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Published on January 7, 2021

16 Tips For Success from the World’s Most Influential People

16 Tips For Success from the World’s Most Influential People

Everyone has their own definition of success, and each one of us will follow a different path in life to get there. The good thing is that many have come before us, and successful people often share with others their tips for success and the lessons they’ve picked up while striving to achieve their goals.

From superstar athletes to business and media moguls, these tips for success come from some of the most influential people around. Soak up their knowledge and apply it to your own plan for success.

1. Embrace the Possibility

“When you come to a point in your life when you see difficult things, don’t look in the other direction; move toward it. That’s the moment when you can affect change.” —Melinda Gates

The unknown can certainly be scary for a lot of people. We avoid change because it potentially brings on a new set of problems and stress. If you lean into something that might seem difficult, however, that change can also bring on great achievement and happiness.

You’ve probably heard that complacency is the enemy of progress, but by embracing possibility—even when it seems difficult—we set ourselves up for success.

2. Challenge Yourself

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” —Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey might seem like she has the golden touch, but if you asked her about her failures, she’d no doubt be able to rattle off plenty of examples.

The media mogul hasn’t been defined by her failures, though, but rather looks at them as points in her life where she challenged herself and learned from those mistakes. It’s this sort of fearless attitude that is shared by many of the world’s most influential movers and doers.

3. Put Yourself Out There

“To be successful you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running.” —Richard Branson

Anybody can make grandiose plans about what they want to do and how they plan to do it. Plans without action, though, are nothing more than daydreams. The business titan’s advice on success is clear and simple yet incredibly valuable: take a chance and put those plans into action. There’s certainly some risk involved in doing so, but the greatest successes always involve a level of risk.

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4. Hold Yourself to High Standards

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” —Steve Jobs

Another tip for success that successful people do is hold themselves to high standards. Our lives are a cumulation of the decisions we make, and the standards we hold ourselves to are often a result of those decisions. Your family, friends, bosses, and coworkers have their own standards that they hold you to, but it’s your own behavior that shapes those expectations they have of you.

Be developing a set of values that are important to yourself and holding yourself to those values, you’re displaying integrity. It’s this trait that when coupled with hard work often yields a lifetime of success.

5. Be Persistent

“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.” —Elon Musk

In December 2020, Elon Musk’s Starship rocket exploded into flames upon its landing.[1] If you think Musk is going to throw in the towel and wallow in failure, then you don’t know much about the entrepreneurial giant. He’s not just one of the most influential people around today, but he is also one of the most persistent.

No matter what your goals are, there are going to be critics and obstacles. It’s those who are persistent in spirit and not deterred by failure who will have the greatest chances of eventually achieving success.

6. Serve Others

“There could be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. Find something to do. Get off the bench.” —George H.W. Bush

Probably one of the most important tips for success, serving others is as vital as the others on this list.

One of the most important things George H.W. Bush accomplished during his presidency was signing into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was an important step for civil rights and service to those who had been ignored for so long.

If you look at a list of the most successful people in the world, you’ll no doubt find that nearly all of them serve others in some way. Whether it’s through mentorship, job creation, or making a positive change, they’re convinced that the more they serve the more they receive.

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7. Commitment

“There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed or are you not?” —LeBron James

If you’re not in it to win it, then success is unlikely to follow. Those who experience success know how to concentrate. They recognize a goal and commit to making it happen.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that there won’t be times of doubt and setbacks along the way. Rather than casting those goals aside, however, they adapt and commit to accomplishing each step that will put them closer to making their aspirations a reality.

8. Have a Positive Attitude

“I have never, ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive.” —Sonia Sotomayor

The Supreme Court Justice’s words about having a positive attitude may not sound like an earth-shaking epiphany on finding success, but they ring true. Having a positive outlook, practicing mindfulness, and trying to see the bright side of a situation rather than dwelling on the negative is an incredibly powerful thing.

Positive thinking has the ability to change your life in every way possible. It has an impact on everything from how you view yourself to how you engage with those you meet. A good attitude can impact not just your chances of success but your overall health as well.[2]

9. Be Bold

“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” —Walt Disney

Numerous shared traits can be found in the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders throughout history. One of those traits is boldness.

Successful people are bold and confident in themselves. This does not mean they don’t have moments of doubt, but they have a healthy self-confidence in themselves that they can adapt, face, and conquer the challenges life throws their way.

Notice that Disney’s quote doesn’t say “our dreams will come true,” but rather they “can come true.” Success isn’t a guarantee, but with bold confidence, it does have the possibility of being achieved.

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10. Success Doesn’t Come Easy

“Progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.” —Barack Obama

Every president faces challenges and witnesses setbacks in the goals they strive to achieve. The former U.S. president’s quote is an assertion that progress takes hard work. For every milestone, there very well may be half a dozen failures that came before it.

The path to your own success likely won’t be a smooth one without its own bumps and obstacles. But by building a work ethic on the principles outlined here, progress towards success can be made.

11. Trust Intuition

“Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.” —Barbara Corcoran

Oftentimes, the more successful a person becomes, the more they have others advising them of what they should or should not be doing. There’s certainly value in surrounding yourself with smart people of good character, but a lot can be said for trusting one’s own gut.

There’s actually some real science behind gut instinct or intuition, and our brain ns are constantly comparing past experiences with current information.[3] Shark Tank regular Barbara Corcoran has certainly trusted her own intuition in business and yours should also not be ignored.

12. Learn to Be a Strong Communicator

“Effective communication is 20 percent what you know and 80 percent how you feel about what you know.” —Jim Rohn

Being a strong communicator is of paramount importance in many aspects of life and one of the best tips for success. Speaker, author, and entrepreneur Jim Rohn was a brilliant communicator and attributed much of his success to his ability to effectively communicate his views, goals, and knowledge to those around him.

From acing a job interview to leading an army into battle, good communication goes hand-in-hand with the power of persuasion and the success that can follow it.

13. Be Passionate

“Whether you found your calling, or you’re still searching, passion should be the fire that drives your life’s work.” —Michael Dell

This is probably the most common but also one of the most important tips for success. If you’re not passionate about something, it’s hard to give your 100 percent to it. Sure, you may be able to keep it up for a short period of time, but in the long run, not a chance.

Michael Dell (yes, the computer guy) makes a good point about finding one’s calling. If there’s no passion behind what you’re doing, the success your efforts yield will be limited at best.

14. Define What You Want

“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask.” —Tim Ferris

The most influential and successful people in the world have clear visions of their purpose and what they want to achieve. They’re not simply throwing darts and hoping to hit a good idea.

You’re in charge of developing your own focus and defining what it is you want in life. Once you know what it is, go after it. If it’s more responsibility in a job, ask for it. If it’s starting your own business, take the steps to make it happen.

15. Be Confident in Yourself

“Be inspired by the success of others, but don’t be intimidated by it.” —Daymond John

There’s always going to be somebody more successful than you. In fact, chances are that when you’re first starting, there are going to be a lot of people more successful. Allowing the success of the other guy to deflate your own self-confidence can be incredibly defeating, though. Rather than viewing the accomplishments of others as unattainable, use them as inspiration and a goal to strive for.

16. Make Smart Choices

“Your legacy is being written by yourself. Make the right decisions.” —Gary Vaynerchuk

Last but not the list in these tips for success—make smart choices. Everyone is faced with decisions—some big and some small. It’s the choices you make that shape your life and the events and people that come into it. Make the wrong choices and you could have a pretty miserable life.

Nobody can choose the right choices for you, but you can learn to make smart decisions that lead to success. Making those wise decisions really all boils down to recognizing your goals and weighing how those choices move you closer to achieving those goals and align with your values.

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Final Thoughts

These tips for success will not guarantee that you become successful. Your success still depends on you. However, these tips are good stepping stones for you to achieve your dreams.

More Tips for Success

Featured photo credit: Ashley Knedler via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Published on February 19, 2021

8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

Whether it’s planning a public speech or a kid’s birthday party, our intentions lean toward success no matter the endeavor. And whatever success we are hoping to attain, there will likely be obstacles that we must face. When these obstacles surface, we can either shy away and miss our chance or meet these challenges informed and ready.

Although obstacles can seem like the outside world is plotting against us, in reality, these external challenges are merely triggering hurdles that already exist within. They might be memories or beliefs we have about ourselves that act like mud and slow us down. We can be trapped by our own self-sabotage.

What could happen if you knew about and prepared for these obstacles beforehand?

If you knew what you were up against, perhaps you could come equipped with just the right tools to get through anything that threatens your chance at success. Perhaps you could take an obstacle that felt like a mountain and turn it instantly into a mere molehill!

Here are 8 of the greatest obstacles you must overcome on your way to success:

1. Perfection

One of the most common obstacles we face is the need for perfection. Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, shared that her mother always used to say, “done is better than good.” Anyone prone to perfectionism is going to find it difficult to remain on the road to success if everything has to be “just so” all the time.

Perfection is the killer of creativity, vitality, and accidental discoveries! There are so many instances of people fortuitously discovering things that we use every day.[1] If they had been so concerned with perfection, they may never have enjoyed the success of their “mistakes!” Plus, learning from our mistakes is how we develop and grow throughout our lives. Therefore, “perfect” will never provide a straight shot to success.

How can you stop going for perfection? Just as it may have taken years of practice to “perfect” a skill you have acquired, it takes practice to undo perfectionism.

Try the following:

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  • Try new things and let go of your expectations.
  • Don’t do everything on your “To-Do” list. See what happens when you leave it for tomorrow.
  • Learn how to prioritize (no, everything isn’t equally important all the time).
  • If you’re feeling particularly rebellious, send an email with a typo in it!

Have fun with this and learn how to laugh at yourself. Welcome to the wonderful world of being human.

2. Fear

Fear is triggered when we have a thought or perception that we are not safe and secure. This is quite a useful tool when there is a real threat to our safety. However, when the threat is imaginary, fear can actually prevent us from doing the work we need to do to achieve our goals.

As with perfectionism, the best way to deal with fear is to become more mindful.

Here are some steps you can try in working through fear:

  1. Sit with the emotion of fear and notice where you feel it in your body. Notice the thoughts that accompany the feeling.
  2. Ask yourself what you are afraid will happen and write down your answers.
  3. Visualize yourself experiencing your worst fears. How did you feel imagining your worst fears coming true?
  4. Ask yourself when you have felt this way before. How did you cope with it that time? What strengths could you use in your previous visualization?
  5. Imagine yourself using your strength with the imagined worst fear. How does it feel to know that no matter what happens, you have the tools and resources to handle it?

In this exercise, we’re trying to be okay with the emotion of fear. Fear is actually trying to help by keeping you “safe.” It calls upon memories of when you were threatened in your life. But when we spend all of our energy trying to prevent the feeling of fear, we make it stronger. We also deny ourselves the memories of all the times we have faced our fears and triumphed.

Allowing the fear to be present and calling upon memories of making it through challenging times helps to convince our minds that, as President Franklin Roosevelt said, the “only thing to fear is fear itself.”

3. Lack of Clarity

Imagine that you are going on a trip and you need to pack. Your suitcase is out, but you don’t know any details of the trip. You haven’t decided where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, or what you’ll be doing. How easy will it be to pack for this trip?

If we’re trying to run our careers or lives without clarity, it can be nearly impossible to figure out what we need to be doing to get to our destination of success. So, how do we get clarity?

Author and speaker, Simon Sinek, had some excellent advice for businesses on how to get clarity, and it applies beautifully to just about any area of life. According to Sinek, when clarifying your “message,” you should start with your WHY.[2] In other words, why are you doing what you do? Once you are clear on your “why,” it will be much easier to figure out your “how” and your “what.”

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Let’s go back to the packing analogy. Perhaps your why for vacationing is to get some much-needed rest as you have been stressed out lately. That tells you that a quiet vacation might be better than one with lots of museums and crowded attractions. Your “why” tells you that you don’t want to be very active, but you do want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit, perhaps by spending a few days at a nearby spa. Less travel means less stress. Looking at the spa, you see they have a 3-day retreat. Now, you know how to pack.

See how easily those details fell into place once you got clear on your “why”? Imagine what success you could achieve once your “why” is uncovered!

4. Making Comparisons

It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to other people. That’s how we know whether we’re doing things correctly or not and how we can continue improving. When we get into a habit of making comparisons all the time and feeling bad about not being able to “keep up with the Jones’,” this can pull our energy down. And when our energy is down, so is our motivation to keep working toward our goals.

As with perfection, it’s important to be mindful about how much importance you’re placing on “keeping up” with what you think everyone around you is doing.

Want to stop sizing yourself up to others? Try the following:

  • Notice the feelings that come up for you when you compare yourself to someone else.
  • Ask yourself, “what information am I really getting from this comparison, and what’s helpful about it?”
  • Keep the helpful bits from that line of questioning and let go of the rest.

Remember that when you compare yourself to another person, oftentimes you are seeing the potential that already resides within you.[3]

5. Untamed Inner Monologue

How do you talk to yourself? Do you tend to say uplifting and encouraging things to yourself? Or is your self-speak often negative? An untamed inner monologue can serve as a great obstacle to many people.

Many people grow up with the idea that the inner monologue is what drives us to become better people. We get “tough” on ourselves to prevent laziness or sloppiness. If unchecked, the monologuing can quickly become negative and purely critical. Despite our intentions for self-improvement, this constant habit of pointing out what’s “wrong” with what we do and who we are can become a huge energy drain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, overcoming negative self-talk is good for our health.[4] Some of the benefits of maintaining a compassionate inner voice include lower levels of depression, better immune function, and improved coping skills in stressful times.

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Activities to develop awareness about your inner monologue and make it more compassionate include:

  • Keeping a thought diary (there are so many great apps for this!).
  • Reframing negative self-statements neutrally or compassionately.
  • Asking yourself what a trusted friend might say to you.
  • Thinking about what you might say to a friend if they were in your shoes.
  • Considering EFT Tapping or saying affirmations.
  • Allowing yourself to follow the inner critic down the worst-case-scenario path (this version might have you laughing at how ridiculous your inner critic’s imagination truly is).

6. Unclear Boundaries

So far, we’ve covered several ways that internal boundaries are necessary on the road to success. These include monitoring your fear, limiting your need for perfectionism, lacking clarity about what you want, making unhealthy comparisons to others, or having a mean-spirited inner monologue.

How about those boundaries we need to clarify with other people in our lives? To be clear, boundaries are not about saying “no” to everything and cutting yourself off from everybody. Healthy external boundaries are about being communicating to others about what you want, how you want to be treated, and what your plans are.

If we have unclear boundaries with others, success will result only by accident, if at all.

People pleasers and empaths especially know how challenging it can be to set boundaries with others. The desire for harmony can be so strong for some people that they convince themselves that it is easier to let others make the decisions rather than risk creating conflict.

The problem here is that no matter how hard we try to avoid conflict with others, we will create conflict within ourselves that results in roadblocks to success. If you have trouble setting clear boundaries with others and you want to be successful, start building your muscles around this skill slowly.

Here are a few steps:

  1. Identify little things that you like and want.
  2. Tell people about what you like and want in your life.
  3. Notice what happens in your body when you say this out loud.
  4. Identify things you don’t like or want.
  5. Notice what happens in your body when you think about these things. (Your body is really smart when it comes to telling you what you don’t want!)
  6. Tell trusted people what you don’t like or want.
  7. Notice how it feels in your body to say this out loud.
  8. Practice saying “no” to something really small that you don’t want and work your way up to bigger things.

Without boundaries, it’s like being water and trying to hold a shape without being in a container. You get to create your own container and watch your success take form.

7. Unreasonable Expectations

It’s important to dream big. It’s how we allow inspiration and big ideas to come to the surface of our awareness. But if our dreams are not grounded in the reality of our current resources, we might be headed for some disappointment or even worse, the loss of our dreams!

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Setting reasonable expectations is the bread and butter of success. If you haven’t been introduced to setting SMART goals at this point in your life, it would be a good idea to try it out.

It might not always be possible to know whether or not something is reasonable, especially if you’re trying out a brand-new-to-you project. If the expectation is for a new project to work without any bumps or glitches, this is likely to be unreasonable. The consequences of this experience could be losing your drive to succeed.

If the expectations for a new project include the idea of bumps and glitches that hold seeds of learning and growth, then even the perceived “mistakes” will turn out to be a success. This has the positive benefit of fueling your motivation to keep working toward even more success.

Be mindful of where you set the bar—neither too high nor too low.

8. Unreasonable Definition of Success

What is your definition of success? Asked in another way, from what perspective are you seeking success?

It’s easy to think that success means achieving the goal(s) you set for yourself. But there are so many ways to look at success. You might be missing out on some opportunities to really feel like you are shining in your life.

An unreasonable definition of success might be one that only allows for one specific outcome. If that outcome is not reached, then success is not the result. But if we allow for multiple definitions of success, we might find that success is much easier to come by than we previously thought!

To expand your definition of success, ask yourself the following:

  • What would need to happen to make me feel successful?
  • What else could happen to make me feel successful?

Keep brainstorming all the outcomes you could experience to create a feeling of success.

Final Thoughts

Being successful requires overcoming a lot of obstacles, and many people will fail at some point. The key is to tackle these obstacles one step at a time. In the words of Joyce Brothers, “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.”

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Featured photo credit: asoggetti via unsplash.com

Reference

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