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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

How to Jump on the Road To Success Today

How to Jump on the Road To Success Today
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It was like being hit in the head with a sledge hammer as she turned the corner expecting a clear street dotted with tall trees and bird song, her face had a look of utter shock and horror, how could this have happened? How could she find herself here?

When you are someone that works hard to get what you want in life, how can it be that you find yourself on the wrong road? How can you tell you are on the wrong road and what can you do about it?

The person above was a recent client, although to be fair it could be anyone of thousands who I’ve helped in one way or another who suddenly as they divulge their inner most thoughts, feelings and desires realises with acute horror that this is the wrong road.

That realization that they had been working incredibly hard and it is going to get them no nearer their goals and ambitions. The person above had come to me to look at how they could work their way up their career ladder while growing their own business.

And the reason for the smack in the head the opposite of a Eureka moment was because they’d realized they’d spent the last 2 years working tirelessly, long days, with determination and passion on a goal that they didn’t really want.

Often you find that people are working in a direction thinking it will lead them to what they want when in actual fact they are getting no closer to the things that really matter like happiness, health, fun and time.

Let’s look at how you can identify the wrong road, what you can do to get off of it and how you can get yourself working in the direction you really want so you can have a life that makes you feel genuinely happy, successful and full of life.

So what are the signs that you are on the wrong road?

  • Your bank balance looks healthy and yet it fills you with no joy.
  • Your schedule is booked with new business and yet you dread the thought of every meeting and every minute of work.
  • You get home at the end of the day dispirited and wishing you were on holiday.
  • You can’t get the idea out of your head that other people have better lives.
  • You lean heavily on the wrong things in life – box sets, alcohol, gym fixes, chocolate or spending sprees to feel good.
  • You procrastinate even when deadlines loom and don’t feel a lot of guilt if you miss deadlines or make mistakes.
  • Your face smiles and says “I’m fine” when people ask you how you feel and yet your heart and mind can’t register your smile or any satisfaction in the conversation.

These (and many more) are all signs that life is not working for you, that you don’t feel like you are on the road to success; rather the road to purgatory, endlessly destined to feel negative emotions and like you need a good holiday far away from here.

So, how to jump on the road to success?

I want to take you on a metaphorical journey, share with you some ideas I know work (because they’ve helped so many of my clients) and some routes to success from my clients about the kind of results you too could get if you are ready to jump on the road to success today.

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1. Plan Your Journey

    Sometimes we can be too close to the problem to create solutions.

    Have you ever noticed you are a genius at fixing other people’s life dilemmas and yet you lay awake thinking “What the hell do I do now?” or “How do I get out of this? Or “How do I get where I want to go?”

    A good idea can be to pull away from what you are looking to achieve and think in a more metaphorical way. When we stay too close to our problems and in our own heads, it can be hard to think clearly. That is often because our minds get bogged down with the negative emotions that our mind is happy to play out like any series of Friends that is on a loop somewhere in the world.

    Our brains love to finish things for us; find yourself thinking 1 + 1? It’s hard not to conclude “2”. Therefore when you want to find a new road to success first of all stop travelling down this one for a moment to assess where you are and where you thought you were aiming to go.

    You wouldn’t get in the car and drive from Alaska to Argentina without some preparation, would you? (My friend is about to do this very journey on a motorbike and the planning has taken nearly a year!)

    Consider your own journey and can you say you put in the effort to appreciate:

    • Where are you going?
    • Are you prepared?
    • Have you planned your route?

    Think about a long journey and the things you would load up into your car. Food, water, good music, a phone, GPS, or map? What else would you take with you?

    A journey planned is far more likely to reach its destination. Don’t think of your own ambitions or goals in life (remember we can be too close to our problems to work out the best course of action) imagine a road trip and the items you would deem essential, now add what you would feel would make the journey more enjoyable?

    Now bring yourself back to the issues that you feel are in your way, did you really plan for this trip properly? What do you need to add or do to help you get where you want to go?

    2. Choose the Right Transport

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      Would you jump on the highway on a 3 year olds tricycle? No? Why not?

      It will move you forward, it has wheels, what’s the issue? Obvious right, it clearly is the wrong tool for the job. It would be dangerous, you could physically get squashed and it could take you an awful long time!

      A perfect example is the client who was looking to take on a big challenge and they’d made the mistake of treating their friends and family like their mentor or coach. A real mentor or coach is only on your agenda, that is tough for a family member or friend to do without a lot of training. The minute this client realized that these people had an vested interest and didn’t want this person to get hurt, they could see they needed a new coach.

      One that would listen, challenge and enable them to go for what they really wanted. Tools for the journey come in many guises, metaphorical and physical, would you say you are using the right ones?

      3. Don’t Follow Everyone Else

        If you get lost, you might find you can see everyone else taking the turning up ahead and think to yourself “that must be the best way to go.” And before you know it, you are on a country lane in the middle of nowhere!

        If you have planned what you want, you then need to stick to it. Just because other people are going in different directions that doesn’t mean it is right for you. It is so important to know who you are.

        I think one of the most powerful things I do with clients is enable them to appreciate the science of being who they are, knowing what matters to them, what makes them excited, passionate, angry, determined. If you don’t know your own values, desires and passions in life, it can be all too easy to find yourself heading down someone else’s definition of success.

        Another sign that you are following other people’s roads to success is that you are easily convinced to try something new. Trying new things is good for you and your success, however they are detrimental to your success if you can’t honestly justify that they fit into your own agenda and life plans.

        4. Stay in the Same Lane

          Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam and found yourself switching from one lane to the other, only to discover that the new lane seems to be the slow lane and the one you were in is now faster?

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          Infuriating isn’t it?

          A study by The University of Toronto researchers Dr Donald Redelmeier and Dr Robert Tibshirani found that cars that constantly switch lanes actually spend more time being passed by other vehicles than they would overtaking them. And probably find themselves a lot more stressed by the journey too.

          Sometimes you have to accept that the route to success is going to have a slow day and stick with it. On those days it is worth checking you are doing the best you can and are on the right track.

          Are you working in the best possible way? Could it be more beneficial to slow down and take the time to research ideas or further your knowledge (something you can always do in the car on a long journey with a podcast) so that your patience is rewarded with a broader knowledge to achieve your success.

          Don’t be tempted to divert from where you want to go, a slow day is still getting you nearer your success.

          Remember sticking to your own path that is right for you will not always feel easy. Sometimes it is the people that dared to think differently and act differently that change the world. Your own path is far more likely to help you be one of the disrupters, innovators, and thought leaders.

          A slower day can also be a great opportunity to ask yourself these questions:

          • What can I visualize coming up ahead?
          • What obstacles may I find in the future?
          • What plans do I have to deal with those obstacles?
          • What have I just been through that I know has helped me to get to this stage?
          • What have I journeyed though that I can replicate in the future?

          Understanding the science of being you, what works, how you naturally deal with obstacles can be massively empowering and motivating.

          5. Swap Lanes

            “Whoa Mandie, you just told us to stay in the same lane. Now you are telling us to swap, make up your mind!” I hear you complain.

            Hear me out.

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            I’ve seen clients belligerently carrying on with a plan of action and slogging their guts out on stupidly long hours and they look completely emotionally destroyed and like they will never get what they want. I remember one client who was stacked with new clients, business was booming and they were great at their job, but they hated every minute of it.

            It was really tough to admit that this was not what they wanted after all. They clung on for dear life to a perception of reality that didn’t exist and was causing a lot of stress and even the risk of burnout. By accepting how much they hated their job, they were able to change lanes.

            The assumption had been that they’d “been lucky” and couldn’t replicate that level of success again, that their partner would be frustrated and annoyed with them; breaking down the barriers to honesty and enabling them to see what they really wanted and needed to have the guts to do literally changed their whole life.

            They even discovered the constant stomach troubles that plagued them disappeared too. That was a bonus they’d not expected! It takes guts to change lane and realise you were going the wrong way, don’t be hard on yourself and go it alone, who will you lean on to ensure you know you are doing the right thing and can help you to achieve it?

            6. Know That Floods Will Be Ahead

              Whether you are facing a road block, a diversion, blizzards or storms. On the journey to success, no one gets a clear ride all the time.

              I know someone that lost their premises and they were devastated. They had put so much time, effort, money and life into their big ambition only to lose the premises that would bring it all beautifully to life.

              As we worked together, you could see that that was so huge to them they could easily have given up and be knocked into a path of action that would never make them happy. Here’s what we did to help them keep going (and for the record they are now in far more awesome premises and one of the leading distributors for their company in the country!)

              1. Is this really what you want?
              2. What have you learned from this situation?
              3. What could you do? (Make this a massive long list of options, don’t narrow down to time restrictions, financial consideration, health implications or even skill set. At this stage, write every possible idea down for your brain to process and play with.)
              4. What do I know I can do to move forward?
              5. Who do I need to rely on?
              6. Who is my positivity and results vampire? (You know the person that says things like “I told you it wouldn’t work” and “it’s probably for the best” and “Maybe it just was never to be.” Keep negativity out of your life, it won’t help you.
              7. What is my plan of action?
              8. How will I know it is working?
              9. What time scale am I working to?

              Pick Your Road and Go for It

              I hope our metaphorical journey has helped you to visualize what you wish to achieve and given you some easy to action tools to make it happen. It does take confidence to go for it and find your true road to success; however, don’t turn out like the person that it took 7 years to come and see me.

              They’d considered it on numerous occasions and they’d always found a reason to keep plodding on hoping things would miraculously improve, it cost them their home, their marriage and their health before they really felt the pain and decided to re-write their future.

              Remember that no matter what road you wish to take in life, it is yours for the choosing. And if you don’t choose one, life has a way of throwing you on a road and you never know where you may end up!

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              More About Achieving Success

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              More by this author

              Mandie Holgate

              International Coach, Best Selling Author & Speaker inspiring people around the world to success.

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              Last Updated on July 21, 2021

              17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

              17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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              If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

              Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

              You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

              “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

              Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

              Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

              You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

              1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

              Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

              When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

              • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
              • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
              • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

              2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

              A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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              Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

              3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

              As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

              Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

              4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

              Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

              Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

              If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

              5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

              If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

              Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

              6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

              Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

              Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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              7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

              The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

              Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

              8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

              Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

              Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

              9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

              The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

              Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

              Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

              10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

              Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

              And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

              You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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              How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

              11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

              A short and sweet lesson for you:

              You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

              Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

              12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

              A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

              Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

              13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

              Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

              Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

              • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
              • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
              • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

              14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

              Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

              The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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              Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

              15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

              There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

              Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

              16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

              In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

              Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

              17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

              The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

              Keep your mission in mind.

              Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

              Final thoughts

              Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

              What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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