So you want success?19th October 2015
5 Ways to Be Successful
I first published this article in Affinity magazine – and if you are reading this blog post then what I know is that you are hungry for success! So to get started try following these tips.
There is a lot said about success and happiness these days, people WANT success, and happiness, and they talk about it. Of course success means different things to different people, some want to be successful in relationships, for others it might be work – getting a promotion, entrepreneurs and business people want to see their business become successful, for people involved in training or education they may want to pass the course and some people seek success with hobbies or sport, playing an instrument to a higher standard or improving their golf handicap for example. Why do they want it – well for many it is associated with happiness and yes it ‘looks’ different for each individual though the common themes of happiness and success are happy relationships, financial security, a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and of course health.
Whatever area you want to be successful in, there is almost always a way to speed it up. We can all get stuck where we are and find not only months but years have passed us by. So if you have a dream of how you want life to be, are you actually doing anything that will get you closer to it?
Be clear about what you Want and be Honest with yourself
As we go through life our priorities often change, but it’s important to be clear and honest with ourselves about what it is that we want, what would make us happy ‘right now’. Some people may have been very ambitious and single minded until children come along then priorities change and getting home at a reasonable hour may seem more important than chasing every sale. That’s fine but if you still go around telling yourself, and possible others, that you want to be top in the sales charts again then you just set yourself up for disappointment. Similarly as children get older or as people start new ventures they may have to pull out of things they had previously been involved in, perhaps building a business rather than being on the PTA. Being clear and honest will get you where you want to be more quickly, and it’s perfectly ok to let go of old goals and aspirations when new ones present themselves.
Believe it is possible
I’ve written a lot about mind sets before – because they have such a powerful impact on people’s lives, often without them even knowing. Mind sets can block us form moving forward. If you have a mind-set that your relationships always fail and you are destined to be alone – guess what you probably will be. If you have a mind- set that people like you don’t succeed in business – well you probably won’t. They are thoughts, possibly subconscious thoughts but they will dictate what you do, and what you do will dictate what happens in your life, relationships, work or business.
Open your Eyes
There is tale we have all heard, about someone waiting to be rescued by God on the roof of a building in flooded village. They have prayed and believe firmly God will rescue them so they let the boat and the fireman and even the helicopter pass because they believe so firmly that God will rescue them. Later in heaven they ask God why he did not answer their prayer and of course the reply was that a boat, fireman and helicopter was sent to do the rescue. It’s just a tale but the truth is often that people say they are looking for ways to improve their lives yet pass up on every opportunity. They don’t apply for promotion, say no to a training course, they turn down business opportunities, or invitations to social events where they will meet people. It’s ‘safe’ to say you are waiting for the right opportunity but often you need to take the opportunities that present themselves and then make them right for you. And it will nearly always mean taking a risk of some sort, ‘what if it doesn’t work’ well you’ll learn from it anyway and be better equipped for the next opportunity.
Walk the Walk
People I work with often have great plans for what they are going to do, and can talk at length about how great things will be. But their actions just don’t fit. If you are sick of your job and want to re-train well it will mean some nights the TV has to go off, you may have to come home from work and start studying, or give up a hobby at the weekend to find time to write a business plan. People who are successful in areas they want success have habits that have got them there. It’s a silly example but if all you do is eat pizza and drink beer, you’ll get fat and get drunk! Sometimes, people are lucky, they are in the right place at the right time and things just fall into place, but not often. Usually businesses are successful because people work hard, relationships are successful because people commit quality time to them. It’s easy to talk about what you want, but living life in a way that will help you get there, developing the habits of successful people is a lot harder – but it will fast track you to where you want to go.
Be prepared to Invest
As a therapist and coach I would very rarely see clients without charging a fee. Clearly there is business sense in this but more importantly if a client is prepared to invest then they have made the decision they want to change, and they have placed value on improving things. As humans we invest, whether it’s time or money or both in things that we think are important. So if you want success in any area, you need to invest. This might mean making time to read, learn new skills, hire a coach, pay for marketing or any one of hundreds of other things. If you read the biographies of anyone who has been ‘successful’ they will have invested, often heavily to ensure their success.