Success involves hard work and continued commitment to getting things done. For this reason, we at IWT want to help you change how you look at success and help you get past the barriers.
How to achieve success in life
You are all here because you appreciate how difficult it is to find success. Here are some tips on how to set out on this quest and emerge victoriously.
Define what success means to you
You cannot set out to achieve success without knowing what it is. Your definition of success depends entirely on your values, beliefs, morals, and motivation. Look back at some of your past successes and achievements and break down the factors that led to the accomplishment. After this, consider what you learned from the experiences and how they can help you grow, develop, and create positive outcomes.
Set a realistic goal
You have probably set lots of realistic long-term and short-term goals but failed to achieve each one of them by the start of the new year. Maybe your goal for this year is to get healthy. Like other goals, it is exciting at the beginning. You pay for a gym membership, find your old gym gear, and hit the gym every day for the first few weeks. Suddenly, you skip a day. No big deal, you can still work out tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, but you have some work to do. By the time the week comes to an end, you have not been to the gym, and your gym gear is piled up in a corner collecting dust.
This is where goal setting comes in. Most of the typical goals we set often cover a broad spectrum leaving us confused on the ideal starting point. What follows when you decide to get healthy? You start spinning your wheels. That is why Ramit emphasizes setting smart goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-oriented. With every aspect of smart objectives, you need to ask yourself a few questions to help you come up with a winning goal.
- Specific. What do I want to achieve with my goal? What results do I expect?
- Measurable. What parameters have I put in place to show that I have achieved my goal? What is my perception of success?
- Attainable. Do I have the resources needed to achieve my goal? What resources do I need?
- Relevant. Why is this goal important? Do I want to work towards it? Is it a priority given my current situation?
- Time-oriented. What deadline do I have? After how long will I know if I’m on the right track?
With this information, it may be time to adjust your goals into more specific and actionable objectives. If you wanted to get healthier, you could change it to having three healthy meals every week and hitting the gym twice a week. Ramit goes on record to say he was pretty overwhelmed a few years ago. He was working on completing his book, establishing his business, and running around like a headless chicken.
A friend of his asked what his number one goal was. As Ramit goes on to say, it is a question that costs all businesses, so he wanted to avoid it. His biggest concern was that he would close the doors to all other goals he had if he mentioned his most important goal. And what did he tell him? He said he wanted to be a bestseller, earn revenue worth $X, and do this publicity. This was his friend’s response; “Cut the BS. What is your number one goal?” Again, he tried to dodge around, but he pushed him and forced him to be more specific. He said he wanted his book to be a New York Times bestseller. That was it.
It is human nature to avoid constraining ourselves because it makes us feel limited. We feel like we are letting go of something, which Ramit felt in that specific moment. However, it is also liberating. After saying that he wanted his book to become a New York Times bestseller, he clearly understood what he had to do to achieve his goal. He devoted all his attention to it.
Find a reliable mentor
Sometimes, you may not see the right path. This is because of the number of choices you have in relation to your decisions.
- Do you go with the gratifying job with a Fortune 100 company or stick with the startup that may close down after a year?
- Do you study online or go back to school for your MBA?
- Should you stay where you currently live with a few friends and contacts or move to a bigger city?
Although having several options to choose from may look like a good thing, it can limit one’s ability to decide. The best way to get through the paradox of choice is by finding someone that has already experienced the same thing before: a mentor. A mentor will walk you through the difficult decisions and hold your hand as you tread the path to success. A mentor does not have to be a jack of all trades. You should also not pay for the services of a mentor.
If you are working on getting fit, your mentor could be a friend that hits the gym regularly and runs marathons. A mentor can be a family member or a friend. They can also be someone you have not met physically but have read about in blogs and books.
Embrace a growth mindset
When you set out to find success, you need to adapt it as part of your culture. You should understand that achieving success involves different stages of growth, and it will not come over one night. Learn to look at their little achievements and establish how they relate to your final goals. By embracing the growth mindset, the little achievements will catapult towards achieving bigger goals. You have to start from somewhere and grow gradually if you stand a chance of achieving success.
Start taking action
Imagine being in a position where you can systematically focus on getting ten high-impact actions done every year. How will the results match up against those of someone working on completing a hundred different things? This is what we call disproportionate impact. Millions of people have an ordinary impact on the world around them. They work ordinary jobs, ordinary finances, and only impact on a normal number of people. Here is an example of disproportionate impact in relation to getting a significant raise.
Many people create a list of valid reasons why they deserve a raise and practice what they will say a few times. We assume that the amount of good work they have done is a good enough reason.
What successful people do: They take time to learn about the ins and outs of salary negotiation and some of the common mistakes people make when negotiating. They create a list of all the good reasons they have earned a salary raise and create a plan to address all the objections put forward by their boss. They go over their pitch multiple times. In the end, they get a better salary raise.
It’s easy to do the bare minimum. However, chasing opportunities to achieve exceptional returns and improve the quality of your work makes it easier to achieve success. This, together with the relentless focus on your main goal and the will to take action, makes you unstoppable.
Common barriers to success
As we said earlier, achieving success comes with numerous challenges. Here are some things that can stop you from achieving success.
Chasing magic bullets
A magic bullet is the biggest element that can guide you to success. Most people do not want to accept that successful people put in a lot of work to get where they are. You tend to look at how successful someone is and find shortcuts to reach the same destination without working. That is why people trying to get healthy and stay fit focus on finding out the brand of protein shake or workout gear some of the fittest personalities news instead of actually hitting the gym. Whether your goal is to find a new job, improve your fitness levels, or start a business, magic bullets are a myth.
Fearing failure i
s the most significant barrier that holds us back from achieving our goals and reaching success. For example, we decide not to apply for a position because we feel that we can not get it. We let negative thoughts guide us. And you are not alone; we have also been in the same position. The fear of failure comes when you focus on the future and not the present. Instead of working on earning a million dollars, work on adding value whenever possible. With this, you do not get scared of failure and start living in the moment. Also, learn to use failure as a source of feedback and a path to success on your next try. Failure should not give you a reason to give up.
Letting guilt control you
It’s funny how people give in to the paradox of guilt without even realizing it. You should be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable. This does not translate to “feel guilty for the things you are not working on.”
If you happen to feel guilty, do not bury your head in the sand. First, acknowledge the guilt and find out why you have the feeling in the first place. Ask yourself why you feel guilty and why you haven’t done what you need to.
With these few questions, you can understand how to start solving a big problem. Write down everything from the previous steps where you appreciate the guilt and ask yourself important questions. This can help you comprehend how your brain functions when it comes to guilt and finding solutions. It also gives you a platform you can always go back to when you decide to solve the problem at hand.
This brings us to the next step: Take action … tomorrow. After writing everything down, take a step back and give it some time. As humans, we naturally have limited willpower. It takes a lot to manage your guilt, so do it later when you are fresh and willing to act on it.
Success does not come overnight. It requires consistent action, commenting with different options, and noticing the outcomes. We may have given you the strategy to become successful, but it is upon you to put in the work every day. You can start making some transforming tactics today. Grab a free copy of “How to Follow Through on Anything,” and you will be on the right path towards becoming successful.