Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful. ~ Malcolm Forbes (Tweet this)
So, you want to be successful? Of course you do. I can already tell you’ve got the drive, ambition and fire in your belly to be a real success story. But you’re missing something. You’re a little lost, aren’t you? You know what personal success means to you. But you just don’t know how to get started.
The beauty of personal success is that there is no right way to get started. Because, well, you’re you. You’ve got to forge your own path.
However there are certain rules you can follow to make sure you definitely start on the right foot. And, to help you prepare for what might be in your future. These rules will help you:
- Find where to start
- Get off on the right foot
- Deal with any problems
- Stay focused
- Know yourself better
Who can ask for more than that, right?
Rule #1: Know Your Limits
You can’t be anything you want. Sorry, but it’s true. If you’re 5’3 and want to be an NBA Center it’s not going to happen. In order to reach true personal success it’s important to know your limits. Not to limit yourself – you’ll see what I mean in a second – but to know what you’re truly capable of.
If you’re 30 years old and want to be a professional musician, but you’ve only been playing Guitar for a year, setting a goal of being in a headline-touring act might be a bit much. But playing in a local tribute band isn’t. It doesn’t mean that you should aim low; it’s that you should know what you’re capable of and adjust accordingly.
Rule #2: Act Like There Are No Limits
Just because you know your limits, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and exceed them. Always be pushing yourself to be better. Even if you know, roughly, where the bar is set. If you want to be a musician, practice like you’re in that headline act. Your skills will expand ten fold because of it. And you might end up surprising yourself.
Rule #3: Keep Focused On One Goal
Attention is a powerful tool. And your personal success hinges on it. Think back to your last new years resolution. What did you try and set? Probably something along these lines:
I’m going to lose weight, drink less, start running and meditate more
And what happened? You didn’t do any of them. Why? Because you tried to change your life overnight. You focused on too many goals and overwhelmed yourself. Which ended up in you not changing because it was easier to do. When it comes to your personal success don’t make that mistake.
Set yourself one goal and follow it through until completion. Be conscious in how you approach it, and don’t give yourself too much to do.
Rule #4: Know Your Reason ‘Why’
The bigger the driving force behind your goal, the better. Don’t look at the features or results a goal will bring you:
- More money
- Tighter waistband
Instead, look at the benefits and the reasons why you want to do it:
- Freedom to travel and do whatever you want
- Feeling happier and more confident in every day life
- Living long enough to see your grand kids
The best way I have ever found of doing this comes from the book my Chip and Dan Heath, Made To Stick. In it they tell the reader to ask the question, “Why is that important?”,to find the emotion behind something. And this works perfectly with your personal success goals. Try this and see how it works:
- Take your personal success goal: I want to be a freelance writer.
- Ask ‘why is it important?’:Because I want the freedom to work from home.
- Ask it again: Because I don’t want to work for a company where I don’t get to do work I want.
- Ask it one last time: Because life is too short to do something I don’t want to do every single day of it.
There’s the why behind your goal.
Rule #5: Fill Each Day With Things You Love
In his Stanford commencement speech, Steve Job’s says something quite poignant. He stands in front of the mirror and asks himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”. If the answer was NO for too many days in a row, he would change what he was doing.
Now, apply that same rule to your life. Does the success you’re pursuing answer ‘yes’ to that question every time? Sure, you’re going to go through some rough time. Painful times. Dark times. Just to get where it is that you want to go. But is it worth it for what comes out on the other end? If it’s not, it’s time to change it.
Rule #6: Don’t Be Put Off By The Hard Times
In the pursuit of your success, you will experience what are commonly known as ‘dark days’. Those days where you want to throw in the towel. Where the world is transpiring against you. That nothing you do is right. And that everything you’re working towards is pointless and out of reach.
Embrace them. They’re there to keep your ego in check. And show you that if it came easily, it wouldn’t be worth it. Go back and remember the why behind what you’re doing, take the day off and then get back on the saddle.
Rule #7: Surround Yourself With The Right People
Your friends are dead weight. Well, not all of them. There are those who will support you through anything. And there are those who want you to stay at home, get drunk and live a ‘normal’ life. They’re the people you want to cut from your life. Success gets much easier when you’re around, accountable to, and focused on people who really care about you. So don’t settle for friends that don’t.
Continue reading our personal success series:
What does Personal Success Mean to You – The Ultimate Guide
Personal success has different meanings to different people. What is success to you? Without knowing the answer to this question, you’re never going to be successful.
The 7 Point Checklist For Personal Success
Personal success is the most important kind of success. Read on to find the little things that you need to do every day to make sure you stay on the path to personal success. Read more ….
5 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People
Follow these simple yet powerful habits of highly successful people to find that elusive success in your life. Stop standing still. Use your time wisely and better yourself! Read more ….