Most people say that they want to experience success. Whether it’s career, relationship, a hobby, or something else, enjoying the fruits of our labor just feels good. However, not everyone understands what it takes to enjoy success at varying levels. Or, they may not really even have a clear idea of what success really means.
What Is Success?
People define success in different ways. Success for one person could mean getting their desired job in sales and purchasing a home. Success for another person may mean making $100K per year and living each day happy and free. Yet for another person, it could be being a stay-at-home mother who is present for her children.
Success is largely defined as accomplishing a defined goal, so it’s quite individualistic. As such, success is whatever you want it to be physically, mentally, socially, and religiously or spiritually.
Regardless of what your definition of success is, there are some helpful characteristics or traits that can help you achieve it.
Most people want to enjoy success, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes, such as creating a strategic plan to help you achieve your goals. If you will take the time and make the effort to learn success principles, you’ll be much more inclined to enjoy success in every area of your life.
Creating Goals & Action Plans
Successful people have several things in common. Creating goals and an action plan are two characteristics that will help you to be successful in the various areas of your life. It really is important to actually sit down and write out your goals and then create a plan on how you will work toward accomplishing those goals.
Even if your action plan doesn’t pan out exactly as you desire, it’s alright. You may hit some bumps along the journey or you may experience a setback or two. Learn from them and keep going. You may have to adjust your goals, your plan, or both – and that’s alright.
If you haven’t actually sat down to write your goals, do this today. If you just think about your goals and success in your head, you’re less likely to see them fulfilled.
For example, the owner of Starbucks didn’t just have success fall in his lap. He had a vision, created goals, and an action plan. Year after year he made forward progress toward his goals and little by little, he became successful. He stayed on the course, even when setbacks came. He learned how to persevere and work smart and hard. This is success played out over time.
Work Hard & Smart
If you want to activate success in every area of your life, along with creating goals and an action plan, learn the art of a solid work ethic. Successful people don’t just work when they feel like it or simply work just enough to get by. They work hard. When they are on the clock, they are focusing on whatever their tasks are for that time frame. They’re not texting their friends, mindlessly scrolling social media, or simply wasting time.
There is a threshold that they get beyond, where many others give up because they don’t have a good work ethic. If you want to be successful, commit to working hard and be dedicated and committed to your goals. Persevere through hard times or failures and stick to your vision through thick and thin. This firm resolve to do what it takes to have success will surely get momentum moving quickly so that you will surely experience varying degrees of success.
Many successful people are optimistic. They believe in themselves and they believe that they are supported by the universe (or their higher power). How optimistic are you? Do you tend to have more positive or negative thoughts going on in your life? When is the last time you observed your thought life?
Optimism, or positive thinking can be quite valuable in creating the kind of life you truly desire. If you need help in this area, there are a plethora of free online teachings and videos on the topic. It takes time and practice, but you can learn to go from primarily negative thinking to positive thinking. Repetition helps.
Why Does Success Matter?
Some people get hung up on the term “success”. They think that if they aren’t doing this or that, or have this or that, then they’re not successful. Here in the West, we tend to get hung up on the idea that success equals having a lot of things and beaucoup bucks. However, having material objects doesn’t mean you’re successful.
I’ve always been fond of Deepak Chopra’s definition of success:
“Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.”
I like this definition because it equates success with a state of feeling rather than accomplishing concrete goals. The “expansion of happiness” – don’t we all desire that? The “progressive realization of worthy goals” – by realizing that we are indeed making headway toward “worthy” goals, we enjoy more peace and joy.
And that feels good!
Dream Up A Good Life
Dream up some worthy goals today in any area of your life. From career to family to being more generous to eating healthier – enjoy as best as you can your journey toward realizing your goals.
At the same time, embrace where you are along your journey. Maybe your goal is to rest and stop doing so much. Maybe you’re burned out and need a nice, long retreat. Allow yourself to enjoy that.
Maybe you’re not sure what success means to you. That’s alright too. Start contemplating what you want your life to look like in the near and far future. Ask yourself, “What does success mean to me?”, then, write it down. Keep a journal to track your journey, celebrating milestones along the way.