We’ve all experienced those days when we feel like an absolute failure. It’s a normal feeling when things don’t go as exactly planned. And, when we feel like that, it’s challenging to think of yourself as a successful individual.
Here’s the thing about success though – no one can agree what that word means. For example, I may consider myself successful because I’ve been able to start my own companies and quit the 9-to-5 rat race. For others, success may mean having a family or finally taking that dream vacation to Australia.
Even though we all have our own definitions of success, there are also a number of signs that we’re overlooking that can let us know that we’re actually more successful than we could have ever guessed. And here are 15 of those signs.
1. You are no longer controlled by income.
We all know that money is a big deal. We all have bills to pay. And while it striving to make more money in theory sounds like a great idea, at what price would you pay to earn that extra income? Would be willing to neglect to your friends and family? Would be willing to skip that dream vacation? Would be willing to work 60 hours per work at a job that you’re not passionate about?
Yes. Earning a comfortable living and being responsible with your money is always a good thing. But, if you let that completely control your life, you’re missing out on a lot of incredible experiences that money can’t buy.
2. You’re empathetic.
We’ve all come across those people you think that they’re the center of the universe. Compare this person to some of the most successful people in the world.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Cook, and Amancio Ortega (the founder of Zara) realized that they can’t achieve without the help of others. And, that required them to be empathic and help others achieve their dreams as well – instead of boasting how successful they are.
3. Things are quieter.
Think back to those days when you got upset because this person said something that rubbed you the wrong way. It was immature and added a lot of unnecessary stress to your life. If you have removed those people and situations that make your life more drama-life, then you’re definitely a success. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a quieter home and workplace?
4. You work everyday to overcome your fears.
There will always be something that we’re afraid of. Instead of succumbing to that fear and missing out on priceless experiences, we make an effort each and every to overcome that fear. Even if that’s simply doing one thing a day that gets you out of your comfort zone, like trying that new Thai restaurant, it’s a step in the right direction.
5. You don’t seek praise.
I hate to sound cold here, but you aren’t always to get a sticker or a pat on the back when you do something well. I’ve found that most successful people do things because they get personal satisfaction from the work that they do.
6. You’re positive.
It took me a awhile to come realize this, but there’s a bright-side to everything in your life. Your business failed? Sure. It sucks. But, maybe that’s because you had a terrible product. Now you have a better understanding in what people are looking for.
Focusing on the negatives in your life only leads to becoming a bitter and resentful person. And, that’s not going to go you too far in life.
7. You’ve raised your standards.
You now hold yourself, and others, accountable. This means that you no longer accept inappropriate behavior and excuses. For example, if you have that friend who is always borrowing money, and never pays you back, and you’ve decided to end that friendship then you’ve raised your standards in the people that you want to surround yourself with.
8. You no longer compare yourself to others.
Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy.”
Instead of worrying about what other people are doing or what they have, focus on your life and how you can make it better. If not, you’ll never make the steps needed to become successful since you’ll be consumed by jealously.
9. You have a plan.
Do you have an idea of where you want to be next week? Next year? Five years from now? Successful people have a roadmap that they can use that can guide them on how they’ll get from Point A to Point B.
10. You embrace failure.
Failure happens to the best of us. Instead of dwelling on it and expecting to fail over and over again, successful people dust themselves off and learn from their mistakes. That may sound cliche, but failure is an overwhelmingly powerful learning experience that can not only show you where you went wrong, but also spark your creativity as you look for innovative solutions to help you get out of this rough patch.
11. You’re excited to learn something new.
The most successful people in the strive to learn something new. It’s actually a part of their morning routines as they either seek knowledge that can help them understand their industry or grow as individuals.
In either situation, you’re excited to learn new information or skills because they’ll both improve your life professionally and personally.
12. You ask for help when you need it.
There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, refusing to ask for help is a sign of emotional immaturity. When you ask for help, it shows that you’re mature enough to realize that you’re not perfect and you need a little help from your friends.
13. You can say ‘no.’
One of the easiest ways to get burned out is by constantly saying ‘yes.’ Successful people know that if that don’t have the time, interest, or drive to do something they won’t hesitate in politely saying ‘no.’
14. You’ve developed perspective.
I’ll be blunt here. Shit happens. Getting a flat tire. Losing a client. Having a child get sick. These are all a part of life. And when these bad scenarios are aggravating and stressful, if you realize that it’s not the end of the world and things could always be worse, then you’re closer to being successful than you think.
15. You’re happy.
Do you wake-up everyday excited that you’re alive? Regardless of your job, material possessions, or how much money you have in your bank, just enjoying life and being grateful that you’re here is one of the biggest indicators of success. And, in case you didn’t realize it, being happy means that you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
Here is to realizing what we currently have and making the most out of it!
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Becoming wealthy and leaving an impact on the world is not an easy feat. If it were, everyone would go around doing it. At that point, it would not be much of an accomplishment at all.
Rather, being extremely successful requires an extreme amount of work. Especially when there is nobody looking. The best people have developed habits that help them reach their goals. These routines are not necessarily challenging to form, but they take consistent effort over extended periods of time. Creating these tendencies in your own life will propel your success.
Here are 11 things, specifically that 99 percent of (myself included) do not but really should:
1. Take advantage of introductions.
When someone introduces you to another person, there tends to be a very good reason for it. The top people take advantage of these introductions because they know that they might lead to great opportunities. It is easy to blow off an intro or not follow-up. Doing so is a missed chance to create a meaningful relationship with a like-minded person.
2. Consider the little things in their relationships.
The best people are admired by those around them. This could be due to their high-quality work, their personal interactions, or, likely, both. They remember names, they follow-up when they say they are going to, and they take little steps to create stronger relationships with those around them. Something as small as sending a text after a surgery or a congratulations after a new job offer can make a big difference.
3. Consistently read.
The brightest people are always learning. There is endless knowledge, and, in order to continue to improve and learn more, reading is a necessity. Most people make excuses as to why they do not read very much. The best people do not allow themselves to make excuses, and instead prioritize personal learning. I’ve personally made it my goal to read a book a week. Here are a few of my top books to read in 2018.
4. Stay healthy.
In order to stay effective and energetic, health has to be a top priority. Otherwise, you will go through life with less kick each day. The best people also make no excuses for their health. They make conscious decisions to eat well and exercise. They care about their bodies and take care of themselves in order to propel their success. This focus on health also gets them feeling better about how they look day-in and day-out.
5. Embrace ambiguity.
Ambiguity is difficult. When the path is not spelled out, it means that you have to make more challenging decisions. The top 1 percent of people love ambiguity. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and stand out from those around them. They do not mind making hard decisions because they know that doing so will lead to higher impact, and it is more rewarding.
6. Constantly adapt.
If you cannot look back six months and see a drastically different person, then you are not growing fast enough. This is especially true early in life.
The most successful self employed people are constantly learning and adapting. They let their barriers down and are always willing to change things about themselves in order to be better, happier and more productive.
This can be extremely challenging for many because it means letting your guard down and being vulnerable. We see ourselves in a certain light, and we make our decisions accordingly. Changing means accepting that our past choices might not have been the best. When those past actions are tied up with our ego, it can be especially difficult to move past them. The best people are able to do so in stride.
7. Set goals
Goal setting is underrated. Most people do not take the time because they do not think it is a worthwhile endeavor. The value is that it helps align actions, Setting goals also gets you thinking about what you are really trying to accomplish and why.
Those that are able to set goals tend to be much more productive and focused in their efforts. This allows for a higher level of output, greater success, and more impact.
8. Surround themselves with other great people.
We are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with the most. Therefore, it is critical to be around great people. There is a reason that many successful people tend to be friends before rising to fame. They have made an effort, from the onset, to be around others who can motivate them and propel their success.
It can be challenging to abandon or step back from destructive friends that we have been close with for long periods of time. The most accomplished people have been able to do so, though, because they know that there are many amazing people out there for them to spend time with.
Persistence is also very underrated. It is easy to workout one time or to send a few emails. It is also easy to take on an 80-hour week once. Pushing yourself consistently, though, is an extreme challenge. It is where 99 percent of people drop off.
It is when nobody is looking that effort matters the most. The best people work hard and smart consistently. They have increasing returns to scale and their efforts compound over time. Successful athletes do not suddenly emerge. They have been working for years and years on their craft to reach their current point.
It is easy to believe successful people reached that level through luck or raw talent. That is almost never the case, though. Persistence over time is an absolute must.
10. Pursue their passions.
The top people do not spend their lives living other people’s dreams. They pursue their own passions. That gives them the energy to attack each day with all that they have. It also allows them to think more independently. After getting over the fact that you cannot please everyone and that you have to think for yourself, life becomes a lot better.
Spending time doing what you love enables the highest quality of work and it makes staying consistent significantly easier.
Many people blame others for their shortcomings. Doing so might have immediate benefits, but it is detrimental in the long run. Neglecting accountability prevents personal growth and, over time, it develops a bad reputation for yourself.
The best people take full responsibility for their actions. This garners more respect and allows them to grow at much faster rates.
Helping others should be a natural extension of every business leader’s responsibilities. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come as easy as you would think. As leaders, we often get too caught up in operations or our own problems to give people the help they need. However, in the last year, I’ve realized that most of my best clients, partners and relationships have come from me helping someone. Here are 10 thoughts that can remind you to help others.
One of the easiest ways to help others is to simply share your knowledge. You don’t have to be in front of a classroom to teach. Every day there is an opportunity to educate someone about your area of expertise. The key is to keep educating yourself so you can stay ahead of the curve.
The number one rule of helping people should be to find out what’s actually valuable to someone. You may spend time and effort helping someone with something that they didn’t even want help with. Make an effort to ask them where they need help, and keep that in mind when you see an opportunity.
Sharing your resources
Think about the resources you’ve invested in and be mindful of whether they can help someone else. Maybe a developer on your team has some extra time and one of your contacts needed some help on a quick job. Or, maybe you have Cardinals season tickets and there’s a game that you won’t be able to attend. Keep those under- or unused resources in the back of your mind and try to connect them to people who can use them.
Making them aware of an opportunity
It’s important to keep an eye out for opportunities. It could be good press, a potential partner, or a general business opportunity. Once you see an opportunity, think about who could benefit from knowing about it. One of the ways I like to help my employees is to help their friends, relatives or significant others if they’re looking for a job. A lot of times I can use my business connections to find a potential good fit.
Giving them transparent feedback
Transparent feedback can be tough because some people don’t take constructive criticism well. There is a difference between telling someone that they suck and giving them good examples of how they can improve. Some people won’t take it well but, in the long run, you will help the people that you want to work with and improve the efficiency and success of your company as well.
I was at a conference the other day speaking with someone from American Airlines, a client of ours. She was going on and on about how she loved her Modify watch. She truly wanted to help the company because she loved the product and wanted to see them succeed. Think about the products and services that you love, and don’t be shy about letting people know about them.
There’s a lot of big talk out there. Someone knows somebody who is a great contact or client, but they never actually make the introduction. Rather than making and breaking promises, make an effort to actually send out several intros each week. However, don’t let your credibility take a hit: make sure the people you’re advocating are legit.
Volunteering your time
Time is valuable and most people understand that. When you take time out of your day to help a friend, they remember it. I try and do a guest webinar every couple of weeks for contacts so they know I’m willing to take time out of my day to share my experience with the community. Even if it’s not something as public as a webinar or podcast, set aside some time to help a contact. It could be as simple as helping them move to a new home.
There are a variety of ways to give someone recognition. You can include them in an article that you’ve written or mention them in a speech or presentation. An easy way to recognize someone is to nominate them for an award. There are countless awards out there that could really help out your network. It will mean a lot to the nominee that you thought of them and wanted to recognize them. On a smaller scale, you can have internal recognition within your company. We have an award called “the belt” that looks like a WWF belt. Each week the current winner chooses the next winner. It’s an easy way to make an employee feel good about the solid work they’ve done for your company.
Gifts can be tricky because you don’t want to “buy” peoples’ favor. You want to get them a gift that makes sense and will help them. When Hurricane Sandy hit, we sent care packages with items that survivors could use as they recovered from the devastation. People tend to remember who helped them when they were in need, so it’s important to make an extra effort during these times.
Helping others isn’t always easy. It can sometimes derail your schedule and cost you time, money and other resources. It can even be interpreted the wrong way. However, keep these tips in mind for some easy ways to show your connections that they truly matter to you.
Because this article was published, a donation will be made to Reading Is Fundamental so a book can be given to a child.
John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a company that assists individuals and brands in growing their influence through thought leadership and content marketing programs. Influence & Co., one of the leading providers of high quality expert content to the world’s top publications, is the creator of Contributor Weekly. Connect with John on Twitter or Google+.
“What do Highly Successful Salespeople Do that Others Don’t? I’m new into sales and want to be as successful as possible. What’s the one thing I need to do in order for that to happen?”
First thing to do is define your definition of “success”. Not society’s, not your parents, not your managers. Yours.
There are no right or wrong answers here, just passion. What is it that you truly want to achieve? What do you want out of life?
One of the greatest benefits about sales is the fact that the more people you help get what they want, the more money you will earn in order for you to get what you want. But you have to know what that is. You have to be able to “see it”. My motto is, “if you can visualize it, you can achieve it”.
STEP 1: Identify WHAT YOU WANT
Is it to be debt free? Live in a particular neighborhood? Drive nice cars? Afford TWO family vacations a year? All of the above? Again, no right or wrong answers just YOUR answers.
Once you’ve crystalized what you want – a highly successful salesperson will go after it. When you find your passion of what it is that you want to achieve, set your goals (with deadlines) and attack.
STEP 2: Where Do I Begin?
A trait of highly successful people is to realize and admit when they don’t know something. Average salespeople pretend they know everything.
If you thought “not knowing” something is frustrating, wait till you realize that, in many cases, you may even not know what it is that you don’t know! (Think about that for a moment)
Therefore, always be willing to learn from those who have already achieved what it is that you are after.
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- Want to be debt free but have poor money management skills? Dave Ramsey is the man with the plan.
- Have big dreams but little confidence in yourself? Tony Robins is your guy.
- Feeling lost? Read the Bible.
The point is, even if you don’t know what it is that you don’t know you can find those who have achieved what it is that you want – and learn from them!
Those driven to be on top are never satisfied. There’s a deep hunger and passion to go to that “next level”. I don’t think that is something that is taught – it comes from within. That’s why it is so important to understand what it is that you truly want to achieve. When you see the bigger picture of what is that you want and believe it’s possible to reach it, great things happen. You need the bigger picture.
Keep in mind that in most cases, your career is a means to an end. Yes, you want to love what you do, but as I said, loving what you do while it helps you achieve your top line goals is key. Sadly, people often forget about their real dreams and passion and settle for just a job that doesn’t suck. Life is too short for that and it just isn’t necessary to live that way.
So what do highly successful people do that others don’t? They go after their dreams. And they don’t stop till they get there. And here’s the best part… Everyone can win at this game. You only lose if you give up.
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
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As a mentor, people often come to me when they are overwhelmed, stressed and feeling like they’re not accomplishing their goals, the things they most want to do in life. They feel stuck. They are at a point which they don’t know what to do.
So one of the first things I do first is identify their time-wasters, the things that are getting in the way of them being successful, keeping them from moving forward, toward what they want to accomplish.
I think we all, from time to time, get ourselves involved in activities that do not contribute to our greatest success or happiness. I definitely did at one time, but I made the necessary changes once I became an entrepreneur and learned how valuable each second of the day was—that there really wasn’t any time to waste on activities that didn’t grow me or my business.
We’re all looking to be successful in life, but sometimes we are wasting our time doing things that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. And, often, we don’t recognize those things until someone points them out.
It’s important to analyze how we spend our days, hour by hour, and regularly look for ways to work smarter, ways to eliminate time-wasters. So, to get started, here are eight things that productive, successful people never waste their time doing (and you shouldn’t either):
1. Productive, successful people don’t get sucked into social media.
Being on social media—checking notifications Facebook, scrolling through pictures on Instagram, reading quick updates on Twitter, whatever—it’s part of everyday life. But if you don’t control how much time you spend on it, the hours will fly by and you won’t have accomplished anything on your to-do list.
So either put a time limit on it—set an alarm for when you need to minimize it, close the app, do something else—or only get on after completing necessary work projects. Use social media as a reward.
2. Productive, successful people don’t go through the day without a plan.
Successful people have a purpose, a laser-focused plan of things they want to achieve on a particular day. I believe in writing things down—but only the top two or three priorities I need to accomplish that day, not a long list of things.
Write down your top priorities and break down those large tasks into more reasonable steps and you’ll see yourself wanting to get them done and crossed off the list.
3. Productive, successful people don’t do emotionally draining activities.
If you want to step into a truly successful life, you have to focus on things that positively fuel your life. Productive people don’t waste their time on things that emotionally drain them.
Before committing to activities on your schedule, be sure the activity will positively add to your life. If you believe it won’t, then think about saying no to it. Also, don’t feel obligated to give an answer right at the time you’re being asked to do something. Think before you say yes and know that it’s OK to say no to requests for your time.
4. Productive, successful people don’t worry about things they can’t control.
Successful people realize that worrying gets you absolutely nowhere in life, especially if you can’t do anything about a situation.
So turn your thoughts to action-based activities. Focus on things you can get done.
5. Productive, successful people don’t hang out with negative people.
It’s said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to be your best, you have to surround yourself with the best people.
Be sure to eliminate negative, toxic energy around you. If you want to soar in life, you need to unload what is weighing you down.
6. Productive, successful people don’t dwell on past mistakes.
Successful people make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. The key to being successful in life is not making the same mistake twice, learning and growing from mistakes, and becoming a better person because of them.
So when you make a mistake, get into a mindset that the mistake is done with and you can’t go back to the past. Focus on what you learned and design a strategy to positively move forward from it.
7. Productive, successful people don’t focus on what other people are doing.
It’s great to be inspired by what other successful people are doing, but when you’re constantly comparing yourself to the next person and it’s bringing you down, it’s time to shift your mindset.
Be inspired by others, but focus your mindset to only compete with the most important person: yourself.
8. Productive, successful people don’t put themselves last in priority.
We all go through times that we don’t get enough sleep or exercise because we need to work on a big project. But for long-term success and happiness, you must put yourself first on the priority list.
Some great ways to do this is to kick start your day by doing something you love to do—maybe it’s completing a great workout, meditating, journaling or reading your favorite book. Do what works for you. Because when you start off your day doing something you love and that is good for you, you’ll feel happy, focused and strong the rest of the day.
Are there things on this list that have been time-wasters for you? Eliminate them so you can step into your best life.
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5 Things Successful People Do That Others Don’t
Because I never trusted my talents, my looks or my luck, and I had no connections, I studied what successful people did and tried to mimic that. Then I studied what unsuccessful people did and tried to avoid that.
While there are many things that seem to differentiate those who are successful from those who aren’t, I’ve noticed one simple difference that stands out the most—successful people are often more willing. What exactly are they more willing to do than others? Here are five key activities:
1. They Go to Work to Prosper
Those who are more successful often go to work to get something accomplished. They work to make their dreams a reality, not just to get their eight hours in. They often have a drive, even a greediness or self-centered push to get something done. There are millions of people who go to work every day, yet many don’t put themselves in a position or mindset to prosper.
The most successful people I know are driven, and they push and shove until the job is done and targets are hit, and then they go again.
Unsuccessful people often approach their work with a more limiting mindset. They may refer to work in a negative way: “the daily grind” or “my life as a drone.” They typically complain as opposed to looking at work as a means to an end, to create a life of abundance. Work—the passion for it, the creation of it, your contribution and what you learn from others—is what typically leads to goals being met and dreams becoming reality.
2. They Exercise Incredible Drive
The most successful people I know are driven, and they push and shove until the job is done and targets are hit, and then they go again. They’re able to stay focused on getting results. These folks often keep doing the hard things long after others are only doing what’s comfortable.
Unsuccessful people appear to spend a lot of time in emotions and considerations that cause them to stop or settle and then rationalize how these feelings should be satisfied. What they don’t seem to understand is this mechanism of drive is a muscle that can be developed by practicing nonconformance with society’s definitions of success.
3. They Never Make Excuses
Regardless of how many excuses they make, successful people often know that it will not change the outcome. Even justified excuses don’t automatically make a project or person successful. When things go wrong, the successful person often sees it as an opportunity, not an insurmountable hurdle.
Unsuccessful people tend to spend a lot of energy and time making excuses, blaming the economy, the customer, prices or competition. Even if the “excuses” are all true, just complaining about it likely won’t improve the outcome, and successful people know this. No matter how justified you are, try never to make an excuse for any outcome.
4. They Focus on Their Goals Daily
Successful people tend to be focused on success. For instance, the first thing I do every morning is write down my goals—I’ve been doing this for years. It’s my experience that if I can stay focused on what I want, I will get it no matter how absurd the goal. The idea is to make the things you want and haven’t yet accomplished so real in your mind that they become real in your world.
Less successful people seem to allow anything to drift into their environments—they aren’t controlling what they focus on. Every day presents an opportunity to set and reach goals regardless of how large or small they are.
5. They Are Willing to Fail
The old saying, “no risk, no reward” seems to apply to those who are successful. These people often go for it almost with a willingness to fail. Of course, they aren’t interested in failing, but they know that if they don’t put themselves in a position to fail, they’ll never create the ability to win.
Unsuccessful people seem to play it safe. They may not speak up or offer ideas because they operate from a place of fear. They may be afraid to fail because they’re overly concerned with the judgment of others so they do the minimum and try to “fly under the radar.”
Never be afraid of failure, because behind every mistake is an opportunity to learn.
Begin to willingly do these five things, and you may soon see things change for the better in your business and life. Because doing what others refuse to do can give you the edge you need to find the success you want.
Even the most positive people need encouragement and support. No one is immune to periods of self-doubt, so here are quotes to help you believe in yourself.
15 things to remember when you don’t believe in yourself.
1. Belief in yourself begins within.
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley
There will always be haters and naysayers in life, and they become more apparent when we are feeling down. Don’t look outside for approval or validation, all we need to do is look inside our heart.
2. You are not your successes or failures.
“Remember that failure is an event, not a person,” – Zig Ziglar.
Who we are as people is based on our character, not on an outcome. We should make a point to remember the times you helped someone in need, cheered up a friend and hugged your kids. These are the acts that shape us.
3. It’s your life. Live your truth.
“I know where I’m going, and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” – Muhammad Ali
It’s hard to believe in ourselves when we spend our time trying to live up to other people’s expectations. Living your truth is the ultimate belief in yourself.
4. Keep moving forward.
“Opportunity does not knock; it presents itself when you beat down the door.” – Kyle Chandler
There are always times when giving up seems to be the only option. However, it rarely is. Trust that you are where you are meant to be and keep taking small steps forward.
5. You are closer than you think.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” – Thomas A. Edison
There will always be tests on our way to doing something great. It’s as if the Universe wants to see how badly we want it. Success is found when we persevere.
6. You can become better.
“Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.” – Christopher Morley
It’s hard to be the best at something right out of the gate. People become the best because they keep working at bettering their skill.
7. Do not define yourself by one moment in time.
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Caine
Who we are and what we are capable of is not reflective of our current circumstances. Let’s not allow what happens in any given moment shape how we think of ourselves.
8. You are evolving.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot
The beautiful thing about life is it gives us opportunities to evolve and continue to grow into our best selves. Know that every day contributes to the process of becoming who we are meant to be.
9. Break the big goals down.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” -Confucius
Self-doubt can creep in when we are overwhelmed by big goals. Big goals seem unattainable but when we break them down and focus on one thing at a time, they become achievable.
10. Find the courage.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Lord Chesterfield
We have to want to move through what is causing our self-doubt more than we want to stay where we are. Don’t dwell in the moment and instead, find the courage to face the fear that is holding us back.
11. You control the narrative.
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” Maya Angelou
Our internal dialog handles how we look at ourselves and how we feel. Be thoughtful in your response to current circumstances and begin a dialog that is supportive and nurturing.
12. To win at life, you must get in the game.
“You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine.” – Flip Wilson
Just remember you win at life in one day, but the actions you take today will affect how you’ll look at tomorrow. Do something, anything, to stay in the game.
13. Focus on the good.
“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” – George Burns
Always seek out a good lesson. Then, you can live your truthful, more authentic life. When we choose to do things that make our heart sing, success will find its way to us.
14. Find the lessons.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
When we focus on the lessons, we can move forward confident in our abilities and knowing we are learning what we need to learn to keep living our best life.
15. Celebrate your uniqueness.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Let’s allow ourselves to be who we are without comparison to others. Celebrate all that makes us who we are because there is only one of each of us and our gifts are needed in the world.
This powerful mindset has changed how I work and pursue success in all areas of my life. It can not only change your career, but it can also change your relationships if you consistently apply it.
If you aim to offer value instead of taking value, people will be naturally drawn to you. You will attract more people if you provide them with an immense amount of value.
When it comes to money and wealth, the only way to become richer is to create more value for others. In his book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Adam Grant says “The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade.”
Success not just about building your reputation. It is really about giving your best without holding back. Doing the best you can to change someone’s life.
Grant writes, “This is what I find most magnetic about successful givers: they get to the top without cutting others down, finding ways of expanding the pie that benefit themselves and the people around them. Whereas success is zero-sum in a group of takers, in groups of givers, it may be true that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
We are all seeking to achieve success in life and career. And success means different things for everyone. Regardless of what success we pursue, it drives and preoccupies us, and it can sometimes cloud the journey to that ultimate goal.
What you do, and the people you impact on your way to the top, can change everything. The total emphasis on success can have a diminishing return.
Success takes longer than we expect or plan. The process can be draining, hence the need to move the emphasis from success itself to offering value, which ultimately brings the success you crave.
Creating and offering value has a trifold return. And it doesn’t end there; it’s also one of the best ways to improve and motivate yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing success — but it’s too easy to lose sight of who you are, you want it so badly.
Going after success by any means necessary can backfire. People will see through you. In the long-term, you will lose your audience, followers, or customers, unless you show them you care about making a real impact.
When you focus on yourself, it repels people. At some point in your career, you’ll find people dismiss or ignore you, especially when they get frustrated.
Becoming a Person of Value is the Ultimate Career Investment
“Try not to become a person of success but a person of value.” — Albert Einstein
If you find yourself blinded by the hunt for success, remember to focus on providing real value. It’s a lot harder to practice, but your long-term success depends on it.
Your long-term goal should be to create relationships and provide a sense of fulfillment. It’s the most practical way to long-term success.
More success is attributed to those who contribute value to others than those seeking their own glory, says Ngaire Clare. She writes:
When others in your space know you and know the value you’ve already provided you with, they trust you, your brand your service or your product. They want to engage with and support you in your work, in the same way, you have supported them in theirs.
Offering value is a is a much better way to approach success and your relationships with others, whether they are exchanging money for it or not.
Providing value means becoming a creator instead of a consumer. Creating value is one of the secrets to a happy life. I don’t know about you, but I am happiest when I am stuck in the “flow” of creating and sharing value.
The only way I’ve become happier is to create more value for others. To be more useful to others. There’s something satisfying about making a difference in someone else’s life.
Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness explains :
…when you create instead of consume, your capacity for pleasure increases, as opposed to your need for it. Being a creator gives you far more lasting and deeply satisfying happiness than consuming ever will.
Medium has made in insanely easy for us to provide value and change lives. Choose to use it. Add your voice. Someone can benefit from your opinion. Share what you know. The world needs you to make an impact in your own way. There is value in helping others improve or do better.
In your career, if you focus on adding value to your company or helping the company succeed, you’re more likely to be noticed and considered for a raise or promotion. But if all you care about is your paycheck, you probably won’t progress. When you focus on value, you become driven to create and provide more value for others.
If you always think about how to make more money — you get distracted. You think of how to “optimize” profits, rather than to add new value. The only way to create new wealth (for everyone) is to create more value,
When you provide value to others, your success grows organically. People seek more from you, talk about you to others, and share you amazing resources with their connections. By striving for value, you’ll be successful — no matter where your journey takes you.
Don’t be someone that just takes. Be someone that gives.
Something amazing that happens when givers succeed: it spreads and attracts more people. Start seeing yourself as a giver. Be a person of value.
When in doubt, create more value for others. If you are not sure where to begin, seek to add value to yourself. Improve your skills. Help yourself first, then figure out how you can create value for others.
I hope this simple approach to success makes sense to you.
If you change your mindset from taking value to offering value, the results will transform all areas of your life.
Conquer social pressure, or it will conquer you.
Do you sometimes feel like you don’t love your life? Like, deep inside, something is missing?
That’s because we are living someone else’s life. We allowed other people to influence or determine our choices—we are trying to please their expectations.
Social pressure is deceiving—we all become prey without noticing it. Before we realize we lost control of our lives, we end up envying how other people live. We can only see the greener grass—ours is never good enough.
To regain that passion for the life you want, you must recover ownership of your choices.
The Illusion of Others
You are not alone. Expectations are hard to overcome. With my experience coaching executives and their teams, I’m used to dealing with expectations—everyone is susceptible to the illusion of others.
Pleasing others is like chasing a moving target. People will have multiple hopes for you. Social pressure fluctuates—others’ expectations will continually change.
By trying to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one—ourselves included. Expectations are an illusion. That’s why most people don’t live the life they want. They feel frustrated and disappointed.
When we expect, we stop accepting reality. Anticipation is annoying—even when things go as expected, you can’t enjoy unsurprising events. Even when we get what we wished for, we can’t be happy either. That’s the problem with anticipation—we fall in love with the expectations. If what we anticipated doesn’t come true, life seems unfair. If it does, the lack of surprise makes the actual experience less exciting.
The same thing happens with people. They get frustrated when you don’t behave as they expect. That’s key to understand—it’s their problem, not yours.
Why People Expect You to Be Different
“Expectations are premeditated resentments.”
Many people bear resentment when the outcome of an event is less than they imagined it would be, even if their expectation was based on unreasonable assumptions.
Frustration is the gap between what people expect from you and who you are.
To bridge that void, you must reframe your relationship with people’s expectations. Expectations create a social contract—it’s an implicit agreement between others and you. If you don’t push back, people will assume you are okay with it.
Speak up. Or people will continue invading you. If you don’t resist, not only do you legitimize the agreement, it becomes a social practice. Soon, you’ll start doing the same to others—when you let other people define your life, you want to prescribe theirs, too.
Not expecting things from others is the first step to preventing people from dictating how you live. Life is a two-way street—when you realize that no one owes you anything, you stop expecting people to owe you anything either.
No one knows yourself better than you do. No one but yourself can choose how you live.
Fall In Love With Your Life (Again)
1. Put on your oxygen mask first.
The first step to getting rid of expectations is to treat yourself kindly. To take care of others, you have to put on your oxygen mask first—you can’t truly love other people if you don’t love yourself first. Accepting ourselves fully (flaws included) is the foundation for a long-term friendship. When we accept who we are, there’s no room for other’s expectations.
Being self-compassionate is like fresh oxygen to your mind.
Research by Kristin Neff shows that compassionate acts towards ourselves release the “feel-good” hormones. Increased levels of oxytocin make us feel comforted, calm, and connected.
2. Adjust the way you think.
You cannot control what others think about you, but you can choose how you talk to yourself. Your inner-talk can help or harm you, as I wrote here. Learn to choose your words wisely. Your expectations can put you in a box—you are the only one who can set yourself free.
You are the best person you can talk to.
Pay attention to your inner-dialogue—are you being kind to yourself or adding more pressure? Does your conversation focus on who you are and what you want to be? Or is it full of expectations of who you should be? Your dialogue should be yours, not shaped by other people’s thoughts.
3. Speak up.
People need limits—some because they are acting without noticing, others because they tend to impose their desires. Speak up. Don’t let them dictate who you are and what you should do.
People will assume the social contract is active unless you explicitly break it.
Learn to draw a line. You don’t need to be harsh, though. Just let others know when they are out of bounds—not everyone realizes when they are trying to define how you live.
4. Free yourself and free others.
When you remove your own preconceptions and expectations, you can do the same for others. Living the life you love is liberating—you don’t feel the pressure to please others. Similarly, you won’t need to impose your will on others either.
When you take ownership of your life, other people feel empowered to follow suit.
Expectations are an illusion—they add useless pressure to everyone. Let’s recover the joy of living. Remember when you were a kid. You probably didn’t have time for expectations—you were busy enjoying life one minute at a time.
5. Stop judging, stop expecting.
Expectations derive from being judgmental—when someone can’t accept how you behave, they expect you to change. By learning to be more compassionate toward yourself, not only will you ease your own expectations, but you also won’t feel the need to judge others.
Life is not perfect—removing expectations will let you appreciate your life as is.
Judgment adds frustration and negativity—perfectionists are never happy. When you let go of expectations, you create space to enjoy the here and now. Your life is not what should happen, but what is actually happening as you read these words.
Learning to accept reality is hard, but it’s a significant step towards finding calm and peace. Removing expectations doesn’t mean lowering your bar, but rather letting go of the unnecessary pressure. Only when we are relaxed can we give our best.
Any moment is a turning point if you decide to make the most of it. You are in charge. Love your life. Accept the worst and hope for the best.