There is no easy road to success, but here are five simple steps you can take along the way that will help you get there:
1. Always Be Accountable
If a mistake is made, own it. When it comes to your life, it may be someone else’s fault but it’s always your responsibility. Adopt this mentality and you will maintain ultimate power over your circumstances. Constantly point fingers and look for someone to blame and you will forever be at the mercy of others, feeling as though you have no control over your life.
2. Practice Patience
With others, with the process, and most of all with yourself. Sacrificing quality to get something done faster is one of the surest ways to set yourself up for failure. Let the ideal concept and plan unfold. Don’t force it.
3. Be Flexible
Bend so that you don’t break. The ability to adapt to change is imperative. You can’t be so rigid that you’re unable to overcome a monkey wrench or two. Don’t allow setbacks and unexpected events to completely halt your progress. Find another way. Be firm on destination but flexible on journey.
4. Don’t attach the action to the outcome
Just because you do the right thing and it still goes wrong, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing. Focus solely on putting in the work. Control what you can control and results will come.
5. Never Stop Learning
Whether you read/listen to books, follow your industry in the news, pick the brain of a peer or mentor, or just constantly challenge yourself to try new things, always continue obtaining knowledge. Learning is essential to growth. Growth is essential is longevity.
One of the most persistent questions that we ask ourselves is, “Am I Successful?” After all, you would not be pursuing goals, starting businesses or furthering your education if this were not the objective. The need to feel as though we are achieving something with our lives is common. No one sets out to do anything without caring whether they succeed or fail.
But what is success? The answer to this is different for everyone. To some it’s having things – a big fancy house, luxury vehicles, and the finest of everything. To others it’s making an impact. Perhaps you want to advance technology and change the way that something is currently done. Or, maybe you want to have a positive effect on the lives of as many people as possible. For some, success is defined by how much money they make. They may not need the fancy things, but financial freedom and security is their only goal.
The truth is none of these definitions of success are right, or wrong. You can’t measure yourself against the achievements of others, what they aspire to be or how they choose to live. And it really doesn’t matter what you accomplish if you’re fundamentally discontent. There is but one universal measurement for success; and that is feeling genuinely happy and at peace when you go to bed at night. If you make it to this place you are succeeding in the only area that truly matters.
Find and do what gets you there.
Growing up an orphan and a homeless teen, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of adversity. Some to a greater extent than others, but misfortune is universal and something that we’ve all been forced to deal with. We always talk about overcoming adversity, which is important, but take it a step further. Make peace with it, use it to fuel your ambitions and make you better.
Try not to hold grudges or focus on what has gone wrong in your life. This will do more personal harm than good and ultimately hold you back. Face and accept those situations but don’t allow them to define you. Instead, focus on what the situations taught you, about people, life and yourself. There is a great deal we can learn from adversity if we are open to doing so.
Adversity is a great character builder. Overcoming obstacles will make you a much stronger person than if you’d had an easy path. And it actually gives you an advantage over those who’ve had things handed to them. You will always be the more resilient one, better equipped to handle change and deal with failure because you’ve been there.
So, the next time you’re up against it, welcome the challenge. Embrace the adversity and the lessons that it will leave with you. Mentally thank those people that made things more difficult, knowing that you will emerge an even better version of yourself on the other side.