8 Success Concepts Available to Everyone
Whatever you’re trying to achieve in life, here are some general concepts that will serve you well and can form the foundation of your new success and transformation.
Helpful success concepts
- Make a decision. It’s difficult to achieve anything until you’re fully committed. Dabbling is not going to do it. If you want something, you need to announce it to yourself (write down what you want) and treat its attainment like a job, i.e. you need to put the hours in. Making a decision isn’t a guarantee but it’s a necessary step; making a decision plus doing the work, well, now you have a better than even chance. The sooner you can get rid of the idea that you can outsource all the work and succeed by working 4 hours a week, the faster you’ll attain your goal.
Go after your dream.
- You are responsible. You are responsible for the choices you make – and the ones you don’t. You can watch X-Factor at the weekend or you can work on your project; you can go train your sport or you can sit on the couch; you can eat healthily or you can drink a litre of cola every day. No one is forcing you to make the choices you do. Similarly, no one is responsible for your decisions. If you deny your personal responsibility for everything in your life, will never realise their full potential. Yes, bad things happen to good people. We can’t turn back the clock. The only move that matters is your next one.
- Manage your mind. Minds have a tendency to wander, to imagine worst-case scenarios, to anticipate threats. It’s evolutionary programmed to keep us out of trouble – flight, fight or freeze. That was a useful trick when we lived on the plains and wild animals could have had us for dinner. That’s less of a problem nowadays but we still have that finely tuned danger-detector. The problem is that it’s now over-tuned. We exaggerate every danger: rejection feels like death; giving a presentation is like fighting for our lives; asking someone for something freezes us. You need to develop the skill of separating your thoughts from who you are. You are not your thoughts; you are the entity that notices your thoughts. It gets pretty Zen from here but this ability to take a step back from your endless train of thoughts running through our every waking moment is a hugely useful skill – and a potential lifesaver. Learn more about mindfulness here. You don’t have to believe everything you think.
- Expect it to be hard most of the time. Going after a worthy goal is going to be hard. The problem is thinking it will – or should – be easy. It’s hard. That’s why so few people truly reach their goals. It’s difficult in so many ways: it can be physically hard; it can be mental torture; it can be boring; it can be demoralising; life makes other demands of us. You need to expect – almost want – things to be challenging because that’s where the satisfaction comes from. That’s where real transformation is found. You set a hard goal and you achieve it. What other things could you do?
- Leave your comfort zone. You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The worst place you can be is in your comfort zone. Once a day, do something you don’t want to do. It gets you out of the stupefying effect of comfort. If you’re really serious about conquering any self-imposed limit and belief about what you are capable of, check out the Wim Hof method. Consistently do the things you’re scared to do or don’t believe you can do and you will experience transformative, life-expanding growth.
- Take action. In the words of Bruce Lee, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Are you sabotaging yourself when it comes to doing the work? Are you putting the work in? Not just occasionally, or an intense burst when you feel like it, but every day until you reach your goal? Are you taking that kind of action? You can be handed the keys to the kingdom but if you don’t use what you’ve been taught or do what you know is necessary, you’ll fail. There is an element of snobbery associated with grafting: if you’re working too much you are in some way “doing it wrong” or you “don’t have a life”. Wrong. Working hard is the price of success and it’s the only reliable way to success that’s available to all of us. Start by working for just 5 minutes.
Live a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
- Change your thoughts. The quality of your thoughts affects the quality of your life. The next time you notice you are having unhelpful thoughts, stop, and replace it with an empowering thought. Keep doing this until it becomes an automatic response. This is not touchy-feely nonsense but a simple logic chain:
- How you think about something determines the actions you take or don’t take;
- Your actions/inaction determines the results you get/don’t get;
- The results you get/don’t get shape your reality.
- Never quit. What can stop someone who won’t quit? When you’re wrestling a 600lb gorilla, you don’t quit when you’re tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired! If I had to put my money on someone who will not quit or someone more with more resources, more naturally gifted, with more opportunities but is not fully-committed, I’ll back the one who perseveres. Every time. Perseverance sweeps aside everything before it. It’s like a superpower. You can’t quit. Adjust your plan, sure; try new strategies if something’s not working, of course – but never quit.
- Make a decision to pursue your goal.
- Don’t expect it to be easy. The greater the challenge, the greater the reward.
- Show up every day to work on your dream.
- Learn to manage your mind and overcome self-imposed limitations
- Never quit.
- Decide what you want for your life. Where will you be in five years? What will you be doing? What physical shape will you be in? Who will be in your life? What sort of person will you be? What will you have achieved? Stating your intent is the first step.
- Draw up a plan to start working on one of your goals. Start here.
- Learn about mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is a non-religious practise that teaches you how to find greater peace and resilience in the face of life’s challenges. Here’s a guide for skeptics.