According to recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, under-employment in the UK has now reached its highest level since 1992. An estimated 1.46 million of the nation’s part-time workers are actively seeking full-time employment, as the government struggles to create viable job opportunities for its citizens.
So while British Prime Minister David Cameron may have recently called for individuals from poorer backgrounds to “raise their aspirations,” he must first focus on creating opportunities that motivate this demographic. Even then, it must be recognized that motivation and aspiration are both complex psychological processes, which require a daily commitment and the cultivation of a positive lifestyle.
With this in mind, it is worth identifying the high performance traits and practices that will help you to achieve your goals. Consider the following habits to be successful.
1. Measure Success in Happiness Rather than Wealth
The modern generation of employees are increasingly motivated by factors other than wealth, with job satisfaction, benefits and empowerment all key considerations. This also represents a shift in the way that people measure their success, as defining it in pounds and pence or dollars and cents only leads you to consistently chase a higher amount with ever achieving true satisfaction. This can be counter-productive, so be sure to create a clearly defined vision of success and understand precisely what it means to you.
2. Challenge yourself and Do Hard Things
You cannot succeed in life without first achieving personal growth, which demands a willingness to accept and overcome difficult challenges. It is only though overcoming obstacles that we are able to learn and develop critical life skills, and it is these attributes that will equip us to obtain success. By challenging yourself and confronting difficult tasks, you can also change your mind-set with regards to the possibilities that life holds.
3. Listen to Constructive Criticism and the Opinion of Others
While positive feedback can improve your morale and motivate you to achieve success, it is your ability to respond to constructive criticism that will ultimately empower you to reach your goals. After all, this type of feedback highlights areas in which you need to improve, rather than simply reaffirming your strengths as an individual. Your weaknesses can then be targeted through training and development, which in turn will empower you as a stronger and more rounded individual.
4. Learn from Failure
While failure is considered to be a teacher of valuable life lessons, drawing from painful and disappointing experiences is far easier said than done. In fact, it requires an ability to decipher the exact lessons that we can learn from each individual failure, so that we can apply these in the quest for future success. By confronting the issue head on and identifying exactly where things went wrong, you can take actionable steps towards ensuring that the same mistakes are not made again.
5. Develop an Early and Consistent Wake-up Routine
While recent studies have suggested that enjoying eight hours sleep each day may actually be counter-productive to your levels of mental agility, it is still important that you develop a consistent cycle of sleep. This enables you to become an early riser who wakes up at exactly the same time each day, which makes it far easier for you to optimize your time and develop a productive schedule. So while the rest of the world is still snoozing in bed, you can be taking decisive action towards empowering your body and mind for the day ahead.
6. Choose a Positive Attitude
While there are some who consider the fear of failure to be a key motivator, it is more likely to create inhibitions that prevent you from achieving success. Instead, it is far better to be proactive and adopt a positive attitude in everything that you do. Given the variables that can influence your chances of achieving success, it is crucial that you take control of your own outlook and use positivity as a way of identifying opportunities.
7. Make a Commitment to Achieve Every Single Day
Although waking up one morning with a proactive and positive outlook is to be encouraged, it means little if you are unable to commit to this every single day. Recommitting to your routine and the pursuit of your goals is crucial to achieving success; otherwise, the pressures of everyday life can divert your focus. While this requires tremendous drive and strength of character, it will ultimately empower you to be successful over a prolonged period of time.
8. Work harder than your Competition and Those Around you
While you can only control your own efforts in the pursuit of your goals, it is important to remember that each individual’s success is also determined by those around them. When competing with others for a specific goal or prize, for example, you must do everything within your power and leave no stone un-turned if you attain success. At the heart of this is your level of dedication to the cause, as making a commitment to work harder than those around will ultimately afford you a critical edge.
9. Make Complacency your enemy
One of the biggest obstacles to long-term success is complacency, which can easily set-in after positive feedback or the attainment of short-term goals. You must strive to use these achievements as a spring-board, however, and rededicate yourself to the cause with renewed vigor. Take the example of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who despite emerging as one of the best players in the world continues to commit himself to a punishing daily fitness regime that encourages self-improvement.
10. Fear No Single Individual
Pursuing success in your chosen profession is extremely difficult, primarily because you will undoubtedly come across intimidating and purposeful individuals who are striving to achieve similar goals. You cannot allow these individuals to undermine or overpower you, however, as this will put you at a disadvantage and force you to feel inferior to the competition. While you must always respect competing individuals around you, it is important that you remain fearless and back your talent to ultimately succeed.
11. Commit Your Goals to Paper
Believe it or not, the power of the to-do list lies in subtle psychology. Often applied to short-term goals or daily tasks that require completion, this type of list provides an actionable schedule for individuals which enables them to mark their progress as they proceed. This can provide reassurance that you are achieving your goals and being productive within a given time frame, and committing your long-term goals to paper may help you to remain focused and motivated during more difficult times.
12. Surround yourself with Positive and Successful Individuals
Having a diverse and mixed group of friends is all well and good, but it is imperative that individuals within your social circles share a similar outlook to work and professional success. If you have friends who have a tendency to draw focus and distract you from your work, for example, you may ultimately need to make a choice between pursuing success and settling for your existing lifestyle. If the idea of eliminating people from your life makes you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself if a true friend would risk your long-term happiness by actively preventing you from achieving your goals.
13. Maintain a Fit and Healthy Body
According to the Athletes Way philosophy, there are a number of daily lifestyle choices that can help to create the perfect balance between physical fitness and mental agility. There are numerous studies that have proven a link between the two, and it is increasingly clear that regular exercise is a key driver of enhanced mental performance. So if you wish to develop the necessary stamina to achieve personal and professional success, a physically fit body is pivotal.
14. Invest Only in the Pursuit of your Goals
While wealth may not be the most suitable measure of success, it can certainly be used to fund personal and professional development. With this in mind, it is important to spend money on the development of your career or business, rather than simply investing in material possessions that do little more than create a superficial image. Making these spending decisions is a key part of chasing success, as it forces you to consider your goals and how much you value their accomplishment.
15. Be Prepared to Make Sacrifices
On a similar note, you may well be forced to make sacrifices in your quest for success, as any goals that are worth achieving are unlikely to be easily obtainable. The so-called ‘law of sacrifice’ states simply that you cannot obtain something that you want without being willing to give something up in return, so you must therefore be prepared to sacrifice a life of excess and material possessions in order to be successful in your career.
The Bottom Line
The definition of success is a diverse concept, and one that remains unique to each individual. Determining what it means to you and developing long-term goals are therefore important steps towards achieving happiness, while you must also be willing to make lifestyle changes and re-evaluate your entire outlook in life.