I first met John a few years ago. He was living in a very small apartment with his wife in a very rough neighborhood in Waco, TX – with their two children, and their dog. Things were going well for him until his wife was in horrible car accident. Which meant she couldn’t work again, and now they were living off of a combination of her disability and his salary.
John told me how he had been living on scrapes all of his life, and wanted a better life for his children. Whenever he would need to use the utilities, such as the water or electricity, he would have have to go to his friend’s or parent’s apartment. He wanted his kids to have a better life, but felt like things would never get better and the couple was also at risk of losing their apartment because they don’t have the money to pay the rent.
John took me to his antiquated balcony and pointed out his parents apartment. He explained that he had lived at these apartments’ – this grim, concrete complex – for most of his whole life. So had his wife. His parents lived a floor above them. Even his sister and brother-in-law, the whole family, live in the same apartment complex.
Until then I never realized before how important the view right in front of you can be; from the perspective of not only just what you can see, but also what you can’t. I also mean the symbolic window that allows you to have a good look at what you have, what you don’t, and what you could have.
Seeing and hearing all that made me feel privileged about the place I had grown up. It was an old small home that was smaller than John’s apartment. I didn’t have my own room, nor did I have internet service, cable TV, or even luxuries for that matter – but on a positive note I did have a window with a decent view.
From that window I could see rolling green fields and hills, along with a river. The view and perspective I had on life hadn’t been constrained by concrete walls, like John had.
My father loved to read, and so he filled our house with books, which gave me more windows into whole new worlds and life. We weren’t rich by any means, but I was unaware of the existence of a world like John’s. I wasn’t aware that I had been given one of the most important things there is to life; the perspective needed to have a dream.
John didn’t dream. He had plenty of hopes and needs, but he never had dreams.
Dreams are the beginning of a successful life!
John ended up losing the apartment and had to move in with his parents, but the story does have a happy ending. John went on to get himself a good job, and even his wife was able to start working part time again. The pair are now building a solid foundation on which to dream and build for the future – they were also able to get a nicer apartment.
Success in life really does begin with a dream!
The Secrets to Success
1. Start With a Dream
Having dreams lets you have a look at the future. It allows you to imagine the greatness you can achieve, along with how to go about achieving it. Having dreams motivates and inspires you to create the best future possible.
2. Define Your Needs
You can expect to have nothing but random results if you take random actions. You need to define just what you want, and put together a plan for getting it. While it does sound obvious, you’d be surprised at the amount of people drifting through life with no idea where they need to go next.
The goal you give yourself might not be a straightforward one. If your wants aren’t straightforward, then begin by defining what you think is missing from life. Begin by working on the necessities, and then move towards desires.
Put together a plan of action for your wants and needs. Follow the plan – doing each step. Prepare to pick yourself back up should you fall over. Celebrate even if you don’t get the exact results you wanted. Even if things don’t go perfectly, you are still making progress. It gives you a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Define your wants and then desire them.
3. Keep a Positive Mind
What is the end result of your thoughts? Do your thoughts move in a positive direction and leave you feeling better? Thinking positively is a skill. This means that it is something you can teach yourself to do.
No one lives in a perfect bubble. There are going to be situations outside of your control, and some of them are going to be bad. However, there’s a positive side to the negative. There’s always an upside to the downside. Keeping a positive mindset means that you can find, acknowledge, and even celebrate what is good about the people and events in your life.
No matter where you look, you are going to see beautiful and ugly things. Whether you have a positive or negative chain of thoughts is determined by the things you choose to notice and the things you place an emphasis on.
No one lives in a bubble. Life rolls on even if you don’t move at all. If it’s raining then that means that trees are going to grow, which is good (especially if you planted them!). If a friend disappears from your life for no apparent reason, even that can be a good thing. It frees you up to make a new, even more compatible friend.
Remember that there is always an upside to what happens. As long as you are willing to look for it you can be sure to find it. It’s right in front of you after all.
A good place to start is adjusting your language patterns and using more positive and encouraging words.
- Tell yourself to remember to do something, rather than to not forget to do it
- Tell yourself that you’ll try to do something different if it doesn’t work the first time, rather than telling yourself that you’re a failure.
- Tell yourself that you can succeed in spite of your past, rather than telling yourself that you’ll never succeed because of it.
- Remind yourself of how amazing your friends are when other people are mean
4. Live with Integrity
- Always stick to your word
- Be honest, genuine, straightforward, and assertive
- Fix your mistakes
- Move past vanity and fear and give people the appreciation that they clearly deserve
- Aim to achieve outcomes that benefit everyone
- Hold yourself true to your morals, standards, and values
- Hold yourself to the same standards that you hold other people to
5. Make Others Feel Important
There is a small bit of vanity in the need to feel important. Despite this, most of the need comes from a desire to be accepted, useful, memorable, and valued. No one really wants to be left out, feeling invisible, and completely insignificant.
One of the biggest secrets to influencing people is making them feel important. You can’t succeed unless you collaborate with others, and it’s impossible to collaborate with someone that you don’t trust, have a mutual respect for, or acceptance. When you leave people feeling important, you are amplifying your influence over them, winning their trust, and earning their respect. It also makes them place a higher importance on you.
Who are the people that are the most special to you? Well, it’s the people that can return those feelings of course. Who do you think are the people who influence you the most? It’s the people who make you feel good, and make you feel important, most likely.
6. Empower Others
There’s not much meaning to success if there isn’t anyone around to share it with. For almost everything bad that happens to you in life, there is a specialist who has the power to help you move past it. However, there’s no such thing as an expert or sharing happiness and success with. That is why it is important for you to empower others and help them to grow alongside you.
You should work to empower those around you and improve themselves for the benefit of both of you. If someone does not meet your standards, then it’s up to you to raise them up until they do. The best leaders understand that success comes from having a great team to work with.
7. Apply Your Knowledge – Knowledge is power
There’s no point in being a knowledge hoarder. You shouldn’t let yourself wait endlessly until the right time comes along, or you have more resources, and information, or the perfect conditions and a push from the outside move you along on your journey.
Success really is a journey, and you already know enough to get started. The present you, with your present knowledge, is more than enough.
Don’t forget the mental paralysis that comes with hoarding too much information and not using
or testing it. It can leave you feeling very overwhelmed and easily confused.
Successful people are those that learn one way something can be done, and then go along with it. They try and test their methods, learning and improve as they go. Perfection isn’t something that exists, and there’s no telling what’s waiting for you around the corner.
Apply your knowledge after learning. Don’t get stuck waiting either. Start your journey to success today, right here and now!
8. Put Yourself out There
Sometimes it really can be about who you know, but what is more important is who knows you.
- Who can you count on for help?
- Who can answer any questions that you have?
- Who are the people in your life that would be willing to collaborate with you?
- Who is it that would be more than willing to invest in you and the ideas you have?
9. Take Action to Build Self-Confidence
The feeling of self-confidence comes from succeeding and accomplishing things with your actions and your behaviors. Some people don’t feel confident enough to dive right into the deep end and start swimming, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, just dipping your toes in the water is often enough to give you the confidence to try. You move into the water, step by step, and then you have what you want.
You need to take action now! Put together your plan and understand that – even if you do fail with something – there are other ways to try and different methods you can use to succeed. When you fail, it isn’t because you weren’t good enough to succeed. It’s because of how you tried to succeed. If something doesn’t work, then just try following a different method.
Take actions to build your confidence. If you do find yourself stumbling, then just ask yourself what to do next.
10. Value Your Time
There is no denying the preciousness and the limited nature of time. It needs to be used wisely. Don’t let yourself be stuck in a meaningless dispute, job, relationship, argument. Avoid doing things just to satisfy your vanity. Time should always be spent doing something productive.
11. Focus on Things One at a Time
The average human mind isn’t designed to handle multitasking. It’s something that you can do, for sure, but it takes longer and uses more energy and attention. What you end up with after multitasking is also sub-par.
It is true that there are some things that can only be done through multitasking, such as parenting, but you should always avoid divvying up your attention and your energy. If you are focused on doing just one job, then it opens up new pathways in your mind. It also makes you more skilled at that one job and lets you get it finished faster than ever.
Switching your mind between tasks requires alloing the brain to adjust because each task is using up a different part of the bran.
12. Overcome your Fears and Self-Doubts, and Stop Being so Self-Conscious
Despite what you might think, success doesn’t discriminate. Success wants you to succeed, and you have to want it too. Move past your fears of success, overcome your self-doubt, and cast aside your self-consciousness.
Understand and accept that you do deserve success. Rest easy in the knowledge that success is ready and waiting to welcome you with open arms. Also understand that there is no limit to success. Success isn’t limited to just some privileged people; it can’t be constrained by knowledge or time; it also can not be given to you by someone else.
Success is something that you have to grab for yourself, and everyone has the power to do so.
Move past anything that is stopping you and get the happiness and success you deserve with persistence, patience, perseverance and the power of positive thinking.
13. Live with Passion and Live Your Passions
Live With Passion
You need to love life if you want life to love you back. Loving makes you more tolerant, compassionate, and understanding. Loving life is celebrating each minute you have, even when things don’t go right. Much as you would love someone ese else even when they aren’t at their best, you must love life for what it is. Life is the most precious gift there is, so cherish and honor it. If you love life, then life will love you back.
Live your Passions
Maybe you aren’t all that passionate about something in your life such as your job. Being successful doesn’t mean only doing the things you like though. To live your passions means to do a lot of the things you do enjoy to balance out the things you don’t enjoy.
14. Find – And Focus – On the Fun
It’s important to understand that there is a fun element to just about everything you don’t like doing. Think about what it is like to sit in a tub of cold water. It certainly isn’t pleasant, but it gets fun when you start shivering and laughing.
You might not enjoy cleaning up the house, but you have fun when doing it by dancing with the broomstick. You might not like those morning meetings, but they are a great chance to have fun by getting to know co-workers better.
15. Be Creative
No matter how crazy an idea sounds, it’s important to keep coming up with new ideas. Also come up with ways to act on them. Be like Sherlock Holmes when it comes to success; make observations, learn from them, imagine and invent with them, and then put it all into practice. Find out the things that are going to stop you, and the things that will work in your favor.
16. Be Skilled in What you Do
Become indispensable and appreciated by improving yourself and offering value to other people.
17. Improve Your Character Traits
Learn what it is and who you need to be to achieve success. Put yourself in the right frame of mind to perform the behaviors and have the attitude that will put you into the hearts, minds, and eyes of others.
18. Build Meaningful, Long-Lasting Relationships
Humans are social creatures. They need to be connected to other people. They need to feel useful, loved, appreciated, supported, important, and safe.
The best way to get all of that is to create a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.
19. Persist and Persevere
It’s almost impossible that things will go how you want them to with no bumps in the road or hard work. If you want to succeed, you need to persist and persevere.
There’s no such thing as failure if you have a lot of options. No matter what obstacles come into your life, they will have a lot of different solutions. As soon as an issue is created, so too is the solution. A problem doesn’t appear without having a solution attached to it.
20. Clean Your Environment
You should be surrounded by people that are supportive of you. They should believe in you and have faith in your ideas. They need to be positive people pushing you forward and bringing out the very best of you.
How to clean up your environment:
- Organize your working space
- Organise your priorities and ideas
- Keep negative people at bay
- Design the working day around being efficient and productive
- Focus on a single task at a time
- If you feel dragged down by where you are, then just change locations
- Eliminate all the things that leave you with a need to complain
- Learn how to put your foot down and be more assertive
- Take responsibility for your actions – if you do cause something, you can change it.
There’s no shame in asking for help or delegating tasks to people who are able to handle them better than you. They aren’t going to be able to do everything to your live, but there is a value and limit to how much time you have. A job done by half is better than if it wasn’t done at all.
22. Consistency is Key
Being consistent builds trust and shows you to be reliable. You also move nowhere if all you do is jump between different ideas. You need to move forward, not sideways.
23. Invest your Time, Love, and Energy On the Long-Term Goals
Your time, love, and energy are the three most precious resources you have. If you want to be successful then you have to carefully invest these resources into the things you really enjoy. Invest them in the things that leave you satisfied and give you a long-term sense of achievement.
It’s good to live in the here and now of course, but success won’t be yours that quickly. That is why you need to invest in the future, because you shouldn’t be satisfied with feelings of accomplishments now and then. You need to aim for long-term success.
Almost everything you get in life comes from hard work. Every achievement you have is earned through learning new skills, going through trials, making mistakes, expending effort, and dedicating yourself.
When you start on a new path lots of times over, all of the hard work you put in only serves you for a short amount of time. Every time you start anew, you need to go back through the same process of learning, trying, failing, and dedicating.
Have you ever put in a lot of work to learn something, gotten really good at it, and then discovered that you didn’t like doing it very much after all?
I’ve had it happen to me in the past, and it left me discouraged and disappointed. It felt to me like all that time was wasted, and that I had invested far too much of my life to try and start it all over again.
The truth is that it wasn’t that difficult to do after all, because life is short. The more you move through life, the shorter it can feel. That’s why I decided to just cut my losses and move forward, and I couldn’t be happier.
It can be difficult to choose what you want to do for your life when you are young and have the carefree nature that comes with it. Even so, it’s never too late to change your path. You’re never too late to acknowledge that you aren’t satisfied with your current place and move forward with something else. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have an endless amount of opportunities and chances to start it all over again.
You should only change direction if you are sure that you’re doing something you will never be passionate about again, and when you clearly understand what you are looking to do next.
Life is just too short to do anything but the things you love.
Be successful and be happy; live the life you have with passion.
- You have the right to be successful and you deserve it
- Success is ready and waiting for you no matter the amount of time it takes to achieve it
- Dare to dream
- Grab your place in this world
- You are who you are and where you are; and where you are right now is the ideal starting place to begin creating a better, more fulfilling, and more accomplished life.