It is easy to blame others for our failures.
We could target our resentment at a bad government, callous parents, an awful spouse, or not enough formal education. Many drain themselves with such negative energy and assume they are ill-equipped for success. But according to motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy, eighty percent of our failures are caused by factors that stem from within ourselves.
We can learn from the story of CEO Jan Koum who sold his company, WhatsApp, for a staggering 19 billion dollars to Facebook. Jan Koum emigrated to the U.S from Ukraine two decades ago. He and his family lived on food stamps. Yet, today he’s worth over 6 billion dollars. Success is never determined by the external, but rather what happens when you start looking inwards to develop yourself to meet the demands of the external world.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen
So, there’s no need to whine and complain. Start investing in yourself in these simple ways:
“Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” – Donald Trump.
They say every leader is a reader. It is not just about consuming junk material. Rather find topics that will influence you positively towards reaching your goals. Whether your reading material is found in the form of eBooks, hard back, paper back, or audiobooks, there are more than enough reasons for you to pick up a book today.
Safeguard your time
“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon Chouinard, founder Patagonia
You may not have wealth, but when you are at rock bottom, time is synonymous with wealth. How you use it will determine how far you go. Investing in yourself means that you use your time to gain connections, knowledge, and engage in activities that will propel you towards meeting your goals. You can be generous with every other thing- but not your time.
Engage in a healthy lifestyle
“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” – Dean Wormer
There is nothing as destructive as engaging in activities that take a toll on your physical and mental health. Your body is the vehicle that you will use to reach success. How you use it will determine how far you will go. Exercise, sleep, eat well, relax, socialize, and ponder deeply. Even if you have to meditate or do something spiritual, remember to always engage in the basic activities that will stimulate your body and mind.
Take calculated risks
“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
Learning is not just about getting everything correct all the time. The way we are taught in formal institutions is that we have to be accurate in everything we do. However learning should involve gaining experience, making mistakes, and learning from them. Successful people take risks- although they are calculated ones- and try to follow an unorthodox approach to reaching their goals. Finding new ground and gaining interesting experiences can only be achieved through taking actions that some might consider risky. Without risks there can be no rewards.
Understand your strengths
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump
There is no point in chasing too many goals all at once. We all have limitations. That is why successful people invest in their strengths, rather than in their weaknesses. Successful people discover the things that they are very good at, and they build their careers around those strengths.
Investing in yourself is the best way to attain success. Not only does your approach to achieving goals become consistent when you go through this process, it also allows you to deal well with success when you achieve it.
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