking for the next big thing?
What makes a person successful? What is success? If you are successful will you become happy? Or is it that happy people become happy when they are rewarded with success? I’ve been wondering this for some time; I have come up with 10 things which I believe makes a person ‘successful’. Now, you’re not going to turn into a superstar overnight and nor do you have to, but with the right guidance, if you’re currently not as happy with your ‘lot’, you could become one step closer to your ideal of success.
In no particular order…
Say goodbye to procrastination and say ‘Hello!’ to better time management. Successful people are not the ones who stay in bed, they are either early risers who wake up knowing what their first task of the day is or they are the late sleepers who can’t go to bed until they are satisfied. Successful people use their time wisely, they know the specific amount of time that they have and they know what needs to be done within that time. In the process of achieving a goal, something else is sacrificed. You will often find successful people knowing what they have to say no to in order to finish their task (whilst still making time for family and friends). What can you do? Set that alarm a bit earlier, turn your phone off, dedicate an amount of time for what it is that you want/need to do and make sure it gets done.
According to Benjamin Franklin,“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” It is thought that only a mere 3% of people actually write goals down. But did you know that those who write goals down are 50% more likely to achieve in comparison to those who just think about it. I think that planning is important when wanting to have better time management and productivity. If you don’t plan and write things down, how do you know what needs to be done and how long you have? How do you even know what you want? The act of writing things down makes the desire more specific. It’s also motivation for you to get things done on a set day at a set time, rather than just when you feel like it, which can often end up being ‘I’ll do it next week’. Planning is simple, you don’t need to wait for New Year to do this and you certainly don’t need a fancy diary or big poster on the wall (but you could also do that). Grab a piece of paper and an old pen and write down the things that you need to get done by the end of the day and then when you have completed that, write down a list of things that you are going to do tomorrow. You might even like to write your Bucket List to make sure you keep an eye on the ‘bigger picture’ and feel satisfied that you’re enjoying your life!
Successful people go out of their way to meet and create new contacts. This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily confident when meeting new people and are the life and soul of a party. This could be something simple such as attending a local conference or getting to know the new person in the office. Successful people build healthy relationships and show an interest in other people to find out their background, talent and ideas. Networking is a good way to introduce yourself to other people and tell them a bit about you. It’s also a good way for you to chat to people who have experience and knowledge that you are looking for and when you get two or three heads together, who knows what might happen? So why not ask them for advice and guidance on how you can achieve what it is that you want to do. Will they remember you in the future?
Successful people have self confidence and the belief that they can do it. If they didn’t think that that, then they wouldn’t bother to waste their time. Successful people imagine themselves in their heads with their desired outcome, this makes it seem real and do-able. To have self confidence means you can take any task and manage any worries that you might have as you become self reliant. Successful people make a decision based on the information hat they have but are able to alter their pathway if they realise there’s a better way or outcome, they are flexible and allow other people to share their thoughts and ideas, they don’t just think that there way is the only way. When something does not go to plan, successful people do not necessarily look for blame or fault in other people. But instead, think about the journey and process of ‘what went wrong’, often stating their descision making was the problem. However, successful people would be pleased that they took the risk in the first place. Everyone is different, some people are naturally self confident, especially when it comes to things that they are passionate and good at, because they know they can do it! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to be self confident. 3 simple ways that you can improve your self confidence are by:
- Being positive. This means that you surround yourself with positive people and have positive thoughts, even when things are tough and are not going to plan.
- Acting the part. Start wearing smart clothes, walk taller, smile at people you don’t know, be the person that initiates a conversation instead of waiting for people to come to you and make eye contact when speaking to others. Think of people who you look up to and see if you can mirror their behaviours without trying to be them.
- Being organised. Do I need to explain this?
If you don’t have the passion towards the thing that you want most, then how can you have the enthusiasm and take enjoyment from it? Have you ever wondered what keeps athletes training twice a day 6 days a week for years? Through rain, cold winter mornings, missing family events and the pain; it’s because they’re passionate about what they do and therefore, it’s worth it. For those asking ‘How can I be passionate?’ Well, if you’re not passionate, you’re not interested in it, so let go and find something that you are passionate about.
If you don’t appear to have the facts, required skills, any experience, relevant information or actual understanding for an object or subject, then nobody would listen to you or have respect for you. Successful people are often looked upon by their peers as someone who is right for that position and can lead the way, they are often looked upon as someone with good advice. If you think about it, you wouldn’t buy a product from a seller who couldn’t tell you anything about the item, you’d look at them and wonder how they managed to get the job! The same goes for what you want to be successful in. This doesn’t mean that you have to know absolutely everything, because nobody knows everything. But, you should at least know some, if not a lot of things, whether it’s the latest research, something that was on the news to do with your subject or the history of it.
Without sounding rude, the majority of successful people are probably pig headed, in the nicest possible way. What I mean is, successful people are so set on their goals that they will do absolutely anything and everything until they get it. This is known as determination. Successful people don’t settle for second best or ‘this will do’, because it won’t do. Perhaps they were told in the past by an old teacher, family member or friend that they can’t and won’t ever be able to do something, maybe they lost out on a job that they really wanted, but knew deep down they are right for it. Determination is something that is a test of will power, a test of how badly you really want something, something which makes the bad times a learning experience and something that makes something impossible, possible. After all, as my nan says ‘You can do anything that you put your mind to!’
No matter what mood they’re in, time of day, day of the week, season of the year, or weather, successful people are dedicated to what they love. I think commitment is a result of passion and can be shown in many different forms, this could be arriving early, staying late, doing something in your own time or going out of your way to name a few. There’s no half way with commitment, you’re either in or you’re out. If you’re not in, someone else will come by in no time and take it from you. Are you going to go that extra mile to stand out from the rest or are you going to sit in the valley and look up to all the others? Which, is fine, if that’s where you want to be!
When I talk about innovation, I’m not saying that successful people are full of bright, world changing ideas and secret creative talents. Successful people are innovative in the way that they’re adaptable and flexible to unexpected situations thrown at them. They can think on the spot, come up with solutions, bounce off ideas in the room and think of improvements and take on the views of others and action them knowing that it wasn’t there own thoughts, it doesn’t matter as they are often the people who are solution focussed. They have an ability to respond to unexpected hiccups with ease and positively use it to an advantage.
Unfortunately, we can’t snap our fingers and get what we want. Nothing comes easy, things come at a price and everything takes patience and time. Think of someone you know who you’d say is ‘successful’, I bet they have a story behind their success. A CEO of a company has probably been rejected by many jobs in the past, some athletes train twice a day 6 days a week for years and still don’t make it to the Olympic team, but they keep going and training for the next 4 years for the next Olympics. A successful entrepreneur was probably rejected by lots of companies before landing their dream contract. Like anything and everything, problems and delays occur. So use your productivity, planning, networking, self confidence, passion, knowledge, determination, commitment and innovative skills to keep going; if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!
What do you think of the 10 steps to success? Do you think they’re relevant to where you want to be in your life? Do you think successful people were just at the right place at the right time? Is there something you’d like to add to the list? Don’t forget to write your comment in the box below. Remember, perception is reality so we are all successful in our own way!
© 2016 Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.