Every journey begins with a destination in mind. A visit to family, a journey for business or a holiday abroad all require you to choose a place to go. Even an unintended walk outside begins with the decision to set off in one direction.
Life too requires a destination, or more specifically goals to achieve in order to give it shape, meaning and purpose. Without something specific to go for you will struggle to achieve very much. The trick is to set realistic goals given your capabilities. You need to be realistic but at the same time should dare to dream, to push yourself slightly beyond your comfort zone. Keeping things achievable means that when you do succeed you will gain the immense joy that comes with success.
As a starting point, consider the different areas in your life. For example, your careers, your relationships, finances and studies and decide what needs the most attention and are most dependant on your own actions. Figure out what your ultimate goals are. For example:
- A particular career, perhaps a Doctor or an Architect
- A particular salary.
- A career that allows you to raise a family and buy a house.
Building out a map of concrete plans, beginning with your destination will help you figure out a route to achieve your ambition. One way of getting help with this is by using the SMARTS system for setting goals. They should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarded, Timely and Supported.
The Power Of Communication
It’s always a good idea when striving for success to look at those who achieved before you and learn from them. One trait that many successful people share in common is strong communication skills. They are able to put across their vision to others and reach out to new people who can help them get what they want.
Essential communication skills like listening and empathy don’t come naturally to everyone but with mindfulness and practice anyone can learn to develop them. The rewards of being more approachable are immense, allowing you to build a bigger network of contacts and friends, as well as the social skills you’ll need to reach the top of your career.
Self-Confidence and Optimism – The Power of You
The most important thing of any plan to take control of your life however remains you. You have within you much of the ability to influence your own future. If you can believe that you are completely in control of your own life and how you act and respond to opportunities and problems, then you will start to see your life change in the direction you want it to. By contrast those who blame outside issues and choose to see themselves as victims of fortunes whims tend to fulfil their own prophecy, allowing other people and their problems to dictate the course of their lives.
The key to confidence is optimism. Learn to see the troubles and difficulties you will inevitable encounter as opportunities to grow, learn and develop rather than threats to be avoided at any cost. By believing you can achieve something, you are far more likely to go on to indeed succeed and overcome the difficulties and setbacks you will be facing.
A Code to Live By – Making your Values Shine.
Much of who you are as a person is determined by the values you hold personally. These will be obvious to anyone required to work with you for any length of time. Core values such as trustworthiness, honesty and loyalty are not only desirable in yourself, but also in others. After all, would you wouldn’t want to work with anyone who you suspected would be okay stealing from you.
Many people, even successful ones have been brought low by failing to hold up to their core values. Giving in to temptation, whether it be cheating on a relationship or stealing from a business partner has been the ruin, once discovered, of many a high profile individual. Remember this, and let your principles guide your behaviour in all things.
Never Give Up, Never Surrender! Failure and Persistence.
Persistence is the single greatest traits any person can possess. Success is always a result of a person saying “Yes I can” just one more time than the world saying “No you can’t”. Keeping yourself motivated so that you can continue to press forward really is the most important thing you need to learn to do. A key to this is the setting of frequent achievable, if challenging goals by which you can measure your progress. For example, if you have started running to increase your health, increase the distance or time you go running a little bit and measure your success.
The awful truth for everyone however is that failure happens. Even for successful people. Nobody wins 100% of the time. But the key difference between those who succeed and everyone else is the mind-set behind it. The successful person looks at the failure and tries to see what went wrong, to learn the lesson taught by their loss and to apply it to their next attempt. The person doomed to failure however does not, and will simply try the same old thing again and again until eventually they give up.
By keeping yourself motivated, you’ll build up the persistence you need to force your way through when failure and doubt gnaw at your confidence. You can look back on your previous successes and take confidence from the fact that you’ve beaten previous challenges, and can beat whatever new ones come your way.
Self-Improvement – Learning is Forever.
Your human brain never loses its capacity to learn, and is continuously making new connections and synapses throughout your lifetime. Take advantage of that remarkable ability and commit yourself to lifelong learning. With technology changing the world so rapidly in just a few short decades it is no longer enough to rely on what is learned at school. Anyone aspiring to success must constantly adapt and update their knowledge and skills if they are to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving global workplace and successful people are never slow to take advantage of the latest advances in technology or society to advance themselves.