We want to be successful. We want to live meaningful and fulfilling lives and have the material and financial means to do so. It’s part of our human nature to want to be successful.
But what exactly does this mean?
How do you know if you’re successful, on your way to success, or failing?
How do you know when you’ve become successful and can start to relax and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to accomplish?
To answer all these questions, you have to define what being successful means to you. There is no right or wrong answer. It is different for every one of us.
For some, it means getting a coveted position at work. Someone else may define success as being able to build their dream house. Another person may define success a being able to travel the world. Another person will measure it in dollars in the savings account or total net worth.
Success will also mean something different in different areas of your life. Think of success in terms of work, relationships, and health for example.
To be successful at work and to be successful in your marriage, for example, can be two entirely different things. In some cases, they may even contradict each other.
To do well at work and be considered for a promotion, you may have to be willing to put in long hours and bring home files to work on at night or in the evening.
The same holds true when you’re building your own business. These extended working hours can cause tension in a relationship if your significant other starts to feel neglected or they have to take on too many responsibilities at home.
In short, there’s a lot to consider and think about when it comes to success. At the same time, it’s essential that you do this thinking and define what it means to you to be successful, in all areas of your life.
Don’t let this overwhelm you. You don’t have to work on everything all at once, and you don’t have to reach your long-term goals in a matter of weeks. You can’t.
But you need to know where you want to be heading so you can start to make and measure progress.
You can’t set goals for yourself if you don’t know what success means. Start by defining your very own version of success and then set some goals and milestones for yourself based on your definition of success.
Let’s talk about attitude and what it has to do with your overall chances of being successful. Having a positive outlook can be a huge help for a variety of reasons.
Let’s take a closer look at how positivity can help you reach your goals and work for permanent change.
Having the right attitude helps you stay motivated. Being successful takes work, and that’s just more fun when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. While not every task, and everything that needs to be taken care of, will be your favorite task, having a positive attitude about it will help.
Start by becoming more aware of your moods and outlooks as you go about your day. Make an effort to be grateful and find the good side of things. Over time your positivity will increase, and it will help you stay on track and stay motivated.
Having a good attitude helps you overcome hurdles. It’s easy to get discouraged when things don’t go your way or fall through. We all face setbacks. We all make mistakes.
How we deal with them is what set’s successful people apart from the rest. Work on your positivity and find a lesson in everything that happens. You’ll come out on the other side stronger and better than before.
Having the right attitude helps you do better work. Think back on the last time you had fun working on a project. It was much easier to get into the flow and time flew by.
You enjoyed yourself, and that showed in your work. We tend to work so much better when we’re in a good mood.
It’s also easier to focus on work efficiently when you like what you’re doing. In fact, when you find that groove and that perfect project, it doesn’t feel like work at all. That’s the kind of state you want to work in most of the time. I spoke about this in last weeks’ blog post.
To make all that happen, you should make an effort to work on positivity. Check your attitude and find the joy in everything you do.
Keeping a journal can help, it makes you focus your thoughts. You can look back and see what of the things you did worked and helped you make progress.
Another powerful tip is to create a journal or file of encouragement. Fill it with positive images and motivational quotes. Include proof of your accomplishments and any recommendations and testimonials you receive. Browse through the journal or file any time you need an extra boost of positivity.
We have an ‘awesome’ jar at home that’s full of these things, very powerful.
There’s this idea floating around that the five people you spend the most time with will determine how successful you are. I did a little digging and traced it down to a quote by Jim Rohn, an entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. His exact quote was “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
While I don’t think that the influence and math are quite that simple, there is something to this whole idea that the people you spend time with influence your level of success. The important conclusion to draw from this is that it’s important to pay attention to who you spend time with and surround yourself with successful people as much as possible.
You know the inverse is true. When a child falls in with the “wrong” or “bad” crowd at school, results drop, and behaviour changes for the worse. The opposite is true too. If your child has friends who are working hard and doing well at school, he or she will be more likely also to do well. The same is true when it comes to our own lives and the areas we want to succeed in.
Let’s say your dream is to own a small restaurant on the high street and make a comfortable living by cooking amazing locally sourced food for your community. Wouldn’t it make sense to make friends with other local business owners, chefs, and even boutique farmers in your area?
How about having a group of friends across the county who are running the same type of restaurants?
When you surround yourself with other people who are already successful in what you want to do, you can tap into their vast experience and hopefully avoid making some of the mistakes they’ve made. Think of them as your mentors who will help you make progress faster. Something as simple as knowing who to talk to about your business license can save you days of time and aggravation.
The people you surround yourself with don’t even have to be very successful at what you want to do. There’s a lot of value in having people around you who are on the same journey. You can mastermind and exchange ideas. You can bounce ideas off each other, and most importantly, you can encourage each other to keep pushing through the tough times and celebrate the small successes.
I have managed to build up a network of mentors, that took a while to find over the years, but now serve me just about every day in all areas of my life. I am also able to give back to this community with the gifts I have, so it truly is a win-win way of living, one which many people are not currently living, so I strongly urge you to search for your mentors and mastermind groups.
Start by looking for like-minded people. Find a few who are either working towards the same goal or who have already accomplished them and can play the role of a mentor or guide. Building a network like that can become an invaluable asset on your road to success.
Feel free to reach out to me if you think I would be able to support you in this quest.
Next week, I’ll be writing about the essential skills that we need to work on to ensure our success, whatever success means to you of course!