A long time ago on Mt. Sinai, the prophet Moses received two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments that were popularized in the Hebrew Bible. Not so long ago somewhere on the World Wide Web, Daniel Wallen, a freelance writer and LifeHacker sick of watching so many people fail at life, felt moved by the spirit and wrote the following Ten Commandments of Success. If you are sick of failing at life, thou shalt read and apply these commandments today.
1. Thou Shalt Find Purpose
- What do you hope to accomplish in your life?
- How do you measure the impact of your efforts?
- Why do you exist?
If you can’t answer those three questions, you need to do some soul-searching to discover your purpose. No matter how hard you hustle, your efforts will be for naught if you don’t have a clear understanding of what would give your life meaning. As John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
2. Thou Shalt Focus
Multitasking may be defined as an inability to focus on the task at hand. You’re welcome to keep claiming you have “strong multitasking abilities” on your resume as most employers haven’t caught up with the reality that most people who multitask are not being productive so much as they’re just doing a lot of things badly. However, from this day forward, make a commitment to focus on one task at a time with laser-like concentration. We live in overwhelming times, full of time bandits that are ready to distract you from the important work you need to get done. Disable all text and e-mail Facebook notifications, because you don’t need to know that a friend thinks that photo of your dog is precious the very instant it happens. Take a few hours to clean up your inbox and unsubscribe from any e-mail lists that don’t add value to your life (and only check your inbox two or three times a day — if it is an emergency, they will call!).
3. Thou Shalt Love Thyself
If you view yourself as a big loser unworthy of a better job, a loving relationship, or a fulfilling life, the odds of you getting motivated and being successful aren’t good. When you look at yourself in the mirror every single morning, don’t look for your flaws or imperfections (like that insignificant area you keep telling yourself is “pudgy”). Instead, search for your greatest qualities that you think are cute, hot, or handsome and proudly proclaim, “Self? You are incredibly good-looking today!” To achieve true transformation, you must not only believe you are capable of improving your life, but you also must believe you are worthy of an improved life (because you are, duh!).
4. Thou Shalt Not Lust for Money
There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of money because we all need to pay our bills (and deserve the comfortable life that financial security provides), but if money becomes the “end-all-be-all” that dominates your thoughts and actions, you could find yourself performing dreadful work that makes you feel miserable. Tell me which one sounds better:
- Doing work that provides more money than you need (and fills you with dread) or
- Doing work that provides just enough money (and fills you with joy)
If you still choose the first option, then it’s time to sit down with yourself, reassess your priorities and hopefully begin to understand that there’s more important things in life than money.
5. Thou Shalt Embrace Change
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is just about as silly as it gets. If you have been performing a diet or exercise plan for months with nothing to show for it, could it be time to try another approach? If you are in a relationship that makes you feel stressed out and unfulfilled despite your best efforts, don’t you think it might be time to count your losses? If you have been hunting for a job for many months with nothing to show for your efforts, shouldn’t you consider re-working your resume or broadening your search? It is human to run and hide from change as if it is a boogeyman that will devour our soul, but change is the very thing that is necessary for success.
6. Thou Shalt Not Conform
I wish I could hop in a time machine to see what people said about the Wright Brothers during their aviation experiments. I can see it now…
- “It will never work.”
- “What nonsense.”
- “They are off their rockers!”
Where do you think we would be as a society if everyone conformed to other people’s expectations? Do you think we would have high-speed railway, airplanes, internet access, or video games? Conformity is the enemy of personal growth, so march to the beat of your own drum.
7. Thou Shalt Believe in Thyself
Doubt is a nagging voice in the back of your head that will do everything in its power to convince you that you can’t accomplish your goals. Before you can achieve it, you must believe it. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t merely give yourself a goal of losing x-lbs, but visualize your goal as if it is already reality. Sit in a quiet place where you can be calm and cool, close your eyes, and picture yourself wearing a hot new skirt or super classy suit. Imagine how confident, sexy, handsome, and happy you will feel. Visualizing your goals today will help you find the courage to make it so in the future.
8. Thou Shalt Stop Comparing Thyself to Others
Stop comparing yourself to other people. Life is not a competition and the only person you are competing with is yourself. Don’t try to out-do your friends or co-workers. Simply aim to become a better version of yourself every single day. Forget about pleasing others and be true to you.
9. Thou Shalt Not Fret Over Failure
Failure is nothing to be scared of. It is a learning opportunity and nothing more. A fear of failure can easily turn into an inability to act. Without action, there is no progress. If you aim to achieve a bold and audacious goal, then it is very likely you will fail several times during the pursuit of your goal. Do not agonize over failing, but do search for ways to improve your abilities and keep trying. An unbeatable formula for success = Try + Fail + Grow. Repeat as necessary until the only option left is success. Click here to check out five great questions to ask yourself after a failure.
10. Thou Shalt Not Throw in Thy Towel
If you are a purchaser of “lose weight fast” or “get rich quick” products, you are guaranteed to fail at life. True success comes to those who play chess (not checkers). Consistency is the key that will unlock the door to the successful life you desire. Buckle up and enjoy the journey because if you really want it, you need to exercise your patience muscles.