Whether your definition of success is a happy marriage, a healthy bank account, or worldwide fame and adulation, we’re all motivated by ambition to some degree; the enduring question is “how do we achieve success?” The truth is, there’s no simple answer, but there are plenty of tips you can use to improve your chances of being successful in life. We’ve come up with a list of seven fantastic tips for achieving your life goals, as advocated by some of the world’s highest achievers.
1. Don’t let rejection stand in your way.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling is probably the most famous writer in the world, but if she hadn’t had the courage of her convictions early on in her career, things could have been very different. The Potter series has sold over 400 million copies worldwide since the first installment was released in 1997, but the global hit was rejected twelve times before a publisher agreed to take it. Even once it was released, it wasn’t plain sailing for Rowling — one of the first journalists ever to interview Rowling was given a first-edition copy, but thought nothing of throwing it in the trash; that copy would now fetch around £50,000 at auction! To quote Rowling herself, “Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged to.”
2. Invest in yourself.
As world-renowned businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffet once said, “the best investment you can make is in your own abilities.” By constantly working to improve yourself through the acquisition of relevant skills and information, you’ll be in a much better position to achieve what you want to achieve. Some of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women put their success down to their passion for self-improvement — and you only have to look at superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for proof. Ronaldo may not be to everyone’s tastes, but he is one of the most dedicated athletes of all time, and regularly reaps the rewards of his efforts on the field.
3. Learn from your mistakes.
Along the path to success, there are bound to be a few bumps in the road — it’s important that you don’t let these setbacks slow you down. Every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn, and by recognizing and accepting your errors, you can ensure they don’t happen again, smoothing that path towards achievement. No less an authority than Einstein put it succinctly: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”
4. Don’t be afraid of a little hard work.
If you want evidence in favor of this little bit of advice, look no further than Bill Gates, the creator of Windows and one of the world’s wealthiest business people. The Microsoft founder has always pushed the idea that success requires hard work, and once revealed that he didn’t take a single day off during his 20s, when he was getting the company off the ground. Quite simply, the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it — as NFL icon Vince Lombardi famously stated, “The price of success is hard work.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
5. Dare to be exceptional.
Walt Disney knows a thing or two about living out fantasies, animating some of the world’s favorite fairy tales, so when he says “if you can dream it, you can do it,” it’s probably worth sitting up and taking note. Aiming low might reduce the possibility of making mistakes, but what great businessman or woman ever aimed low — if you’re passionate about a project and truly believe in it, there’s every reason to believe you can achieve your goals. You might even find that they’re closer than you think!
6. Be pro-active.
It’s probably no surprise that Richard Branson has a “get up and go” attitude — the man that created the Virgin conglomerate has delved into the worlds of business, music, media, and politics during his life, not to mention space travel, charity and the odd world record attempt. The billionaire entrepreneur has often cited this energetic take on life as key to his success, advising ambitious young people to “get out there and do things — don’t watch other people do things, and don’t watch television.” In the modern age, it’s all too easy to take a passive attitude towards life, but if you want to achieve big things, it’s best to have a hands-on approach.
7. Engage in your passions.
Ultimately, if you’re going to achieve great success in life, you’re going to need to care about what you’re doing — so if you’re an ambitious high-flyer who wants to go right to the very top, take a close look at the things that interest and excite you, and see if you can use that passion to achieve your goals. As the celebrated jazz singer and famed “First Lady of Song” Ella Fitzgerald once said, “Don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”