Countless books and articles have been written on the subject of success. Many of them entice readers by teasing that they have the “Secrets of Success”. However, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us would confess that we know what it takes to succeed in virtually any endeavor. There is no “secret” to success. While success does mean different things to different people, what it takes to achieve success is not a secret.
In this article, the working definition of success will be achieving the economic, family, health, relationships, and community goals you set for yourself.
In my work I often encounter people who are capable of achieving far more than they have and are living at levels below what is truly possible for them.
So, using our working definition, the question becomes: if we know what it takes to achieve success in life, why do some fail to achieve it? Generally, there are two essential things I have observed regarding this question.
First, to succeed at anything, you have to know what it is you want. The “just hanging in there: “going with the flow”; “taking it one day at a time” mentality is not a formula for achieving success. Time must be taken for reflection and getting to know who you are. It means becoming clear on what you like or dislike, determining the person you want you be, and defining in your own terms what you want out of life in each of the aforementioned categories. If you are content with where you are in life, stop reading. I am happy for you. But if not, this is something that needs to be done.
Second, and this is key. You must believe with all your heart, mind, and soul that success is possible for you. Without the belief that success is possible, everything else falls apart and you will never get beyond the dream state. The actions that we take, or do not take, stem from what we believe about ourselves and our possibilities.
There are all sorts of influences that will impact the development of your belief system; some good, some not so good. Odds are, if we are not where we want to be in life, and are not taking steps to change our conditions, the not so good ones are probably having the greater impact. It means we have accepted the belief that there is little we can do to change our current condition. This is referred to as a fixed mindset; accepting that “it is what it is – so let’s make the best of it.”
Here is a tip on how to determine if something is possible for you or not: You cannot consistently, with any serious heartfelt emotion, entertain the thought of something that is not possible for you. Sure, a thought can pop into our minds on what life would be like if, but it passes just as quickly as it comes, and there is no intense emotion connected to it. We know we are only dreaming.
On the other hand, anything that you consistently think about is possible. If the thoughts persist, if they keep coming back, and you feel something in your soul, if that thing will not leave you alone, it means it is possible for you to achieve. Only the false belief that you cannot make it happen is what holds you back. The challenge becomes finding a way to break through those false beliefs and begin the process of setting out to achieve your goals and achieving success in your own terms.
Breaking through limiting beliefs takes mental effort, commitment, and perseverance, but it can be done. Start by looking back over the course of your life and making note of any, and everything you have ever accomplished, no matter how big, or how small. We have all accomplished something, and if we take the time to do an inventory of those things, we will find that despite our limiting beliefs we have achieved more than we give ourselves credit for.
Next, start setting small daily goals for yourself. Decide on one thing, each day you intend to accomplish, just one thing. What category that one thing falls under is not important. Just determine what that one thing is each day.
Accomplishing 1 thing a day becomes 7 things a week, 30 things a month, 360 things a year, and ultimately the development of a new belief system built on past successes.
There is no secret to success. There are only those who are determined to succeed in spite of any odds, and those who are not. The choice is ours. It is a decision we all must make. Whichever way you choose, I wish you much success.