“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Ambition is having a strong drive to do or achieve more in life. Unfortunately, a lack of ambition can be an individual’s own worst enemy. Un-ambitious people sabotage their own potential and happiness through self-limiting beliefs, bad habits, and negative thoughts.
Ambitious people, however, believe in themselves and their capabilities. They understand that everyone is capable of achieving far much more than they typically give ourselves credit for. You won’t find ambitious people speaking negatively against their own interest — you won’t hear them say stuff like:Advertising
1. “I can’t do this—it’s too hard.”
Ambitious people never limit themselves or undervalue hard work with these words. They tell themselves they can do it and press on until it’s done. Nothing worth having comes easy: you’ve got to work hard to for it. As Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister says, “The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
2. “I’m not good enough.”
Ambitious people never say they are not good enough. Saying you are not good enough holds you back and makes you vulnerable to quit when things get a little rough. And quitting when things get a little rough is never a good thing. The most successful people in the world are not quitters. They are hard workers who believe in themselves and their abilities. Be confident and believe in yourself, or no one else will.
3. “I won’t make it through the obstacles.”
Challenges and obstacles are tests of your resolve and desire to succeed. Ambitious people never say they won’t make it through the hard times. They say they will make it because they know better things lie ahead—the sun always shines after the storm. Besides, as an old Arabian proverb says, “All sunshine and no rain makes a dessert.” Gold is fashioned through fire.Advertising
4. “People won’t take me seriously.”
The only time people won’t take you seriously is if you don’t take yourself seriously. Period. Insisting that people won’t take you seriously is an excuse not to do what you know you should do. Ambitious people never say these words. They respect themselves and honor their work and that earns people’s respect. Start respecting yourself and honoring what you do and people will respect and take you seriously.
5. “I’m going to fail for sure.”
Failure is not entirely bad. It can teach you valuable lessons and redirect you to the right path. Ambitious people don’t say they are going to fail and let that stop them from trying. They defy the fear of failure by taking calculated risks because they know the only time you are truly defeated is when you don’t try at all. Jim Carrey says it best: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
6. “I can’t handle success.”
Ambitious people never declare they can’t handle success before they even achieve it. Dr. Jason Plaks, a social psychologist at the University of Toronto, and Kristin Stecher, a research scientist at the University of Washington, conducted studies and found that those who think their capabilities are fixed are the ones more likely to suffer disorientation and anxiety when faced with dramatic success. Those who think of their abilities as changeable handle success far better. If you think your capabilities are fixed and say you can’t, you’re right. Confucious said, “Those who think they can and those who think they can’t are both usually right.” Say you can and you will.Advertising
7. “I’ll probably make a mistake and mess things up.”
Ambitious people never utter these words because they believe in themselves and understand you can’t please everyone. Some people will consider your effort terrible, others will consider it okay and yet others will consider it excellent. Don’t worry too much about it all. Give your absolute best each time in everything you do and learn from your mistakes. Ultimately, say like Cheryl Cole said—“I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, I’m thinking of making a few more.” Say it because making a mistake is not the problem; the problem is not learning from your mistakes.
8. “I’m waiting for the perfect moment to start.”
Ambitious people never say they are waiting for the “perfect moment” because the “perfect moment” to do something is a myth. Moments are what you make of them. Ambitious people simply start and really focus. It’s never too late to do something. Start now and do all of the things you’ve always wanted to do. Stop procrastinating and wasting your life waiting for the stars to align. There will always be reason to procrastinate and wait another day, but only those who actually start get things rolling. Keep in mind the best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is right now.
9. “I’m not as good as that guy/girl.”
As long as you are always comparing yourself to others, thinking you are inferior to them and not being your true self, you will always try to be what other people are and always fall short. Ambitious people know this and never think or say they are inferior to others. They work on being the best version of themselves. You are not that guy or girl. You are you, and that’s not bad. Everybody is unique and gifted in their own way. Situations vary and we all grow at our own pace. Check what others are doing only to learn from them. Don’t be jealous or resentful. Be happy when you see others succeed because it means you can too.Advertising
10. “I’ll never be successful.”
Words have incredible power. You won’t hear ambitious people say they will never succeed. That’s because they actually believe they will succeed one day. That conviction keeps them sufficiently motivated and driven to put in the hard work and time necessary for success. Say good words, think good thoughts, and do good deeds because what you say and believe is what you are destined to get.
Last Updated on May 28, 2020
10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life
Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?
You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.
Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.
You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.
Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.
1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams
If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.
Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.
When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.
Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.
So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.
Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.
2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses
Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.
Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:
- Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey
- Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment
- Answer a few Superpower Questions
Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.
3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required
Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.
The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?
You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.
Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.
Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.
4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love
The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.
Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.
To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.
This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.
5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo
Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.
Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:
- Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
- Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
- Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.
The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.
Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.
6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling
I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.
To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.
Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.
A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.
Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?
Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.
7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic
Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.
Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.
What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.
Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.
8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future
Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.
Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.
What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?
These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.
9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas
Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.
This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!
Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,
“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”
10. Count Your Rockstar Moments
Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.
Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.
You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!
Eleanor Roosevelt said,
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.
By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.
If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.
This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.
Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.
More About Success in Life
- 20 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore
- How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide)
- How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People
Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com
|||^||Huffington Post: Why Finding Time Each Day For Creativity Makes You Happier|
|||^||Fast Company: These 4 Hobbies Can Actually Improve Job Performance|
|||^||VIA: The VIA Character Strengths Survey|
|||^||Fast Company: This Is How Many Minutes Of Breaks You Need Each Day|
|||^||Stanford News: Stanford study finds walking improves creativity|