In the US, everywhere you look our culture is constantly giving us messages and signals that no matter how successful you are you have to consistently strive for more.
All this pressure can lead to overwhelm and stress and cause you to work at a pace that isn’t sustainable. It can cause you to lose sight of many of the foundational principles of success. Here are 7 success principles to keep in mind as you strive for your next level of success:
Fail early and often – with strong support
Failure is simply feedback and the more feedback you can get early on in a process the better. You can quickly learn what TO do and what NOT to do. As a leader, you have to be willing to take risks which means there will be times when you may not get your desired outcome. That isn’t failure; it is simply feedback.
I am sure you have heard the stories about Walt Disney being told he wasn’t creative, Michael Jordan not making his high school basketball team, and even the thousands of unsuccessful attempts by Thomas Edison to create the lightbulb.
Despite these “failures” each of these individuals went on to reach their peak performance and be known as the expert in their field. In every case there were missteps along the way, challenges overcome and “failures experienced.” Regardless of the challenge, like Walt, Thomas and Michael you too can choose to view failure as feedback and simply move forward.
Take action it is the only way
You cannot get results from things you don’t do! Wishing, wanting, and hoping for a lucky break isn’t a strategy! By taking an action every day you will bring yourself one step closer to your goals. It is the only way to make progress. Yes, you can (and should) keep an optimistic outlook and a positive attitude (your attitude will determine your outlook which impacts your ability to act).
Think about the athlete who wants to achieve Olympic Gold. They can’t just hope to win and expect it to happen. They have to actively participate in the outcome. They have to practice their given sport every day, hone their mental ability and fuel and rest their body as needed.
They have to collaborate with coaches and teammates. Most importantly they have to train for hours every day often on their own to ensure they are prepared for competition. Your success is no different! Every day you will have to do the physical and mental work to prepare yourself to take action and lead your life and career in the direction you desire.
Remember, even the smallest of actions is an action! You simply have to be willing to start. Don’t allow yourself to discount those tiny actions; sometimes they can have the biggest impact! If you find yourself doubting your ability or questioning whether you’ll ever achieve your goal, take a look back and reflect on all that you have already accomplished. It will serve as a great reminder of your ability to impact the results you get. Remember a single step is enough to ignite a chain reaction that can transform your life!
Don’t reinvent the wheel
In my first career, the culture of our company was to share, search and reapply. That’s right – it was all about taking what was good and making it great. By using this strategy we saved a lot of time, energy and effort and had the ability to learn from the mistakes and challenges of others.
There is a great saying – success leaves clues – it is your job to simply follow the clues you get from watching those in positions you want to be in. Identify strong mentors who can guide your actions and allow you to learn from their successes and failures. Remember, you do not have to start from square one; be willing to put a fresh twist on an old idea.
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of mentor quotes about the power of guidance.
I love this quote attributed to Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” My version is this “ You can only achieve the level of success you believe you are worth having.” Whether you listen to me or to Henry Ford, know this – how you think and what you believe about yourself and your abilities will determine your level of success in every area of your life! To be successful, you have to first believe that you will be and that you deserve to be. Is it normal to have some self-doubt… of course! If however, your self –doubt is a constant conversation in your head about how you will NEVER be good enough, you simply can’t or worse yet you are not worth it, do the work necessary to upgrade your mindset so you can upgrade your life. If you are wondering where to start, do a quick search on the Internet for upgrade your mindset and you will find over 766,000 results.
The moment you decide your success depends on someone else you relinquish your own power and your own ability to be in the driver’s seat of your life. You are 100% responsible for what happens in your life. When you take that attitude, it means you can change 100% of what happens in your life. Isn’t that great news! You can actually be the architect and the author of your success. It starts by taking accountability for your intentions, actions and results (good or bad). Just because you are accountable does not mean you have to go it alone. Fill your support network with coaches, mentors, sponsors and friends who are committed to your success. No one achieves any amount of success or greatness alone. Be willing to cast a vision and enroll your community in supporting you to make it happen.
Be of Service ALWAYS
Earlier I referenced three amazing success stories in the form of Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan and Walt Disney. Each of these men was committed to serving. In Thomas Edison’s case he was committed to creating things that improved the lives of others while Walt Disney was focused on creating magical moments and entertaining children. In my opinion, Michael Jordan’s life serves as a roadmap for how to persevere. His story reminds all of us to never give up. I love this quote by MJ “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” His example teaches us how to simply see failure as the foundation of success.
As you move through your life’s journey, think about how you can give back and help others every step of the way. Now I am not talking simply about writing a check. This is about making the commitment to be of service to those with you on your journey and to help those who are traveling the pathy you blazed. Who can you mentor? Who can you offer a kind word? Who can you promote on their journey? As you continue to be of service, your kindness will come back to you tenfold. I promise.
There you have it – six principles of success that can easily be forgotten. Print this out and put it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Share it with your community to help them on their own journey (see – an easy way to be in service already!). Keeping all of these principles in mind will allow you to stay on track and reach new levels of success.