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Here’s How To Define Your Own Success

Here’s How To Define Your Own Success

Wondering what it takes to be successful in life?

That’s a bit of a tricky question, because success means a lot of different things to different people.

The only way to be sure you are truly successful is to define your very own success.

Here are seven steps to help you effectively track your progress against the number one person in your life…yourself!

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Ask yourself: “What does success look like?”

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

While the above quote might strike a chord with you, it’s important to define what your very own version of success looks like. Take a few minutes to answer the question: “What does being successful mean to you?” Does success mean making lot of money, having a big house and a flashy car or does it mean happiness, excellent health and bringing beauty into the world? While you’re at, you might also want to visualize the entire scene of your successful future, where you are, who is with you, what are you doing and even how are you are feeling.

Forget about what other people may think.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

Want to be successful? Stop wasting your energy on what other people may think, or do or say, and start putting energy towards furthering yourself. You need every ounce of positive energy, encouragement and self-esteem working for you and you alone if you want to be successful. Say no to the naysayers…even better, just ignore them and go on about your business.

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Make a plan.

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” – Golda Meir

How are you going to achieve success? That is, what courses of action are you going to take? Planning is an important part in setting goals and being successful. For example, if your goal was to open and run a successful restaurant full of happy and well-fed customers, you wouldn’t hire staff or order food before you secured a location for your restaurant or bought cooking equipment and supplies. Have you thought about all the steps, big and small, that you will need to take to get to where you need to be? Even if you don’t have the details hammered out, having a general plan is better than having no plan at all.

Get specific.

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Success can seem overwhelming, especially with all the different twists and turns that may come up over the course of time. Even if you’ve made a plan, things can sometimes seem entirely out of hand or unattainable. When things start to get rough, just remember to do what you can, right here, right now. So what if you’re not five steps ahead in your plan? You’ve got to start somewhere. Get specific about what it is you need to do at this very point in time.

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Make it happen.

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart

Ever wonder how books are written, movie soundtracks are scored, or skyscrapers are built? Long story short, you make a plan, sit down and simply do the work! While planning is an important part of success, it’s even more important to sit down and make things happen. Stop viewing life from the sidelines and get into action! You’ll be one step closer to success.

Ask yourself “What does success look like?”…again

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Once you’re well entrenched in a project or course of action, you might thing you’re in the clear. Yet something funny can sometimes happen: you forget what you initially set out to do! For example, you might get distracted and lose sight of your goal. This is why it’s so important to regularly check in with yourself to see if you are indeed on course in your goals. What does your idea of success look like now that you’ve got some experience and perspective?

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Don’t give up.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

You know the feeling…you’re tired, annoyed and bothered. You’re ready to give up and quit. Unfortunately the one thing that will always stop you from succeeding is if you stop and give up. While it might be painful, bothersome or just plain frustrating to keep pushing on, just continue to push on. You might be at the very brink of a breakthrough! Acknowledge the pain and frustration and continue on anyway. Work hard and believe in yourself for success is just around the corner…

How will you define your own success? What landmarks or milestones are important to you when it comes to being successful? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Happy New Year 2014 by rkramer via flickr.com

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Published on July 22, 2019

The Secret to Success Is Failure

The Secret to Success Is Failure

You see a job that you’d love to do; and, you decide to go for it.

You submit your application, and then are pleased to find a few days later that you’re invited for an interview. This goes well, and you begin to have quiet optimism that a job offer will be coming your way soon…

It doesn’t.

Instead, you receive a letter saying thank you — but, they’ve decided to go with another candidate.

At this point, you could allow yourself to feel defeated, sad, and perhaps even a little angry. These are normal responses to bad news. Yet, it’s not wise to let them fester and disrupt your goals. Successful people don’t let failures kill their dreams.

Sure, they might temporarily feel deflated. But, very quickly, they pick themselves back up again and begin planning their next steps towards success.

How about you? Do you currently feel embarrassed or guilty about failing?

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Don’t worry if you do, as most of us have been programmed since childhood to see failure as a bad thing. Yet, as I’m going to show you in the next few minutes, this programming is dead wrong — failure is actually an essential part of success.

Don’t Be Tempted by Perfection

The first thing I want you to think about is this:

Resisting failure is, at its core, seeking perfection. And, perfection doesn’t exist.

That’s why perfectionists are also likely to be chronic procrastinators.

As Psychology Today noted in their article Pitfalls of Perfectionism, people who constantly seek for perfection stop themselves from engaging in challenging experiences.[1] That’s because these perfectionists are less creative and innovative than the average person — plus they’re less likely to take risks. Add these factors together, and you have someone who is overly focused on their own performance and is always quick to defend themselves. Unfortunately, these traits prevent them from having the necessary focus when it comes to learning new tasks.

Let me be clear: Striving for perfection is not the same as striving for excellence.

The former is a fool’s quest for the unattainable; while the latter is really just about doing our very best (which we can all obtain).

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And, there’s another problem that perfectionists have to deal with. Namely, when they fail to reach their ideal, they feel dejected and defeated. And — as you can imagine — repeat this often enough, and these people can end up feeling bitter and depressed about their lives.

So, forget about seeking perfection, and instead, focus on always doing your very best.

Why Failure Is Good

I recently came across a Forbes article Failing Your Way To Success: Why Failure Is A Crucial Ingredient For Success[2] that helped explain why most people are opposed to failure.

The article referenced the work of two world-renowned psychologists (Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky), who were awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. They discovered something very interesting: the effect of a loss is twice as great as the gain from a win.

Have you ever thought about that before?

What it means is that failure has a far greater negative impact on us than the positive impact of an equivalent win. It’s no wonder then that most people are afraid to fail.

And, here’s where it gets interesting…

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Amazon (which along with Apple, Facebook and Google, is considered one of the Big Four technology companies) has a culture that is tolerant of failure. And Jeff Bezos — Amazon’s founder and CEO — believes that this culture is one of the main reasons for the company’s big achievements over the last 25 years. In a letter to shareholders, he said:

“Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.” 

The truth is, failure can open up a world of exciting opportunities for you.

How does it do this?

By constantly showing you new avenues to travel on. And, by helping you learn from your mistakes — so you can be better next time around. It also helps you identify what’s not working for your life, and what is.

So instead of seeing something as detrimental to success, you should see it as a tool FOR success. A tool that will help you to continually refine your journey in life.

If you still need some convincing that the secret to success is failure, then take a look at the following excerpts from our article 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On:

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• J.K. Rowling encountered a catalog of failures shortly after graduating from college, including: being jobless, the breakdown of her marriage, and living as a lone parent. However, instead of giving up on life, she used these failures to propel her to write the Harry Potter fantasy series — the best-selling book series in history.

• Walt Disney didn’t have an easy start either. He dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt to join the army. Later, one of his early business ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt. He was also fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) Was he defeated by these failures? Just ask Mickey Mouse.

• Michael Jordan had this to say about the power of failure: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Embrace Failure, and Prepare for Success

I hope this has been an eye-opener for you.

Failure has long been branded a leper; but in reality, it’s a healthy, essential component of success.

The trick of course is to develop the mindset of a winner. Someone who sees failures as stepping stones to success — and defeats as important learning experiences.

So, are you ready to embrace your failures and take the proud road to success?

I sincerely hope so.

Featured photo credit: Bruce Mars via unsplash.com

Reference

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